BotCon 2010 Day 1: TakaraTomy Panel Roundup
- Yoke-san's industry history/background (Microman, etc.)/development of gimmicks and features of the early lines: worked on the idea of 5-man robots, making robots smaller, battle/city/fortress robots; Sunstreaker was the first "transformer" they designed
- Hasbro was interested in bringing the toys over, young Yoke-san took the plunge to come to Rhode Island (in 1987, and getting the hang of driving the other side of the road) and work with them, where nearly everything in the partnership was funneled through Yoke-san, and Hasbro visited the Takara offices often with questions that was Japaenese related and what's with the spiky hair in the manga (differing concept of "coolness")
- A.A. on Yoke-san: "not many people can say they have touched every Transformer product ever made…this man can say that"
- Ongoing relationship b/w Hasbro and TakTom: A.A. and Eric Siebenaler have had extended stays there, and TakTom employees are regularly at Rhode Island
- Last official toy Yoke-san has done design work: Animated Swoop, although he is much busier managing the brand now
- Both discuss transitioning from hands-on designer to executive general manager ("of something", Yoke says); Yoke is both top-dog but also is on the floor
- The origin of Optimus Prime: "I wonder if this story is appropriate" (Yoke), designed as leader for diaclone series as "Convoy" and was later assigned to him to finish the project when the original designer couldn't finish the work ("loved driving his sports car more than working in the office")
- Q&A excerpt: Triple Changers (tapping in both sides of culture); green Devastator was Hasbro's idea; too early to say on 2010 Primus; movie-designs was needing a breakthrough look (Hasbro) and being inventive/creative (TakTom); how Astrotrain ALMOST never got released; and as for a Reissue Shockwave, Yoke-san answered "original shockwave? don't you want a future one?"
Read the original transcript here!