“Third Party” Transformers – Transformers-inspired toys made in relatively small runs by fans with pretty clear disregard for copyright law – are a pretty contentious business in the community. A lot of fans draw a line between the add-on sets like iGear’s IDW-style Kup heads that require you to own an official toy and standalone toys like most of what Fansproject makes. At BotCon 2012 both types were strictly prohibited from the dealer room, though a distinction was made between them and artistic fan-works like, say, the Starscream dakimakura being sold at one table. This year (possibly due to the departure of Aaron Archer from Hasbro) there were no such restrictions.
For the first time I came face to face with these Third Party toys, and I fell into the abyss.