How long until this "brand unification" phase ends?

Discussion in 'Transformers Cyberverse and Cartoon Discussion' started by BB127, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. BB127

    BB127 Active Member

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    From what we've seen so far, Cyberverse has been a hit or miss depending who you ask. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of it, a reason being- the character designs are not the most original. The great things to me about different series is that each one brings a unique twist on characters. While they may not all look exactly alike, fans/viewers are made clear who is who- Armada Megatron looks different from G1 Megatron, but he is still, very much, Megatron.

    To me, part of the magic of having a new series is that new designs can capture the attention of new fans. Armada is my G1 and I love the creativity those designs bring to the series. In my opinion, if the designs stay so similar to the point where I once read on the site someone asking if a the Cyberverse toyline is supposed to be a G1 based line- that isn't my cup of tea. Generations already has a major G1 focus. I believe that the main series should continue to push the brand forward, not just stick to G1 without any major/unique designs.

    Point being, are you fans that for the foreseeable future we will be getting very similar looking character designs for shows that aren't set in the G1 continuity or do you prefer different takes on characters?
     
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  2. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    While 80's nostalgia is in full boom, it makes sense for Hasbro to focus on those characters and designs that made it popular. But the 80's boom is exactly that - a boom. And booms don't last THAT long. I fully believe we're nearing the tail end as those who enjoyed the 80's close in on their 50's - and we old geezers start to realize we need to start thinking about retirement in the next 20 years or so rather than the newest, shiniest Transformer. That will be for our grandkids.

    Rather, the 90's boom is nearing - if not already upon us. As those kids get into their late 30's and early 40's, stable careers will enable them to drive sales. Prepare yourself for Beast Wars, Mortal Kombat, Spawn and Animated Batman homages for the next decade.
     
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  3. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    I feel like Hasbro's been inching towards "brand unification" for a while. Aligned was kind of an attempt at that, just with more focus on modernization. Even the movieverse and Animated were closer to G1 (back in like 2009) than something like the Unicron Trilogy was.

    Honestly, I don't think it's a 'phase' that will end. I think Hasbro will just get better at implementing it. I could honestly see Hasbro taking an approach in the future, where all the stories (comics, movies, cartoons, etc.) exist in the same continuity, like Star Wars. If it's done well, I wouldn't object. While the designs and lore would be uniform, it could actually lead to more unique stories moving forward (considering they wouldn't have to keep repeating the origin story for each continuity).
     
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  4. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    It will end when the brand is unified. Obviously.
     
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  5. BB127

    BB127 Active Member

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    It's a cool idea, but I feel like without a brand refresh every few years like what we've been getting it would get too confusing for casual fans to keep track of lore. To me part of the reason Transformers stands out is that refreshing every so often allows for more breathing room/a breath of fresh air, rather than it being an ongoing story for the future.

    I love Star Wars and love where it's going, but even now I know people who don't watch it or are confused or intimidated by so much lore that they would have to dive into, even if it's just as minimal as watching six movies.
     
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  6. NathimusPrime

    NathimusPrime Well-Known Member

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    I'm totally in agreement, but I dont see it ending anytime soon. Were leaning g1 for the movie designs, g1 for the generations line, and with cyberverse we've got g1 for 4 year olds. I'm not anti g1 but I would love for generations to be a celebration of all transformers, Not just g1 with whatever gimmick they're currently using.
     
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  7. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    I'm inclined to agree.

    G1 tried to progress the story with the '86 movie and the following season, and it frankly didn't go over well. RID tried to build on the more conventional story of Prime, and it didn't go over well. Even AOE and TLK are less-liked than the first three movies (which are a more conventional Transformers story and cast). I feel like fans don't react well when Transformers moves away from the main team, and the traditional story. There are exceptions (like some of the later IDW stuff), but it does seem like Transformers works best when it sticks to the established formula.

    I do have to admit that I like more traditional Transformers narratives. I actually didn't like MTMTE/LL, and I'm not even overly fond of the '86 movie or the following season. I think Transformers works best for me when it sticks to a basic formula, but adds in new things. Like how the Bumblebee movie includes Shatter and Dropkick. Even Charlie is more interesting to me than just redoing Spike or Sam. But the rest of the movie is pretty straightforward Transformers stuff.
     
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  8. Blam320

    Blam320 Assembly Inventor

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    And here I thought "Brand Unification" was supposed to refer to Takara toys being exactly the same as their Hasbro counterparts. No special toon-accurate Abominus from a Unite Warriors continuation, no TT-exclusive take on Liokaiser, no Buster and Hydra set instead of Dreadwind and Darkwing, etc.
     
  9. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    How about this thought? With all the G1 designs being used, the designs are what kids are used to. So G1 will be their 'G1'. So they will want redoes of what they grew up with, which is neo-G1.
     
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  10. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Ding dong THE BAYVERSE IS DEAD!

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    It's never going to end. From what I've heard, due to the constant backfiring of 'new' designs from Transformers Prime to now, it sounds like Hasbro is legit terrified of trying to ever introduce something new. And because TLK basically proved nobody gives a shit about the weird, "what is kibble" designs introduced with AoE, they're going back to basics with G1 because it's the only known design aesthetic that works for Hasbro time and again.
     
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  11. Haywired

    Haywired Hakunamatatacon

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    I'm giving it... IDK, five years at best and that's being generous.

    They might keep revisiting Megatron being a buckethead or Optimus having same color scheme and chest windows, but they won't be able to sell OP being always a flat nose truck or Megatron always being a tank.
     
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  12. BB127

    BB127 Active Member

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    I totally agree. G1 started to fizzle so Beast Wars reworked it. Beast Machines starts to fizzle, so they hit us with Robots in Diguise and then a full on relaunch with Armada. Movies reignite the brand, so they hit us with Prime- a cartoon with really similar designs/less realistic aesthetic to the movies. But for the past few years, everything has seemingly shifted towards G1 in the mainline, despite Generations already having a focus on G1, given the exception of a few figures from other cartoons. I get them wanting to not confuse people/use classic designs, but they already have a line dedicated to doing that. If they're hitting the collectors with the G1 Generations, I don't get why its getting pushed on to be the entire look of the brand- movies, cartoon, and collector stuff. It bothers me because without introducing new things, it's going to hit the same collectors who like the certain aspects of their show/toys, but not hit kids or others who are looking for something new.

    Mighty Morphin Power Rangers toys are marketed for collectors, but the shows and main toys are based on a new series to do something new/get new fans interested. If they only choose to make remakes of Mighty Morphin with the same designs, sure people will recognize the looks, but casual fans/kids could eventually get bored with the same thing over and over again.
     
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  13. Novaburnhilde

    Novaburnhilde Neoseed

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    Until all are one.
     
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  14. BigRed

    BigRed Well-Known Member

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    I don't have a problem with a unified design approach, but I do have a problem with it being badly done. Cyberverse's designs are just honestly very ugly and primitive. The closest to modern a design in it gets is Starscream, the others are unattractive and blocky to the point that they'd feel right at home in the 80s. Embarrasing when you see other shows like Rise of the TMNT sporting super stylistic art styles or more detailed and dynamic art styles seen in stuff like Young Justice.
     
  15. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    I'm not a fan of the "brand unification" thing, truth be told.

    What I liked about the 2000s and earlier in the 2010s, is that there was a lot of diversity in terms of toy and character designs, stories, and characters, and these included both novel things as well as underused ideas that Hasbro tends to ignore or minimize. The Unicron Trilogy, the Bay movies, IDW, Animated, Prime, Generations, Rescue Bots, and NuRiD were all their own interpretations of the brand. You want a kiddie show that doesn't feature the regular Autobots, not counting guest appearances? Here's Rescue Bots. You like live action and designs that deviate from the norm, while still featuring stories and core concepts very similar to G1? Here are the Bay movies. Do you like new characters, a new artistic style, and new interpretations of old characters like Optimus and Blitzwing? Here's Animated. Do you miss the Rebirth cast? Here's Titans Return. Do you like the idea of having a cast of animal Decepticons escaped from prison? Here's NuRiD. And that era doesn't even include Beast Wars and Beast Machines, no doubt two of the riskiest Transformers series, if not THE two riskiest series, there have ever been.

    The current and upcoming fiction, from what I know about it and from what I have seen, just doesn't seem as interesting as the first 15 or so years of the millennium, regardless of how well it ends up being executed. And I'd much rather Transformers be unapologetically interesting than repetitive and dull. I'd much rather have diversity than unification. G1 itself was much more enjoyable when it wasn't so repetitive, but actually tried new things.
     
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  16. BB127

    BB127 Active Member

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    I agree completely. To me, Cyberverse just feels bland. I appreciate some of the creative liberties they've taken with characters like Grimlock, but as far as designs and the depth of characters, it just feels like doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table.
     
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  17. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Personally, I feel like the brand is most interesting when it starts with something familiar, and builds on it. When it shows us a new side of something that we love that we've never seen before. I feel like that's a healthier approach than a complete reinvention each time. With each new reinvention, we have to learn a new origin, a new logic to the universe, etc. It can be very jarring, especially for casual fans. Just think about how something like the Transformers acquiring vehicle modes varies between fiction. Unless you actually do research, it raises a lot of questions. I think being able to apply knowledge of one series to another would be really neat.

    The more I think about it, the more I actually really hope Hasbro continues to refine and experiment with 'brand unification'. If they do, stories could focus less on things like origin stories and establishing technical details, and more on expanding the lore in new ways. A lot of people seem to think 'Brand Unification' would mean getting nothing but G1 designs and plotlines. On the contrary, I think it could lead to some of the most unique stuff yet.

    I guess an example would be something like MTMTE/LL, or Last Stand of the Wreckers. Those stories only happened because IDW started with a relatively safe beginning. They probably wouldn't have worked if they were the start to the IDW universe. It's just too much and too different. Heck, the fact that I started with MTMTE might partially explain why I wasn't overly fond of it. I enjoyed LSOTW more the second time around, after reading some of the earlier stories. (Another example would be why Thor: Ragnarok wasn't the first Marvel movie).
     
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  18. Sideways77

    Sideways77 RIP Dandy Chiggins

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    It can't end soon enough
     
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  19. BB127

    BB127 Active Member

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    I get what you mean and that's definitely a great point. Series like Armada and Animated start with the same basic idea of the war between factions but they both go in different directions. We've had a full season of Cyberverse, but to me, it feels like it hasn't really brought anything new to the table. Even though season one of Animated is simple, it still has unique designs and new characters- it feels like it's something different. I guess where my logic is in making the thread is on the other side of the argument. From what I've heard/been understanding from the brand unification is it means everything is being made to come across as the same like all the characters being designed a certain way. My take on this is it's not as much as creating a single universe but just making sure new series follow the same basic designs for characters. It would be interesting if Hasbro puts something out to clarify what they really mean by it.
     
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  20. Murasame

    Murasame We like to talk big, vampires do

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    I hope it ends soon. I want my figures with better paint job and nicer grey plastic (or silver). At least this brand unification saves me a lot of money.