HASCON Transformers Brand Panel Recap
Thanks to Allspark luminary and sage Randy Para, we have a photo gallery of all the slides Hasbro showed during its wildly successful and well-attended Transformers brand panel!*
The panel kicked off with some slides showing how Hasbro approached the design of some of its movie subline imprints. The team discussed the challenges of the Allspark Tech and Knight Armor Turbo Changers. The Allspark Tech toys are designed to fit around a 1″ electronic cube that has to know who it’s been inserted into to “bring them to life”, adding extra challenges to the transformation engineering. Similarly, the Knight Armor toys, designed to reflect a diverse set of armor styles within a medieval theme and a signature helmet-deployment gimmick, posed challenges in executing their quick, simple one-step transformations that have to work and feel just right every time.
Moving on to Robots in Disguise, Hasbro showed that the Combiner Force imprint is still going strong, showing off a new Autobot combiner as well as the recent Stormshot figure. The panel discussed the inspiration for Combiner Force in classic Combiners and other designers’ work in Combiner Wars. TakaraTomy superstar Shogo Hasui chipped in on the Crash Combiners design process, which considered everything from the aesthetic effects of the combination joints on vehicles and (potentially) beasts to how the figure is held during transformation and whether any step would cause a child to get in the way of himself or herself or have to change hands.
The panel explained how Ultra Bee, the Combiner Force main-cast combiner, evolved from from Hasbro concept to TakaraTomy design to animation department character art. A new concept we’ve seen in the Combiner Force designs got a nod, the idea of mixing “design language” between combining figures like sculpted details from one character mixed into pieces originating in the other to imply a more complete fusion of the combined characters (noting specifically the example of Primestrong’s mixed face and helmet detailing.)
Next, the panel moved on to Prime Wars Trilogy content. The slides show off Micronus (AKA Cloudburst), all
five six Dinobots (as well as a gray test shot of their combined form, Volcanicus), and Leader-class Optimus Prime who can “evolve” from a Sunbow-accurate Orion Pax figure, another design challenge in converting a full semi truck with trailer into the classic Optimus Prime body derived from the original’s cab. The panel members seemed excited to introduce the new female Dinobot, Slash, noting that a velociraptor Dinobot was something of a self-explanatory step and explaining the importance of matching the character of the existing designs.
Notable absences from the presentation include the Terrorcons and the female G1 Autobots, who have been teased by Hasbro prior the show. Perhaps more reveals are in store?
Next, Hasbro showed off some previously-seen stock photography of early access Arcee/Ultra Magnus and Hascon exclusive battery charger Optimus Prime.
Finally, the big reveal: Predaking! Well, just a silhouette for now, and a promise that the big guy will be shown off at the next media event.
Ready for the new age of dinosaurs to begin? Angered at the lack of movie reveals? Come tell us about it on our forums.
*not true, but at least it was better attended than the IDW panel…
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