What were "Game Changers" in the world of third party?

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by ThatOneReallyTallGuy, May 16, 2024.

  1. mikeszekely

    mikeszekely Not Pessimus Prime

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    IMHO, and in chronological order:

    -Fansproject City Commander. It's not really the first 3P upgrade kit, but it was, I feel, the first really major one and the first that substantially transformed the base Hasbro figure.

    -Fansproject Warbotron Defender. Again, it's not really the first 3P figure, as there were a few things floating around before it, but again it was I feel the first major one that really established entire 3P figures being a thing.

    -I'm tying Maketoys Giant and TFC's Hercules, as they were pretty close to the same time if I remember right. They were the first real 3P combiners.

    -Fans Toys Quakewave. It was the first Masterpiece-style MP figure and caused a massive shift in the 3P market as they shifted away from CHUG-style releases to largely trying to fill the gaps Takara was leaving in the official MP line.

    ToyWorld Contructor. Arguably the first truly MP-scaled combiner. It established partsforming as the standard for achieving a 50cm combined-mode height (for better or worse).

    -Iron Factory Sonitech. It wasn't the first release, or even the first Legends-scaled figure, from Iron Factory, but it was their first real Legends release that wasn't a sort of upgrade kit, and thus the one that established the 3P Legends market.

    -Another tie, Newage Flipper and Magic Square Architect & Fire Extinguisher. Although Iron Factory launched the 3P Legends trend, they had arguably carved out a stylized niche product. It was these releases from the current kings of Legends that established the "mini-MP" market that seems to dominate the 3P scene now.

    Honorable mentions:

    Weijiang Commander: Simultaneously established the market for OSKOs and 3P Bayverse

    Unique Toys Peru Kill: First original 3P meant to go with Takara's MPM line.
     
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  2. mattski

    mattski Well-Known Member

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    FansProject Defender for sure opened up the floodgates to 3rd party full-figures that weren't garage kits.

    I also remember the Demolition Crue being notable - both for their affordability and their general playability.
     
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  3. rikkomba

    rikkomba Hunger

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    On top of my head:

    1) Fansproject Ultra Magnus Armor, it got everybody's attention
    2) Planet X Genesis, the biggest 3rd party release at the time, it shelfwarmed for a year because of its price and then sold out everywhere - we thought Planet X was going bankrupt, instead...
    3) the first MP Shockwave, from 3rd party instead of HasTak, serious statement
    4) TFC Hercules, the dawn of third party combiners
    5) MMC Carnifex, which opened an entirely new dimension about what was possible, especially for IDW style.

    Not so sure about Carnifex, but the others should be quite meaningful...
     
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  4. CryptiniteDemon

    CryptiniteDemon Well-Known Member

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    The two figures that put 3rd party on the map for me were X-Transbots Apollyon and Weijiang Evasion Optimus Prime. They don't feel as impressive anymore, but to me they're the start of it all. Weijiang showed that KO's could be way better than the originals and kinda launched the whole KO Improved thing. Should call them KnockUps instead of Knockoffs.

    MMC's Reformatted line was huge for original 3rd party stuff.

    Magic square's Mensaor seemed like a tipping point where they went full into complex transformations that set them up as mini masterpieces.
     
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  5. jazz1914

    jazz1914 moonbase survivor

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    Unique Toys' movie Lockdown!
     
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  6. Scyla

    Scyla Well-Known Member

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    While I agree that Defender probably was the more impactful release I think TFC/TFClub Battle Rollar was the first fully "mass produced" (steel cut injection molding and all) 3rd Transformers figure. It is at least the one that comes to my mind.



    I think for me the real game changer was MMC Cyclops (HoS Shockwave). It had the size, paint and complexity of the Masterpiece releases at the time and really showed what could be possible with the engineering and mass production in the 3rd party realm.
     
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  7. TFao

    TFao Well-Known Member

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    I do remember Battle Rollar being first but I also think he’s just as much of an accessory as he is a figure. So I still think FP Defender can stake its claim to the first
     
  8. Dirge121

    Dirge121 I'll be your end of days

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    I totally forgot Battle Roller, and his compatibility with multiple different Optimi
     
  9. OriginalFire

    OriginalFire Well-Known Member

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    DX9 Legends Pocket stuff for sure, then Iron Factory and New Age and Magic Square Legends
     
  10. Scyla

    Scyla Well-Known Member

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    I think it comes down to semantics on how you want to define "first".

    Was Defender the first major, recognizable Transformers character produced with mass manufacturing means? If that is your definition then it was Defender.

    For me the manufacturing techniques used are much more important than the character that was reproduced.

    Before Battle Rollar you had Japanese Garage Kits sold at WonderCon (to me the Macross Experten kits come to mind).
    But they were pretty fragile, low production runs and probably cast by the designers themselves in resin.

    Battle Rollar was produced like any official HasTak toy, in a factory with steel cut molds sold in a retail box. It was a recognizable Transformers thing, it was transformable and less fragile than a Garage Kit.

    Thus for me it is a more important milestone in the 3rd party history (if it is true that Battle Rollar was actually released first).

    At least that is my knowledge. Since I‘m not a toy scholar by trade I could be totally wrong here.
     
  11. mikeszekely

    mikeszekely Not Pessimus Prime

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    Yeah, I acknowledged that there was stuff before Defender, but stuff like Battle Rollar was sort of beating around the bush, like "here's a sort of upgrade kit, but we happened to invent a robot mode for it." When Fansproject did Defender, who was very obviously Springer and very obviously meant to go with Hasbro's Classics/Universe stuff, it was more of a watershed moment for 3P.
     
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  12. Huub

    Huub G1 - Magic Square nerd

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    - FT Quakewave
    - MMC Bruticus
    - Magic Square v2 Prime
    - Magic Square Devastator
     
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  13. Jahseykdhm

    Jahseykdhm Well-Known Member

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    I haven't been in the 3rd party scene for that long so call me biased, but for me it's Unique Toys Peru Kill. Helped kickstart movieverse 3rd party MPs.
     
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  14. BWIguanusfan2

    BWIguanusfan2 BWII enjoyer and Triceradon's strongest warrior

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    Impossible toys arcee beat defender out by a few months. If you/the community don't remember it's because it was absolutely atrocious.
     
  15. breaux man

    breaux man I'm Me

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    the legendary Jizai (i think that was his name) was designing for Fansproject and when they started that Function X series, that was a big deal to me. His designs were so stellar and upped the game of other companies. I still have the Code and Smart Robin even though I've switched to legends.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2024
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  16. mikeszekely

    mikeszekely Not Pessimus Prime

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    Oh, I remember. I didn't count her (or anything from Impossible Toys) because I don't think they had the same impact that Defender did.

    Code and Smart Robin have transformations that are simply mind-blowing to this day. Unfortunately they were so amazing that the rest of the line seemed so mundane despite being really solid figures. I still have all my Function X figures, and it's a shame they never did a Hardhead to at least complete the "core" Headmasters cast.
     
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  17. DaveTheCave

    DaveTheCave Well-Known Member

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    Unique Toys movie figures showing there's no design that's impossible to make into a movie accurate Transforming figure. The stuff coming out now is insane, things have advanced so fast that the once mind blowing Peru Kill isn't that impressive by today's standards.
     
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  18. Inikalord

    Inikalord Legal Binding Contracts

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    In terms of upgrade kits, both City Commander and Protector each really made their marks in terms of providing what at the time Hasbro was just not giving to people at the time. I distinctly remember it being frustrating trying to find a Classics Magnus or almost any version of Classics Rodimus for less than scalper prices, made only worse by these two kits.

    Warbot Defender for what I think we can all safely give the title to for the first actual modern representation of Springer that wasn't a repaint of another character.

    MPP-10 and Commander setting the stage and making a statement that bigger can indeed be better if the right amount of budget is put into it. Props have to be given to the original figures of course but it's undeniable the OSKO versions are just superior on every front. My heart still goes out for what we lost when WeiJiang went under and what we could have been getting if they didn't. Thankfully we do have Black Mamba/Aoyi Mecha nowadays.

    Unique Toys in general for showing that the scrambled designs from AoE and TLK can in fact be possible to make good figures out of while still being able to transform. Big ups to Peru Kill and Challenger in particular.

    Just want to put this one out there but Open and Play deserved to stick around. While they weren't the most high quality when compared to other companies they still managed to push out two relatively fun figures, both at MP scale and for incredibly cheap. Big Cannon is still my stand-in Galvatron despite being an upscaled and remoulded TR Galvatron.
     
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  19. ckhtiger

    ckhtiger old skool fool

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    I like how certain pieces keep being mentioned. I almost feel like we should do a poll using the top 5 that have come up, to see what people think is THE most impactful.
     
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  20. BWIguanusfan2

    BWIguanusfan2 BWII enjoyer and Triceradon's strongest warrior

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    I was going to go a statically analysis to make a fair representation as humanly possible. I don't have excel anymore so I can't do that anymore.
     
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