Anyone else miss Alternators?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by User_136440, Jul 16, 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. User_136440

    User_136440 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2004
    Posts:
    7,751
    News Credits:
    27
    Trophy Points:
    367
    Likes:
    +2,395
    Engineering and design has improved in the ten or so years since Alternators ended, and I'd love to see Has-Tak attempt to make new versions of the classic characters with direct modern updates of the original alt modes, which was the intention before licensing issues scuppered that. I think that was the appeal of the first couple of years of figures to me, the fact they turned into real life vehicles, and my interest gradually dropped off as they became more and more futuristic. I know the movie lines offer licensed alt modes but both the Studio Series and MPMs have their shortcomings due to the robot modes needing to reflect on screen designs. I'd love for an Alternators v2.0 where the robot modes and transformations aren't constrained by CG or cartoon models but benefit from the engineering that's developed to try to accommodate them. Licensing seems to be a little easier for Has-Tak to get hold of now; Jazz as a Porsche still hasn't happened but given that VW, the parent company has licensed several Bumblebee figures I can't see it never happening.
     
    • Like Like x 9
  2. Gepard

    Gepard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Posts:
    6,102
    News Credits:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Likes:
    +13,498
    I sure miss being able to get such large, detailed toys for under $20. Chrome, rubber tires, clear headlights – they were basically the parts count of a modern leader class with better finish for 40% of the price.
     
    • Like Like x 11
  3. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Posts:
    16,756
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Likes:
    +26,576
    I miss Alternators from the perspective of being a car nerd and loving the model-car-that-turns-into-a-robot motif. I would love to see the line return in an updated form with modern engineering, and disregard concerns about making sure characters match up to their original makes and models. I don't care who they are, I'm interested in what they are.
     
    • Like Like x 6
  4. omagaprime

    omagaprime Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Posts:
    1,396
    Trophy Points:
    287
    Location:
    North Dakota
    Likes:
    +3,061
    I loved that it was real model cars that transformed. I didn't get the whole line but would be cool to see them come back.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Posts:
    35,657
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Likes:
    +45,597
    I somewhat miss the concept, but the toys themselves feel pretty damned dated at this point.

    But really, it was too nightmarish of a concept to continue, the longer it went on. As a regular line, it meant HasTak had to constantly seek out new licenses to pursue, and they'd often be at the whims of the licensors in regards to depictions of certain characters (supposedly Honda vetoed the name "Overdrive" for some reason, which is why we got "Windcharger". With a neutered gun, to boot). From a design standpoint, the requirement to have open cabin spaces in all the cars necessitated a lot of repetitive, and sometimes cludgey engineering.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  6. kibble

    kibble Seeker style, yo!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Posts:
    14,250
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +5,125
    I loved the line back in the day, but I don't think it aged well. In theory they could be better today, but MPs became what I really wanted all along...G1 accurate characters and alt modes. And while the actual car models were neat, as they aged, who needs a dead on accurate Scion, or Mazda, or Civic, or whatever uninteresting car model? And the bot modes weren't the most elegant either, so they lost their appeal being display pieces.

    I do agree they were great value, though. That couldn't be touched today. You'd be lucky to get them for under $50 now.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  7. fschuler

    fschuler Post Count Inflated With Hot Air TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2005
    Posts:
    25,517
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    452
    Location:
    NKY/Cincinnati
    Likes:
    +51,644
    I’ll echo what a lot of people have already said. I miss the idea of detailed and scale-accurate real-world vehicles that TF into cool robots for such a reasonable price. The transformations and designs WERE a bit derpy/unwieldy in some instances, though...so those could stand to be updated. BUT...updated versions of these things would surely cost $50+ in this day and age, so, I don’t know how many I’d be down for at those prices.

    I used to have just about all of them...sold most...would like to get a Smokescreen back in my life at some point. Man, I remember how bad that mofo shelfwarmed back in the day. Good times.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Ikkstakk

    Ikkstakk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Posts:
    16,756
    News Credits:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    332
    Likes:
    +26,576
    Regarding concerns about pricing and limitations imposed by the car companies, I call attention once again to TLK/Studio Series Cogman. Here is a toy, licensed by Aston Martin, featuring a passably realistic interior (he's got seats and a steering wheel, at least), sold at the $20 price point. Nonfunctioning doors, no drivetrain or engine under the hood, but double the budget and upscale to the Alternator-standard 1:24, and what might Hasbro have been able to accomplish? They're over halfway there now, with Cogman as he exists. Being a Headmaster helps, you've got a driver figure built-in (something I considered an important play-value improvement in the Human Alliance years) and you don't have to find a place to hide the head in car mode.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. DoubleClouder

    DoubleClouder Prototype / Testshot collector

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Posts:
    6,461
    News Credits:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Likes:
    +4,090
    I don't miss them anymore. I've moved on to Masterpiece figures. There were to many compromises and name changes for me. Also some of the figures I thought were just plain bad (ie Rumble). I did love the fact that they were model cars though.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Salvanis

    Salvanis Probably not a true fan.

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Posts:
    304
    Trophy Points:
    187
    Likes:
    +36
    All I know is if they showed off a preview of a Masterpiece Alternators Smokescreen, I'd have my preorder in place before I hit the end of the page.
     
  11. FAKER II

    FAKER II Cheap Repaint

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Posts:
    4,096
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Location:
    Kansas City, KS
    Likes:
    +6,929
    They were fun at the time. But I don't think much about them anymore. I sold most of them off but I still have a few.

    It's easy to see why they had so much appeal at the time:

    - $20 was cheap given the complexity of the figures
    - real world alt modes
    - new toys based on G1 characters
    - in scale with MP-01
     
    • Like Like x 5
  12. Convotron

    Convotron Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Posts:
    2,662
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +3,829
    I don't miss Alternators as I wasn't collecting while they were in production but they were one of the first TF toys I hunted for when I began to collect.

    I love that the alt modes were of real world vehicles. I also loved how they worked in passable passenger and driver areas into the alt modes.

    To me, the toys still hold up. I'm a fan of chunky robots with obvious vehicle parts(kind of the anti-Bayformer aesthetic, I suppose) so that's something that appeals to me about the Alternators. They look like robots that can turn into vehicles.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. videriant

    videriant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2007
    Posts:
    8,003
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Location:
    Space City, TX (SE, aka Pearland)
    Likes:
    +977
    Ebay:
    Love the concept of real life cars with real interiors, axles, wheels, engine blocks, doors in all the right places. Love the fact that I unless someone really notices, they'll just think they are model cars.

    Don't think we'll get an update. People claim they want improvement but they actually want nostalgia masquerading as improvement. The prices people are willing to pay for masterpiece has HasTak charging whatever they want will little design improvement.
     
  14. Los

    Los Now you see me...

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2005
    Posts:
    2,339
    Trophy Points:
    307
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Likes:
    +968
    Ebay:
    Facebook:
    Twitter:
    Instagram:
    I miss them! They got me into TF collecting as an adult. Honestly for Autobots, I don't think there has been a better modern G1 update in terms of price point and car scale. What I didn't like was the eventual repaints and change in packaging. Red boxes were the best. Wish it was around for adult collectors even if it was an occasional release.

    They were not perfect, but the car modes were great. Wish I still had my Hound and Mirage :( 
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Shockwave81

    Shockwave81 Protecting Cybertron from all hostile threats Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Posts:
    6,605
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    317
    Likes:
    +13,367
    Binaltech Smokescreen was gorgeous. It was also nice to have Tracks back in the day.
     
  16. smf2045

    smf2045 Aficionado of Combiners

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Posts:
    7,688
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Location:
    Sac o' Tomatoes, Calif.
    Likes:
    +54,949
    Nope, I'm selling mine on Ebay. Already sold Prowl. Selling Meister, and I'm not sure what to do with Shockblast, since he's broken. I'll probably sell him anyway.

    Their conversions were annoying and finicky. They stopped being fun after a while, but still looked cool. Sadly, I don't have the space to keep or display them, and I haven't converted them in years.
     
  17. CZ Hazard

    CZ Hazard @DiabraveSid

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Posts:
    11,762
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    362
    Likes:
    +44,056
    I missed Binaltech for a very long time but I'm mostly over it now. The realisation that Takara would probably charge £150 each for those now means I am happy sticking with what we got.
     
  18. kibble

    kibble Seeker style, yo!

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Posts:
    14,250
    Trophy Points:
    312
    Likes:
    +5,125
    Alternity was pretty much the answer to Alternators/Binaltech. Very short lived. Didn't love the line either.
     
  19. Fallout

    Fallout Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Posts:
    18,578
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    337
    Likes:
    +23,675
    and i'm the total opposite - i'm still a huge car nerd but i'm also a huge transformers nerd and i'd rather have a sideswipe that turns into a generic lambo than a sideswipe that has a model car alt with barely any sideswipe design cues.

    like character choice is the one thing that kind of killed alts for me. but it's also why gt hot rod is my favorite hot rod (ok, only the chest and head really say hot rod, but i digress). good rendition of the character with an amazingly integrated alt mode that you could almost never tell was a robot.
     
  20. Optimum Supreme

    Optimum Supreme Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Posts:
    503
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +338
    they were too annoying/not fun to transform, least the 2 i have were (smokescreen, tracks)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.