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Could... two... ongoing "main continuity" toyline series aimed at the same audience work for transformers?


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#1 Guest_MagmatronPrime_*

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:20 AM

Would it be possible to do 2 "main continuity" toylines side by side, aimed at the same audience?

I raise this question because of two things - (1) Thunderwing's awesome post (http://bottalk.com/b...ad.php?t=106748) reminds me of IDW's two ongoings, and (2) picking up Prime Wheeljack today, while also seeing Generations Wheeljack on the shelf reminded me of Hasbro's claim (around the time Animated was out) that they didn't want to confuse kids... and of the general need for a cast of characters who are not BB/OP/SS/Megs + regulars.

For example, as a compliment to Transformers Prime, perhaps there could be a toyline featuring cybertronian gestalts (yeah, yeah... FOC Bruticus could have been better... but I'll manage). Because the line would be a line of gestalts (4D/1V gestalts are, arguably, the most practical of 5-gestalt design...), there would be enough toy-design reasons to release them in a separate series.

While Transformers Prime deals with the compelling story of how every piece of junk ever launched from cybertron lands in Jack's back yard, Transformers ~Prime could deal with... well... pretty much anything else. The idea of a gestalt team helming an autobot battle cruiser out searching for decepticons, or of a group of transformers stranded on a dead quintesson world, or whatever would provide a much different atmosphere, a different kind of toy (independant of design), and allow for the development of an alternate cast of characters (not so much a "b team" as a "new generation"?)...

My biggest concern is how to integrate the two concurrent toylines. If we start from the general assumption that Transformers Prime will (a) keep doing what it's doing, and (b) costs alot of money what with CGI, I'm inclined to think our 2nd series would have to be some other media. Comic books seem like they'd be out - IDW is doing their own stuff... often times poorly. Video games seem like they'd be cool, but I worry that they would be unable to create a video game designed to sell a toy that would be compelling - too much would rest upon satisfactory game play, format, and sequelness. Sure, I'd love a Pokemon/FF-esque RPG where you put together your own little gestalt team... but that seems hard to do right, and easy to do very, very wrong.

The best I can come up with (again, assuming the "base" series is TFP, a CGI series that gives us ~ 24 episodes a year of space junk... I kid...) is that Hasbro could do a miniseries each year - traditional animation (allowing for Prime guest spots in flashbacks...), dab new episodes during the "off season", and run marathons of the series every few months - perhaps treating it as one would a movie??? A traditionally animated series would be able to have a much wider cast, perhaps even guest starring Prime non-show characters, and would allow writers to flesh out the (Prime) Transformers Universe in a new, and interesting way. A different setting means a different set of stories (and alt modes), and it's easy to imagine this being a gateway series into the larger (Prime) toyline/universe.

Edited by MagmatronPrime, 11 February 2012 - 02:59 PM.


#2 Spark

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:24 AM

Too answer your main question, no. I can't see Hasbro and retailers having much incentive to cause that much confusion on the shelves.
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#3 Benbot

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:28 AM

We get enough toys as it is. But I would like to see a well animated (CGI or cell, I don't care) G1 styled series based on not Earth with not Bumblebee and not Prime. They have millions of years, millions of potential characters, and an entire universe to work with here. For once I'd like to see something that's not a reboot of the familiar.

#4 Guest_MagmatronPrime_*

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:45 AM

QUOTE(Spark @ Feb 9 2012, 01:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Too answer your main question, no. I can't see Hasbro and retailers having much incentive to cause that much confusion on the shelves.

Generations/DOTM/PCC
Generations/Movie Series/Prime

Hasbro has - wisely or not - had at least 2 ongoing series side-by-side since bayformers/Animated, with "3" being the current number.

All I'm suggesting is throwing a cartoon at one of the other series and having both be in the same universe...

QUOTE(Benbot @ Feb 9 2012, 01:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We get enough toys as it is. But I would like to see a well animated (CGI or cell, I don't care) G1 styled series based on not Earth with not Bumblebee and not Prime. They have millions of years, millions of potential characters, and an entire universe to work with here. For once I'd like to see something that's not a reboot of the familiar.

1. I have never heard anyone say we have had too many generations toys yet.
2. If you're anti-bayformers, you've got one series (Generations) to buy. I'm sure there's a joke about those liking bayformers being financially incapable of purchasing them, but I think it'd be crude to make such an insinuation.
3. Early episodes of Prime are good indicators of the limitations of CGI to pull off large casts and varied settings... so cell, preferably. Especially if you're going to do a guest spot of the other, main, series characters...

The good thing about 2 ongoing series would be that it would allow one to focus on the core, must-have, cast, while the other could focus on a "gimmick" (mini-cons, gestalts, whatever) while letting you tell other stories, develop other brand name characters, etc.

Edited by MagmatronPrime, 09 February 2012 - 12:51 AM.


#5 Spark

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 12:48 AM

You explicitly said mainlines. In all of those you mentioned, there is one definite mainline and two sidelines.
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#6 Guest_MagmatronPrime_*

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:02 AM

QUOTE(Spark @ Feb 9 2012, 01:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You explicitly said mainlines. In all of those you mentioned, there is one definite mainline and two sidelines.

I'm pretty sure that the movie line counts as a "main line". I'm also pretty sure that Transformers animated counts as a "main line" when they're actively producing a show for it and releasing a comprable # of toys in each line during the same period of time.

I'll concede that PCC and Generations have been "minor" lines... although PCCs did have 2 pricepoints...

#7 The Doctor Who

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:03 AM

From a business perspective, Hasbro isn't likely to do that. Mostly, I imagine because of simple practicality. I mean, to have two 'main' lines would require double the expenses for promotion, packaging, shipping etc and what we've learned from the Prime-series that that sometimes even just a single primary line can run into major roadblocks. I can only imagine what would happen if they tried to push two at once.

What's more likely is the direction they've seemingly moved now, in which the 'main' line (in this case Robots in Disguise) will contain figures from the current fiction (Transformers: Prime) and other non-fiction figures that Hasbro wishes to sell under a blanket title, rather than a show-specific one.

Honestly, that's probably for the best, at least right now.

Edited by The Doctor Who, 09 February 2012 - 01:05 AM.

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#8 Spark

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:19 AM

QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 9 2012, 01:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(Spark @ Feb 9 2012, 01:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You explicitly said mainlines. In all of those you mentioned, there is one definite mainline and two sidelines.

I'm pretty sure that the movie line counts as a "main line". I'm also pretty sure that Transformers animated counts as a "main line" when they're actively producing a show for it and releasing a comprable # of toys in each line during the same period of time.

I'll concede that PCC and Generations have been "minor" lines... although PCCs did have 2 pricepoints...

The movie lines supersede all others. Animated was cut short to make way for the next movie,which should tell you Hasbro's opinion on having two concurrent mainlines. Generations and PCC were never considered mainlines to begin with. Prime is in stores as DOTM filters out to be replaced with the Trilogy sideline. A very easy indicator of a mainline is whether or not it has Leader Class figures.
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#9 Blues

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:30 AM

QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 9 2012, 01:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The best I can come up with (again, assuming the "base" series is TFP, a CGI series that gives us ~ 24 episodes a year of space junk... I kid...) is that Hasbro could do a miniseries each year - traditional animation (allowing for Prime guest spots in flashbacks...), dab new episodes during the "off season", and run marathons of the series every few months - perhaps treating it as one would a movie??? A traditionally animated series would be able to have a much wider cast, perhaps even guest starring Prime non-show characters, and would allow writers to flesh out the (Prime) Transformers Universe in a new, and interesting way. A different setting means a different set of stories (and alt modes), and it's easy to imagine this being a gateway series into the larger (Prime) toyline/universe.

So you want side stories for prime?

Why would that need another toyline? It fits right into the main line.

#10 Detour

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 01:39 AM

Well aren't they doing Rescue Bots and TFP as cartoons and toylines concurrently? Doesn't that count?

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#11 Axaday

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 03:36 AM

QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 8 2012, 11:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My biggest concern is how to integrate the two concurrent toylines. If we start from the general assumption that Transformers Prime will (a) keep doing what it's doing, and (b) costs alot of money what with CGI, I'm inclined to think our 2nd series would have to be some other media. Comic books seem like they'd be out - IDW is doing their own stuff... often times poorly. Video games seem like they'd be cool, but I worry that they would be unable to create a video game designed to sell a toy that would be compelling - too much would rest upon satisfactory game play, format, and sequelness. Sure, I'd love a Pokemon/FF-esque RPG where you put together your own little gestalt team... but that seems hard to do right, and easy to do very, very wrong.

The best I can come up with (again, assuming the "base" series is TFP, a CGI series that gives us ~ 24 episodes a year of space junk... I kid...) is that Hasbro could do a miniseries each year - traditional animation (allowing for Prime guest spots in flashbacks...), dab new episodes during the "off season", and run marathons of the series every few months - perhaps treating it as one would a movie??? A traditionally animated series would be able to have a much wider cast, perhaps even guest starring Prime non-show characters, and would allow writers to flesh out the (Prime) Transformers Universe in a new, and interesting way. A different setting means a different set of stories (and alt modes), and it's easy to imagine this being a gateway series into the larger (Prime) toyline/universe.


I'm going to nearly ignore the semantics problem here, where you have 2 things that are both "main". Why do both mainlines need to have a show or something? And if they do, why let IDW off the hook? Hasbro just has to start showing the combiners to IDW and say, "These are gonna be in your books. Are you excited?" CHUG could have been a main line if they'd quit changing the brand. One that lasted several years. And it would have been simple to tie that in with IDW. They practically did, what with Blurr and Drift being straight off the page. So I think you just want them to go to IDW and say, "We're doing Energon again for some reason. We think we can do it well now."

#12 Destron D-69

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 05:19 AM

it didn't work well for Micromasters and actionmasters
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#13 Shattered

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 06:21 AM

QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 9 2012, 12:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2. If you're anti-bayformers, you've got one series (Generations) to buy. I'm sure there's a joke about those liking bayformers being financially incapable of purchasing them, but I think it'd be crude to make such an insinuation.


I don't follow.


#14 ▲ndrusi

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:18 AM

QUOTE(Shattered @ Feb 9 2012, 06:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 9 2012, 12:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2. If you're anti-bayformers, you've got one series (Generations) to buy. I'm sure there's a joke about those liking bayformers being financially incapable of purchasing them, but I think it'd be crude to make such an insinuation.


I don't follow.

I'm confused, too.

QUOTE(orionpax44 @ Jun 24 2012, 01:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Childrens toys? whaa the boxes seriously say ages 5+ I consider myself the plus.
QUOTE(mx-01 archon @ Sep 9 2012, 01:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're talking to ▲ndrusi. Assume everything that he posts is snark.

#15 M Sipher

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:19 AM

"HURF DURF BAYFORMERS AN PEOPLE WHO LIEK THEM BE STOOPID LOSURS"


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#16 ZacWilliam1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:20 AM

While it's probably unlikely. I CAN see Hasbro conceivable splitting the main line under just the right circumsatance. Two current cartoons, which I'm not sure they'd ever actually do, but IF if for some reason that happened, would be reasonable ground to run two equal sub-headings.

I think you could justify the concept by what Hasbro did with RtS and Generation. No they weren't equal per say, but the idea was mainly that the two lines let Hasbro grab more shelf space and get more CHUGUR style toys out there then they'd have been able to release with one line.

If TFs had a super Boom year and for some strange reason Hub did have two seperate but equal TF shows going on... Then sure, two line segments gets Hasbro more shelf space. Don't think it'll ever happen but it's not inconcievable to me.


-ZacWilliam, trying to imagine if Cyberverse and RiD delt with entirely different sets of characters (Earth vs Cybertron?)... That'd be weird...

Edited by ZacWilliam1, 09 February 2012 - 08:22 AM.

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#17 Hecate

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 08:23 AM

People still post on Bottalk?!

#18 Naas

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:26 AM

QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 9 2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1. I have never heard anyone say we have had too many generations toys yet.

'Course not. This is a fandom that loves spending.


QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 9 2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
2. If you're anti-bayformers, you've got one series (Generations) to buy. .

The RTS portion of Transformers: Adjectiveless had Generations-ish toys.
QUOTE(MagmatronPrime @ Feb 9 2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The good thing about 2 ongoing series would be that it would allow one to focus on the core, must-have, cast, while the other could focus on a "gimmick" (mini-cons, gestalts, whatever) while letting you tell other stories, develop other brand name characters, etc.

So... the side-stories thing Blues mentioned?
QUOTE(Destron D-69 @ Feb 9 2012, 05:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
it didn't work well for Micromasters and actionmasters

But, weren't those just under "The Transformers"?

QUOTE(ZacWilliam1 @ Feb 9 2012, 08:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
-ZacWilliam, trying to imagine if Cyberverse and RiD delt with entirely different sets of characters (Earth vs Cybertron?)... That'd be weird...

Would that be more weird than Alternators being on the shelves the same time as the UT toys?

QUOTE(Hora Hora @ Feb 9 2012, 08:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
People still post on Bottalk?!

For a bit there I thought you meant the B.O.T Talk subforum.

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#19 ZacWilliam1

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:34 AM

QUOTE(Item42 @ Feb 9 2012, 09:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE(ZacWilliam1 @ Feb 9 2012, 08:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
-ZacWilliam, trying to imagine if Cyberverse and RiD delt with entirely different sets of characters (Earth vs Cybertron?)... That'd be weird...

Would that be more weird than Alternators being on the shelves the same time as the UT toys?


Yes, frankly. The Alternators were an extremely small collector aimed product line where the characters had no fiction or bio or backstory at all besides a name on a box. They were basically collector show pieces with generaly only two toys on the shelf at any time.

That's very different from two quite large sublines of kid aimed toys at entirely different scales dealing with entirely different casts in different parts of the same fictional story universe.


-ZacWilliam, not really the same thing at all.

Edited by ZacWilliam1, 09 February 2012 - 09:35 AM.

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#20 Naas

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:42 AM

QUOTE(ZacWilliam1 @ Feb 9 2012, 09:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes, frankly. The Alternators were an extremely small collector aimed product line where the characters had no fiction or bio or backstory at all besides a name on a box. They were basically collector show pieces with generaly only two toys on the shelf at any time.

That's very different from two quite large sublines of kid aimed toys at entirely different scales dealing with entirely different casts in different parts of the same fictional story universe.


-ZacWilliam, not really the same thing at all.


Huh, I thought you meant the weird part was simply two lines of vastly different style and scale.

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