Just out is the Transformers Brand Team Roundtable that was held on Feb 3, 2023, today! We got a lot of questions and answers on the recent new reveals, and bonus exclusive reveal of Origin Jazz - The next Buzzworthy Bumblebee Origin release. Read on to see the full session that has been parpharsed, along with images of the new figure.
Transformers Twincast was cool, will we see more of the cassettes released?
The team is always trying to finish many collections, they love Steeljaw and Ramhorn. They want to have more of their minions released. Budgets are always a concern for them, they recall the double tape chest and how hard it would be to do for Blaster because of the design. Everyone wanted the toy head, but the cartoon smirk is always a consideration. They like to add a new head to better realize different characters.
How do the Transformers movie models get translated into toy and account for the changes in the film production - Like why was Airazor so close to movie character?
It turns out a lot of the movie planning was based on the original designs on the old characters and toys, so they were already close enough they could copy the look. Though, none of the Kingdom Airazor was used in the Studio Series toy. Also, they are working with a new CGI studio now called MPC, not ILM for the first time, so the process is a bit different. The Studio Series concepts for the movies come first. They cannot say about the Kids stuff, they don't work on those. They do have a back and forth of design exchange with the studio initially.
Was the Volvo Optimus Prime mold originally going to be a Prime Day exclusive release?
They can't commoent on product that has not happened past or future. They had a good relationship with Volvo and wanted to do a holiday VNR 3000 Holiday Optimus Prime with adding to the UK MCM London Event a homage based on the Marvel Optimus Prime made it , and they are looking forwards to releasing the new one with the official Volvo look. They are also hoping it will make an appearance on film or something one day.
The toys take 2 years to make, how much of the time is dealing with issues and how long does it take to fix, like yellowing plastic?
They are trying to make it a shorter time to develop things. When they do find an issue, an investigation is needed to know. Then it can take around 6 months to make the change in the toy. Sometimes, packaging can go a little quicker. It also depends on the impact of the issue, so sometimes it can be done faster. They are listening and have been able to make some last minute changes, such as adjustments to Skyquake.
What parts of the Transformers Universe does the team want to tap into?
There's a bunch. No property is off limits, with 40 years approaching they are thinking of a lot of things. Ben want's his little Seaspray. Evan says Energon needs some attention, Optimus Prime. Makr would like to see Machine Wars. Sam has some real extremes, but says that nothing is off the table. Car Robots got approval all around.
With a figure like Metalhawk, how do you plan to do a figure like that? Do they pre-plan or is it ad-hoc?
They do some planning for down the line, but they do get ideas from other figures that look like they work, and sometimes they do them. They go back and forth all the time, and consider what could be done. Skids to Crankcase is one example. Roadrocket was planned ahead to be done. Takara TOMY also some up with design plans as well and will suggest things they can do.
How many heads are on a tooling before they go into production?
Generally it is one extra head, depending on accessories and what they are going to do down the line. They are trying to make as much use of molds as much as possible. Sometimes its not just a head, but may be a weapon or a faceplate or something. The Core Class Nemesis Prime is an example of something being added to the mold ahead of time. They have gotten better at doing these things now, but there were a lot of them that never carried over. They have found previous designs as well, so things like Galaxy Shuttle happened because they found it later.
Do the Weaponizer simplify things or make it harder with having the different options on there?
Having a robot and alternate mode that transforms, makes it harder to do. Takara TOMY added a lot of idea to make the Weaponizers work out, but it took a long time and to figure out it. It has been a success as far as play value, and they have carried on with adding new ideas and forms and then include transformation sequence as well. They have to question the designs over whether they will actually work with other toys they made already. Combing systems are of interest to team with what the community are doing with these and hope to see more amazing things.
People Want the full on accessories with their TFs such as Null Rays, will we see any new accessory packs to fill in what is missing from the release?
They are always looking at how to do these things, but they are retail first and product later, and they are always looking for ways to do them. They have many ideas for new packs, but try to release the figures properly in the first place.
People have had trouble getting exclusives, is anything being done to make them more available?
They are tuned into the market, and some things were impacted by pandemic and or had distribution issues. They want to help get them back into the market, but with exclusives they are bound by the exclusive contract. Likewise, they may also have licensing deals that have to be renewed to make again. With Cosmos, Walmart decided to do assortments, and it was how it worked out. With Legacy, are looking at spreading out characters, and cannot make 4 Soundwaves each year at the cost of other characters. They have more time to look at things and will consider more options. If they do the Soundwave in Studio Series, they would do a new one in scale with the Blaster released already.
Do they have to use spray colors to get different colors?
Mark has learned from doing prototypes and learned to do different tinting to get a better look than just making everything solid. It only works for different colors, not everything. It is an issue with opaque colors as well, trying to match tints between plastic and paint. They then have to look at adjusting paint or plastic colors.
How did deal with the delay for the Rise Of The Beasts Studio Series?
The goal has been to bring from show to shelf, the Rise Of The Beasts delay created some challenges to bring them being them to retail in the same movie year. So its been great to come out with more same year products. They are learning from the reaction, and are interested in seeing what will come for the rest of 2023. The team that works on the Movie and EarthSpark are a separate group doing those designs. They hope to be able to work with them more some day.
What can you tell us about Junkion Crashbar and his development?
Mark embodied him in the Junkion design, coming up with a lot of the concept versions to work out what they came up with. They wanted to maintain the aesthetic of the Junkion post-apocalyptic look that is popular now. They also want to make sure he fits in with the others. His personality will be better defined with the character profile that is to be released. They were bigger in the movie, but these guys are the smaller / younger versions in a way.
Are we going to see RID 2001 / Car Robots in Legacy Evolution?
They are celebrating 40 years of Transformers, so it something they want to look at a jump off point for some people and others it was an entry point. Some have been watching ever since. They like the combiners and such in the old RID series. They cannot confirm or deny, but they definitely look as they continue to develop things for Legacy Evolution.
What have been so of your favorite engineering innovations for a line?
Evan says the SIEGE Hound was really cool with the legs folding up. Standardized articulation they have been putting has made things always consistent, and good. Mark like things like Skids and the grill gun, as well as Jihaux was a challenge that he really liked doing as a space jet inspired by the comic book series. Sam says some amazing stuff coming for Legacy, in terms of innovation, he goes back to the Junkion platform to make a vehicle. It was inspired by fans and they were so glad to see how they Weaponizers as a building system. They wanted to make it go into buildable robot and pushed into other things.
Who designed Rise Of They Beast Cheetor to hint at the Beast Machines Cheetor? Do you think of putting deisngers names on boxes?
ROTB Cheetor was based on Paramount designs. They saw he was inspired by older designs and they went with it. As for designers names, there is so much text on the box already. There are also lots of people who work on stuff, and its hard to account for all that as part of the production process. They would be adding something like movie credits, to do it properly. They hope that doing social and streams and things to help fans get a bitter idea of the people who works on these things. The team want fans to know who made the toys at Takara TOMY as well, and are glad fans are learning that more. Translations are another challenge. They do interact with the studio to ensure continuity and such things that they want to balance in the toys and the movies.
Transformers Origin Jazz Buzzworthy Bumblebee Figure Revealed!
The figure was designed by Yuyusan at takara, and has the full Cybertronian mode. This is a complete new mold, not based on the Studio Series figure. He has a grappling hook that pegs into arm behind either of the fists, and can connect to the weapon barrel as well. He also has ankle rockers, waist swivel, head ball-joint, and siad to be made in scale with Origin Bumblebee. The figure will go up for preorder soon. We should have official images and details later today.
Are the combining aspects from Armada being considered for Legacy Evolution?
They can confirm it is Armada Megatron that is coming. They are very aware of how to use these figures and putting alternate heads in molds and how to reuse it in the future. They want to have a nice level of compatibility.
Are there efforts to release things that were not available long enough?
They are trying to figure out where they can reissue things like the SS-44 Optimus Prime figure in Buzzworthy Bumblebee. They have to have enough pieces to make to support things, and they do hear loud and clear how much people want Walmart Soundwave.
I hope they hit Canada soon!
Dreams really do come true! It seriously feels like they have a direct pipeline to my brain lately.
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