I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Some cartoon with big chins and a little girl that got beloved by fans and taken off TV to make way for a different show on another network. Yeah, that's fair.
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JediTricks
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I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by JediTricks »

I hadn't really thought about this much, but one of the reasons I've been losing my passion for TF lately has been the overabundance of the ROTF line. There have been some cool figures in that line recently though, one of them is Lockdown, and of course that demands comparison to his Animated figure. When I reviewed ROTF Lockdown, I gave it high marks. But when I compared it to Animated Lockdown, I found that the amount of detail was nowhere near as important as the satisfaction of being a "real" transformer that the Animated figure enjoys. I didn't realize that panel and shellmaster figures had become such a frustration for me. I like ROTF Mindwipe, and he has no shellmastery going on - none. Then I look at Brawn, and while there is some charm to the figure, it's not fun, it's just an ugly, skinny robot hanging out inside a facade. That to me isn't Transformers, mainly because ANY action figure line can do it if they wanted.
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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by donosaur »

There's especially no excuse on a toy that's not beholden to some in-movie design to not have a quality transformation scheme.

I'm in agreement with you on this one, it's part of the reason I found most of the Animated toys to be more satisfying overall than ROTF and first movie figures. However, I always thought Lockdown, among other Animated toys, fell short on articulation, whereas a benefit of the action-figure-in-a-shell style transformers is that kibble notwithstanding they usually have action-figure-level articulation. How do you feel about the trade-off?
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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by andersonh1 »

To me, it all depends on how they use the shell. All things considered I prefer a non-shellformer, but if if some creativity is applied, it's not always a bad thing. An example of a figure where the shell just annoys me is Beast Wars Rhinox, where the figure is pretty much just a Pretender with the shell attached. The shell gets in the way of the robot mode and makes up vast chunks of the transformation. Very unsatisfying. Contrast that with Classics Megatron, where the shell was necessary in order to achieve the wanted robot look and also make the gun non-realistic, so the shell makes up wings. The shell is kept to a minimum, folds back out of the way, and there's some genuine transformation going on with the non-shell components to get them to the required configuration.

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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by Onslaught Six »

It helps that with Classics Megs, there's next to no matter of the shell parts having to go around in complicated and stupid ways so they can form the altmode, which is a pretty big problem with shellformers in general.

That said, I didn't like most of the Animated toys I bought because they were 'too simple,' and I don't mean in terms of how they looked (though sometimes that was a factor--Grimlock). They just...they didn't do anything. The transformations weren't very satisfying most of the time, and a lot of them were just plain gimmick-absent. Normally this is considered a good thing, but I think it's going too far in the other direction--to the point where there's next to nothing cool for them to do. I like Lockdown, but he'd be even cooler if his hook-hand thing was spring loaded or something. (I'm sure I'll have a similar gripe about the Movie version, which still looks awesome.) Grimlock had 'no' excuse for his flamesword not being able to mount in his mouth. BA had a gimmick, but it was kinda sucky.
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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by Sparky Prime »

I just can't get past the over-exaggerated details of the Animated designs personally (which is why I don't own any)... As such, I prefer the Movie toys. Plus, not all of the movie toys are shellmasters.

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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by onslaught86 »

Shellmasters depend on the figure for me. Generally speaking, i don't mind them. Have mixed feelings on the two lines in question, though. I love a lot of the Animated designs on concept alone, like Oil Slick and Soundwave, but their crappy joints, poor build quality, and bad engineering choices make the line fall into a 'look but don't touch' territory that I hate with TFs - I don't want to fiddle with them. The transformations are, as O6 said, largely unsatisfying, although there are certainly exceptions - I love me some AniMagnus.

ROTF, on the other hand, 'also' suffers from poor build quality and bad engineering choices..but I like the aesthetic more, so it wins out. 'Just'.
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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by donosaur »

Sparky Prime wrote:I just can't get past the over-exaggerated details of the Animated designs personally (which is why I don't own any)... As such, I prefer the Movie toys. Plus, not all of the movie toys are shellmasters.
Ah see, that's what I love about them. There's a clarity of design and style to them that just pushed almost to absurdity. For me the movie toys are just a mess of convoluted mish mash, and most aren't very interesting to me for the reason.

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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by JediTricks »

I look at the M2 Prime and you could take off all his alt mode aspects, and the figure would largely look identical. There's not a single thing on him that looks like a transforming robot, he's covered in truck panels and parts, but it just looks like he's wearing a truck costume. Yes, it varies to a degree throughout the M2 line, but largely they're the robots wearing extraneous car parts, they could be any generic thing and still be that robot.
donosaur wrote:I'm in agreement with you on this one, it's part of the reason I found most of the Animated toys to be more satisfying overall than ROTF and first movie figures. However, I always thought Lockdown, among other Animated toys, fell short on articulation, whereas a benefit of the action-figure-in-a-shell style transformers is that kibble notwithstanding they usually have action-figure-level articulation. How do you feel about the trade-off?
I don't think Lockdown falls short on articulation. He's got swivel neck and waist, universal-joint shoulders (swivel with hinge), double-jointed elbows with a ball joint, ball jointed hips, hinged high knees, and swivel thighs. For a $10 figure, that's about average. Some of the joints don't move as far as they could perhaps, but I don't know about him being under-articulated.
andersonh1 wrote:To me, it all depends on how they use the shell. All things considered I prefer a non-shellformer, but if if some creativity is applied, it's not always a bad thing. An example of a figure where the shell just annoys me is Beast Wars Rhinox, where the figure is pretty much just a Pretender with the shell attached. The shell gets in the way of the robot mode and makes up vast chunks of the transformation. Very unsatisfying. Contrast that with Classics Megatron, where the shell was necessary in order to achieve the wanted robot look and also make the gun non-realistic, so the shell makes up wings. The shell is kept to a minimum, folds back out of the way, and there's some genuine transformation going on with the non-shell components to get them to the required configuration.
I sorta agree about Rhinox, but I can't agree about Megatron. I appreciate his shell parts are big and simple rather than small and numerous, but they could have integrated gun elements better instead of just dumping them on the back. It's a big set of wings.
Onslaught Six wrote:That said, I didn't like most of the Animated toys I bought because they were 'too simple,' and I don't mean in terms of how they looked (though sometimes that was a factor--Grimlock). They just...they didn't do anything. The transformations weren't very satisfying most of the time, and a lot of them were just plain gimmick-absent. Normally this is considered a good thing, but I think it's going too far in the other direction--to the point where there's next to nothing cool for them to do. I like Lockdown, but he'd be even cooler if his hook-hand thing was spring loaded or something. (I'm sure I'll have a similar gripe about the Movie version, which still looks awesome.) Grimlock had 'no' excuse for his flamesword not being able to mount in his mouth. BA had a gimmick, but it was kinda sucky.
Wow, another thread where you're mentioning a need of gimmicks, I guess that's a thing. I feel bad for folks your age, they really don't have the same power of imagination that kids did when I was young. G1 must be super frustrating, they're largely low on gimmicks, articulation, AND detail.

Anyway, of the TF:A I have, Lockdown has the pop-out EMP guns gimmick, Prowl has the geared shuriken in his legs gimmick, Blurr has the spring-out saw blade gimmick, Shockwave/Longarm is a massive gimmick but he also has the spring-out transforming gun, Megatron has the spinning rotors and the moving blaster barrel gimmicks as well as lights and sounds and a firing missile, Ultra Magnus has the hammer expanding gimmick plus his additional fold-out weapons and lights and sounds, Samurai Prowl has the sidecar that turns into armor, Swindle has the firing gun that changes color in the vents plus a fold out belly minigun, Sunstorm has firing missiles and the fold-out vents on the forearms plus some half-working automorph. Jazz, Oil Slick, Soundwave, Arcee, they don't have moving gimmicks. Still, that's over half my figures with "gimmicks".

Sparky Prime wrote:I just can't get past the over-exaggerated details of the Animated designs personally (which is why I don't own any)... As such, I prefer the Movie toys. Plus, not all of the movie toys are shellmasters.
Examples of movie designs that aren't? (it'd help if they were good figures too)
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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by 138 Scourge »

JediTricks wrote:Examples of movie designs that aren't? (it'd help if they were good figures too)
I got a few...

Dirge
Beachcomber/Dune Runner:
Bludgeon
Thrust/Breakaway: He's got some kibble, yes, but I dont' think it qualifies as playing the shell game.
Ransack
Brakedown


I keep going back and forth on adding Swerve here, he's got the big ass backpack, but I'm not sure if that counts as shellmastery. Bludgeon may be sort of iffy here, too. I wouldn't call him a shellformer as such (ironic), but he does have some kibble that just hangs out on him, though.

So that's just of the movie toys I bought and can see from where I'm at right now.

Now, I think I've been pretty clear which I prefer as far as movie or Animated toys go, but it's not because of the shellmastery. Look at Wreck-Gar, for instance. One of my favorite Animated toys right there, and that guy is totally a shellformer. A really clever one, but still...
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Re: I prefer Animated to Movie line 'cause it's not shellmasters

Post by Shockwave »

ROTF Bludgeon doesn't count as shellmaster on account of the fact that the tank parts that hang off of him do so specifically to give him a more "samurai" look. It's part of the aesthetic of the robot so I would actually count those pieces as part of his legs.

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