Transformers Prime Japan Arms Micron Designer Interview

{mosimage}TFW2005 member SydneyY translated an interview with TakaraTomy designers Takashi Nakase and Hironori Kobayashi regarding the upcoming TakaraTomy Transformers Prime figures.  The interview goes into detail regarding the changes to the Prime figures from the USA versions as well as the change in philosophy and market for these figures from previous TakaraTomy Transformers figures.  

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Discuss the article on our forums.   Credit:  Darkstream

There is also a short article in the magazine, explaining where the idea to include the stickers and Arms Microns came from – and also that they will be featured in omake (animated shorts) at the end of the Japanese Prime episodes. Read on to check it out!

The reason behind Japan only "Arms Micron" –
Takashi Nakase: The biggest reason is that we wanted to raise the target age group. In past series, the target ages were small children and their fathers, but the age group which is actually able to enjoy transforming toys is 7 ~ 9 years old. We went back to the beginning and considered appropriate products for that age group, and came up with the concept of "customising". That is why Arms Microns need to be assembled from parts, and stickers are included to be put on the main figure – to give the feeling of "completing" the toy as one's own.
Hironori Kobayashi: We conducted a play session with children where they played freely with Movie series Transformers, mixed with various items such as Minicons, and found that they mostly enjoyed combining Minicons to make larger weapons or to customise the Transformers. We thought it might have some potential.

There will be short flash animation, "Arms Micron" episodes added after the main "Prime" episodes. About their background –

Kobayashi: We considered their background story from an early stage as we thought the existance of the Microns required an explanation. There were some ideas, and we decided to go with a story that (the Microns) were originally Energon present on Earth, and they adopted the forms of Transformers. In the story, the Transformers in the show ("Prime") are not even aware that their weapons are in fact Microns.

Mr.Nakase also developed an iPhone application (not available outside Japan) –
"there are many adult TF fans, and I created it for them so that they can enjoy transformation without having the actual toys in hand. It is a simple game but rather exciting. If you have an iPhone, please download it and try it. It is free."

Final words –
I know long time fans are surprised at the way we are marketing "Prime" domestically. There are some dramatic changes. We feel this is a challenge which we have to take on in order to continue the Transformers brand in the future. This is a challenging year for us – please kindly watch over us.