Hasbro have answered various questions sent in by "the big three" US Transformers fansites as well as ActionFigures.com.
Although we realize that Hasbro and the Transformers Collectors Club
might like to keep the BotCon exclusives as unique as possible, the
demand for the remaining three 'Seeker' Decepticons (Thrust, Dirge, and
Thundercracker) is enormous. An upcoming Starscream figure looks to be
a repaint of the Classics figure from two years ago in a more
cartoon-accurate paint scheme. Since these other three Seekers had
minor color differences in their various incarnations, could it be
possible that they could see a wider release in altered versions that
could not easily be mistaken for the BotCon versions (especially since
Thrust and Dirge also required new wings which are, so far, unique to
these releases)? And while we're on the subject of repainted Seekers,
can we expect a Sunstorm in the future as well?
Hasbro: Thank you for understanding what the big issue
is with the exclusive sets - we need to ensure that we don't de-value
those sets. I think that it is possible for Hasbro to release new
versions of those characters as long as there are enough differences
from the original Classics versions. However, we have been trying to
get a wide variety of the Seekers out before going back to do 2nd
versions. So we don't have any immediate plans for those 3 characters,
but they are not totally "off limits". And to your Sunstorm question -
Acid Storm was originally going to be Sunstorm, but we changed our
mind. So now you know Sunstorm is on the short list of Seekers!
ActionFigs.com: Will the Universe and Animated lines
continue alongside new Revenge of the Fallen movie product for 2009? If
not, are there plans for them to return towards the end the ROTF movie
Hasbro: We anticipate the Animated TV Series being on
air throughout 2009, so we will plan on having some Animated toys along
side of the ROTF product. The line clearly won't be as big as it is
right now, but we will keep some key assortments going. As for
Universe, it will continue via some retailer exclusives, etc. but it
likely won't be as large of a line as it will be before the Movie. But
we are very happy with the Universe line and expect it to become a
bigger part of our line again at some point after the movie product has
run its course.
ActionFigs.com: On the filecard for the Classics
Grimlock, his function is listed as Dinobot Commander. Since his card
specifically mentions his role in charge of a group called 'Dinobots',
could the Universe Classics line get some of these 'Dinobots' for him
to command? Off the tops of our heads, we can come up with very good
suggestions for names (all of which start with an 'S' for some reason)
and alt-modes for 4 of these hypothetical 'Dinobots.'
Hasbro: We love the Dinobots too! And we really liked
how the Grimlock figure turned out. However, due to the movie we have
really been focusing on vehicle modes for the most part in Universe
instead of beast modes since those are the most recognizable to the
largest audience. There are some new beasts planned for the 25th
Anniversary Universe line to celebrate the Beast Wars era, so we hope
that will open the doors for us to do more of the Dinobots in the
future. But there are no short-term plans for any of the other 4
original Dinobot characters right now.
ActionFigs.com: In the Classics and Universe Classics
line, we've gotten updated versions of Astrotrain and Octane (under the
replacement name, Tankor). Any chance of seeing the third Decepticon
Triple-Changer, Blitzwing, as a Classics-style figure soon? The set
seems a little incomplete at the moment.
Hasbro: We've really tried to provide a wide variety of
characters in the Universe/Classics line, especially recently with the
25th Anniversary line because we really wanted to try to celebrate ALL
aspects of the brand. So the fact that we have done 2 triple-changers
already is a big feat! Because we have already done 2, we were focusing
on some other things. But that doesn't mean we won't do Blitzwing, just
that the timing hasn't been right. Also, he is a key character in
Animated and we try to not have the same characters out in both lines
if the toy would be similar.
ActionFigs.com: A line of discussion that has come up
many, many times among fans over the past quarter-decade of
Transformers has been that of a combiner figure made up of the
Dinobots. That has always felt like a fairly natural extension of some
already popular Transformers concepts, yet nothing has really ever come
of it in the line's 25 years beyond the rather underwhelming Energon
Grimlock/Swoop set. We have combiners based on construction vehicles,
airplanes, cars, military vehicles, trains, predator animals, sea life,
Maximals, Predacons, even pretender monsters; yet not the beloved
Dinobots. Why is that? And what are the possibilities of seeing a
Dinobots combiner in the future?
Hasbro: Well, we can't really answer for anything other
than what we have done for the past 8 or 9 years. Most of the reasons
why we have chose the combiners we did was our past history. There
never was a Dinobot combiner, so we didn't think of re-inventing it.
That being said, there is no reason not to do a Dinobot combiner. I
think in order for that to happen though it will need to be an
important part of a TV series.
Will there be toys based on characters presented in any of the IDW
comic book series? We know the new character DRIFT is supposed to get
the toy treatment, but what about favorites like Sentinel Prime
(Megatron: Origins), Nova Prime (-tion series and Spotlights),
Thunderwing (Stormbringer). An answer in response to the general
question, not the specific characters would be much appreciated (unless
you want to mention specific characters...)!
Hasbro: When we can we love to fold into the product
line any new or popular character from any outside source Comic or
Video game. We have done things like the Fallen in the past, and we
look for more down the road.
Seibetron: Will we see the Alternators line return soon?
BinalTech has returned to Takara Tomy, and Takara Tomy is also adding
the new Alternity line. The Alternators line was supposed to make a
comeback after the first movie, but we are getting close to the second
and no mention of any Alternators revival.
Hasbro: There are no current plans for Alternators in
2009. There are just so many exciting things happening in 2009 that we
had to make choices. The team likes the Alternators concept, but
unfortunately it's just not the right time for a re-launch.
Seibertron: Are you considering releasing any other
re-issues of Generation 1 toys like 25th Anniversary Optimus Prime at
this time? He‚Äôll be pretty lonely on his own shelf.
Hasbro: We have a few G1 molds that we would like to see
come out in Fall 2009, but not yet ready to announce as they will
likely be retailer exclusives.
Seibertron: There are a lot of issues with HASBRO brand
product quality control lately. We know you care about the brand and
toy because of your desire to protect collectors from lesser quality
Knock Offs, but can you tell us what you have been doing to address
issues with HASBRO Quality Control problems such as loose pieces that
fall off out of the package, poor paint application quality, missing
paint applications, and as the case may be with Universe Prowl- tacky,
Hasbro: You are correct in stating that a quality
product is at the forefront of our minds. First point, as conversion of
Transformers has become more complicated, it is critical for peices to
pop off more easily. This is meant to stop breakage and stress points.
It some of the pieces didn't pop off, they might end up snapping off or
at the very least stressing the plastic. However, we have heard some
complaints about Animated products and are currently investigating. If
you have specific issues please contact our consumer affairs
Seibertron: Transformers fans love the fact that you are
now putting us on a more equal footing with GI JOE and STAR WARS
collectors by doing this Q/A, responding to the fandom more, and
offering more nods to popular fan characters. Any plans for the ‚Äėfan
favorite‚Äô idea to be put to use with Transformers? A poll could be
taken in the same manner as has been done for GI JOE and STAR WARS.
That way, you could see if there was a large demand for characters
without us flooding HASBRO‚Äôs regular e-mail address, or filling forums
with, "Will Hasbro ever make 'X' threads?‚ÄĚ
Hasbro: The fan choice would be a lot of fun to do!
Transformers are a little harder to pull off than Joe or Star Wars
because of the complex tooling (costs a lot more due to size and
complexity). But that doesn't mean we won't do it - it just won't be in
2009...unless of course you vote for the Bay-former since we already
have Michael Bay's head sculpted - HA! (those of you that saw the
Easter Eggs on the movie DVD will know what I'm talking about).
TFW2005: Will we see a US release of Alternators or Alternity in 2009?
Likely not. There are so many other things happening in 2009 with
Animated, the 25th Anniversary, and TF:ROTF that there really isn't
room to do so. But we keep them on our radar.
TFW2005: Will there ever be GI Joe styled 3.75 inch figures for human characters (any generation)?
There are currently no plans for a 3.75" scale human figure in any
Transformers line, but we do have an awesome concept for Fall 2009 in
support of the movie that I think you will find very cool! Stay tuned
TFW2005: Will Animated and Universe toys be sold
alongside the new movie toys next year or will they be put on hold to
make room for the first few waves of the movie toys on stores shelves?
Hasbro: Universe will be put on hold when the movie toys
come out (although we will likely have a few new toys out in Universe
as retailer exclusives). But Animated will continue with certain key
assortments alongside of the new Movie toys. But we don't think of
Universe being done, just on hiatus.
TFW2005: Will we ever see Voyager/Ultra/Leader class molds of more popular/leader-based characters in the Universe/Classics 2.0 line?
Since we did Optimus and Megatron in Voyager when we launched Classics,
we didn't want to go back and do new versions at a slightly larger
scale so soon after. So we have been focusing on bringing out
characters in the higher priced assortments that have great alt modes
and have pretty good fan recognition. After we get through the movie
product we will likely re-evaluate Universe to see which characters we
want to focus on. There are still so many great characters that haven't
been done at all in Classics/Universe that we have been wanting to get
those out first.
TFW2005: Will there be an Omega Supreme toy for Animated?
Not in the near future. In order to do Omega Supreme justice, it would
need to be Leader or Supreme Class. And we typically only launch those
as new molds in the fall. With the Movie coming out this summer, the
higher priced toys will be in the Movie line. But we do love the way he
turned out and would love to see him in the line.
TFormers.com: Are there any steps being taken to address for the recent quality issues in the Transformers: Animated and Universe lines?
Product quality is at the extremely important to us. Firstly, as
conversion of Transformers has become more complicated, it is critical
for peices to pop off more easily. This is meant to stop breakage and
stress points. It some of the pieces didn't pop off, they might end up
snapping off or at the very least stressing the plastic. However, we
have heard some complaints about Animated products and are currently
investigating. If you have specific issues please contact our consumer
TFormers.com: Hasbro has said that the Universe line is
a tribute to all eras of Transformers. Can you reveal any figures
currently in the pipeline, or planned for production, that the fans can
look forward to?
Hasbro - Corporate: We have announced most the
characters and figures that we will be celebrating in Spring 2009 as
part of the 25th Anniversary. Some of the great ones include: Cheetor,
Hound, Cyclonus, Smokescreen, Hot Shot, Inferno and many other of the
great characters throughout the ages.
TFormers.com: What is the process you use to decide which characters get made into which size class?
Hasbro - Bill Rawley:
We try to mix up all of the different types of vehicle and alt modes,
flying, tanks, faster land based, beasts, etc. Having a variety in
vehicle modes and robot silhouettes is a plus, not to mention having a
good balance of Autobots and Decepticons. Scale is not really something
we stay true too, it's just to difficult. But where ever possible I'll
try and throw historically smaller guys like Wheelie and Bumblebee into
a Legends scales. That way they look closer to their actual scale when
posed next to Deluxe.
Hasbro - Eric Siebenaler: One part Animation Scale, one
part Popularity/Exposure, one part Feature driven, one part Brand
Goals, and one part Personal Preference. Not in any particular order.
TFormers.com: Will there be a Transformers Crossovers G.I. Joe line?
Hasbro - Corporate:
We have had many discussions about GI Joe Transformers either executed
as the other Crossovers lines or even true to the Comic (Joe figures
and Transformers figures together). Right now is just not the best time
with the Movies being the main focus for brands, so don't expect to see
it in 2009.
TFormers.com: 5) Will the Alternity Convoy figure (in either color) see a US release?
Hasbro - Corporate: Not likely in 2009.