Hasbro Q&A #3 Round Up

{mosimage} It looks like all of the answers have been sent out, so it's time for a round-up from the various sites that participated in the 3rd round of Transformers Q&A for 2009! Click here for a list of the questions asked by each site and then click each individual link for the answers to the questions.

Would you like to share your feelings on some of the questions or answers? Talk about them here in our on-going Round 3 thread! And don't forget to compile those questions for the next round; they're always sooner than you'd expect!



1) What is the philosophy behind which characters get turned into leader-class figures? Why do Starscream and Brawl get leader-class figures while stuff like Bonecrusher, Blackout/Grindor, or The Fallen do not? What does the decision-making process there look like? And what can fans who want some of those to get made do to persuade Hasbro to go for it?

2) While we have now heard and understand why Hasbro didn't produce ROTF Constructions that both combined and transformed (although there are still fans who disagree with your reasons), there still remains other questions being asked about these guys. Why produce only 4 of the significant ROTF Constructicons as individual figures yet leave out others like Scrapper and Hightower? And how did such seemingly non-toyetic robot designs like one with only a head and arms and wheels with no body or another with a 'jackhammer' uni-leg come about when, even for the movie aesthetic, they are pretty far out there for a movie basically about a toy line?

3) Comparing the 2007 movie line's "Automorph" concept to the ROTF line's "Mech Alive" concept, it seems like Mech Alive comes up pretty short. Not only does Mech Alive seem not as dynamic or fun, but largely there is a sense that the whole thing doesn't even fully deliver on the concept except on 1 figure (voyager-class Starscream), either because of underwhelming features (Breakaway's spinning gatling gun, Skids & Mudflap's moving chest panels and head-bobbing, Rampage's moving jackhammer pistons Sideswipe's knee armor, Wheelie's faction logos, The Fallen's slide-out energy panels, Megatron's spinning gears), or Mech Alive gimmicks that get packaging mentions but were dropped from the final toys (Sideways' spinning blade and untold left arm gimmick, Chromia's non-existent spinning gears, Starscream's pop-out missile launchers). What does the TF team feel about the matter, do they agree this was a bit of a dropped ball, or are fans not really "getting it"? Will we see Mech Alive continue into TF's future the way Automorph has been carried forward beyond the '07 movie line?

Click here to see the answers.



1) How many Human Alliance figures are scheduled for the Revenge of the Fallen toy line? And when you decide to end the Revenge of the Fallen toy line, is there any chance that this fan-popular sub-line will continue? There are still plenty of human and not-so human characters that could use toys. Like Daniel with Arcee, Spike with Hot Rod, or Una and Chak with Transmetal Cheetor!

2) After Perceptor and the Insecticons, how many other reissues are planned? Or if there are currently no plans for more reissues, but it's something that you'd like to look into in the future, which figures would you personally like to see reissued in the US market?

3) "Revenge of the Fallen" has brought with it a more adult-aimed Transformers, both in terms of toy complexity and the adult humor sprinkled generously throughout the movie. What will this mean for any future toys and fiction–including comics, toy bios and cartoons– that Hasbro may have planned for the movie continuity? Would a movie continuity cartoon revert back to the more child friendly stories as we've seen with the past few years, or would it keep a flavoring of the adult themes that Michael Bay brought to the films?

Click here to see the answers.



1) With the release of 3 of the individually transformable Constructicons and Long Haul coming out next, will we see the remaining Constructicons (e.g., Scrapper, Hightower) released?

2) What kind of exciting figures can we expect from the Transformers Universe line?

3) After a 25 year long toy and animated series run and with the current popularity of the comic books and live action movies, do you think that the seemingly obvious morals of good versus evil, compassion, respect, and understanding that Optimus Prime (and thus Hasbro) established starting in Generation 1 have changed due to the popularity and demand of an increase in sexual related content, violence and vulgar language such as that displayed in the current movie?

Click here to see the answers.



1) While many of us understand the need for Hasbro to tighten up on its intellectual property, there are some lingering questions about the ramifications it may have. We get that someone making money off your IP is unacceptable, and we see the difference between that and individuals making their own personal stuff for fun. What about sellers that have sold items with semi-official sanction, such as the Lukis Brothers, will they be grandfathered in based on past precedent (example: the Vector Sigma accessories)? Will Hasbro attempt to fill the void left by now banned fan-company items? Clearly the demand for these items is high enough in collector circles to create the unlicensed cottage industry which Hasbro reasonably feels goes too far, yet you’ve also made clear that there’s no room in the Hasbro market plan for those sorts of collector-oriented extras. So might Hasbro be willing to actively find an appropriate licensee who will be able fit those sorts of complimentary pieces into their own business model?
Hasbro: While I can’t talk about specific examples, I will try to answer your question as best I can. The unauthorized sale of Transformers merchandise is illegal. Hasbro has very stringent quality testing guidelines that all official Transformers merchandise must adhere to for the safety and expectations of our consumers. Also, there are many official licensees that pay to be a part of the Transformers franchise. It is not fair for legitimate businesses to pay to be a part of the franchise while others profit without the same requirements. From a manufacturer standpoint, Hasbro is in the business of mass market toys. We have licensees that do some smaller run, more niche products like statues or the collector club for example.

2) With some Transformers figures there are specific elements obviously designed into the item, yet go un-noted in the the marketing materials such as packaging, photos, and instructions – the “undocumented features”. Sometimes these are unfinished and thus understandably left out (such as Universe Galavatron’s walking tank mode). However, others are inexplicably complete and yet go unsaid, such as ROTF Knock-Out’s “wings” (from his removable cowling panels), 2007 Leader-class Brawl’s 2 sound fx buttons, Universe Cyclonus being able to have Nightstick plug onto his forearm in place of his hand, Animated Ratchet designed to accept Lockdown’s EMP Generator accessory, Universe Sideswipe/Sunstreaker’s gun being able to plug into holes on their shoulders, even proper transformations like the backpack height and triangular panels flanking ROTF Sideways’ head. How does the development team feel about these designed features going undocumented? Has Hasbro considered a possible official outlet for ‘correct’ transformations and undocumented features? And does Hasbro keep track of this sort of thing?
Hasbro: While we do not want to get to far into the details of our decisions for highlighting certain features, our packaging, photos and instructions are meant to highlight the most important/obvious features due to the limited space that we have to work with.
Additionally, we feel that these “hidden gems” are special treats for our dedicated fan base and also allows for that added depth of play.
Needless to say, if someone told you that you could only play with your toys in a certain way and nothing was left to “discover”, where would the fun be in that?

3) In the current team’s experience, would you discuss any figures that have turned out significantly better or worse than expected? We mean those standout items that the team just wasn’t expecting to succeed or fail for whatever reasons, maybe going from the prototype to production stages something went very wrong or came out ahead of expectations, perhaps a figure that fans were supposed to love but didn’t or that you didn’t think they’d love but they did. And what TF toys for you guys would you revise if you could, and what ones do you consider utterly perfect as their finished products went?

Click here to see the answers.



1) At one point near the end of the Alternators sub-line, a major retailer's computer system listed several toys that never saw the light of day. One of these was a Cadillac XLR, later revealed at BotCon 2006 to have been intended to be Megatron, but two additional listings – for versions of the Scion XB (Skids) and Ford Mustang (Grimlock/Wheeljack) molds that were to come out alongside it – remain mysteries. What characters were these apparent redecos of the Scion XB and Mustang intended to be, if they even got to that stage of development?

2)  There has been some confusion about the Revenge of the Fallen character Grindor and whatever relationship he may have with Blackout from the previous line. Further confusion has arisen due to a Robot Heroes release featuring Blackout for the Revenge of the Fallen toyline. Can you please clarify if it was definitively Grindor who appeared in Revenge of the Fallen, and if so, what is his relationship to Blackout?

3) Hasbro copy writer Forest Lee stated at BotCon 2009 that The Fallen is a multiversal singularity, meaning that there is only one of him across all Transformers stories, and there are no variant or alternate universe versions of him. How is this reconciled with the version of The Fallen from the live-action film? After all, there are umpteen versions and adaptations of the events of the live-action film, from storybooks to comic books to coloring books, all which are different and conflict in various ways. Does The Fallen experience each of these universes in sequence, reappearing in a new universe every time he is defeated in the previous universe? What about the Decepticon campaign happy endings in the Revenge of the Fallen video games, where The Fallen is victorious? Is there an in-house theory on this, and if there is can we hear about it, or should we just assume it all works out somehow and the details aren't important at the moment?

Click here to see the answers.



1) Are there plans to release toys from the video game such as Protectobot, Arialbot and Seeker?

2) Will we every see the third Arcee sister as a toy and will she come with instructions on how to transform the three toys together to make a bigger robot? If we are not going to see the instructions officially, can we please see them unofficially?
Plus, is it true that Skidz and Mudflap can transform together to form a bigger robot?

3) Will you ever be making toys for the other Constructicons in ROTF? The ones that we have not seen a transforming toy for such as Scrapper, Hightower, etc.

Click here to see the answers.