Welcome to day 10 of our 17 day commemoration of the website's launch. Today we shall take a look back at the year 2008.
Transformers Animated went global, toy sales remained very strong, Kapow Toys opened their virtual doors, a G1 Voice Actor attended a UK Transformers show, we came close to debuting Transformers Animated to UK fans, Hasbro UK gave away hand-painted hardcopies, Revenge of the Fallen was announced and Shia was injured and arrested.
· We continued to update TransformersAnimated.com with reviews and screengrabs of the episodes as they aired within the US and Canada.
· At the start of Feb we launch our 2,000th Transformers toy gallery.
· We published character models from Transformers: Headmasters, Beast Wars II, Beast Wars Neo, Car Robots, Superlink and Galaxy Force.
· We enter into discussions with Nickelodeon regarding promotion of Transformers Animated within the UK via our website TransformersAnimated.com. The channel was very interested in working with us and soon discussed having the UK debut of the series exclusively streamed via our website. We proposed various technical solutions and an agreement was made pending on the approval of Hasbro Inc. The idea became close to being greenlit but then Hasbro US stepped in and it was blocked.
· 24th March 2008 sees Transformers Animated air on NickToons within the UK.
· TransformersAnimated.com goes on to serve over 9.6 million views, 800k session and 300k users over the calendar year peaking at 102k in June
· Transformers At The Moon continues to serve 200,000 unique users with almost 3 million page views and a little over 400k sessions. It shows just how popular our Transformers Animated became as it overtook the main site in February.
· We travel to Japan on holiday for the first time coming back with several toys, lots of photographs and an increased love of the country. Sadly though we do not manage to meet up with the staff from TakaraTomy or e-Hobby.
· In March we start the 2nd phase of our "Lucky Draw Research Project" with the aim of researching and accurately documenting the history of the Japanese prize campaign figures. Up to this point we had been using online scans of back-issues whilst purchasing new issues from Fan2Fan. The 2nd phase changed and instead of using online scans we started to buy back-issues ourselves. The first wave saw us buy 150 issues which we had shipped via surface mail to the UK. We then purchased additional magazines whilst out in Japan before buying even more from Yahoo Japan throughout the rest of the year.
· We are hit by DNS problems in the early spring along with a fire at our message board host.
· On a Lucky Draw front this year sees us track down and buy two of the "Custom Coloured" figures. First of we get Custom Coloured Robots Master Convoy at the second attempt and buy the custom coloured Grand Convoy figure a few months later.
· We continue to bring new USPTO trademark applications within four hours of the applications being entered into the USPTO's database.
· Madman Entertainment contacts us and ask if we could provide them with toy photography for the Australian release of Transformers Super God Masterforce and Victory. The Australian company had been working with Seibertron.com but Ryan could not provide all of the toys they wanted to include so we gladly hep out. The first DVD run credits the wrong website URL though :(
· We post images of the unreleased Transformers Universe Smokescreen figure followed by the two unreleased recolours of Combat Hero Optimus Prime and Megatron.
· For Auto Assembly 2008 we put on a display including unreleased Generation 2 figures, Generation One hardcopies, G1/G2 testshots and the Unicron store display.
· Having had some troubles with Proboards we make the decision to launch a new integrated message board into the website which would alow us to create a members area. The new board is launched in August.
· TransformersAnimated.com is named as the "Website of the Month" by the UK Transformers comic for August 2008 though it is incorrectly named as the official website. We find out through a website forum member as our subscription is delayed.
· In August 2008 we also relaunch LuckyDrawTransformers.com having reskinned it to look like TransformersAnimated.com but to have incorporated its backend CMS into Transformers At The Moon.
· September sees us publish an interview with the Hasbro UK Transformers brand manager with whom we have a strong relationship during 2008 where we are allowed to often publish the release dates and waves of UK figures until they leave in the November.
· Auto Assembly 2009 is announced in September with tickets priced at 45 pounds.
· As Transformers At The Moon turns 9 we published images of the gold Beast Wars Megatron figure which we buy that year. We tracked the figure from its original eBay auction several years previous until we finally managed to pick him up.
· We buy some hand-painted Botcon samples from the Hartmans as Christmas nears and they arrive in between Christmas and New Year.
· Podcasts start to becoming the rage as YouTube videos become saturated.
· The popular Moonbase2 Podcast launched in April 2008
· The website formerly known as Teletraan-1 Transformers Wiki breaks ties with the wiki hosting company Wikia Inc and re-launches on TFWiki.net in September 2008
· The online UK toy retailer KapowToys opens its virtual doors in this year.
· The Transformers Animated toys leak throughout the year on various Chinese message boards.
- Hasbro announced 200 job cuts
· Michael Bay and Lorenzo di Bonaventura talk Transformers 2 at the start of the year
· 14th Jan Entertainment Rights announce that they have acquired the European broadcast rights for Transformers Animated
· Simon Furman continues to publish blogs promoting upcoming IDW comic books
· Fans rejoice at the announcement of a Masterpiece Grimlock and dream of official Masterpiece versions of the other Dinobots, which never happens.
· At the end of Jan it is announced that Transformers were the bestselling Action Figure toy line within the UK for the first time since the 1980s.
- The Botcon boxset sells out by the 29th Feb
· By April 10th the broadcast rights to Transformers Animated have been sold to 80 countries.
· Paramount Pictures pay out $10,250 to a cyber-squatter for the rights of the domain transformers2.com
· TV Loonland sells Hasbro back the rights to their licensed Cartoon properties for $7 million.
· In May Soundwave is confirmed for Transformers 2 and the fandom wonders just what he will be.
· Shia LeBeouf is arrest twice prior to filming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
· Hasbro UK announce a competition where 3 lucky people win hardcopies of Transformers Animated figures. The toys are hand-painted and sealed in cases. To our knowledge they have never been photographed since the winners received them.
· Auto Assembly sets a new attendance record for a European Transformers convention with 423 attendees. The previous record was 409 set in 2005.
· The BBC attendee Auto Assembly and publish an article online within their midlands section.
· Jim Sorenson starts publishing the unused character models which did not make it into The Ark books
· The Hartmans sell some of their hand-painted Botcon samples which did not make it into released toys. These include Hotspot from FireConvoy and Alphatrion from BM Snarl. We end up purchasing several of the figures.
- KB Toys announce bankruptcy.
· Transformers Animated Season 1 and Season 2 air in various parts of the world
· Transformers Music Matrix released in Japan with the title and end sequences of Transformers from G1 to Galaxy force but omitting Beast Wars II, Beast Wars Neo and Car Robots
· IDW release more spotlights, All Hail Megatron, Transformers Animated, Maximum Dinobot, Devastation and many more titles
· The Henkei! Henkei! Transformers manga was published in Comic Bom Bom
· Madman Entertainment released Super God Masterforce and Victory in Australia. We provided the toy photography for the special features along with Seibertron.com
· Shia LeBeouf wins the Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs.
· The first draft of Transformers 2 is reportedly written by the middle of April.
· Botcon 2008 takes place from April 24th until the 27th.
· Auto Assembly takes place on Saturday the 2nd August 2008 at The Clarendon Suites, Hagley Road, Birmingham with tickets costing 15 pounds. The guest of honour is announced as Dan Gilvezan, the first time a Generation One voice actor comes to a UK Transformers convention.
· TFcon 2008 breaks the 1000 attendee mark for the first time.
· Omega Supreme was re-issued under the Encore line along witrhg the e-Hobby GADEP unit (Guardian Robot)
· The Music Label Soundwave and iDock Optimus Prime figures were released in Japan
· Kidi Toys release additional fake Binaltech/Alternators
· Wonderfest has a G1 inspired Movie Arcee repaint as an exclusive figure in Japan.
- Masterpiece Grimlock is announced
- A Knock-Off Metrotitan is released
· An ebay auction for Generation 2 Motormaster sells for $6,900.01
- The Disney Label MickeyMouse Convoy is shown.
- 25th Anniversary Hot Shot is revealed.
· We purchase 182 Transformers this year which includes Movie figures, lots of Transformers Animated toys, several Lucky Draws, some Botcon mockups, Masterpiece figures, e-Hobby exclusives, Binaltechs, Universe figures and some unreleased Generation 2 toys.
Toy Focus of the Year
Our chosen toy for the focus of the year is the white recolour of Transformers Animated Prowl. The character design for Prowl was actually changed from Derrick Wyatts initial design based on the work of the TakaraTomy design team. Derrick and Eric (Hasbro) loved the design so much that the animation model was changed which is one of the reasons why the figure matches up so well. The toys gimmicks of having his throwing starts as hubcaps was also introduced by TakaraTomy.