A look back at Combiner Wars

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A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby cruizerdave » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:53 pm

It's been a few years, and as Siege moves into its second iteration I thought it might be fun to look at some of the best figures from Combiner Wars.
For a lot of people, the only point of Combiner Wars was the gestalt forms, which if we're honest, were not always the strongest aspect of the line. While the new connective system that ran through Combiner Wars, and later in Power of the Primes, was pretty slick, it left you with gestalt figures that are often full of fiddle. Stuff comes unpegged when you move the arms, the smaller robot limbs are often awkwardly just posed out of the way with no real snap point and the too-small feet with too big of hands may have been responsible for a boom in the third party parts industry.
However, for me, the combiner aspect was always a bonus. As a kid, I never had a complete combiner — not until Christmas of 1992, when I was in high school and my friend got me a G2 Scrapper as kind of an ironic joke gift. But then we realized if we used his figures, my figure and my little brother's figures, we could have a complete Devestator, which still sits in my office to this day. We combined them and they just kind of stayed with me … sucks to suck I guess.
And wow, what a disappointment. Our entire childhood had been sold on the idea of how strong and powerful Devastator was, but once in hand, he's a figure smaller than Galvatron, Ultra Magnus and G2 Megatron.
But yeah, as a kid, it was more about the individual guys. They were all characters with personalities until the climax of each episode where they'd combine and fight for a few minutes. Or by season three, when you had entire cities running around, the impressiveness of a combined robot seemed less impressive, and they were used a lot less. Bruticus was sometimes just a guy aiming a laser gun while standing next to Brawl. Oh Akom, you RRRR ups.
Combiner Wars did one big thing right. Instead of miniature figures, it was built upon deluxe and voyager figures, which made substantial gestalts.
So, where any of them any good?
Hell yeah!
But here are some ground rules. Combiner Wars had a lot of repaints and pre-paints. A lot. So you won't find the Autobot Cars, the Optimus, the white Optimus, Galvatronus or whatever in the hell Victorian was on this list. A lot of those were inventive uses of the molds, but not what they were intended to be. Nor will you find guys like the Terrorcons, although had they been released under the banner of Combiner Wars, some of them probably would be on this list as well.

So anyway, in no particular order are my favorite individual figures from this now bygone era —

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Bonecrusher — The Devestator set was the one time as a TF fan that I felt snobby about insisting on the Japanese edition. Most of the time, I'm fine with Hasbro's releases, but this was one time when I was really disappointed with the American version. This wasn't a paint app or a exclusive Japanese character. No, the American version had no individual guns, worse articulation and fewer features. Plus is cost almost the same as the Japanese edition did to import. Anyway, Bonecrusher here sports perfect articulation. His robot mode is the very best version we could ever expect of this character. He looks like an animation model jumped from the scene to the shelf, without the hooky-ness or over simplification that plague other figures that try to stay true to the cartoon. It's a very good balance. His crotch is a little tricky to get transformed right, and he has a very minor amount of back kibble, but other than that, I love everything about this figure.

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Vortex — Used as a pre-color for the Aerialbots for no discernable reason, and then as a Protectobot because apparently helicopters are all the same, this mold was meant to be VORTEX. His head sculpt is perfect. His paint is spot on. His huge caliber gun is perfect for a Combaticon. His colors are perfect. They took a figure from G1 that was vague on its details and filled it with character. I like the sleek helicopter mode, and the kibble from it isn't terrible in robot mode.

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Motormaster — Another guy pre-molded for no other reason than the Hasbro philosophy at the time that every mold had to be used 27 times. However, perhaps being Optimus Prime first helped Motormaster, because he was given an inventive transformation from truck cab to asshole robot. Those who remember the G1 figure know that robot sucked, even at the time. This one is almost kibble free due to how the panels fold up in robot mode. His big square head looks appropriately grumpy. However, it's the colors that sell me on this robot, as the mix of silver, black and purple is done nearly perfectly. Also, he was one of the few Voyagers with waist articulation. A few paint apps had to be added in both modes, but overall this is a figure who looks like a robot version of the guy you don't want to have a run in with at a truck stop — big, angry and tough.

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Fireflight — Another just about perfect deluxe figure. I'm using the G2 version because that's what I have, but it's not all that different from the original release. Anyway, this does such a good job of being a jet, they even used it for a guy that was originally a space shuttle. It forms one of the best arms in Combiner Wars, but it's also a very solid figure in its own right. It has the standard articulation and transformation that made Combiner Wars very consistent, but it carries it off very well. Oh, and these guys scale so well with the Classics Seekers. Now that Earthrise is giving us an upscaled version of the classic mold, were all stuck with the idea of spending hundreds of dollars to replace our Decepticon Jets, but now in a scale too big to mesh with our Aerialbots. That's a discussion for another thread …

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Onslaught — The only things that don't work about Onslaught are because they are carried over from his mold mate. His back guns aren't quite right, because they belong to Hotspot. He doesn't come with a hand weapon, for the same reason. The emergency lights on his knees are silly for a guy who turns into an artillery truck. He has some of the most egregious amounts of back kibble in the line. However, those things said, they did take time and care in his mold modifications and paint applications and made a solid figure that works very well in robot mode and OK in vehicle mode. I also can't decide if him or Silverbolt make for the best central body in the Scramble City lineup.

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Swindle — Another guy premolded into a pretty solid figure. However, his intended use is still better. I love how the chest is an amalgamation of his animation model and his G1 self. While he didn't come with his signature shoulder blaster, he has the port for it. His head is one of the best in the deluxe class. He looks like Joe Pesci, which is appropriate considering his character. Ankle tilts, a solid jeep mold and an awesome paint job make this guy stand out. The only flaw I've found is his windscreen/jeep hood loves to snap off even at the slightest touch.

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Scrapper — Yeah, remember when I insisted on the Japanese release. This is why. Elbow articulation and a gun make all the difference. This mold perfectly matches up with the Scrapper of my feeble human brain. He has a big ass bucket on his back, but I can't even count that as kibble as it's such an iconic part of his look. A lot of the Constructicons had compromises made for their robot forms. Hook's waist is weird, Mixmaster barely has a transformation and Long Haul is fat. But this guy is trim, sharp looking and ready to bring some pain. Plus he's not saddled with two wings as his weapon. This is the perfect upgrade of the G1 figure.

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Powerglide — If there is a figure that is a better G1 homage, I can't name it. He's the perfect size, even though as an A-10, bah, the hell with scale, he's the perfect size! He feels just like the G1 figure, but with more joints. Yeah he turns into a gun or something stupid, but I don’t' care about that. I just like that he's the Powerglide CHUG needed. Speaking of Combiner Wars figures that don’t really combine …

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Ultra Magnus — Yeah, I know. I had to double check to make sure, but yep, Ultra Magnus was part of Combiner Wars. I guess because his cab combines with his trailer? Or because he has a neat little mini figure driver that pays tribute to something that happened in comics I never read? I don't know, I don't care. This is the Magnus I always wanted in CHUG. Big and chunky, yet articulated and dynamic. Yeah, Siege is pretty neat, but this one can carry cars in the car carrier mode and I picked it up for $25 on sale. Try doing that with a Siege Magnus!
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:12 pm

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
1. SIEGE Magnus can carry 2 cars on his car carrier mode just like T30 Ultra Magnus. He also has a separate cab robot, so..
2. Ultra Magnus was in Combiner Wars because Thrilling 30 ran out of room and the Leader-class price point was a dumping ground during CW for whatever because it didn't play into the combination gimmick.

Here are my thoughts on Combiner Wars:
* Motormaster is cool but the torso mode was poorly thought-out
* I kinda want the next line after the WFC trilogy to be a Combiner Wars rerun because of how much the smegging limb robots go for on eBay. :-x
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby Rodimus Prime » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:46 am

I enjoyed combiner Wars immensely, for the advertised gimmick: they combine. I loved the gestalts even back in G1, even though they pale in comparison to CW engineering. I think the best torso is Cyclonus/Silverbolt, with Silverbolt looking better combined and Cyclonus on his own, even though he makes a very good torso as well. As a matter of fact, I mainly have Cyclonus combined with the Stunticons, because the purple HFGs match, and because Motormaster is such a POS torso. As much as I enjoy all the Combiner Wars goodness, as a Marvel comic fan my biggest kick was getting a Scrounge figure after 30 years, despite the fact that he doesn't roll, his robot mode is fairly accurate. Minus his very special arm. Now if only WFC would nut up and give us a voyager Blaster and Straxus to go with the little guy.

My main disappointment with CW was the fact that Hasbro tried to sell us figures that were totally unnecessary as part of the srts, I.e. Alpha Bravo, Off-road, Rook and not-shuttle Blast Off. Blast Off I can excuse, because as a fighter jet he actually fit in with the military theme, and even Rook wasn't that bad, he scaled better with the rest of the team than a bike ( I never did get deluxe Groove, just the legends, which I thought was scale appropriate), and of course as I said before, Motormaster was a total POS. Also, I thought that some of the previously non-combining characters should have been sacrificed so that we could have gotten the Terrorcons in the CW line where they belong.

Also, since PoTP Grimlock is such a POS torso as well, I use the Dinobots as Sky Lynx's limbs, looks great. Definitely better to have a dragon with dinosaurs than cars.

Before CW, I was selectively picking up figures from T30, but CW made me want to pick up every figure in the line. Except Alpha Bravo.

I love Hasbro Devy, because I keep him combined, so the individual figures don't need weapons. I think that of the regular sized figures, Superion looks the best.
Burn wrote:Alpha Bravo...He's a helicopter in a team of jets. That's just dumb.
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:51 am

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
1. I think a Voyager Blaster is pretty likely in WFC. Straxus, I don't know, given what a shortaft he was, but then again a Deluxe might not be able to accommodate the pick these days... At least the existing Straxus is the size he should be relative to the Insecticons and can do this even if it isn't the toy's primary altmode:
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2. Re: Alpha Bravo, Offroad, Rook, and jet!Blast Off... Alpha Bravo I think stemmed from either a case of Archeritis or a desire to add variety in the hopes of making at least one member stand out more. Offroad, I'm not so sure about. Rook I think comes from Groove's scale issue. jet!Blast Off is the most obviously explicable one: Hasbro cheaping out. Because he's just a straight redeco of Slingshot/Quickslinger. I think they could have retooled Alpha Bravo as a decent shuttle, but that apparently was more than Hasbro wanted to spend.

3. Re: The combining toys of non-combining characters... I don't think we would have gotten the Terrorcons had some of those not been produced. I think doing the Terrorcons was more investment than Hasbro wanted to put into the line at that point (the Hasbro Technobots are also lacking). What I'm annoyed about is that despite the Stunticons being moldmated to Autobots, HasTak failed to do a complete "Masquerade" homage. PotP at least gave us Jazz, but what about Sideswipe and Windcharger, hm?

4. Dunno what you're talking about, PotP Grimlock is a fine torso :P Motormaster is painful though. The mold was plainly designed as Optimus Prime first and a combiner torso second... Ugh, why did they have to plan the arm sockets so poorly?! And fail to check the feet clearance in torso mode (On Red!Optimus and the original batches of Motormaster, the robot mode feet are shaped juuust wrong enough to cause clearance issues if the legs are facing the way the instructions say to). And of course, it just figures that they would flub the arm mountings of Menasor, the combiner who - being a sword user - needs the added arm articulation of CW the most.
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby Gauntlet101010 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:14 am

I got the Unite Warriors versions of the G1 combiners .... and, outside of Devestator, I regret it. All the limbs were released domestically I I think I like Dragstrip better int he Hasbro version. Also the paint chipped a bit on Defensor and it was so noticeable I got the Hasbro version of Hot Spot just so I wouldn't have to stare at it.

I like that Combiner Wars finally did Combiners right. That they were tiny really bugged me back in the day. Now they're about the right size they really should be, aside from Groove. I have to admit I use Maketoys Giant as my Devestator because he scales with Combiner Wars Combiners far better than the official release.

I'm also kinda bugs that the Aerialbots don't scale well with Earthrise Seekers. There are KO Combiner Wars sets if I really want to go that route. But then I have to rebuy all the combiners and then you have Decepticon cars far larger than Autobot cars. And I can't have that! Not with so many Autobot cars.
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby TF-fan kev777 » Fri Mar 06, 2020 12:32 pm

Combiner Wars was the line that pulled me back into collecting, so it will always have a warm place in my heart. I went all in getting every Hasbro offering (except for the regular release Scattorshot) including all the boxed sets, and supplemented that with Takara's Computron, Megatronia, Grand Galvatron, Bauldigus and Lynx Master, as well as a couple oddball TFSS bots I found on ebay for a reasonable price (Impactor and Counterpunch).

And while I loved the line for finally giving us great combiners, the numerous repaints/remolds did eventually grow old. I have already thinned out the collection from Has/Tak duplicates, selling off the Hasbro versions of Sky Lynx, Wheeljack and Trailbreaker. I've also sold off all of the leader class, as more recent versions have been better for me than the CW versions.

Although I am in no ways a G1 purist, I am getting to a point where I'm thinking of selling off some of the non-traditional torsos and limbs that I already have better toys of. Well, after one final combiner battle royal once Piranacon is in hand that is.
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:06 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
I only have Motormaster, Onslaught and by extension shuttle Blast Off of the line, and they only accented my mistake of skipping the line partially because of the QC issues everyone complained about. It's gonna be hard playing catch-up...

A few things do need to be said about the Combiner Wars line as a whole.

The idea of pretools or other reuses of molds were what got the line made in the first place, especially the second version of any given mold released. The Aerialbots and Stunticons were G1 accurate with them, but Defensor and Bruticus may have undergone some last-minute changes, especially the latter concerning Brawl. My guess is Brawl had a vehicle mode change at first as Rook's alternate head was confirmed to be based on him (Brawl's been an APC before as a redeco of 2010 Breacher), and the tank mold he ended up with was... less than stellar in the QC department which may mean he was rushed. Blast Off... I don't know what happened there. He was planned as a straight redeco of Fireflight going by packaging art skecthes...
CW did introduce the current form of "reshelling" for the sake of making retools look drastically different, so that's something.

And legacy characters as combiners? Unfortunately a necessary evil to grab attention. I have no real problems with them, as long as they make sense and have appropriate character pairings. Optimus Maximus? Perfect. Sky Reign... *puts in ear plugs*
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby blackeyedprime » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:57 pm

Motto: "Me Grimlock, you slag."
Weapon: Particle Beam Cannon
Combiner wars got me back into toy transformers, I was quite happy only having mps/kos/third party. Mainly because mp combiners were going to be out of my price range and that cw was available at retail. Trying to pick up a transformer figure other than rescue bots at our asda/tecos etc is nearly impossible and I remember passing on a universe? Drift during grocery shopping due to a stupid high rrp back then.

Cw may have been done a bit cheaply done for the most part and not had the charm of classics but being available was a big help... Kind of available anyways, superion was missing two plane members for years for me. The only one I ever completed in one buy was bruticus before the joy of finding the unite warriors and hasbro box sets.

The gestalt can be a bit quirky, if the arms are extended to give them elbow joints the legs need extending so that they are in proportion but it leaves them unstable -how I display most of them anyways. Leaving the arms and legs squished up give them g1 looks but that's not a good thing. Would have been nice to have had base modes for those that had them on the G1 toys.

The bright colors works for the g2 sets, megatronus and liokaiser so they are probably my faves of the line. Magnus is great as well even if I'm always irked if he is g1ish doesn't have his cabs robot mode even if it never appeared in the toon. The white optimus gave plenty of customisation options with toyhax labels and works for me as a trailer less thunderclash.

Doubt I'll ever own predacus (cries) or some of the obscure bots but it was nice to see beast wars getting some love and ravage being a car again outside of alternators/binaltech which sucked a lot less than the tape things modes.

Whilst not cw, I find the combined dinobots mode work better using the t-rex head as some kind of giant battle beast monstrosity just needs a huge fire/wood/water rub symbol :)
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:03 pm

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
Some more notes:
* I find the Drag Strip mold to be the most noteworthy mold of the entire line. Why? The telescoping legs. Has any other recent or semi-recent mold had those?
* I kinda wonder if it would have been better to have the torso bots be at the Leader price-point and use that to include hands and feet with them.
* I also wonder if maybe they should have ditched the idea of integrating the combiner head and chestplate. I know that Silverbolt and Superion would be better off for that (separate helmet = no delicate strut to break).
* Speaking of Silverbolt and Superion, I'm annoyed that they replicated the animation model's mouthplated head (and that AFAICT the 3P upgrades don't have a corrected one) that it only has because the Aerialbots' animation models seem to have been drawn from low-res catalog photos.

Gauntlet101010 wrote:I got the Unite Warriors versions of the G1 combiners .... and, outside of Devestator, I regret it. All the limbs were released domestically I I think I like Dragstrip better int he Hasbro version. Also the paint chipped a bit on Defensor and it was so noticeable I got the Hasbro version of Hot Spot just so I wouldn't have to stare at it.
Yeah, the UW versions of the G1 "Scramble City" combiners are largely dodgy deco-wise (the exceptions being Superion and Computron). UW Menasor messes up Motormaster's robot and torso mode color layouts by turning him black, and undoes the effort to finish Drag Strip's deco. UW Bruticus replicates the animation model's stupidity of coloring the chestplate like Blast-Off. And of course, the original limbs getting Hasbro releases undercuts the purchase value.
The one UW "Scramble City" combiner I would say is solidly better is Computron, given the better choices of base molds and the more extensive retooling.

Gauntlet101010 wrote:I like that Combiner Wars finally did Combiners right. That they were tiny really bugged me back in the day. Now they're about the right size they really should be, aside from Groove. I have to admit I use Maketoys Giant as my Devestator because he scales with Combiner Wars Combiners far better than the official release.
Yeah.. The problem CW Devy is that he was designed to portray the kaiju size the combined forms have in the cartoon, relative to full-size TF toys. It works, but he pays for it by having oversize component bots and not matching the regular CW Combiners (who don't portray the kaiju size, but are still respectable giants because their components are regular-size instead being 4 Legion-size figures and a Deluxe).

Gauntlet101010 wrote:I'm also kinda bugs that the Aerialbots don't scale well with Earthrise Seekers. There are KO Combiner Wars sets if I really want to go that route. But then I have to rebuy all the combiners and then you have Decepticon cars far larger than Autobot cars. And I can't have that! Not with so many Autobot cars.
I'd just deal with the Aerialbots being smaller. I think that's borne out by the cartoon anyway.
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeroWolf » Fri Mar 06, 2020 3:39 pm

Motto: "My past no longer binds my future..."
Weapon: Battle Blades
I'm in the minority but I loved Alpha Bravo (I'd also argue that the mold fits Blades quite well given his bio, he'd be quite happy to have missiles on his arms) I was glad at the idea of new characters and the idea that the teams may on fact have more then five members (which is sensible as it means you can still combine if someone is taken out). Rook as well was really fun and a great addition. I just wish IDW did more to give these characters a personality and a background.

As to the repaints, remember they were part of the reason Warden was able to get the line made, minimising costs to hasbro, making sure that Combiners old and new were the main draw.
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 4:18 pm

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
I'm cool with the redecoes having happened, myself. I just wish Sideswipe and Windcharger had gotten picked.

I like to think of jet!Blast off as "A new character in the same/similar colors" akin to Rook, Alpha Bravo, and Offroad. I had this idea in my head of these "fifth limb" characters being taken - against their will in the case of Rook and Alpha Bravo - and used as the limbs of Galvatronus.
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeroWolf » Fri Mar 06, 2020 5:14 pm

Motto: "My past no longer binds my future..."
Weapon: Battle Blades
I like what Takara did with Galvatronus. Funny to think actually how many characters we got in that time frame if you count Combiner Wars, Unite Warriors and all the exclusives.
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:39 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:Some more notes:
* I find the Drag Strip mold to be the most noteworthy mold of the entire line. Why? The telescoping legs. Has any other recent or semi-recent mold had those?


No, and for good reason. Telescoping legs tend to wear out quickly, especially if they have no catches and rely on friction alone, leaving the bot rather... short. For that reason they're one of my pet peeves, and I'm so happy CW standardized the replacement scheme.
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Looking for:
- TR Furos and Crashbash (just heads)
- PotP Punch head
- CW Dead End, Brawl, Swindle, Vortex, among others
- Spare PotP Volcanicus hands
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 8:47 pm

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:Some more notes:
* I find the Drag Strip mold to be the most noteworthy mold of the entire line. Why? The telescoping legs. Has any other recent or semi-recent mold had those?


No, and for good reason. Telescoping legs tend to wear out quickly, especially if they have no catches and rely on friction alone, leaving the bot rather... short. For that reason they're one of my pet peeves, and I'm so happy CW standardized the replacement scheme.
Most of them do have catches, though. CW Drag Strip has spring-loaded catches, even, not the mixed-reliability locking tabs a lot of G1 figures had (which were particularly unreliable on figures with die-cast slabs for legs *glares at Megatron and Shockwave*). As do the Classics Seekers and most if not all Unicron Trilogy figures that have them.
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:19 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:Some more notes:
* I find the Drag Strip mold to be the most noteworthy mold of the entire line. Why? The telescoping legs. Has any other recent or semi-recent mold had those?


No, and for good reason. Telescoping legs tend to wear out quickly, especially if they have no catches and rely on friction alone, leaving the bot rather... short. For that reason they're one of my pet peeves, and I'm so happy CW standardized the replacement scheme.
Most of them do have catches, though. CW Drag Strip has spring-loaded catches, even, not the mixed-reliability locking tabs a lot of G1 figures had (which were particularly unreliable on figures with die-cast slabs for legs *glares at Megatron and Shockwave*). As do the Classics Seekers and most if not all Unicron Trilogy figures that have them.


Spring-loaded? That I gotta see. :)
The resident Rewind... well, half of one :lol:

- Jelze Bunnycat =:3

Looking for:
- TR Furos and Crashbash (just heads)
- PotP Punch head
- CW Dead End, Brawl, Swindle, Vortex, among others
- Spare PotP Volcanicus hands
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby Rodimus Prime » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:00 pm

I thought that Devy would have been perfect if he was 6 deluxes instead of 6 voyagers. But Hasbro had to justify the Titan Class spot I guess.
Burn wrote:Alpha Bravo...He's a helicopter in a team of jets. That's just dumb.
Image

My fanfics:
disaster-transport--p1927519.php#p1927519
the-bad-seed--p1909021.php#p1909021
stories-from-a-wild-and-crazy-con--t109626.php
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:24 pm

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:Some more notes:
* I find the Drag Strip mold to be the most noteworthy mold of the entire line. Why? The telescoping legs. Has any other recent or semi-recent mold had those?


No, and for good reason. Telescoping legs tend to wear out quickly, especially if they have no catches and rely on friction alone, leaving the bot rather... short. For that reason they're one of my pet peeves, and I'm so happy CW standardized the replacement scheme.
Most of them do have catches, though. CW Drag Strip has spring-loaded catches, even, not the mixed-reliability locking tabs a lot of G1 figures had (which were particularly unreliable on figures with die-cast slabs for legs *glares at Megatron and Shockwave*). As do the Classics Seekers and most if not all Unicron Trilogy figures that have them.


Spring-loaded? That I gotta see. :)
Here you go:
Image
That's Cybertron Hot Shot. I know with absolute certainty that CW Drag Strip has the same sort of tabs, because my Drag Strip is a repainted CW Mirage. I have likewise dismantled and repainted a Classics Seeker.
It's easy to tell that a figure has this sort of tab if you know they exist, there's a telltale click and a telltale level of resistance.
Rodimus Prime wrote:I thought that Devy would have been perfect if he was 6 deluxes instead of 6 voyagers. But Hasbro had to justify the Titan Class spot I guess.
That and didn't want to create a new smaller price point for the Constructicon boxset (which I think their proprietary 6-member combination mechanic meant they had to be). Although hey, maybe they could have used the Titan budget on joints and accessories. :-x

It's at least tolerable with Devy since he was the only combiner up until The Key to Vector Sigma, and thus most of his battles were with regular Autobots he towered over to a Godzilla degree (thanks to combiners magically growing in the cartoon), but a 6-deluxe Devs would be nice.
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby Rodimus Prime » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:02 pm

Or they could have used the budget on an actual Titan. I mean, if nothing else, how about a Metrotitan? It wouldn't have been that hard to repaint Metroplex, and they could have gotten more mileage out of the mold.

Btw, Devy was the Titan for which year? 2014 or 2015?
Burn wrote:Alpha Bravo...He's a helicopter in a team of jets. That's just dumb.
Image

My fanfics:
disaster-transport--p1927519.php#p1927519
the-bad-seed--p1909021.php#p1909021
stories-from-a-wild-and-crazy-con--t109626.php
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:23 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
Rodimus Prime wrote:Or they could have used the budget on an actual Titan. I mean, if nothing else, how about a Metrotitan? It wouldn't have been that hard to repaint Metroplex, and they could have gotten more mileage out of the mold.

Btw, Devy was the Titan for which year? 2014 or 2015?


Counting back:

2020: Scorponok
2019: Omega Supreme
2018: Predaking
2017: Trypticon
2016: Fortress Maximus
2015: Constructicon Devastator
2014: none
2013: Metroplex

And Metrotitan is too obscure of a release for main retail, all customers would see is a Metroplex in different colors, not a justification for $100 toy.

ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:Some more notes:
* I find the Drag Strip mold to be the most noteworthy mold of the entire line. Why? The telescoping legs. Has any other recent or semi-recent mold had those?


No, and for good reason. Telescoping legs tend to wear out quickly, especially if they have no catches and rely on friction alone, leaving the bot rather... short. For that reason they're one of my pet peeves, and I'm so happy CW standardized the replacement scheme.
Most of them do have catches, though. CW Drag Strip has spring-loaded catches, even, not the mixed-reliability locking tabs a lot of G1 figures had (which were particularly unreliable on figures with die-cast slabs for legs *glares at Megatron and Shockwave*). As do the Classics Seekers and most if not all Unicron Trilogy figures that have them.


Spring-loaded? That I gotta see. :)
Here you go:
Image
That's Cybertron Hot Shot. I know with absolute certainty that CW Drag Strip has the same sort of tabs, because my Drag Strip is a repainted CW Mirage. I have likewise dismantled and repainted a Classics Seeker.
It's easy to tell that a figure has this sort of tab if you know they exist, there's a telltale click and a telltale level of resistance.


So almost as good as Bandai's lockings mechanisms. Great!
The resident Rewind... well, half of one :lol:

- Jelze Bunnycat =:3

Looking for:
- TR Furos and Crashbash (just heads)
- PotP Punch head
- CW Dead End, Brawl, Swindle, Vortex, among others
- Spare PotP Volcanicus hands
User avatar
JelZe GoldRabbit
God Of Transformers
Posts: 17621
News Credits: 241
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:45 am
Location: McKinney, Texas, USA; Delft, the Netherlands
Strength: 5
Intelligence: 9
Speed: 8
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Rank: 1
Courage: 6
Skill: 5

Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Fri Mar 06, 2020 11:35 pm

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
Rodimus Prime wrote:Or they could have used the budget on an actual Titan. I mean, if nothing else, how about a Metrotitan? It wouldn't have been that hard to repaint Metroplex, and they could have gotten more mileage out of the mold.

Btw, Devy was the Titan for which year? 2014 or 2015?
2015. 2014 didn't have a Titan.
Metrotitan wouldn't have been on theme, though. He'd be nice to have, and he would have been easy, but he wouldn't have fit the "Combiner Wars" theme (plus he's practically a nobody even after being used in IDW). Then there's the fact that there had been four variants of Metroplex in 2013, so a straight redeco of him (Especially as a lesser-known character) may have been deemed a bad bet so soon after.

And here's an unpleasant thought: if they had made Metrotitan during CW, Devastator might have been skipped altogether.

Ultimately they got more mileage out of the Metroplex mold by making alternate parts to turn it into Fort Max.
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sat Mar 07, 2020 12:37 am

JelZe, considering that he would have required no retooling, just a new paint job, I think that would have lowered the price on Metrotitan, and he wouldn't have had to be a mainstream release either, just an online exclusive, because as you said, he was a bit obscure and only fans would have bought him.
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
Rodimus Prime wrote:Or they could have used the budget on an actual Titan. I mean, if nothing else, how about a Metrotitan? It wouldn't have been that hard to repaint Metroplex, and they could have gotten more mileage out of the mold.

Btw, Devy was the Titan for which year? 2014 or 2015?
2015. 2014 didn't have a Titan.
Metrotitan wouldn't have been on theme, though. He'd be nice to have, and he would have been easy, but he wouldn't have fit the "Combiner Wars" theme (plus he's practically a nobody even after being used in IDW).
Well, if he had been used, he could have been the Titan for 2014, which was before Combiner Wars started. Then Devy could have still been out in 2015. I mean, for Metrotitan there didn't need to d a design stage, just a repaint stage.
Then there's the fact that there had been four variants of Metroplex in 2013, so a straight redeco of him (Especially as a lesser-known character) may have been deemed a bad bet so soon after.
It would have been the next year and since he was a redeco, it would have cost much less for Hasbro and they could have released him as an online exclusive in much smaller numbers. Maybe even as a BotCon exclusive.
And here's an unpleasant thought: if they had made Metrotitan during CW, Devastator might have been skipped altogether.
Highly doubtful, as Devy had been planned since the start of the Combiner Wars concept, I believe. Filling a titan spot was more of a convenience. Meaning that they thought of Devy as part of the Combiner Wars line before they decided that he should take up a titan spot. But that's just my suspicion, not based on anything actual. So there was no way Devy wasn't going to be made. Having the Titans line just justified his size.
Ultimately they got more mileage out of the Metroplex mold by making alternate parts to turn it into Fort Max.
That and repainting him into Metrotitan are mutually exclusive. They could have done both, especially since there would have been 2 years between them had Metrotitan come out in 2014.
Burn wrote:Alpha Bravo...He's a helicopter in a team of jets. That's just dumb.
Image

My fanfics:
disaster-transport--p1927519.php#p1927519
the-bad-seed--p1909021.php#p1909021
stories-from-a-wild-and-crazy-con--t109626.php
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:11 am

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
Rodimus Prime wrote:
ZeldaTheSwordsman wrote:
Rodimus Prime wrote:Or they could have used the budget on an actual Titan. I mean, if nothing else, how about a Metrotitan? It wouldn't have been that hard to repaint Metroplex, and they could have gotten more mileage out of the mold.

Btw, Devy was the Titan for which year? 2014 or 2015?
2015. 2014 didn't have a Titan.
Metrotitan wouldn't have been on theme, though. He'd be nice to have, and he would have been easy, but he wouldn't have fit the "Combiner Wars" theme (plus he's practically a nobody even after being used in IDW).
Well, if he had been used, he could have been the Titan for 2014, which was before Combiner Wars started. Then Devy could have still been out in 2015. I mean, for Metrotitan there didn't need to d a design stage, just a repaint stage.
Okay, but you had originally been talking about Devy's Titan slot going to Metrotitan :P

Rodimus Prime wrote:
Then there's the fact that there had been four variants of Metroplex in 2013, so a straight redeco of him (Especially as a lesser-known character) may have been deemed a bad bet so soon after.
It would have been the next year and since he was a redeco, it would have cost much less for Hasbro and they could have released him as an online exclusive in much smaller numbers. Maybe even as a BotCon exclusive.
1. My point is that Hasbro may have felt that people were too sick of Metroplex's mold after four variants in one year for a straight redeco (especially of an obscure character) to be viable, even a year or two later. I certainly remember a lot of grousing at the time about there being four Metroplex variants.
2. A BotCon exclusive would never have been a possibility. FunPub didn't do toys that big.
Rodimus Prime wrote:
And here's an unpleasant thought: if they had made Metrotitan during CW, Devastator might have been skipped altogether.
Highly doubtful, as Devy had been planned since the start of the Combiner Wars concept, I believe. Filling a titan spot was more of a convenience. Meaning that they thought of Devy as part of the Combiner Wars line before they decided that he should take up a titan spot. But that's just my suspicion, not based on anything actual. So there was no way Devy wasn't going to be made. Having the Titans line just justified his size.
I didn't say Metrotitan getting made instead was likely, did I? :P I'm pretty sure Devastator was planned as a Titan-class from the start, since Hasbro is loath to create new size classes and the Constructicons' unique combination would have forced them to be a giftset.

Rodimus Prime wrote:
Ultimately they got more mileage out of the Metroplex mold by making alternate parts to turn it into Fort Max.
That and repainting him into Metrotitan are mutually exclusive. They could have done both, especially since there would have been 2 years between them had Metrotitan come out in 2014.
Yes. But Fort Max is decidedly more well known, and different enough to avoid people going "ARGH THEY'RE MAKING US BUY METROPLEX AGAIN!"
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:29 am

To your last point and to Metroplex's 4 variants: Metroplex and Metrotitan are 2 different characters, so even just a redeco would separate them and wouldn't make Metrotitan count as "another Metroplex." Maybe to the general public, sure. But not to fans, especially if he's sold as an online exclusive.

Yeah, FunPub would have never went for it, but it's nice to dream.

I would have been fine with Devy being a gift set if he was 6 deluxe instead of voyagers. Come to think of it, had the commander class been around back then, a deluxe-parts Devy would have been the right size for that. I mean, Jetfire is a bit larger than a regular CW combiner, and 6 deluxes combined would only be about head and shoulders above a regular-sized combiner.
Burn wrote:Alpha Bravo...He's a helicopter in a team of jets. That's just dumb.
Image

My fanfics:
disaster-transport--p1927519.php#p1927519
the-bad-seed--p1909021.php#p1909021
stories-from-a-wild-and-crazy-con--t109626.php
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby ZeldaTheSwordsman » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:49 am

Motto: "It's unnerving and insulting when people in a toy-based fandom, whatever it is, make statements to the effect that general consumers and fans of lesser financial means should be deprived entirely of the ability to partake of the primary market."
Weapon: Galaxial Rocket Launcher
Rodimus Prime wrote:To your last point and to Metroplex's 4 variants: Metroplex and Metrotitan are 2 different characters, so even just a redeco would separate them and wouldn't make Metrotitan count as "another Metroplex." Maybe to the general public, sure. But not to fans, especially if he's sold as an online exclusive.
I think even to a lot of fans a straight redeco would have been too similar, especially with how much Titans cost and so soon after a lot of fans having double-dipped or worse on Metroplex.
Titans seem to be an exception to the redeco-milking seen with the smaller size classes. We didn't get Metrotitan in 2014, and we didn't get a G2 Devastator during Combiner Wars... Hell, Takara only did Legends Grand Max after getting enough pre-orders to guarantee viability.

Rodimus Prime wrote:I would have been fine with Devy being a gift set if he was 6 deluxe instead of voyagers. Come to think of it, had the commander class been around back then, a deluxe-parts Devy would have been the right size for that. I mean, Jetfire is a bit larger than a regular CW combiner, and 6 deluxes combined would only be about head and shoulders above a regular-sized combiner.
Indeed. But the Commander class didn't exist at the time, and Hasbro is loath to create new size classes and one-off price points... And the Constructicons wouldn't have fit in on the shelves as individual figures, due to their nonstandard combination system and Hasbro being about as flexible as Armada Overload, so...
WANT:
Energon Optimus firetruck drone; super mode hat
Ultra-class Optimus Primal missiles, left back panel, mutant mask
Combiner Wars Dead End or Offroad HFG, Breakdown HFG
Armada Thundercracker missile
Armada Optimus front left trailer strut, cheekguards
ROTF Jetfire "JTFR" Panels
Armada Downshift
RID Ultra Magnus missiles
Vector Prime Cyber Key
Armada Jolt, Thunderclash, Clench
RID Galvatron foot/dragon head, 1x launcher/sword hilt
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Re: A look back at Combiner Wars

Postby Rodimus Prime » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:32 am

I never understood why Titans are redeco-proof. I mean, is my thinking faulty for assuming that a redeco would cost a lot less to produce? There's no new engineering involved, no new parts or methods of assembly required. Just make the same figure in different color. Or is it the fact that a Titan is so big recoloring a lot of its parts takes extra effort and resources not justified by its price, which would have to be less than the original version's, in order to entice the consumer to make another purchase of the same mold? I'm speaking in general terms now, referring to the smaller combiners. After all that is pretty much what happened, since we got so many repaints in CW. But Metroplex and Devastator are different, due to their size. Their straight redecos wouldn't sell as well, thus the need for the reduction in both price and numbers produced. But there has to be a point where it is viable to do such a measure, I just wish Hasbro would have figured it out. Or maybe they did and decided it just wasn't worth it. Or maybe they got scared, because the G2 versions of all the regular combiners didn't sell to expectations. But then again, they were only available as gift sets, correct? Had the members been widely available in B&M stores as individuals, maybe they would have sold better. But that would have meant at least 2 more waves of voyagers and deluxes, and that probably would have saturated the market. I'm sure at least some fans would have bought them, and I think that the G2 variants might have even appealed to younger kids more, considering their more vibrant colors. Especially the Stunticons and Aerialbots, they're straight psychedelic. :lol: :lol:
Burn wrote:Alpha Bravo...He's a helicopter in a team of jets. That's just dumb.
Image

My fanfics:
disaster-transport--p1927519.php#p1927519
the-bad-seed--p1909021.php#p1909021
stories-from-a-wild-and-crazy-con--t109626.php
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