Studio Series 86 Blur and Grimlock Design Concepts by Evan Brooks

Thanks again to Hasbro Designer Evan Brooks @naveskoorb on Instagram who continues to share his behind-the-scenes on the wonderful Studio Series 86 toy creations. We cannot get enough of this stuff, so it is just great he is sharing two more Studio Series 86 figures with a look at Blur and Grimlock & Wheelie. Read on to see his notes on how the deluxe and leader class figures were made with images of the process. As stated below, they want to hear your feedback so feel free to post your comments about these Transformers.

Alrighty, so continuing the Studio Series 86 deep dive, here we SS86 Kup! Our mentor character that totally reminded me of my grandfather who had a story for anything and everything.

I worked on designing Kup with Ejima Takio who is another exceptionally skilled draftsman who I can tell you designed every one of your favorite original Beast Wars figures. He has a fun story about when he designed the Transmetal Optimus Primal, he thought it was so clever how the show made his backpack with the mace weapons turn into a mounted blasters. He had never intended that but it worked so well. It's amazing how another set of eyes can open new possibilities on these projects.

Ejima also drafts out his transformation plans with marker and I always find the drawings so easy to understand and charming. The goal was always for him to have his limbs be removable but I remember our engineering team not remembering that till we got in samples and they thought they broke him!

From there, I actually reached out to Emiliano Santalucia to design the details. He's an artist super star who we've regularly used for concept kick offs and detail drawings. You should really check out his amazing work!

While working on that first wave of SS86 characters, I was stretched between 3 different brands, working very long hours and was slightly overwhelmed so I desperately needed help, haha. Because of this though, I was always slightly ashamed of how the original deco came out. The sculpt was good and the colors I picked just didn't read as the Kup from the movie. I just missed so many good details. I would later be moved to just focus on Transformers and when the opportunity for the Buzzworthy Bumblebee capsule came around, I took the opportunity to try and make up for my mistakes. I also used this as an opportunity to test some things. "No clear parts, solid ABS, would fans like that? It would be slightly more animation accurate that way, I suppose."

There is a bit of a stigma with collectors on the clear plastics we use in these figures. We hear you and are always working to figure out solutions.

Let me know if there are other SS86 figures you want the dirt on! Next up, Grimlock!


Next up: The leader of the Dinobots, Grimlock along with his friend, Wheelie!

I had the privilege to work on this figure with the ever talented, Hasui Shogo who some of you may be familiar with. He's one of the lead Transformer designers over at TT and has had some of his interviews translated and posted on a few fan sites.

Hasui is just amazing. We've worked together on each of the Dinobots so far.

The original plan with Grimlock was to have Wheelie be a fully functional Core class sized figure(before that was a thing in SS) but as we started development, we realized we just couldn't afford that. This is why Wheelie was reduced to just having 5 points of articulation but making sure he could still ride Grimlock.

The Grimlock figure itself brought in a lot of details from the the G1 toy and practically turned into a smaller MP figure.

I'm sure many of you are more curious about the initial deco that made it's way out when we used early samples for photography so allow me to explain.

When I first worked on the deco, I went too literal using the animation model as reference. (Yellow!? what was I thinking!?) This normally would have been an easy fix as I could have reacted to seeing the first sample in person and then updated it but then there was a shift in the company. Many of us were moved to different brands and shuffled around and Transformers were no longer my projects.

And then Covid happened.

Both Teams had to adapt to working from home and had to deal with delays in getting samples while trying to keep schedules. If I was in the office then, maybe I would of seen the sample and reacted but that didn't happen.

The team that took over began to drown in work so Sam and I were brought back in and I took over all my old items. Working with TT, we then updated the colors right before release. We had started development on Slug and realized none of the future Dinobots would have clear pieces so we decided to paint Grimlock's neck to be animation accurate. The chest piece being tinted was a literal last minute request from TT before the final product began mass production.

It was a wild ride.

I certainly love this figure but what do you all think?

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