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Some Assembly Required episode 10: Modern VS Vintage


8 comments posted
Once again, great

Once again, great discussion. And the added production value of the new title card was, as promised, glorious.

From the standpoint of a much younger collector, the status quo of what a robot toy should be in terms of aesthetic or articulation is worlds away from what it was in the time frame in which the vintage toys that older collectors might have grown up with were released. I don't know if that means that young fans expect more out of their toys than older fans, but it does create somewhat of a rift among people such as ourselves.

Personally, up until the age of about ten I only collected mass market Transformers due to the simple fact that they were the only thing available to me. But it was vintage toys that spurred my interest in serious collecting, when a DX GaoGaiGar caught my eye in a Taiwanese toy shop's window. Due to my origins in this hobby, I prefer the engineering and design of newer toys, but have a great deal of respect and admiration for the bold, eclectic designs of older ones.

Transformers are a great example of how a line grows with its fans while still maintaining the appeal it had when older fans were introduced to it. Like Sanjeev pointed out, Hasbro has always made "strange" decisions when it comes to which characters they produce as part of their current lines (Darkmount aka Straxus).

But while he calls it strange, I see it as giving fans of lesser known characters or lines a way to own the figures they always wanted. Transformers built up a gigantic amount source material up until the Beast Wars era. I think that this "break" from the original show only tempered the fans love of the characters they were used to. Case and point, the Unicron Trilogy (Armada, Energon, Cybertron) and all of its subsequent predecessors (yes, even the Movies) are HEAVILY steeped in homages to the G1 era. Characters that haven't been seen in almost 20 years are appearing on store shelves as either repaints or sometimes entirely new molds. Ranging from beloved fan favorites to quirky obscure one-off characters, Transformers fan are always getting notes of vintage even in modern toys. And that's not even mentioning mass retail re-issues of figures released almost 30 years ago which are still being bought up by kids just for the fact that they are Transformers.

As a teenager, I always find myself buying an expensive collectors toy only to hunt down the original for the simple fact that owning it would give me an entirely new facet of the character. A year ago I bought Masterpiece King Exkaiser. After fiddling with it for a few weeks I couldn't help but want the original. When I finally got one I almost regretted buying the masterpiece version because the original was so solid. I enjoyed picking up an Exkaiser without having to worry about metal crashing into metal due to extensive joint motion. I enjoyed putting a sword in his hand without having to do a fist swap. I guess what I'm trying to say is, there's nothing quite like a toy that's meant to be played with and getting a new updated version of it sometimes won't do the experience with the character justice.

Maybe it's just naiveté that's writing this response but I can't help but think that people who've been collecting since before I was born know a world of toys I'll never know. But being a part of this community, I can't help but get a sense that that world is something unlike anything I'll ever know. I know people that vehemently detest vintage toys and vice versa. But personally I find a happy place in the middle ground, admiring the engineering of modern toys but feeling nostalgia for a generation I was never a part of. I respect super robot roots as well as enjoy them. Maybe it's because of my taste, but then again, maybe not. If vintage toys don't appeal to you, then you're in luck because they don't make them anymore. If you're still in the past, then you're lucky to have a community like this.

But as Sanjeev said.

"Don't be a toy racist."

jRex's picture
Posted by jRex on 24 July, 2010 - 18:15
Ceed Goliath dominates the

Ceed Goliath dominates the video.

VF5SS's picture
Posted by VF5SS on 24 July, 2010 - 20:18
SRW is for mecha

SRW is for mecha otaku.

VZMK2's picture
Posted by VZMK2 on 25 July, 2010 - 12:49
I'm personally someone who

I'm personally someone who for the most part has been a modern toy collector. It's not that I dislike vintage toys, but instead that hey, there isn't an import toy shop in our area really, and I'm not really able to buy things online very readily. However, that doesn't mean that I don't have certain affinities either.

For example, one of the major factors of my interest in vintage toys is nostalgia. I especially am fond of the Brave series show Da Garn. As a child my aunt would visit me every few years and she brought me two toys from this show: Land Bison and Seven Changer. I didn't know anything about the cartoon and just knew that these were a bunch of awesome robots that I loved to death. I remember throwing out my Land Bison like a fool because my parents told me to get rid of my toys, but to this day I don't know what ever happened to my Seven Changer.

Even now if I ever get a chance to visit Japan and Korea again, one of the first things I plan on doing is going and tracking down the Sonokong versions of those toys again to own, way before any new Soul of Chogokin, S.H. Figuart, or Figma. Because those toys meant something to me as a child, and will infinitely have more sentimental value than whatever the latest and greatest modern toy is. I feel this way about a couple of toys, such as the old Cyber Police toys,the Toybiz Iron man toys from the 90's, a complete set of Combaticons (Okay so I have no childhood attachment, but I love Bruticus and Onslaught to death.), among many other things.

... Although even as I say that, I'm still definitely going to buy the KOS-MOS V.4 Figma Max Factory's going to put out.

EDIT: Also, the new logo's awesome!

Dkun's picture
Posted by Dkun on 25 July, 2010 - 15:19
Great discussion. Obviously

Great discussion. Obviously a lot of this was focused on Mecha and the like, but in general I think it depends on the toy franchise. Take the Doctor Who toys. The Dapol figures were just terrible. They did make quite a few and people did collect them, but I can't imagine anyone would take those vintage figures over the modern Character Options figures.

Sometimes I think it's a case of the modern not trying to improve upon the vintage, but just simply being done right.

Newton Gimmick's picture
Posted by Newton Gimmick on 28 July, 2010 - 14:49
More aggressive editing &

More aggressive editing & maybe a microphone or acoustical deadening (to suppress the reverb) would make for a better video i.e. easier to watch... just saying.

north-exit's picture
Posted by north-exit on 31 March, 2011 - 20:33
Anyone noticed the cat that

Anyone noticed the cat that got a few seconds of the limelight? Lol.

kurochan_24's picture
Posted by kurochan_24 on 30 October, 2012 - 21:23
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