I think I discovered the source of VW/Porsche's anger towards converting robots...

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by tikgnat, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong.

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    So today I was lucky enough to find a copy of the 1986 Gobots Annual for FREE! Brilliant I thought. So there I am flicking through the book and I stumble upon a 2 page feature, 'The man who built the Beetle'.

    Today we have our first officially licenced VW toy in the form of MP Bumblebee, but for years VW licensing rights were withheld. According to TFwiki, Porsche's and VW's reluctance to associate with Transformers only came to light when Takara actually tried to licence from them during the Binaltech days.

    Transformers: Alternators - Transformers Wiki

    So far so normal eh? Well, take the time to read this.

    [​IMG]

    If I'm reading this right, basically the four Renegades Psycho, Baron Von Joy, Herr-Fiend and Crasher were basically chosen to be bad guys because of their link to Ferdinand Porsche and his link to Nazi's and Hitler.

    HOLY FUCK.
     
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  2. knoted

    knoted Resistor Transistor

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    Yet.. funny how Mercedes doesn't shy away from toy robots, because...afteral, like Porsche, they also contributed to Hitler's war effort ; developing & building tanks.

    Panzerkampfwagen 3 was basically a Mercedes ; the early Panzer 3's were used in the Poland invasion in 1939.
    Panzerkampfwagen 6, better known as Tiger I ( and Tiger II as well ) had been co-developed by Porsche
     
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  3. Incepticon

    Incepticon This place ain't what it used to be...

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    Yeah we knew about the "no war toy" thing, but that's interesting about the Go-Bot angle before we ever found that out.

    Heh, this is sort of on par with how Megatron - both before & after being licensed/bought as an official Transformer - was chosen to be a Walther P-38 aka one of the Nazi's most prolific guns of WWII. Seems that when deciding to make a villain leader, they wanted to encapsulate him as being the most evil thing they could, and few things eclipse the pistol that so many Nazi's carried.
     
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  4. plastic therapy

    plastic therapy Banned

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    I wish they saw the chance to be assiciated with the good guys by letting their brand into the Transformers Autobot lineup.
    The past is the past.
     
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  5. barry

    barry Like a Kind of Matador

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    good research! kudos!
     
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  6. jackisking

    jackisking Yeah, the MP line is soooo dead

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    Maybe they should mention not only was jazz a good guy he was most noticeably voiced by a black guy. That should be worth double points to Porshe
     
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  7. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    You might be on to something here. Don't know why I never made the connection.

    Bug-Bite even looks like he's got a Hitler-stache going on there.
     
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  8. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    I don't really see how an article from a 1986 annual should constitute "news".

    I also thought that Volkswagen's and Porsche's long-standing refusal to approve "war toys" based on their cars being due to their World War II origins was common knowledge.

    I don't see a major revelation here - are you arguing that Volkswagen and Porsche were still holding a grudge against Tonka over using their cars as a "bad guy" characters and that was the reason for them not wanting to be involved with Transformers? Or am I just not seeing your line of thought here?
     
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  9. AnegefalosGR

    AnegefalosGR Elite Guard!

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    hahaha you friend struck gold. Insane find :D 
     
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  10. FortMax123

    FortMax123 Well-Known Member

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    What he said
     
  11. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    So I'm getting this right? You're arging that two car companies refused to get involved with Transformers, a Hasbro-run franchise that was something of a household name even back in 2002, and had established good-guy characters turning into a Volkswagen Beetle and several Porsche cars since 1984, because they were still annoyed that a competing toyline by a competing company that had long since been bought up by Hasbro, with said competing toyline having long since become a footnote in toy history, had used their cars for "bad guy" characters?

    Pardon me for finding this rather implausible. it would imply that the same people who were in charge of licensing at those car companies back in the 1980s were still in charge 20 years later, were still remembering Go-Bots and were projecting their anger at the company that had bought out Tonka.

    It would also imply that those people in charge were rather thin-skinned and butthurt.


    I find the original explanation much more reasonable: Because of their company origins directly related to World War II and the Nazi era, those car companies refused to get involved in "war toys".

    Sometimes Occam's razor should be applied.
     
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  12. w1n1fred

    w1n1fred Banned

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    Nope, surprisingly, thats just coincidence and not intentional. Megatron's gun mode is actually not based on what the nazis held but instead on the gun from The Man From UNCLE series. That gun never had a scope or silencer in real life, that stuff only ever appeared fictionally in the show and thats what the gun toy was based on when done in the microman line. The series was also popular in america, hence why the US released him with those accessories, unlike Soundwave which they released without the initial japanese accessories.

    So in the end, while one might see the logic, Megatron is based on a 60s TV show and not the nazis.
     
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  13. Venixion

    Venixion Evil Dust Bunny-con

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    I didn't know that. What an interesting tidbit of history.
     
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  14. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Again, the even simpler explanation for Megatron and his accessories being used as the "bad guy" leader is for simple marketing reasons:

    Walther P38 plus accessories that could form a "base" as the evil counterpart to Battle Convoy (Optimus Prime) with his Combat Deck. Two robots of comparable size and stature, both with their own bases. It's easy to see how marketing would select those two as their factions' respective leaders.
     
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  15. GearsRollo

    GearsRollo Well-Known Member

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    It's not news, it's someone doing some research, connecting dots, and reporting the results to the public... wait... that's news :) 

    Basically, if this were to turn out to be true - that a major grudge about the GoBots associating their cars with Nazi-sounding names and imagery - it would add a compelling new layer to the ongoing issues doing a G1 accurate Jazz and Cliffjumper, and inform a great deal as to why it was such a big deal to finally get the VW licence to make an MP Bumblebee.

    VW is a German company, and it's never been shy about trying to put it's WWII history well behind it, and given how Germany as a whole tends to react, I think it's entirely possible that this is a massive part of the puzzle if not the whole explanation. Nice researching @tikgnat!

    One question I've always had on this subject is how they deal with the situation where model makers can produce Tiger Tanks or the VW waggens (can't recall the German names). I used to run a game shop that did a pretty good trade in historically accurate kits and minis of WWII stuff, and it always mystified me.
     
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  16. plastic therapy

    plastic therapy Banned

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    It doesn't make sense because they let em do MP Bumblebee and all the Lambos
     
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  17. w1n1fred

    w1n1fred Banned

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    Oh I was going by the original Takara microman toy that became megatron. I was just saying that even at its inception, there was no relation to nazis.
     
  18. jackisking

    jackisking Yeah, the MP line is soooo dead

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    I wouldnt necessarily consider it butthurt . From what I understand Germans have tried to separate themselves from that as far as they can. Someone introducing a toy to kids with German guys as the bad guys is a sure way to connect you back to that. By today's standard it would have been considered unacceptable but back in the 80's was a different story, I think the iron curtain was still up by that point east Germany and the whole eastern bloc was considered the "bad guys " then allied with Russia.
     
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  19. Prime135

    Prime135 Cyber Planet Key holder for "This Land"

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    Lamborghini, while technically owned by Volkswagen opperates more or less independently as a separate company (as do all parts of the Volkswagen conglomerate). As for MP bumblebee, it was counted as a MAJOR breakthrough that his license was able to be obtained, I believe it was even stated in an interview that developement was started immediately after the go ahead was given by Volkswagen, even pausing progress on the then still being designed Ultra Magnus v2.
     
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  20. GearsRollo

    GearsRollo Well-Known Member

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    Laborghini is an Italian company, and as far as I know, they're less concerned with WWII (I don't honestly know if they have an issue with war toys specifically either), but VW owns Porsche, and they actively attempt to distance themselves from that part of their history. Bumblebee was a huge deal because of the well-publicized troubles that Takara had getting the rights. Lambo may be weird about Sunstreaker though, since the model used for him wasn't accurate to any real car. Some companies care more about certain things than others.

    If I recall right, they'd been trying to since the Alternators line, all of which led to him being the hatchback mini car he's usually depicted as now, and was in that line. When TT got the VW rights, they got 'Bee out quick, and they were pretty publicly excited about it.