>Aren't most of these Chinese made? If so, I know the Chinese are quite lax when it comes to copyright
Yep, nailed it.
>they're like the bread and butter of the toy community
They're the biggest fandom in the toy community with the biggest variety of toys, that one could envy and any avid toy collector got at least some in his collection.
TF has always been a mixed bag for me, they weren't big part of my childhood, but I had some waves of enthusiasm towards them. Animated and early Prime were great and creative toylines, sadly not the entire toylines arrived to my country so I had to track down Animated Blurr and as for Prime, sometimes I still dream about Deluxe Arcee and Starscream (they only only import the lame legends scale ones, oof). Titans Returns was also neat toyline, the headmaster, diaclone-like gimmick was really fun and add a lot of play value.
As of now, the official TF seems overpriced and it's a shame Hasbro invest most of their efforts into adult collector wannabe geewun redone instead of a new memorable legit playline like Prime and Animated. TF will just end up like GI Joe at this rate, though it will take far longer time.
3rd parties still make amazing things, but as of now I lost my hype for it again and I'm kinda sick of G1, so I'm focusing on other toylines as I've usually been.
Not long ago, I was in some small toy event at local library which had second-hand market. TF and God forbid, Funko Pops were mainly sold there. Apparently, I got some Human Alliance set with a different pilot that turned out to be walmart exclusive.
The robot mode is meh, vehicle mode is nice and attack mode is stupidly awesome.
As for the human pilot, it the greatest resemblance I've seen to real human in plastic, it put SHF 3D printing into shame, a true piece of art. To think Hasbro could master human sculpting so early on preceded other toy companies, only to abandoned this marvelous technology and never use it again.
Indeed, especially for a bayformer
>Are all this groups chinese? cant find any proper info about teh groups (there are tons)
Yes, otherwise Hasbro/Takara would've sue them already.