Monday, 19 February 2018

Confirmation Bias

I was going to use this post to talk about the focus on Nia at the New York Toy Fair, but... there’s honestly very little to talk about. It only concerns me that, because all the PR is directed towards her rather than Rebecca, Nia herself will be a dry character.

Instead, I’m gonna rip the fans a new one - again. Why? Well, Yahoo Hong Kong (of all sites) has released an article about Big World, Big Adventures. And... well, fans ran it through Google Translate and all common sense flew out of the window.

The translation is absolutely awful. I’ll leave a link to the article at the end so you can translate it for yourself. But the English is as broken as my thigh bone was after the surgery a couple of months ago. The only part that can be understood (kind of) is the subject of fan anger and this post, however. Here is the quote in question:
“With the appearance of Nia and Rebecca, Henry and Edward reduced their roles and gradually disappeared from the company.”
Alright. Let’s tear this quote apart, shall we?

First of all, they’ve pretty much explained what’s already happened. While Edward got two big roles during series 21, Henry got very little to work with. He was even written out of Journey Beyond Sodor in the first five minutes, only to reappear right at the end! And then it was announced, and clarified by Mattel, that they’d no longer be in the main cast (hence the translated word “company”). We’ve known this for months! The reports have simply been translated into Chinese, then poorly translated back to English by Google.

Second, how the hell are they going to completely remove two characters that work on important routes in the CG era? Henry works on the main line, so we’ll still see him pulling goods and passengers from time to time. Meanwhile, Edward works on his branch line, AKA the line that ends at Brendam Docks. AKA one of the most important locations in the show at this point!

Simply put, fans would rather ignore the facts and the concept of rational thinking so they can continually push their confirmation bias against Mattel (which has been there since they announced the changes to the Wooden Railway range). This despite the fact that they hired a team that have produced some of the show’s best content since 1995. Possibly some of the best ever at times.

Trust me, I’m not exactly thrilled about the changes either. I’ve written enough blog posts and tweets with regards to my thoughts on this whole thing. But I’m willing to give the new series a shot for the sake of supporting the production team. If you can’t, fuck off and find something else to watch. No one wants to hear your baseless negativity. No one wants to hear your bullshit claims based on poorly translated news articles. If we wanted either of those things, we’d move to America and live under Nazi Trump’s dictatorship.

Fans need to get the idea that the world revolves around them out of their thick fucking skulls. It’s this mindset that drove the biggest Trainz modelling site to shut down. It’s this mindset that almost drove another modeller on Twitter to do the same. And it’s this mindset that makes these people think that Thomas & Friends is more than it truly is, was and always will be: a television programme aimed at preschoolers.


Saturday, 17 February 2018

The Bachmann 2018 Range Is... Kinda Garbage

Yesterday, Bachmann announced their lineup for 2018. To say it’s disappointing is an understatement. Honestly, I’d go so far as to say it’s legitimately terrible and incredibly lazy. Granted, we still have Rusty and Paxton yet to be released. So if those two are taken into account, it’s not as bad. But they were announced last year...

The first announcement was Grumpy Diesel. Not a new diesel character, just Devious Diesel with a face they should’ve produced when he was made a few years ago. Yes, they’ve literally just changed a face and pretended it’s something new... Why they couldn’t have just released the face as a separate item to keep costs low, I’ve no idea.

Then we have the cream and green (or Gordon’s) express coaches. They’re... literally the same coaches they discontinued. So why the hell they dropped them for a few years, I’ll never know. Heck, I’ve no idea why they were dropped at all considering their importance on the show.

Next up is the Spiteful Brake Van... so they’re just slapping a face on a brake van. To be fair, this one isn’t their fault. But they most likely chose it because it’s something easy to produce.

Then there’s two tankers: Sodor Diesel Co. and Water. Not much to say about these. One will be yellow, the other blue. Oh, and they’ll have words on the sides rather than symbols. So if you’re one of those fans still pissy about that change from the model to CG era, these will make you happy.

Large scale, meanwhile, has it worse. That range only gets three tankers: Water, Chocolate Syrup and, weirdly, Toffee (that one from Sticky Toffee Thomas). Again, nothing to say about these.

While the narrow gauge range didn’t get much either, only red and blue coaches, at least they’re completely new and original moulds.

Overall, this is the worst year for Bachmann so far. Fans have already defended them by saying “they’re a business. They have to satisfy investors. They must only have a limited budget.” Yet those exact same excuses could apply to everything that Mattel has done with the franchise and merchandise over the past year. It hasn’t stopped fans tearing them apart.

To counter that argument, I’ll end by offering up a similar question to the one Jim Sterling asked EA with regards to Star Wars Battlefront 2’s loot boxes: should Bachmann really keep ranges going if they can’t afford to keep them going?