Blurrz wrote:The line itself has caused a lot of anguish among Transformers fans the past few months. I've watched forum topics pass by and by. I've tried my best to get a grasp of the situation, and understand the opinions of my fellow collectors. Ultimately I land at the question - How has it come to this? We're in the 21st century, and we've got an entire toyline that's seemingly worse than Armada Side Swipe.
How has it come to this? Oh, we'll get to that. And I take offense at swipe at Armada Side Swipe. He might not be the world's best, but he's a fun figure. One of my favored Armada figures. And yes, PCC is worse than he is. PCC sucks like a nuclear powered Hoover and Dyson bastard offspring, from Hell.
Blurrz wrote:While I originally planned to do a review of the first wave of Power Core Combiners for Seibertron.com, that's something that no collector needs. An essay formed from my single opinion is nothing compared to you going around Seibertron.com, looking at photos of the figures or asking the general community of their opinion on a figure. It's really simple, toys are attractive to people because of their aesthetics. No one should be detered from buying a toy that they like from photos, because of one person's opinion. Especially not from a guy with hairy hands, playing around with a Transformers figure for 10:00 on Youtube with a low quality camera.
No, one person shouldn't be able to sway you. But it's not just one person with a negative review. It's numerous, and that number will grow as time goes on. So, yes, we should hear those voices, we should hear both sides of the argument.
Blurrz wrote:So what am I here to do? I'm here to convey the idea of Power Core Combiners. To let you know that it's more than just the toy, but also a movement. If you're not liking the sentence you just read, you probably might not want to read the rest of this article. You likely know me well already - I'm a crazed collector of Transformers: Armada, a Blurr fan, and I'm not exactly one to go along with popular trends. But no, this is not blind love for Power Core Combiners, it's a bit more like tough love. Whether you're laying the smackdown on these toys, or you love them to death, they're still just toys. And that brings us to the start of my discussion.
Good luck. This took balls, man. Brass, solid through and through. Weighing around a ton.
Blurrz wrote:Toy. Toys. [toi]. Looking it up in the dictionary, obviously you'll find a definition. A bunch of English nonsense, but there's a key phrase - "for children or others to play with". I'm sure you've heard of this all before, but for those who haven't, Hasbro's target audiences are within the definition. The children, and others, which are us Transformers fans. While I wish that us Transformers fans were pushing Transformers in the direction we wanted to, it's just not there. Even if Jon Doe dishes out one grand on Transformers every month, a kid and their ever affectionate parents outnumber us. We humans just can't stop making babies. Then there's Live Action. The 2007 Transformers Movie did not only include explosions from Michael Bay, no, it exploded the Transformers into the stratosphere, and it's a fair guess to assume that alot of kids jumped on the bandwagon.
Kids are the target audience. Problem is, kids are smarter than we ever give them credit for. Hasbro apparently hasn't received the memo. Kids don't want STUPID toys that basically insult their intelligence. They want toys that entertain and function with style.
Problem is, kids aren't buying these. At all. The ones I do see buying these? Us. That's right. Adult collectors and fans. Kids don't even give these a second glance. I have a perfect example of this situation from something I saw during a trip to Wal-Mart around Midnight.
A boy, his sister, and their mother were in the toy department (why they were there so late, I dunno. I guess the kids are allowed to pull all nighters on the weekends or something. *shrugs*) and his mom pointed out the PCC 5-Packs and explained that the 2-Packs interacted with the 5ers. She said it looked neat and it was affordable.
The son immediately grabbed HFTD Ironhide, and Activators Megatron. The mother said "Honey, those don't do as much as the others do. Why not buy those?" He said, and I quote: "They're stuuuuupid, moooooooom. They're not cool! They're for babies, and I won't play with them!" The mother and I were both flabbergasted by this. She looked at me, and I nodded, and said "He's right." As soon as she said he could have Ironhide and Megatron, he lit up like a Christmas tree.
So, if they're not a hit with the target audience, and we're the only ones buying these, yet we didn't ask for them....why do they exist? We'll get to that.
Blurrz wrote:To the movie toyline in particular. Leading up to the years before it, Transformers was always a singular toy line. Everyone had to go through the disco colors of Generation 2, the clashy colors of Universe, and the cool to me, but probably not very cool to you, Transformers Armada. Now in recent years we've had collective lines sharing the Transformers name under Hasbro's brand. In 2008, there were Movie toys, Universe/Classics 2.0 and Transformers Animated. Respectively we designated the figures under the different sections of the Transformers fanbase, for the movie fans, for the faithful Generation One fans, and for the kids. But there's a big problem here. In no way should Transformers Animated should have been designated towards the children population. Yes, it was a morning cartoon, but the toys were intricate puzzles. They require a force and memory, things that some young children have yet to develop sufficiently. To top it all off, Transformers Animated probably had the worst quality control in the history of Transformers. Loose hands, sloppy paint application, basically the works. Not only is that a huge turn off for us Transformers collectors, but when a kid doesn't like, or can't even play with the Transformers toy, that opens a huge can of warms. The parent's likely going to deem Transformers for being too difficult for their son or daughter. And while the majority of some Animated figures were completely shoddy, it still was successful because of it being part of a cartoon! Fans had to complete the 'cast' or get the toy of their favorite characters. Even to this day, people are demanding figures for Animated characters that have yet to receive one!
I understand where you're coming from, I do, but a tie-in media source isn't necessary. Again, we'll get to that in just a few.
Blurrz wrote:Fast forward to 2010. It's the same as 2008 - Hunt for the Decepticons for movie fans, Generations for the G1 fans, and Power Core Combiners for the kids. I ultimately feel that Hasbro deemed that the Animated toyline was a failure, and in order for a 'kid toyline' to be successful, Power Core Combiners had to simplified. There's alot of playability, the line is really aimed for children...
..And just like Transformers: Animated and everything before it, the line has it's own cartoon! Hasbro's got the business down pact, a kid watches Huffer and his best buddy Caliburst blast down Smolder and Chopster. Then after the show's over, the young boy kindly asks his mother to take him to the toy store. Both figures are purchased so he can re-enact their battles all over the carpet floor. Wait.. something's not right there. Ah yes, I got it wrong. The kid buys a comic book, and sees Bombshock with the Combaticons, shooting down Skyburst and the Aerialbots.. Wait that's not right either.
Hah. Just be glad this isn't right.
Blurrz wrote:Utterly Dumbfounded. It's been 3 months and I still can't get over the fact that Power Core Combiners has no connecting media. Not only is having no related cartoon for a major toy line breaking the trend, but having a toyline by itself is just silly to me. A single appearance in in Cyber Missions doesn't count either. Even reading Transformers Ongoing #11 got me interested in buying Generations Red Alert, Movie Firetrap (Brawn) and 2010 Takara Predaking. But for the PCCs - No toyline, no comics, no nothing. There's nothing to save this line if it's ratings fall. Compound this entire situation with the fact that the year 2010 yields no Transformers movie and no Transformers cartoon till Quarter 4 - I just see it's more likely for a child to be interested in Star Wars, Ben 10, or Iron Man. Even if a kid is a Transformers fan, I personally believe that the Movie line and Generations are alot more appealing than PCCs.
Oh, HFTD and Generations sell better than PCC. Not only with collectors and fans, but kids. Some PCC moves, but for the most part, about 90% of the first orders Wal-Mart stocked...are still there. Yes, even dust is starting to form on the packaging.
Even if this subline crashes and burns, it's not that big of a deal to Hasbro, obviously.
Why? Keep reading.
Blurrz wrote:The last nine paragraphs have led to my conclusion of this situation - Transformers Power Core Combiners have purely been marketed out for children. Personally I believe that Hasbro is using this to test out if a kid-only toy line can suffice. I just don't see that this project is going to work well. An entire toyline made out of Activators wouldn't work either. Yes, maybe Power Core Combiners could work, but not at this time. Maybe in December, when it's Christmas time and toys are bought up more than fast food. Maybe next year, when Transformers 3 comes out and the Transformers buzz is back. But in the Summer of 2010, competing externally against Star Wars, Iron Man, GIJoe, and internally against Generations and Hunt For the Decepticons - PCC's at the bottom of the league, and they traded away their first round draft pick. I just don't see that there's any hope for this line.
No. It's not as simple as that. Hasbro knows that a kid-only line won't work. Kids are too fickle, too impatient, and grow up too fast for a kid-only line to work. Hell, even some adults can't keep their mind on track for some of these.
PCC is not going to work. As is? No. We have too much proof of that. It's a doomed line.
And marketing to kids is a bad idea. Parents and other adults have opinions that are just as important, even if they say it's not worth the breath we wasted, but they do listen.
Hasbro's not going that route.
Let's carry on, shall we?
Blurrz wrote:Power Core Combiners have been engineered for younger fans, I just don't see how 21st century Transformers Technology can make PCC 5-Packs look like antiques compared to their superior Generation One brothers. Is that wrong? Certainly not, I'm sure younger fans and children will enjoy these toys due to their low cost and for the reasons stated above. But to us, to the older fans, to the experienced, Seriously Hasbro? I can't even consider myself as old, but this line is a complete turn off to me - an Armada collector. These Mini-cons are a shadow compared to Targetmasters, Headmasters, and Armada Mini-cons. My fellow Seibertron.com staff member Counterpunch, a man who collects almost everything, is flabbergasted at this line.
And Counterpunch should be flabbergasted at this line. We all should. We should look at it with the best Whiskey Tango Foxtrot look we can muster, capture it in pictures and mail them to Hasbro with a note that says "PCC, this is my response:"
Kids can and do want more complexity than what PCC has to offer. If they wanted simplicity to an absolutely idiotic level, they'd go with Gravity Bots and still have more entertainment.
Blurrz wrote:I can put words as to why this line was created, to how we got to this point, but I've got nothing in the English dictionary to describe these toys. So, Mamma Mia! I did say that with this article, I would make sure that no one would talk bad about Power Core Combiners at BotCon 2011. I'm sorry if I came off with the intention of making your opinion of these guys to be positive. No, just let your anger and hate out now.
Seibertron.com News Crew
Okay, now? Now, we can get to the nitty gritty.
It's a filler line.
Simple as that.
If it crashes and burns, Hasbro shrugs it off, chalks it up to a learning experience and moves on. But wait! There's a silver lining in the clouds. They've come up with a new combining technology that could be incorporated into future TF toys. The combination aspect? It works. I have no complaint about the fact that they do combine. I think the color coded connector points are a nice touch. (Though the color choice is awful.)
Hasbro's not using this as a kids-only tester. They're using it to fill shelves and pegs until TF3 hits theaters. Hasbro just so happened to come across a new combination design, that if integrated correctly, could revitalize their ideas waiting in the wings, and lead to new innovations that we will come to embrace.
But, first and foremost, it's a filler line, and when crashes and burns (and it will), they'll just brush it off and recoup their losses in the insane excess sales of the TF3 toyline. It's the last movie, they're gonna wanna go out with a bang, they're gonna want the toys to wow us, they're gonna want them to make money.
Because of this, PCC won't matter worth much past the combination scheme they came up with. They'll be able to implement that aspect into a future figure or line, and we'll embrace it and all will be forgiven. We've done it before, we'll do it again.
I see no need for PCC. I bought one, tried it out, wasn't satisfied, and asked for a refund. It sucked. I see what they were trying to accomplish, and it could (could
) lead to something great, but as of right now...they're not even in the same zipcode as "Meh", and have a looooooong way to go to get to great.
Kids should be insulted by how incredibly dumb these are.
Collectors/Fans should be angry with the current offerings SUCKING to the point that PCC on a whim seems like a good idea at the time, only for us to find out we've been had.
I can't wait for them to be gone, and I hope they don't make a return. They deserve to be locked away in a vault. Blech.
Utterly Dumbfounded. It's been 3 months and I still can't get over the fact that Power Core Combiners has no connecting media.
I hate to say it, but it's Machine Wars all over again with the PCCs.
Ah, but there's one very important difference. Machine Wars was a K-B Toys exclusive. Everyone and their brother's stuck with these
sacks of suck. You can't escape them. Not only could you walk out of K-B and be done with it, K-B's closed and MW can no longer punish you by being in your presence.
NOTE: Realize that I am not a perfect Christian, nor do I profess to be. I apologize if anyone's ever offended by me, I'm not perfect. Don't hold my posts and opinions against other Christians.