Ben Yee from BWTF has posted a transcript of a roundtable interview with Hasbro's John Warden about Titans Return, Generations in general, and a lot more! Ben's questions mostly revolved around the planning and engineering side of Transformers - mold reuse in Combiner Wars, hollow spaces in toys - but he's also got notes on the other sites' questions, which have a lot of neat new information. Keep reading for an excerpt and link to the full article!
Can you address fans have had the sheer number of redecos and retools used for "Combiner Wars"? What led to that? And will we see that level of redeco/retools in "Titans Return"?
That's also a really good question. I spoke to it earlier to the previous interview group. When we were launching "Combiner Wars" it was actually a very different time in Transformers. The system was largely unproven and we were actually trying to sell...we were coming off the Thrilling 30 and people that fans were, you know, there was a niche group of an audience. What wound up happening was when we built that line we had to try to...I planned the entire line out in advance and I had to figure out 'Ok, I'm going to reuse these, I only have this much tooling to do this many items', I was trying to spread things out to get the most robust line possible, not only for fans but because I believed that many generations were going to enjoy it too. Fathers and sons, moms and daughters, dads and daughters, there would be people playing together. And it turns out that actually seems to be happening! When you go to the toy store nowadays you don't see a lot of "Combiner Wars" stuff and I think it's because we have attracted an entire new generation of young Transformers fans. I find that really exciting.
Now that that's happened with Titans Return I feel like we've got an opportunity now with so much great attention that "Generations" has gotten to create a line that where we have different economies in place. We're going to be able to shift things around and look at things. I still create my line or our line, the product line with a team of very talented people to have a scope of almost a year plus. And when we do that together, we are able to look at all the costs, do all the shakes, checks and balances. One of the things I really brought to the table for "Titans Return" was the suggestion, I saw a lot of people saying online and social media that the line did have a lot of redecos and repaints. So although we I tried my best to make sure they were sensible redecos and repaints that were character focused and made sense appropriate within the Transformers universe, I totally get it. For "Titans Return" we are going to try our best to keep as many new or partially new retools as we can because we're actually entering a different era of Transformers right? '87 had a lot of big Transformers so we're trying to reconcile that going forward.
-Hasbro is aware Nautica is a fan favorite character and would love a toy of her.
-Replacements for "lost heads" for the Titan Masters won't be available, but you can just buy one of the small packs with only a head and vehicle or beast to replace it.
-The Titan Masters have to be removed to transform to vehicle mode.
-Some design elements of the Soundwave head are in the Titan Master and the rest is on the helmet attached to the figure itself.
-Hasbro does not dictate everything IDW Publishing does. They meet with IDW to present them their toy plans and they work together to collaborate. Example: Chromedome will not be a Titan Master/Headmaster in the comics.
-Once "Titans Return" begins, it doesn't mean there may not be Combiners in the future.
Deluxe Class figures only have the Titan Master becoming the head, larger figures have a helmet piece to give the head more mass. You can see Galvatron's head transformation gimmick here from last year's pre-NYCC event.
-John loves Overlord but cannot comment on an Overlord toy.
There was no official confirmation of a fan convention for next year. Hasbro declined to make further statement on the matter at this time.