Rodimus Prime wrote:
Gauntlet101010 wrote:Throw us a bone one in a while ... like TFCC? Or Botcon? Like the various classics lines? Like the Masterpieces? Like the constant homages in current TF media? Or more than that?
All the things you listed are good examples. But BotCon and TFCC has been a clusterf**k lately (seems like they got some problems solved with the new pieces, but really there's no need for the obscene amount of repaints, instead introduce new figures). And if they were doing such a great job, there would be no need for 3rd party companies, and they would go out of business. And that is not the case.
If you want new molds through the club, you'd be looking at a four or five digit price tag. Toys are expensive to design, manufacture, and test. ESPECIALLY to safety test, and they have to test them even though they're marketed for adults because Hasbro is liable if someone DOES get hurt and it looks really bad on them when a headline says "HASBRO TOY KILLS INFANT" or something. Redecos are all that FunPub has the budget to do while still keeping their service relatively affordable.
The difference between a Hasbro offering and a third party offering isn't just the price tag, it's everything about the design of the figure. Hasbro has to worry about making an entire line of figures that are aesthetically similar yet diverse enough to be uniquely appealing (which is why you'll never get six green construction vehicles outside of a giftset), conform to size, plastic, and paint limitations, are marketable to kids, desired by retailers, and are safe. They have to pay thousands of employees and still make their products affordable to the general public. Third parties don't have to worry about any of that. Their designers have regular jobs and they work on not-Transformer design as a hobby or secondary job, they don't have to conform to plastic limitations, size limitations, don't have to worry about complexity, worry about product safety, worry about budget limitations, worry about marketing to children, worry about diversity, or even worry about affordability. People have proven they will plunk down over a hundred dollars for a third party product of comparable size to a $15 Hasbro figure as long as it gets people's G1-boners going. They don't have to worry about being able to get retailers to carry the product, as the retailers know they know they get a higher percentage of each sale compared to Hasbro products, and they only have a handful of people to pay instead of thousands. The situations are not comparable
. And yes, Hasbro throws us bones. LOTS of bones. We've gotten every major MP figure except big Prime with trailer, Megatron, and Rodimus's trailer. We're even getting a MP that Japan hasn't (yet): Thundercracker from the MP-11 mold. We've had several product lines geared towards engineering classic characters with modern technology: Alternators, Classics, Universe 2.0, Generations. The Energon line was ONE GIGANTIC HOMAGE to the legacy of Transformers. Was it perfect? No. But by god, they did what they could with what they had while trying boldly to attempt to appeal to new and old fans alike. You are never going to get the entire cast of G1 represented in brand new Classic-style molds from Hasbro. That's unrealistic. We've got most of the mainstays, the Club exists to try to give people their minor characters using existing molds as creatively as possible. As for the number of redecos, I go back to the fact that toy design is expensive
, so if you can create two or three different characters out of a single design, that helps recoup the cost of development and makes for easier profit. This is especially true for complex designs like the Masterpiece figures. I can't fathom how much it costs to design each one of those, so I can absolutely see why they'd want to make sure they get at least three runs of each mold. Once the design is done, any subsequent figures from the same mold have a much higher profit ratio because it costs very little to come up with a new color pattern for an existing mold than to make an entirely new one.
I'm not saying third parties shouldn't exist. They make money by making what Hasbro can't or won't. (usually they "won't" because they "can't" due to the way they have to operate). But you really aren't giving Hasbro enough credit. This also isn't to say they're above criticism, because the way the line is right now is evidence enough to the contrary. But Hasbro has done a lot for us, and I think your expectations of what they should do are unrealistic.
Third parties are not bad overall, although the individual companies kind of vary on that point (I'm looking at you, IGear). They're a tremendous asset, improving and filling out people's collections for the past several years. Hasbro is certainly exploring Combiner technology again, but third parties are doing it better for now. A lot of that is the issue of good proportions vs. not having tons of kibble. Hasbro veers towards the latter, sacrificing the former. Third parties lean towards the former, sacrificing the latter. But, enough of that.
As it stands, there's a lot of third party things I'd like, a few less that I'm willing to buy for their price, and only two that I actually own right now (Fansproject Munitioner and Explorer). I'm terrible at budgeting, and I missed out on a lot of the smaller things I want because I wasn't familiar with third party stuff at the time, which is why I only have a few things. I'll get that G3 trailer eventually, though!