Value of what we're getting

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Fallout, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Fallout

    Fallout no one can see me cry

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    hey fellow fans, just want to compile a list of common qc/engineering complaints since recent price raises and the quality of current/recent lines is debatable and often divisive. this thread isn't intended to be political and please don't try to steer it that way. any talk of economics doesn't fall under politics as far as i'm concerned but if moderators decide it is than we'll leave that part out and only discuss the toys themselves.

    i'm going to edit this post as the thread goes so everything is complied and quantifiable as possible. nothing in this first post is final, i'm just trying to gauge a general response to the state of the fandom and the hobby in the past 10 years (quality dip started with DOTM in 2011/prime in 2010-11ish)

    general quality complaints:
    -the prime and dotm lines as a whole were both often met with a lack of paint, cheaper plastic, rising prices and simplified engineering. a lot of toys from 2011-2012 were reported as having stress mark issues, being too small for their price range, etc
    -generations started to feel this too in 2013 with thrilling 30, a lot of toys like the nightbeat, blitzwing, springer, windblade and skids molds having tolerance issues, crappily applied paint, or nasty feeling plastic
    -in 2014 it seemed to peak with every size class, both in AOE and generations being considerably smaller and engineered poorly. look at "premiere edition" optimus prime from AOE who's the size of a dotm leader but is entirely backpack, a random exclusive and retailed for more than leaders from previous years (despite wages at hasbro and worldwide not rising to meet the increased cost of... everything. a continuing trend)
    -cut to 2019/2020 when we're getting largely source accurate toys with clever engineering but things continue to shrink. kingdom and earthrise, and to a lesser degree siege and studio series, offering up deluxes that range from "old sized but hollow" to "small and partsforming" (cliffjumper/bumblebee mold is the size of old scouts and partsforms but is somehow worth $20, but trailbreaker and hoist are large and hollow)


    this is kind of a rough draft stream-of-consciousness as i'm getting my thoughts out and trying to gauge the general feel of the fandom. feel free to contribute.
     
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  2. Zappit

    Zappit Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I feel the more recent lines have been much improved, even if the figures have gotten smaller.

    Combiner Wars, Titans Return, or Power of the Primes felt cheaper than WFC. Combiner Wars was good, but recycled everything and the molds didn’t fit some of the characters. I had a lot of problems with Titans Return - floppy figures, some of which barely tabbed in at all. I almost quit collecting entirely after wave 1, my experience was so bad. PotP was an improvement, but it was closer to Combiner Wars.

    WFC is definitely an improvement. Siege brought me back into the fold big time. The plastic feels more solid, and yes, some figures are still pretty hollow. However, after installing some of the 3rd Party upgrade kits, I really feel like I’ve got my definitive version of these characters. I honestly feel like I can be done, and won’t need to get that next Generations Cliffjumper or Starscream.

    I mean, yeah, I probably will anyway, but that’s not the point.
     
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  3. AutobotAvalanche

    AutobotAvalanche Number One in Boogieland Moderator

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    I've steered clear from Earthrise for the most part because it seems every other figure has some significant QC issue/design flaw that is just inexcusable for the prices we're being asked to pay.

    - Soundbarrier's square hips
    - terrible paint matching on Hoist and Sunstreaker
    - Wheeljack's knee things popping off/Exhaust's head getting stuck
    - all kinds of fused hips/knees/crotches
    - paint chipping on Cliffjumper
    - Quintesson's red face
    - Doubledealer's legs/knees
    - whatever is going on with Runamuck's tolerances, not clear on that one
    - Grapple's peg snapping off

    and probably many more I'm forgetting. Couple that with partsforming and fake parts which I personally find inexcusable but others are fine with, so that doesn't really count. The only figure I've bought is Exhaust because I love the Diaclone decos and it seems like that was the right idea because he's hard to get now. But for a $20 deluxe I feel the community reaction has been very "shrug and sigh" about all these issues that essentially turn these figures into a DIY project just for them to actually function.
     
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  4. Noideaforaname

    Noideaforaname Pico, let's go up to Zuma

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    Kingdom-Optimus-Primal-31.jpg
    Same Size Class

    We're getting hosed, but it's characters from our childhood so shut up and take my money.
     
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  5. Scarlet knight

    Scarlet knight Leader of the Scarlet empire

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    Hoist's isn't so bad in person.
    That's incorrect. The Ultra class Primal was a Leader class back in the day.
     
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  6. Oniconvoy

    Oniconvoy The Other Black Repaint

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    TLDR.

    I’m thrilled with the value that we’re getting from Transformers relative to any other toy line right now. Marvel Legends have QC and paint issues and I throw away the BAF parts. Relative to that, the parts count, engineering, weapons, and transformations for recent TF have been a dream, even if some are a bit short to make scale work.
     
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  7. SuperRock7

    SuperRock7 Out of money and ideas

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    Gotta agree with this. ER hasn’t exactly been my cup of tea either. for those reasons and the fact that a good chunk of the figures aren’t exactly new, more like cheap retools from siege.
     
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  8. Knightdramon

    Knightdramon Hasbro LIES to the US

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    Depends what you are looking at.

    Are we getting much improved engineering? Yes
    Are we getting much better action figures, in general [transformers-wise]? Yes
    Are we getting better toys? Debatable

    Market economics also have a lot to do with this. Lots of fans hail the 2007-2010[ish] era as the pinnacle of modern transformers. But the rose-rimmed glasses analogy still stands. The Classics [2006-7] figures were chunky, solid toys without a line-wide gimmick.
    2007 movie figures largely continued on that but with auto-morph/electronics in bigger sizes, etc.

    ROTF was the point where we were getting very good value for money in terms of size, paint [mostly] but in a decent number of them, the engineering was lacklustre. Parts bumped and clashed together, etc etc. The transformations smoothed out towards the end of ROTF with RTS/HFTD.

    Cuts in budgets from the economic downturn gravely afflicted the FOC/Prime lines. We still got some great engineering here and there, and in my opinion that was the point where articulation was mostly universalised---no matter the design or the size-class, you got roughly the same basic points throughout all figures. I had a FOC Jazz, the Generations Orion Pax and various RiD figures and bless them, they tried their best with that they had.

    In a way, the biggest shift for me happened with Titans Return---almost as if not having to engineer where the head would go, and having shared engineering for all the heads in the entire line unlocked some sort of hidden potential in engineering for some of them. QC was not great with some but largely decent.

    POTP continued on with nice play pattern between the figures [line-wide gimmick not necessarily compromising one figure over another beyond aesthetics].

    Siege and Studio Series was where Hasbro proper upped the quality, IMHO, in accordance with the price point. The figures have got very intricate sculpting, overall very ingenious transformations, mostly standardised articulation and other added things.

    Siege has got line-wide playability features. Studio Series have got licensed alt modes and cardboard display stands, and the 86 voyagers also come with effect parts.

    We've gotten to a shift from 10+ years ago---collectors have become the main demographic of Hasbro, and the shift in attitudes in production etc shows. Nobody wept when Studio Series Starscream did not have electronics but instead had better paint applications. I prefered Studio Series Soundwave having a smart transformation and being slathered in silver paint and coming with a rubbery Laserbeak over the DOTM Deluxe which was all flat gray because the budget went on a spring loaded kid-friendly accessory that was entirely too big for the figure to hold.

    But there's a cost and balance for all these things. Sucky as some of them are by today's standards, a lot of say Armada figures were very good -toys-. You could bash them, insert minicons to make sounds, cross-combine them in Energon, use cyber keys on all of them for flip out accessories in Cybertron, combine the Optimus figures etc etc.

    As long as the collector is the main key demographic, I don't foresee Hasbro making the next Leader Class substantially bigger and loading it with electronics; the balance is as such that these days this articulation with this parts count and that paint on this size retails for X amount that we're happy to pay.

    Was I shocked as to how tiny Earthrise Cliffjumper was? Yes. It took me a while to warm up to it. Is it better than Classics Cliffjumper from 2006? Eeeeeh...it's got a smoother transformation, accessories that replicate two scenes from the cartoon and split into multiple configurations and is cross compatible with micromasters, titans, blast effects etc from its own line, the line before and the line after, not to mention he's slathered in paint. 2006 Cliffjumper had a less complex transformation, a jetski accessory that was only good on himself or Bee and I think could hold his contemporaries weapons, but had none of his own. And had Bumblebee's headsculpt.

    Because the economics of the time and the collector market meant that's as far as you could go.
     
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  9. fschuler

    fschuler Post Count Inflated With Hot Air TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think WFC is a step up in quality and robustness of the designs compared to the previous toy trilogy which were far more flimsy, often simpler and less refined. But, there have been some common tabbing issues and other frustrating qc/design problems recently as described by AutobotAvalanche. Overall, I like what they’ve done the past couple years as the toys do feel better in-hand...but they still have some work to do.
     
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  10. Deltron Magnus

    Deltron Magnus Well-Known Member

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    I only got into collecting back in 2019 (unless you count the G1 figures I had as kid), so I'm not sure how much value my opinion has here, but overall I've been really pleased with WFC. Nearly every figure has been worth the MSRP. Naturally I'd rather get them cheaper and I'm glad when the opportunity arises, but I haven't felt ripped off. There are certainly things that could be better, but most of them are just nitpicks for me.

    The exceptions:

    Astrotrain is bit overpriced - great figure but unlike Siege Shockwave or ER Optimus I don't think the extra stuff that comes with him justifies the leader price tag (I think many will disagree with me about Shockwave, though). I'm glad I got him on sale, although if I really had to I suppose I would have paid MSRP. With Doubledealer I'm waiting for a good sale because I keep hearing about QC issues with him. And Apeface and Snapdragon are just not figures I want that bad, so I'd only going for them if they are on sale.

    I agree with Scarlet Knight about Hoist. Yes, they greens aren't a perfect match, but they're not different by a lot and the two shades go pretty well together, unlike the way Sunstreaker's yellows can be downright jarring in certain lights. Still like Sunstreaker though. :) 
     
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  11. Scowly Prowl

    Scowly Prowl Still calculating variables...

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    Well, given how reissue GI Joe figures have been selling, and the prices I have seen for them, I'm OK with ER and Siege TFs selling for what they are.
     
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  12. Ditko

    Ditko Well-Known Member

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    WFC has been a huge upgrade where I'm concerned although I have noticed some inconsistencies with figures. Like Prime's legs had a beautiful marble-y quality early on and later runs are dull and look less interesting. I notice some other QC issues. I loved the paint on SIEGE and dislike that we're not getting it as much, but it kind of fits the story. Plus netflix offers paint.

    Overall this WFC experience has given me the Transformers I always wanted and in my opinion are the best ever renditions of these characters. I would like to keep buying Transformers, but doubt I'll need to replace these guys anytime soon. It would have to be something both new and in keeping with what we have here.
     
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  13. Constructor

    Constructor Behold my true form!

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    I don't know how widespread of an issue this is, but Hasbro's transition from using screws to hold a figure's head together to glue holding a figure's head together has not only been frustrating as a customiser,
    it also hold potential for causing big problems. Case in point, I just recently got a hold of Earthrise Airwave and discovered that he couldn't move his head. I ended up slicing open his head and discovering that the super glue
    that held his head together ended up dripping into his neck joint and prevented it from moving. I fixed it, but using glue to hold parts together that have articulation points seems like its just asking for problems on the production side of things.
     
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  14. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP My personal sense of scale

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    Well, no, OG Primal was an Ultra, one size above Mega, which eventually became Voyagers. Leaders are a size above Ultras.
     
  15. Mister D

    Mister D Multifaceted nerd TFW2005 Supporter

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    What are you talking about?

    The only things in ER that are retools of Siege figures are Megatron and Optimus Prime's legs. That's it.

    Battlemasters were all new molds.
    Micromasters were all new molds.
    Hoist was a completely new mold.
    Cliffjumper was a completely new mold.
    Wheeljack was a completely new mold.
    Ironworks was a completely new mold.
    Grapple was a completely new mold.
    Starscream was a completely new mold.
    Sky Lynx was a completely new mold.
    Snapdragon was a completely new mold.
    Scorponok was a completely new mold.
    Smokescreen was a completely new mold.
    Arcee was a completely new mold.
    Allicon was a completely new mold.
    Airwave was a completely new mold.
    Quintesson Judge was a completely new mold.
    Fasttrack was a completely new mold.
    Runamuck was a completely new mold.
    Sunstreaker seems to be a partial mold share of ER Wheeljack.
    Trailbreaker is a remold of ER Hoist.

    So you have ER Prime - who only used part of Siege Prime's legs - and ER Megatron, which is probably 75% new molding.

    In fact, if you look at the whole list, there are only three characters - Prime, Megatron, and Starscream - that were actually released in the main Siege line (Smokescreen being Selects).

    Look at it this way:
    Beast Wars:
    Basic: $5 (50% deluxe price)
    Deluxe: $10
    Mega: $15 (150% deluxe price)
    Ultra: $20 (200% deluxe price)
    Super $40 (400% deluxe price) This was only one figure, Optimal Optimus

    Earthrise:
    Micromaster: $10 (50% deluxe price)
    Deluxe: $20
    Voyager: $30 (150% deluxe price)
    Leader: $50 (250% deluxe price)
    Commander: $80 (400% deluxe price)

    The size classes of then correspond very closely to those now, with the obvious discrepancy being Ultra vs Leader. An Ultra class Primal would be $40, and we don't have anything at that price point. It would still be more expensive than a Voyager toy by $10.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2020
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  16. bkh

    bkh Well-Known Member

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    I will not let my kids play with the newer stuff for concern of breakage. I find myself not playing with them much either. I think Hasbro was on to something with Combiner Wars, but the follow-through was poor. RiD2001 and UT had more play value for me. The current pricing on ER deluxe is about as far as I will go. I do not buy the Voyager or Leader class at the current price point. Even for the deluxes, I am looking for that extra $1 or $2 off Amazon for a damaged box. I bought one Studio Series - Roadbuster - and decided on no more. Maybe there are a few that are worth it, but I avoid most movie toys. As long as the deluxe pricing stays where it is, I will buy a few of the Kingdom toys, but I am not going out of my way to collect them all. Even my older boys miss the UT, Universe, and early movie toys.
     
  17. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    meh, we're getting screwed.. Hasbro knows that the majority of it's buyers nowadays are mostly composed of fans that are with a wallet that allows the higher prices.

    And as far as quality, it's been a long game bait and switch approach....

    Many years ago you had very solid toys, great plastic, no gaps (or very little), etc. just not the best proportion and articulation.

    Then they made excellent toys with a bit of gaps but still with gimmicks, accessories, etc. that would be much better for proportions and articulation, some rivaling today's figure except with a higher reliance on ball joints.

    The lines that followed ended up being cheaper and cheaper with less accessories, a bit more gaps, and eventually the cheaper hard plastic was used for 90% or more) in every line and gaps were common place, same with lack of accessories. The designs were a lot of recycled molds and shared engineering.

    Then when Siege arrived, they had double (and more) the prices and to justify it they did return to the better plastic, with some decent figures (no gaps and such) to really give a bit of acceptance over the pricing.

    So.. you had very high quality, dropping to lower, then to acceptable, and then they return to decent quality (not high) and people/fans that don't have the memory or figures to do comparisons, believe that the quality of WFO is amazing without peers. And that is not the case at all, and just in my office right now I have easily over a dozen example of excellent figures that proves this. Figures from older lines that hold up very well to the latest figures in quality (if not better) with little gaps, with accessories AND were less than half the price for the same "class/size".

    So for the question of value for what we are getting, the answer is a flat NO...

    The WFC figure have been wonderful, BUT... most are incomplete... the gaps, the lack of accessories, lack of paint (or just bad use of it), and so on, so that each figure have been very close to great, but all have managed to end up with a "if only..." and almost all of these "ifs" are simple, and would have barely cost much more to produce, and the fact being that the price hike has not been minor, there is no way that they aren't making more profit off these figures than they ever did. And let's not even bother with the mention of poor quality control lately with parts breaking, tabs not aligning, colours not matching, parts not staying in, etc.

    We shouldn't need 3rd parties to get gap fillers and basic weapons that once upon a time was never an issue.

    So right now, if they wouldn't be doing the characters in a way that is kinda "finally right", odds are, many fans would have skipped them or left already. And as I look at what's coming, I'm quite happy to see that there's less and less figures that interest me, and that's due to the pricing more than anything else.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
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  18. R3M1NGT0N

    R3M1NGT0N Well-Known Member

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    Runamuck’s tolerance issues stem from the egregious amount of white paint on him. His tabs and slots are also painted, so when transforming him the paint rubs together causing the tight tolerances. The only reason why I can see the figure would have that much paint is so that costs would be cheaper when Runabout is made, seeing as how most of the painted over plastic is black. Still, transforming Runamuck is a bit scary because of the tolerances. I’m surprised none of the tabs snapped off when I first transformed him.
     
  19. SuperRock7

    SuperRock7 Out of money and ideas

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    Cheap remolds like:
    ER Ironhide
    ER Prowl
    ER Soundwave
    ER Megatron
    ER Ratchet
    ER Smokescreen
    ER Barricade
    Etc.
    These figures look well near identical to their siege counterparts.
    ... Did you intentionally forgot these figures?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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  20. Mister D

    Mister D Multifaceted nerd TFW2005 Supporter

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    1) Smokescreen is not a remold, period. All new parts. Barricade and Prowl are therefore remolds of an Earthrise figure, not a Siege figure.
    2) None of the Siege remolds are released under the Earthrise label except Megatron. Hasbro very deliberately avoided reusing the same characters in the mainline releases of Siege and Earthrise save for the evergreen Prime, Megatron, and Starscream. Everyone else was released under Selects or some other subline. So you're main complaint is that this year's exclusive figures are mostly remolds and repaints (drawn from multiple lines, not just Siege), which - surprise! - is what exclusive figures almost always are.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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