Free Pass - TFSource Article

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by Maz, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. Maz

    Maz Square One TFW2005 Supporter

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    Do official Masterpiece Transformers get judged by the same criteria and with the same considerations as 3rd Party Masterpiece-style releases? Does the official stuff sometimes get a free pass for certain features or failings, where unofficial figures get a roasting or vice versa? This is a topic that could easily command thousands upon thousands of words, so I’m only going to focus on a few key areas and examples in tonight’s article.

    Free Pass – The Source Report

    Downbeat50.jpg


    All the best
    Maz
     
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  2. Wheeljoker

    Wheeljoker Well-Known Member

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    Great read as always Maz
     
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  3. Maz

    Maz Square One TFW2005 Supporter

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    Many kind thanks, mate, greatly appreciated!

    All the best
    Maz
     
  4. JBrock

    JBrock Well-Known Member

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    Nice article Maz. I try to be equally critical with my MPs but there are definitely large groups that give certain companies the free pass no matter what the issue might be. All I know is my MP shelves are filling up fast and the figures are getting better and better.
     
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  5. Nighthawkblack

    Nighthawkblack Well-Known Member

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    Great article. Hard to say for sure as I think people's mindsets change over time and as they gain experience collecting and handling other figures. For me, I used to give a pass for a lot of things I didn't know any better. Over time I'd have ideas from everyday products but never saw companies use them until recent years. Double hinges on wingspan, rotating angled discs to make posable necks, clever faux parts for toon accuracy are just some of the ideas we have seen come to life over the last few years. I think the improvements we have seen set the bar higher and people will come to expect more. What was once OK for the MP line is not. Maketoys is the first to attempt a cartoon leg for Jazz which I sincerely appluad.
    Floppy waists for seekers and kibble legs? Better don't Takara! :dunce 

    3p:eek:  will eat you alive next time.

    I think the days of free passes for official are less than they were years ago. I'm even starting to enjoy oversized knock ups were as a kid I ridiculed those have baked attempts at official quality.
     
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  6. Honesty

    Honesty honestly, Honesty!

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    I haven't read yet, but you're absolutely damn ****ing sure that they get less shit and they are more forgiving of issues.

    Bitchfest about a fake chest on SunSurge and sure as shit That stupid beast wars character gets one and didn't BumbleBee and Magnus sport fake parts as well?

    Their shitty (but quite decent looking) MP-11 mold has had a shitty loose chest/sliding mechanism for YEARS that they STILL haven't fixed and people are still pitching tents over them in the news and rumors/toy sections.

    Look at the recent cone head they released. LOL are you kidding? They're so nonchalant about using FISHING LINES to fix his mess. Okay!

    Chipping and peeling chrome. Floppy chests. Exploding knees. Loose/wobbley legs. Mismatched paint jobs. Parts installed incorrectly requiring pin removals. Lots of hollow spaces. Bots in alt mode who can't roll that smoothly but get defended to high hell and blame the users complaining of said issues of "doing it wrong."

    It's a complete god damn joke to be honest. We may bitch and moan a bit about official/Takara, but those diehard zealots are the absolute worst and have NOTHING on us as a whole.
     
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  7. Slave IV

    Slave IV more wealth than you can imagine!

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    Nice article and definitely a point of "discussion" that occurs here all the time. To me, nothing gets a free pass...it's either a great toy worth buying or it's not. I'm very critical so not very many figures get the "pass" to actually be bought for my collection. The brand on the box makes no difference to me.
     
  8. MartyFeeb

    MartyFeeb Wait... it's a bug?!

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    Bloody good article, mate! :mad  Sorry, but all the "tyres" I read has me speaking m'best English! :D 

    I hadn't heard most of those things about those toys (the stuff about the difficult/frustrating transformations). Frankly? I wish reviews would focus on that more... but it seems we judge the alt and robot mode only. Which, of course, makes sense if you consider the average fan to be more of a display artist than a conversion expert. But nothing kills my interest more than a frustrating transformation... like that of Tracks! :banghead:  That toy was all kinds of brutal to change, imo. Not fun, nerve-wracking even, as you wonder how many times the thing can change without snapping something crucial.

    Personally speaking, I'll take a simple transformation that's intuitive (doesn't require a 38-step manual with horrible diagrams - cause honestly, building IKEA furniture is easier than converting some of these ridiculous figures). Makes me wish we had an official review scale for transformation complexity - then I could just avoid the evil 10-difficulty toys. Or find a sweet spot (a 5 or 6?) that I could feel assured of enjoying and not looking to instantly flip.

    Back on topic, TRACKS changed everything for me. Imo, it was so bad that I could hardly believe he was official. As I watched the figure's price quickly start to drop all over the web, it occurred to me he must not be a particularly popular MP. And why was that? He looks great in both modes, right? It had to be the horrible conversion! When I saw how badly Takara could screw that up, I suddenly lost a ton of faith in the company. It was nice, for a while, just believing that the official MPs were good, and that I didn't need to spend a few hours checking reviews for each and every release. And really, I'm shaming Takara here: I feel like FansToys has more passion or responsibility at this point, as their products are far more reliably good (imo).

    I don't mean to be lazy, but it's becoming incredibly laborious to research the hundreds of 3P and official releases every year. Is it dozens? Cause I'm only off temporally; within a few years, I feel we'll be seeing a dozen releases (at least) per month. Good grief is that ridiculous - the same thing happened with the video game world. Back when it was a few major/good releases per year, we could digest and thoroughly enjoy a Super Mario 3. Nowadays? You have no chance of completing most of your collected games! Just like I can't enjoy the majority of my TF figures because there's just too much nowadays. :rolleyes2  Maybe it's that collecting and really enjoying a figure are mutually exclusive things today. If you're a serious collector, you more than certainly don't have time to enjoy your purchases (assuming you're a responsible adult with other things in your daily schedule). It makes me want to quit being a serious collector, because I know, at this point, I'm really just spending money more than I am enjoying what I buy (keeping up with the Jones!).

    Ehhh, I guess that was off-topic, but your articles are always great for inspiring some introspection and self-criticism! :thumb 
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  9. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I think the corporations of Has/Tak should be held to a higher standard as they have way more resources at their disposal to develops a figure.

    That is why it is such a shame when 3P can pull off an MP Ironhide, or MP Shockwave or MP Hot Rod or Devastator way better.

    For the record: I don't go to 3P for MP's. HasTak will make them eventually. I would go to 3P for the more stylized choices of what HasTak won't make: like the Maketoys Insect-icons or Rioter Despotron.

    The exception will be PE's transforming cab for Ginrai/ PMOP- something I think HasTak dropped the ball on.
     
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  10. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Tracks marked the beginning of the end of MP's for me.
    Ironhide marked the end.
     
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  11. Pitt

    Pitt Well-Known Member

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    I never saw the bitching about Sunsurge's chest an "official vs 3P" issue. I think there are people from both camps who don't like cheats like that (I'm not one of them). I think you're hearing less about it with Cheetor because fewer people are talking about Cheetor in general.

    What were the fake parts on Bumblebee?
     
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  12. Wheeljoker

    Wheeljoker Well-Known Member

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    The chest is the back window. Sunsurge in reverse..I find myself being pretty critical of all my purchases because at the end of the day,for the price being paid I want a quality product. My biggest complaint with Takara these days isn't necessarily the move to full toon aesthetic,it's the frankly underwhelming feel of their newer releases. I transformed my Shockwave today..and threw his ass in my sales thread. Their price has gone up consistently while the quality feel has increasingly gone down. It's disappointing because I don't think a third party has really been able to do transformations as well as official. I enjoy the look and feel of all my Badcube products but don't really find them fun to transform.

    My Fans toys bots at least feel like I'm getting a premium product for my hard earned money. The original masterpiece cars are what got me collecting MP but these last few releases have been pretty disappointing. The plastics feel cheap,the tolerances are almost as bad..dammit,just give me back a bot that feels like the first MP10 Takara :mad:  Rant over..we return this thread to it's regular scheduled program.
     
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  13. MartyFeeb

    MartyFeeb Wait... it's a bug?!

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    Was Ironhide as bad as Tracks...? Or was it more about the diaper waist or tire butt? :lol  I honestly don't know. I know I expected the official Ironhide to look better in robot mode than the 3P offerings, but... I don't think it does.

    Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of MPs to begin with. I can appreciate their slavish attention to detail (official car or cartoon model), but I think the materials used in official MPs are a joke - the same flimsy plastic that stresses and breaks, no rubber tires, no diecasting. Why are MPs so expensive? Oh, that's right: Collectors = suckers.

    It's hard not to see toys like MP Bumblebee, for example, as an over-glorified deluxe. Cause he was very deluxe in size and transformation, imo. They even threw in an extra figure to try to add value! Ergo, the entire MP line is just very inconsistent... and definitely varies between "oh yeah, I can see why this cost $80" to "Why the f*ck are they charging $80 for THIS???" :lol  And having those two extremes like that is a big fail for Takara. Clearly, they need some better direction to keep the product consistently good, but I suspect they just rush out some of these MPs just to keep up with other toy makers.
     
  14. Pitt

    Pitt Well-Known Member

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    I never really thought of BB's chest that way, but I can see what you're saying. I'm inferring from your post that you think these figures are overpriced, and I have to agree with you. Not TT specifically, but almost all of them. Don't get me started...
     
  15. Noobimus Prime

    Noobimus Prime Well-Known Member

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    People absolutely give free passes to figures both official and unofficial. As for which crowd does it more I can honestly say I'm not sure. I guess it depends on what side of the fence you fall on.
     
  16. jjh

    jjh Well-Known Member

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    Great article. I'm relatively new to the online TF community, but from what I've seen 3P and TT don't receive Free Passes from most.

    That aside, your last sentence in the article sent chills up my spine. Another TT Reset?!? Mind blown.
     
  17. Robogeek28

    Robogeek28 Who're you calling a geek?

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    Same here, although I never made it to Ironhide.:lol 
     
  18. boomerdave

    boomerdave Owns three Ditka figures. (Pssst...he's crazy) Moderator

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    I buy both 3rd party and MP....I just have to like it. Which company it came from doesn't factor in to me. That said, I've always said its pathetic how "Official" products are ok no matter what kind of condition that they come in. Bad paint, bad chrome, floppy, misassembled you name it. It's all of because it's OFFICIAL! Oh and don't even think about asking TT for help with your product. They remain blissfully silent. Better hope your vendor is up to the task. Try going up 2 forums and saying "Yeah it's ok but I think I'll stick with my 3rd party version because I just like it more." Put on your fire proof underwear because it's about to get hot.

    I don't see that in 3rd party forums...at least not to that degree. I have very very few people on ignore but those that I do are from the official forums because they're such overzealous assholes about the whole "it's official" thing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
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  19. Shockwave81

    Shockwave81 Protecting Cybertron from all hostile threats Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    I have stepped back from 3P with the exception of some of MMC's Reformatted stuff - to the point where I even sold my FT Dibots.

    The realisation came for me one day when I looked at my display and was starting to lose track of which companies had produced what - Badcube, Fanstoys, MMC, XTB/KFC...

    I'd dabbled in Warbotron's earliest offerings, bought and sold Toyworld Hardbone back in 2013 (that name...ugh) and found myself floating about in the Constructor thread. I've considered purchasing some of Maketoys' wares, and even had the Fansproject Protector and City Commander addons way back in the day.

    The whole 3P scene is a dog-eat-dog hot mess, and nowadays I simply find it tidier and easier to wait and see what TT will come out with - my collecting has gone from borderline stressful - having to keep up with various companies, reading/watching countless reviews and scrolling pages of threads with product names that make little to no sense most of the time - to exciting again.

    I even find myself spending more time with my collection in the lulls between TT releases - which is far better than wondering whether the $200-$300 3P character I've purchased will be supplanted by another slightly better (I realise that's subjective as heck) version within 3-6 months - even from the same company. With that said, even now people are mumbling about the unpleasant possibility of TT re-doing the seekers within the next few years...needless to say I won't be pleased if that happens :lol .

    Even with the aesthetic changes in the MP line, I'm still more than satisfied with 95% of my official purchases, where I could never say the same for many of the 3P items I've owned - there was always some intangible quality that I felt was missing when I looked at them amidst my official products. I dunno, hopefully others get what I mean there.

    For what it's worth, I'm definitely not a white knight by any stretch - just a case of different strokes for different folks.
     
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  20. Starganderfish

    Starganderfish Well-Known Member

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    Nice idea. You only have to venture into the official threads to realise that this is still a very real thing with a lot of collectors. It's mainly the "official only" types who see 3p as anathema and therefore have no alternative to official product. Their blind loyalty tends to cloud their judgement a little.
    Of course it's not restricted to official. You only have to look at the ongoing adoration for something like Quakewave to realise that brand loyalty can be just as strong in the 3P scene. Quakewave is objectively inadequate as an accurate representation of the cartoon character. (Not saying that official is necessarily a better figure, just that his legs look nothing like G1 Shockwave's.) Yet he's adored by thousands and any criticism is met by vocal and sometimes illogical defense. I'm sure there are other examples as well.
    And a rather extreme inversion of the trope can be seen by those rabid haters of KFC/XTB - folks who refuse to ever touch anything they produce and crop up in every new thread bemoaning the same cliches about "everything they build falls apart."
     
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