15 Years of BotCon - 10 Years for Me
(griffin's 2008 BotCon report)



Saturday 1pm (2hours) - Hasbro Product Panel

Hasbro Design and Production People on the panel:
Mike, Greg Lombardo, Aaron Archer, (someone I didn't catch the name of), Bill, Forest Lee. (photo below is from the BotCon website)

This is the presentation each year that fills out the panel room, and fortunately the preceeding panel finished late, so they didn't kick everyone out because I had a great seat.

First half was a slide show of future product, and some items were added to the Hasbro display in the Dealer room after this panel.

2007 Movie.
US$700 million worldwide Box Office takings.
#1 DVD in US for 2007.
#1 Action Figure Toy Brand in US (For first time since Beast Wars I think).

Animated.
National US toy launch June 22 (of the nine items that saw an advance release in Cincinnati for the convention). Full line launch in US in August, including full Season 1 on DVD.

Animated toys shown (All Autobots, all for September release)
Deluxe 'Sentinel Prime' (offroad vehicle)
Deluxe 'Swoop' (pteradactyl)
Deluxe 'Elite Guard Bumblebee' (black/gold recolour)
Leader 'Ultra Magnus' (Armed Truck)

Universe.
A generic label now to encompase all existing storylines except Animated and Movie lines.

Toys shown:
Deluxe Autobot 'Ironhide' (red SUV) Oct.
Deluxe Autobot 'Sideswipe' (red Sunstreaker with NEW HEAD) Oct.
Ultra Autobot 'Silverbolt' (jet with electronics) Aug.
Ultra Decepticon 'Stormcloud' (black/purple recol of Powerglide) Sep.
Legends Decepticon 'Megatron' (G2 green tank) Aug.
Legends Autobot 'Autobot Jazz' (G1 race car) Aug.
Robot Heroes Transmetal Megatron Vs Silverbolt (Beast Wars) Oct.
Robot Heroes Kickback Vs Ironhide (Gen1) Oct.
Robot Heroes Thrust Vs Blaster (Gen1) Oct.

US Exclusives for second half of 2008.
SDCC July:
Voyager Decepticon 'Nemesis Prime' (black recolour of Classics Optimus).
Titanium 6inch Decepticon 'Skywarp' (recolour of War Within Starscream).

Walmart Sept:
Deluxe Autobot 'Breakaway' (Cyb Hotshot coloured as Gen1 Getaway).
Deluxe Decep 'Fracture' (Classics Mirage coloured as Gobots Crasher with white).
Deluxe Decep 'Crankcase' (Cyb Cannonball coloured as Gen1 Crankcase).

Target Nov (Voyager + Deluxe 2-pack with Comic) :
Voyager Autobot 'Springer' (Cyb Evac) Vs
Deluxe Decepticon 'Ratbat' (Cyb Sideways).
Voyager Decepticon 'Dirge' (Cyb Starscream) Vs
Deluxe Autobot 'Roadbuster' (Cyb Defence Hotshot).

(not shown, but were in the display case)
2 Universe Legends 5-packs.

Leadership Team:
Hotspot (Cyb Optimus recolour)
Silverbolt (Cyb Thundercracker recolour)
Scattershot (Cyb Vector Prime recolour)
Hungrr (Cyb Scourge recolour)
Razorclaw (Cyb Leobreaker recolour)

Aerial Rivals:
Blades (Cyb Evac recolour)
Skydive (Cyb Jetfire recoloured in G2 Skydive blues)
Airraid (Cyb Soundwave recoloured in Cyberjet Airraid colours)
Thrust (Cyb Starscream recolour)
Ramjet (Cyb Starscream recolour)

Kmart Sept.
A Minicon 12-pack of Classics recolours. (wasn't on screen long enough, but the names were revealed later, and is listed on the Hasbro display page)

Toys R Us Titanium 6inch Sept.
War Within Prowl.
War Within Grimlock.
(only being done because the moulds were completed before line was axed. The famous four prototypes never had moulds constructed, so still won't be done at this time.

25th Anniversary 1984-2009.
Celebrating all eras, not just Gen1. They will have a Universe styled packaging.

- Gen1 Optimus Prime (reissue) with comic (Marvel issue 1), DVD (More than meets the eye), and soundbox shaped as an autobot symbol with Peter Cullen quotes. Thanksgiving (late Nov) 2008.
- Deluse Hound with Ravage (new moulds, but Hound is a G1 jeep and Ravage is a G1 cassette, that should be able to fit inside G1 Soundwave)
- Deluxe Cyclonus with Nightstick (Targetmaster) (new moulds)
- Deluxe Cheetor (first version) (new mould).
- Legends Brawn (new)
- Legends Beachcomber (new)

Robot Heroes Cheetor Vs Tankor (Beast Machines)
Robot Heroes Optimus Vs Megatron (RID)

At this time, Hasbro transcribed a statement that was shown on the slide show, saying that they are totally against it and will persue people over it (didn't stop at least 6 toy dealers at the cionvention selling new Knockoffs).

----
Questions.

Masterpiece Thundercracker is a maybe, as it remains on their list of possible future ides.

Attacktix is on hiatus until further notice. They would like to keep doing something with it, but not at the moment.

Sari toys and other human characters - is actually on the top of their consideration list, mostly due to the unexpected popularity of Sari in Animated from the girls demographic.

Still no plans to use the four Titanium prototypes revealed last year, because the moulds were never made.

Alternators are also still on hiatus until further notice.

Transformers Robot Heroes line could be expanded like the other 'Heroes' Figurine lines by Hasbro.

Combiners are out for the foreseable future due to their design difficulty.

Chevy Aveo Swerve - GM wanted a promo giveaway toy in Europe, but Hasbro didn't have any available moulds to recolour to fit the product's needs. So they created one just for GM, to be given away and never to be sold. Hasbro doesn't actually have a license to produce these for release to the general market (because they have a replica car mode), but would like to aquire the rights sometime in the future.

GI Joe and the Transformers will not be seeing a crossover, at least for the next few years, because they don't want to confuse the general public while there are movie toys for both franchises out there.

Cybertron Cartoon Series Boxset to be released by Paramount around September. Good chance of it being released here because Paramount are an international distributor. No plans for Energon at this time though, which would be the only Western Transformers show left to be released on DVD.

Their comment on why they are now producing so many recolours - they want to offer a variety of product and don't expect any fan to buy everything.

No plans to release the BotCon 2007 Classic Seekers, even though the 'Seeker Recolour' concept is the easiest one for them to pad out a product line.

As with recent years, a trio of Takara designers were present at BotCon this year, and pointed out by the Hasbro people to the audience.
 


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griffin @ otca.com.au

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