2017 was a year. It occupied 12 pages of a traditional calendar, or even more if you had a weekly or even one of those fancy-learnin' word-a-day calendars! And during that year, things relating to the Transformers happened. Some more positive than others, or more fondly looked back on. Not everything was a winner, after all. Thus, I'll memorialize the year that was with some of my best remembered times in Transformers - in no particular order since I'm bad at chronology sometimes as well as weighing priority of a memory over others. I am literally the best at lists.
We learned late this afternoon that both Steam and Playstation Network have delisted a number of Transformers video games from their store pages. Affected by this are War For Cybertron, Fall of Cybertron, Rise of The Dark Spark, and Transformers Devastation. None of these titles can be purchased digitally on the named platforms as of today, though users who have purchased them previously are still able to download and install the games. At last report, the XBox Marketplace had not followed suit in removing them. We can only speculate right now whether this is due to an elapsed license, or some other factor at work, but as of right now, tracking down physical media, where applicable, seems the only option now for obtaining these games.
The BBC and The Guardian are both reporting on a new development with the UK arm of Toys R Us that's putting serious pressure on the retailer. While the recently discussed bankruptcy protection proceedings of Toys R Us here in the US is not directly impacting other regions, Toys R Us UK is nonetheless investigating solutions to deal with its own financial problems, but with an added wrinkle: If the company cannot contribute £9 million (about $12 million) to its pension fund at least one state agency, the Pensions Protection Fund may vote against its current restructuring proposal, which could ultimately lead to all the UK stores shutting down. Keep reading for more.
Mattel Passes On Hasbro Merger Offer; Barbie's Transforming Autobot Convertible Not Expected In The Near Future
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.
Toys R Us Under $400 Million Debt Examining Potential Relief Options Including Bankruptcy Protection
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!