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We reported about a week ago on the possibility of a merger between Hasbro and Mattel, initiated by Hasbro themselves. We have word via Reuters that this effort did not proceed very far, and as of the current time the dealings are not moving forward. Reuters reports via confidential sources that part of the failure to deal at this time was due to what Mattel indicated was an "undervaluing" of the company by Hasbro. We don't expect much more to develop on this anytime soon, but as this wasn't the first time Hasbro has put out feelers, we're also sure it won't be the last. Find a link to the report in the full article below!



I'm ExVee; my name is Chris. If you read Gizmodo, or know people that do, you probably heard about a photo of a small piece of deco work on the brand new Power of The Primes Jazz, which says in a Cybertronic font "MAGA". It's a font whose development is credited to longtime super-fan Jim Sorenson, and which has been used on Transformers toys here and there for a while now. One notable use was on Titans Return Seaspray where it was used to inscribe the name Alana inside the forearms, referencing Seaspray's love interest from an episode of the G1 cartoon. What you may not know is, I'm the one who took that original photo, with only the best of intentions. But, we all know where that can lead you. Keep reading...



Sure, the title reads like perfect clickbait, but odds are you will find yourself in stunned disbelief when you hear the last of this year's nominees. Last year, Transformers were nominated for entry to the Toy Hall of Fame. They didn't make it, losing out, in part, to the swing. Transformers was up for a spot again this year, but sadly didn't make the final cut. Two of the inductees that beat them were the simple wiffle ball, and the classic board game Clue. And we can't begrudge either of those, else Col. Mustard might do us in with a candlestick in the library. But what was the third inductee? Oh, keep reading...



A new report on CNN Money is bringing attention to the ripples that the bankruptcy filing of Toys R Us is likely to make in the toy industry. Hasbro's quarterly earnings call recently noted a healthy growth for the company above expectations in the third quarter. But the fourth quarter, reliant on the all important shopping holidays, is looking to be less fruitful. During the lead up to the bankruptcy decision, Hasbro made clear their intent to maintain normal business relations with Toys R Us, indicating how much value they still carry as a retail partner. Keep reading to find the link back to the original article!



We're excited to launch a new feature this week, called "Why, Transformers?" - or "WhyTF?" for catchier branding purposes. This new video series features Eric Crownover (aka EricCrowbar) joining Chris (aka ExVee) to discuss a question each week around a topic of interest. For the first episode, Chris and Eric talk about why we believe there were once going to be as many as four Titans Return box sets, and why we ultimately only got two - even though those two that came out look to have performed significantly better than the Combiner Wars sets. Click through to watch the episode right now!



Two weeks ago we brought you news of Toys R Us looking at options to address debts coming due at the start of the new year. Today we have a followup, as Bloomberg reports the retailer is planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This sounds alarming, but is not an automatic death sentence, and this act could allow the toy store to continue operations for several years - ideally enough to get out from under its debts. Reportedly some suppliers had pre-emptively reduced shipments to Toys R Us, but at last word, Hasbro was maintaining normal business, so Transformers availability should continue as usual for the time being. Click through for a link to the original article.



While this is not a matter specifically relevant to Transformers, the future of one of the major toy retailers will undoubtedly have echos in our neck of the woods. CNBC is reporting that Toys R Us has engaged legal counsel to help find a solution to help address its current debt load, said to be around $400 million. Bankruptcy protection is noted among the options that are possible in this scenario, though no course of action has been decided so far. Find out more below!





Via ICv2, we've learned that IDW, publisher of Transformers comics, among a wide range of licensed Hasbro properties, is reporting a loss of $1.8 million, which is being described as a serious drop from the same time last year where the end of quarter showed a profit level of $81,000. From the article, no specific area seems to be put under scrutiny for leading to the current outcome, with many factors of circumstance cited as potential contributors. For our particular corner of IDW, we probably wouldn't expect to see major shakeups in the Hasbro-verse just yet, but a continued decline might lead to re-examining the current directions in various areas.



As a person with no conventional artistic skills, one of the ways I like to express myself from time to time is by digitally recoloring photos of toys to be other things - Photoshopping! What-If Wednesday is a new occasional feature where I'll share my "what if?" recolors, either inspired by my own ideas, or sometimes from other source media. Our first What-If Wednesday takes on the Headmaster Bludgeon concept seen in the Magna Convoy comic this week, which we get only a limited view of. How might it look and work as a toy? Keep reading and find out!



Earlier this week, Vanderbilt University published an article summarizing the results of a research project undertaken recently. The researchers were studying facial recognition, specifically the ability of people to recognize someone else's face. Challenging the common conclusion that capability in this is based on gender, the researchers brought in some special tools: Transformers. The essential theory being that the childhood associations of facial feature and structure - such as one might get from their toys - inform processing in later life. Find out more below!



I would like to think that all of us can point to at least one example of how the Transformers toy line, shows or comics have improved our lives. Whether it has been through the happiness of meeting like-minded enthusiasts or the ownership of excellent toys, the enjoyment of well-written comics or admiration of tremendous artwork, surely we can all point to some aspect of the brand and hobby which brings us happiness. I would like to think if you’re reading this, it’s because of a choice you have made to give part of your time to the hobby.



A head sculpt can make or break a figure. Some of the nicest overall Transformers figures I have are occasionally let down by a weak head sculpt that is either too vague in its features, unrepresentative of the character it is supposed to be or just plain unpleasant. On the other hand, certain figures of an average nature can be elevated by a superb head sculpt which scores highly on the aforementioned criteria and exudes charm and character. This week I asked a few of my esteemed Transformers collecting peers to contribute their favourite official Transformers head sculpt across any era or sub-line, and explain why they chose it above the rest.


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