Today, the Hasbro team held a follow-up to Hasbro Pulse Con 2022, with a Transformers Legacy & Studio Series media roundtable. The following questions and answers were shared in the report below.
New Velocitron Crasher and Shadowstrip Reveals?
Walmart will release them in the near future, but Hasbro doesn't have an exact date when they will be released. They want to finish off the G2 Stunticon set with the Velocitron figures. Shadowstrip has a new name for a new character.Crasher is a Go-Bot homage that Mark and team are fans of. They like to add them when we can.
What is the target audience for Transformers, when is design fan driven, and when is reflected in sales?
Hasbro is designing for 8+ plus kids, who are coming off simple Rescue Bots, to more complicated toys with a STEM element. They want to bring fan favorites back to life. The team knows a lot of these faves, and they are trying to bring those. The younger fans buy most of the toys, but they try to please the older fan base with Generations Selects and such capsule projects. They try to cover the fans and appeal to kids too. Kids are attracted to a cool vehicle and character, so they have a huge history to choose from in the last 20-40 years. It is challenging to design for young and old.
Can we look to more original characters, like Scraphook in Generations?
Scraphook hit the nail on the head with using all the things you like about Transformers, so they had a whole planet of Junkions they could make new ones from, since fans know them already. They are always trying to do new things for the brand, and bring the entire breath of Transformers. They are constantly looking for new opportunities. Stay tuned for more goodies. They do have to consider the franchise team, and how new things factor into that.
Has the plastic being used for Legacy, changed since the War of Cybertron?
They have not changed the plastics in WFC or Legacy, or for many years at least not the material types.
What took Hasbro so long to do a Tarn transformer in the mainline?
Tarn is an amazing character from the IDW story line, the team are fans. They felt they had to do the figure because other licenses were doing them. Mark wanted to have some synergy with the comics, so they felt Tarn was the right time to do. They are challenged to the other DJD characters. They are starting now, with more to come they will see. Lots of participation from Takara and IDW, on the design of the toy. They were able to get IDW to use the same rendering. Legacy was a good outlet to choose from different series as well. The alt modes are tricky to do, so they had a lot of thinking to do.
Autobot Minerva Is out in Canada, can Hasbro acknowledge it?
Hasbro acknowledge the figure, but it is the same thing as Walmart, where they have not been given a date of when it would be on the shelf. They plan to list it on Hasbro Pulse as soon as they have the details. They want this to be out in time with Star Saber and Galaxy Shuttle. Likewise, they apologize for it not having a Headmaster.
What were the challenges of making a Core Class Dinobots combiner?
There were a lot of challenges. Sludge has big legs to be the waist of the combiner. They were not sure if they could do it, but they felt they have done others at that scale, so they made it happen. They added a 6th Dinobot to round it out, but they have hinted at TBA. Hasbro wanted to have all the Dinobots on the shelf in the same year, so Core Class was a way to do that. Deluxe would have taken much longer. AND we get a 6th Dinobot!
Was the Cybetron key with Override an accident or on purpose?
Because this was an exclusive, they could use more molds for the figure. They could make this figure for older fans, so memorable things like that can be added. The Hot Shot figure has a Mini-con option that we'll have to see how they work out with Mini-cons.
Can fans expect more female characters in Legacy Evolution?
Of course, there are so many Female bots in Transformers, they would never say "No". They know the female fan base is large, and they are going in. We are going to see some goodies.
Are Pretender shells on the table to be made?
Everything is possible, and on the table. The shell is hard to do because the shell takes up so much space in the mold tray, so it is something the can look into. The Bomb-Bust fitting into the G1 shell was not intentional. They would like to see all the Pretenders done.
Could we see a Slipstream character in Legacy Evolution?
Anything is possible, they love that girls like the female characters. What do these character counterparts look like is something they try to look at.
When you add Go-Bots to Transformers, how do you choose the characters you want to do?
When they talk about exclusives, molds, things that they can work into different slots. They try to work the ones they like, and what fans want, and if they have the molds for the character what will work. Generally, they try to agree on what they best pick based on mold, alt mode, sales potential, and such. Sometimes there are issues with Go-Bots being used by Bandai in Japan, and so forth. Whenever they can do them, they do them.
Are there new molds and alternates waiting to be made?
No, they always have alternate heads going back many years. Some of those things are used later, such as the Galaxy Shuttle. A lot of the time, the staff just doesn't know there are alternates. Most of the time they do make one, just in case of reusing the mold again later. They try to factor in as much as they can in the design, knowing they may have an opportunity to use it again. Sometimes they have to dig around for these things. They didn't really know about the alt Head for Galaxy Shuttle until they looked for it.
Could Transformers go to completely closed box packages?
The Transformers brand skews younger, so they want to keep the window for kids who are attracted to an actual view of the figure itself. The team wants to keep the window packaging for the young fans. They have done studies to see which get the best response on the shelf. Kids want fast feedback, and the box window is a differentiator. This skewed towards small toys that kids buy most. They packages are printed before the toys are done, so they have to expect it will match up. They are looking at Eco options, but the cost is much higher for non-plastic options.
After Leo Prime, are Hasbro going to do more of the Beast Wars Japan characters, and will they be Japan lineage?
The Beasts, they want to do a lot more of those, but things like a Lion is a good form factor that they can bring into the series. They want to seed the characters first, if Leo Prime is popular, they are incentivized to do more. He is called "Leo Prime", because "Convoy" is trademarked in Japan, so they cannot use Convoy in America.
The Junkions on the poster show a Lockdown like robot, is that him?
They are exploring the Animated Universe, and they would like to share more information on the Junkions. So they will have more to show in the future.
Will all the Dinobots be done in Studio Series?
They want to do all of them, and there is no reason they cannot. They could not do some characters that were active in Premium Edition, but that is no longer the case.
Pre-ordering Orion Pax/Alpha Trion, Soundblaster, Breakdown (despite he looking all wrong in vehicle mode, but I am a combiner completionist), Scraphook, Needlenose and maybe Tarn. I would like the MTG cards, but I would prefer them as a set instead of random pulls.
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