Alternity 04: Starscream and Skywarp

Figures, collectables, customs and collecting.
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Post by Cliffjumper » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:37 pm

Yeh, Gundam and Macross are aimed at teenagers, and in the West are quite culty on the whole. And to concur, if I want Gundam, I buy/watch Gundam... Gundam (I know next to nothing about Macross beyond the Jetfire/Robotech basic bits you pick up by osmosis...) also has a habit of being terribly po-faced, whereas relatively speaking Transformers as a brand doesn't take itself so seriously. Gundam's probably closer to Star Trek in general profile.

Victory has always struck me as the big attempt to 'do' a sci-fi mech anime Transformers show (with Masterforce as a bridge between that and the American-styled Headmasters), and it basically killed the brand in Japan.

Takara can only really do what they want with the merchandise side of things, and there Binaltech has seen an attempt to do a more Real Robot take on things. And again it basically killed the brand in Japan, because all most Japanese Transformers buyers want is two dozen Convoys and the odd Bumblebee.

It'd be pretty suicidal of them to directly take on Bandai at their own game by trying to move into Gundam territory, so they're best off providing a lighter alternative - which seemed to have worked a bit with the Movie/Henkei lines; cheap and cheerful figures based on what they could remember from G1 and what they'd just seen onscreen. Which is why the desire to revisit Binaltech is something I find so baffling.

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Post by Jaynz » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:19 pm

Warcry wrote:The lines that are created exclusively for Japan are different, though. Either they make generic robot anime (Car Robots or Masterforce), niche market stuff (Device Label, the Disney TFs) or they try to compete in the 'serious mecha' market (Alternity, Masterpiece). Regardless of quality none of these ventures seem to be as successful as the main-line Hasbro stuff, which is what I was trying to get across.
You're right in that Masterforce and Car Robots were more 'generic mecha' shows, but they weren't what I had in mind with a 'mecha' approach. I merely meant that aiming for a bit of an older audience, with a more 'grounded' approach to the franchise overall, would help a lot.

Right now Transformers is pretty much the definition of 'short attention span theatre' with an insane amount of intellectual property thrown away every six months. You're not allowing the brand to grow and continue into other fields. Sure, you'll get a 'hit year' with a movie release, etc, but it's not got the staying power.
I really don't think it would. The people who want Gundam or Macross toys already buy Gundam or Macross toys. They're not going to switch allegiances and become Transfans if Transformers gets turned into a clone of those lines. On the other hand, it would be a great way to alienate the Geewun crowd. It probably wouldn't help much when it came to selling the toys to children, either.
It doesn't need to be a clone, but a series with stronger characters, a more mature (not 'adult', and certainly not faux adult like the comics, just something that doesn't actively alienate teenagers) handling of the fiction, and a more grounded toy aesthetic overall. And, perhaps most importantly, quit throwing away the IP every six months!

Binaltech was largely screwed by a) being a bit too much (imagine if the Gundam franchise ONLY had Master Grade models, period), and b) having licensing issues up the wazoo. Henkei was nearly perfect for what I had in mind for a toy range... but the fiction was the usual Takara/Tomy fail.

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Post by numbat » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:34 pm

I really do like the idea, myself. The Mitsuoka Orochi is an awesome car, and the idea to have it transform into a Seeker is pretty appropriate, if one had to choose a car... The design is quite original as well, thanks to the attempt to turn the car into the traditional Seeker robot form. It's nice to have a new car-to-robot transformation model (for the same reason the Ravage Jaguar XK works so well - with similar car/character connotations).

That aside...

The head is rather weird, and the price is way too high... A real shame. Alternity seems a bit of a strange series, with high prices, smaller (than Binalt) scale, few characters, and very hit-and-miss molds.

Takara, in all fairness, are pretty good at coming up with interesting and more adult-aimed designs. They just don't seem so wise in execution or chosing which designs are actually worth marketing.

Despite the total coolness (in my view) of the Seeker-Orochi design, it's a pretty niche figure...

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Post by Paul053 » Fri May 28, 2010 2:00 pm

More detailed images of them.



If I really want to and need to choose, I will choose Skywarp as he looks better especially the head.

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Post by Denyer » Fri May 28, 2010 2:08 pm

Mmm. Skywarp's pretty decent. The mock-wing effect works well.

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Post by praetorian » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:09 pm

You can add Thundercracker to this list now:

Video reviews of Starscream and Skywarp: ... rp-169836/

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Post by Clogs » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:43 pm

Not an unexpected development, really. I await detail close up; hopefully, this design gets a nicer physiognomy!


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Post by Pun-3X » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:32 pm

Ordered my Skywarp from BBTS last week. Shipped Friday. I was planning on getting both him and Starscream, but I'll be happy with this one of the (now) three. Looks so far to be the best of the Alternity figures. Not that the others or horrid, but with Prime and Megs having their arms too far back on their shoulders, and the somewhat large chest of the 'Bee/'Jumper toy (I'll admit, I don't have that mold), it feels like this one wins on overall design.

(Though I still like my silver Prime and Blue Megs. :D )

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