Multi-Bot

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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby Beedo Sookcool » Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:23 am

You have a point, there. Modulok held together well because of the red on every single part. It looked cohesive. Multi-Bot does look like a cheap toy in comparison. Maybe if he had black as a unifying scheme, with multi-coloured detailing instead of solid-coloured parts, it might look better.

Man, if I knew how to Photoshop . . . or even HAD Photoshop . . . that'd be a nifty project to whip up.
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby PrfktTear » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:15 am

Glad to know I'm not alone here.

I'm not sure I can articulate what I want to say here, but let me try.

I like figures that are slavishly devoted to the vintage figure, for instance Ssssqueeze. I know a lot of folks wanted a 200x style head (and if they had included one as a bonus I wouldn't have complained!) but *I* wanted *MY* squeeze to be an exact update of the vinage line. However there are other figures that have definitely improved upon the vintage version, isn't that the whole point of Classics-ization? I think you have to handle each figure on a case-by-case basis. Perhaps in this case Multi-Bot could have used an updated paint scheme. Or perhaps one that was paying homage to the vintage figure but made it more palatable.

Of course it's not lost on me that the whole point of Multi-Bot *IS* that he's a hodge podge of various limbs. Who as a kid didn't pull off one character's arms and give him another's. Skeletor looked boss with Moss Man's flocked arms! ;-)
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby Beedo Sookcool » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:21 pm

I know exactly what you mean. It's as if you have your "perfect" version of a figure in your head, whether it's a slavish vintage reproduction, or an improved update, and when the final product meets or even exceeds your expectations, it's just a wonderful feeling.

MOTUC Mer-Man's atom-perfect simulation of his cardback art had me giddy with delight. Okay, he also had a Vintage Toy head included, and that was a nice nod nod (pun half-intended, and relished), but the fact that they finally gave us the figure that was promised all those years ago -- that was far superior and better-looking than the compromised thing we ended up with -- was just amazing. Cathartic, even! Twenty-six years on, I had closure. And we could plump for the slavish G1 version (bar the orange trunks) if we wanted to. Excellent.

We knew basically what to expect with Modulok. Lots of parts you can swap around. But then they sculpted it beautifully, with sharp details right down to the raw tissue peeking out between his chitinous plates. They gave him buttloads of articulation, and not only made the colours more cohesive over the whole toy, they gave him extra paint apps on the raw, wet tissue and the claws on his insectoid legs. It went way above what we -- well, what I, at least -- expected to get, what with all the cost-cutting measures Mattel had incurred of late. When this line finishes, I have no doubt that MOTUC Modulok will be held as a triumph for years to come.

And then MOTUC Multi-Bot comes along, does relatively the same thing, and is leagues beyond his Vintage toy, but just doesn't go quite as far as MOTUC Modulok. And so he seems a bit of a letdown, even though he's not a bad toy at all. Even though you can separate his torsos from his hips and has extra connectors, he just doesn't seem as great as Modulok or Mer-Man because he's essentially a straight update with a bit less creativity put into him.

Yet as for Sssqueeze, the original toy was pretty darned cool, and what the 4H did was take that cool design and make it even better by tweaking it just a little and increasing and sharpening the detail a tiny bit. Just like they did with Multi-Bot, except for some reason, it worked out better for Sssqueeze.

We can analyse this and reword it and write dissertations on it that run to several pages. And while typing out all that stuff up there has helped me understand my thoughts and emotions on the matter a bit more, I can't say more than: enh, it's just one of those gut feelings. MOTUC Multi-Bot isn't a bad toy. He's probably the best version of the character we'll ever get. But compared to the Modulok that came out a year and a half before him? He just doesn't measure up to that level of awesomeness on an instinctual level.

And, yeah, while I would've been happy to get extra swappable Millennial head and hands for Sssqueeze for those who might want them, I'm sure glad we got a near-identical Vintage update. Because a Millennial Sssqueeze with no option for Vintage-y goodness would've pissed me right off. Worst comes to worst, anyone jonesing for a Millennial version could modify the snake heads from a Snake Crush Skeletor and repaint one of the Snake Men 2-Pack heads.
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby PrfktTear » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:56 pm

Well said! I should probably stop here, but of course I won't.

One thing that's been nagging on me is an idea that I believe was brought up in one of the comments sections of a review on the main IAT site and that is how MOTUC has somehow "strayed" from it's original mission. I'm not sure if I could pinpoint how or exactly when, but if you compare the early figures like Tri-Klops, Man-At-Arms, Hordak, Webstor, He-Man, Beastman, Teela, Evil-Lyn, etc. compared to whats coming out now those figures seem just so much better. Why is that? Am I alone here? The ironic part is that most of these figures all share the same standard buck and various parts have been recycled. Is it because back then we'd only seen Trap Jaw's legs once --- and that was for Trap Jaw before we got them again and again and again? I don't think it's quite the parts reuse either --- we're getting figures with brand new sculpts and they just seem "meh" --- could it be fatigue with the line?

I hope I'm not coming off as whiney, thats not my intent here. I'm just exploring my feelings. Looking back throughout the duration of the sub as soon as my Matty pacakge arrived I would open it that same day, but I think near the end of 2011 with Snout Spout the fatigue really seemed to start setting in and 'ol Spouty sat in his package for months.

I think by the time we hit 2012, even though we were still getting A & B-listers like Sorceress, Fisto, Kobra Khan, Stinkor, etc. We were also being inundated with other figures too like the Star Sisters, the 30th Anniv line. Getting characters like Horde Prime and Snake Man-At-Arms was cool but it fed the fatigue so that by the time I hit Mekaneck/DB Skeletor/Rattlor I was just kinda "meh" instead of being super excited. Of course I know they had to intersperse the heavy hitters with the concept figures, Filmation, POP, etc.

I've had this "relationship" with MOTUC last longer than any relationship that I've had with a real human. There have been plenty of up's and downs and nothing will diminish my love for MOTU. I'm looking forward to what the future holds, whether it be more "Classics" style figures under a different moniker, M.U.S.C.L.E. or Super-7-style figures (which I most likely will not be collecting). Many collectors tend to be fickle about their tastes and go through periods where they binge on certain lines and then go through periods of purging. I'm pretty confident that I'm going to be keeping my MOTUC until such time that I no longer can.
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby Beedo Sookcool » Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:55 pm

Thank 'e, mate!

Yeah, the earlier figures had extra little touches, like Tri-Klops' throwing knives, alternate heads, Scare Glow's reliquary, and suchlike. Nowadays, it seems the budgeting is so tight, they can only just about do straight-up updates of the vintage stuff, with little to no room left for neat little extras.

And I know what you mean about burnout. I hit my Star Wars burnout early last year. I've only ordered a few select pieces this year, and that's it. I've had fewer Star Wars figures on order this whole year than I used to get in one monthly shipment from BBTS in previous years. Still, 1995 to 2014: that's not a bad run for as-near-to-completism-as-I-could-get. I think it was the Disney build-a-droid figures that broke me. Exclusives bug me. Convention Exclusives REALLY bug me. Theme Park Exclusives? Hand me my blunderbuss.

I think I'm also about to hit my TransFormers burnout point. I still get the occasional figure, and now I'm into the IDW comics, but Combiner Wars hit . . . and far too late. If they'd done that four years ago, I would've been totally on board. But they kept doing endless versions of The Big Four with not many new characters, and after their previous suck-job Combiner attempts, I got into the expensive 3rd- Party stuff because I thought they'd never get around to doing it properly. And now, FINALLY, they're doing decent official combiners, and I just can't be bothered. Make a Rung and an Overlord, and we'll see. But for now, I think I'm down to my Soundwave focus.

I hit my G.I. Joe burnout with the SDCC that gave us Zarana and Jinx. I was able to get a Zarana, but not a Jinx. And then they started making lots of key characters from our childhood as sub-only or convention-exclusive figures. They effectively killed their own brand by making it inaccessible. Bugger 'em. I still want -- no, need -- a re-issued original version of the Night Raven S3P, though! Get cracking, Hasbro!

I'm starting to feel less enthusiastic about MOTUC these days, but I think that's largely down to the fact that I know what's coming. I know what to expect. However well-sculpted and detailed and painted it might turn out, I pretty much know what's supposed to be coming out until the end of the year. Part of the fun of years gone by (for me, anyway) is that we'd get blindsided by stuff from all eras, characters who had never gotten figures before, stuff we'd thought would never get made, and all kinds of surprises that just kept building up the brand into one huge all-encompassing barrel of awesomeness. But now, I'm just crossing names off a list I've known about since the late 1980s. Also, I know we're coming to the end of MOTUC, and it's a bit of a downer. It was the last brand I collected passionately.

Now, if they have some teases for a 2016 sub, that would certainly reignite my interest! There are still over 100 characters in my "personal roadmap" that I'd like to see turned into action figures, and that's not counting mounts, vehicles, and playsets. Tell me Kothos, Dragoon, General Sunder, Hunga the Harpy, Sortech, Roboto 2.0, Lizorr, Crita, Sagitar, Karg, Mini-Comics Trap-Jaw, Glob, Horde Brain Monster, or Slime Pit are in the works, and I'll sub up ASAP.

But, if MOTUC-like MOTU is coming to an end, I'll leave it at that and be happy for what I have, but a little sad at what might have been. I don't want smaller figures and/or reduced articulation. I certainly don't want the new comic book designs or the "concept" designs at the end of the new art book. But if that's the direction it's going to take, I've got better uses for my money.

Time will tell, eh?
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby Beedo Sookcool » Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:24 am

Well, I got this guy today, and couldn't wait to see how a Filmation-coloured repaint might make him look. But before I broke out the paints, I wanted to see how the construct would look in general. Yeah. I think someone on Shapeways could make some money, here . . . .

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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby dayraven » Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:27 am

just so you gents know, the line fatigue is not something you're suffering from alone... if you've read my lengthy diatribes on here, i've been fighting it for a while now (like 3 years?) btw, i would totally not blame you for not reading my lengthy diatribes, i sometimes get overly verbose on the topic.

i think for me, there are duds in execution (i'll get specifically to multi-bot in a second here) but largely, it's just line fatigue. even the figs that are done well don't pop as much to the eye or in the hand when you kind of know what to expect. interesting example, i was looking forward to this year's toy boxes on the quarterly sub as the first two shipments essentially had only one "dud" apiece... but of the figs thusfar, the only one i'm still carrying around and playing with is oolar. and like a dumbass, i set the he-man head down one evening, after trying it on the neck and deciding i liked it way better than the oolar head, even though it sits a tad high on the neck, and now, my vintage he-man head is missing. i've looked everywhere, moved furniture, the whole thing, but my kids i suspect snagged it up and ran off with it without thinking about it. oh well... but i keep picking oolar up, largely because he's simple, he gets the best use of the various points of articulation, and the stripped down aesthetic fits with my love of fantasy barbarians... even snake armor he-man, who i was very much looking forward too, essentially got tested out and put down. blast attak, sqquueeze is already in his spot, they all just got set up or in the storage bin, immediately.

but line fatigue doesn't just set in because the line itself is getting long in the tooth. there's an entire industry around them that has done new and different things, changing our base expectations for what can be done with the medium, and alters our perceived sense of value too. NECA has been upping it's game time and again while motuc has had its run, giving us more complex sculpts, and a dramatically more affordable set of price points. like, when tytus and megator came out, the price point kind of bothered me for what we were getting, but it wasn't huge, i passed and that was that... but then they did procrustus, and while i love that character, i just couldn't pull the trigger because i felt like they phoned him in... and then NECA did the 18 inch master chief this year, and made me scream. have y'all seen that figure? if not, go youtube it, even if you don't like video reviews, you have to see the articulation and the detailing they pulled off at that price point, and then the motuc giants will make you furious. i get economies of scale, but come on here... NECA is essentially making an 18 inch market from wholecloth, there's little precedent outside them for that scale, and thus, they can't be making huge quantities of these things. i can't for a second imagine that motuc is selling 10s of thousands of fewer units than an 18 inch master chief or gypsy danger.

as for multi-bot himself, he feels like a remco knockoff of modulok. like, he's almost as cool, and he "plays with Masters of the Universe" but he's just not he-man, you know?? for starters, he's got more connectors than modulok, but fewer extra limbs. fail. the lack of paint and sculpt detail to give us some exposed wires or gears or something hurts, as, as beedo so eloquently elucidated, modulok took the basic aesthetic and really dialed it up with thematically appropriate additional details. and extra paint aps. modulok took all those success and buggered their anuses with his banal penis. lame. with some third party swappables to spruce him up, i think he'll improve somewhat, and when i get some actual paint on the old bird, that too will help... but there are basic deficiencies that i'm just not talented enough to do.
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby Beedo Sookcool » Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:39 pm

Thank 'e, DR. I looked into that Master Chief, and He's going for about $100 on clearance, MRRP $120. Bloody nifty, but too much for me to spend on a stand-alone figure, even a massive one.

dayraven wrote:as for multi-bot himself, he feels like a remco knockoff of modulok. like, he's almost as cool, and he "plays with Masters of the Universe" but he's just not he-man, you know??

Yes! Exactly. It's nice that he's got some hidden tech details in his ab-crunch areas, but his splitters are less detailed than the Vintage ones!

Having said that, I've just Inhuman-Centipeded up a MegaBeast, and it's looking pretty horrible (in a neat-o kind of way). Tried to make it similar to both the poster and mini-comics versions, but without too much parts duplication. I had to cheat a little bit and take one extra mid-pelvis from a second Modulok to get all the legs in. I also didn't get to use all the parts; a few splitters, sockets, and one MultiBot hip were all that I left out.
Still not as good as some of the others I've been seeing around the internets, but I'm fairly satisfied for now:

Image

Image

Image

I may try to repaint Galen's pupils again, and certainly paint the underside of the shoulder-tail green like the original.
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby PrfktTear » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:46 pm

Been working on this all afternoon...

Fatigue seems to be a common thread amongst most MOTUC collectors. It feels like we’ve been running a marathon and now that we’ve reached the home stretch there are only a few of us left from the beginning. Off the top of my head PoeGhostal bowed out some time ago and so did Dr. Rampageo from Doom Kick. As far as myself, I’m pretty certain my “fatigue” started to set in near the end of 2011 after the line had been around for three years.

One thing that I’ve never quite gotten over was the whole Mattelocalypse 2010 in regards to the Battle Cat sale in February of 2010. Yeah, sure I ended up getting Battle Cat, I even have one to spare now, but at the time it was such a defeating blow. Silly, I know, but still at the time I literally felt ill and I don’t think I ever got past it.

It’s funny, reminiscing about MOTUC in it’s “heyday” bloggers would write entire articles about every single scrap of news, even if it was just a sale date or a newly released bio. After years of that pace, I think the community collectively ran out of steam.

I absolutely relate to certain figures that are done really well not having much “pop”. For instance, and no pun intended, Queen Angella, a figure I was very much looking forward to adding to my POP shelf. It wasn’t lack of interest, I had her vintage counterpart and by all rights she’s a very good figure, but once I got her in hand there was little to no excitement. It’s kind of like reading the entire plot for a movie, spoilers and all prior to watching it. This was one reason why I stopped reading bios and watching Pixel Dan’s reviews prior to getting the figures in hand --- by the time I actually got figures open I felt like I had already played with it and other than testing joints there wasn’t much else to do with it besides putting it up on the display.

Oolar was a very nice surprise this year. Toy Guru had been wanting to get him out for a while now, and as a Preternia fan, I wanted him I honestly didn’t expect to like him as much as I did. The vintage head really knocked him out of the park. Once I swapped heads out with my Battle Armor He-Man I never took it off. Sorry you lost track of yours, DR. It’s quite a special piece. It’s funny how one head can totally reinvigorate an old figure.

I agree about the medium having changed along with our sense of value. It’s been seven years since King Grayskull was first bestowed upon us at SDCC 2008 and more or less we’ve been getting the same figures since the beginning. Seven years in the toy industry is a looong ass time. There’s one thing that’s easy to overlook, and one must simply look in the mirror to find it – ourselves. We’ve all changed. In seven years our likes, interests, passions, habits have all evolved. Outside of collecting MOTUC my collecting habits have changed. When these figures first started selling they were what, twenty bucks? Now they’ve crept up to $27 ( $26 for subscribers), granted, toy prices have gone up across the board (Standard deluxe Transformers have shrunk and are now around$15 where they used to be around $10.). Aside from a few gems, the perceived value of your average MOTUC figure is very low. That’s why when they pack in extras like Filmation accessories or extra heads it really helps add value and my perception of what is a “good value” has also changed.
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Re: Multi-Bot

Postby dayraven » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:33 pm

beedo, i found master chief for 89.99 at entertainment earth
http://www.entertainmentearth.com/prodi ... ZMmlUZK98E

and there's one on ebay for 61 at the moment with an hour to go...
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