This post is much different. This post revolves around the ever-growing trend of 3rd party products. With the increasing number of collectors flocking to the Transformers Masterpiece line, the demand for official - and unofficial - products increase as well. What's in store for the future? Let's venture on to get a good start anyways!
(Close enough? Igear Weapon Specialist and Masterpiece Bumble)
Before we move on, let's clarify just a bit: a "third party product" is quite simply "anything not made officially." I'm only making that distinction here for definition's sake. Having said that, let's move on:
Recently, TFW2005.COM member botfan started this thread in the TFW2005.COM Third Party forum, specifically with the aim of speculation what third parties might offer in the future in regards to supplementing the Transformers Masterpiece line. Below is the first of my posts there:
"My main prediction is that third parties are going to start REALLY cranking things out exponentially, especially in regards to beating TakaraTomy to the punch of releases. This particularly pertains to the Autobot cars. We've already seen this with both Ligier/Rijie and Hound, as there's not one but two companies making each of those. I think we'll continue to see more companies compete against each other with similar products, such as the recent Insecticon offerings.
I do think that the focus will remain G1-nostalgic focuses, since that's what the majority of the Masterpiece nitched out fan base typically demand. That's not to say that there's anything preventing third parties from branching out into other Generations. However, third parties are wise to strike while the iron is hot, and it's only going to be hot so long. G1 fans aren't getting younger, TakaraTomy is still making official releases, and younger fans are demanding more product tailored to their interests.
(How far from "official" can you get here? Not far, as Fans Toys Soar, "Cartoon Blue" version, seems to prove.)
As in typical fashion, third parties will venture into the more obscure portions of G1, much like has been done with Generations. We've already seen two companies tackle Dinobots, even being so bold as teasing Grimlock. Things like this aren't just what we may think will happen, but even to the point that we've come to expect it.
What I don't think will happen is that third parties will just abandon Generations, as some fans speculate. Generations and the demand is still going on strong, perhaps even stronger than ever before if the popularity of Combiner Wars is any indication. I don't really see third parties slowing down for Masterpiece, but simply expanding to cover it."
There you have it - my initial thoughts of what how I think third parties will respond to the growing trend of Masterpiece Transformers collecting. What do you think? Certainly feel free to post in the thread at TFW2005.COM or submit a comment below!