This year’s first “Transformers” Fan First Friday, held on the fourth of February, was fairly fun and fly, with fantastic features familiar and fresh!
The Hasbro Pulse stream brought about a host of reveals (some more “confirm” than “reveal”, but yes), kicking off with video and mobile games and comic representation, and kept the momentum going with toy after toy after toy — with Studio Series 86, Studio Series, Vintage Beast Wars, Transformers: Legacy, Buzzworthy Bumblebee, and Transformers R.E.D. getting some shine.
Up first was the official Hasbro announcement of Meta4 Interactive’s Transformers: Beyond Reality, the first Transformers VR experience, which is coming to Playstation and Steam. Interestingly the game puts you in a hybrid Cybertronian-Terran armor A rather than having you play as an existing Autobot or Decepticon. Another game coming up, Transformers x Top War: Darkness Falls, sees the Autobots and Decepticons teaming up to save the Top War universe from an ancient foe.
Some comic spotlights followed, with teasers for the final issue of IDW’s King Grimlock and the first issue of Transformers: War’s End, as well as the TPB for the Shattered Glass miniseries. Up next was a snippet of Peter Cullen-voiced
ASMR narration from “History of the Transformers” on the Calm app.
Afterward, the presentations kicked into another gear with 14 toyline updates:
Studio Series sees more Cybertronian designs from the 2018 Bumblebee solo movie, with Ironhide (Ratchet retool) and the previously-announced Arcee.
Studio Series 86 sees the previously-leaked Voyager class Junkyardw. This Wreck-Gar retool was originally planned to get at least a new head, but the retooling budget had room turned out to allow for more new parts (“I can actually make Junkyard look like Junkyard!”). Junkyard was showcased via renders and physical “engineering pilot”‘ copy. (This event was a fun one for designer jargon and insight!)
Then, in a pleasant surprise, Leader class Dinobot Sludge gets an official reveal before any leaks! Apparently co-designed with Shogo Hasui, Sludge (who doesn’t seem to come with a little partner like Grimlock and Slug did) completes the original Dinobot trio from the cartoon. The stream managed to show off Sludge in render and engineering pilot form, and give us a good look at the packaging as well.
Finally we got to see Core class Exo-Suit Spike (available in some markets), who also served to remind the team that they hadn’t yet officially announced that Core class in Studio Series was a thing (put it on the list…). Apparently they had initially designed the pack-in partners (including Exo-Suit Daniel) before finding out that Core class was received well enough to justify bringing it into Studio Series/86. Well, with this figure and Studio Series Ravage (Bumblebee movie), we’re moving forward.
Up next are a cluster of Transformers: Legacy reveals. This “little mini collection” includes Sandstorm, Nightprowler, and Buzzsaw! This trio are Wal-Mart exclusives due in March or so, which answers the question of what “fan channel” would host these.
The team also shared some pretty cool information about the deco choices (Buzzsaw’s wings are color sprayed onto clear wings rather than cast in clear plastic, and an early copy of Buzzsaw had a different shade of yellow on the shoulders) — a neat look into the design process that showed the care that went into each design. (The team also poked a bit of fun at late reveals — prompted by the sudden “reveal” of Kingdom Waspinator in a comparison shot; he was then called Buzzsaw’s “G2 mode” for Generations Selects.)
Speaking of Walmart exclusives… Vintage Beast Wars was up next, as we saw reissues of
Transformers Prime Knock Out Tigatron (in a nice crisp bright white) and Scorponok (in a deco that retains the classic metallic blue but lightens up the black on the body to be closer to the show). These have been sighted in stores, so if this is somehow the first you’re hearing of them, they might be available near you!
Transformers R.E.D. got some love, as again two toys that had made their way to shelves elsewhere were officially shown on the stream: Transformers Prime Knock Out and G1 inner robot cab Ultra Magnus. These will be available on Hasbro Pulse for members today and then on Walmart.com as well.
The toy “reveals” were closed out by a Buzzworthy Bumblebee wave, officially revealing the unmasked, warmer yellow B-127 retool and the more cartoon-colored Kup and Cliffjumper redecos (who are apparently an experiment in having fans decide whether they want clear parts or opaque?).
These streaming events have become the norm over the last couple of years, and under the continuing circumstances have been a bright spot. It’s always good to see the passion and energy in the people handling the brand — who are so invested in their work, and so eager to stay connected to fans.