PASADENA... part 3
(griffin's 2011 BotCon report)
Panelists from left - Eric (Designer), Aaron (VP of creative Development), Rik (Creative Manager - must be new this year, as he used to be with FunPub)
This panel covered Hasbro's planning and story development on their intellectual properties for Transformers.
This began with revealing the 'Haslab', which oversees continuty, works across multiple platforms, works with external and internal partners, acts as 'Brand Steward's and Archivists.
An example of their promo work to retailers, was 'Autobot Alliance' artwork for the store exclusives HA Bumblebee, Scanning Deluxes and the 3-pack of Legends (with Rodimus).
An example of the archived info, was character art for the Stealth Force Leadfoot robot (the Stealth Force toy has no robot mode).
This lead onto the Vault Book (out now in Australia - next month in
We were shown a number of items that didn't make it into the book.
- Actionmasters Mirage, Smokescreen (new mould, not redeco of Prowl), Cliffjumper (also a new mould), Rumble/Frenzy, Blurr.
- A fourth Decepticon Targetmaster jet.
- Gen2 Stunticons artwork
- Megabolt toy on a Beast Machines card (was meant to be in Beast Machines before the line was axed, so ended up in RiD packaging instead)
- Deluxe sized Classics Optimus prototype, which was upsized to be released as a Voyager.
- Gen1 Omega Supreme coloured for a GIJoe release (but never was).
Exodus and Exiles books.
- Exiles picks up where Exodus left off.
- A backdrop of the journey to find the Allspark (ejected in Exodus)
- Optimus is the main character, but many cameos included.
- Rediscover lost colonies & insight into The first 13.
- A new threat to the greater Transformers Universe.
- Artwork shown of three significant characters in Exiles (art is not in the book) - Brimstone (a starseeker, looks like the Cybertron character), Cannonball (also like the Cybertron character), Axor (some elements of the Actionmaster toy).
People at Hasbro (including Aaron) had a brainstorming session about
5 years ago, of this grand plan that is developing into the WFC, Exodus/Exiles,
Each has its own story needs to be dynamic and successful, so may not line up perfectly, but passes the 'squint test'.
Art of six of The first 13 was shown.
These are not being made public, as they are just for inspiration/story purposes.
Each one is an archetype, or foundation element/type for the race of Transformers... like one is a combiner, one is female, one is a beast, etc.
Megatronuns - becomes The Fallen (a firey look)
Alpha Trion - writer of the Covenant of Primus (looks like the Gen1 version)
Liege Maximo - (has a green locust look)
Nexus Prime - the Combiner (doesn't look like it though)
Vector Prime - (the Cybertron form, golden)
Solus Prime - the female, pink, forged the Transformers
(Prima was mentioned, but not shown)
Six others are yet to be revealed.
Everywhere except China will have Jagex's TF:Universe MMOG... Net Dragon is the producer of China's own MMOG.
It is a unique story from modern continuity - TF:Prime with Gen1 influence.
Some characters even have different designs.
We might not see much of this in western circles (but thanks to Hasbro, we'll know what it is if we see it)
They showed artwork of their versions of Hoist (Gen1 looking), Rumble (a red car), Brawn (also a car), Ravage, and some others.
A sample map/level was shown as well.
The MMOG for the rest of the world.
It is browser based. You can design your own characters and choose your faction.
It will have its own online community, and is part of current continuity.
They showed Barricade (as a Government SUV, like Sector 7 used) and Prowl (as a police car).
Universal Studios Hollywood
Transformers The Ride - out Spring 2012 (our Autumn).
It will be a 3D ride, with Video that has four times the resolution of the first two Movies.
Produced by Bay and ILM.
Again, Aaron stressed that they didn't want the fans to be making a mokery of the Hall of Fame concept by having joke characters in future years.
He said if it is taken as a joke, then the whole thing becomes a joke. (I agree)
They showed us some of the character artwork for the different Erectors on the HoF video - a Movie version and an MMOG version.
Animated season 3 on DVD? - not up to Hasbro, but maybe Shout Factory will do it eventually if there is demand.
The first 13 is not a toyline, just a story foundation.
Gen1 Arcee toy? - future toy versions of Arcee will now be inspired
by the Prime/Movie style (motorcycle).
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website (check it out for when and where the next one will be)
Me --> griffin @ otca.com.au