Live from the Hasbro Review Panel

{mosimage}That's right, neuroloaders. We've got members of our staff strategically placed at Botcon's first Hasbro Panel, which just began about 10 minutes ago. We'll be posting updates and news, as well as quashing any outstanding rumors, as they come in.  Keep your eyes on this space!  Be sure to discuss it on our forums, as well!

 

Now that the panel is over, we're going to truncate the front page post for ease of reading.  New product releases will stay here, while the Q&A and minor product information will go below the jump.

  • Panel is starting a little late. As usual, no photography is allowed. This means we'll likely be getting news of brand new, never before seen figures, and possibly some word on what comes after astf. 
  • In attendance are the big guns: Greg Lombardo, Aaron Archer, Bill Rawley, the Allspark's own Joe Kyde, and Erik Siebenaler.  Some of Hasbro's writers and marketing team are there.

First up were the Store Exclusive figures:

  • Masterpiece Skywarp – Wal-Mart exclusive.
  • Red, fire-themed Fallen figure, Target exclusive. 
  • G1 colors movie Soundwave and Voyager Megatron, two pack at Toys R Us.

Animated. 

  • Rodimus Minor, Cybertron Mode Ironhide and Cybertron Mode Ratchet share a body type, but Ironhide features a new head. Electrostatic Soundwave with Ratbat and Arcee are coming. Wasp is a simple redeco of Bumblebee, no new head sculpt on him. Golfire Grimlock and Hydrodrive Bumblebee are not dead either.  Blackout – Earth helicopter mode, not the hovership seen in "Transwarped." Wingblade Prime as seen in "Endgame" will also be released; the Deluxe Earth mold plus parts, similar to Hydro-Bumblebee. Finally, we'll be seeing a Voyager-sized Thundercracker.

More astf product for 2010: grey proto pictures.

  • "Skystalker", "Scattorshot" Movie styled Lockdown. Deluxe-scaled RatchetDirge – harrier/VTOL jet, distinct Conehead. Jungle-deco Ironhide, Voyager redeco with a ton of new parts: brushguard, gatling gun, knives, all of which combine into a BFG. Bludgeon – Voyager sized tank. Transforms from G1 Pretender inner vehicle colors (green) to outer Pretender shell colors (orange, purple) in robot mode. Samurai armor, skull face, very cool. Human Alliance Barricade w/Frenzy.  Frenzy can store inside Barricade's chest or in regular HA positions.

Classics is over, finished. … Until Fall 2010.

  • Titaniums Optimus Prime, Thrust and Hot Zone are definitely coming, so the Titanium line is alive and well once again.
  • Insecticon reissue on its way via Toys R Us.  Perceptor, too.

Q&A time!

  • Movie line will pick up Universe slack, introducing more off-screen movie-styled classic characters, ie Bludgeon.
  • "Come back tomorrow for news on Drift." WHA?
  • Animated IS done as a TV series.  Hasbro Network will carry new TV show, but can't talk about it (maybe tomorrow?).  Animated has "set a new standard" as far as Transformers fiction is concerned.  YAY.
  • Animated will not be filtered into other lines: they want Animated toys in Animated packaging. Meaning it has a VERY strong standalone identity.  Also YAY!
  • Masterpiece Grimlock: HOPEFULLY within the next year.  Looking for good opportunities.  As in, stores that will carry him so people can BUY him. *Glares at Starscream*
  • Supreme Devastator doesn't have individual robot modes because Hasbro had to make sacrifices for stability and playability.  So they did individual versions.  Robots->Vehicles and Vehicles->Devastator.
  • Chromia, Arcee and Third ROTF bike WILL combine into one larger robot.
  • No new head on Universe Hardhead redeco (Onslaught).  Presumably same with Skyfall.
  • Legends Devastator WILL see US release– Spring 2010. (Makes sense since the Japanese versions were in US packaging.)
  • Last Universe Legends wave was hard to get at retail: HTS may pick up the slack on that in the future.
  • No Alternity or Disney Label figures in the US market.
  • Cosmos has been a character the designers have to fight for: no plans for non-Legends Cosmos, though.  Some champions he has!
  • Deluxe price increase: Hasbro-initiated.  Felt it was more desirable to raise price $2 than to reduce size or complexity of the figures.  (Take a look at your ROTF Sideswipe figure and contemplate how he'd be if they had to reduce the number of parts he has.)
  • No more CGI web videos. (THANK PRIMUS.) No "Resolute"-style animation either. (And there was much rejoicing?)
  • Hints at Leader Starscream (via TFW2005).
  • Reason we're seeing so much Springer product: like Wreckage and Arcee from the first film, he was planned for the movie, but didn't make the cut. (via TFW2005)
  • Ice Cream Twins and Ejector were "so funny and weird they had to do them." Again, they know us all too well…
  • ROTF Megatron was originally intended to have more jet elements and "fly awkwardly".
  • There are LOTS of a certain type of Transformer.  Click here to find out who we mean.
  • Female Starscream clone is Slipstream.  Because she's a girl.  So she wears a slip.
  • Further Sky-Byte Toys/Will have haiku bio text/Forest's a big fan.
  • More Cybertronian mode characters will likely be seen in future lines.
  • Hasbro seems to be getting more protective of their IPs.  Fansproject may have gone too far with City Commander and Rollar.  They never requested a license (indicating that such a thing might be possible).  Too much goodwill and latitude. Hasbro says they've been taken advantage of.
  • Bludgeon-tank and Bludgeon-APC will be explained… somehow.
  • No Premium subline for ROTF yet. (The current decos are really detailed to begin with.)
  • No plans for Universe Red Alert, and they're sorry that 25th Anniversary Hot Shot was a disappointment.
  • We seem to have lost communication with our contact!  Perhaps the nefarious Fallen has something to do with it, AND with the string of Allspark.com outages over the last hour.  Curiouser and curiouser!
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