We are here for the Hasbro Designers Panel on the final day of BotCon 2010. This has been billed as the second half of the reveal, so get ready for some fun! We have completed the reporting live from the panel. Check out the full report from BotCon on new Generations, Power Core Combiners and the "Once Upon a Time on Cybertron" news!
On the panel, from left to right:
Eric Seibenhaler, Bill Rawley, Joe Kline, Lenny Panzica, Yake-San (Designer from TakaraTomy Joins Hasbro team for seven weeks).
New Designers - Chris Oliverie and Lenny Panzica will have new things coming out next year.
Generation 1 Legends
These guys look exactly like their G1 counterparts, but cuter.
G1 Legends Starscream
G1 Legends Prowl
G1 Legends Megatron - "Who says you can keep a good bot down?" The figure does not have an orange cap. The figure can he held by MP Starscream.
Windcharger - looks very Universe 2.0/Classics and he can use the weapons of the Deluxe figures including Darkmount, Ironhide, etc.
All of these figures that are repaints have new heads. They didn't say how they got to do this, but Seibenaler started this when he sent two head molds along with the Animated Cybertron Ratchet.
Also, just like the trend started in the Revenge of the Fallen line, all weapons may be interchanged.
Skullgrin - repaint of Darkmount, has a skull head mold.
Scourge - Last of the three which completes the three from the original movie. The cannon can be attached on top of his head and can be lifted out in vehicle mode to expose the head with canon. His rifle is modeled after his original and Targetmaster rifle.
Cliffjumper - repaint of WFC Bumbelbee. "Even in War for Cybertron, Cliffjumper gets no respect." -Ender
Thunderwing - Looks pretty close to the original.
Deluxe Tracks - Has flames on the hood and you can put him in the winged form, too. Looks just like his Generation 1 version.
Terradive - His trident can be stored in his underbelly in vehicle mode. This trident can be getting a alternate repaints depending on the character, too.
Tomahawk - Shown again. They add that we should expect new characters in redecos
Mindset - Hailstorm repaint.
Fallback - Repaint of Brawn. They wanted to use Outback, but unfortunately they could not do so.
Jazz - He also had an alternate head design. He's got speakers that can pop up in his vehicle mode and blast them as a weapon as he's driving. In robot mode, the speakers can be popped out as shoulder cannons.
Perceptor! - Vehicle mode has tracks on the back of the vehicle, just like the original. The toy has a special place in the team's heart. The chest of the figure can open so he can inspect things. His primary head looks like the cartoon and his alternate head looks like his G1 toy. The team suggested Reflector will be the name of the figure with the new head.
Fallen - His face can indeed come off! The final color will be darker than the one we've seen in the case.
Grapple - Repaint of Inferno with a new head and new feet. Instead of the water cannon, there's a crane with a hook.
Highbrow - Can spin the engine and his visor goes up and down. They said there would be an alternate head.
The figure is based off of airplane that the directors' father used to fly in World War II. The P+10 is a reference to the pilot's last name, which starts with the letter P and is unpronounceable by English speakers.
The logo is a pretzel and a tarantula (yes, that's what they said -ed).
Lugnut - The head looks very much like the Animated version and has an open mouth deco in plane mode. He also has a project that flips up over his head. His hands are claw-like and they said there's a lot of fun stuff in their arms and cannot wait for us to play with it. His alternate mode is a World War II era plane. Either of his wings say "LU6" and "NU7," spelling "Lugnut" in semi-l33t.
Power Core Combiners
Early development stuff on Power Core Combiners.
Development: When they first started, they had four and six item pack ideas. Originally, all Transformers turned into a robot.
The next slide shows off something that looks like Power Core Combiners is now, which is a figure and drones attaching to the figure.
TakaraTomy drawing shows off the final stage of development and this is the stage where it was toned down to only 2 and 5 packs.
2 PACK WAVE 1, 2011
Heavytread w/ Groundspike - Color guide is very Brawlish. He has a turret coming out of his back in robot mode. Groundspike transforms into a cowcatcher and he attaches to the front of Heavytread's tank mode.
Skyhammer w/ Airlift - Airlift transforms into an engine-looking alternate mode that can be mounted onto the back of Skyhammer's jet mode. They wanted to visit another jet and see what kind of new ways we can bring transformation to the table. Predominantly yellow, and orange.
5 PACK WAVE 1, 2011
Constructicons / Steamhammer - Alternate modes include Bulldozer, Steamroller, Crane, and a construction drill. "Very Voltron-ish," - Ender.
Dinobots / Grimstone - Looking around the Internet and learning more about Transformers, people really enjoy the Dinobots. (ed: DUH!) Alternate modes are all Dinosaurs, but we could not identify them in such a short timeframe.
Dinoking repaint! somebody screams. Hasbro says: "Stay tuned"
Once Upon a Time on Cybertron
Aaron Archer speaks on "Once Upon a Time on Cybertron," a story about the original thirteen Transformers, which were created by Primus to battle Unicron's forces. Each character has unique features and are very "God-like."
The original 13 is somewhat defined, but not fully explored. The design was in partnership with TakaraTomy without any notes from Hasbro and Archer is happy they are so heavily involved
It should be noted that these characters are just characters and figures are not planned at this time.
Alpha Trion - Predominantly purple and has a beard. Trying to rectify the lore and the purpose for the characters. His artifact is a quill.
Liege Maximo - The character is from the Generation 2 comics, but looks extremely different here. He is very menacing and dark. They did not specify his artifact, but we think he may have a flag showing his factor.
Vector Prime - Golden with a sword in his hand. He is clearly influenced by his Cybertron series but looks considerably younger. He can control time and space and his artifact is an hour glass.
Prima - Warrior of Light. He is the initial Prime from where the lineage of Primes actually started. He is very big. To give us an idea of his size, the Matrix is on the hilt of his sword. The Matrix looks small. Very small.
Megatronus - A very hulking bot. Eric has taken the lead to create the look and craft of these characters, so he deserves the applause, which he gets here. And of course he becomes...
The Fallen - Evolves from Megatronus. After banishing Unicron, you have a lot of time to kill, and it doesn't end up very well for many people.
This is just one of them. They are planning this throughout several years
Battle Ops Bumblebee Easter Eggs
There is a switch within the wheel of the vehicle mode and if pressed three times, the figure will play "More Than Meets the Eye."
If you press it a third time, the figure will play "Autobots wage a battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons"
Asked about third party customs
They plan so far out that a lot of times that they see a third part start something, they cannot say they are working on something. It's not that they're copying, they just cannot say they're working on something already.
Follow-up: What about something that makes sense? Like a trailer.
It all depends on what our business strategy is at that time. If we see a good opportunity, we will take advantage.
Can you share with us how far down the line Generations is planned for?
Archer says it's a case by case basis and whatever makes sense. It's a year-by-year basis and not to worry, because we're running a marathon here. It all depends on the timing and which line.
What are your dream toys?
Seibenaler said he's happy about releasing an Optimus Prime for Transformers: Prime. One designer said Classic Humans. One designer says new cassettes. One designer said he would love to work on my dinosaurs because they rock.
Archer said last night, the fans spoke with Dinobot winning the Hall of Fame voting. He says Beast Wars deserves to be redone.
Who is the Ferrari in Transformers 3?
Archer says he's not getting into that.
Is there a reasonable chance for a Trypticon toy?
Archer says that he and Eric are thinking about it, but nothing yet. Eric says the issue is that he turns into an asteroid, so they have to think of a cooler alternate mode.
Is there any particular reason that Omega Supreme or female clones didn't get Transformers Animated figures?
Eric: With Animated ending, everybody was disappointed, but there was a bigger direction, so certain decision have to be made.
Are there any chances PCC will go larger? Maybe a deluxe with four scouts?
Too early to talk about that. Everybody needs to weigh their ideas to get in there.
Any new toys based on female Transformers?
Will we get Classics Gestalts?
Archer - "I think the Power Core is how we are approaching that."
Not all of the character in mythology will get a toy.
Concept and Designs of the original 13 is great. Are there any ideas as to what size are the characters?
Archer - "They are epic" They were created to deal with Unicron's forces.
They're god-like and should be rightfully huge. Playing off the Transformers: Prime panel.
Is there a chance for the Ultra class?
Stay tuned. It's a possibility but they're not looking into it right now.
Do you guys ever reach a point where 'enough is enough'? How do you approach this?
As creative people, Hasbro appreciates creating new things and never see anybody running out of ideas.
With Ratchet in his G1 characters, can we get an Ironhide from the movie in red?
"Will there be a Transformers: Prime toyline?"
Archer - Right now there's only the show. (It should be noted that Seibenaler alluded to putting out Optimus Prime from the series. See first Q&A question.)
What's the possibility of a new Wheeljack toy?
Archer - You can tell everybody is a fan. If you have a desire, they have a desire, too, so stay tuned.
More toys based off the WFC video game?
Archer - Creates breeds more success, so if it garners enough, they will try and bring those out.
Were you planning on doing any more toys from IDW?
They just did Perceptor, so probably not another one.
Power Core Combiners are all part of 2 and 5 packs. Will we see 3-pack Mini-Con teams again?
No plans for that, but the line is still in its infant stages, so stay tuned.
Does Hasbro have access to Takara's old molds from Japanese-only lines?
Archer - He looked at this when they did R.I.D. But each of the figures have their own license. So it would have been too costly.
Any Cosmos toy coming up?
He's a great character, but nothing right now.
You're designing a product for the North American market and the Japanese market. How hard is it to design a product that both markets can embrace?
We look at what works and then because we're fans, we look at the need. So that fans and kids enjoy them.
Alternate Perceptor head looked a lot like Trailbreaker. Anybody notice that?
We haven't forgotten about him. Don't worry. The head is original supposed to be the alternate head for Perceptor, so we can do whatever we want with it.