Global Brand Synergy: Toy Fair & Winter Wonderfest

With the reveal of TakaraTomy's version of Power of The Primes came both disappointment, and word of a new drive to bring the Transformers brand closer together across the global market. Power of The Primes was the first case where this was made a specific talking point, but the recent The Last Knight line showed much the same philosophy, featuring toys unchanged from the Hasbro releases. For better or worse, this trend looks like it's here to stay, and a good sign of that is Japan's Winter Wonderfest. Keep reading to find out more!

This year, the Saturday Toy Fair presentation by Hasbro for its invited fan media guests takes place on February 17th in New York, where we mainly expect to hear about Power of The Primes - most or all of what's left we already know about thanks to the infamous leak some months back - and this year's movie goods. Studio Series will probably be the spotlight of that, but some Bumblebee The Movie (featuring John Cena) product is sure to be on show as well. Oh, and for good measure, Movie Masterpiece Barricade and Ironhide should be there too. This matters first because Movie Masterpiece and Studio Series are both carrying Hasbro and TakaraTomy co-branding, a very front-and-center showing of the current state of the brand where major efforts are to be reflected in both marketplaces. But this takes us directly to Winter Wonderfest.

TakaraTomy will be presenting at Wonderfest, which happens this year on February 18th, from late morning through the afternoon. Through the magic of timezones, this means that TakaraTomy will be showing off their new Transformers goods starting as early as 7pm Eastern Time on Saturday night. And they've already announced what lines are part of their presentation: Studio Series and Power of The Primes. Just a few hours after Hasbro's presentation for fan media concludes and perhaps about the time we get press kits distributed with the publicity images and such, TakaraTomy will be unveiling much the same product lineup. Though it's likely all they'll have on hand for display in the exhibit space are samples for products already announced for release through July, their presentation may include Titan Class Predaking, which will also be the centerpiece of the Generations reveals at Toy Fair. But the Studio Series reveal should be very much the same between both events.

It's somewhat fortunate happenstance that Toy Fair and Wonderfest are happening on the same weekend - that isn't always the case. It gives TakaraTomy an equivalent venue for showing off upcoming products to a live audience at as close to the same time as Hasbro's event as is practical. But even if this was a year where the dates were separated across a week or two I feel like the odds are good that there would be a similar product reveal by TakaraTomy to coincide with Toy Fair, even if it had to just be a web-only debut. Either way, the specific promotion of two lines we know are being shared in both companies' markets as features for the Wonderfest presentation is very telling in terms of the scope of the intent of the new efforts in globalizing the Transformers brand. This has been developing for some time now, longer even than we've realized even though the indications have been there, if we'd had the context to look for them.

But at the same time, while this shows a strong commitment to keeping Transformers in sync between the Japanese and world markets, we can also see TakaraTomy isn't giving up on doing their own thing when appropriate. The nemesis deco Evasion Mode Optimus that's being offered as an exclusive for Wonderfest shows that much. The regular Masterpiece line will surely continue on as before, and there's nothing right now to say that more LG-EX items can't materialize through TakaraTomy Mall or other suitable venues, even if for the time being they won't have a place in the general retail offerings under the newer brand direction. Maybe we'll even get to see a bit of that during Wonderfest in a short couple of weeks.

And of course, on the Hasbro side, we'll have our usual coverage of Hasbro's Toy Fair presentation and showroom on the 17th, so you definitely want to be here with us to make sure you don't miss anything Hasbro has to show off this year!

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