SDCC 2011 – Shout!/Hasbro – “Evolution of Transformers Animation” Panel Report

{mosimage} The "Evolution of Transformers Animation" panel by Shout! and Hasbro is now underway in Sand Diego!

What's this about Cybertron transforming in the concept for the 1986 Transformers Movie? What names did they change in the translation to better fit a US release of the Takara shows (like Breast-force)?

Read on for more details, or click here to follow our live coverage!


SDCC 2011 – Shout! / Hasbro "Evolution of Transformers Animation" Panel

Friday, July 22nd – 5:30pm PST


Brian Ward, Matt Proulx, Rik Alvarez, & Jay Vorn [sic],  Jerry Jivoin

About the panel: give a bit of history like how we got to now
Rik on mic, slideshow shows "Origins, like "Diakron" 

"Creating the Lore" slide, Hasbro engaging Marvel Comics on conceptualizing overall story + characters + background. History can be read up at

TF comic was oirignally 4-issue but so successful, lasted 80 issues (US run) 

"Animation" slide. Hasbro, Sunbow, G1 cartoon history bits.

Takara's TF line slide shown -> TF: TM – Rik saw TF:TM 5 times as a kid. He rooted for Hot Rod

Matrix of Leadership was courtesy of Bob Budiansky 

Original script for TF:TM titled "The Secret of Cybertron" from Dille. Cybertron was going to transform, but was considered too destructive, and became Unicron 

Highlight clip of G1 footage: introducing Dinobots segment (Grimlock, Slag, Sludge)  – Jerry on mic

How TF became such a lasting impression? – "Coolest play pattern", "awesome robot to awesome vehicle and back again". Coupled with a story of Bots vs Con, emotions, the characters, what characters meant to people, Optimus is Jerry's fav, Peter's work as Optimus. Basically  a variety of factors – comics, movie, toys, cartoon – contributed to success.

Rik on mic. Key reference points to go back and revisit? Depends on what story calls for, character is 1st based on personality. Works from various angles but G1 is picked on the most. 

Brian on mic about box sets. What's his favorite part? – Reliving every weekday of his childhood.

Noted that so many series seem to lack the passion Hasbro has put into Transformers. And the sheer number of people talking about TF. 

Slideshow on Takara's trilogy, starting w/ Headmasters.  Headmasters & Targetmasters toys – Pointblank, Mindwipe, Hardhead. HM's new characters – Soundblaster + Twincas. Trainbots – Raide. Tweaks on character designs, difference between Hasbro & Takara like Hardhead & Brainstorm

Masterforce slide – parts of MF might not have been exactly be appropriate for US, hence some tweak. Pretenders slide, noting name change for US versions

Metalhawk mentioned. Notes Powermasters in JP is different from US ver, showing God Ginrai. Overlord. MF seeing "release of the first ever female TF figure", Minerva

Victory's slide – Black Shadow > Skyshadow in Generations, Fall 2011, "Chestforce" instead of "Breast-force" for standards and practices – "Chestforce" on slide, as "Breast-force" would've never fly in US. Deathsaurus. Chestforces, Liokaiser. Dinoforce with Dinoking. Brainmasters, Star Saber. Super God Ginrai + Victory Leo. Also Wheeljack, Perceptor, and Minerva in "Victory".  "Spoils" Super God Ginrai's death, rebuilt as Victory Leo, and combining to form Victory Saber. Other Victory Autobots – Landcross, Galaxy Shuttle, Road Ceaser [sic], Great Shot

On Victory, "Chestforce" and "Chestmaster" is both used on the slides. The actual term is "Breast-force" but they had to change it for obvious reasons  

Always looking to reintroducing characters into new stories 

Clip from Headmasters: Hot Rod opening Matrix to become Rodimus segment: "Double Convoy" episode. Rik points out translation and naming stickies on the Takara trilogy

Brian on mic. What are the benefits of releasing now? Brian notes nostalgia, & that not many US people has seen it. Plus, anime being popular. Rik: TF such a global brand, time to go back and bring some of history to a new generation. Strong enough of a market to release in US, a "new G1" in a sense. Jerry: echoing what Brian and Rik said. "a lot of rich characters" and "story telling" to fill in gaps. See more story and see new character. Rik joking/teasing "inspire some new Generations toys"

Beast Wars! 

Rik has Predacon tattoo 

Bob Skir in audience!  Skir wrote some episodes for "Prime"

Dinobot & Waspinator inducted to Hall of Fame slide. NOT showing "Erector" video shown at BotCon

BW clip: Dinobot w/ Golden Disk "Stole for nothing! You idiot!"  Dinobot challenging Megs to leadership

Matt asking Brian, what's single thing to look back and go "wow"? Brian: Citing Hasbro picking Mainframe for BW, Mainframe fell in love with TF later on, mutual respect between Hasbro & Mainframe. Matt said Skir is writing some episodes for "Prime" was his wow moment.

Trivia game held  – Winners got HM boxset


Why did live-action movie diverge so far? – Partnerships, Hasbro influence story & ultimately give some freedom to Bay (movie) and on Prime. New design was necessary.

If Unicron designed for movie, should they even attempt? "Very good question" 

Would ever consider compilation of music from various series? Something talked about, no immediate plans

What was the idea of connecting BW to G1? Whose idea?  Producers starting BW originally thought of it as a new series and not intended as a continuation. Later on, made connection points so towards BW S2 created greater lore to harken back to G1.

What's feasibility of new production with original VAs? Like little movies once or twice a year?  "New product", like GI Joe Resolute. In short: Would they ever reimagine the original G1? Matt points out that with every different series, they try to bring content to new, fresh place. Creative standpoint, "how can we incorporate old stories to something more forward-looking" 

TF being mostly male based characters, bringing any female TFs?  Answer – "Can't give away anything", citing Prime.

And done!