My thoughts on the AOE figures so far...

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Matt-o-matic, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. Matt-o-matic

    Matt-o-matic Well-Known Member

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    So (and I won't be surprised if I'm alone here because I'm always an awkward sod and seem to be different to everyone else) for the first time in a while I've decided to throw myself into the figures and really go for collecting the AOE Generations figures. I love the designs for the characters and the vehicle choices even more so than any of the previous movies, and I'm a huge movie fan. I really liked the look of the Movie Generations figures we got to see at Toy Fair, despite an obvious drop in the amount of paint apps, finally none having a line-wide gimmick and most having screen accurate weapons.

    So I ended up ordering a huge haul, ending up not just with some of the wave one figures but a few from wave two as well. And in appearance they don't disappoint. What paint there is is done well, lots of metallic colours used, and the sculpts are really nice (at last an accurate Bumblebee face!). But as far as playability goes, how practical they really are as transforming toys, I find that many still suffer from the same problems of panels not lining up, limbs not having any definite position to click into when you transform them into alt mode so once you're halfway through you realise you should have bent the knees more or twisted the arms in a bit less. The whole experience just becomes frustrating instead of fun and once the figure is transformed, I daren't transform it back because of how long it took me to get everything together.

    My Crosshairs only has three wheels that touch the ground at any one time no matter how I pivot the legs before transforming him. I had to pop one of Hound's lower arms off and back on so his right side panels all lined up properly. Even now though it's a struggle to get his weapons to all stay on in vehicle mode because the tabs are so small and shallow; I get the big gun onto the left (but only tabbed into the frontmost tabs because it won't actually lie flush with the side of the truck) and the two on the right pop off because I've had to apply pressure. Drift seems to be made of panels that aren't designed to go together because no matter what I do it takes a hell of a lot of squashing and squeezing (and forcing the door panels downward as they like to run diagonally upwards once they're forced to tab into the hood) to keep everything held together, and by then if the two swords are stored underneath they actually lift the front wheels off the ground. Plus the post that connects to his roof rubs against his face during transformation and has taken the gold paint off his nose, giving him the look of a scarecrow. It really shouldn't be this hard or annoying. Or take so long. They look good as display pieces but to spare the pain of transforming back and forth it'd probably be best to get two of each, one for each mode.

    To be fair Evasion Mode Optimus has no problems, which is surprising given the slightly crazy transformation, and the leader Optimus with the firm, ratcheting joints fits together nicely.

    And then there's 1-step Optimus and 1-step Grimlock. And I love these guys. They're far from perfect representations of the characters or alt modes (though to be honest, it's probably the closest there is to an accurate dino mode for Grimlock), but then they're not really supposed to be. What they are though are fun little toys to play with. Yes, there's virtually nothing to the transformations, but that really doesn't bother me. I bought them so my cousins' boys could have something to play with when they come round but I was surprised by how much I've enjoyed fiddling around with them. People have been talking about how the new RID lines are the dumbing down of the toy line, but to me, at least, they've injected different types of fun into it, especially if you're an obvious dunderhead like me and find some of the 'traditional' figures frustrating and time-consuming.

    I kind of get what Hasbro are going with this, though I think the sheer amount of lines is overkill. The 1-steps are fun, perhaps the Power Attackers without the gimmicks would have made figures with slightly better proportioned robot modes but with transformations that lie somewhere between too simplified and too complicated. As a collector I'd actually be happy for the characters to be presented in a two piece set containing a highly detailed screen accurate articulated figure with an equally accurate licensed model of the alt mode.

    Now that really would get people whining ;)  :p