Last week, in a shorter than expected Discussion of the Week, we asked our members to discuss whether toy crossovers could work as a long term toy line. We had seen some toying around from Hasbro, crossing over Marvel and Star Wars with the Transformers brand. But could a high level long term line based on a crossover concept work? Let’s see what some of our members had to say…
“Ultimately, if the crossover is purely at a “toy” level and not an actual blending of mythos it can probably work. Arguably there are two different types of crossover to be discussed here: The type that’s purely conceptual (as we see with the Star Wars and Marvel Transformers lines, or the various Mr. Potato Head variants we’ve seen over the past several years), and those that blend the actual storylines and characters together (Like the G.I. Joe vs. Transformers comic book series). The first version obviously can work on some level, but the latter is almost impossible to maintain in the long-term, whether due to licensing conflicts, dilution of the fanbase (some of the hardcore fans of either franchise will no doubt dislike the crossover idea/feel that it’s “stealing thunder” from their favored half of the franchise), and likely a lack of media support (because licensing out a Transformers/G.I. Joe weekly cartoon would be twice as hard as licensing out one or the other). With the mass-media tie-ins, it’s very difficult to maintain long-term popularity.
I do think there’s some room for crossover, but largely with defunct properties wholly owned by the same company. For instance, I could potentially see MASK and COPS as sublines of Transformers (Think Human Alliance-style toys for MASK) or G.I. Joe.“
“Crossovers are a huge gamble and except for the Star Wars Transformers line and the Super soaker Transformers/Star Wars Nerf line, the longevity is an unknown variable. The Star Wars Transformers line is really cool just for the fact that it takes the vehicles from the Star Wars universe, the playability of their Action Fleet line and mixes in the Transformers gimmick. Now the robot/SW character forms suck but then again why would they transform into a giant human and then back to a robot, also the heads certain G1 Transformers and Beast Wars are not cartoon accurate either but given longevity a happy medium could be achieved.
Plus I actually wish I bought the Action Fleet playsets now, how cool would it be to fly into the Death Star Hanger in your X-Wing, transform into your Jedi Robot Form and kick some Imperial butt inside the station instead of the chaos outside. Forget the 2m vent port when you have Prime’s Ion Cannon.“
“it also depends on what two lines are crossed over. taking star wars and transformers and crossing them over was a brilliant move. if you take a look at the mythology of both lines they can be compatible. by that I mean that star wars takes place in a long time ago in a galaxy far far away and transformers have been establised as living millions upon millions of years and it has been established that some transformers have left cybertron, either to escape the war or if you follow the current mythology to find the allspark . so really there’s no reason to believe that they couldn’t have ended up in the star wars universe.
the same can’t really be said for the marvel or disney crossovers . lets be blunt , neither donald duck or mickey mouse are fighters . why would the hulk need to be a tank to smash things? why would thor need to be an airplane when he flys because of his hammer.
If one were to do a superhero crossover line it would make sence to do it with a superhero who actually uses vehicals . the best example I can think of would be if a transformer copied batman’s vehicals (batmobile, batcoptor, batwing , batboat, batcycle, redbird.) you could suspend your disbelief because he actually uses those vehicals .
as stated before it would also work with gijoe becasue they have already crossed over in comics“
There were a ton of really great responses and excellent discussion on this concept, which is still ongoing. Some are a bit long for the front page, but are worth the read. Thanks for everyone who participated.