Best and Worst 30 Min. Commercial Syndrome

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Mako Crab, May 20, 2014.

  1. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    So well all know, that the cartoons and movies are first and foremost vehicles to sell toys. When it's at its best, the cartoons can work in new characters, gimmicks, and handle roster changes while making it seem like a natural progression of the narrative. At its worst, the cartoons don't even attempt to hide the fact that they're just shilling out toys, and advertise new characters and stuff more blatantly than the actual toy commercials themselves.

    SO! What is (In your opinions) the best example of handling the TF toy franchise in TV or movie form and what's the worst??

    WORST
    Optimus unveils his battle trailer in Armada episode 5: Soldier.
    - The Autobots get to some snowy, arctic region, and Optimus' trailer transforms into a base. The 3 kids marvel in astonishment at how awesome it is, while commenting on all the cool things the MiniCons can do on it. They can mount some turrets, land on a helipad, drive up the ramp and all kinds of stuff! And also, it can make me roll my eyes!

    BEST
    Introduction of Transmetals in Beast Wars.
    - I liked how only a handful of the cast were upgraded (lack of budget, I'm sure, but it played to their favor). It instantly set up a dynamic, where a better warrior like Dinobot was now pitted against enemies who were only superior because of their tech, which would provide some great drama later on. Also, I love how everyone undercuts the new tech with snide remarks or actions. Dinobot flippantly gives Rattrap's wheel a spin. Megatron, now a transmetal himself, famously quips that the shiny new Maximals are, "New packaging. Same product- losers." And neither Rattrap or Cheetor can control their new vehicle forms initially, making the new upgrades seem cumbersome and more trouble than they're worth at first. The fact that so many characters' initial reaction is to scoff at the new upgrades seemed like a natural one to me, and definitely made it feel like the next chapter in a story rather than the next wave of toys in a toyline.
     
  2. Single Elegant Machine

    Single Elegant Machine Purity and order.

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    The introductions of several S2 Aubots in "Dinobot Island." Ugh.

    "Hi, I'm Perceptor. Please buy my toy!"
     
  3. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    You pretty much nailed it on Transmetals. They really handled it well. Also unusual is how the shiney new upgrades spent more time in their initial appearence banged up and dirty than all-new and awesome. Beast Wars was no stranger to intro-power-boosts, so that level of restraint was pretty sweet and probably a big reason why the Transmetals are fondly rememebred by many.

    Honestly, as much as I hate to say it, Animated's re-introduction of Samurai Prowl could've been a lot better. After an entire episode that focused on additional upgrade parts being... not so much a bad thing, as an unecessary thing, when they actually ended up produced as a toy, they just come back. Oh, and Prowl's master just happened to have a helmet the same colour as Prowl that matched the armour design, and Lockdown was wearing it all episode and had the sidecar armour back.

    Almost everything about "Samurai Prowl" was just kind of clunky. The plot bent over backwards to explain why the armour was cusom-made for Prowl without actually having it just be custom-made for Prowl.

    I also feel like there were too many times in the Unicron Trilogy where a new character or upgrade would be introduced, and they got one episode to shine and then fade into near-obscurity. Like how in Cybertron, Scattershot, Red Alert and especially Hot Shot were all fairly prominent, and yet after they recieved their upgrades they did very little. I can't even recall a single scene of CD Scattershot getting a close-up. Hot Shot went from what was effectively the kid-appeal position to damn-near background character.
     
  4. Dean ML

    Dean ML Well-Known Member

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    TF The Movie is the best and worst at the same time. Killing off the old cast immediately and without mercy, then the new guys are just there like they've been there all along and we're going to follow their adventures now. The Movie is one of my favorites, I've seen it a million times, but it had no shame and pulled no punches in getting rid of the old toy line and shilling the new. At the same time, that haste and brutality is one of the things I love about it.
     
  5. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    I'm reminded of the 'repaint' power up scene in Energon where everyone got a new colour scheme. Just like the temporary repaint power up boosts Sideburn, X-Brawn and Prowl would get in RID.

    Changing a character's colour with very little decent reason behind it always smacks of 'Buy the old toy in the new colour!'. Although then sometimes there's a bit of frustration when there isn't actually a repaint of that toy that matches the on-screen representation.
     
  6. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    Followed by BeachComber, Warpath, Seaspray, and about a dozen other dudes all stating their name and their groovy personalities. Yeah, that was painful.

    Aww yeah! Animated takes some heat! Usually Animated was so good and avoiding the 30 Minute Commercial Syndrome, that it's kind of cool to see even they had a few missteps. I had completely forgotten about the samurai armor, but you're right.

    A long time back I was taking screenshots of every ep of Cybertron, and it took me forever to get a good closeup of CD ScatterShot that wasn't from his stock footage transformation. It was criminal how little those guys got used after their big upgrade into super warriors.

    It's true. I feel like we sort of got to see what TFTM would have been like without the massive toy push with how Armada and TFP handled Unicron. By the time Unicron appeared in Armada, there were no more toys left to be introduced into the show. So they got to let their characters play out the scene without culling the herd. Same deal with TFP- no new toys to introduce during the season 1 finale, so we got to see the characters we'd been following deal with the threat. Both allowed the bots and cons to have a real alliance. Both allowed Megatron to defy Unicron rather than beg for his life ("Oh please, Unicron! Grant me mercy. . . and a new toy!!"). It was just handled much, much better. Though sadly, perhaps those episodes weren't nearly as epic as the movie.

    Made me think of the episode Puppet in Armada, where they visit the RePaint Planet. For whatever reason, everyone on the planet gets a sudden repaint power boost.

    MEGATRON: "I'm purple now. Call me Galvatron, for I am purple!!"
     
  7. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

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    Just like in The Rebirth when we had those scenes introducing the upgraded Nebulans joining up with their TF partners.
    I remember years back watching it on VHS at a friend's house and his elder sister was in the same room. When the scene with the Autobots partnering with their little guys came on and everyone was announcing themselves and what kinda guys they were she let out a loud derisive snort and said 'What the fuck is this awful toy advert shit you're watching?'. She wasn't even watching it as she was reading a magazine, but that part must've really stood out to her as a scene that stopped the story just to namecheck and sell toys.
     
  8. Single Elegant Machine

    Single Elegant Machine Purity and order.

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    The entirety of Beast Machines is a sublime example of circumventing any connection to toy peddling.
     
  9. Metroplex79

    Metroplex79 Hey mouse, say cheese!

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    Not sure if it's the best per se...

    But everytime G1 Megatron transformed into a gun for someone else to hold, some kid whose parents were nice enough to buy it for him/her got to play out that scene, or recreate the ep in their own fanon is and was probably best way to peddle a toy.

    Or anytime a kid took G1 Soundwave in alt mode and put it in their little brother's room, and hopes Soundwave transforms and messes up said room. Then when the little brother cries...the devious kid can honestly say "I didn't do it."

    Other than that, all combiners in any series...have to buy 5 to combine into 1 bigger robot.
    (yeah, yeah, there's a few exceptions to that number of "5")
     
  10. LegendAntihero

    LegendAntihero Banned

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    The worst was Energon where they always kept combing even when the Autobots were outnumbered
     
  11. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    I echo Samurai Prowl being a pretty bad toy commercial.

    They should have just made it a one time thing and not bring it back just because there was a toy for it made.
     
  12. Matt_M

    Matt_M Snarkabot

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    Worst: the introduction of Punch/Counterpunch.
    Best: the introduction of the Combaticons.
     
  13. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    Energon was the worst at everything. Combining was useless in that show, despite being the main point of the Autobots.

    Yup.
     
  14. Fallout

    Fallout a dude he can't lose when lives on love

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    tell that to beachcomber...
     
  15. Altered Prime

    Altered Prime Well-Known Member

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    Beachcombers 1st appeared in "the Insecticon Syndrome"
    Warpath 1st appeared in "a prime problem".
     
  16. Mako Crab

    Mako Crab Well-Known Member

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    But I'm sure there's a scene where a bunch of Autobots introduce themselves to Spike, and I know BeachComber was among them.
     
  17. Altered Prime

    Altered Prime Well-Known Member

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    i think you are right
     
  18. Dean ML

    Dean ML Well-Known Member

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    Beachcomber showed up before that. Pretty sure it was indeed Dinobot Island.
     
  19. Mirimus

    Mirimus Member Known Well

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    Beast Wars was an even split for me. The Transmetal/Fuzor explanations were decent, but I remember cringing at the very first episode when the Maximals literally introduced themselves by name after reformatting. And then Megatron declaring "we have an Optimal Optimus to deal with" in the first episode of the third season.
     
  20. Altered Prime

    Altered Prime Well-Known Member

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    I just did some checking.
    By air dates you are right
    By production and intended order I am right.

    Dinobot Island are numbered episodes 700–29 and 700-30 but aired in September.

    "The Insecticon Syndrome" is numbered 700-28 but did not air till October.