Here I am, sitting at Vector Sigma (My Computers Name) looking at the new transformer toys that Hasbro and Takara Tomy are set to release. I collect primarily vintage transformer figures and accessories, however I have bought and thoroughly enjoy some of the new figures. Now, lets define my use of the word “new”. I don't mean if it was produced this year per-se, I use the term to encompass everything that is not Generation 1. While looking at some of the newer toys, I came up with the idea to compare and contrast new and old transformer toys. I am leaving nostalgia at the door and grading them on how well they meet a series of criteria. I am looking at several things: quality control, durability, range of motion and all around likeness to characters. So as a control I will use what some have claimed as the best figure of all time, Transformer Masterpiece 01 Optimus Prime Convoy.
Quality control or QC as it is called is a big sticking point of mine. Most of the time you really see these in the newer of the toys. For example I just recently acquired a Transformer Prime Ultra Magnus. The figure is riddled with stress marks and scratches. A simple once over in the factory would have caught it. I mean don't get me wrong G1 had some QC problems like rough paint etc, but on a far less occurring basis. The Transformers animated line had by far the worst quality control issues I have ever seen. They were rough to the touch, along with excess plastic at joining points. This caused uneven lines and made transformation on some figures an all out bear. So as far as QC goes I have to go old school. Simply because they cared a lot more about churning out a quality product and it shows.
The next point I am going to cover is durability. How well can they taking a beating. Well I can tell you this as avid collector who lives Near The San Andreas fault. There is a reason my G1 figures are on the top shelves and my newer figures are closer to ground level. The durability of the G1 figures is outstanding. These guys take a pounding and come back for more. The more modern figures lack that durability. They break a lot easier then their predecessor. So once again point goes to G1 for its toy rugged toy designs.
Well it appears that G1 has taken an early lead. Lets see how well they do in range of motion test. Well this one I am sad to say is a no brainier. The G1 one toys are great example of QC and durability, but not so much as far as range of motion goes. You would be lucky if you had the main four points of articulation - being left and right arm and left and right legs. Most of the time you would get moveable arms with an hinged elbow and that was about it. Very few G1 figures had real pose-ability. However the modern figures really knock this one out of the park. The have almost total figure articulation. Hinged knees, arms an elbows and even fingers in some case. (And they still transform! -Ed) So point I say the modern figures take this one.
Well here we go. it is old 2 and new 1 and we are at the final category: character likeness.
This is another one that is a no brainer and must go to the more modern figures. Not because they all look so spot on, but because the G1 figures were really off. I own a G1 Perceptor and if I didn't know his transformation or have the box, I wouldn't have a clue who he was. His color is a bit off and his head doesn't match the cartoon or the comics. Same problem with Star Scream, Ironhide, Ratchet and Mirage: horrible renderings. However, none is as bad as Skyfire. Who is Skyfire you might ask? He is the one that was renamed into Jetfire and made into a toy that looks nothing like him. One could argue that the rendering process now is much more advanced thus resulting in a closer facsimile. Whatever the cause they are still better, so point to the modern.
Well it looks like were are tied at 2 each. However, like Optimus Prime and Megatron, one shall stand one shall fall. This decision is one that I can truly say was not an easy one. Both types have their strengths and there faults. When the toys were great there truly never was any equal. However when they failed, they failed hard. So I choose a winner by looking at the numbers. Not number of sales, number of production. With modern toys they are mass produced to reach and fill a world wide demand. However their Transformers Generations and Transformers Classic lines are the number one seller. To me that says people want the original. People want the toy that they had when they were 9 that made them feels so happy. They want to remember and share what got them into it in the beginning. So that leads me to this conclusion you can't beat G1. No matter how complex a transformation or what bells and whistles it has. All they are is a sad attempt to dethrone the kings of Cybertronian kingdom.
Thank you for reading my compare and contrast of Transformer Toys. I hope you enjoyed it. My views are totally my own and if they are shared by others, great. However if you disagree with what I had say that is okay too. A horrible judge of taste possibly. Someone who really needs to consider a seventy two hour observation at a local mental care establishment. I mean in your defense, who am I? Really who am I to judge the quality of Transformer toys? Oh yeah I am the guy who has a hundred thirty five mint condition G1 figures. The guy who has a collection of 65 other post G1 figures. I have items from Transformers Headmasters to Transformers Prime and items from everything in between. I couldn't possibly see how I know anything about the world of Transformers. Well guys in all seriousness thank you for taking the time to read what I had to say. Thank you to Mike and Jarys for letting me be apart of The Ace of Geeks guest bloggers. I look foreword what the future holds.