Well laid out analysis of the toy lines from Classics to Generations.
I’d like to take a minute and mention the why. Hasbro’s main goal is toy sales. Hasbro doesn’t care about clarity or simplicity. The more toys they can get us to buy the more money they make (I’m not actually complaining, I’m just discussing Capitalism and collecting. I will buy five different Shockwaves with a smile and say “thank you," then I’ll say “Yes, I would like to buy another version of Shockwave if you make a new one, please."). If they make three deluxe Optimus Prime toys all basically classic G1 then I will only buy one. But if they make Classics, WFC, FOC, G2, and IDW, then those are all different and interesting and I will buy three or four of them and some of you will buy all of them. Thus by changing styles they can increase and maintain sales over the years. Also, if they make a FOC Bruticus I am going to buy that and use it for my Classics/Generations line. Four years from now they could make a G1 Classics Bruticus and I will buy that one too. If they make the G1 first I would only buy the G1 Classics and not the FOC Bruticus. It is in there interest to make characters close to their G1 look but not exactly so that we will buy the different versions.
Don’t stress too hard or try to figure out capitalism. They are making this stuff up as they go. They are just going with what is selling, they don’t care what it is called. Or at some point maybe they do (since it will help sales) but they didn’t know it at the time they started.
Sabrblade, good question, exceptional breakdown (as one would expect from you), and thank you for bringing up the topic for discussion. I appreciated that you and others are interested in straightening out and clarifying the toys and the toy-lines that we are getting. If others don’t care, then don’t bother.
I think that CHUG simply means new designs for characters that we know of from before, plus some new ones (Drift, Tomahawk, etc). Originally they were going for G1 accuracy with Classics but then they saw that if they get the character 85% similar to G1 then we will buy it and use it for our Classics shelf. A few years from now if they make a 95% similar character we will buy that one and replace the previous one, or just have two shelves (30 shelves really, but my point is we will buy more than one.)
Yes, let’s stop using CHUG. I say they are all Generations, a new generation of toys from previous generations. Call them all Generations when you are being general and then call them Classics or Universe or FOC when you are speaking about a specific toy.
You could even go:
Gen – Cl
Gen – Uni
Gen – FOC
And yes you can ret-con something. World War I was called the Great War or The World War. After WWII, the Great War became WWI and you rarely hear it called The Great War.