Modern Pretenders

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by analogue, Jul 31, 2019.

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What do you think would be the best interpretation for a modern Pretender?

  1. A literal reinterpretation with articulated shells that enclose a fully articulated robot?

  2. Armor that encloses a robot to give them a new look and feel - think Siege Shockwave, but with more

  3. Just the alt mode and robot mode - making the robot mode homage the original Pretender shell

  4. POTP Pretender shells were good enough!

  5. Masterforce style

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    Puberty, gameboys and tmnt were what caused a decline in Transformers sales.
    Toys that you hated didn't magically cause the decline of a successful franchise.

    It would be nice if Pretenders actually did sell so bad.
    I would be able to buy all of the G1 Pretenders in the secondary market at a reasonable price if that was the case.
     
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  2. Starscream 91

    Starscream 91 Mech With A Mouth

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    I wish we got more of the Pretender shells in the POTP line especially Waverider since we got Metalhawk, Cloudburst, & Landmine to complete the four Masterforce Pretenders.

    An ideal update to at least the basic twelve plus Octopunch, Stranglehold, & the Classics Pretenders for me in the CHUG line is the shell being a Prime Master (the Autobot shells are based on humans thus the need for the shells to be small) and then you can make the inner robot a deluxe or voyager sized figure.

    The only Pretenders I have right now that I feel has been perfectly updated or at least good enough is Metalhawk & Bludgeon.
    IMG_0690.JPG


    Also we should of gotten a Thunderwing retool from Titans Return Sky Shadow
     
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  3. analogue

    analogue Opinions are not facts. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Changed to allow multiple.
     
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  4. TheCianinator

    TheCianinator Well-Known Member

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    I've always been intrigued by the idea of a transformer with a human alt mode. I think they did Alice pretty well in ROTF. I've love to see a human transformer with rubber skin, like a wrestling action figure. Maybe it would turn inside out to become a robot or something, IDK.
     
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  5. analogue

    analogue Opinions are not facts. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't believe it was one thing that killed the line in the late 80's, but that it was a combination of several different factors, some things beyond their control. Sales had been declining since the movie release, add to that the end of the cartoon in 1987 and the introduction of TMNT which is known to have made an impact on the brand. Also, you can't forget puberty as @Windsweeper II pointed out: unless they could bring in younger kids, then a line is naturally going to run its course and it was far too early for nostalgia and collectors to pick up any slack.

    There was also the release of the NES, I think in late 85 or early 86, which is what officially ended Transformers for me - the money went to video games instead.

    Looking back on it now - it's understandable that one can look at a particular line or gimmick as having the effect of ending it - it's easy to forget all the variables that were in play, it was nearly 30 years ago after all.
     
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  6. WishfulThinking

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

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    And yet, GIJoe prevailed for several more years. And Transformers, in their inherent form, was deemed worthy of a second look come 1992. It says a lot that the company went back to the Diaclone molds to relaunch the franchise instead of Pretenders, Actionmasters or Micromasters - and that we've really only seen Micromasters (in the form of Minicons and more recently Siege) return in any meaningful way over the past 20 years.

    That's actually a case of supply and demand. Fewer older sales (and no reissues because few want them) means fewer Pretenders to go around to meet a growing post-interest in late G1.

    Again, there were several toylines that manage to swim against the tide, though - most notably GIJoe, though it eventually succumbed as well in the early 90's. Transfomers has always been the "older kids" toy brand - so more than just outside influences affected sales. Pretenders was a concept that simply didn't resonate well and Transformers didn't recover until G2 - which then also struggled until Beast Wars.
     
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  7. analogue

    analogue Opinions are not facts. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Outside of G.I. Joe, what were some toylines from that time that lasted longer than 6 years? Legitimate question.

    And I believe they scaled back Joe in 1990 after the line had poor sales in 89. The years after that were never as successful as the early years, like most properties of the time.
     
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  8. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    Transformers also kept running for a whole lot of years beyond Pretenders and Micromasters. G2 was a rebranding of the toyline with a mix of new designs and recolors of old toys in order to cut costs. It was only really a second life for the franchise in the US.
    And what did give Transformers a true second look was Beast Wars. A part of the franchise many collectors who also hated Pretenders loathed and a part of the franchise that has many things in common with Pretenders. But it was a succes, because it appealed to a new generation. And that was needed, because the kids who had grown up with Transformers hadn't really been interested in it since they hit puberty.
     
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  9. WishfulThinking

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

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    Toylines such as Hot Wheels, Barbie, and the well mentioned TMNT. Superhero figures ebbed and flowed in sales but persisted. All of these chucked the ideas of video games and puberty to the side by changing with the times to draw in new kids. Don't get me wrong, I laud Hasbro for trying something different to bring that new blood to the brand. Micromasters would have arguably managed to extend the brand further as it was more in line with traditional Transformers. But I think it was too little, too late.

    As far as the Transformers brand maintaining sales in Canada and Europe (Japan tabbed Pretenders briefly and then bolted to doing other gimmicks instead), it's definitely possible that Pretenders had more appeal outside of the U.S. and Japan. But I think it's telling that, like I said, the Pretenders gimmick was never revisited but basic transformations and combiners (including Beast Wars) seemed to make a comeback in all markets after Actionmasters and didn't look back until Armada resurrected the Micromasters concept.

    If Pretenders was the titular gimmick some fans are trying to make it out to be, we would have seen it full on again by now rather than the tiny half-assed PotP ones (which I personally love but I understand why others might not).

    Hell, look at the poll. Fans don't even know how to re-approach the gimmick...
     
  10. Soundwavelover2004

    Soundwavelover2004 Well-Known Member

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    Make them articulated and keep the inner robots perhaps
     
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  11. analogue

    analogue Opinions are not facts. TFW2005 Supporter

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    To be clear, I never said it was a titular gimmick - I just don't think it was the sole reason for the line declining in sales as some seem to think. Too many other variables were factors overall. I just don't get the seething hate that some people have for it, I mean, they are just toys after all. They are not what killed the line. Pretenders didn't even make up a bulk of the line the first year they were released, accounting for only 38% of the figures that year. The second year, they were barely over 50%, splitting the difference with the Micromasters.
     
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  12. WishfulThinking

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

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    If a third of the line doesn't sell, that places a tremendous burden on the rest of the line to perform - which was Powermasters, Jr. Targetmasters and Jr. Headmasters, IIRC. But I think it was 1989 where the tipping point came.

    Another factor to consider is that there just wasn't much media to showcase "Pretenders are cool". Hasbro bailed on the cartoon and the comics weren't doing Pretenders many favors - even calling themselves out.
    [​IMG]

    At least Micromasters were following a popular trend that didn't require media to show off. But like I said, the writing was probably on the wall by the end of 1989, resulting in 1990 being the year transformers got their plug pulled.
     
  13. theestampede

    theestampede Wandering Artist

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    Where the show accurate vote?

    I love masterforce. I want the pretender suit to fit inside the actual robot mode like the show.
    I want good representations of the characters.

    I don’t want giant shells that fit around the robot.

    This. Though I don’t necessarily need the human unsuited form.

    If they made the pretender form fold up like powermasters or headmasters and store inside the body, I’d be happy. In fact they should make the pretender form be the same size as any powermasters that eventually get made since they’re the same size in the show.

    I’d also like there to be a working cockpit in altmode, especially since we so often see the characters ride in each other.
     
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  14. analogue

    analogue Opinions are not facts. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Added option for Masterforce style.
     
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  15. Prime Noble

    Prime Noble Well-Known Member

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    I definitely don't want an update where the robot mode is based on the shell like CHUG Bludgeon or Skullgrin.

    I like the small shells of the Primemasters but the Primemaster gimmick was garbage. I'd have preferred if they had been Tita masters that turned into the head of the G1 robot.

    I'd be quite happy to just get the inner robot updated like Titans Return Metalhawk maybe basing the Titanmaster robot on the shell.
    Or give the updated inner bot a small shell that turns into a Targetmaster as the POTP shells did.
     
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  16. KFGatri

    KFGatri Madman with a Blue Box

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    I think they should be done similar to what most of us did with TR Metalhawk and POTP Metalhawk. The shell encloses the headmaster, and becomes a targetmaster partner for the full size robot. The only improvement I'd add would be a way to properly integrate the shell into the altmode. Either make the cockpit large enough to accommodate the shell or have it integrated into the altmode somehow.
     
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  17. shellformer

    shellformer @

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    I want to see the gimmick itself done with modern engineering. Just once, if nothing else. Personally I'd be happy with any of them (Doubleheader or Vroom would be nice) but Bludgeon and Thunderwing are popular because of their good roles in the G1 comic so they're pretty good picks for that one figure. There was Longtooth, too. Blue Bacchus and Black Shadow have more notable toy histories than the others so they're a good pick as well. Something with a transforming shell would be less of a deviation of the norm, if you want to play it safer.
     
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  18. bradforj

    bradforj Well-Known Member

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    I just want this in a box set with properly colored jets.
     

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  19. Windsweeper II

    Windsweeper II The Pristine

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    Barbie and Hot Wheels are hardly comparable franchises to Transformers He-man etc,so claiming that they disprove flagging sales in action figure franchises was due to the obvious reasons is a bit fat-fetched imo, but that's that.
    Nobody is saying anything about a titular gimmick. Pretenders were only one of the many play patterns Hasbro introduced into the brand. Some of those got more figures than others. The double-spy gimmick only had one character, we might as well say Punch killed G1.
    So it's not like Japan "was wise enough to see how horrible the Pretenders gimmick was". They just did what they always did and picked and choose. They didn't include most of the Targetmasters in their toyline, but I don't see anyone claiming Targetmasters ruined Transformers.
    Pretenders just have that name because they stand out.
    And yet the Transformers brand stayed alive till the end of G2 making short work of any claims that Pretenders sold so terrible that they killed the franchise.
    Fans do have a hard time re-imagining the gimmick, but that's mainly because the haters have scared them into believing a line incorporating properly updated Pretenders that respects both the inner robots and the shells wouldn't be possible.
    People used to say that about Headmasters, Combiners etc. And they have always been proven wrong.

    True. If Pretenders performed so badly I fail to see why Hasbro would have them make up HALF the toys of the second year.
    That's not just a bet or a dumb decision . That's a sign of succes.

    I don't get the seething hatred people have for non-intrusive parts of the franchise they say they are fan of either. But it's the same old thing isn't it?
    If it isn't geewun it's "hot garbage" and nobody is allowed to enjoy a thing they hate.
     
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  20. WishfulThinking

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

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    Apples and oranges. Punch's gimmick didn't consume half the toyline for one year.
    That's because they move where their market is. Pretenders (and Targetmasters) obviously wasn't perceived as resonating as well as Headmasters and Micromasters.
    :rolleyes: 
    You miss the part where the franchise died in the largest market, only to be rebooted with 1984-86 toys in weird colors. Obviously it never died for your market...but again, Pretenders were never revisited either whereas the other gimmicks have been. There's a reason for that.
    I disagree. But then, that's just where this circular argument is going to end up - in disagreement.