Studio Series 2022 First Look

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LordGigaIce

Well-known member
Citizen
It's why I love Warden's tenure. Combiners? Headmasters? Sure!

Archer's approach was cool in its own way, but it often felt like his team (or the people directly above him) were too caught up in their own design ethos to just do the thing that works.

Like how Universe 2.0, the much anticipated follow-up to Classics, both had to adhere to movie style transformations and movie style design standards.
A lot of those figures were subpar even for the time because they were trying to fit square pegs into round holes, but Galvatron is the perfect embodiment of why I like Warden's approach.

Archer's team had to make him a realistic tank and had to make him a complex realistic tank because MOVIE but Warden's crew flat out said "here's Galvatron. He looks like G1 and he's a giant purple space cannon with an orange barrel."

That's all it ever had to be, and Archer's team routinely felt like they were overthinking the assignment.
 

Superomegaprime

Wondering bot
Citizen
It's why I love Warden's tenure. Combiners? Headmasters? Sure!

Archer's approach was cool in its own way, but it often felt like his team (or the people directly above him) were too caught up in their own design ethos to just do the thing that works.

Like how Universe 2.0, the much anticipated follow-up to Classics, both had to adhere to movie style transformations and movie style design standards.
A lot of those figures were subpar even for the time because they were trying to fit square pegs into round holes, but Galvatron is the perfect embodiment of why I like Warden's approach.

Archer's team had to make him a realistic tank and had to make him a complex realistic tank because MOVIE but Warden's crew flat out said "here's Galvatron. He looks like G1 and he's a giant purple space cannon with an orange barrel."

That's all it ever had to be, and Archer's team routinely felt like they were overthinking the assignment.

Then some bozo said to downsize Galvatron from voyager to deluxe and the first modern Galvatron figure that wasn't a repaint of Megatron suffered because of that idiotic choice, but then Cyclonus was a bit of a victim of a idiotic choice back then, when they made only one hand capable of holding a gun, if they not done that, that Cyclonus would of been prefect!
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
What made it all the more annoying is we did have things like Universe Cyclonus, which was just Cyclonus. So the whole 'Must have realistic alt mode and must be as complex as possible because MOVIE' rule wasn't actually a rule. The designs they ruined with that approach were ruined for nothing.
 

Andrusi

Lun!
Citizen
From about 1986 through 2010?
Is a Hasbro or Takara designer known to have stated an opinion that an Arcee toy was non-viable prior to 2010? If so, did they provide any details that would reconcile this belief with the 2004 release of Energon Arcee?
 

MrBlud

Well-known member
Citizen
It might be hard to believe for some of the youngsters but time was Transformers was a property that pretty often reinvented itself. It wasn’t “varying flavors of ‘84 G1” in three concurrent lines.

If somebody wanted a G1 Arcee it would be left to an outside vendor like 3H to clumsily force her into a wholly inappropriate mold because it had visible breasts and Arcee was (nominally) female.

Hasbro was too busy making new characters to try and lazily relive and cash out on their past successes.

How times have changed…
 

Sabrblade

Continuity Nutcase
Citizen
It's why I love Warden's tenure. Combiners? Headmasters? Sure!

Archer's approach was cool in its own way, but it often felt like his team (or the people directly above him) were too caught up in their own design ethos to just do the thing that works.

Like how Universe 2.0, the much anticipated follow-up to Classics, both had to adhere to movie style transformations and movie style design standards.
A lot of those figures were subpar even for the time because they were trying to fit square pegs into round holes, but Galvatron is the perfect embodiment of why I like Warden's approach.

Archer's team had to make him a realistic tank and had to make him a complex realistic tank because MOVIE but Warden's crew flat out said "here's Galvatron. He looks like G1 and he's a giant purple space cannon with an orange barrel."

That's all it ever had to be, and Archer's team routinely felt like they were overthinking the assignment.
In addition to "Realism! Because Movies!", Archer very much held the personal sentiment of "Why would we make toys that look faithful to character designs from the 1980s? Kids today in the 2000s don't give a care about archaic media devices like cassette players, or car designs from 2-3 decades ago. Everything must be MODERN and UP-TO-DATE! Soundwave MUST be a vehicle, not a tape player!"

Also, prior to Fall of Cybertron, Archer Era Hasbro's opinions about the Dinobots basically amounted to "Giant metal dinosaurs are TERRIBLE disguises! They could NEVER hide themselves in the middle of a city street!"

It was like one excuse after another just to avoid giving fans modern-day toys that actually looked like characters that many grew up seeing and adoring on TV.
 

MrBlud

Well-known member
Citizen
Really hard to target “Kids” with designs they “grew up seeing and adoring on TV 2-3 decades ago” outside of some weird Benjamin Button type setup.

40 year olds were never Archer’s target market. You can tell this from the little hints he occasionally let slip and the numerous times he AUDIBLY MADE THAT PLAIN.

Which still burns people up. Even now.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
Really hard to target “Kids” with designs they “grew up seeing and adoring on TV 2-3 decades ago” outside of some weird Benjamin Button type setup.

The thing I've never understood about this point is that it was never terribly clear why kids were supposed to care about the new versions either.

Kids didn't grow up seeing Universe Galvatron on TV.
 

LordGigaIce

Well-known member
Citizen
40 year olds were never Archer’s target market. You can tell this from the little hints he occasionally let slip and the numerous times he AUDIBLY MADE THAT PLAIN.
I mean I agreed with him at the time. Adult collectors weren't a huge factor, and some G1 concepts didn't seem to fit about what we knew about the 2000s toy business.

I guess my point is...either some things changed or what we all thought we knew in 2008 was off base. By all accounts the Warden-era lines sell well. And while this is 100% purely anecdotal I've heard of kids today viewing Soundwave's cassette dudes from Generations as memory cards. Factor in the new life tape decks have gotten in pop culture thanks to stuff like Guardians of the Galaxy...

I just think that either things have shifted considerably in the market from the 2000s to today where collector oriented stuff is way more viable or the preconceived notions that Archer and many of us (myself included) were operating under in the 2000s weren't accurate.

Like everything that we were told couldn't happen for market reasons (Headmasters, Combiners, Dinobots, G1 designs, tape deck Soundwave and Blaster, etc...) did happen and were successful. For all the talk of "40 year olds weren't the market" it does seem like there are kids who are digging what Generations is putting down. It is selling.

Which still burns people up. Even now.
That seems like you're assuming a lot.
Full disclosure? My opinion on Aaron Archer turned when he got into bed with Play With This Too. He was right to call unlicensed third party stuff out for the IP infringement it was, only to jump into bed with Rik Alvarez of all people.

My opinion of him as the point man for the Transformers toy brand got more critical when I began to notice the above- that the new team was pulling off everything he insisted wasn't possible. It made me re-evaluate what I thought I knew about the toy industry and marketplace, and critically re-evaluate Archer and his team's MO.
 
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Sabrblade

Continuity Nutcase
Citizen
The thing I've never understood about this point is that it was never terribly clear why kids were supposed to care about the new versions either.

Kids didn't grow up seeing Universe Galvatron on TV.
That's a good point too. Lines like Classics, Universe, and Reveal the Shield were all about making new toys of old characters that primarily just the adult fanbase knew and cared about, yet maintained Archer's stance about updating the designs for the current generation of children. While Classics was just a filler line always meant to be short-lived, the other two really went all-out on making characters that were largely of interest more to the adult fans. I mean, Japanese-original Leo Prime and G1 Micromasters Treadbolt/Storm Cloud/Countdown, of all characters? As big-ticket Voyager and Ultra class releases? No way did kids in the 2000s know any of them as characters.

It seemed like those lines had the older fanbase at least partially in mind, given the character choices in each one, but still refused to make the characters look true to their original designs, barring some few outliers like the aforementioned Cyclonus or the G1-accurate redeco of Classics Starscream. Like, I'm sure many fans were excited about a new Beast Wars Dinobot that especially had a show-accurately-sculpted robot head, but probably not a Dinobot that was yellow, gray and purple instead of gold, brown and blue (on top of some other issues people took with that mold, but I digress). It's no wonder that the Henkei! Henkei! and United redecos were such a hit in Hasbro's markets, even if they were more expensive and, in some cases, very hard to come by.
 

CoffeeHorse

*sip*
Staff member
Council of Elders
Citizen
We're just too old to understand. It wasn't about us. The target market for Universe Dinobot was kids who didn't know who Dinobot is. Kids wouldn't have recognized him if he'd had his colors from a show they hadn't seen anyway, so they wouldn't want one. He needed bizarre new colors that they also had never seen before and wouldn't recognize. Then they would want one.

Somebody was full of it.
 

LordGigaIce

Well-known member
Citizen
I keep coming back to Galvatron because it was such a head scratcher that encompassed all the insane doublethink of that era.

It's 2008, movie stuff is big, and kids don't know what stuffy G1 is. So to make G1 stuff in Universe viable it needs to look and feel like the movie stuff. So alt modes and colours need to be realistic! Galvatron can't be a weird purple space cannon, he needs to be a realistic grey tank!

But also his giant translucent orange cannon barrel can be the grey tank's barrel because...realism...

That toy had so much wrong with it, and I grant the at the time team a mulligan in that some bean counter forced them to downsize it, but even accounting for that the ethos was all wrong.
 

Noideaforaname

On Program
Citizen
I think they meant Arcees styled after the G1 one who turns into a car.

Yeah, G1 Arcee is obviously a "girl appeal" design, but TFs has been adamantly "for boys", so any toys Arcee got had a "cool" redesign: downplaying the pink, giving her a giant weapon, having her turn into anything but a Barbie Dream Car, etc. Things have changed a lot since, well, the last time there was a Prime Arcee on the shelves.
 

CheeseSomersault

New member
Citizen
The thing I've never understood about this point is that it was never terribly clear why kids were supposed to care about the new versions either.

Kids didn't grow up seeing Universe Galvatron on TV.
Yes! This is what always confused me. A character design from the 80's will be just as new to a kid as a total redesign would be.

It's a similar reason why I can't reconcile the argument that the brand needs a radical refresh or it will die, with the argument that children are the primary target demographic. Children don't need a radical brand refresh because the child demographic refreshes itself. Every few years there's a brand new cohort of kids that have never seen Bumblebee before. It's why superheros like Spiderman can maintain a fairly consistent design in kid-focused media over the years - because there are new kids for which the design still seems cool.

If anyone is going to find the brand going stale it's us older fans. And it's fine to feel that way! I just think we should be honest that WE feel that way, and not try to sell it as just a concern for the longevity of the brand.
 

Lobjob

Active member
Citizen
I just miss the constant reinventions of the UT and CHUG. Especially when we are guaranteed to get certain characters every year. The designs don't have to be as crazy as say, Cybertron Megatron, but if they were, I would be cool with it.
 
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