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Annual Collection Survey and Universal Counting Method Questions & Discussion


Goktimus Prime
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:alert Please Read Carefully Before Voting or Posting on this Thread! :alert

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I count my Transformers for the annual poll?

In order to participate in this poll, you are required to count your Transformers as best you can according to the Universal Counting Method (UCM) - see below. You then round your count to the nearest hundred and vote accordingly.

 

What is the purpose of the annual poll?

To determine the average size of a Transformers collector's collection and observe any changes year by year. Like so:

collectionsurveycomparison.jpg

 

Who made the Universal Counting Method?

The UCM was not made by any individual Transformers collector, but rather by the community. In 2006 and 2007 a series of polls was conducted among TF collectors from around the world deciding on what people thought should and shouldn't count in a common method of counting Transformers. The articles in the UCM are based on the results of those polls. There have been a few new polls since then, and the articles in the UCM continue to reflect what the majority of participants voted for. Thus the UCM is based on a majority consensus.

 

What if I don't agree with one or some of the rules of the UCM?

Whether you agree with all of the rules or not is up to you. Not everyone will agree with all the rules in the UCM - not even I agree with all of the rules, but the rules are based on a majority consensus. If you choose to participate in this survey, then you are required to adhere to the Universal Counting Method, whether you personally agree with all of the rules or not.

 

Can the rules of the Universal Counting Method be changed?

No. That would render the data from previous years' surveys useless for comparison. Rules can be clarified as new toy concepts come in. In most cases the existing rules can cover new stuff, but in exceptional cases where it cannot, then a new poll will be formulated to create a new rule - but the existing rules cannot be changed.

 

I don't like this. I don't even agree with this annual survey thing.

Then you're welcome not to participate! This annual survey is completely voluntary. Nobody is forcing anyone to participate in this project and count according to the UCM if they don't want to. If you choose to participate in this survey, then you also choose to accept the rules of the survey - if you don't like the rules, then just don't get involved.

 

I have less than 100 Transformers, or I have over 1000 Transformers - yet this poll only adequately counts collections numbering between 100 to 1000 toys. How are collections smaller than 100 or larger than 1000 more accurately represented?

There are two parallel polls. Anyone who clicks on "100 or less" or "1000 or more" will be required to also vote on the relevant parallel poll so that more accurate information about collection sizes in those categories may be obtained.

For example, here's last year's results for collections under 100:

2010survey_100.jpg

And for collections over 1000:

2010survey_1000.jpg

 

 

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:alert Please do NOT troll this thread by posting any vents against the Universal Counting Method or the annual poll project, or how much you disagree with the UCM rules etc. -- if you don't like this sort of thing, then just walk away from this thread. :deadhorse The purpose of this thread is for seeking clarification about the UCM or asking questions relevant to the annual survey

 

Participation in the annual survey is voluntary - but if people choose to "play the game" then they need to stick by the rules of the game. If they don't like the rules, then don't play.

 

Thank you. :)

 

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:justprime: THE UNIVERSAL COUNTING METHOD :justprime:

 

PREAMBLE

 

"How many Transformers do you have?"

"What's the size of an average Transformer collection?"

These are questions that we often hear as Transformer collectors.

 

The Universal Counting Method was created to allow fans to:

1. Participate in collection count surveys.

2. Provide a fair way to compare collection sizes.

 

The definition of what should and shouldn't count as a "Transformer" in one's collection count greatly varies between individuals collectors depending on individual opinions which makes it ineffectual for individuals to compare collection sizes or effectively participate in surveys if every collector has a different method of classifying and counting Transformers.

 

For example, imagine 2 Transformer collectors. They both own 2 G1 Seaspray toys in their collections. That's all. Transfan A decides that doubles count whereas Transfan B decides that they don't. Thus Transfan A considers himself as owning 2 Transformers whereas Transfan B considers herself as owning 1 Transformer. Despite the fact that both of these collectors own the exact same toys in the exact same quantities, Transfan A's collection count is 100% larger than Transfan B's simply because of discrepancies in their counting method. Now imagine this discrepancy on a larger scale when comparing collectors whose collection count would number in tens, hundreds or over a thousand and you can see that the disparity exponentially increases making collection size comparisons grossly unfair and rendering any data gathered from surveys about collection sizes useless.

 

Due to the arbitrary nature of Transformer classification, it is not possible to formulate a single system of counting that everyone would completely agree with.

 

As a result, during 2006 and 2007 a series of polls were conducted over numerous Transformer forums with collectors from various countries voting on what they considered to be the "correct" way of classifying and counting Transformer toys, and thus the Universal Counting Method was born based on the results of majority votes.

 

It is a counting method made by the people for the people. Is it the "best" counting method? There's no real way to answer that because we all have different opinions on what is the "best" or "correct" way of classifying and counting Transformers. But considering that each Article in the Universal Counting Method is based on majority votes, I believe that it is at least the fairest method of counting Transformers for the purposes of comparing collection sizes and participating in surveys.

 

The Universal Counting Method has not been officially endorsed by Hasbro Inc or TakaraTOMY Co., Ltd. It has been made by fans for fans. This system is not necessarily intended to replace everyone's personal preference for classification and counting - you can count your Transformers however you want to. But if you want to compare your collection count with others or participate in a collection count survey then you need to ensure that you and others are counting by the same method to make the comparison or results fair. The Universal Counting Method exists as a pre-made method that you can choose to use for such purposes.

 

---------------------------------

 

* ARTICLE 1: What Is A Transformer?

A Transformer is legally defined as any product created under licence from Hasbro Inc. and/or Takara(Tomy) Co., Ltd under the "Transformers?" logo. As a result:

1/ Pre-Transformers do not count as Transformers. Although they may have been manufactured by Takara, they were NOT done so under the Transformers? logo.

2/ Knock-Offs/Bootlegs do not count as Transformers. They are not manufactured by Hasbro or Takara(Tomy) and they are certainly not released under licence from HasTak.

3/ Any other kind of non-Transformer transforming robot toy that's not really a Transformer does not count as a Transformer. This includes your Macross, Gobots (Machine Men), Machine Robo etc. - again, if the toy is not manufactured under HasTak licence under the "Transformers?" logo then it doesn't count. It's as easy as that.

 

* ARTICLE 02: Nebulans, Master Robots, Motorvator partners, Pretender/Crossformer/Dinoforce shells and Action Master partners and vehicles do not count separately. e.g.:

- Triggerhappy & Blowpipe = 1 Transformer

- Landmine & his Pretender shell = 1 Transformer

- Action Master Sideswipe and Vanguard = 1 Transformer -- in total these all count as 3 Transformers.

- For the purposes of this poll, Barricade's Frenzy will also not count as separate Transformers under this article's definition.

 

* ARTICLE 03: Micromasters and Mini-Cons count individually. e.g.:

- A complete Air Strike Patrol = 4 Transformers (Whisper, Tailwind, Stormcloud & Nightflight)

- A complete Mini-Con Air Defence Team = 3 Transformers (Sonar, Jetstorm & Runway)

- Hot Shot & Jolt = 2 Transformers

- Overload & Rollout = 2 Transformers -- in total these all count as 11 Transformers.

 

* ARTICLE 04: Only the component members of a Gestalt team count. e.g.:

- Devastator = 6 Transformers (6 Constructicons)

- Superion = 5 Transformers (5 Aerialbots) -- in total these all count as 11 Transformers.

 

* ARTICLE 05: Individual combiner robots count individually but multi-in-1 components do not. e.g.:

- A complete Constructor Squad = 6 Transformers

- Battletrap = 1 Transformer (not 2)

- Magmatron = 1 Transformer (not 3) -- in total these all count as 8 Transformers.

 

* ARTICLE 06: Bases do not count. e.g.:

- 1984 Optimus Prime = 1 Transformer (combat deck doesn't count separately)

- Airwave = 1 Transformer (his Micromaster Station doesn't count separately)

- BW Diver = 1 Transformer (Niagara Base doesn't count separately) -- in total these 3 Transformers are belong to us.

 

* ARTICLE 07: "Peripheral" Transformers, drones and pilots/drivers do not count. e.g.:

- Metroplex = 1 Transformer (Scamper, Six Gun and Slammer don't count)

- 1984 Optimus Prime = 1 Transformer (Roller doesn't count separately)

- Luke Skywalker/X-Wing Fighter = 1 Transformer (Luke Skywalker pilot doesn't count separately)

- BTA Alert = 1 Transformer (Kuruma Ai doesn't count separately) -- in total these are 4 Transformers.

- Blackout's Scorponok figurine will also not count as separate Transformers under this article's definition.

 

* ARTICLE 08: Decoys, Statues, busts, PVCs, meal/candy toys, kits etc. do not count. e.g.:

- Super Collection Figures don't count

- Mega Collection Figures don't count

- Mighty Muggs don't count

- Be@rbricks don't count

 

* ARTICLE 09: Variants count. e.g.:

- Red and yellow Cliffjumper = 2 Transformers.

- Original 1984, Classic reissue, Takara reissue, Ghost Starscream and TFC reissue Starscream = 5 Transformers -- in total 7 Transformers

 

* ARTICLE 10: Multiples count. e.g.:

- 2 Seasprays = 2 Transformers.

 

* ARTICLE 11: Only the transformable 15cm Titanium Series Transformers count.

 

* ARTICLE 12: Transformer Juniors and "non-mainline" Transformers count.

e.g. Choro-Q Transformers Revoltech Transformers, Transformers etc. count.

 

* ARTICLE 13: Microman Transformer humans count. e.g.: Kicker, Ga'Mede.

 

* ARTICLE 14: PlaySkool Transformers count.

 

* ARTICLE 15: Quintessons, Beastformers and Build-figures count. e.g.:

- Alpha Quintesson = 1 Transformer

- White Leo = 1 Transformer (NOTE: Battle Beasts do not count as Beastformers and thus do not count as Transformers)

- Transmutate = 1 Transformer -- in total 3 Transformers

 

* ARTICLE 16: Transformers Plushies count.

 

* ARTICLE 17: All transforming movie Transformers count (e.g.: Cyber Slammers, Fast Action Battlers) but non-transforming movie Transformers do not (e.g.: Robot Replicas, Beatmix Bumblebee).

 

* ARTICLE 18: Loose and sealed Transformers are counted in the same way.

e.g.: A Micromaster Combiner Squad counts as 6 Transformers regardless of being sealed or loose

 

* ARTICLE 19: Only Transformers in C-6 condition or above count

i.e.: junkers don't count but anything that's not a junker counts.

Most toys that you find on eBay etc are C-6. They are in reasonably fine to good condition and are mostly in tact. They are not missing any major parts and are not too heavily worn with no significant damage. Gimmicks are still operational. They may or may not come with accessories, depending on the nature of the toy. They should come with any major accessories - so a Headmaster or Targetmaster would only be considered C-6 if it has its Nebulan partner. In the case of a Maximus, it needs to have at least the "Cerebros" component, because it can still form the basic robot mode w/o "Spike."

 

* ARTICLE 20: Customs and kitbashes count. Remember that under ARTICLE01 only Transformers manufactured under licence from Hasbro and/or Takara(TOMY) and specifically marketed as part of the Transformers brand count, therefore only customs/kitbashes constructed entirely from legitimate TF products count.

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* ARTICLE 05: Individual combiner robots count individually but multi-in-1 components do not. e.g.:

- A complete Constructor Squad = 6 Transformers

- Battletrap = 1 Transformer (not 2)

- Magmatron = 1 Transformer (not 3) -- in total these all count as 8 Transformers.

 

This one is up for debate. Let me make a rundown as to why:

 

- Constructor Squad counts as 6 Transformers because they are 6 named robots. 2 named robots combine to form 1 alt mode. The altmode does not have a name and thus cannot be counted. This follow the fact that:

- Superion is made of 5 aerialbots. Each Aerialbot is a named robot that has a vehicle mode. Since each are named, the combined mode does not get counted, similar to Constructor Squad

- Battletrap's individual parts are alt modes with no named robot mode. As such, Battletrap and Flywheels, although technically a combiner or gestalt, does not follow the above rule.

 

Here's where it gets tricky.

 

- The current example of Article 05 concerning Magmatron is to relate this toy to Battletrap's example, but there is a problem. Magmatron's individual parts are alt mode with names. They are Seasaur, Landsaur and Skysaur. Magmatron does not relate to the Superion example because his parts do not have robot modes. However, while similar to the Battletrap example, his parts do have names. Also similar to Battletrap is that the toy parts were not sold separately.

 

I think, what is needed in these Article descriptions is a particular reason why things are counted this way. Is it because his individual parts do not have robot modes, or is it because of how the toy was sold?

 

ARTICLE 08: Mega Collection Figures don't count

 

Mega Collection (which I believe you mean Mega SCF) is not the same as SCF PVC toys, however what is the underlying rule to this? I think we run into another problem because there isn't an explanation as to why these rules exists, but just that they exist. Let me take some examples and lay out what I'm talking about. In the following I will list the rule, and the facts, which may or may not necessarily be why the rule is in place.

 

- Super Collection Figure does not count: SCF is a Takara toyline that featured Transformers and it not Primarily a TF franchise. They are blind-packed. They require assembly like a model kit. They do not transform.

- Mega SCF figures do not count: Mega SCF is part of the SCF toyline (as above). They do not transform.

- Mighty Muggs does not count: Mighty Muggs is not a Transformers Toyline. They do not transform.

- Be@rbricks don't count: It is not a Transformers toyline. They do not transform.

 

ARTICLE 11

 

- Only 15cm (6 inch) Titanium Series TFs count: Titanium is not a Transformers toyline. The toys can Transform

- 3 inch Titanium don't count: Titanium is not a Transformers toyline. They do not transform.

 

Article 12

 

- Choro-Q TFs count: Choro-Q is not a Transformers toyline. They do not transform.

- Revoltech TFs count: Revoltech is not a Transformers toyline. They do not transform.

 

Article 16: Plushies count: They do not transform.

 

Article 17: Non-transforming toys do not count.

 

So you can see from the above examples, there is no clear cut reason why one thing counts but the other doesn't. An underlying definition needs to be set. I know why some are counted and some are not. Its due to how the UCM was originally approached. I remember the topic of "should thing count in the UCM" showing up every now and then, however if an underlying definition was there, the question should have been more easily answered.

 

And also, regarding the fact that I do not count doubles as compared to the rule of "you must count doubles" I think it is better to under vote for your collection size (according to UCM rules) rather than over counting your collection.

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Please read the FAQ and Preamble in Post #1 of this thread thoroughly before posting on this thread to avoid asking questions for which answers are already provided.

 

Thank you.

 

Tripredacus: the answer to your query is in the FAQ, here:

 

Can the rules of the Universal Counting Method be changed?

No. That would render the data from previous years' surveys useless for comparison. Rules can be clarified as new toy concepts come in. In most cases the existing rules can cover new stuff' date=' but in exceptional cases where it cannot, then a new poll will be formulated to create a new rule - but the existing rules cannot be changed.[/quote']

 

As you know, everyone was given the opportunity to discuss and debate the individual rules for counting. That ship has now sailed. Because the entire purpose of this survey project is to collect comparable data, the rules for counting, once set, cannot be changed.

 

Thank you for understanding.

Edited by Goktimus Prime
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  • 1 year later...

Hello Goktimus,

 

 

Great set of rules. Just wondering, I am nearing #$2000 in my collection but I do have a question.

 

Do the Stealth Force figures counts They have more transformation than certain figures (especially Alpha Quintesson- I was surprised that he counts) so I was wondering about that.

 

Personally I do not count doubles as one could buy a ton of cheap figures double or triple to bulk up a collection. I do have a few figures double. For example, the Micromaster Constructor Squad which I have MOCS and loose. (I got the first one first and decided to keep it like that.) MOSC figures that I only have packaged and not loose I do count.

 

But that is for each person to decide for themselves.

 

I just wanted to know if the Stealth Force figures count.

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