Transformers Daily News Source for Transformers 5, Titans Return, Robots in Disguise, Combiner Wars, Generations, Third Party, G1, Beast Wars, Reviews, Comics, Games & More Than Meets the Eye!
TFormers Transformers News and Reviews
facebook twitter Pinterest Tumblr Google+ youtube podcast rss
Articulation Breakdown Week, Day 1: Hinges
RAC - Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Today RAC takes a look at the first of the three primary forms that toy articulation can take: the hinge. Probably the most-used joint on Transformers figures due to their utility in transformation mechanisms, hinges still do a lot of heavy lifting for the humanoid form as well - especially if you do it properly and lift from the knees. Keep reading for more!

In action figure terms, hinges allow a straight piece to double over onto itself to some degree by adding a break in the form and an axis for one of the two halves to turn on. That usually takes the form of a metal or plastic pin. The most obvious and common application of these are for elbows and knees. And a lot of figures leave it at that. But this is where we run into the conundrum of Squishy vs. Solid. The human elbow generally allows an able-bodied person to touch their hand to their shoulder. This is possible due to the ability of the flesh to compress and move based on its position, otherwise you couldn't get the arm to fold up nearly as tightly. And your PVCs and your ABSes do not generally do that.

There's a couple ways to address that. You can put the hinge on the very edge of the piece, as with Henkei Dinobot, but that's not always aesthetically pleasing. (Though, let's be fair: It's been done better. Henkei Dinobot is among the most awkward such joints on a modern Transformer.)

The other solution to achieving human range with these materials is to use two hinges, as seen here with Age of Extinction Galvatron. Doubling up in a way that human joints don't can allow you to double your limbs over in the ways that humans do. ...well, ideally. The specifics of individual designs may still prevent it, but there's only so far you can take things. Some designs also include a slide to get one or more hinges clear of interference, but honestly even on a robot that can look pretty wonky.

The drawback to a hinge is mainly in its limitations. It has one axis of movement and cannot turn a complete circle along that axis. Also, because of their linear motion but need for frequent handling, hinges can fall victim to torque and be broken if designer, plastic formulator, factory, and owner have not all been careful enough.

(Pictured above: Kids Logic Devastator's dump truck bed falls victim to stress on a very thin and very fragile hinged strut.)

This is often a problem where thin hinges are used between large masses to minimize the aesthetic damage the joint causes. Also, since an axis is required, the pin itself or its housing can be a weak point. Thin metal pins can tear through the plastic of the joint; thicker plastic pins can break if the plastic encounters too much stress. There are no perfect joints, and even the best designers can occasionally misjudge the amount of pressure a joint can take. It happens - but knowing that makes breaking your favorite figure no less frustrating.

Next time, we'll look at the second of the three basic joint types: the swivel.

last 10 shown - scroll to view more   TFormers Member Comments
9:08 pm

This is quite the interesting read, I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.   One thing you might like to consider for later, if a plastic is apparently weak for a joint it's not necessarily a 'cheap plastic' it's more likely just not quite suited to the role it's been applied to.  ... read more 
»  Read ALL Forums Posts & Replies
»  Post a Comment on This Story!  (membership required)

More Generations News
It's almost time for the big ceremony admitting Earth to the Cybertronian Council of Worlds! ...wait, I feel like we've been here before. Have we been here before? Well, yes - but not from the Revolutionaries' point of view! RevolutionariesOptimus Prime: First Strike #1 is written by John Barber with art by Guido Guidi and John Wycough, with coloring by Thomas Deer. Click here to read the review!
Stardrive has had it - with Autobots, with Decepticons, with Dire Wraiths, and even with her fellow Solstar Knights. So then, what is she going to do about it? Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4 is written by John Barber and Christos Gage, with art by Alex Milne and colors by Josh Perez. Click here to go to the review!
With Cybertron under siege by Baron Ironblood's forces, Optimus Prime and Arcee defend their homeland! Caught in the middle is the human/Transformer team known as the Revolutionaries-and one of them has a secret that puts everyone at risk! In shops this Wednesday, October 18th. Click through for the preview pages, and stick around for our review of the issue, coming very soon!
Stardrive is torn between joining her fellow Transformers and staying with Rom and his knights... and the fate of an innocent world rests in her choice! Issue in shops this Wednesday, October 18th. Keep reading to see the preview pages, and watch for our review of the issue coming in just a little while!
The Transformers Facebook page has revealed when to expect Machinima's newest Transformers web series to debut! Titans Return picks up from the end of the dubiously-acclaimed Combiner Wars web series, and will begin streaming on the go90 platform on November 14th. To this end, a movie poster style image was released on the Facebook page, which you can find mirrored below. Combiner Wars was streamed outside the US on Machinima's Youtube channel. Though we're not aware of any statements regarding international status of Titans Return, we expect similar arrangements for the global audience.

SDCC 2017 Transformers News!

ROM Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor #4
Generations IDW Comic Book
Optimus Prime Issue 11
Generations IDW Comic Book
First Strike #5
Generations IDW Comic Book
First Strike #4
Generations IDW Comic Book

LG-EX Grand Maximus Details, Images, Preorders on New Takara Transformers Figure Set

First Strike: Optimus Prime Full Comic Book Preview

Huge Transformers Games Sale 80% Off on Steam Downloads


Facebook @TFormers

Twitter @TFormers

Entertainment News International (ENI) is the popular culture network for fans all around the world. Get the scoop on all the popular comics, games, movies, toys, and more every day!
Action Figures
Star Wars
© 2017 Entertainment News International - All images, trademarks, logos, video, brands and images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies and or owners. All Rights Reserved. Data has been shared for news reporting purposes only. All content sourced by fans, online websites, and or other fan community sources. Entertainment News International is not responsible for reporting errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and or other liablities related to news shared here. We do our best to keep tabs on infringements. If some of your content was shared by accident. To have it removed right away, please [ Contact Us ].