Pre-Tool - TFSource Article

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Maz, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. Maz

    Maz Square One TFW2005 Supporter

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    Repaints and retools have been part of the Transformers toy landscape for as long as the brand has existed, but the concept of pre-tools is a more recent development. What got me interested in the subject was how Hasbro, TakaraTomy and occasionally 3rd party companies would release a toy or character in a mould that was clearly designed to later accommodate a better known or more popular character. It’s the more extreme cases that got my attention, where the first release is significantly less associated with a particular look in the Transformers universe than the eventual repaint or retool. Looking into it, and some of the most recent examples, I found that as with most things there was more to it than that.

    Pre-Tool | Source Blog <- CLICK TO READ

    [​IMG]


    All the best
    Maz
     
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  2. FortMax123

    FortMax123 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, we do need a new phrase for the more extreme examples. Great article. :) 
     
  3. Ramberk Magnus

    Ramberk Magnus Well-Known Member

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    I actually like the voyager pre-tools we've gotten so far in TR. Sentinel, Prime and Megatron look very good. I would argue that Alpha Trio is a pretool of Leo Convoy even though we don't know if Leo Convoy will get a US release.
     
  4. ljacone

    ljacone Decepticon Pretender

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    The thing I have noticed with the Pretools is that the "other character" seems to always come first, with the "original character" coming later on. I assume this is so consumers will buy the mold more than once -- for example, how many folks would have bought Alpha Bravo if Vortex came out first? Or Sentinel Prime if Astrotrain was released first? Or Stripes with Ravage, for a smaller scale example.

    The other neat aspect to me is that it allows for characters who may not be aimed at the collectors to get a release. In this case I am specifically thinking about the Octane pretool as Optimus Prime and Blitzwing pretool Megatron. A kid may not know who Octane or Blitzwing are, but they would be excited to get a Triple Changer Optimus or Megatron on their birthday. This is an unusual example but all I am saying is that a kid doesn't care about the same characters necessarily that adult collectors do, but the toys themselves are still appreciated.

    Of course, pretooling is done to allow more uses from the same steel molds, meaning that HasTak has more flexibility in how they can reuse the mold both in the current line as well as in the future, which means more variety of stuff getting repainted or redecoed down the line. This is a good thing to me.
     
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  5. Gangu Stars

    Gangu Stars Well-Known Member

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    I bought Sentinel prime only after having bought Astrotrain. I was so taken with the toy I couldn't help but want to add Sentinel Prime even with having no prior connection with the character.
     
  6. ljacone

    ljacone Decepticon Pretender

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    Sounds good to me!
     
  7. Starscream 91

    Starscream 91 Mech With A Mouth

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    It was getting Sentinel Prime and enjoying the mold before hand that made me love Astrotrain the way I do. It improved on it with both colors, head sculpt, and a character I love.

    I plan on buying Optimus and Megatron despite knowing we will get, and I will buy, an Octane and Blitzwing.

    I have nothing to say about pretools, I think they are fine and it allows me to experiment with the mold before its true use comes out and it makes me love the figure even more for it.

    Great article Maz.
     
  8. Maz

    Maz Square One TFW2005 Supporter

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    I completely agree that it's a good thing as a collector, and I have strangely become fascinated by Sentinel Prime and Alpha Trion to the point where the eventual intended uses for those moulds interest me less than the barmy first release that was never on my radar pre-release.

    All the best
    Maz
     
  9. Ramberk Magnus

    Ramberk Magnus Well-Known Member

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    We all know the order they release the figures is meant to maximize profit. Having said that-- who cares. You'll get the pre-tool if you're inpatient or curious or simply interested. Or you won't. I'm not a fan of the colors on TR Optimus triple-changer so I'd skip it. But I would doubledip on Megatron and Blitzwing because I really like how Megs turned out. I'm optimistic that Blitzwing will turn out well too.
     
  10. Maz

    Maz Square One TFW2005 Supporter

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    At this point with TR I'm just neck deep and buying any and all shit they decide can grace a store shelf :lol 

    And I have pretty much adored all of it.

    All the best
    Maz
     
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  11. ljacone

    ljacone Decepticon Pretender

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    I am leaning towards them as well, Voyager is a size I can justify price and size for, plus I don't have any large Optimus Prime or Megatron toys... I can always ignore the third mode if I want, but they look very cool!
     
  12. Drake915

    Drake915 Autobot Scout

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    I plan on holding off on the voyagers Ops and Megs, but the Sentinel Prime was too damn interesting for me to pass up. I will be buying Astrotrain so I can get Blitzwing and Octane eventually to have all three Decepticon triple-changers as headmasters as well.
     
  13. UndertakerPrime

    UndertakerPrime Unlikeable dry-skinned biped

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    Ah, so you've fallen right into Hasbro's trap...
    :D 

    Just kidding.
    HasTak has gotten so good at changing an existing mold or paint job to look like something completely new, I'm all for it if it helps keep prices down and churning out new figures. IMO, whether a repaint/retool comes out before or after the obviously intended mold use is irrelevant; a good figure is a good figure.
     
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  14. motorthing

    motorthing Too old for this $hit

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    Good one mate, agree with pretty much all that.

    And yes, sneaky Hasbro.....realising you can sell a few more toys by flipping release order. But hey....that's consumer capitalism at its finest.
     
  15. Olivus Prime

    Olivus Prime Space Ranger

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    It's funny, I was thinking back to 2008's Universe last night and how straight repaints were totally the norm back then - think of Blaster, Blades, Roadbuster etc. Nowadays, stuff like that (e.g. CW Blast Off) gets completely destroyed. Regardless of what some might say, it's a great time to be a collector.
     
  16. Robogeek28

    Robogeek28 Proud grandpa

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    Yup, I absolutely love "pretools" as they make characters look so much different than their mold mates.
     
  17. levyshahar

    levyshahar Nemesis Wheelie

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    always an interesting read, thanks maz
     
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  18. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    I, for one, am all for it. I'd much rather have more variety on the shelves and as a savvy customer, if I can tell something is a pretool of something I'd rather have, I can wait. But sometimes I prefer the variety.
     
  19. ssjkazer

    ssjkazer mr dyslexia

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    I love my pretools more then the intended use, i like new characters.

    As for alphatrion i harped on for 4 years pushing for a alphatrion

    Also hasbro now useing a cgi programe to buuld parts to put on characters so its super easy for them to reuse any parts now