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Why I HATE iGear

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Why I HATE iGear

Postby Banjo-Tron » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:55 am

Motto: "My banjo is everything; defeat is ukelele"
I thought I would write this down because I seem to have a pathalogical dislike of this company that I can't quite put my finger on. I am an avid collector of 3Rd party TFs - some companies output doesn't really do it for me (like TFC toys for some reason) but I can acknowledge what they are decent anyway. But I HATE iGear. Feel free to berate me/ignore this or anything else but this is why I dislike them quite so much.

It starts with the name. iGear. A terrible, derivative name which grabs onto Apple's coat tails and somehow seeks to be associated with the qualitative, innovative output of that company. It's fitting that a company with a penchant for ripping things off would go down this road. Contrast this with FansProject, which at least evokes that we're all in this together, even if it isn't true.

Then there is their penchant for KOing and downsizing HasTak moulds. Why be original when you can let someone else do the hard work for you, then simply modify certain parts as per the original design spec like the seekers? It looks like their Impactor (if it ever sees the light of day) is heavily knocked off (or should I say 'inspired' (to use the parlance of iGear apologists) from Generations Warpath. And the daft names they give these chimeras like 'Faith Leader'. Do me a favour. Can they be any more pretentious about creating their knockoffs? Some KOs have a certain charm, like the ones with mad colour schemes and generic names like 'flying attack robot drone atom smasher', perhaps with some mis-spelling somewhere. I have more respect for these guys than the hacks at iGear. And their end product is probably higher quality.

Everything they release seems to come out a year later than planned, if at all.

They made the incredibly cheap move of upscaling all of their decentish scout sized Minibot modes to rake an a bit more cash for their tat. Actually, not all of them, they neglected to do the same for Huffer and Seaspray meaning that everyone who has already purchased these will have to purchase them again when iGear inevitably upsacle and re-release these 2 as 'limited edition' for $100

Their Packaging and all other print materials are the absolute worst of any of the 'main players'. It is crap and 'basic' is probably too kind a description.

The quality of plastic used on them is also terrible when compared with FansProject, TFC, Maketoys, Perfect Effect etc. Yet they still charge the same premium as the other guys who deserve it so much more.

They did NOT make Delicate warrior. Everyone pretty much likes this figure, and most call it 'iGear Arcee'. It has nothing to do with iGear. They were one of many distributors who carried the toy. If iGear had designed this figure, the quality of the plastic would be even worse and the box would have been an old shoebox with a hastily-scribbled iGear logo adorned to it. Credit where it is due, and in this case it is M&G Toys (although they pretty much ripped it off of Impossible Toys :))
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby robotmel » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:43 am

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:lol:

Well I only own their Kup01 - Kup Head Kit which is nice but I would really love to own their three versions of the Seeker/Coneheads which Hasbro/Takara dropped the ball with, they look superduper!! :grin:

Funnily enough I was browsing photos of said Coneheads on another website this morning and felt these would look great alongside my MP Thundercracker, MP Skywarp and MP Starscream!
Very nice indeed! ;)

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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Rated X » Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:51 am

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I got no problem with Igear taking Hasbro's molds and bringing them to their proper glory. Somebodys gotta do it and it sure wont be Hasbro. Sure the prices are a little steep. But whose arent these days ? I salute them for doing the much necessary size upgrade to the mini-bots to make them proper scout size. It proves they do listen to the fans. Ill gladly buy an upsized Huffer and Seaspray along with Pipes and G2 Spray. Im not going to complain about 20-30 bucks that I spent 6 months ago. Thats like complaining about spending last weeks beer money. I must admit they do have a poor customer service department. My friend only got one gun with his Huffer and never got a response after many e-mails. G2 Spray will be my first purchase from Igear directly. At 30 bucks with free shipping vs. 40 bucks I spent on Pipes (Tubes) at BBTS, I am willing to roll the dice. So go head Igear, get your shine on...
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby mooncake623 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:56 am

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I agree IGear is wack... Nothing from them seem original but they are consider "Necessary" to the modern TF collector. Giving us characters that Hasbro has yet to do. Truthfully I Hasbro's windcharger is lightyears better then any of Igears minibots. and if Hasbro release the rest of the minibots in the future each and everyone of them will slowly replace my Igear Minibots. the Igear minibots are just placeholders for me.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby RodimalToyota » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:04 pm

They re-tooled the seeker molds for the PP series.
They did a better job then Takara, by a leapyear.
The legs are much more streamlined, and round then Takara's trial.

I wish they would re-release Attack, Elegy and Jet.


I don't understand the hate.
I've got Gears of War Set 1, set 2, Kup upgrade, Weapons upgrade, and Cassette scout, and they all kick ass.
If they would release Autobot Base, that would be awesome, that was a great deal.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Mkall » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:18 pm

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iGear had a shaky start in the fandom, which has changed mostly for the better. Their first pieces were pretty crummy quality-wise and key parts could be traced back to other sets. There were even reports from several custom designers who received solicitations from iGear asking them for them to design stuff for iGear. When asked "what's in it for me?" iGear never responded. I believe this was first brought up by Venksta, though it's been a long while my memory on the details has faded.

When they started producing fuller figures, they initially started by KOing MP-01 and downsized it. There's nothing original about that, though by Primus people argued that it was an original idea. Still there were complaints of quality on the initial releases and the spotyness of iGear's responses came to light soon after.

iGear's seekers are an interesting story. They are and they're not KOs at the same time. Starting with the Starscream-style release, which featured better hips and what-not, fans immediately believed that they had improved the mold, only realizing later that this was in fact heavily based on a prototype MP-03 that the designer rejected for reasons of personal aesthetics. Did iGear get their hands on a prototype or one of the molds? Maybe they just over-analyzed the prototype pictures and came up with a facsimile? I don't believe anyone's come to a conclusion on that.

The Coneheads began life as a custom by, I believe, Wheeljack-S70 on the boards. iGear copied these designs giving only passing credit to the original artist but not offering anything further. To his credit, while the fandom was clamouring for iGear's collective heads on stakes, Wheeljack-S70 released a fairly neutral statement on them.

Up until this point, claiming that iGear had done anything original in their PP line is pretty much false.

Now things were brought to a head on the announcement of a G2 Ramjet that iGear would release as an exclusive to a little-known comics webstore. Someone who had a vile hatred for iGear told Hasbro about it, and the lawyers descended both on this retailer and other e-stores who sold iGear's facsimiles. This is most likely why BBTS doesn't want to risk anything remotely resembling a G1 masterpiece lookalike anymore. As an aside, the one who told Hasbro actually defended his decision over on TFW. It was hilarious watching him being ostrasized from the community in real-time.

Whatever affect Hasbro had on the retailers came back to iGear as well. Their PP-04 Tyrant, a down-sized version of Megatron never came to light.

Now iGear seems to employ their own designer, or at least has agreed to commission one properly. The minibots, sharkticon and most likely Impactor are as a result of this guy. He's on facebook somewhere. The new figures may look a great deal like their original figures and toys, and may even transform like them. But it seems that Hasbro is letting them slide, maybe it's only figures past a certain height that are affected? Or maybe just the famous ones that Hasbro cares about? I don't know that fact.

Communication with iGear has not really improved. They still seem to play favourites among their customers. Some customers report speedy service while others get no response at all. At this time I think it's iGear's primary weakness as a business.

That's the history of iGear. IMO they don't deserve as much hate as they used to. There are ways for them to improve further, but they may or may not take them.

tl, dr: Shady shenanigans plague iGear's past, but due to action by the fanbase and Hasbro, they've left most of it behind. Communication still sucks though.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby necr0blivion » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:23 pm

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Banjo-Tron wrote:Feel free to berate me/ignore this or anything else but this is why I dislike them quite so much.


I like civil discussion, so let's see what I can add here.

Banjo-Tron wrote:It starts with the name. iGear. A terrible, derivative name which grabs onto Apple's coat tails and somehow seeks to be associated with the qualitative, innovative output of that company. It's fitting that a company with a penchant for ripping things off would go down this road. Contrast this with FansProject, which at least evokes that we're all in this together, even if it isn't true.


That's fine about your dislike of the name. The "i" products are popular and there are other companies out there using the same "i" infringement. To me, it really doesn't matter but if indeed they did seek this name to inspire a sense of innovation, it's better than calling themselves "McGear" or something that would not give the customer a sense of satisfaction. And you even bring up FansProject but immediately invalidate your stance by saying they aren't really fan-directed. So, what's in a name?

Banjo-Tron wrote:Then there is their penchant for KOing and downsizing HasTak moulds. Why be original when you can let someone else do the hard work for you, then simply modify certain parts as per the original design spec like the seekers? It looks like their Impactor (if it ever sees the light of day) is heavily knocked off (or should I say 'inspired' (to use the parlance of iGear apologists) from Generations Warpath. And the daft names they give these chimeras like 'Faith Leader'. Do me a favour. Can they be any more pretentious about creating their knockoffs? Some KOs have a certain charm, like the ones with mad colour schemes and generic names like 'flying attack robot drone atom smasher', perhaps with some mis-spelling somewhere. I have more respect for these guys than the hacks at iGear. And their end product is probably higher quality.


So far, they've only downsized MP-01 (even though there were talks of doing the same for Megatron). Seeker mold also KO'ed and modified, but to great reward. The Coneheads are an awesome product and definitely helped solidify my shelf! My only complaint (which seems to be indicative of the company as a whole) are a lack of paint apps. Yes, they do have paint, but there's definitely room to add a bit more. I also don't worry about the names of figures. The whole point is to not call the figure by its inspiration (ie- copyrighted) name. Other companies tackle this in various manners, so it's not like iGear is alone. I don't say "see Elegy over there next to Starscream? He really makes my display shelf pop." I call him Dirge and no one complains about it.

Talking about the cheap KOs (the brightly colored ones you find at the dollar stores, flea markets, etc): the materials used are much worse than what iGear offers. Very thin, light can pierce through some of it. Blah, but you do get what you pay for in those products.

Banjo-Tron wrote:Everything they release seems to come out a year later than planned, if at all.


See - other 3Ps do this as well. I guess the big difference is that iGear offers their products directly and in preorders with set dates that they don't meet. Other companies would probably fall victim to the same issue if they also offered directly. I'm not sure who out there can strictly adhere to potential release dates. Some products we've heard or known about for YEARS by other companies and still haven't released yet.

Banjo-Tron wrote:They made the incredibly cheap move of upscaling all of their decentish scout sized Minibot modes to rake an a bit more cash for their tat. Actually, not all of them, they neglected to do the same for Huffer and Seaspray meaning that everyone who has already purchased these will have to purchase them again when iGear inevitably upsacle and re-release these 2 as 'limited edition' for $100


iGear listened to the fans when they made the change mid-stream for their mini-bot line. I'm not sure what they plan to do with future upscaled versions of either Rager or Spray, but now they definitely do not fit in with any future releases. Strange business plan, but for better or worse they are moving on. With the knowledge that the sizing change happened AFTER releasing the first two figures, it seems that an upscale was needed for the next two with minimal to no changes to the mold in order to keep up with releasing more figures. Maybe Rager and Spray will get significant changes in their upscaled molds, but I agree with iGear releasing the other figures instead of halting production to release those two first - I mean, didn't I *just* buy these guys? Now I don't feel so bad supporting MakeToys' releases (if ever they come out).


Banjo-Tron wrote:Their Packaging and all other print materials are the absolute worst of any of the 'main players'. It is crap and 'basic' is probably too kind a description.


I disagree, the recent releases have sturdy materials, nice pictures and descriptions printed. What more are you looking for in packaging, front window style?

Banjo-Tron wrote:The quality of plastic used on them is also terrible when compared with FansProject, TFC, Maketoys, Perfect Effect etc. Yet they still charge the same premium as the other guys who deserve it so much more.


I'm not an expert in plastic quality but I don't feel like the materials used in iGear's products are terrible (see my earlier comment about the KO toys). The plastic is very durable, I would even say that their Coneheads line has similar plastic quality to the Hasbro/Takara releases. There were issues with the Faith Leader line, which had some corrections in the second batch. The mini-bot line also has sturdy plastic. Is the better quality plastic a big factor in pricing when compared to KOs, I'm not sure. But I never feel like I'm buying a $5/10 toy from iGear (except maybe the mini-bot line, either new or old scale).

Banjo-Tron wrote:They did NOT make Delicate warrior. Everyone pretty much likes this figure, and most call it 'iGear Arcee'. It has nothing to do with iGear. They were one of many distributors who carried the toy. If iGear had designed this figure, the quality of the plastic would be even worse and the box would have been an old shoebox with a hastily-scribbled iGear logo adorned to it. Credit where it is due, and in this case it is M&G Toys (although they pretty much ripped it off of Impossible Toys :))


I don't blame iGear for this. I don't think they've ever claimed it is theirs, but the product is no longer offered on their site so I can't fact check. I believe the fandom and/or other e-tailers lump the product as iGear's because iGear was distributing it.

Overall, I think you're just gripping about things just to vent. I do it occasionally, as well as others here. Pricing issues are a hot-button issue as we all realize we're paying more than "retail" and would like pricing closer to Hasbro/Takara - but due to economies of scale, just isn't possible. Could iGear's practices stand a little more quality, sure. Could most 3Ps do better at the onset of development, announcements, and actual delivery of product - absolutely! But none of what you mention above should substantiate hatred of the company.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby necr0blivion » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:35 pm

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Mkall wrote:tl, dr: Shady shenanigans plague iGear's past, but due to action by the fanbase and Hasbro, they've left most of it behind. Communication still sucks though.


I should've just waited until you responded! :BOWDOWN:

One thing that I didn't emphasize enough in my response is that iGear seems to be doing better on several levels - listening to fans, better quality, etc. I've never had to contact their customer service before, so I really can't speak on that matter. But several bad experiences have been documented on this board as well as other outlets.

All said, I'm still buying their products so that should count for something.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby necr0blivion » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:40 pm

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RodimalToyota wrote:I've got Gears of War Set 1, set 2, Kup upgrade, Weapons upgrade, and Cassette scout, and they all kick ass. If they would release Autobot Base, that would be awesome, that was a great deal.


Gear of War sets are from TFC, not iGear. I would also like a shot at the Autobot base, but have heard some horror stories regarding its quality - it doesn't connect or stand up right. Again, this set was released years ago, quality has been getting better. Maybe they could fix issues in a new run?
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Mkall » Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:24 pm

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necr0blivion wrote:
Mkall wrote:tl, dr: Shady shenanigans plague iGear's past, but due to action by the fanbase and Hasbro, they've left most of it behind. Communication still sucks though.


I should've just waited until you responded! :BOWDOWN:

I think we both filled in what the other didn't address. Not bad for a near-synchronized posting. :BOWDOWN:
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:28 pm

iGear is a real mixed bag.

A lot of their early stuff was less than great and others were just decent. Their Seekers were alright, but they can't get too much credit for that. The MP Seeker mold is pretty good in and of itself. The second run of Faith Leader seems good, but that first run was flawed as Hell. And what was with the cape they made for MP Prime? And those new heads that stopped him from transforming?

I liked the Autoscout, but their MP Grimlock crown was shit (and came with useless accessories). Their hammer was alright, but the head was crummy, the flag unnessasary, and the gun was too tight and didn't really even go into the fist well since they didn't account for the angled forearms.

The Kup heads are golden and I understand their Ratchet and Ironhide psudo-MPs are their first 100% flaw-free success story.

The Minibots line is itself a mixed bag when it would have been so easy to make it phenomenal and a smash hit for all fans. Inconsistant sizes, lazy upsizing, and an ever-increasing price point have killed my enthusiasm.

The customer service is terrible. It's bad that you need to order from another just to feel safe. And the wait time ... it wouldn't be so bad if:
A) They didn't secure pre-orders when they ARE NOT close to production and
B) If they didn't tease their prototypes when it's clear they haven't really clamped down on whether they'll make them or not (or "pulling a Headrobots" - Trailbraker and Dark Scorpinok I am lookin' at you).

And yet, for all of that ... they are STILL making things I want. Despite reservations they are STILL making a Beacomber and Gears that I'm willing to buy (granted, from BBTS). Maybe that Sharkicon set will finally see the light of day too.

So, hate? I don't think they deserve hate. But I also don't think they'll ever be in the upper echelon of third party companies. I don't think anyone will ever expect more than a C+ Transformer from these guys.
Last edited by Gauntlet101010 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Banjo-Tron » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:16 am

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Gauntlet101010 wrote:(Awesome Explaination)


Nail on the head. Maybe 'hate' is a strong word but my mind is hardly the most rational at the best of times. And I have also thought of another reason I don't like them.

Every figure they 'homage' makes it less likely that someone awesome will do so themselves.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 am

I'm not so sure about that. It seems like it makes it even more likely, if you look at the overall pattern for 3rd party products. I don't think I have to go through a list of duplicated characters. Another new 3rd party company posted their take on Gears (as a 3d render), so you never know.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby leakin' lubricant » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:07 am

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Banjo-Tron wrote:I thought I would write this down because I seem to have a pathalogical dislike of this company that I can't quite put my finger on. I am an avid collector of 3Rd party TFs - some companies output doesn't really do it for me (like TFC toys for some reason) but I can acknowledge what they are decent anyway. But I HATE iGear. Feel free to berate me/ignore this or anything else but this is why I dislike them quite so much.

It starts with the name. iGear. A terrible, derivative name which grabs onto Apple's coat tails and somehow seeks to be associated with the qualitative, innovative output of that company. It's fitting that a company with a penchant for ripping things off would go down this road. Contrast this with FansProject, which at least evokes that we're all in this together, even if it isn't true.

Then there is their penchant for KOing and downsizing HasTak moulds. Why be original when you can let someone else do the hard work for you, then simply modify certain parts as per the original design spec like the seekers? It looks like their Impactor (if it ever sees the light of day) is heavily knocked off (or should I say 'inspired' (to use the parlance of iGear apologists) from Generations Warpath. And the daft names they give these chimeras like 'Faith Leader'. Do me a favour. Can they be any more pretentious about creating their knockoffs? Some KOs have a certain charm, like the ones with mad colour schemes and generic names like 'flying attack robot drone atom smasher', perhaps with some mis-spelling somewhere. I have more respect for these guys than the hacks at iGear. And their end product is probably higher quality.

Everything they release seems to come out a year later than planned, if at all.

They made the incredibly cheap move of upscaling all of their decentish scout sized Minibot modes to rake an a bit more cash for their tat. Actually, not all of them, they neglected to do the same for Huffer and Seaspray meaning that everyone who has already purchased these will have to purchase them again when iGear inevitably upsacle and re-release these 2 as 'limited edition' for $100

Their Packaging and all other print materials are the absolute worst of any of the 'main players'. It is crap and 'basic' is probably too kind a description.

The quality of plastic used on them is also terrible when compared with FansProject, TFC, Maketoys, Perfect Effect etc. Yet they still charge the same premium as the other guys who deserve it so much more.

They did NOT make Delicate warrior. Everyone pretty much likes this figure, and most call it 'iGear Arcee'. It has nothing to do with iGear. They were one of many distributors who carried the toy. If iGear had designed this figure, the quality of the plastic would be even worse and the box would have been an old shoebox with a hastily-scribbled iGear logo adorned to it. Credit where it is due, and in this case it is M&G Toys (although they pretty much ripped it off of Impossible Toys :))


Hmmm find it interesting that a lot of the complaints you raise are easily transferable to Hasbro/Takara.

For example Hasbro/Takara ripped off Microman and Diaclone designs for there original line, not to mention they continually churn out repeat moulds with minor differences, how many seeker or bumblebee moulds have we had now? Also Hasbro have recently up scaled FoC Soundwave and slapped a higher pricetag on him. Some of Hasbro/Takaras plastics are somewhat questionable, recent FoC lines have come into question recently.

So really if you hate I Gear then surely you must hold some dislike fo Hasbro/Takara?
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Banjo-Tron » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:29 am

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leakin' lubricant wrote:For example Hasbro/Takara ripped off Microman and Diaclone designs for there original line

No they did not, they licensed existing toylines, so how does that constitute a ripoff?
leakin' lubricant wrote:not to mention they continually churn out repeat moulds with minor differences, how many seeker or bumblebee moulds have we had now?

That's completely irrelevant, they are their moulds in the first place. Thay're not stealing or 'reverse engineering' a mould which is not theirs.
leakin' lubricant wrote:Also Hasbro have recently up scaled FoC Soundwave and slapped a higher pricetag on him.

There may be glaring similarities but it is not a simple upscaled mould. It is based on the same character model and has a 'cassette' compartment as the main difference, along with different detailing and I'd imagine proportions etc
leakin' lubricant wrote:Some of Hasbro/Takaras plastics are somewhat questionable, recent FoC lines have come into question recently.

Indeed, some of the FOC stuff is almost as bad as iGear's mini warriors line, but not quite.
leakin' lubricant wrote:So really if you hate I Gear then surely you must hold some dislike fo Hasbro/Takara?

I'm ambivalent towards them actually, since there is nothing they are currently producing that interests me. When they produce figures like United Tracks, I absolutely love them. When they concentrate on Prime/FOC, I'm not interested.
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby leakin' lubricant » Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:13 pm

Motto: "Be Quick or Be Dead"
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Thought I would revive this thread after receiving my first I Gear figure, UFO arrived in his nice shiny box this morning, I must say after reading some of the negative comments on here I was a little apprehensive. I knew from the packaging I was in for a pleasant surprise, nice box with an inventive bio on the back, opening the box I was greeted with more awesomeness, all the plastics and joints appeared to be of good quality (easily in line with any Hasbro products and in some cases better than some of my Takara products) even the stand which some reviews stated was of poor quality and broke easily stood up to several poses. The figure has a simple intuitive transformation and scales well with the rest of my Classics line. My only complaint (and it's a minor one) is that the green is a little too light, but as I have argued before, Hasbro have been guilty of some dodgy colour schemes in the past (Classics Megatron, Universe Cyclonus, etc) Overall I give him a solid 9 out of 10, loosing a mark for the colour scheme. :BOT:
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Re: Why I HATE iGear

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:29 am

UFO ain't bad. He just has some oddly large ball joints, but his main flaw for me is that he isn't sized to match Rager or Spray. A problem with their whole line.

Their Brawn was disappointing, though. He does the job and I don't think I'll need another Brawn, but there's so many ways he could be better.
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