On Thursday, July 21, Hasbro presented its annual Transformers panel at Comic-Con. ASM was present at the panel in the form of Daniel and Amy Lipkowitz, and the following report is based off Daniel’s live comments, the folks at The Allspark, and Phil’s own musings:
Hasbro staff present at the panel were Joseph Kyde, Josh Lamb, Jerri Jivoin, Sarah Carroll, David Kuniz and Hisao Nishimoto.
- 2011 is the most expansive year ever for Transformers
- KRE-O and Rescue Bots items were shown, but everything shown at the panel was seen either at Toy Fair or BotCon; nothing new to report.
- Generations will return with one final wave this fall. Included are two new toys — Junkheap (a red/maroon and yellow Wreck-Gar repaint” and Sky Shadow (a/k/a Black Shadow)
- For Dark of the Moon Deluxe toys, we were shown Air Raid, Armor Top Spin, Dark Steel, Soundwave, Cannon Force Ironhide and Wheeljack. Soundwave has a satellite dish that becomes his shoulder cannon. Wheeljack comes with a lot of tools. This deluxe wave is the last of DOTM for the year.
- In the Human Alliance category, we have Roadbuster with Recon and Soundwave with Laserbeak and Dylan/Mr. Gould
- Next up, we saw Cyberverse, including Legion Class Soundwave and Ratchet with Lunar Rover. For playsets, we saw the Ark, which apparently was Joe Kyde’s project.
- For store exclusives, we saw TRU’s Trans Scan and Masterpiece Rodimus. Target will have deluxe DOTM Elita-1 and the Deluxes we’ve seen on the shelves (Bumblebee, Space Case, and Jazz). We will also have exclusive Twin Twist (in blue) and Leadfoot. Walmart will have their race-car themed deluxes and Optimus Prime. Amazon has Unicron, in a new deco inspired by the 1986 animated movie.
After that, the panel moved into Transformers Prime toys.
- We were shown Voyager Bulkhead, Voyager Optimus, Deluxe Arcee, Deluxe Vehicon, Deluxe Cliffjumper, the Entertainment 3-pack and the SDCC Exclusive Prime in Matrix case.
- In 2012, the focus is all Transformers: Prime. We will see Legion class Bumblebee, Arcee and Wheeljack. We’ll get Cyberverse Commander Ironhide with 2 Energon weapons — cannons with lightpiping.
- In fact, all Cyberverse Commanders will have two Energon weapons. The Legion class will have one Energon weapon.
- Wheeljack’s ship will be a new playset — it will open up to reveal lots of clear parts and lights. The lights can be removed and plugged into Cyberverse Commanders
- Deluxe Soundwave comes with Laserbeak which can perch on his arm; it’s based on the animation model.
- Knockout is also coming, as is Wheeljack. Wheeljack has his faceplate, two swords, and apparently a really nice transformation (only sketch art was shown of that). His swords can mount on his vehicle like tusks.
- In the Voyager class we’re going to get Skyquake and Starscream, the latter of which has a big arm cannon that can light up his arm when attached.
A special guest then came to the stage – Mark Woodbury, President of Universal Creative. He was there to talk about Transformers: The Ride.
- Just like previous Universal rides, Transformers: The Ride is a product of collaboration.
- The ride will be in 3D, a roving motion-based simulator, with 4K projected imagery.
- Michael Bay is a creative consultant; he helped develop the original story for the ride.
- Peter Cullen will voice Optimus, Frank Welker will voice Megatron. There will be half a dozen or more other voice talents from all different forms of Transformers media.
- According to the storyline, there is a NEST outpost in the heart of Universal Studios, which has the last shard of the Allspark. General Morshower has instructed us to protect and relocate the shard. Evac, a blue sports car, is assigned to protect us, when Ravage attacks. Bumblebee then smashes him onto the car hood.
- Optimus Prime is then shown in the streets of Chicago, and he fights Megatron as Devastator looks on. Optimus and Megatron fly through the buildings to the top, and then Optimus asks for our help, [This part is a bit confusing, I know.]
- NEST has a new website which is now live – http://nestneedsyou.com
- Evac will be a Legion class blue tech car and will also have a Deluxe version. It is implied that Evac may be the car we would ride in the TF Ride itself.
It was then time for Questions & Answers.
- Generations is a great segment, and they plan to continue it, as there is so much to build upon.
- Nothing to announce on new War for Cybertron toys.
- They are looking at how to re-release Reveal the Shield and other hard-to-find toys
- Will there be combiners in Transformers: Prime? Ask at the TF:Prime panel
- There will be no Generations Shockwave or Soundwave right now. They are focused on movie styling first, then Prime, then Generations
- There are plans for new DOTM toys in Spring 2012, but no more for 2011.
- Ultimate Prime’s arms are blocky to interact with armor and keep poseability.
- There will be no Beast Wars characters in the ride.
- They hope there will be another movie.
- Human Alliance Soundwave will be on shelves at the end of the year, but there are no plans for redecos of HA Jazz or Barricade.
- They are looking at how to rerelease the last wave of Power Core Combiners as well.
- Will there be other comic-based toys or new Dinobots? Kyde said, “Black Shadow was in IDW.”
- When asked what other characters they wanted to make, Kyde replied, “Swerve.”
- They chuckled when asked about Generations Arcee, and said she’s on the table for a potential re-release. [But wouldn’t she have to be released first before being re-released?]
- Nothing to announce regarding a triple-changer version of Springer
That was it! Keep watching for more SDCC news and pictures!