I would have..

Posted by Erik Sjoen 
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
.. LOVED SOC's when I was a kid. As much as they are very sculpture like and "anime accurate" adult collectibles, they would have supplied ENDLESS hours of imaginary fun me thinks. Just sayin'.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2011 06:15PM by Erik Sjoen.
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
Case in point:





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/28/2011 05:44PM by Erik Sjoen.
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the toys and the show are incredable.
cae
totally agree - SOC woulda rocked my brain as a kid.

The downside?

I never would've owned one - $70+ for a kids toy? Pfffft! Not at my house!

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hassenpfeffer
Sanjeev (Admin)
I would have...

Absolutely wanted the shit out of them...but like Corey, never in a million years gotten one.

But if I had, I would likely have destroyed them in under a week. Classic case of "having is not so pleasurable a thing as wanting."

I remember vividly as a kid, I always WANTED the most beautiful, cartoon-accurate looking stuff. But whenever I got a toy that was overly complex ("overly" defined as having too many bits to keep track of or too many joints or too delicate detail parts...in other words, stuff that can go *wrong* in terms of QC or just in the hands of a kid), I'd very rapidly get sick of it.

I played with my toys with a LOT of other kids in the neighborhood and at school. We traded shit ALL the time and played with each others shit on the playground, in the street, in each other's homes, wherever. Can you imagine how long an SoC would survive in environments like that? Half the accessories would be gone in a couple days.

But again, the irony is that I sure woulda killed for one!
If given one, I would have loved it as I tended to enshrine my few belongings. But really, if SOC had been out there and I was trying to choose something, I wouldn't have chosen them amongst other things. For me the interchangeable nature of vintage microman would have been much more compelling. An SOC Combattler would've been a want, I guess. Honestly, as much as I love SOC's, they just aren't much...I dunno...'fun'.

I would have certainly loved the modern Valkyrie renditions, or the revamps of classic Star Wars stuff, as well as the incredible 40 or 50 Mach 5's issued in the last few years. Yeah, load those (with the Combattler) into the time machine for me.
MattAlt (Admin)
The thing with the series is, there's so much variation. The great ones are great (Aquarion, Leoparadon, Gunbuster, King Joe being a few). But others are more so-so, and there's only so many Mazinger variations I can stand (though some of the more offbeat ones are pretty cool, like the headless/chestless one from the new anime.)

Then again, that "some great, some so-so" thing applies to the original Chogokin, too!
Was Aquarion part of the SOC line...?

I still remember when I first got the GX-01 and it really felt like a revelation. A fully diecast Shogun Warrior toy but modernized with more gimmicks, accessories, sculpt and articulation. I think in one of our early TBDX chogokin chats, I even proclaimed to Alen that this had to be the BEST TOY EVER.

Of course with time, we've seen this line get more complex and more expensive to the point it doesn't feel like a "toy" anymore and I think that's what has mostly tempered some folk's enthusiasm with the SOC line. But objectively, there's no way to deny that this is one truly impressive line of quality robot toys, and one that will be looked back and marvelled at many years down the line.
cae
If it weren't for the GX-01 (or was it the 02?) that I picked up off ebay, I don't know that I woulda ever gotten hooked into this end of the hobby.

I still have that toy and still think it is pretty goddamn cool, even if I did have to de-sprue some of the bits.

I would have licked a dead pig's ass for this toy as a kid - I'm just more jaded now, is all.

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hassenpfeffer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/31/2011 05:33PM by cae.
Sanjeev (Admin)
H-man Wrote:
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> But objectively, there's no way to
> deny that this is one truly impressive line of
> quality robot toys, and one that will be looked
> back and marvelled at many years down the line.

Yup. I think that when it comes to faithfully reproducing these animated characters--that clearly were never drawn to be *possible* in real life!--Bandai really set an impressive standard for adult collectibles of this type. The GX-01 was a real turning point in toy marketing and development: it marked a fundamental shift from "child's toy" to "adult collectible", as proven by the line's popularity. That's undeniable and their place in pop culture history is set.

I just think that "adult collectibles" don't have the cultural longevity of "children's toys". Sure, there are plenty of individual children's toys that have sucked over the decades...but look at the iconic lines. Whether you're considering the non-character zenmai of the 60's, the Popy Chogokin of the 70's--or even friggin' Lego blocks--these were whole lines of toys that fucking inspired *whole generations* of kids and shaped the adults they'd grow up into, y'knowmsayin? Generations from now, I simply don't see SoCs or other similar high-end items having the same impact.
cae
> I simply don't see SoCs or other similar high-end items having the same impact.

Well, had they been marketed to chilluns, maybe that would be an interesting point. But they weren't nor, at the price point, could they have been. As you have well pointed out, these were definitely meant as collectibles for adults - they could have just about not been anything else in our economy.

The point is, *had* they been able to be marketed to kids, they likely would've made an impression.

A good example of this is that I had some great toy guns as a kid. My dad had a few guns, too. I couldn't afford, was not given, nor were these guns my father had made for me yet, I remain certain, had I been able to own one or two of these guns (and not killed anyone with them) they may have stood out a bit higher in my memory than my cap guns, you know?

The same applies to toy cars and the Princes Leia action figure I had ...

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hassenpfeffer



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/01/2011 12:47PM by cae.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I can dig it...but I'm still not sure about the big picture.

If SoCs were magically cheap and marketed to kids, would they still be as iconic to this generation of kids as older toys were to us? I really don't know.

There are plenty of comparisons we may be able to draw...

Like, the original Star Trek show blew the doors off the hinges in terms of innovative story-telling and all that. Thus it endures. The more modern series were good (some of 'em anyway), but they weren't as *revolutionary* for their respective era. They were just "right" or "appropriate" or "fitting", given the contemporary standards of tv.

Same thing with original Star Wars trilogy versus the new trilogy. Which one will later generations deem "iconic"? I'm not really sure: the effects are better in the new trilogy, but most people agree that the dialog and general "hero's journey" story was better in the first...and that seems to be the deciding factor.

Or speaking of special effects, how about Harryhausen's Clash of the Titans versus the recent one. Obviously the effects from the new one were better, but they were only adequate, at best, for today's standards. Meanwhile, the original's effects were so intense for the time, the movie will live on as a classic of cinema.

I dunno--maybe these comparisons aren't valid...but it's an interesting conversation...
MattAlt (Admin)
>>If SoCs were magically cheap

The thing is, though, Chogokin/Godaikin weren't cheap even when I was a kid! I could use my allowance to buy a G.I. Joe fig or something, but a $50 Godaikin? No way. Had to wait for birthdays, special occasions, etc. So while I wanna point a finger at the SOC's price factor, sometimes it just feels like the prices magically scaled up in proportion to what I'm making now (well, it's probably an exaggeration to say a $200+ toy "hurts" more at my income level than a $50 Godaikin when I was a kid, but I'm talking psychologically here. ;)

But like you say, SOC aren't toys. Kids don't buy them, don't have any interest in them. This is the era of videogames and pocket monsters and what-not. What keeps them from being "classics" is that they're reinterpretations of classics rather than trend-setters.
That's a good summary. I can't think of a single modern piece my younger self could have afforded. It would have to be something at or below about $40 retail (an inflated $10). What kid today would spend $40 on a metal figure? It's a fetish.
Sanjeev (Admin)
MattAlt Wrote:
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> The thing is, though, Chogokin/Godaikin weren't
> cheap even when I was a kid! I could use my
> allowance to buy a G.I. Joe fig or something, but
> a $50 Godaikin?

Hehe...I think you just described a LOT of our childhoods...and why we're so obsessed about these toys today! Why do you think I wax poetic about fucking pencil-toppers?? ;)


leMel42 Wrote:
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> What kid today
> would spend $40 on a metal figure? It's a fetish.

So true. But like Matt said: kids don't have any interest in them anyway. With video games and other modern amusements, I doubt kids would be interested in SoCs...even if they WERE affordable.

...Which finally raises the point: is the era of truly great toys over? I'm not talking about SoCs or adult collectibles that sell on the basis of nostalgia. I'm talking about toys for kids...and that are relatively affordable. I don't think toys will ever go away entirely, and I think there'll always be diamonds in the rough...but again, with video games and the like, it sure seems like there are a lot fewer imaginative, innovative toys being produced now...compared to, say, during the 80's.

This is kinda why I like to keep tabs on stuff like Mega Bloks' Iron Man toys and shit like that. They're obviously not vintage Japanese robots or monsters...but decades from now, I promise you, some grown ass men will get together and reminisce about that shit!
cae
My gf's kids love video games but spend more time with their Legos than anything else, constantly creating all kinds of insanity (my biggest fear - that kids today would just make and play in the worlds of the shite on the boxes was TOTALLY unfounded) - they loved the Gundam figures I gave 'em (Thanks, Ken!) and were totally rocked by an Estes rocket.

And now that I remember, they about wet themselves over my diecast MM Gundam and played for hours with the big-ass Sempuujin/Gouraijin set.

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hassenpfeffer
Heh, invoking Legos...there oughta be a rule...

Lego are the ultimate home run. Their mutability is self-evidenced by the fact that the system has thrived every modernization thrown at it, from computerization (mindstorms) to mega-licensing (star wars) to video games (various lego-ized adventure games), but remember, the same could be said of Hallmark Keepsake ornaments (except for the games).

I almost never see kids over the age of 5 with toys in public. My nephews showed little interest in my stuff, and we don't have game systems. One exception: an an old bag of green army meny and a plastic military base was usually requested and dragged out on most occassions. I remember being into power rangers and the first transformers movie.

One thing is that the various activities that toy-play was a proxy for (military, occupational, or fiction-world roleplay) are now more directly experienced via computer simulation in console games.
Sanjeev (Admin)
Heh...I still play with Legos...BrickLink is a fucking godsend! My dream is to design a Leman Russ tank in Lego scale (for all the Warhammer 40k nerds out there!).

Anyway, my friend's niece and nephew (around 6ish?) seem somewhat uninterested in toys--even though they have a bunch--but they have lots of kid-friendly video games and they watch a fairly high amount of tv. They kinda seem over-stimulated all the time. The thing is, whenever we're over visiting, they're constantly vying for the adults' attention...so they clearly crave real human attention...which I think is a great sign.

But regarding video games, are they really a more direct way to role-play than playing with toys with other children in person? Video games seem very engaging, but compared to the fluid, natural, and wonderful complexity of engaging with another mind in person, they just seem pretty weak. Granted, I've never been into video games...but I've *always* loved toys.

Like, even though you may be playing with a real person over the internet, video games still seem sorta isolating...and the activities you engage in are hyper-limited. When we used to play with our toys, we would act out scenarios we'd picked up from movies and tv (heh...we were ALL latchkey kids!), but that still seems healthier than what you can get out of a video game...
cae
thread derail: BrickLink - sweet! I was just on the lego.com site today looking at individual bricks. A recent release has a big-ass, three-part ball joint (!) in it that I've never seen before and desperately want multiples of ... nice to have multiple resources for bricks ...

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hassenpfeffer
Sanjeev Wrote:

> ...Which finally raises the point: is the era of
> truly great toys over? I'm not talking about SoCs
> or adult collectibles that sell on the basis of
> nostalgia. I'm talking about toys for kids...and
> that are relatively affordable. I don't think toys
> will ever go away entirely, and I think there'll
> always be diamonds in the rough...but again, with
> video games and the like, it sure seems like there
> are a lot fewer imaginative, innovative toys being
> produced now...compared to, say, during the 80's.
>

Heh. I made this point a year or so ago, and the general response was "Get off my lawn!" I still think it's true. As someone who has small kids, I am paying attention to the various toy lines out there all the time. There don't appear to be lots of truly imaginative toy lines, and when they do sort of ring tru to that regard, they're often poorly made. The Fisher Price Imaginext stuff, for example. Interesting designs and some pretty good themes involved, but the toys themselves are often flimsy. Some are pretty good, but many are crap. The Cars toys are OK, but tied to a franchise. But, it is hard to sell things that aren't. I get that. Still, I really do think that many of the 80's toy lines were created without much market research and truly were designed in a spirit of "let's see if this sticks!" Stuff like Mask, Dino Riders, Starriors, and so on may not have sold tons of units but they really were imaginative lines (not that MOTU, Transformers, Gi Joe, TMNT and so on weren't, but those were big hits). People are highly nostalgic for them. Do you truly think anyone is going to go gaga over Generator Rex toys 30 years from now? Maybe they will, but it seems unlikely. Part of the problem is that they seem bland to me. Not breaking any molds (no pun intended). Just standard market-driven fare. Where's the risk-taking?? The Cars stuff will be a collectors item in the next few decades for sure, but it's hard for me to pick out much else besides the usually dominant lines like TF and Star Wars.

More serious than thou



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/07/2011 11:57PM by fujikuro.
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
What about DaiGoyou?? I love this toy, and it's an actual TOY!?!?



[www.youtube.com]
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
Derail:

[www.youtube.com]

WOW.....
Yet another reason I hate video blogs...
Sanjeev (Admin)
Erik, I totally agree that modern sentai toys tend to kick much ass. Unless you're hopelessly anal-retentive, shut-in adult collector... *Ahem*


fujikuro Wrote:
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> Where's the
> risk-taking??

I agree with everything you've said. I think it's genuinely more difficult for companies today to take risks than it was in the 80's, for example. The level of competition is SO high...and especially with commodities prices being out of control (let alone every other facet of the economy), profit margins are tight.

As a result, most stuff is kinda contrived and over-wrought. Corporate. Sanitized. Focus group-driven...
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
"Erik, I totally agree that modern sentai toys tend to kick much ass. Unless you're hopelessly anal-retentive, shut-in adult collector... *Ahem* "

Ha ha ha! You shouldn't talk about yourself that way... ;)
Erik Sjoen (Admin)
I also like this series called "Gunball" that was made by Bandai. Diecast magnetic balls in which the limbs attach to. Yappy (RIP) introduced me to these..

E

[cute.cd]
Erik Sjoen Wrote:
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> I also like this series called "Gunball" that was
> made by Bandai. Diecast magnetic balls in which
> the limbs attach to. Yappy (RIP) introduced me to
> these..
>
> E
>
> [cute.cd]

My god, those are fucking great!

More serious than thou
Sanjeev (Admin)
Erik Sjoen Wrote:
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> Ha ha ha! You shouldn't talk about yourself that
> way... ;)

:P

I actually found this recently. Good for a laugh!

Derail:
Anyway, those Gunball toys look fantastic...but I'm just wondering how they solved the metal polarization problem. I've experimented with this shit a lot: even though you have a magnetic sphere, it's still a dipole. When you attach a metal bit to it, it clings on well, but it becomes polarized. So, if you add another metal piece, that, too, gets polarized and wants to snap to the first bit if they get too close...thus kinda sucking to play with.

See? hopelessly anal-retentive, shut-in adult collector. ;)
Make SOC's kid safe! Problem solved. ;p

When I was a kid, When I played with toys, I was reasonably careful with them so they'd last.
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