Editorial - Five Things I Want to See From the Transformers Brand In 2012

Editor's Note: The following is an editorial and the opinions expressed are solely those of Peter Van and do not represent the ideas of Tformers.com or Entertainment News International as a whole.

Every year, there are certain things that take place within the Transformers community. Last year was the meteoric rise of the third party shops.

What originally began as add-ons and kits has now become full-blown homages, like TFC Toys Hercules and iGear's continued homage figures. As this year is just beginning, I have listed five things that I want from the franchise this year.

It does not have to be Hasbro, it can be anything. What do we want? I do not know what you want, but here is my list. Feel free to contribute in the comments!

5. Story worth talking about.

Every year we get multiple comic lines from IDW PUblishing that promises to knock your socks off.

Last year it was Chaos. Yeah, that didn't work out very well. Mike Costa's comments afterwards didn't help either.

This year, IDW is looking to start anew. Booting up with More Than Meets the Eye this week and Robots In Disguise later this month, IDW hopes that this is the new start. They are pooling their resources and concentrating on these two products.

So far, our resident comic book reviewer Ladywreck seems to enjoy the first issue and she and I are very hopeful. With the return of Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman with Transformers #81, this may prove to be a solid year.

Let's hope so.

4. Synergy.

Sometimes it feels like Hasbro's right hand does not know what the left is doing. Last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing fine folks behind Transformers Prime including executive producers Jeff Kline and Mike Vogel, and Art Director David Hartman and Character Designer Jose Lopez, among others.

These guys are passionate and really feel what they are doing with this show is great.

It is.

You can see in their tail end of their first season that things are really starting to pick up and they find their groove.

But there is something in the background that feels like they are being restricted somehow. Creatively, scheduling, something is just off.

Not to mention the show is not getting stellar ratings because there wasn't a toyline to back it up at the local store pegs, and the toyline now doesn't get any love because the show hasn't been on in months.

Please, Hasbro and newly-formed arm Hasbro Studios. More synergy goes a long way. Not all of your shows on your network can quickly find love like My Little Pony did.

3. Variety.

While I am amazed by how far the third party shops came in 2011, including the exquisite details in TFC Toys' homage to Generation 1 Devastator, there seem to be too many going into the crowded market. MakeToy, a supposedly, maybe, I suppose, spin-off of FansProject, is making one too called Giant.

IGear is making a Seaspray. MakeToy is making a Seaspray.

It is really surprising that we keep seeing the same couple of toys being remade.

So, what I am hoping for this year is to see some great third party products from these inspired and brilliant minds to come up with something new that will set them apart from one another.

2. For the Love of BotCon, please make a Project schedule

Every year we go through this. When will Fun Publications announce their location?

Their figures?

Their registration?

Who really knows. Until the last minute.

You get an email announcing that they will be announcing a location soon.

You get a promise that they will announce registration and then showcase a figure and then nary a peep of their registration.

Just earlier this month (I realize just how far we are into the month) there was a message from Fun Publications: stay at your computer at 6PM Eastern Standard Time!

You may want to leave work because it's the weekend, but you want that customization class, right!?

Of course you do! Stay!

It does not have to be this way. For the year 2012, I hope that Fun Publications invests in a program called Microsoft Project. Now I understand that it is not the best program in the world and it's not cheap at your local Best Buy, and most of the time it is infuriating (I am not a salesperson, obviously).

But it does do one thing that is good once it's all put together: it lays out your tasks right in front of you down to the ones that need to be completed by certain dates at any given time until the very end. It's a great resource.

One piece of advice, though just don't print it unless you have a plotter nearby.

On second thought, just buy a calendar with boxes big enough to write in. And a nice pen to write with.

Time for a group hug?1. Make them love you again, Hasbro. Please.

You are in a pool of something better left not said, guys. While your ability to design your Transformers Prime figures to look like you plucked them out of CGI and used a 3D printer to laser these guys together, there is very little interest in the line based on our stats.

When the Transformers Prime figures were first unveiled at Toy Fair 2011 in February of last year, the five part mini-series aired and finished. The first season was set to begin. But since you still had Reveal the Shield to sneak out (which was also in a bit of a funk by this time) and your big reveal of Transformers Dark of the Moon toys, Prime got a little section and nary a peep until their release in December of last year.

Originally, you called it wave 1. Then First Edition. Now, it's a specialty store First Edition. With juggernaut big box retailers like Walmart, Target, and also-ran KMart passing on your first several figures, it's a sign that there's something going rather awry here.

Now I understand that you pooled your eggs into the Dark of the Moon basket, but that didn't work out as well as you hoped. Sure it worked out better than 2010, which saw Generations and Reveal the Shield toys, but while you hope that these movies keep floating by, do not let Prime, which seems like a great toyline with some rather interesting ideas slated for this year, go over the waterfall.

Market the hell out of these suckers and as I said in number four, Synergy, the show and toyline need to blend. Work together. Love each other. Make us love you again.

Do you have some things that you'd like to see? Let us know in the comments!
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Member Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
formerly nortagem - 2012-01-17 @ 9:47 pm

I've been out of pocket for a little while, so I'm late to commenting on this one, but...all I can say, Peter Van, is "RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON!" :thumb

Jason X - 2012-01-16 @ 8:22 pm

Mechtech is a great idea that was ruined by making them all giant weapons. I'm down for combining weapons just don't make them half the size of the freakin figure. Oversized weapons look goofy in all but a few exception (giant swords can be cool sometimes).

I would like Hasbro to not screw us over on sizing. Can't speak for leader but every other size class seemed to shrink in size while the price points didn't (or even increased).

Also, last year's Botcon gave me nothing to be excited about. Hasbro has to sneak in a few surprises to keep guys like me interested. Alternate heads for repaints in 2010 was awesome. Also fan favorite announcements of Jazz and Scourge was a great surprise.

Prices actually did come down for the DOTM line. ROTF, HFTD, RTS, Generations, ect. were up to $12 for Deluxe Class (Generations still is) and $20-$22 for Voyager Class. DOTM figures are $10 and $18 respectively.

Smokescreened - 2012-01-16 @ 6:20 pm

If the fat cats at Hasbro are reading this thread, then:

5: Less movie Bumblebee repaints please, yes I know he's marketed to the kids and made to look cool. But movie Ironhide was a better character and he got killed off, while Bumblebee is a horrible character and has been since the first movie adn he's still being kept alive! You killed off Optimus Prime in the 1986 movie, why can't you kill your precious sexbot of Bumblebee?

4: More Classics/Universe/Generations/RTS please, Jazz was amazing, Scourge was amazing, Kup was amazing, Warpath was amazing...Surely you get the idea by now, that line is/was amazing and is the very thing that Transformers is about - robots turning into vehicles and other things and back again, none of this fancy and frankly useless oversized Mechtech gun nonsense. Poor movie Ironhide must have been big gun envy considering the size of the weapons for figures like Optimus and Bumblebee.

3: Whoever is in control of distribution for Hasbro is an idiot of the highest degree. It's hard to find anything of interest and I'm sure that kids must be getting tired of the Bumblebee repaints clogging the shelves by now. Fix the distribution side of things please.

2: Releasing a cartoon without a toyline to back it up was a very stupid idea. Transformers Prime isn't half bad and only now, after a year or a little over a year the toys begin to appear? Who's stupid idea was that?

1: Improve your quality control for your products please. A parent isn't going to spend a small fortune for some toy for their child only for the toy to fall apart within seconds before it's even played with. That is plain dangerous if the broken parts end up getting into the hands of a young child who is likely to swallow the pieces due to the natural curiousity of young children. And if the toy is expensive, like they all are, then that isn't good value for money.

Breaker - 2012-01-16 @ 3:14 am

Mechtech is a great idea that was ruined by making them all giant weapons. I'm down for combining weapons just don't make them half the size of the freakin figure. Oversized weapons look goofy in all but a few exception (giant swords can be cool sometimes).

I would like Hasbro to not screw us over on sizing. Can't speak for leader but every other size class seemed to shrink in size while the price points didn't (or even increased).

Also, last year's Botcon gave me nothing to be excited about. Hasbro has to sneak in a few surprises to keep guys like me interested. Alternate heads for repaints in 2010 was awesome. Also fan favorite announcements of Jazz and Scourge was a great surprise.

Jason X - 2012-01-15 @ 8:45 pm

Yeah, I actually thought Automorph was pretty cool. It showed up in other lines, like Animated with Lugnut and such, and was alway a welcome addition. Mech Alive I could take or leave.

MikePrime - 2012-01-15 @ 8:17 pm

couldnt agree more on synergy too. And with that, distribution.

3rd party....I don't think any of that even matters after you look at the price tags for those things. Wow what an astonishing Devastator there......SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS?!?! I'd love to own Devy...Just not gonna sell my house to afford him!

I'd think that I'd like to see less from Third Party companies and Hasbro realise that people really like what they are offering and try to cater to that crowd.

:agree

Seconded

Thirded

Also, with regard to the Mech Tech gimmick, it'll go away soon enough just like Automorph and Mech Alive. There's aways going to be some kind of gimmick though, and while I really didn't mind the ones listed above I hope the next one is better.

The Automorph and Mech Alive gimmicks weren't so bad. At least they had to do with the transformation, and thus integrated into the the toy. Mech Tech was a big, dumb weapon that made an otherwise nice looking Transformer look stupid.

Jason X - 2012-01-15 @ 8:01 pm

couldnt agree more on synergy too. And with that, distribution.

3rd party....I don't think any of that even matters after you look at the price tags for those things. Wow what an astonishing Devastator there......SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS?!?! I'd love to own Devy...Just not gonna sell my house to afford him!

I'd think that I'd like to see less from Third Party companies and Hasbro realise that people really like what they are offering and try to cater to that crowd.

:agree

Seconded

Thirded

Also, with regard to the Mech Tech gimmick, it'll go away soon enough just like Automorph and Mech Alive. There's aways going to be some kind of gimmick though, and while I really didn't mind the ones listed above I hope the next one is better.

Noisemaze75 - 2012-01-12 @ 5:37 pm

i agree with taking the electronics out of leader class figures...or any other electronics for that matter..i immediately take batteries out of figures like that anyway....

ROTF leader prime...im looking at you...

Tripredacus - 2012-01-12 @ 4:24 pm

I don't think they need to change their existing types of toys. As we have heard before, those toys are aimed at kids, so those gimmicks are there for a reason. They can just expand into a more collector oriented line, maybe make it online only in their HTS. Even these third party TFs aren't available in stores. And Hasbro could even take up the pricing model too. It works for them right? High-end collector's items that are limited (compared to the mass releases) and cost more than their counterparts (size-wise) in the stores. But if they do go this route, I don't want these prices to go into BotCon toy pricing category, since those prices "price" them right out of a lot of collector's budgets.

Sparkless - 2012-01-12 @ 1:16 pm

A few ideas of mine:

1) Take electronics out of Leader class figures and sell em at a lower price point. The electronics add unnessicary weight to these guys

2) Goodbye "MEHtech". Nuff said

3) Keep generations going strong. It sells well both with kids and collectors alike

4) No more Bumblebees in EVERY wave of figures, really, you're killing him with this pummeling of figures of him

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