The Year in Review: What "Worked" and What didn't?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by DrTraveler, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    So, 2012 was a year that Hasbro and the third parties threw a lot of ideas at the wall. What things worked, and are worth looking at again in 2013 as a way to go forward, and what didn't work? This could be anything, from a certain transformation method, a subline, etc.

    For me, an example of something that "Worked" was the GDO line. When I first heard of it I thought it was silly. Repainting Prime and Bayverse figs to fit in with Classics? Really? Have things gotten that bad?

    But at this point, I've bought Springer and Cliffjumper, and I have to say that both of them are well done. I've heard good things about GDO Megatron and the rest.

    What didn't work? The FE line. While the Voyagers are nice now I've got a chance to look them over, the deluxes aren't nearly the big deal they were made out to be. Worse, the fact they had such limited availability at the start meant they totally poisoned the well for the RID line, which was a shame because some of the figures in that line were quite nice.
     
  2. Zendai

    Zendai Minicon Addict

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    PRID Vehicon was one of the best molds of the year in my opinion. The car pretty much folds into the legs.
     
  3. brr-icy

    brr-icy MP Collector

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    didn't work: foc, prime, and most of the gdo figures, sure there were a couple good figures in each, but nothing like rts, generations, animated, hftd, or even rotf's overwhelming awesomeness (even though i don't like the movie style, i can't argue the figures were well done)

    worked: mps, 3rd party, and fes
     
  4. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    I'm not as enamored of him as everyone else is, but I have to admit that was a spectacular transformation gimmick. I'd love to see something like that used elsewhere.
     
  5. Murasame

    Murasame 村雨

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    The GDO Generations did not work at all. They seem just like an excuse to have these particular characters released, with not much thought and effort put into them.
     
  6. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    I wouldn't have bought them unless my son convinced me to buy Springer. It took a while to come around, but man, that actually works as a decent Springer. I bought GDO Cliffy today and really enjoyed him. So for me, this line is working and I'd like to see more from it.
     
  7. wildfly

    wildfly Fermenting pork tube.

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    Worked:

    -3rd party worked to a large extent....but that's a different playing field, and there's a separate forum for 3p, so i'm inclined to leave that aside.


    -Us version of MP10. Came within striking distance of a toy twice the price, and possibly even beat it.

    -TRU Masterpiece Thundercracker. Less tampos, and more silver would've been nice, but it gave us something Takara hadn't done yet, and meant that people could get their hands on a Masterpiece Thundercracker without shelling out $250 or more.

    -Vehicon. Not my favorite mainline DX of the yr...but popular enough that they must have done something right.


    Didn't work.

    - TRU and their ongoing poor distribution of Masterpieces.

    - Wave after wave of RID DX Bumblebee and Voyager Prime.

    - No Us release of Voyager Breakdown.

    - Shrinking toys, cheaper plastic, less paint , and price hikes.

    - Optimus Maximus. If the Ark didn't sell well, how was this thing greenlighted?
     
  8. DrTraveler

    DrTraveler Wheeljack, Wheeljack, Wheeljack

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    I agree on Optimus Maximus, though I'm glad they made the Jackhammer. In general I'm not sold on playsets.
     
  9. Bountyan

    Bountyan Well-Known Member

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    Worked: 3rd party and MPs
    Didn't work: Almost everything else
     
  10. Noideaforaname

    Noideaforaname Pico, let's go up to Zuma

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    Worked:
    - Small, cheap, and fun figures (Kreons, Cyberverse, Bot Shots) becoming more widely available

    Didn't Work:
    - Putting BB in literally every wave
     
  11. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm Good Morning, Weather Hackers! TFW2005 Supporter

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    Worked:
    - Hasbro's releases of Masterpiece toys
    - The work to get in-demand items like GDO/Asia stuff and Prime FE to TRU in USA

    Not Work:
    - The movie-esque oversaturation of the first couple waves and Bumblebee/Optimus
    - TRU's annoying cartoon capitalism. "Did we say $99? no, you heard wrong. It's $119. Yes, that's right, $129."
     
  12. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    Didn't work:
    Powerizers: The clear forearms... okay... but the guns? Some of the worst accessories to come with TFs. The only one that was okay, Ultra Magnus, was still inferior to the Cyberverse version's weapon.

    The FoC line to date: First off, it came out after the damn game did. And then, of the eight figures out, the only one I think really has any reason to exist is Shockwave, which was long overdue. Prime is a simpler, smaller update of a figure from two years ago. Jazz just makes Prime look even smaller, and is worse in pretty much every objective and subjective way to the RtS version from last year. And Bruticus... well, in terms of molds, is three critically flawed, undersized figures; one solidly mediocre; and one decent. And then the retail colors... inaccurate, gaudy, and (at best) a random homage no one asked for (or just... random and ugly). Now, I have really high hopes for pretty much every upcoming FoC release (and admittedly really do like the FoC Optimus mold, I just see that it's just... needless), but it did not impress in 2012.

    Exclusives: What happened to Target or Wal-Mart exclusives?!? TRU handled their exclusives... relatively well (see below), but what the heck?

    Beginning of year FEs/cancellation of the last wave of DotM Deluxes: FEs got such a limited initial release because of a lack of retailer interest in non-movie merchandise. DotM Soundwave and Que got cancelled due to Hasbro deciding to focus on the next line. Seriously, guys?

    RiD Cliffjumper: This is the only individual figure I'm going to call out, because of his ridiculous overpacking. The figure itself is... mediocre. Not as bad as some people say, but not as good as FE CJ (despite some people claiming the opposite to get attention). But he was an on-screen character for five-minutes. And he was still heavily packed into the fourth wave. It's been... bad. At least with Bumblebee I understand Hasbro's train of thought for overpacking, but I just don't get what they're doing with CJ.

    Takara-exclusive Prime characters: Smokescreen, Breakdown, Unicron, Jet Vehicon... all fairly major players (or just great toys) and yet they never came stateside.


    Worked:
    End of year FEs and GDOs: They finally got the figures to us, and apparently managed to get distribution well enough that everyone who really wanted them had a decent shot of it. I personally still haven't seen a Hot Spot, but even I have had opportunities to get it online. Also haven't seen most of the FEs but the fact they've been moving quite well is a great sign to Hasbro not to underestimate the collector market.

    Hasbro MPs: Thundercracker and Prime are great. Plain and simple.

    Online exclusives: G2 Bruticus and Jetwing Prime being online exclusives were good, seemed to move well, and were easy to acquire. Especially since non-TRU retailer exclusives seem to be so rare...

    Bot Shots: Adorable, great distribution and character choices, and fun. If they had the ability to move at the shoulders I probably would have bought them all.
     
  13. Incepticon

    Incepticon |-+-|

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    What Didn't Work:

    Virtually every single thing related to Prime from the clusterfuck FE's, the awful RID main line, the even more awful "sticker it yourself" hole ridden Arms Microns crap, and the Asian exclusives right to the epically boring, predictable, rehashed plots show

    Hasbro's ******ed decal littered not-so-Masterpiece Thundercracker

    Proper figure distribution... as usual and as always

    The entire shrunk down KO looking FOC sub-line being shoehorned in as new Generations figures

    The almost belief defying awful QC issues plaguing MP-12 Sideswipe

    TFCC and their now trademark bullshit antics

    Rescue Bots everything

    What Did Work:

    MP-10 Optimus Prime 2.0

    MP-11 Starscream 2.0

    One FE Prime figure

    Two RID Prime figures
     
  14. Soundwinder

    Soundwinder I wind sounds!

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    FE Prime, RiD Vehicon and... RiD Rumble? Dreadwing?
     
  15. Incepticon

    Incepticon |-+-|

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    Was thinking more along the lines of FE Bulkhead and RID Vehicon & Wheeljack. But I supposed FE Optimus and RID Dreadwing deserve mention too.
     
  16. Lbsammills51

    Lbsammills51 Known Member?

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    What did work:

    Online exclusives: Though literally not all of them have sold like gangbusters, and not all of them are necessarily original (Amazon's Jetwing Optimus being a redecoed version of what was previously a Japanese exclusive, and the YotD Optimus being an imported Asian exclusive that hasn't sold much better here either), but I'm glad that Hasbro is willing to offer more online exclusives (making a simple preorder online is less stressful than scrambling to retail stores) and the items offered have been larger and a bit more ambitious than before.

    The "micron" part of Arms Micron: Though sticker issues and placement have come into play here as well, the ability to give fans a different approach to smaller Transformer toys and the ability to form ridiculously over-the-top combo weapons from these little model kits has been pretty cool and one of the high points of the AM line.

    TRU getting more ambitious with its exclusives: Though yes, distribution issues remain (I've yet to see MP Optimus, the GDO Voyagers or FE Voyagers show up around here, and the GDO deluxes came and went), the fact that they've offered a rather diverse group of exclusives in such a short amount of time has been nice to see. I've spent more money at TRU in a past few months than I have in the past couple years combined and I've been satisfied with every purchase.

    The continuation and expansion of Cyberverse: Adding vehicles/playsets has been a nice throwback to the Micromaster bases and gives greater functionality to the actual transforming figures. Though Optimus Maximus may be incredibly disappointing, the other vehicles (particularly the Energon Drill) and the addition of weapons that can be held by the Cyberverse figures has been a nice development.

    The expansion of the MP line: This is a bit conditional because plans can always change and Takara could always pull back for whatever reason...but the sudden expansion of the line, and the in-hand results (Sideswipe, my God, it's wonderful) have been amazing to see and a welcome development for a fanbase that always clamors for more collector-oriented anything.

    What didn't work:

    Budget problems hurting figure quality...some much, much more than others: Though we've definitely had some gems (Vehicon, Wheeljack, Dreadwing, Thundertron, Kup/Ironhide, Rumble) the continuing lack of paint aps on certain figures has become more obvious and the engineering on some figures seemed to take a dip in certain cases. Ignoring Airachnid, stuff like the FoC Combaticons (in particular), FoC Optimus, Prime Knock Out and FoC Jazz (and even Shockwave, to a certain extent) are figures I can't help but wonder how much better they would've been had they come out two years earlier (when Hasbro was in the midst of an excellent run of figures) or two years later (when perhaps budget issues won't be as prohibitive) and allow designers to take an extra step or two, adding a few bits here and there that would've allowed these figures to be as dynamic as their predecessors from Generations/RtS, HftD and Prime FE.

    Prime AM and poor sticker design/placement: Personally I don't mind that Takara decided to take a different approach and utilize stickers instead of paint aps. What I do mind is how poorly the sticker placement was thought out, leading to the placement of stickers on parts of the figures where stickers really shouldn't be placed and where even modest paint aps would've been better. I find it interesting that figures like Megatron Darkness and Nemesis Prime work the best because their sticker sheets function more as optional "upgrade" sticker sets rather than near-mandatory to give figures any details at all. I wish Takara had taken the "upgrade" set approach from the beginning and mixed and matched stickers and paint aps more to allow for greater individualization of these figures while still using paint aps to cover areas paint covers best.

    Mechtech weapons get worse: The current Voyager weapons make the DotM ones look revolutionary by comparison. Are any of the Prime Mechtech weapons even mediocre? How Hasbro thought they could release these, not have them lock, and think that was a good idea is beyond me.

    Poor wave planning: Though they seem a bit more aware of the issue (Hasbro reps pointedly stating that FE Bumblebee would not be part of the '12 FE release at TRU was both hilarious and sad), Hasbro seemed set to finally squelch any remaining interest on the part of kids in Bumblebee and Optimus by overloading initial waves with those two. Hopefully wave choices get smarter for '13 because I don't think anyone wants to see the slew of ignored Prime Deluxe Bumblebees replaced by ignored Deluxe Beast Hunter Bumblebees.

    TBD:
    The expansion of third party/unlicensed companies and products: I don't think it's a bad thing by any means, but I am worried that we will approach a tipping point in companies releasing too much product at the same time and overwhelming the collectors they are trying to attract. Though with stuff like TFC's Hercules and MMC's Cyclops, collectors have shown we do have large pockets and will collectively spend on large, quality items that appeal to us, our pockets only go so deep. I'd hate to see quality projects go ignored or even shelved because there just isn't enough money to go around and third party companies overstep themselves in terms of how much product they think we can afford.
     
  17. WhiteMocha

    WhiteMocha Well-Known Member

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    What Worked:

    Masterpiece releases, Bot Shots, Cyberverse Legions and Commanders, Kreon single-packs, off-screen Prime deluxe characters, GDO releases

    What Didn't Work:

    Cyberverse playsets/basebots, Arms Micron sticker sheets, First Edition Prime foul-ups.... and about 70% of the FOC line
     
  18. Starfire22

    Starfire22 :D

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    Didn't work: Mech Tech. (Magnus is the only exception)

    Certain Moulds/Repaints not making it stateside. (Though, Takara can keep orion pax)

    Ordering figures off of TRU.

    Worked: Store/Online exclusive lines. (Dark energon, GDO, and FE)

    Late wave voyagers. (Thundertron is the best voyager of the PRID line)

    Aldi prices & figure distribution.
     
  19. Kakashi

    Kakashi Well-Known Member

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    Let me put it this way... I'm not making more money this year, but I was able to start my Marvel Legends AND TMNT collections back up. Couldn't have done that if Hasbro was tossing out loads of awesome, inspired TFs.

    I'm thankful for the few I bought... But if 2013 doesn't shape up, I may see the return of my Gundam model building days.
     
  20. SydneyY

    SydneyY @syd_tfw Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Worked for me
    Arms Microns - I enjoyed building Microns and applying shoddy stickers.
    Awesome black Prime repaints.

    Didn't work for me
    Finding toys at retail. 2012 seriously sucked.