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Robot Masters and/or WST.... Why no US/Hasbro release?


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Looking over some of my old figures, I came across my Robot Master's Convoy and a bunch of WST figures I picked up years ago. I hated the fact I had to buy these guys online or in a Canadian Comic Shop, but why didn't either of these lines get a domestic release here in the States?

 

Robot Masters Convoy (Prime) is one of my FAVORITE Prime figures. I know his truck mode looks weird with the gap below the cab, however, it's a great figure that should have seen a release here. Same with the seekers figures. Although I heard they were crappy figures, they looked great and were a good representation fo the characters pre-Classics/Generations. I never got my hands on a Robot Masters Starscream, but I wish I could have seen it in stores way back when.

 

The WST could have been sold in stores as a precursor to legends figures, and although they are very small, I kind of prefer them to the G1 Legends class figures which have been released the last few years. I actually picked up legends Optimus Prime and G2 Tank Megatron today at Dollar General. I got RTS Legends Starscream and Megatron a while ago, and although they are cool, I like their WST versions better. I always loved the fact WST transformed almost exactly like their G1 counterparts.

 

So yeah, I''m not sure if this has been discussed before, but why didn't Hasbro ever import either one of these lines? You can't say because they sucked because there are plenty of crappy toys Hasbro put out during the years Robot Masters and WST were new.

Edited by PuertoRiCON
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I'd imagine Hasbro was focused on whatever line was current at the time to bother with both of those. I do have some of the RM's and they're pretty cool. I started getting these for the machine wars/cyberjet molds. I've picked the Convoys too. Not bad little figures. I think Hasbro was still doing the Universe line too when these were released.

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I seem to recall somewhere reporting Aaron Archer hated the Robot Masters line, when someone asked him about possibility of domestic release (which would majorly affect release, as he was the head of US Transformers team at the time.)

 

Hasbro did plan on releasing WST Soundwave as an accessory to a redeco Energon Megatron (http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Megatron_%28Armada%29/toys#Energon ), but the entire product was cancelled.

Edited by Taaron
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Robotmasters never really made it stateside for the most part because it was Takara's answer to Hasbro's then-current Universe Line, also it was released at the same time as the TRU Commemorative series reissue's were tanking badly which made Hasbro feel there was a lack of interest in G1 at the time (also why WST was never brought over) combine that with fandom having been put off of Beast era by Beast Machines, and Hasbro simply felt it was better to use molds that it already had rights to rather than spend extra money licensing them off Takara. Strangely though, developing the Classics line was a direct result of Takara's successes in the Robotmasters line ( the repaints were hit and miss, except R-Blade and Mirage, pure awesomeness, and the new molds were great too, FINALLY an Optimus Primal and Beast Megatron that weren't massively oversized in comparison to other BW season one toys, and a G1 Starscream that didn't involve Partsforming! And an awesome Lio-Convoy that didn't cost an arm and a leg!)

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I seem to recall somewhere reporting Aaron Archer hated the Robot Masters line, when someone asked him about possibility of domestic release (which would majorly affect release, as he was the head of US Transformers team at the time.)

 

Hasbro did plan on releasing WST Soundwave as an accessory to another product, but the entire product was cancelled.

That Bastard!

 

I never got my hands on WST Soundwave.....missed out on that one. Would have been cool if they packaged SW with a 12 inch Cobra Commander as a Comic-Con exclusive or something like that, or one of the MP Seekers....

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And people wonder why I hate Aaron Archer so much, honestly he is the worst thing to happen to Transformers and I wish Hasbro would just fire his ass

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One issue with Smallest Transforming Transformers is child safety regulations -- those things are tiny and have lots of very small parts which may (or may not) pass US safety standards. They don't even pass Japanese standards for children, which is why, if you look on the packaging, they are explicitly labelled "For Ages 15 and Up". <shrug> Sometimes Japanese toys fail US safety standards, other times US toys fail JP safety standards. I don't know if STTs would have passed Western toy standards or not, but it's may be a possible factor, even if someone at Hasbro were considering adapting them for their markets.

 

Also... STTs came out 9 years ago... if you really wanted one, you should've just bought it then and there. They were readily available and pretty easy to find ('cept for the chase figures), and reasonably affordable (they were just regular retail store figures). But I think that goes with anything... if you want something, get it while it's out. Hasbro gave no indication that they were going to release it themselves -- you could have just bought them and left them sealed for a few months or a year to see if Hasbro would release it, then open it after they didn't. I mean, this year I bought the following toys from Japan because I wasn't sure if Hasbro was going to release them or not: DotM Deluxe Leadfoot, DotM Deluxe Quejack, DotM Deluxe Soundwave, Transformers Prime First Edition (they've never been released in Australia - and I don't think Hasbro released FE Vehicon at all did they?), TF Prime Arms Micron Skywarp & Breakdown... now at the time I purchased these toys I wasn't sure if Hasbro would release them locally. Even now there's still a chance that they could do Breakdown and it wasn't necessary for me to get one from Japan. But I wasn't willing to take that risk because I really wanted Breakdown, so I got one from Japan (crappy stickers and all :().

Now in the case of DotM and TF Prime, I think Hasbro should release the toys that Takara has (maybe not Skywarp - he hasn't appeared in the show). It's inexcusable how they never released Leadfoot, Soundwave and Quejack -- and where the hell is Deluxe Mirage?!?!? But in terms of Robot Masters and STTs which were Takara-exclusive lines, I don't see any obligation on Hasbro's part to release those toys here. There would have been a lot of RM toys that might have shelf-warmed... Star Sabre, Victory Leo, those random repaints of Machine Wars, G2 and Beast Wars moulds etc. Optimus Prime and Starscream would've sold... Mirage maybe (though as a repaint I don't know if he'd fly off shelves)... as for the others, I'm really not sure, because we got or were still getting those moulds in Robots In Disguise. Like, how would Gigant Bomb and Smokesniper sell next to Dreadwing & Smokejumper? Kids will get either one set or the other... one of those sets would end up shelf warming due to cross-competition with each other. Although Hasbro doesn't seem to care about doing this when it comes to Bumblebee... :roll :P

 

In any case, if you really want a toy, get it straight away. If you pass it up and wait, well... it's like crying over spilt milk, in'nit? ;)

spiltmilk.jpg

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One issue with Smallest Transforming Transformers is child safety regulations -- those things are tiny and have lots of very small parts which may (or may not) pass US safety standards. They don't even pass Japanese standards for children, which is why, if you look on the packaging, they are explicitly labelled "For Ages 15 and Up". <shrug> Sometimes Japanese toys fail US safety standards, other times US toys fail JP safety standards. I don't know if STTs would have passed Western toy standards or not, but it's may be a possible factor, even if someone at Hasbro were considering adapting them for their markets.

 

Also... STTs came out 9 years ago... if you really wanted one, you should've just bought it then and there. They were readily available and pretty easy to find ('cept for the chase figures), and reasonably affordable (they were just regular retail store figures). But I think that goes with anything... if you want something, get it while it's out. Hasbro gave no indication that they were going to release it themselves -- you could have just bought them and left them sealed for a few months or a year to see if Hasbro would release it, then open it after they didn't. I mean, this year I bought the following toys from Japan because I wasn't sure if Hasbro was going to release them or not: DotM Deluxe Leadfoot, DotM Deluxe Quejack, DotM Deluxe Soundwave, Transformers Prime First Edition (they've never been released in Australia - and I don't think Hasbro released FE Vehicon at all did they?), TF Prime Arms Micron Skywarp & Breakdown... now at the time I purchased these toys I wasn't sure if Hasbro would release them locally. Even now there's still a chance that they could do Breakdown and it wasn't necessary for me to get one from Japan. But I wasn't willing to take that risk because I really wanted Breakdown, so I got one from Japan (crappy stickers and all :().

Now in the case of DotM and TF Prime, I think Hasbro should release the toys that Takara has (maybe not Skywarp - he hasn't appeared in the show). It's inexcusable how they never released Leadfoot, Soundwave and Quejack -- and where the hell is Deluxe Mirage?!?!? But in terms of Robot Masters and STTs which were Takara-exclusive lines, I don't see any obligation on Hasbro's part to release those toys here. There would have been a lot of RM toys that might have shelf-warmed... Star Sabre, Victory Leo, those random repaints of Machine Wars, G2 and Beast Wars moulds etc. Optimus Prime and Starscream would've sold... Mirage maybe (though as a repaint I don't know if he'd fly off shelves)... as for the others, I'm really not sure, because we got or were still getting those moulds in Robots In Disguise. Like, how would Gigant Bomb and Smokesniper sell next to Dreadwing & Smokejumper? Kids will get either one set or the other... one of those sets would end up shelf warming due to cross-competition with each other. Although Hasbro doesn't seem to care about doing this when it comes to Bumblebee... :roll :P

 

In any case, if you really want a toy, get it straight away. If you pass it up and wait, well... it's like crying over spilt milk, in'nit? ;)

spiltmilk.jpg

Uh, well he never said anything about not having them, he was just posing the question of why these lines never received a US release, in the end any new molds and paint schemes could have been released in the Universe line, at least RM's and not STT's. In fact the repaints would have been welcome additions in Universe, at the very lease R-Blade and Mirage would have piqued collector interest better than any of the other color variations of those molds in the line. I'm not saying the Robotmaster figures would have saved Universe, but it wouldn't have died so quietly if they were added in.

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I seem to recall somewhere reporting Aaron Archer hated the Robot Masters line, when someone asked him about possibility of domestic release (which would majorly affect release, as he was the head of US Transformers team at the time.)

 

Hasbro did plan on releasing WST Soundwave as an accessory to another product, but the entire product was cancelled.

That Bastard!

 

I never got my hands on WST Soundwave.....missed out on that one. Would have been cool if they packaged SW with a 12 inch Cobra Commander as a Comic-Con exclusive or something like that, or one of the MP Seekers....

 

Heerotoymaker and Chimungmung both sell the "reissue" WST soundwave. Its identical to the real thing QC wise, plus Heero's has a translucent tape deck the original did not have. There is also the fact Heero offers soundwave in colors takara never released. Such as SG, soundblaster, clear, glowing, clear orange, and I think gold. The only downside is that it doesn't come with the cardboard box and it does not have copywright stamps. But it sure as hell beats having to pay the prices for a real "probably incomplete" one on ebay.

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