Complex transformations

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by byk500, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. byk500

    byk500 Well-Known Member

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    What's up with complex transformations? Are third party companies engineering designs to replicate a toon look out of necessity or are they showing off for the sake of creativity.

    I was just watching the X transbots Boost video and it looked a bit complex and now I'm thinking I will pass. I'm a bit reluctant to go for Maketoys Guardia for the same reason.

    On the other hand, I look at FansToys Dibots and I see how their transformations are a stroke of genius based on necessity.

    Do people prefer complex transformations?
     
  2. Magnusfan

    Magnusfan Well-Known Member

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    I don't mind complicated transformation, but if a part transforms in 5 steps when it could easily be done in one, then that's a fail in my book.
     
  3. kollekxon

    kollekxon Well-Known Member

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    Complex is Ok as long as its still Fun. It shouldn't take 45 minutes to go from Alt to Bot mode.
     
  4. Grindar

    Grindar Well-Known Member

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    Complex keeps me engaged with it. I like seeing the tricks where panels vanish and a limb emerges.
     
  5. Kevin Iaquinto

    Kevin Iaquinto Owl Obsessed

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    Speaking from the view of owning Sunsurge

    This sumbitch was hard as hell the first round trip transformation, but the final product is worth it. After 30+ 'round trips' I've gotten the hang of transforming him.

    Could things have been done simpler? HELL YES, but I don't think that the transformation detracts from the figure.
     
  6. alanyap

    alanyap Will work for LEGO

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    Im all for complex transformation without compromising structural integrity. But they must serve the purpose too for the final outcome/expected bot mode aesthetics.

    Sunsurge looks suprisingly complex but his bot proportion ( legs: body: head ratio) looks like a kid. Of all the engineering efforts done, thats quite a bummer.
     
  7. robwhit1

    robwhit1 Well-Known Member

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    Prefer it to be simple. I like picking up a bot and going back and forth between modes in a short sitting.

    I know so much detail is given to the look of these figures now but a simple transformation is one of the most G1 aspects a figure can have. I can handle complex when it's needed to make both modes look good but a complex transformation just for the sake of doing it can make me dislike a figure very quickly.
     
  8. Havocmech

    Havocmech Well-Known Member

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    Complicated transformations are okay, but complicated transformations with confusing instructions- not good. I'm looking at you Warburton and Maketoys (sometimes).
     
  9. byk500

    byk500 Well-Known Member

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    I have Warbotron Bruticus and the transformations I feel are quite basic and it does not detract from the individual bots or their aesthetics.

    Don't have a Maketoys figure and want Streetwise, but am a bit leery of a complex transformation. I hope Despotron has an easier transformation than Apollyon
     
  10. JBrock

    JBrock Well-Known Member

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    Not sure if complexity is a problem. Instructions are sometimes misleading or inadequate and tolerances make easy steps seem like chores.
     
  11. crazee928

    crazee928 Well-Known Member

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    I get bored of 1-2-3 transformations within the first few minutes. figures that I keep are usually figures with more complex transformations, not because they're complex just for the sake of being complex, but because it helps provide better aesthetics and proportions if done correctly. it just impresses me how the designers even visualized it all in their head when a transformation is clever and functional.
     
  12. chuckcjc

    chuckcjc Wheeljack Engineer Corp.

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    I remember when I was a kid, we thought that Jazz was the hardest to Transform (getting the arms just so under his hood was tricky sometimes). Sometimes we would just skip it. Butt Jazz was one of my favorites because of how joyous it was transforming him.

    I feel the same about modern Transformers. I especially like Macross figures as they can be very tricky to Transform.
     
  13. Uninvited Ghost

    Uninvited Ghost Well-Known Member

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    If it's intuitive, I like it. If I have to watch a video, then that's no fun.
     
  14. Artereis

    Artereis Well-Known Member

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    You seem to be conflating complex with frustrating, but I find there's a pretty big range of possibilities in there.

    For example, Axel is a pretty complex transformation, but I was able to figure it out on my own without using instructions and the result is a stunning bikeformer. Something like Wardog or Apollyon would feel like a pain in the ass to me because I'm not a fan of swivel bars or lots of little armatures.
     
  15. RustyBarnacles

    RustyBarnacles Well-Known Member

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    Was about to post something very similar. A transformation can have many steps, but that doesn't mean it is complicated. If it is engineered well, all the steps from point A to point B should make sense and feel fluid.

    I think FT's dinos are a good example of intuitive transformation. Sunsurge (once you know why parts are moving to where they are) is an example of a more complex, but intuitive transformation.

    I think an example of simple and unintuitive would be FT's Shrapnel. So many steps feel awkward.

    Complex and unintuitive, FP's Motormaster.
     
  16. rpetras

    rpetras Well-Known Member

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    I agree with many others, complexity for the sake of complexity is not fun for me.

    I understand that a figure like Apollyon is necessarily complex due to the design of the bot & alt modes, but the complaints about the feet of Boost & Hatch, sound like unnecessary complexity.

    Other 3P figures I have, like Astrotrain, required video instruction to make sure I wasn't pushing a piece the wrong way when it felt like it would break. That is a design I don't like.

    But it is not limited to 3P, some Masterpiece parts seem this way. There was a part on Tracks that just felt wrong, but was right. A couple of the latter movie 2 bots were pretty complex too, but usually not as bad.
     
  17. alex1984

    alex1984 Well-Known Member

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    Whether or not the transformation is intuitive or necessary is the key for me. I can handle complex, but for me, Transformers has never been about achieving the look 100%, and there were always compromises made.

    Obviously one of the many reasons for the rise in 3P TFs is because Hasbro has made far too many compromises, but I think the other extreme is just as bad, if not worse.

    IMO, Transformers should be about Transforming, AKA the clever repurposing of parts from one mode into another. Having dedicated panel parts sort of goes against this very idea. While they are sometimes quite justifiable by the end result they produce, I feel that some companies are certainly guilty of taking it too far that it starts detracting from the fun and ingenuity.

    Ultimately, everyone's gonna have their own sweet spot for what they feel is the optimal balance. For me, personally, I feel that the MP line hits that sweet spot, and some FP/FT/GP/PX figures come closest to emulating that vibe.

    To give a few concrete examples, I think Evasion OP and FP Smartrobin have some of my favourite transformations, while FE TF Prime OP represents a fun and effective transformation. WFC OP and ROTF Leader OP are edging on the complex side but still acceptable. On the other hand, FP Motormaster was full of unnecessary plastic origami, and I was not a fan of how TFC dealt with the panels on Blades and First Aid. FT's Reflector backpack was also unnecessarily complex, and I'm also not a fan of how half of MT Hound's forearms were formed by collapsing panels.
     
  18. banjoted

    banjoted Timelord

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    I'm no toy designer, but for me the process should be like this:

    1. What's your perfect bot mode?
    2. What's your perfect alt mode?
    3. How do you most simply get between the two?

    The cleverness of design then becomes finding that balance between a transformation that's as simple as possible while getting as close to 1 and 2 as possible.

    In some instances the quest for idealism in 1 and 2 leads to an overly complex transformation (Apollyon, Wardog). For me both these bots could have sacrificed some visual finish to sort out those ridiculous transformations.

    At the same time, equally frustrating are designs when 1 and/or 2 are completely compromised to achieve a simplified transformation - that'll be your 1-step and 3-step changers and the like.

    Of course, for some markets (kids) you want to keep the transformation simple. For others (adult collectors) a bit of transformation flair, even if unneeded, will likely be appreciated.

    What isn't really ever justified is added complication (which is different to flair) when it seems to achieve very little. Arkose, Boost and Hatch seem to be guilty of this, although I've not had any of them in hand myself.

    For me the company that gets this balance right most often is Takara. No, that doesn't mean it's infallible (MP Megatron, anyone? Or MP-9). But it gets that balance right the most consistently.

    I'd also give a nod to Fanstoys, which I think does very well. Maketoys and DX9 occasionally hit the bullseye too.
     
  19. evilwithin

    evilwithin Dinobot

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    Many steps it's ok.

    Stiff joints, bending plastic, a lot of panels without any bulk, strange back and forth steps... No.

    I'm a disaster at transforming stuff, let's face it. For me even MP 20 is quite difficult to transform. But I love both modes so I need something that can turn from A to B and B to A in a reasonable time (sorry Badcube) and without breaking something ( sorry Xtb).

    It's very sad because BC and XTB make wonderful figures...

    I mean... Wardog looks fantastic. But I should ask for a vacation every time I want it in the other mode... :( 
     
  20. The New Guy

    The New Guy Well-Known Member

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    I love the cleverness in the transformations of Code and Smart Robin, they involve interesting complexity while not taking long to transform back and forth. What I don't like is a Transformer where transforming it back and forth feels like I need a big time investment.