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Hasbro have issued yet another press release for figures from the Transformers Movie line which you can read here.
Spring 2008 Exclusives only at Target
Be sure to head to target this spring and summer fore these great movie exclusive TRANSFORMERS action figures.
Movie Character ALLSPARK Deluxe Figures
Each of this assortments 4 movie characters – BUMBLEBEE, AUTOBOT JAZZ, BARRICADE and DECEPTICON BRAWL – is packed in robot mode in a premium display package to showcase the robot’s AllSpark Powered blue deco highlights. Look for these figures at Target in mid-April; $9.99 SRP
The ALLSPARK empowered AUTOBOT hero is ready to adventure across the galaxy, fighting DECEPTICONS wherever they’re found.
Though he was badly damaged – almost destroyed – in the final battle AUTOBOT JAZZ is back. Thanks to the power of the ALLSPARK he’s more powerful than ever.
With his cannons powered up by ALLSPARK energy, DECEPTICON BRAWL has more destructive power than ever, and he’s setting his sights on blasting the AUTOBOTS to pieces
BARRICADE uses his supercharged ability to disguise himself to cause havoc among the humans helping the AUTOBOTS. Thanks to the ALLSPARK, he’s almost impossible to detect among similar human vehicles
Premium Series DEEP SPACE STARSCREAM
The TRANSFORMERS Movie Premium series concludes with this exclusive STARSCREAM with metallic deco and added movie details. Deep Space Starscream’s enhanced deco is based directly off of an actual F-22 Raptor. The codes on his vertical stabilizers (“FF 1st FW”) indicate that the particular F-22 Raptor that he scanned for his jet mode was from the 1st Fighter Wing (“1st FW”) based out of Langley Air Force Base. Like the real F-22 fighter, parts of his deco are a shiny metallic while other parts are a flat gray. Available June 22 at Target; SRP $19.99.
Fleeing the catastrophic battle that led to the destruction of MEGATRON, STARSCREAM retreats to a nearby power plant where he can siphon enough raw energy to repair himself of the minor damage he has suffered from human weapons. His frame repaired and reenergized, he boosts out of the atmosphere, headed for deep space. As he accelerates past the moon, he sets his sensors to long-range scan, hoping to find evidence of nearby DECEPTICON reinforcements he can bring back to Earth to destroy the AUTOBOTS and their human allies.
Hasbro have issued the following press release via Transformers.com
Take your first look at these awesome exclusives infused with AllSpark Power that will be at Wal-Mart this spring.
THE FINAL BATTLE: ROBOT HEROES 5-pack
Following on the popular g1-themed Robot Heroes 5-pack from 2007, this pack brings together 5 exclusive figures to recreate the movie’s final dramatic battle scene in the unique styling of ROBOT HEROES. Find it at Wal-Mart now, SRP $9.96
Together with their new human comrades, the AUTOBOTS battle the DECEPTICONS to the finish in the final fight for possession of the AllSpark. The crowded streets of a human city are the battleground. The pavement cracks and melts from the power of the giant robots’ weapons. The destruction is legendary as the mighty metal warriors hurl each other against the sides of buildings, and fill the air with laser fire. Neither side will stop fighting until their enemies are totally destroyed.
Includes OPTIMUS PRIME with ALLSPARK POWER, MEGARON with metallic finish, Battle Damaged BLACKOUT, Battle Damaged AUTOBOT JAZZ and AUTOBOT RATCHET with ALLSPARK POWER.
Exclusive Movie Deluxe Figures
By selecting some of the coolest molds from the past, the TRANSFORMERS design team has created four new movie (and G1) inspired characters with AllSpark Powered deco treatments. Read notes from designer Joe Kyde and see images below. Look for these characters at Wal-Mart now, SRP $9.96.
This DECEPTICON jet uses deco inspired by the Russian Air Force SU-37 Flanker- F prototype. The design team went with this deco to provide something that had realistic cues but still stood out. The “Decepticon Air Force” marking is the same as that used on the Decepticon Movie Starscream G1 redeco, and is roughly based on the real-world Philippines Air Force roundel.
DIVEBOMB tries his hardest to make friends with the other DECEPTICONS, but they go out of their way to avoid him. Everyone recognizes his skill an aerial fighter, his intelligence as a tactician, and his positive attitude towards the goal of total DECEPTICON domination. Unfortunately, his reactor containment is so bad that other robots can't stand to be near him. Wherever he goes, he leaves a trail of toxic fumes, and he emits so much radiation that it short-circuits the sensor systems of those nearby.
The design team originally intended this character to have a darker purple deco--similar to that of the old Micromaster Roadhugger. When a name change was required this mold from Cybertron worked even better as a reimagining of the Generation 2 DECEPTICON Laser Rod Jolt.
Shortly after the final battle for the AllSpark, JOLT sought out BARRICADE for advice. Brought to life by the energy bursts thrown off the Allspark during the fight, he wanted to learn the finer points of lying and trashing stuff. After BARRICADE was done beating on him, DECEPTICON FRENZY made fun of him for a while, and slashed his tires. That was his first and only lesson, and he took it to heart.
This deluxe version of BIG DADDY is based on the Micromaster Hot Rod of the same name –a perennial favorite among the collector community. This DOWNSHIFT mold from Cybertron really lends itself well to this fan favorite.
BIG DADDY is more concerned with his paint job than with any war that might be going on. You'll most often find him cruising the main drag of whatever town he ends up in, or hanging out at the local beach. When he does roll out, he does it slow, so that all the pedestrians can get a nice, long look at his sleek lines and killer chrome. He's got his own crew of robots to roll with. They stay out of the way of the rest of the AUTOBOTS, and the AUTOBOTS stay out of theirs.
The design team decided that an AUTOBOT construction vehicle would nicely round out this exclusive assortment. GRINDCORE is loosely based on Micromaster Crush-Bull. To complete the AUTOBOT aesthetic, the traditional secondary purple cues were replaced with a rust red color. His name comes from a style of music that aptly fits his personality.
Whatever GRINDCORE is doing, he loves to do it loud. CYBERTRONwas always a pretty noisy place, what with everyone revving their engines, and then the war. Earth people really know how to make noise fun though. Human heavy metal is way cooler than the shock-pop he listened to in his home city of Vos. It's easy to find him on any construction project – just follow the incredibly loud music.
Fat Guy has updated his blog with an image gallery of the 2008 Winter Wonderfest exclusive Transformers Movie Generation One coloured Arcee figure. The mini-gallery is great for those fans wanting to see more images of this sold out figure out of the packaging.
In an article over on Variety regarding possible strike action being taken in Hollywood by actors, Transformers Movie director Michael Bay is one of the people quoted in the article talking specifically about the second Transformers Movie.
"Transformers 2" director Michael Bay said the labor cloud has made the process harder, but not impossible as he tries to keep the film on track for its June 26, 2009 release.
"If there is a strike, we shut down, but shutting down isn't that big a deal," Bay said. "You make accommodations, you make a deal with vending houses on equipment and on the stages where you are shooting. You hope for the best, but you can't be incapacitated by the possibility that there will be a strike. We've got to get this town back to work. I can't imagine anyone wants another strike, we're all tired. Hopefully clearer heads will prevail."
Bay said that the sequel is still recovering from the writer's strike, and that he's playing catch-up after getting back his trio of writers, Ehren Kruger, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
"They did a detailed outline before the writer's strike, and now they are in Michael Bay jail, holed up in a hotel and working feverishly," Bay said. "We're paying for a beautiful suite and they are getting a lot of work done. Hiring three writers was unusual, but it has been a godsend in getting us to where we need to be. Somehow you find a way to get it done."
For those wanting a better look at the Trans-Scanning Transformers Movie Optimus Prime figure we bring you a poster showing all three forms of the toy.
Transformers Movie Premium Series DELUXE CLASS (SRPs: $9.99)
Premium Series BARRICADE
Keeping his armor polished and his vehicle mode looking sharp, Premium Series BARRICADE is hoping that MEGATRON will return again soon to lead the DECEPTICONS to glory. In the meantime, BARRICADE has made some changes to his vehicle mode in order to blend in better and bide his time till MEGATRON’s hopeful return.
Premium Series AUTOBOT JAZZ
Since getting off-lined by DECEPTICON BRAWL, AUTOBOT JAZZ has worked with IRONHIDE to upgrade his endoskeleton reinforcements and has kept his vehicle mode absolutely pristine. Something about getting so badly damaged made him care even more than he used to about looking good.
Premium Series BUMBLEBEE
Ever since the final battle against the DECEPTICONS, BUMBLEBEE has been meticulous about his appearance. With Sam’s help he immediately buffed out every scratch in his finish for a premium sales-room shine. But don’t let his premium finish fool you because BUMBLEBEE is always ready for battle against any DECEPTICON enemy with his new battle mask head sculpt.
Transformers Movie Premium Series VOYAGER CLASS (SRPs: $19.99)
Premium Series IRONHIDE
With the war finally over, IRONHIDE is free to return to the simple, easy life he knew before. Captain Lennox has been kind enough to lend him some space in his barn to store the crates containing his weapons collection. In return for IRONHIDE watching over his family while he is away on duty, Lennox keeps the old AUTOBOT warrior in perfect condition.
Premium Series BLACKOUT
The only goals BLACKOUT ever had were to serve MEGATRON, fight for DECEPTICON dominance and be the most perfect soldier he could. He follows orders without question, even to the point of self-termination and maintains himself and his weapons in pristine condition.
Transformers Movie Premium Series VOYAGER CLASS (SRPs: $19.99)Transformers Movie Premium Series LEADER CLASS (SRPs: $39.99)
remium Series OPTIMUS PRIME
OPTIMUS PRIME now travels the streets of Earth in his super-detailed Semi vehicle mode searching for MEGATRON and his evil DECEPTICON forces. As OPTIMUS PRIME enters the battlefield he is prepared to engage in close combat with his new energy sword and Movie accurate head sculpt.
In a brief interview with the UKs own Empire Magazine Shia LaBeouf spoke briefly on Transformers 2.
"I know of a few things I have to work on for the next one, I’ve seen pre-vizes of the action scenes and I just saw Michael yesterday. It’s going to be bad-ass. We’re not making another one unless it is, and Mike is definitely not resting on his laurels — he’s doing insane shit again. And the pre-vizes that I’ve seen… it’s just massive. If the first one was any indicator of how massive massive can be, this is going to blow that out of the water. It’s insane. Mike’s mind was just kind of made for this — it’s amazing. There’s going to be a lot more characterisation with the robots, which I’m excited about. I was a fan of Transformers before the movie came out. And there’s going to be a lot of action…That goes unsaid, I guess”.
Shia followed up this comment with "There’s gonna be new robots on both sides. I can say that the war isn’t over… It’s hard to do interviews when you’re not allowed to talk about the movies. It’s like I give two or three things away and then I get reprimanded for it. It’s never fun to get reprimanded by these people"
When speaking about the delay to the new Star Trek movie, who's release has been pushed back from Boxing Day 2008 to the 8th May 2009, Paramount Pictures spokesman Michael Vollman was quoted as saying "Summer is where you see the Star Wars and the Transformers, ... Star Trek is in that league.".
Source: The BBC
In a response on his message board, Transformers director Michael Bay has responded to reports that Dreamworks are not ready to begin work on the second live action Transformers movie. Here's what Michael had to say
"Oh really???? Is that why 20 people in production are in my office
right now, another 20 art designers another location, scouts in two
countries, one back east??? Don't ever bet against me in making my date
- June 2009!
Simon Furman has updated his blog with a post regarding the 10th issue of the UK Transformers comic. Artwork by Jeremy Tiongson, colours by Jason Cardy. Here's a quote
"As bleak as things were looking for the Autobots (and pretty much the whole of humankind) in part 1, in part 2 things get that much worse. The Autobot counter-offensive against the ruling Decepticons looks to be derailed before it’s even started, with Bumblebee and Mikaela both hunted (by Megatron and Frenzy respectively) inside the former Sector 7/Hoover dam base and the moon-based Autobot reinforcements compromised, and Earth’s military response targeted (by Starscream and Dreadwing). Only Ratchet and Ironhide’s side of the main strike seems still to be proceeding on course, but (realistically) how long can that last? Chaos, carnage, all-out action, things haven’t been this epic since the days of Marvel UK. Whatever you do, don’t miss it."
You can read the post in full as well as see a preview image, if its been re-uploaded by then, over at Simon's blog.
Transformers director Michael Bay returned to the scene of the crime Thursday night at the Cary Grant mixing stage at the Sony lot to revisit the Oscar-nominated achievements in VFX and sound. The place was packed with filmmaking geeks eager to hear and see the behind-the-scenes machinations that go into a formidable FX epic like Transformers.
It was tough for Bay to go back, he admitted after the show, as he's already deep into pre-production on Transformers 2, which is set to start filming on June 2. Bay didn't let the strike stop him. "The strike was a drag," he said. "But I like to write myself. So I wrote 60 pages. I showed the writers something to look at. We'll get back to the torture chamber on Monday." Transformers 2 will deepen the different robot characters as well as the humor, he said. "There's a geriatric robot. If there's an actors strike we'll just stop and start again. We'll make our date." (The movie is scheduled to open June 26, 2009.)
After The Rock, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor, Bay is tight with the Pentagon and thinks nothing of picking up the phone to get them to reroute a C130 gunship with Seals in it for a few hours. "We pay for the fuel," he says. "The military looks at this as a recruiting effort. The jargon is real. I told them what was happening, and that's what they said. I shot it like a documentary."
Bay, who has a reputation for being tough on crews, endured some good-humored riffing during the show-and-tell, from star Shia LaBeouf as well as his sound designers, editors, and mixers and special FX and ILM VFX artists. Bay was proud that he made Transformers "for a price" he said, in California and New Mexico. "We have the best crews."
For Bay, sound is "50 % of the movie, while the visual effects are a whole other movie unto itself." He shot as much of the film as possible in real locations with live (often dangerous) on-camera stunts and real FX supervised by the legendary John Frazier. In stark contrast to a Star Wars episode which boasts mostly blue screen shots, Transformers had only two days of blue-screen shooting (when the young leads climbed on the shoulders of the robots).
Even the famous shot of the bus that is split apart by a giant robot was a live-action bus blown in two going 60 mph on the freeway with a 30-foot CG robot added six months later. "There's one million details these guys put in the movie," said Frazier, who tried to keep enormous spaces open in the shots for the CG animators to work in.
For LaBeouf and the other actors, "acting without anything there is hard," said Bay. "It's so different when you don't have any environment to react to." LaBeouf described a P.A. holding a long big stick with a green ball on top and shaking it. "They're angry now, shake it faster," he described Bay saying. ILM VFX supervisor Scott Farrar showed the actors a pre-vis--"a cartoon of what's going on in the scene," said Bay, adding, "I always like to put my actors under duress." According to LaBeouf, hanging from a building 20 feet in the air to talk to Megatron or being surrounded by explosions while the cameras wore protective gear was the norm.
On the VFX side, "it's lighting," said Bay. "Everyone looks at light every day and when something looks fake it's not lit well to your brain. We worked on the light, that's why the robots look so real, these things sit next to humans." Bay flew up to ILM in San Francisco frequently, and communicated via satellite link with a pen pointer. He'd never dealt with animation before, which is about performance. "It was painstaking, like Pixar cartoons," he said, "a pain in the ass."
Scott Benza, the animation supervisor, was there to "bring life to the robots," he said. He worked with 30 animators on 16 characters and 47 transformations--each one unique. "It encompasses everything from subtle acting to a full on action scene with brutal robots fighting each other. We gave each artist the freedom to go to town." Optimus Prime has 10108 parts. All the pieces had 4 to 16 layers of information: details, scratches, and metal flake paint with a clear coat finish.
The robots were heavy and massive and athletic and nimble, all at the same time, like Ninja fighters. "They had to have weight and mass and be very cool," said Farrar. The transformations involved "clever people solving puzzles, fitting pieces from one form into another. It would take brute force on each shot until it worked."
The robots also had to act--with complicated facial rigs for the eyes, nose, and mouth-- and each one was different. They rebuilt Bumblebee's eyes three times, making the iris go up and down, until one day in dailies "we saw his soul," said Farrar.
The VFX team took the live-action shots and created CG environments to match them. Said Farrar, "it's about how to make the big guys who are not there look real. You have to go way beyond--the metals look metallic, they look like part of a scene, they fit in with buildings. We are there to put things in the movie that can't be photographed or are difficult or too dangerous to shoot."
Russell Earl did lighting and rendering. "We'd go back and recreate in the computer Scorpinox jumping out of the sand," he said. "We'd copy the scene and use a CG version to match." Adding reflections and highlights and shadow are a big part of making the robots' 20-foot height look real. And making the environment "dirty." Flying debris. Particles. Compositing all these elements is the other huge challenge.
Bay has worked with the same sound crew for 12 years. He affectionately razzed sound mixer Kevin O'Connell as "the biggest loser in Academy history." He's had 19 noms and no wins. This is his 20th go-round.
O'Connell, supervising sound editors Ethan Van Der Ryn and Mike Hopkins, sound rerecording mixer Greg P. Russell and sound mixer Peter Devlin explained how they capture all the distinct sounds on set (dialogue, planes, guns, ricochets, explosions, 9 sets of sounds specific to the robots) and collect it all for the sound mixers to file and manipulate, along with the music. "We take hundreds of sounds," said O'Connell, and try to focus the energy." The goal is to key the audience into what's important in a given scene, and not wind up with "a train wreck of sound."
The sound designers had to come up with characteristic personalities for the different robots, and make the large robot sounds work--partly by throwing the sound to all the speakers in a theater, not just the "dialogue" speaker in the center of the screen.
The sound of Optimus Prime, voiced by Peter Cullen, is about air. Bumble Bee is about buzzing. The sound crew brought a volunteer up to a mike to record sound for Bumble Bee as he groans on the battlefield. The audience listened to the actor live, then heard the sound integrated through the Bumble Bee sound matrix on screen. It magically worked. Big applause. The magic of sound.
Transformerswon four Visual Effects Society Awards on Sunday, including the top prize for outstanding visual effects in a visual effects-driven film. Transformers also won the single visual effect of the year award for its desert highway sequence, the Models and Miniatures award as well as the Compositing award. The top prize was collected by Scott Farrar, Shari Hanson, Russell Earl and Scott Benza.
You can read more on this story at the Hollywood Reporter.