2005 BotCon Hasbro Designer Aaron Archer Talks Protos

A long debated subject among the Transformers community has been the issue of Prototypes, Testshots, and the extent to which Hasbro goes in order to prevent these pre-production samples from getting out. I cornered Aaron Archer while he was oogling over Viagra Prime's scratch build War Within Grimlock during the judging and got some answers to clear up some of the speculation.

Q: What can you tell me about Hasbro's efforts to shut down prototypes from appearing on ebay?

A: There isn't much that can be done other than have the auction taken down.

Q: Does Hasbro own their own factories or do they contract? If Hasbro owned their factories, wouldn't it be easier to control theft?

A: It would, but they don't own their own factories.

Q: Those selling Protos and Testshots on ebay tend to be the same sellers. Is there any action taken against these sellers after the auction is taken down?

A: You can't have the Hong Kong or Shanghai police go in and raid a guy's apartment for a Transformer. Plus that seller may have attained the item by legal means. You can't prosecute someone who bought it legally from another person. But Aaron couldn't comment on what specific actions they take beyond taking down ebay auctions, indicating that there is more that is done.

Aaron also mentioned that the concern he had over Prototypes getting out into the market place is in regards to sub-standard product. He stated that he understood the reason there was a market for prototypes but that didn't mean they liked seeing them bought and sold.


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