War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby JediTricks » Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:24 am

Dominic wrote:The big obstacle for most of these is going to be distribution. (Honestly, if I do not find Impactor, I am likely to just give up the line.)
Distribution's always Hasbro's shot in the foot, they never get it quite right.

Cliffjumper and Hoist do not look bad. (I am keeping the 2014, if only because I *really* like the comic it was packaged with.)

Wheeljack looks excellent.
I forgot about that Hoist, I liked the Trailbreaker from that line well enough but never got the Hoist. I'll probably get this just for that reason. That Wheeljack is going on my Amazon preorder list the day it goes live.


Oh...wait....

At first glance, I thought that ramp/shield guy was part of the Ironworks set. But, you are probably right. Those are worse than the "extra" Headmaster figures a few years back.
Look at the renders, the blue "shields" and "roadways" are the new Battlemaster, he doesn't seem to fold up at all while in that position.

I liked those extra headmasters, they had cool transforming suit/weapons. Even the lesser Pretenders-style Prime Masters the year later were more than this. This is just sad.

That is....stupid.

I am all for releasing swarms of army-builders. But, casual collectors are going to want main characters. And, they are not going to hunt for those toys.
Yup, the Star Wars line is circling the drain thanks to mismanagement, it's been alive for 24 years in its current form and feels like it won't see 26. By comparison, Transformers is far better-managed.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby Dominic » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:08 am

Look at the renders, the blue "shields" and "roadways" are the new Battlemaster, he doesn't seem to fold up at all while in that position.


The flat-board piece on the back seems to fold out. That is a single step transform that I would accept if the Target/Battle Masters were packaged as part of larger figures/sets.

But, yeah.... Those things retail for $6. I could see buying them to compliment larger toys. (But, to be fair, some of this year's Battle/Target Masters are lousy toys on their own.)


Yup, the Star Wars line is circling the drain thanks to mismanagement, it's been alive for 24 years in its current form and feels like it won't see 26. By comparison, Transformers is far better-managed.


I was talking to another friend of mine who is heavily in to SW. He is not a completist. (He regularly purges out redundant figures.) But, he is a collector, and he was telling me that Hasbro took offense when fans refused to buy 5-point figures.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby JediTricks » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:08 am

Dominic wrote:The flat-board piece on the back seems to fold out. That is a single step transform that I would accept if the Target/Battle Masters were packaged as part of larger figures/sets.

But, yeah.... Those things retail for $6. I could see buying them to compliment larger toys. (But, to be fair, some of this year's Battle/Target Masters are lousy toys on their own.)
Exactly, the roadway/shield folds out, a 1-step transformation that appears to leave the robot as-is. Even as a pack-in I wouldn't accept that.

I was talking to another friend of mine who is heavily in to SW. He is not a completist. (He regularly purges out redundant figures.) But, he is a collector, and he was telling me that Hasbro took offense when fans refused to buy 5-point figures.
I've dealt with Hasbro face-to-face, I don't think it was about offense; it was that kids weren't buying 5POA figures when they jumped from $6 to $8, and kids aren't remotely engaged with the new movie characters so everything choked the pegs. IMO, that's mismanagement: not recognizing the needs of the market. It didn't help that for a while the 5POA figures also had terrible paint.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby Dominic » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:23 am

From what I heard, Hasbro honestly expected "Star Wars" collectors to buy the 5-point figures, and was annoyed when collectors did not play ball.

Even as a pack-in I wouldn't accept that.


If they packed that in with a Deluxe or Voyager (without a real price bump, or cut in the quality of the main figure), it would be okay.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby JediTricks » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:58 am

Boxed photos of Astrotrain, Starscream, and Hoist:
https://news.tfw2005.com/2019/10/10/sie ... tos-398265

Starscream's lost a little something in package, he's very flat and simple, too much gray without anything going on; still better than the over-the-top wear paint though.

Hoist is... fine.

Astrotrain is so bad I can't believe they are releasing it at all. That is an empty box problem that's been failed horribly, a Voyager with an accessory as a $50 Leader Class is insulting but even the recent Shockwave could fill the window most of the way. This doesn't come close to the top or bottom, the accessory doesn't seem to fit under the angle and cannot interact with the figure so it's half-hidden by the nameplate, and there's a ton of space under the window that seems to just house the guns. And then it's on a dark background so the dark figure gets very lost. Shockwave was already piling up here, I suspect this will do just as bad if not worse.

Dominic wrote:From what I heard, Hasbro honestly expected "Star Wars" collectors to buy the 5-point figures, and was annoyed when collectors did not play ball.
They put in a lot of quality sculpting, and eventually fixed the paint. I would say they were "surprised" that hardcore collectors didn't jump on board, but the truth is that the $8 price tag vs. $13 for a lot of increased articulation made it an unpleasant prospect for those collectors. That said, they were focusing on the casual consumer, not the hardcore collector, so it was always up to the kiddies to buy in - and they didn't.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby Dominic » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:39 pm

Starscream's lost a little something in package, he's very flat and simple, too much gray without anything going on; still better than the over-the-top wear paint though.


It is not a bad looking toy. But, I am not sure that it is worth buying a Voyager to get an upscale of a mold from nearly 15 years ago. (I am also biased, as I have Starscream and the two relevant characters that are cast from that mold, along with Acid Storm).

strotrain is so bad I can't believe they are releasing it at all. That is an empty box problem that's been failed horribly, a Voyager with an accessory as a $50 Leader Class is insulting but even the recent Shockwave could fill the window most of the way. This doesn't come close to the top or bottom, the accessory doesn't seem to fit under the angle and cannot interact with the figure so it's half-hidden by the nameplate, and there's a ton of space under the window that seems to just house the guns. And then it's on a dark background so the dark figure gets very lost. Shockwave was already piling up here, I suspect this will do just as bad if not worse.


What exactly is the accessory?

Shockwave is an excellent toy. The fact that it is hard to see from 15+ feet away is irrelevant.

I have no sentimental attachment to Astrotrain. And, this toy does little to intrigue me.


That said, they were focusing on the casual consumer, not the hardcore collector, so it was always up to the kiddies to buy in - and they didn't.


The problem is that by ~2010 or so, kids and parents both had higher expectations of what a toy should be, particularly with "Star Wars" which had spent ~15 years consistently raising the bar.

At this point, millennials have kids. Millenials grew up playing with the toys that we bought as collectors. 5-point figures belonged on the shelves at Family Dollar, or a trash bin. Those figures are worth $5 (including licensing fees), and millennials know it. Competent molding and paint are obligatory, and not worth paying extra for.

There are also broader changes. Today's kids are being raised differently. The same parents that once would have bought toys for their kids are now spending that money on activities. Millenials in particular are more likely to spend money on activities than on items. (These are the people who are pushing the "sharing economy" and see nothing wrong with sharing items that a civilized person once expected to own.)

There are plenty of social and economic reasons for this (such as smaller living spaces). But, the practical result is that they are going to buy fewer items. If that item is wholly discretionary, like toys, they the item needs to be worth not only the cost of purchasing, but worth having.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby JediTricks » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:16 am

Dominic wrote:What exactly is the accessory?
Astrotrain's big accessory is the train tender car, it unfolds to become a chintzy launch pad and you attach the other weapons to become a flat thing that's supposed to be an orbital cannon. In other words: it's a box. That on top of the unfinished space shuttle mode make this a pass in my book.

Shockwave is an excellent toy. The fact that it is hard to see from 15+ feet away is irrelevant.
The only fact that matters to me is it's half a hundred bucks for a Voyager-class toy.


The problem is that by ~2010 or so, kids and parents both had higher expectations of what a toy should be, particularly with "Star Wars" which had spent ~15 years consistently raising the bar.

At this point, millennials have kids. Millenials grew up playing with the toys that we bought as collectors. 5-point figures belonged on the shelves at Family Dollar, or a trash bin. Those figures are worth $5 (including licensing fees), and millennials know it. Competent molding and paint are obligatory, and not worth paying extra for.

There are also broader changes. Today's kids are being raised differently. The same parents that once would have bought toys for their kids are now spending that money on activities. Millenials in particular are more likely to spend money on activities than on items. (These are the people who are pushing the "sharing economy" and see nothing wrong with sharing items that a civilized person once expected to own.)

There are plenty of social and economic reasons for this (such as smaller living spaces). But, the practical result is that they are going to buy fewer items. If that item is wholly discretionary, like toys, they the item needs to be worth not only the cost of purchasing, but worth having.
[/quote]Around 2010, Star Wars was the best-selling licensed brand on the market, kids and parents were still buying product, the brand had cachet. This "let's blame millennials" thing is a load of crap, the fail is in Disney's leadership and Hasbro's mismanagement of the brand. Disney's taken an iconic brand and screwed up its message at every turn, failing to build an MCU-like hold on the market, squandering interest in existing IP in the process. Hasbro's missed the boat at nearly every turn.

Yes, going back to 5POA was a mistake, they tried to chase the value buyer at the expense of quality and lost, but they also lost on every other field: vehicles, vintage collection, role play. Once they split their core buyers between 3.75" and 6" figures, they lost those buyers too, with 6" at least showing some legs crossing into mainstream demand, but that line has serious struggles as well.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby Shockwave » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:47 pm

I think one of the other problems with Star Wars, particularly the shift to 6" figures is that Hasbro already has a built in fan based that been buying the 3.75" scale for decades and buying a new figure that's not in scale with an existing collection is asking a lot. That's why I don't have any of the 6" scale figures (aside from R2D2), I already have equal quality versions and am not willing to spend money replacing my entire collection. Especially when the Black series is still producing figures of similar quality in the 3.75" scale.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby Dominic » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:26 pm

Astrotrain's big accessory is the train tender car, it unfolds to become a chintzy launch pad and you attach the other weapons to become a flat thing that's supposed to be an orbital cannon. In other words: it's a box. That on top of the unfinished space shuttle mode make this a pass in my book.


I want to see it in person. But, I do not expect to actually buy it.


The only fact that matters to me is it's half a hundred bucks for a Voyager-class toy.


The armor pieces add some bulk to the figure. I think the problem is that the base figure (sans armor) is what we recognize as Shockwave, unlike Magnus or Optimus.

I also tend to think that toys are going to become smaller (or more expensive, depending on your perspective) in the next year or so.


Around 2010, Star Wars was the best-selling licensed brand on the market, kids and parents were still buying product, the brand had cachet. This "let's blame millennials" thing is a load of crap, the fail is in Disney's leadership and Hasbro's mismanagement of the brand. Disney's taken an iconic brand and screwed up its message at every turn, failing to build an MCU-like hold on the market, squandering interest in existing IP in the process. Hasbro's missed the boat at nearly every turn.


I am not giving hasbro and Disney a pass. (I know more about Hasbro's botches. But, I have heard something about Disney.)

But, there is ample data about millennials buying fewer objects and spending more on activities. That is going to carry over in to their parenting. (I actually see this with friends of mine who are parents. Their kids are actually less interested in objects, preferring activities.)


Yes, going back to 5POA was a mistake, they tried to chase the value buyer at the expense of quality and lost, but they also lost on every other field: vehicles, vintage collection, role play. Once they split their core buyers between 3.75" and 6" figures, they lost those buyers too, with 6" at least showing some legs crossing into mainstream demand, but that line has serious struggles as well.


Being on a budget is one thing. But, "value" is not just price. it is quality.

With a wholly discretionary hobby, the item needs to be worth buying to warrant consideration of price. This applies to kids as much as adults. (As kids, did we like green army men, or "GI Joe", maybe "the Corps"?)

If somebody is looking to save money by cutting their hobby budget, they are likely going to drop the hobby rather than settle for a lower grade. Similarly, if somebody is going to spend money on a hobby, they are more likely to want something worth their time. (Better to buy 1 good figure than 2-3 sub-par figures.)

The 6" figures are almost like adding insult to injury.
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Re: War for Cybertron: Earthrise line

Postby Dominic » Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:43 am

The guy at the local hobby shop got "Earthrise" Starscream.

As the pictures would lead one to believe, it is more or less the 2006-10 design, scaled up. There are a few more moving parts (for both the transform and basic articulation). But, if you have the 2006 mold, you have a pretty good idea of what the new Starscream is.

Were I not trying to cut down (to say nothing of avoid redundancy), I would seriously consider "Earthrise" Starscream. (I am considering getting rid of my 2006 mold figures. But, that would require disposing of a set of Starscream, Thundercracker and Skywarp. Not sure I wanna do that.)
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