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Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

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Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby SkyWarpsGhost » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:34 am

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I think this whole up scaling smaller molds to bigger class sizes carry on is horrible. Instead of making the transformations easier they should instead make a big deal about the transformations themselves.

Kids love to brag to each other, why not make it a kind of 'Transformer Master' type thing with the skill levels that are printed on the packaging. Make it a challenge for them, so when they manage to transform eg Rotf Leader class Optimus they feel like they have achieved something when they have mastered it. Then they can brag 'I can transform (insert name), can you?'

I just hope Hasbro don't start getting lazy and start to over simplify deluxes etc I need elbow and knee joints!!!
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:55 am

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I think they tried that in the commercials for Beast Machines, under the motto "The Challenge is in the Change". Need I say more?
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Va'al » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:07 am

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JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:I think they tried that in the commercials for Beast Machines, under the motto "The Challenge is in the Change". Need I say more?


Fneh.

I know that quite a few Asian conventions and gatherings have timed transforming challenges (they might happen in North America and Europe too, I just haven't read about them), and it does sound like fun.

But making it an actual marketing strategy..? Hm. Not sure. :-?
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby SkyWarpsGhost » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:24 am

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I skipped the whole Beast era so never knew they tried it once before. We didn't have the TV commercials or anything like that over here at the time either.

I'm just really worried that this up scaling malarkey will end up destroying Deluxe class as it is. It's DELUXE class, not the 'we cheaped out class'.

Deluxe means Luxury ffs :BANG_HEAD:
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby gavinfuzzy » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:42 am

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Va'al wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:I think they tried that in the commercials for Beast Machines, under the motto "The Challenge is in the Change". Need I say more?


Fneh.

I know that quite a few Asian conventions and gatherings have timed transforming challenges (they might happen in North America and Europe too, I just haven't read about them), and it does sound like fun.

But making it an actual marketing strategy..? Hm. Not sure. :-?


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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Noideaforaname » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:01 am

Transformation difficulty is a tricky situation. On one hand, it can be a fun challenge. On the other hand, it can get in the way if you're actually playing with the toys and want Starscream to turn into a jet and fly off or whatever. These are, after all, action figures just as much (if not more so) as they are puzzle toys.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby BeastProwl » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:26 pm

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And thats why I love the AEC stuff. Its simple, but poseable, and what bricks there are serve a purpose. They look good, and are loaded with details, and have gimmicks out the butt. I dont think upscaled legends is a good idea. At all.
Not unless we get a Voyager Hardshell, and even then it'll be VERY lacking.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Mkall » Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:39 pm

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I remember them doing something like this when Gundam Wing was popular in North America. They advertised Gundam kits from Skills level 1 to 5. In retrospect I guess they're the same kits that are in Japan.

I don't think they sold too well.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Convotron » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:13 pm

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I agree that Hasbro should put a focused and consistent effort in highlighting the play functionality unique to Transformers toys in the mainstream toy market, that being a wide range of design and engineering involved in transformation.

However, there seems to be a misunderstanding by those who think that upsizing Cyberverse toys is a new direction for the Transformers brand overall.

Clint Chapman, Hasbro's Global Brand Manager for the Transformers toyline, was recently interviewed by Vangelus at Botcon and he clearly explained the reason for introducing a wave of upscaled Cyberverse toys.

It's not a matter of thinking kids are unable to play with or transform more difficult or involved Transformers toys. It's a matter of thinking forward and setting up a strategy for gaining the next generation of Transformers customers, hopefully establishing a brand strategy that will be able to ensure the perpetuation of the brand for the foreseeable future.

By introducing an option of simpler mainline Transformers toys in the Deluxe and Voyager class sizes, Hasbro is offering toys that have the physical presence of those size classes combined with the pick up and play ability of Cyberverse toys.

There was no indication that there is any plan to make simplification of Transformers toys a brand wide policy change. Such a move wouldn't make sense since it would alienate a significant portion of their primary customer base, namely older kids, who prefer Transformers toys more complex than Cyberverse toys.

Larger Transformers toys with more complex design and engineering, premium products that help Hasbro gain revenue as larger ticket items, would be lost if there was indeed intent to making larger simpler toys to replace the currently larger and generally more complex toys.

The Thrilling 30 campaign is another point to consider. It's basically a campaign focused on catering to the core, longterm, and dedicated fans of the brand. There will be emphasis on translating IDW character designs into toy form. Why would Hasbro follow through with such a strategy aimed towards fans if it would have any intent of "dumbing down" the entire brand at the same time or shortly after?

So, no, no one is going to get "lazy" and simplify Deluxe figures, removing elbow or knee joints, or implement a "cheaped out class" to take the place of any existing size class.

From an objective perspective, using what has been officially stated by Hasbro up to this point, the strategy of making some simpler Transformers toys into larger toys is actually adding variety to the brand, not taking variety away as some may think.

It's ludicrous that with all the gestures that Hasbro has put forth over the last several years towards fans with various effort in catering to the "fan" sector of Transformers customers, all it takes to make people call out that the sky is falling is the upsizing of some Cyberverse toys.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby TK415 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:21 pm

BeastProwl wrote:And thats why I love the AEC stuff. Its simple, but poseable, and what bricks there are serve a purpose. They look good, and are loaded with details, and have gimmicks out the butt. I dont think upscaled legends is a good idea. At all.
Not unless we get a Voyager Hardshell, and even then it'll be VERY lacking.

Deluxe is my favorite class. That is my base scale. The voyager guys should be bigger and that works well. If they make deluxe transformers simpler, like these new scaled up ones, it will make me sick and I'll be a bit upset. I agree with Beast Prowl, AEC toys are a lot of fun. In the shows a Transformer is supposed to be able to transform in what 1/4 of a sec,(or someting like that right?), though it is always drawn slower. I like that I can transformer an AEC toy real quick and that there isn't an exact order. If they have to make them simpler do it like AEC, not like Cyberverse.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby SkyWarpsGhost » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:49 am

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Part of the problem of adding another class (btw what is this new upscaled class called?) is that it takes up store shelf space which is at a premium as it is. My local TRU is still coming down with RPMs, Heroes and a load of other crap from the first movie.

It's hard enough finding Generations etc on shelves here, without adding more lines of rubbish. Hasbro need to pull the reins in and concentrate on a few key lines. I just think this will confuse parents even more if you have two deluxe sized Eg BumbleBees that are the same size, in similar packaging, similar price etc, but one is far more advanced than the other.

If this new class is seen as sucsessful by Hasbro, I just hope they won't over simplify things when the 4th movie rolls around. I don't see why they wouldn't simplify to help their $$$ if these are cheaper to produce than the current proper deluxes.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Burn » Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:47 am

I look at it more as a dumbing down of the line ... which says a lot of what Hasbro must think of kids these days.

Then again, their attention spans are getting shorter.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:59 am

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Burn wrote:Then again, their attention spans are getting shorter.


And who can we blame for that? Seriously, who can we blame for that? :P
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby njb902 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 7:02 am

JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
Burn wrote:Then again, their attention spans are getting shorter.


And who can we blame for that? Seriously, who can we blame for that? :P


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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Convotron » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:21 am

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Burn wrote:I look at it more as a dumbing down of the line ... which says a lot of what Hasbro must think of kids these days.

Then again, their attention spans are getting shorter.


I don't know this for a fact as I never had a G1 Wheeljack toy but in Clint Chapman's interview, he said that G1 Wheeljack has 5 or so steps to its transformation. Regardless of exact number, it wasn't a deeply engineered toy that, aside from nostalgia, is recognized by various collectors as a solid toy that has good play value. It's not a "high end toy" but I wouldn't call it a dumbed down toy either.

G1 toys brought in a lot of customers, many of which post here and are in the fandom in general today. G1 toys were not so "dumbled down" that customer loyalty/retention was adversely affected. In fact, it allowed many children to appreciate the concept of multi mode toys. It allowed many children to advance to the more complex toys, and pursuits in general, and cultivate an appreciation for design and engineering.

To say that introducing some, not many, upsized Cyberverse toys is "dumbing down" the line is similar to saying that by introducing salads into the menu, a fast food restaurant is turning vegetarian. Not really. It's just adding extra options, extra variety, in an effort to reach out to more people in order to create a somewhat more accessible brand while still offering tried and true favourites(ie. burgers and fries at a restaurant, alternatively the current standard of transformation design in TF toys).

There is an active thread right now in the toy forum where MP-09 is the topic. That toy is a clear example of compromised design due to trying to be too complicated and complex by nature of being designed with multi function goals in mind. Complexity is not necessarily a good thing. Especially complexity for complexity's sake.

People seem to confuse complex design(particularly transformation design) with good and involved design. Rather than haggling over the matter of complex/difficult/challenging versus simplistic/dumbed down/lazy or cheaped out designs, people should be clamoring for intuitive design where complexity is a natural result of necessity inherent to some, not all or even the vast majority, of product/character design concepts.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby dirk2243 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:39 am

Motto: "If you don't believe me, just ask me.....I'll tell you all about it."
I "get it" I'm not necessarily a fan of the idea. :-? But I get it.

I see my son playing with Cyberverse over the others because of how long it takes him to transform them and he can play out battles faster with cyberverse. He transforms them, drives them into the other room, transforms them into robot and fights his friends and then does it all again with in a few minutes.

Just time yourself with a handful of cyberverse and then with the exact same full size and the time difference is crazy.

But I still think..... why not just leave it as Cyberverse? Thats why you made them right Hasbro? Leave the easy transformations to the cyberverse, and leave the normal size TFs as is. Maybe if done right I guess it could work, but I have my doubts based on past records.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Duke of Luns » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:42 am

dirk2243 wrote:I "get it" I'm not necessarily a fan of the idea. :-? But I get it.

But I still think..... why not just leave it as Cyberverse? Thats why you made them right Hasbro? Leave the easy transformations to the cyberverse, and leave the normal size TFs as is. Maybe if done right I guess it could work, but I have my doubts based on past records.


Convotron wrote:
There is an active thread right now in the toy forum where MP-09 is the topic. That toy is a clear example of compromised design due to trying to be too complicated and complex by nature of being designed with multi function goals in mind. Complexity is not necessarily a good thing. Especially complexity for complexity's sake.



Agree on both points here. Yes, Cyberverse figures should be kept as Cyberverse, and not upscaled. Hopefully this first upscaled wave is just kinda testing the waters to see how well simpiler figures would do in the market, though it probably would have had better reception if there was at least on new brand new mold in the mix, as a sign of things to come.

As for complexity in general, yes overengineering for the it's own sake is a mistake, though I will use Generations Blitzwing as an example. G1 Blitzwing is a very simple figure, and barring a visible nosecone/cockpit in tank mode and a tank turret in jet mode, it's arguable that it succeeds in doing what it does MUCH better than the Generations figure. Yes, the robot mode on the G1 is lacking and has no real feet syndrome(if that's not a thing it is now), but it doesn't fall apart when you try to move it. Oh, and lest anyone forgets, the G1 figure is something like 2/3 the size of the Generations figure.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Convotron » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:48 am

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dirk2243 wrote:But I still think..... why not just leave it as Cyberverse? Thats why you made them right Hasbro? Leave the easy transformations to the cyberverse, and leave the normal size TFs as is. Maybe if done right I guess it could work, but I have my doubts based on past records.



Why not leave the toys as Cyberverse? That's like asking why Tonka doesn't exclusively make their construction toys the same size as Hot Wheels 1:64 scale toys.

The answer is simple: Physical presence is often perceived as a positive aspect of play value in toys, particularly for younger kids.

These upsized Cyberverse toys are meant to serve in a strategy to further strengthen Hasbro's ongoing effort in ushering in the younger portion of their target customer base.

Upsized toys also mean less investment needed in comparison to R&D for entirely brand new molds.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby dirk2243 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:33 pm

Motto: "If you don't believe me, just ask me.....I'll tell you all about it."
Convotron wrote:
dirk2243 wrote:But I still think..... why not just leave it as Cyberverse? Thats why you made them right Hasbro? Leave the easy transformations to the cyberverse, and leave the normal size TFs as is. Maybe if done right I guess it could work, but I have my doubts based on past records.



Why not leave the toys as Cyberverse? That's like asking why Tonka doesn't exclusively make their construction toys the same size as Hot Wheels 1:64 scale toys.

The answer is simple: Physical presence is often perceived as a positive aspect of play value in toys, particularly for younger kids.

These upsized Cyberverse toys are meant to serve in a strategy to further strengthen Hasbro's ongoing effort in ushering in the younger portion of their target customer base.

Upsized toys also mean less investment needed in comparison to R&D for entirely brand new molds.


That is why I said I get it.....

Lets say they make these up scaled and normal TF's of the same mold....

If there priced the same, I doubt a kid is going to pick the up scaled one if the normal TF looks better. Seriously. I've seen many parents fold to there kids while in the TF aisle about what they want and what the kids wants. Some do stick to there guns, but if there is no difference in price I don't see these selling (if there is the exact same figure available as a normal deluxe)

Lets say out of ten parents, how many are really going to notice that these are up scaled vs normal?

They will do better if they don't make the one available in a normal deluxe version...... (which is what I honestly see happening and the only thing I see that will move these things) But if they make yet another mold of bumblebee....(which if past proves anything they will) and other molds already available I see these up scaled TFs as shelf warmers. Or if they are priced accordingly. That will go a long way to moving these things. But if they are up scaled Cyberverse, and priced the same, they will be more hollow then FOC Bruticus (Terrorcons for example)

And not one person is saying the sky is falling. I enjoy my stocks in the company just like the next person, but..... 2010 was there best year lately. Maybe R & D isn't a waste of time. Which is one reason why you can see Hasbro's push for more films.....
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Convotron » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:05 pm

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dirk2243 wrote:That is why I said I get it.....

Lets say they make these up scaled and normal TF's of the same mold....

If there priced the same, I doubt a kid is going to pick the up scaled one if the normal TF looks better.


With all due respect, you are repeating the same logical fallacy that every person who disagrees with Hasbro's Transformers product decisions. You infer that the less simple toy will not look better than a more complex toy to a random, average child.

dirk2243 wrote:Seriously. I've seen many parents fold to there kids while in the TF aisle about what they want and what the kids wants. Some do stick to there guns, but if there is no difference in price I don't see these selling (if there is the exact same figure available as a normal deluxe)


The price is different at least in the case of the upcoming BH Voyagers, which according to the product information cards at Botcon 2013, state MSRP of $19.99.

As far as parents folding, anecdotal experience is not evidence or any reliable indication of the purchasing habits of people with children in a single city, let alone a country. You could have simply witnessed poor examples of parenting in your limited observation of people shopping with children.

dirk2243 wrote:Lets say out of ten parents, how many are really going to notice that these are up scaled vs normal?

They will do better if they don't make the one available in a normal deluxe version...... (which is what I honestly see happening and the only thing I see that will move these things) But if they make yet another mold of bumblebee....(which if past proves anything they will) and other molds already available I see these up scaled TFs as shelf warmers. Or if they are priced accordingly. That will go a long way to moving these things. But if they are up scaled Cyberverse, and priced the same, they will be more hollow then FOC Bruticus (Terrorcons for example)


Parents aren't going to necessarily notice because the average parent isn't looking specifically for scaled up toys.

You keep mentioning attributes such as hollowness or the subjective trait of how good something looks to children as a qualifier for how well or poorly a product performs.

Does a normal child pick up a toy, still in package, shake it and say "Hmm, this feels more hollow than the other toys of the same price range."?

Is there a study that shows that the average child looks at an upscaled Cyberverse Deluxe Bumblebee and a Beast Hunters Deluxe Bumblebee and point to the standard Deluxe to say it is undoubtedly the better looking one?

Hasbro states that it puts their toys, while in development, through a play testing stage at a facility called the "Fun Lab". They have five year old children perform the play tests. Notice on the Transformers packaging that it basically states "For ages 5 and up".

It's not a bulletproof method of knowing with absolute certainty the appeal of toy design for every child out there but it's a controlled testing environment.

Gizmodo interview wrote:Trial By Five Year Olds

Transformers designers at Hasbro are typically working on about 200 figures at any given time, ranging from products that are coming up that year, to ones that won't be seen for two or three more years. "We're predicting what kids will be playing with in 2015," says Lamb. It isn't easy.

In fact, it's hard enough to figure out what kids like right now. To that end, Hasbro has set up what it calls the "Fun Lab" at its Providence location. Here, local kids from grade schools, middle schools, and daycares are ferried in—after their parents sign strict non-disclosure agreements—and given the toys of the future to mess around with. There's some structure to the sessions, but mostly, they just revolve around a simple idea: Figure out what's fun.

The design process is hugely informed by what goes on in these play sessions. If a bunch of kids all agree that beast Transformers biting stuff is awesome, or that fighter jets without missiles are idiotic—these are "play patterns," in toymaker parlance—Lenny will be armed with that information going in. These are focus groups, more or less, but with audiences that are uniquely qualified to give answers—Hey, is this toy fun to play with or not fun to play with?—instead of a room full of grownups who just happen to have a bunch of free time during the middle of the day.


Source: http://gizmodo.com/5994962/autobots-ass ... me-to-life

Below is Clint Chapman, Hasbro's Global Brand Manager for Transformers, being interviewed by Vangelus at Botcon 2013. The entire video is valuable for gaining insight into the current direction Hasbro is taking with the brand.



Starting at 12:05 is where Vangelus asks Clint Chapman about the idea of using upsized Cyberverse toys as a new strategy for an entry level toy type.

At 13:20, Vangelus speculates that the quickest way to take the strategy to market for testing is to use existing "strong" Cyberverse toy designs, scale them up, and see how they do with the customers(kids 5 years and up).

At 13:40, Clint Chapman says that they took a look at G1, considered the origin of the Transformers brand products, says that G1 Wheeljack took about 5 steps to transform whereas movie Wheeljack(Que?) took 5 steps just to transform the feet.

He, Clint Chapman, therefore Hasbro at this time, has no intent to mess with the design strategy of a line like Generations.

However, for the "5 and 6 year olds"(again Hasbro states on Transformers toy packages that they are meant for ages 5 and up), they are having a more difficult time with 20 step transformations. Remember the Fun Lab where 5 year olds are the play testers? That is where he very likely bases his assertion.

Clint Chapman goes on to say that aside from the Cyberverse line, there is no other truly entry level products for Transformers(he does not mean other toylines within the Transformers brand such as Rescue Bots).

The upsized Cyberverse toys is Hasbro's test in the real market to see how well these kinds of Transformers toys will work as entry level toys. The intent is to hopefully have another Thrilling 30 in 30 years. A way to do this is to gain a new generation of fans who will grow up with the brand as many of us have.

dirk2243 wrote:And not one person is saying the sky is falling. I enjoy my stocks in the company just like the next person, but..... 2010 was there best year lately. Maybe R & D isn't a waste of time. Which is one reason why you can see Hasbro's push for more films.....


The OP stated that they hope the size class of Deluxe doesn't become a simplified and there is sentiment that the move to take another strategy to introducing entry level Transformers toy options as decreasing the complexity of the Transformers toyline. This is a gross overreaction to the introduction of some Cyberverse toys as upsized products. Hence, the sky is falling.

Hasbro's push for more films comes from the fact that The Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, and Dark of the Moon, have garnered billions of dollars in revenue. Dark of the Moon is the most commercially successful of the first three Transformers movies, grossing $1,123,746,996 worldwide. That's box office results alone. That does not include revenue from everything else the movie spawned(other media, toys, DVD sales, etc.).

From previous commercial performance of the live action films, Hasbro is able to judge that another film will very, very, very likely do well and garner comparable commercial success.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby dirk2243 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:33 pm

Motto: "If you don't believe me, just ask me.....I'll tell you all about it."
Convotron wrote:
dirk2243 wrote:That is why I said I get it.....

Lets say they make these up scaled and normal TF's of the same mold....

If there priced the same, I doubt a kid is going to pick the up scaled one if the normal TF looks better.


With all due respect, you are repeating the same logical fallacy that every person who disagrees with Hasbro's Transformers product decisions. You infer that the less simple toy will not look better than a more complex toy to a random, average child.

dirk2243 wrote:Seriously. I've seen many parents fold to there kids while in the TF aisle about what they want and what the kids wants. Some do stick to there guns, but if there is no difference in price I don't see these selling (if there is the exact same figure available as a normal deluxe)


The price is different at least in the case of the upcoming BH Voyagers, which according to the product information cards at Botcon 2013, state MSRP of $19.99.

As far as parents folding, anecdotal experience is not evidence or any reliable indication of the purchasing habits of people with children in a single city, let alone a country. You could have simply witnessed poor examples of parenting in your limited observation of people shopping with children.

dirk2243 wrote:Lets say out of ten parents, how many are really going to notice that these are up scaled vs normal?

They will do better if they don't make the one available in a normal deluxe version...... (which is what I honestly see happening and the only thing I see that will move these things) But if they make yet another mold of bumblebee....(which if past proves anything they will) and other molds already available I see these up scaled TFs as shelf warmers. Or if they are priced accordingly. That will go a long way to moving these things. But if they are up scaled Cyberverse, and priced the same, they will be more hollow then FOC Bruticus (Terrorcons for example)


Parents aren't going to necessarily notice because the average parent isn't looking specifically for scaled up toys.

You keep mentioning attributes such as hollowness or the subjective trait of how good something looks to children as a qualifier for how well or poorly a product performs.

Does a normal child pick up a toy, still in package, shake it and say "Hmm, this feels more hollow than the other toys of the same price range."?

Is there a study that shows that the average child looks at an upscaled Cyberverse Deluxe Bumblebee and a Beast Hunters Deluxe Bumblebee and point to the standard Deluxe to say it is undoubtedly the better looking one?

Hasbro states that it puts their toys, while in development, through a play testing stage at a facility called the "Fun Lab". They have five year old children perform the play tests. Notice on the Transformers packaging that it basically states "For ages 5 and up".

It's not a bulletproof method of knowing with absolute certainty the appeal of toy design for every child out there but it's a controlled testing environment.

Gizmodo interview wrote:Trial By Five Year Olds

Transformers designers at Hasbro are typically working on about 200 figures at any given time, ranging from products that are coming up that year, to ones that won't be seen for two or three more years. "We're predicting what kids will be playing with in 2015," says Lamb. It isn't easy.

In fact, it's hard enough to figure out what kids like right now. To that end, Hasbro has set up what it calls the "Fun Lab" at its Providence location. Here, local kids from grade schools, middle schools, and daycares are ferried in—after their parents sign strict non-disclosure agreements—and given the toys of the future to mess around with. There's some structure to the sessions, but mostly, they just revolve around a simple idea: Figure out what's fun.

The design process is hugely informed by what goes on in these play sessions. If a bunch of kids all agree that beast Transformers biting stuff is awesome, or that fighter jets without missiles are idiotic—these are "play patterns," in toymaker parlance—Lenny will be armed with that information going in. These are focus groups, more or less, but with audiences that are uniquely qualified to give answers—Hey, is this toy fun to play with or not fun to play with?—instead of a room full of grownups who just happen to have a bunch of free time during the middle of the day.


Source: http://gizmodo.com/5994962/autobots-ass ... me-to-life

Below is Clint Chapman, Hasbro's Global Brand Manager for Transformers, being interviewed by Vangelus at Botcon 2013. The entire video is valuable for gaining insight into the current direction Hasbro is taking with the brand.



Starting at 12:05 is where Vangelus asks Clint Chapman about the idea of using upsized Cyberverse toys as a new strategy for an entry level toy type.

At 13:20, Vangelus speculates that the quickest way to take the strategy to market for testing is to use existing "strong" Cyberverse toy designs, scale them up, and see how they do with the customers(kids 5 years and up).

At 13:40, Clint Chapman says that they took a look at G1, considered the origin of the Transformers brand products, says that G1 Wheeljack took about 5 steps to transform whereas movie Wheeljack(Que?) took 5 steps just to transform the feet.

He, Clint Chapman, therefore Hasbro at this time, has no intent to mess with the design strategy of a line like Generations.

However, for the "5 and 6 year olds"(again Hasbro states on Transformers toy packages that they are meant for ages 5 and up), they are having a more difficult time with 20 step transformations. Remember the Fun Lab where 5 year olds are the play testers? That is where he very likely bases his assertion.

Clint Chapman goes on to say that aside from the Cyberverse line, there is no other truly entry level products for Transformers(he does not mean other toylines within the Transformers brand such as Rescue Bots).

The upsized Cyberverse toys is Hasbro's test in the real market to see how well these kinds of Transformers toys will work as entry level toys. The intent is to hopefully have another Thrilling 30 in 30 years. A way to do this is to gain a new generation of fans who will grow up with the brand as many of us have.

dirk2243 wrote:And not one person is saying the sky is falling. I enjoy my stocks in the company just like the next person, but..... 2010 was there best year lately. Maybe R & D isn't a waste of time. Which is one reason why you can see Hasbro's push for more films.....


The OP stated that they hope the size class of Deluxe doesn't become a simplified and there is sentiment that the move to take another strategy to introducing entry level Transformers toy options as decreasing the complexity of the Transformers toyline. This is a gross overreaction to the introduction of some Cyberverse toys as upsized products. Hence, the sky is falling.

Hasbro's push for more films comes from the fact that The Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen, and Dark of the Moon, have garnered billions of dollars in revenue. Dark of the Moon is the most commercially successful of the first three Transformers movies, grossing $1,123,746,996 worldwide. That's box office results alone. That does not include revenue from everything else the movie spawned(other media, toys, DVD sales, etc.).

From previous commercial performance of the live action films, Hasbro is able to judge that another film will very, very, very likely do well and garner comparable commercial success.


Yes....I am repeating the same "logic" that others repeat about every character hasbro puts out that others do not like. Some are great, some are ok, some are just :BANG_HEAD: :HEADHURTS: ROTF combiner DEVY sound familiar?

Hasbro's push for films comes from all the cash they made, every year they have had a movie since 07 they have cleaned house. No brainer.

And I wouldn't bring the argument of there study rooms for 5 yr olds as great scientific evidence. By that logic these 5 year olds had a huge up bringing in the shelf warming Voyager Predacon and BH Prime and now its shelf warming Ultimate Predacon and Prime. Considering the "fun labs are far and few between in a limited area and kids are brought there to play by parents who aren't committed to buy anything. That is about as scientific as how you put it... my limited observation of people.... I've taken my son to one two years ago for Mattel and its like ohh.....new toys..... There were two other children in there with him in there and they kept switching to new toys.

I agree completely that it is a great way for Hasbro to see if kids can do it, but here is the bottom line.... if it is the kids favorite character or a new character........ the parents are going to buy it for them if they want it. Price will drive it all and that is honestly the bottom line. If there isn't a huge difference in price, I (as a parent and a collector) probably won't opt for it. It's hasbro were talking about....so its not like were going to save lots in difference.

A third of the G-1 TF's were just as big as cyberverse. G-1 Bumblebee isn't much bigger then his Cyberverse version today. And just as articulate. They made Cyberverse for the younger children and for this faster playability. Now I'm just paying more for the exact same toy I can get for five bucks in the smaller version. :HEADHURTS: It's like tricking parents and children into the whole....oh, your ready for a bigger and better toy oh... but not really better.

Time will tell if this was a great idea, and I do believe they will sell (as long as they don't have normal deluxe counterpart look a like to compete with) But if parents know it is the exact same toy they can get for cheaper but a little smaller..... >:oP
New pics added as I find time.

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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Convotron » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:06 am

Motto: "When in doubt, transform and roll out!"
Weapon: Saber Blade
dirk2243 wrote:Yes....I am repeating the same "logic" that others repeat about every character hasbro puts out that others do not like. Some are great, some are ok, some are just :BANG_HEAD: :HEADHURTS: ROTF combiner DEVY sound familiar?


I understand the direction you are heading in and it's sound but I don't think that you quite got what I'm getting at, which is the big picture from Hasbro's point of view, as largely expressed by their Global Brand Manager.

It's not merely a case of "Will this toy sell?", it's a case of "Will these toys be able to help foster a potentially life long relationship/interest for today's kids with the Transformers brand so we have another 30 or more years?".

It's a matter of "Can kids play with this toy and have a lot of fun?", not "Will kids look at this and another similar toy and choose the more ideal toy for them?" or "Will parents choose this or that one?".

It's one thing to get someone to buy a product. It's an entirely different matter to have someone want to come back and buy more products from your brand. That's what the strategy of upsizing Cyberverse toys to serve as entry level toys tries to address.

You mention some not so great ideas(RotF Supreme Devastator, which I agree was a total miss) put forth by Hasbro. If you watch the interview of Clint Chapman, he says that there was a realization that the movie toys had gone too far in the direction of complexity, yes, but the big picture situation is that toys were not being designed for a balance of fun and functionality, and additionally, Hasbro lost focus on offering a variety of entry level options in the Transformers toyline. Having just the Cyberverse toy subline(one line option) is not "variety".

dirk2243 wrote:And I wouldn't bring the argument of there study rooms for 5 yr olds as great scientific evidence. By that logic these 5 year olds had a huge up bringing in the shelf warming Voyager Predacon and BH Prime and now its shelf warming Ultimate Predacon and Prime. Considering the "fun labs are far and few between in a limited area and kids are brought there to play by parents who aren't committed to buy anything. That is about as scientific as how you put it... my limited observation of people.... I've taken my son to one two years ago for Mattel and its like ohh.....new toys..... There were two other children in there with him in there and they kept switching to new toys.


Parents' commitment to buying anything isn't relevant to the purpose of having children play test toys.

The reasonable determination of how successful a product could be requires many points of data from various areas of consideration such as the social culture of the marketplace, the general state of the economy, trends among the target demographic(s).

The Fun Lab supplies one point of many points of data, being how functional for a specific age group are certain toys in development work as toys/play products.

The amount of children who play test at the Fun Lab must be significant because:

"local kids from grade schools, middle schools, and daycares are ferried in"

Formally acquired feedback results from potentially hundreds of children play testers is scientific. Even if you don't agree, that many results from a variety of children is exponentially more reliable than casual, inconsistent, and limited observation.

The point of play testing is to see how functional a toy product will be when a child plays with it. Play testing is not meant to see what toy a child will more likely choose off the pegs. That area of expertise lies in the marketing department.

dirk2243 wrote:A third of the G-1 TF's were just as big as cyberverse. G-1 Bumblebee isn't much bigger then his Cyberverse version today. And just as articulate. They made Cyberverse for the younger children and for this faster playability. Now I'm just paying more for the exact same toy I can get for five bucks in the smaller version. :HEADHURTS: It's like tricking parents and children into the whole....oh, your ready for a bigger and better toy oh... but not really better.


You say "the younger children"? Transformers are made for kids, 5 and up. Hasbro normally states on their packaging "Not meant for children under 3". So Cyberverse isn't meant for "normal children" just the "younger children"? Between 3-5?

By this logic, class sizes are meant for or designated to different age groups. If this is the case, why would Hasbro slap on a "Ages 5+" on even their Voyager class toys?

Size classes are meant to address the varying financial ability of a wide customer base. By virtue of size and a budget for that size class, smaller toys will be simpler. Larger toys will be more complex.

Hasbro is moving to address issues with complexity complicating accessibility of larger Transformers toys. They've done so already in what we see in post DotM toys. We are seeing more of this in the upsizing of Cyberverse. The idea is to have larger toys that kids at the entry level can have a satisfying and fun playing experience.

dirk2243 wrote:Time will tell if this was a great idea, and I do believe they will sell (as long as they don't have normal deluxe counterpart look a like to compete with) But if parents know it is the exact

same toy they can get for cheaper but a little smaller..... >:oP


The idea is great, it's the execution that Hasbro needs to get spot on.

As you said, if you are either met with two toys of the same price but one could be perceived to be better, people will often pick the "better" one.

As far as upsized Cyberverse Deluxes, they seem to be no cheaper. The upsized Cyberverse Voyagers are cheaper so that is a good move.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby gavinfuzzy » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:19 am

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Dotm Wheeljack took 5 steps to transform his legs?

Who's that again?

You mean the one you... Never released? 8-}
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby Convotron » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:46 am

Motto: "When in doubt, transform and roll out!"
Weapon: Saber Blade
gavinfuzzy wrote:Dotm Wheeljack took 5 steps to transform his legs?

Who's that again?

You mean the one you... Never released? 8-}


Haha, exactly!

Though, as I understand it, one of the factors behind its cancellation for US release(it was released in Japan, right?) was lack of interest from retailers. I suppose that could mean that not enough retailers in the US ordered or ordered quantities significant enough to warrant production for the North American market.

For those who care to speculate, it could be seen as one example of validation for moving back from the level of complexity displayed at the height of complex Transformers toy design in the movie lines.
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Re: Hasbro should make a bigger deal about the transformation skill levels

Postby dirk2243 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 12:50 pm

Motto: "If you don't believe me, just ask me.....I'll tell you all about it."
Convotron wrote:
gavinfuzzy wrote:Dotm Wheeljack took 5 steps to transform his legs?

Who's that again?

You mean the one you... Never released? 8-}


Haha, exactly!

Though, as I understand it, one of the factors behind its cancellation for US release(it was released in Japan, right?) was lack of interest from retailers. I suppose that could mean that not enough retailers in the US ordered or ordered quantities significant enough to warrant production for the North American market.

For those who care to speculate, it could be seen as one example of validation for moving back from the level of complexity displayed at the height of complex Transformers toy design in the movie lines.


It could be seen as an example of validation for moving down. (In addition to that) Do you think the case sortment has a big play in it as well as what stores ordered? What was the last case that Target had towards the end?

1 space case
1 Arcee repaint
1 jazz repaint
2 bumblebees? as I recall.

Lets be honest. Bumblebee is great, but I think the over use of him killed the line. Or helped the Loss of interest factor there. There are still DOTM figures out and about. DOTM Wheeljack is one character I'd have liked to see released...but...

Look at the initial release of characters. They flew off the shelves. Perhaps stores ordering too much afterwards and then not enough of the new stuff should have taken a different approach there.
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