May 2009 Questions and Answers


  1. Has Hasbro ever considered a subline of Transformers marketed to girls?
    We continually look at opportunities to expand the brand and audience every year.
    Currently at this time though we do not have a "girl" dedicated product line as we see Transformers being for everyone.
  2. The recent Toys R Us exclusive Universe toys (Autobot Countdown and Darkwind) have an amazing number of paint applications, with many many parts that are completely covered in paint. Are these parts using the same "mask and overspray" method, just several times over (one spray for the flat part of the tire, two or three more to get the rounded side, etc), or is there some other process that doesn't take up more spaces in the allotment of paint applications?
    We have a number of different processes for applying our deco in our arsenal. Depending on the desired effect we might have to apply more paint on a toy in certain areas to achieve our design vision. In the end, applying deco still comes down to using paint masks and oversprays.
  3. During Energon and Cybertron, it was revealed at one point that freelancer artists were brought on to design one or both modes of a toy, and sometimes to flesh out the mechanical detailing of some designs. Is this practice still in use, or have things been consolidated under Hasbro's roof since the design work on the 2007 movie toys began?
    Many of the designs are done in house and through our entertainment partnerships to come up with the best character and toy designs. While in years past we might have farmed out a bunch of the work, the size of the team has grown substantially over the past few years and has thus changed how we handle the work versus previous years.

Thanks to ASM staffer Matt Karpowich for compiling this round of questions!
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Here are questions that other websites asked this month.

  1. With Revenge of the Fallen toys hitting stores any day now, are there any planned exclusives based on Universe molds for us to look forward to in 2009? Those exclusive AllSpark figures for Wal-Mart a couple of years back were pretty awesome, we'd love to see more of that.
  2. Forgive us if this has been asked and we missed it, but we noticed that Takaratomy's Henkei line has both a "Legends"-scale Cliffjumper and a deluxe-sized Red Alert, which was a really cool revised version of Sideswipe. Are these going to be exclusive to Japan or is there a chance of them showing up in the US?
  3. Given the interest in die-cast metal, are there any plans to do any metal versions of Revenge of the Fallen characters, be it Titanium, Masterpiece, or something else entirely?
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  1. With the new movie, there are 2 main line toy systems for the Constructicons, one which turns from vehicles into individual robots, and another which converts vehicles directly into the combined robot mode. However, based on Hasbro info, neither system is "complete", one system does not combine, while the other doesn't have individual robot modes. Obviously, you guys know how to make combiners after 25 years of it. So what is the real reason behind this choice? And will there be a reversal of this decision down the line?
  2. Not exactly toy-related, but could you share any insight on the origin of some of the more "unusual" character names from Transformers: The Movie? Most follow the rather straightforward conventions we've seen before (like Blurr, Hot Rod, Wheelie, Scourge), and Kup appears to be short for "pickup," but some are puzzlers. Is Springer named after Frank Springer, the late artist who drew the original Marvel miniseries (before if became a monthly)? What is an "Arcee"? Why is a zombie spaceship with no wind-based powers "Cyclonus"? And why the prefix "Galva-" in "Galvatron"?
  3. In the last few years, a cottage industry has cropped up around Transformers collecting that lets consumers upgrade their TFs. Although the starts were murkier material, lately we've seen higher and higher-quality projects come to life, from sticker overhauls to add-on parts to important accessories, and more all made by the fans, for the fans. How does Hasbro feel about all the fan-made accessories such as the fansproject Classics Ultra Magnus upgrade kit, or the Lukis Bros' Animated Allspark?
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  1. With the success of the new GI Joe Resolute online animated shorts is there a chance that Transformers will receive a similar treatment, possibly in a more "G1" style?
  2. Are there any cross promotional plans with Shout! Factory in the works for the G1 DVDs? For instance a DVD and G1 Classic figure combo pack?
  3. Can you give us some insight into the future of the Animated line and what might come after TF Animated in terms of both toys and cartoon?
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  1. My big questions is "Since Transformers Animated has itís last season on the Cartoon Network, Is there any chance it gets picked up on the channel that Hasbro/Discovery have formed?"
  2. I read a while ago that the Henkei versions of Thrust and Dirge will be used for the Classics 2.0 line in the future. Is this still in the works or has the idea been shelved?
  3. Will any of the Titanium prototypes in 2007 like Bumble Bee (War Within), Cosmos, Arcee or Shockwave ever be used? For example the Target exclusive Titanium line or the Universe Classics line?
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  1. How long is the ROTF line scheduled to run? While there may not yet be a concrete end date yet, is there product slated through Christmas '09 or even Spring of '10? When it ends, will we see a return to Animated and Universe, or something new?
  2. Is there a difference between obscure characters and brand new characters to the Hasbro design team? Do Hasbro's toy designers prefer to have complete freedom in designing a toy (or repainting an existing one) to make a brand new character or the challenge of modernizing the appearance of an old character (either through a new mold or repaints) while still keeping it recognizable as being the same character?
  3. Transformers fans have noticed that a number of the recent secondary and tertiary retail store exclusives have been prior figures in new packaging. For an example, there are the Cybertron Scouts in Universe packaging. Why is this done? Is it excess/leftover stock simply put into new packaging, or new stock manufactured solely for the re-release?
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Cool Toy Review

  1. Universe/25th Superion and Bruticus vs Movie2 Superion and Bruticus- so are these going to see release stateside and if so in which line? We have seen pictures online of these sets in both packaging styles but the Universe/25th sets continue to pop up at online auction from Asian sources. Please, please, please can we get these released in the states in the 25th/Universe packaging?!?
  2. In the past, we have learned that Hasbro's Star Wars team's stance on re-releasing high demand exclusives was to wait until @ one year after the last available stock is sold to offer the exclusive again. Is this the Transformers team's rule as well? If so, can we please get the three 2007 Botcon seekers (Thundercracker, Thrust and Dirge) re-released in some form or another? I'm pretty sure the demand is there for these three. Maybe as a box set store exclusive or as a HTS exclusive Universe "Black Box" Special Edition wave 2? Even if some minor paint tweeks were done to differentiate them from the Botcon editions (like Classics Starscream vs Universe Starscream) I think a move like this would make a TON of Classics/Universe fans VERY happy. If it is Botcon agreement that is keeping this from happening, please ask the Star Wars team to Jedi mind trick the Botcon organizers to let this happen.
  3. Since the last wave of G1 robot heroes have been canceled (Victory Saber vs. Dessarus, Optimus Primal vs. Jetstorm, Prowl vs. Laserbeak, and Ricochet vs.Predaking) will we see these after the movie waves? Any chance these could be released online though I really think that these packs worked well for the 25th anniversary as they represented different parts of G1 and G1 continuity... it would be a shame not to see them this year.
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  1. Is there anything planned for the Transformers brand in the next year that doesn't involve the movie in any way?
  2. How much will the popularity and success of the ROTF Supreme Devastator set influence the inclusion of Combiners in future lines? Will we continue to see combiners that don't include individual robot modes?
  3. Will the Target exclusive Shockwave and Sunstorm sets see a Canadian release?
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  1. Will newly-introduced Transformers Animated characters from Season 3 such as Rodimus Prime or Strika be produced for the toyline?
  2. Do you ever check out fan forums like, for customization ideas?
  3. Can we expect to see a "Premium" figure series in the upcoming movie line similar to the line from the 2007 film?
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  1. Some Transformers toys have very complex transformations. Is there an ideal level of complexity that the design team aims for, based on factors such as line and price-point? Are there examples of toys having been significantly revised or canceled for being too complex or difficult to execute, or for being too difficult for the market? Along similar lines, are there any toys the design teams are especially proud of for their significant yet satisfying complexity?
  2. Among the fans, there are a few theories about this next one, so we figure we should just get it cleared it up once and for all. Why did the techspecs change the term "Firepower" to "Fireblast" a few years ago? The former not only was around since the inception of the line, but is a real and descriptive word, while the latter enjoys neither standing. Was there a concern that parents might not like the idea of their kids playing with toys that have "firepower" despite some figures bristling with cannons, or was it something else?
  3. Retailer exclusives have become a growing part of the Transformers brand over the last few years, with more repaints, multi-packs, and even whole sub-lines showing up at specific retail chains. Heck, the roll-out for the 2007 movie line featured a major tie-in with Target. Could you give an overview of the process behind designing store exclusives?
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  1. Will we see a Transformers series in the vein of GI Joe Resolute? With the recent announcement of the Hasbro and Discovery Kids joint venture there will likely be great opportunities for new Transformers animation.
  2. How does Hasbro view custom fan-produced upgrade kits (City Commander Armor, Shadow Commander Armor, etc) and add-ons (Another War God Sword, Aerial Team Appendages, etc) for Transformers figures? Particularly with FansProject apparently moving into producing full, transforming figures that are based heavily on Transformers characters, is Hasbro largely accepting of these projects or might they be vulnerable to legal action in the future?
  3. Is it possible that Universe (or something like it celebrating characters from all of Transformers' history) will return down the road? If so will any Transformers Animated characters be incorporated into the line?
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  1. Given the advances in toy design over the last twenty years, if you could go back in time and impart one piece of knowledge to the Transformers design team of the 80s, what would it be?
  2. Transformers Universe Overload is a redeco of Cybertron Defense Scattorshot in shades of green and brown, which makes him look a lot like the Generation 1 Micromaster Flak. But his bio makes him out to be the character Overload from the Unicron Trilogy, who the toy does not resemble in any way. What led to this peculiar combination of toy and bio?
  3. In June 2007, Hasbro subsidiary Wizards of the Coast released the first series of the Transformers 3D Battle-Card Game (whose website is still functioning at ). This was followed by the first expansion set, "Energon Wars", in October 2007. There were rumors of a second expansion set, supposedly exclusive to Target stores, which was canceled before anything was revealed about it. Was a second expansion set ever actually in development by WotC, and if so, can any light be shed on it, character or concept-wise?
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