Like many other companies around the country, Hasbro has not been immune to the economic downturn. In order to keep up with demand while ensuring toy prices remain (relatively) low, they changed some features of their products. They decreased the overall height of individual figures, hollowed out specific areas to use less plastic per toy, and of course, kept just enough paint apps for a minimal amount of detailing. The complex shapes of the Bay-formers had to have cost them a fortune to produce.
However, a rumor (key word rumor
) that I heard through the Cybertronian grapevine was that new designers had recently been hired. While what was lost from waves and waves of toys is disappointing, these new perspectives have given us some improved transformation engineering. For example, the bulk of PRID Vehicon's robot legs are formed by folding the roof and windshield of the vehicle mode thrice on itself. Plus, you may bash it to high heaven , but the FoC Optimus Prime does a god job evoking the character model, even with the small size it was given. At least it was good enough to get a full three color repaint to Ultra Magnus.
Today , these rumored new designers may have finally gotten their bearings. Now it appears that all those sacrifices made to the recent waves had another purpose. Hasbro was able to save money in order to, once again, blow our processors. I believe the best shining example are the Voyagers, Springer and Blitzwing. To have both their alt. modes be SO distinct while also giving us a decent robot mode is nothing short of fantastic. That's why those two are at the top of my "SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY" list, followed closely by the new deluxes. Metroplex, while impressive, is too imposing for my tastes so I'll put that $125 toward Hasbro's Masterpiece Soundwave.
Our patience has been rewarded big time my fellow bots and cons, now let the hunt begin!