Robots in Disguise Preview Event in New York City

Although Transformers: Robots in Disguise doesn’t officially air in the United States until March 14th on Cartoon Network, fans of all ages were treated to a preview party extravaganza in which they not only got to view the opening episodes, but got hands on with all the new Robots in Disguise toys already on store shelves. The Allspark sent our long time friend Frank Todaro to cover the event. You can read his report and view the gallery after the bump.

By Frank Todaro

First of all, the event was wonderful, mainly because the thrust of the entire thing was the kids, and boy were they responsive.  This event was clearly for them and to drum up excitement for the new direction of the Transformers brand.  Every flat surface of the area was piled with product of various skill level, be it the more complex  Warrior class toys, the flip-changing one step class, three –step giants and robo-switchblades.   When you walked in you were given a card which had listed on it the various stations at this event, located at the bar attached to the Tribeca Cinema (whose bottles were all temporarily missing naturally).  Things like coloring a picture, picking out the Decepticon from a pictorial line up, racing toys, taking your photo in front of a green screen (complete with character masks) and more.   Once your card was filled, the staff presented you with a gift bag, tall for adults (a three step Optimus or Bumblebee) short for the kids (a one-step figure from the current wave).  But, getting down to the meat and potatoes here…the show itself.

In a word, brilliant.  In my opinion it is the perfect marriage of silly, sweet, action and weight which while in the universe of  TF: Prime, adds a bit of levity, and something more.   It’s hard to say this next part considering.

While still at surface level, after all it is a kids show, these characters are flawed.  Some are full of self doubt, some rely on various crutches, and all have been set up to have their own personal journey with specific traits to overcome or come to peace with.  There looks to be the potential for some internal conflict as well (something I myself appreciate in team-cartoons).

I really had not warmed up to TF:RID’s new take on the Decepticons until hit in the face with the wonderful voice acting Liam Obrien as Underbite.   Sure these characters may look like animals and monsters, but the voice cast makes their varied forms believable as a unified alien race.

Back to the actual event, the presentation overall was smooth and well organized.  After 45 minutes of interactive exhibits and refreshments we were ushered into the theatre (and offered a myriad of different candy and popcorn) and watched the first two episodes.  We then returned to the bar area for an hour or two, socialized, played with toys and all went off without a hitch.

By now most of you likely know about the toys, and have somehow gotten your hands on the first 6 episodes, but the actual launch party/event bodes extremely well for what seems like a fantastic new chapter in the Transformers mythos.

Thanks again to Frank and Jack for providing our coverage. Also, if you’re into the strange, spooky and unexplained, be sure to check out Frank’s webcast The Invisible World in which he goes in depth about everything from UFOs to Weather Control Conspiracy Theories.