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An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

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An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Delta Magnus » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:20 pm

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One thing I've noticed with a lot of 3rd-party combiners is their over-reliance on partsforming and combiner kibble.

Basically every single 3rd-party combiner relies on separate parts to complete the combined mode, which often have nowhere to go on the individual toys (or they do have somewhere to go but it looks daft). The feet will inevitably be separate parts (although to their credit, the 2 not-Devastators avoided this and integrated the feet into the leg robots), the hands are always extra parts, and often other integral parts of the combiner (forearms, shoulders etc) are kibble.

I own the Fansproject Bruticus set, and whilst I love it to bits, I do find the over-reliance on kibble annoying. Thanks to the distribution of parts between figures, when they're separate they all have to either be in vehicle or robot mode thanks to the parts-swapping shenanigans. Also it results in Onslaught's shoulders being hindered by the colossal foot blocks, which fall off ALL THE TIME. Now granted, they were making an upgrade kit to an existing set of Hasbro figures, but...eh, it bugs me.

Another example is the Rage of Hercules set (note: I don't own Herc or the ROH set). The set is unique in that aside from the fists (which can be used as GIANT POWER FISTS or mounted on the vehicle mode as...vehicle hands?) there is practically no partsforming. The transformation is entirely integrated, the treads form the forearms, the feet are built in...It's almost perfect. The ROH set, however, adds shoulder blocks, new forearms and a new gun to the set which essentially end up as kibble in the separate modes with some very tenuous weapon configurations. It slightly improves the combined form, but makes the overall combination dynamic much worse.

So, why on earth don't these companies try harder to integrate the combiner parts rather than having them as kibble junk? The hands I can understand having as extra pieces, as a giant hand is hard to disguise in the separate modes (although I could argue that combiners, being temporary forms used purely for destruction, don't actually need hands and would do just as well with weapon mounts) and the feet just need to be slightly moveable flat surfaces. Heck, hasbro has managed to do "integrated" combiner parts fairly well- the Energon combiners's only kibble was the hands and feet, which were the limb's own weapons (thus resulting in no weapon-swapping) and the FOC Bruticus has all his combiner parts fully integrated. Surely if Hasbro can do it on "toy" budgets then 3rd parties can do it, and do it better?
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Blurrz wrote:I cant get into Combiner Wars.. the combined mode doesn't look like its flush, as if they're just upscaling PCCs.

I know what you mean. It looks like they took 5 robots and combined them into one big robot. It doesn't make any sense!
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:39 pm

Well ... Hasbro combiners suck. Let's just get that out of the way. I mean, they're passable and they're decent for what they are, but I'll take a $400 combiner I love to bits over a $100 combiner I put together once and forget about any day.


I think there are two big reasons for Partsforming.
1) G1. You can't get the G1 look without partsforming. The shields, the hands, the overall look ... it's just not gonna happen. Devestator is a special case. His feet were never separate pieces, so they're good all on their own. No need for improvements there. The rest is just modern technology. Although, calling his hands integrated is really stretching the word to absurdity. Hands sticking off the back of vehicles or robots is not proper integration.

2) Engeneering. Fact is having a dedicated foot be a separate piece or hands being separate just make the whole gestalt stronger in all modes. And if all three modes are better because the hands and feet are separate, then I'll take that.

Just imagine is Superion had to be fully integrated. Maybe we'll see how that goes with Hasbro's take; I forsee a mess. And probably a not-very-G1 mess at that.

The only combiner that fails is UT's Predaking. The way it uses parts is like it's an add-on set forcing character who were never meant to combine to do so. I have it and am pretty let down by it.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Mkall » Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:57 pm

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I would much rather an addon than having to sacrifice the robot or altmode in order to incorporate the needed pieces.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Tsutsukakushi » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:01 pm

HasTak said that one of their main reasons for getting rid of combiners parts forming was due to the kiddies losing parts easily.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby craggy » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:28 pm

Hasbro's best chance for making nice, fully integrated combiners was the PCC line, but they f-ed up making vehicles turn into limbs even without individual robot modes. I think third parties have capitalised on this by making us feel glad that any combiners they make don't smell like raw sewage and steal our lunch money.

edit: although, personally, I don't mind partsforming on my gestalts.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Rated X » Fri Jul 18, 2014 6:50 pm

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Im not a fan of parts integration. I dont need all that combiner kibble ruining the individual bot or alt modes. Id rather it be out of veiw in my parts storage container. Besides it only makes the figures more overly complex, extremely delicate, and raises the price of the figure FP Diesel is the perfect example of parts integration gone bad.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Agamemnon » Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:14 pm

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I'll throw in and say that I feel exactly the opposite of the title of the thread. I found the hands of Herc to be a neat idea, creating some dragging plows. MMC's predaking is very decent with the fists fitting into the feet, and the feet looking like backpacks on both the bot and animal modes. As others have said, while FoC Bruticus integrated hands and feet more, some of the engineering left the overall figure lacking. I felt it could have been so much better. Plus, I don't like the always-karate-chopping hand. Or, I suppose we could end up with Energon hands and feet. *shudder*
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Shadowstream » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:22 pm

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Combiner kibble is a thing that simply can't not exist, and I see no issue with that. Individual robot to vehicle conversions that become sacrificed in the face of parts forming, however, can go burn in hell. :evil:
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Yotsuyasan » Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:38 pm

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Rated X wrote:FP Diesel is the perfect example of parts integration gone bad.


Because having all of the extra parts contained in a nice compact tidy box (the rear half of the trailer) that is easy to put aside without loosing anything is... bad?

I'd actually argue that Fansproject's Stunticons did a great job.

All of the extra parts are integrated into Motormaster / Diesel. This means that the four limb-bots are completely combiner kibble free when not in the gestalt form.

If you want to play with Motormaster as a 100% separate entity (without consideration for Menasor), you have the option of making the short truck. This gives you a Diesel that is completely combiner kibble free (if you ignore the extra head in his chest), and even still has his two rifles.

Image

The kibble he does come with all connects together to form one convenient whole, meaning you're not left with a ton of pieces to keep track of. You just need to keep track of one unit.

Image

There is an option to use these parts in robot mode, it is purely optional, and it is still completely self contained within Motormaster.

Image

And when forming Menasor, aside from the fists, all of the parts are still self contained within the central core that Motormaster forms.

Image

There's still a bit of parts forming, but that is unavoidable. By their very nature, gestalts have to be parts formers. At the very least, you have the parts formed by the individual members themselves.

So to sum up, I actually see him as one of the least kibble-burdened and best integrated third party combiners, ever. Definitely the least amongst the three I have. Almost everything is integrated together fairly well within Motormaster, with only the fists as extra pieces that he stores, and has to loan out to others.

Mind you, the only other two I have are Giant, who is still pretty good (the two forearms and the chest shield, which still integrate decently, but get moved around to different people depending on the mode they are in) and Fansproject's upgraded Bruticus... who is something of a mess of integration, but I'm more forgiving of this as it is an upgrade working with pre-existing toys, rather then a set originally designed all as one unit.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:17 pm

FP's Bruticus was pretty decent, though. Everything worked at least.

If we're talking about integration failure, I'd say DMY's upgrade for FP's upgrade for Superion takes the cake. Looks okay in gestalt mode, but everything stacked on the alt modes makes for a mess. Wish I could find a pic, though.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby MGrotusque » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:10 pm

Funny thing, I was just looking at my FP Bruticus today and was admiring on how good it is. How the parts forming is integrated almost seamlessly into the Gestalt form. It's a great example on how it can be done right.

I don't have a problem with parts forming at all especially if all the parts can be incorporated believably into the alt and bot modes as weapons, armour or whatever.

On a side note i think he has some of the best hands out any combiner. Super articulated and there isn't another set out there like them plus they turn into rocket launchers for Vortex.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Shadowstream » Fri Jul 18, 2014 11:43 pm

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Yotsuyasan wrote:
Rated X wrote:FP Diesel is the perfect example of parts integration gone bad.


Because having all of the extra parts contained in a nice compact tidy box (the rear half of the trailer) that is easy to put aside without loosing anything is... bad?

I'd actually argue that Fansproject's Stunticons did a great job.

All of the extra parts are integrated into Motormaster / Diesel. This means that the four limb-bots are completely combiner kibble free when not in the gestalt form.

If you want to play with Motormaster as a 100% separate entity (without consideration for Menasor), you have the option of making the short truck. This gives you a Diesel that is completely combiner kibble free (if you ignore the extra head in his chest), and even still has his two rifles.

My low opinion of Fansproject aside, I find the parts integration steps over a few too many borders. It's good because it's all primarily confined to the one densely packed container, but it does get pretty damned stuffed up in order to do so. Also the short truck just doesn't appeal to me at all, I'd rather if they were going to confine the kibble to the trailer then they should make the WHOLE trailer removable. As it stands Diesel strikes that line I despise seeing crossed by sacrificing the robot to vehicle conversion with parts-forming.

MGrotusque wrote:Funny thing, I was just looking at my FP Bruticus today and was admiring on how good it is. How the parts forming is integrated almost seamlessly into the Gestalt form. It's a great example on how it can be done right.

I don't have a problem with parts forming at all especially if all the parts can be incorporated believably into the alt and bot modes as weapons, armour or whatever.

On a side note i think he has some of the best hands out any combiner. If anything there's aren't another set out there like them.

Colossus' parts are one of the main reasons I have distain for FP now. The weapons are fine for the most part, but all the bits that are used to combine are poorly designed and so brittle they break just from looking at them wrong, LITERALLY! The hands don't work because if you have them bent at anything more than 15 degrees at the knuckle, it warps the plastic and causes the damn fingers to fall off if they're not permanently bent, which, for the sake of individual storage, they cannot do. The feet are an incredible hindrance for Onslaught's robot mode and have nowhere else to go otherwise, they just exist to get in the way. The waist plate is also pretty pointless on it's own, so it just gets stuck to the back of the double barreled cannon uselessly. The missile pod shoulder connectors are 100% misery, and if I need to explain why again the flaps break whether they have any reason to or not, and the only place they have to go in any mode is on the vortex mold, and even then they never did hold on that well, even before I had to modify the pegs.

Bottom line: Colossus looks good combined, but his kibble is kibble in any other mode and nothing more.
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Shadowstream wrote:It's quite clear they dun dropped the ball, but did they have to drop it so far and so hard?

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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby MGrotusque » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:08 am

The point I'm trying to make is that parts forming is acceptable and can be done well. With those parts being engineered/camouflaged into the bot and vehicle modes believably. Sure it's not perfect yet,hence the existence of this thread, but when and if the bugs with the kibbleness get ironed out and everyone can be happy all at once It's something people who don't like it will have to suffer and like it or don't buy combiners at all till the wheel gets reinvented with gestalt design.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby megatronus » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:39 am

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Combiners are parts-formers. Without parts-forming or kibble, you cannot have combiners. Period.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Shadowstream » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:08 am

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I'm not disagreeing, just saying the FP combiners aren't wholly the best examples, especially colossus.
MightyMagnus78 wrote:Nothing Hasbro does surprises me anymore, their ineptitude is legendary!

Burn wrote:
Shadowstream wrote:It's quite clear they dun dropped the ball, but did they have to drop it so far and so hard?

It's FunPub. It's their specialty.

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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Yotsuyasan » Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:13 am

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MGrotusque wrote:Funny thing, I was just looking at my FP Bruticus today and was admiring on how good it is. How the parts forming is integrated almost seamlessly into the Gestalt form. It's a great example on how it can be done right.


I quite like my Bruticus as well. I can see why people have issues with him, I just don't share them. It's an upgrade, not a piece that was designed organically as a whole. I expect some parts forming in that case, and also give it some extra leeway on integration. It may not be 100% perfect, but I appreciate that they tried to find a way to use every part in every mode.

MGrotusque wrote:On a side note i think he has some of the best hands out any combiner. If anything there's aren't another set out there like them.


I'd put Menasor's hands on par with his. Of course, those were both FansProject!

Shadowstream wrote:As it stands Diesel strikes that line I despise seeing crossed by sacrificing the robot to vehicle conversion with parts-forming.


I don't understand that opinion. How is his individual transformation affected by parts forming in the slightest? Even if you don't like the short truck (which I will admit I am not the biggest fan of either, I just presented it as an option if you were adamant about not wanting any extra parts) there's one giant chunk to remove and set aside. You said you wouldn't mind if the whole trailer was removable, so why is it objectionable to have to put aside half of the trailer? And other than that, Motormaster's transformation is, if somewhat complex, otherwise completely standard. Removing one part and setting it aside is hardly parts forming.

Unless you're making that argument with his armored up form in mind, in which case... Oh no! His weapons are separate parts! Um... Isn't that the case with most Transformers?

Shadowstream wrote:Colossus' parts are one of the main reasons I have distain for FP now. The weapons are fine for the most part, but all the bits that are used to combine are poorly designed and so brittle they break just from looking at them wrong, LITERALLY! (Snip of the specifics.)

Bottom line: Colossus looks good combined, but his kibble is kibble in any other mode and nothing more.


I disagree that the parts do nothing in other modes. For example, this:

Image

is a heck of a lot better of a vehicle mode for Onslaught then this:

Image

was. Yes, it isn't perfect. I'll agree that Onslaught's shoulder pads can inhibit articulation and fall off easily if bumped. The hand held weapons formed by the gestalt's hands are kind of clunky to hold. Vortex's missile pods can be a bit floppy in either mode. But with a bit of fiddling, you can get results that look darn good!

Image
Image

As far as fragility of parts, such as the gestalt's fingers or shoulder pieces... I have heard on occasion people complaining about such things... So unless it was just you complaining a lot, I will concede that this is not unique or unheard of. But from personal experience, this is not something I've yet encountered.

He seems pretty well put together to me. I've bent his fingers every which way you can imagine. (Well, that the joints are designed to allow, at least.) I transform him semi-frequently, then leave him/them for a week or two in whatever mode they're now in, so the fingers have also spent plenty of time being perfectly straight as well. I've never had one pop off or break. And I've had him over a year at this point, so I can't say, "Well, he's just new. He's not yet stood the test of time."

So I am forced to conclude that either you (and a few others) had the misfortune to get a slightly faulty batch, or I just got lucky enough to get one from a super perfect batch. (Disclosure: I do have the reissued version, so I suppose it is possible that if faults were found with the molds, they were corrected.)

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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Delta Magnus » Sat Jul 19, 2014 9:58 am

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Well, that escalated quickly! :lol:

In all seriousness, though, I can accept that to some degree, partsforming is a necessary evil when it comes to combiners. My problem is when the extra parts have nowhere to go outside of gestalt mode, or when they do have somewhere to go but it's impractical/ugly as hell.

An example of combiner kibble done well is the MMC Feral Rex/Not Predaking. The hands and feet are very well stored, the hand slotting into the foot which forms a kind of artillery piece/backpack that can be carried in vehicle and robot mode (and doesn't cause any problems when transforming either, unlike the FP Bruticus). Likewise, Hercules- his only combiner kibble is the hands and the chestplate, which both have somewhere to go in the individual modes (and the chestplate isn't really necessary for the combined mode anyway).

By the looks of things, though, the upcoming TFC not-Defensor, Prometheus, has add-on feet with nowhere to go in the individual modes. They don't seem to form extra accessories, they don't store anywhere, they don't transform into "drone" vehicles...they just sit off to the side with nothing to do. The TFC/Sirtoys not-Dinobots are even worse, relying heavily on combiner kibble, all of which is completely devoid of anywhere to go in the individual modes.

Now, it could be argued that these combiners need kibble to be accurate to the G1 combiners, but here's the thing; the G1 combiners were dreadful. Practically no articulation and a metric tonne of combiner kibble- not just feet and hands, but chestplates, weapons, heads, and all sorts- with literally no uses beyond being parts of the combined mode. And the individual robots were hardly great either, with typical brick-level articulation and somewhat crummy designs.

Of course, we can forgive these flaws, as it was the 80s and toy technology was far more limited. But why would we want to emulate the flaws these toys had when we have the technology to make much, much better figures? You can still homage the characters and concepts without slavishly obeying every single detail, including the crap bits.

Of course, there is the perfectly valid point that integrating the parts makes the individual robots worse. But the thing is, with modern engineering (and the kind of budgets 3rd party toymakers have for these things) that needn't be a problem. Feet would be very easy to integrate into the individual members of the team- all you actually need for feet are flat surfaces with a little bit of tilt. Not exactly difficult to engineer- you could very easily just form a foot from the front half of the leg-bot's vehicle mode. Hands would be more difficult to integrate, yes, but it has been done- FoC Vortex managed to do it, and his robot mode was plenty decent. In fact, its shortcomings arose from having to form an arm or a leg and budget restraints- the hand could have easily been made articulated for starters, and with a little work I'm sure the ankle tilts that everybody loves so much could have been worked in to the robot mode. And like I say, why would a combiner need normal hands? Wouldn't claws or built-in weapons make more sense? Like I say, some partsforming is necessary, but I think a lot of times, the designers of these things just go "You know, we could easily get this bit to form a useful part of the individual robot, but let's just make it a separate piece of junk in the non-combined mode, that's much easier".

The Energon combiners, in my opinion, got it right- the hands and feet were separate pieces, yes, but they just formed the weapons of the individual robots, and were the only parts requiring partsforming. And on top of that, they functioned as the combined form's weapons as well- forming giant claws, cannons and gun assemblies. Sure they could have been better (it would have been nice if there were 4 different limb-bots per combiner) but at the end of the day, they had to be made on a budget for the mass market, with all the pitfalls and safety standards that come with that, and factoring that in, they were pretty good.

The other thing that annoys me about partsforming is that it kind of detracts from what a combiner is supposed to be- a huge robot made from multiple smaller robots. To me at least, the charm of combiners is that they are formed entirely from the individual robots. When 50% of the combined robot form is extra junk it seems less like a combiner and more like a normal humongous mecha that just so happens to have some smaller robots inside him. The FansProject Menasor is particularly guilty of this IMO- the legs aren't even formed from the limb-bots, they're just not-Motormaster's legs extended and with cars stuck on them, which defeats the purpose of him being a combiner entirely.

Eh, I dunno. I just wish someone would at least try to make a combiner with the parts properly integrated. I'm absolutely sure it can be done, and done well (without compromising the individual modes) I just think someone needs to try it.
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Blurrz wrote:I cant get into Combiner Wars.. the combined mode doesn't look like its flush, as if they're just upscaling PCCs.

I know what you mean. It looks like they took 5 robots and combined them into one big robot. It doesn't make any sense!
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:20 am

You can still homage the characters and concepts without slavishly obeying every single detail, including the crap bits.


Ok, that's the rub here. Can you actually do that? Could you, for instance, emulate Devestator WITHOUT making his hands and chest shield separate pieces? Without compromising the other two modes? His feet don't count as clever integration; his G1 model had that.

And the other part is, an all new combiner would be able to do what you want, but a combiner based off G1 absolute needs those extra bits to work.

I can be with you on being annoyed with TFC for not making their feet into bazookas or something.

FoC Vortex isn't that great in arm mode, by the way. He's good for $15, but I have FoC Bruticus right beside me and it's got nothing to brag about. Again, though, he's not G1 Vortex. If you wanted a G1 inspired Vortex could you have him without making the hand a separate part? While still making him $100 good?
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Agamemnon » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:01 am

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Gauntlet101010 wrote:
You can still homage the characters and concepts without slavishly obeying every single detail, including the crap bits.


Ok, that's the rub here. Can you actually do that? Could you, for instance, emulate Devestator WITHOUT making his hands and chest shield separate pieces? Without compromising the other two modes? His feet don't count as clever integration; his G1 model had that.

And the other part is, an all new combiner would be able to do what you want, but a combiner based off G1 absolute needs those extra bits to work.

I can be with you on being annoyed with TFC for not making their feet into bazookas or something.

FoC Vortex isn't that great in arm mode, by the way. He's good for $15, but I have FoC Bruticus right beside me and it's got nothing to brag about. Again, though, he's not G1 Vortex. If you wanted a G1 inspired Vortex could you have him without making the hand a separate part? While still making him $100 good?

Emphasis mine. I was just thinking this same thing. Outside of TFC's Superion and Defensor, and maybe UT's Predaking, I cannot think of another modern 3P gestalt that falls into the category of this thread. Even TFC's Predaking seems to have some better storage, at least with the feet. (I've not paid enough attention to the hands to know where they store. I've been all in on MMC and have just had a passing interest on where the TFC Predacons have gone.) FP's gestalts have been well covered, with Menasor as an especially good example of parts storage. I'll probably have to have MakeToys Computron in hand to see how that combiner kibble stores as I do not recall seeing pictures of said kibble. I will have to say that MT's Paladin/Chaos and Mobine armors that go with the PCCs was very good at incorporating hands and feet, but that isn't really fair as they are more add-on parts.

I can certainly appreciate what Hasbro did with FoC Bruticus. And I would certainly applaud any 3P that was able to do such a thing with a modern combiner. Perhaps the Seacons or Abominus would be a good place to try such engineering. But I do think the original point was a bit unfair to 3P companies outside of TFC and maybe UT, especially as a modern perceived trend. Perhaps it will hold true the more we see and know about MT's Computron and Defensor...
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Delta Magnus » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:06 am

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Gauntlet101010 wrote:
Ok, that's the rub here. Can you actually do that? Could you, for instance, emulate Devestator WITHOUT making his hands and chest shield separate pieces? Without compromising the other two modes? His feet don't count as clever integration; his G1 model had that.


Well, you could always do away with the chest shield. Both the Giant and Hercules chest shields look kinda lame IMO. The hands I'll give you, although I am impressed that the individual Hercules robots can use the hands as power fists/earth scrapers.

And the other part is, an all new combiner would be able to do what you want, but a combiner based off G1 absolute needs those extra bits to work.


Depends how you define "based off" the G1 figures. As far as I'm concerned, a 3rd party Bruticus (as an example) should be based off G1 Bruticus in the sense that it is a combiner formed from 5 military vehicle Transformers (specifically, a tank, a helicopter, a military transporter, a jeep/truck and a jet of some sorts- because let's be honest, Blast Off turning into a space shuttle is silly). For example, I like the fact that Quantron (the MakeToys Computron) is mostly a completely original design that homages the G1 figure.

I will confess that I am very much a Transformer "progressive"- I like to see original, completely different designs for Transformers as opposed to simply updating the same designs over and over again, so my opinion on this is biased.

I can be with you on being annoyed with TFC for not making their feet into bazookas or something.


Exactly- if they pulled a Feral Rex and turned into cannons, or perhaps transformed into little support vehicles then that would (IMO) improve it a lot. My biggest beef isn't just with partsforming per se- it's with combiner kibble that does nothing outside of gestalt mode and just has to sit around awkwardly when the robots aren't combined. I feel the same way about weapons that don't store in a Transformer's vehicle mode- it just bugs me, man.

FoC Vortex isn't that great in arm mode, by the way. He's good for $15, but I have FoC Bruticus right beside me and it's got nothing to brag about. Again, though, he's not G1 Vortex. If you wanted a G1 inspired Vortex could you have him without making the hand a separate part? While still making him $100 good?


As you say, FOC Vortex is $15. This, and the fact he has to form a leg as well as an arm, is what hinders him. I reckon that if a 3rd-party company tried to redesign the figure such that it maintained the integrated hand, but ditched the leg mode (and of course was done on a 3rd-party budget with the expected engineering) it would be much better. Heck, from what I've seen the 3rd party FOC Onslaught is a massive improvement over the Hasbro original- the partsforming comes from the addons to the 4 other figures. I kinda wish they'd do a full set of 3rd-party FOC Comabticons, following the same ethos as the Hasbro version (the FOC design, integrating the parts etc) but did it right.

As for him looking like G1 Vortex, see my point earlier. Granted, this is mostly personal preference, but I'd prefer they made a Vortex that took some inspiration from G1 Vortex whilst mostly remaining an original design, such that it could have 3 great modes with minimal partsforming, than one that tried to be almost exactly like G1 Vortex and as a result needed tonnes of extra parts to make the arm mode good.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby MGrotusque » Sat Jul 19, 2014 11:07 am

I'm curious about the kibble/parts for Computron now myself. Now that I think of it I haven't seen any pics of where the feet and hands go when not in Computron Mode.
Or maybe I have, I haven't scrutinized the pics too closely.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:10 pm

Delta Magnus wrote:Well, you could always do away with the chest shield. Both the Giant and Hercules chest shields look kinda lame IMO. The hands I'll give you, although I am impressed that the individual Hercules robots can use the hands as power fists/earth scrapers.

...

I will confess that I am very much a Transformer "progressive"- I like to see original, completely different designs for Transformers as opposed to simply updating the same designs over and over again, so my opinion on this is biased.

See, right there? That's why you're unsatisfied. I'm not a Transformer progressive. I WANT that chest shield. If TFC or MT didn't have it I'd buy the inevitable 4th party add-on set that includes it. And this is true for all the other designs. I WANT Superion to look as much like G1 Superion as he can - chest shield and all and that is exactly why there has to be kibble involved.

We can only speculate what a 3rd party company would do to make a FoC combiner ... I suspect it's made to work a lot more realistically than the cheats the G1 toon and toyline had to use to achieve the same effect.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Shadowstream » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:23 pm

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Shadowstream wrote:As it stands Diesel strikes that line I despise seeing crossed by sacrificing the robot to vehicle conversion with parts-forming.


I don't understand that opinion. How is his individual transformation affected by parts forming in the slightest? Even if you don't like the short truck (which I will admit I am not the biggest fan of either, I just presented it as an option if you were adamant about not wanting any extra parts) there's one giant chunk to remove and set aside. You said you wouldn't mind if the whole trailer was removable, so why is it objectionable to have to put aside half of the trailer? And other than that, Motormaster's transformation is, if somewhat complex, otherwise completely standard. Removing one part and setting it aside is hardly parts forming.

Unless you're making that argument with his armored up form in mind, in which case... Oh no! His weapons are separate parts! Um... Isn't that the case with most Transformers?

Half a trailer is not a trailer for the Motormaster.

Shadowstream wrote:Colossus' parts are one of the main reasons I have distain for FP now. The weapons are fine for the most part, but all the bits that are used to combine are poorly designed and so brittle they break just from looking at them wrong, LITERALLY! (Snip of the specifics.)

Bottom line: Colossus looks good combined, but his kibble is kibble in any other mode and nothing more.


I disagree that the parts do nothing in other modes. For example, this:

Image

is a heck of a lot better of a vehicle mode for Onslaught then this:

Image

was.

Objectiveley. I can't say I dislike or outright like either configuration because they both have their problems and benefits, but you can't deny the side cannons are just tacked on.

Yes, it isn't perfect. I'll agree that Onslaught's shoulder pads can inhibit articulation and fall off easily if bumped. The hand held weapons formed by the gestalt's hands are kind of clunky to hold. Vortex's missile pods can be a bit floppy in either mode. But with a bit of fiddling, you can get results that look darn good!

Image
Image

Again, objective. The tank never looked good and adding more guns to it is redundant. Vortex looks good, but is functionally annoying, and basically the same could be said of Onslaught. The other 2 are fine on their own if nothing else, but then again they don't need the add-ons the other ones do.

As far as fragility of parts, such as the gestalt's fingers or shoulder pieces... I have heard on occasion people complaining about such things... So unless it was just you complaining a lot, I will concede that this is not unique or unheard of. But from personal experience, this is not something I've yet encountered.

He seems pretty well put together to me. I've bent his fingers every which way you can imagine. (Well, that the joints are designed to allow, at least.) I transform him semi-frequently, then leave him/them for a week or two in whatever mode they're now in, so the fingers have also spent plenty of time being perfectly straight as well. I've never had one pop off or break. And I've had him over a year at this point, so I can't say, "Well, he's just new. He's not yet stood the test of time."

So I am forced to conclude that either you (and a few others) had the misfortune to get a slightly faulty batch, or I just got lucky enough to get one from a super perfect batch. (Disclosure: I do have the reissued version, so I suppose it is possible that if faults were found with the molds, they were corrected.)

Yeah, I am rather obnoxiously loud about that, but when you've had the string of "Bad Luck" that I have had with pretty much every FP product I've gotten, and this one is a particularly bad stinker, I can't say I feel remorse for doing so.

Also, did you honestly only just look at it and have it fall apart? If yes, then that's some impressive telekinesis you have!
I'll admit... it scares me sometimes the things I think of that end up coming to pass. I swear to God, the piece that broke was doing absolutely nothing, not even holding up or on to ANYTHING... and it snapped off at the speed of sound when I decided to give it a curious looking over.

At the end though, I'm not trying to come down on any of these combiner kibble uses from a conceptual standpoint. I actually agree that Maketoys Giant does it pretty damn well for the most part, and the Fansproject combiner kibble storage methods are creative, I just don't think they do the job as well as they should functionally.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:56 pm

Complaining about the integration of FP's add-ons for Bruticus is pretty unfair. They're add ons. The toy wasn't made to be integrated with FP's stuff at all. There's only so much you can do.

If you wanted a perfectly integrated Bruticus, just leave the FP parts out of it. It kinda crappy, but it's definitely integrated.
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Re: An annoying trend that practically every 3rd-party combiner follows...

Postby RK_Striker_JK_5 » Sat Jul 19, 2014 3:39 pm

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Well, what I wish to say's been said already by Agamemnon, Gauntlet101010 and others. the TF:Energon combiners SUCKED. FOC Bruticus was a piece of crap, too. Parts integration for combiners is a balance, and compromise. Trying to fit hands and feet and chests and large heads can be pretty damned hard.

Hasbro's recent attempts... well, like I said, they sucked. And since I want a neo-G1 look, it's something I tolerate and agree with.
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