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
EDITORIAL: Hasbro, Please Stop Sticking Us With Stickers
RAC - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's been a contentious issue over the last couple of Prime Wars installments, and it's only getting more intense. We can see the appeal of stickers to solve budgetary problems, but we can also see the stickers peel - often before we've even bought the toy! In this editorial, RAC goes over the hows and whys of stickers and cites the remarkable consensus growing in a consensus-resistant collector community: Hasbro, Please Stop. Click through for thoughts on this sticky situation.

Consensus is tremendously rare in Transformers fan circles. I mean, even just within the G1/Generations circles, we're talking about the fandom that has made a running gag of - and staked out positions on - which of two identical cassette men is red and which is blue for thirty years now. And yet, there is emerging a rallying point among Generations collectors - people who collectively want more or less G1 fidelity, more or less non-G1 figures, more or less gimmicks, and so on down the checklist of every creative choice Hasbro ever makes. There's something nearly all of us have in common.

We want Hasbro to stop the stickers.

The Problems That Stickers Solve

Since the late 2000s financial crisis, budgets have gone down and prices have gone up. Not just on Transformers, on everything - look at a "half gallon" of ice cream next time you buy one if you haven't noticed already. Everything's shrinking, getting more expensive, or both. Transformers, over the past decade, have done a little bit of both. But ten years in, trying to find that balance between what fans expect and what can be done at a price point they will pay is still incredibly difficult.

The most common place for this dilemma to assert itself is deco. There are a limited number of plastic colors and paint applications available to keep a figure within its price point, something has to give, and things end up needing to be prioritized. Quite a few of the early Titans Return Deluxe figures, like Scourge here, wound up largely favoring the vehicular mode. A similar problem befell Blurr - nicknamed "Bluer" in his US release - and both those figures sat longest out of their waves because prioritizing vehicular deco and packaging two all-blue robots in Robot Mode in the same wave turned out not to be a great idea. In both cases it's a pity, as they're good toys - Blurr is a fantastic mold that was better used in literally every other reuse - the TakaraTomy Legends Blurr in particular turned out to be a favorite when painted up nicely.

Stickers are a way around that issue, adding complex details in a format far cheaper than a tampograph of similar size. They're particularly prevalent at the Voyager size and above, and the Titan Class figures come with gigantic sticker sheets with G1 details aplenty.

Why They Solve It Poorly

Aside from that, there is one major issues deal with, and that is stickers. Hasbro, please drop the stickers like you dropped chrome. The stickers are thin, cover up molded details, and in general are not very durable, sometimes coming “pre-peeled” in the box. Tampographed details are nice, clean, and stand the test of time, and you have been doing some amazing things with them, like the details you added on Misfire and Slugslinger. Please make all of our figures as wonderfully detailed as they were. - Power of the Primes Voyager Grimlock review, The Allspark

Stickers worked reasonably well in G1, and man does this design team love what worked in G1! Headmasters, Pretenders, Combiners... unfortunately, the world has changed, Transformers have changed, the economy has changed, and recreating what worked about stickers in G1 is not possible. The economy sabotages stickers the same way it sabotages any other G1 design decisions. G1 stickers were a foil backed with adhesive paper, and had a certain degree of durability. That durability is expensive to replicate on a modern toy, and most of them can't get there. Let's look at two attempts on the same mold.

The retail release of Titans Return Voyager Optimus Prime has foil stickers backed with plastic, which is the most common type. They are almost guaranteed to be peeling and rolling up right out of the box.

Here's the same mold from the Chaos on Velocitron boxset in a G2 Laser Optimus Prime deco. That trailer sticker is accurate, and is the old style foil on paper... but unlike G1 it's more paper than foil and you were almost guaranteed to get stickers out of the box that were rumpled, wrinkled, and torn. It is most noticeably of a different and lower quality than G1/2 foil stickers.

Lastly, the complexity of figures has increased in such a way as to make stickers unfeasible. Even in G1, transformation would ultimately rub the stickers off a toy, but transformation is incredibly complex now, relatively speaking. The much-anticipated Power of the Primes Leader Class Rodimus Prime has stickers which are nearly guaranteed to be destroyed the first time you transform him. While there's a few other small QC issues - inevitable with current Transformers - the most common complaint is that those stickers are toast within days. For a figure anticipated for well over a decade, that's a tragedy.

Why It Needs To Change Sooner Rather Than Later

Up until this year, stickers were a choice that collectors could make: they could either buy the Hasbro product, or wait for TakaraTomy to do an up-deco version for their own market at double the price if they wanted. This year, TakaraTomy isn't doing that. Power of the Primes is anticipated to be, as Transformers: The Last Knight was, literally comprised of Hasbro product with localizing name/price stickers applied to the packaging.

Third-party stickers from vendors like ToyHax are still an option, but it's likely that a lot of people are simply not going to bother buying instead. That's bad for the brand.

And so it's time for us all to ask Hasbro - politely, because we like their toys and want them to be better - to please lay off the stickers. Find other ways to make the deco work if you can, because this isn't working for us. Cheap stickers on some of the best figures you've ever made is hurting fan perception of them, and that's not good for any of us. You have some of the best, most clever designers and engineers in the world working on Transformers, and we're sure you can find a superior solution!

last 10 shown - scroll to view more   TFormers Member Comments
4:01 am

I had to sign in after probably a ten year hiatus to say THANK YOU for bringing attention to this.  A number of wonderful molds have been made in the last couple of years that I have passed up on because of the stickers.  Takara was a wonderful option if not a super expensive option, but a... read more 
»  Read ALL Forums Posts & Replies
»  Post a Comment on This Story!  (membership required)

More Generations News
Comic Crusaders has released the last of the current crop of comic previews for the weekend, capping us off with the Optimus Prime 2018 Annual in which Thundercracker might just finally get to make a movie! The Annual will be in stores on February 28th, and you can read the preview in the gallery below right now! THUNDERCRACKER IN: STARSCREAM: THE MOVIE! The good news: somebody finally gave Thundercracker money to make a film. The bad news: it's Starscream, and he wants a biographical picture to win over the people of Earth. Will Thundercracker stand by his principles or... well, no, he makes the movie.
The website Adventures in Poor Taste has posted the preview for next week's release of Transformers vs Visionaries #3, bringing us to the halfway point in the latest Hasbro universe crossover event. This issue will be joining a number of other Transformers comics in shops next Wednesday, the 28th. Click through to check out the preview! The clock is ticking! Leoric finds himself exiled from New Prysmos by Virulina, who Merklynn has named the new leader of all the Visionaries. Can Leoric and his loyalists save Cybertron from being totally changed into a new homeworld for his people? Should they?
Just posted by Newsarama, we have a look at the full preview for Optimus Prime #16, coming to shops next Wednesday. This continues the current storyline, "The Falling" with the return of ancient Primes and ominous giant floating eyeballs over Cybertron! Keep reading to see the preview pages now! The Falling, Part 2: The arrival of Onyx Prime throws Cybertron into chaos -- because he hasn’t come alone. Onyx's treacherous companion forces Soundwave to finally make a choice: is Optimus Prime a friend... or foe?
As of writing, the brief voting period in the 2018 Transformers fan vote event is nearly over with. While we await the results of the choice of one of three Deluxe VS sets to be released next year (from which Impactor vs Mirage appeared to be taking a lead at one point), Hasbro has released via Facebook a post clearing up some small details, such as the incorrect identification of Impactor as a Decepticon in the sample art. For the most part it doesn't offer much, but one of the answers actually does give us something to work from. Keep reading to find out what!
Nick Roche, writer and artist of Last Stand of the Wreckers and Sins of the Wreckers, has announced that he will be finishing his Wreckers story in a one-shot to be titled Requiem of the Wreckers! Reuniting with colorist Josh Burcham, Roche has also announced that fellow Transformers artists Guido Guidi and Geoff Senior will also be contributing to the book! Keep reading to see the teaser image and announcement.

Toy Fair 2018 Transformers News!

Optimus Prime Issue 15
Generations IDW Comic Book
Generations Power of The Primes Legends Class Figure
Generations Power of The Primes Legends Class Figure
Transformers Vs. Visionaries #1
Generations IDW Comic Book
Lost Light Issue #12
Generations IDW Comic Book

Masterpiece MP-40 Targetmaster Hot Rod In Hand Photos With Comparisons To MP-28
Masterpiece MP-40 Targetmaster Hot Rod In Hand Photos With Comparisons To MP-28

Optimus Prime 2018 Annual Full Comic Preview - Starscream: The Movie
Optimus Prime 2018 Annual Full Comic Preview - Starscream: The Movie

Various Transformers Video Game Titles No Longer Available For Digital Purchase Via Steam And PSN
Various Transformers Video Game Titles No Longer Available For Digital Purchase Via Steam And PSN


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
© 2018 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 ].