Botcon 2013: Hasbro Publishing Panel

The Hasbro Publishing Panel is starting at BotCon 2013!  To follow along with our up-to-the-minute coverage, visit this thread . Highlights of the panel are below:

  • TF story and activity books aimed at all ages.
  • Middle grade novels tell the story of what happens between ROTF and DOTM.  Aimed at teens.
  • Rescue Bots for younger kids.  Performiong well, fun for kids; avoids having scary Decepticons.
  • Just approved by Apple to launch TF Stories Cube, an interactive story app.  iOS only for now.
  • 30th Anniversary projects aimed at fans, including pop-up book.
  • White dummy mock-up of pop-up book shown.  All mock-ups work.  200-3o0 pieces in a book like this.  Lots of G1 characters including Sky Lynx, Great Shot, Insecticons, Megatron, Bumper, etc.  Artist edition will apparently have Unicron.  Design process takes a long time, including 6-12 months on manuscript and concepts, then engineering takes 2-3 months for hand builds (not designed on computer).  Took 5 months to do the art layout request and the book needs a 5 month lead time before release. Every book is a hand-made piece of art.  Features Scrounge and Big Red.  Preview art also included a disembodied hand belonging to "someone who can knock over a building."
  • 30th Anniversary Comic Collection will reprint stories from Marvel, through Dreamwave, Impact, and IDW and include interviews with creators and unseen art.   Designed by Chris Mowery.  Available in September, but waiting for confirmation from publisher.
  • Novels:  Retribution will be title of final novel.  Will be exciting but not dark.  Includes massive Ark vs. Nemesis dogfight, and brings back an old enemy in the Quintessons. Starseekers are in the book, and weapons will be unleashed.
  • Covenant of Primus is being released in December and will include lots of info from "Binder of Revelation."  Includes a large silver Autobot symbol case that makes the transforming sound when you open it and can hang on the wall.  Christina Robinson wrote the included fiction which covers 13 Primes and Cybertronian prehistory.  Shows image with TF Prime with wings.  60 pieces of art from binder and other studios.  Covers Golden Age, and includes two new female characters.
  • Paper craft robots, including 10 that can be built.  The models can be punched out, folded, and glued in 30-45 minutes each. Can stand on their own or be placed in wind up wheeled chassis.  Pablo Hidalgo (first project was Vault) wrote the fiction for this book. Tech spec level of writing.  Available exclusively in Barnes & Noble in October.  Includes Predaking and many of Prime cast (Predaking was based on an early preview in order to get him included).
  • No plans for audiobooks.
  • Foreign stories are usually not different in terms of story, but more in terms of format and may include a puzzle or stamp collection, for example.
  • Asked about plans to expand other Hasbro properties (like MLP) in a similar fashion to TFs. "We'll have to wait and see."  Unit E is a concept that is resting.