Unicron.com report from BOTCON 2007
David Kaye and Hasbro "Future Products Panels."
Even more than most other years, 2007 brought some of the best, most informative guest panels we had ever seen. Check out a few clips, to the left David Kaye talks about what talents to hone if you're trying to earn a living as a voice actor. Short clip, ~ 1 minute.
This next video is outstanding! It's longer than the previous video (6 minutes, 15 seconds) but much better!
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My brother (obsidian) asked the question, "Can you name the actors who do voices in Transformers: Animated and the characters they play?"
Way more than most panels, we learned things about the series then we had ever heard before.
Jeff Bennis (Jonny Bravo) plays Ultra Magnus and Prowl
Tara Strong (Bubbles, on Powerpuff Girls) plays Sari a human girl
Tom Kenny (Sponge Bob) Sari's father, Starscream, Constricticons a bunch of characters
Corey Burton, played Spike in the G1 original series, "Holy $#!+, what're we gonna do now?!" plays Megatron. Bumper Robinson...(sp?) Bulkhead? Wierd Al Yankovich! Plays a garbage truck! Fred Willard (sp?) John Mochitta, played Blurr in the G1 series AND in Transformers Animated! Bill Lamar, comedian extrordinare plays Jazz
| Okay, so in order to make things interesting, we're going to, 'cheat' a little bit. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures at the Hasbro, "Future Products Presentation." Fortunately, we were allowed laptops and I've become pretty good at taking fast notes. Exact quotes are often included below (for as often as I could type fast enough!) To accompany the report, we are mirroring images originally posted and hosted on ActionFigs.com, HERE. Okay, without further adieu, the Hasbro presentation... |
They began their presentation by outlining the remaining toys based on the Michael Bay film. Transformers movie toys in 2008 will have the subtitle, "ALLSPARK POWER." The Allspark has/had the power to create Transformers and give additional powers… redecos and new molds.
“Incinerator” the Osprey. Charcoal and lighter grey w/ blue accents… awesome voyager. Allspark Power Landmine the Sector seven dune buggy. The black caddy “Stockade” looked great, an Autobot. Desert attack Brawl redecko, Leader class Brawl, notice it has “X” through Autobot symbols on the side. Cool, a nice touch. Nightwatch Optimus Prime blue/grey. New Robot heros Galvatron, Cheetor, BW first Meg and Blitzwing(?)
They were asked, Should we do larger bonecrusher, should we do the (Mountain-)"Dewbot"… Possibly, it all depends upon how well the film does and what the market demands. So, I guess the answer is, if we want a transformable Mountain Dew vending machine, start demanding! :) They mentioned that what they showed is not necessarily all movie related figures. Stay tuned!
2008 will also include a continuation of Classics:
2008 will also include a continuation of Classics:Sunstreaker and Sideswipe and crowd erupts! There will be a lot of interest in Transformers. A continuation of realistic toy look. They're going to be launched with the subtitle, “Transformers Universe" and deluxe scale. These are not licensed vehicles.
| Hasbro Panel at Botcon || below, pix of slides from San Diego ComicCon, |
| Early development They do not have the same chest. Octane Triple changer aircraft carrier fuel tanker and Marcelo Mateire more triple changers. Slowly they’re going to get every triple changer available, deluxe scale. Also looking at adding Ultra scale Classics. 2 segments for fall 2008 Transformers Animated Transformers Universe; Animated will also have spin off items like cyberstompin, cyberslammers. Universe line is more like unlicensed but realistic vehicles of characters we know. G1 style guys. |
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Then, we got to see what many had been waiting for! a sneak peak of Transformers Animated. Early looks. This is a partnership between Hasbro and Cartoon Network. "They have been a great partner in bringing this to life… One of the problems with previous Transformers series, is, they were mostly played and s only on at 5-6am. It’s been too long since Transformers have had a good time slot. Now Transformers will be everywhere on CN a whole new look on Transformers. Hasbro has been very involved w/ development.
Having heard many of the fan concerns, "I wouldn’t worry about this as much as you have been..." We’ve bee working toward this for 2-3 years. This line/series is the culmination of many things, hopes and wants for Transformers and the franchise.
Presentation agenda: whatis all about? Outline style/tone of the story. Show off a few of the toys! Talk about the future of Transformers and what’s it all about
Cartoon will debut in 2008 with 3 episode mini-movie debuting in December. The production has been brought back to US. Partnership w/ CN. Very new style and tone for Transformers animation. Goal was to make relatable stories and characters. New possibilities with the toys.
Theme: DON’T LOSE TRADITON, BUT MOVE WITH THE TIMES!
A lot of talent behind this project. All the producers at CN are huge HUGE fans of transformers. Among core characters, they wished to devirsify skill sets. Not just G1 but G1 better. More everyday kind of stories. The working name for the project was Transformers Heroes, going forward is Transformers animated.
Style and tone of the story: It's “Set on earth in the near future in
Writing styleEpisodes does tie into an overall seasonal arc. 52 episode of Armada… too confusing. Smaller cast of bots w/ significant character development for each individual character… More like it was in the Beast Wars days. Very Action driven show. You will be amazed just like on boards when you see stills doesn’t do justice to the final product. Transformers have super powers like back in the G1 days Hound and Mirage. Our hereos will battle human super villains and Decepticons. Yes, there will be Decepticons. Unlike previous series, Decepticons are much more of a threat, “when they do show up it’s like oh, my god, you'll know it! It lessens the threat when Decepticons never win in previous series. Animated will be more dramatic, with Decepticons who enter and go to new lengths of villany."
Artistic style: Highly stylized and fluid animation, simplified look will lend itself to more to target audience. More energetic and expressive bots. During cybertron series, bots looked good but their faces couldn’t be expressive enough. This will be easier to empathize because you can see what they’re feeling. Characters have grown from Mechanical to emotive designs. Will include familiar and new charactersi
Realistic and stylized transformations. "While I cannot deny there is one tazmanian devil transformation, they’re not all that way." You’re really going to see them transform. We were then shown model sheets from CN Autobots: Optimus Prime. "Oh, and yes, you’ll meet all the Transformers in their pre-earth cybertronian style, alternater modes!"
Core characters include: GREAT looking truck Optimus Prime. "Toys willl be available of all characters seen in the series." Has trailer sometimes seen with it, sometimes without it. Bumblebee, Awesome He’s the youngest member earth friendly. Bulk Head he’s our big strong guy. He’s like the Thing from Fantastic four big wrecking ball. Neat truck cool. Prowl, resident ninja, he’s really smartest a nature freak. Ratchet, medic a veteran. There are connections to the film, although not a direct connection, like line on side of ratchet... and Dinobots! Grimlock Awesome! (Crowd goes wild!)
... and Decepticons: Megatron like a hybrid between movie and G1 big arm canon. By the end of the series he’ll look 'different.' Starscream, awesome forward facing wings as jet same as he’s always been. "Very Chris Latta like voice. Tom Kenny does a great Starscream." Blitzwing a triple changer! Tank and jet finally had a way to get still a triple changer but he has personality quirk he also has a split personality! He’ll have different faces. He’ll have different faces a triple changer. Lugnut, the big Decepticon, loyal to Megatron. Whereas Bulk Head is the thing, he's it the incredible hulk. A very over the top character, believes everything Megatron says. Black Arachnia! A Decepticon, spider, a cell animated version of the Transmetal 2 self and color scheme. A villain you would really care for. Much character development here.
Capt. Fanzone, Sari girl and Isaac Sumdac. "They’re in the story, it’s cool, trust me! Her interaction w/ the robots is nothing like it has been in the previous 3 shows… It’s nothing like the little human sidekick telling the giant robot what to do."
Human super villans: Here is a guy that looks like the guy sitting next to me, “The Angry Archer!” (referring to Transformers Design Director, Aaron Archer, everyone laughs.) "They're not your’re typical Dr Archiville, types. They can run really fast other just look really good in a pimp suit."
We then saw the ships including, Ark
We then saw the ships including, Arkexterior. Nice. Heavily inspired by G1 this is one of those things. Inside the bridge of the ark. Nemesis interior. AWESOME! Scale difference between this thing Nemesis is much bigger than
Detroit, of the future Looks GREAT! Building looks like a sparkplug. Instead of manufacturing cars here they ‘re manufacturing robots. Sumdac tower interior.
What will the toys look like? Toys developed at the same time as animation, unlike previous 3 shows. Toys first then animation. Here at the same time. Takara has been great. Animation style allows us to show more personality w/ each character. They want toys to be 90%+ animation/toy accuracy. New, unique sculpting style.
"No more full-line toy gimmicks. Now, transformation is the feature." (Crowd goes crazy!)
Signature weapons and poses – attitude and stance! à AWESOME. Highly posable better than we’ve done in the past. We’ll be able to convey more attitude and style. Deluxe and voyager. Stylistic sculpting characters face. Faces match up very well stance just like animation, phenomenal Bumblebee and Bulk Head Remarkably looks just like animated look! Amazing… They were really amazing truly. Awesome, Bulk Head really has same stance and body proportions that you cannot imagine. Never seen anyting like it in Transformers before. An organic look w/ stylistic stances FULLY posable. Grimlock
Early 3D work on Grimlock Autocad drawing big lower jaw. Starscream Cybertronian. Vehicle mode is a vertical take off and landing cybertronian vehicle. Lugnut and Blitzwing, equally impressive. Character art. Beautiful. Both voyager size. "Blackarachnia toy. Beautiful I was playing w/ this toy like every day. SO posable and phenomenal! said designer.
The future: Working on seasons 2 already. More familiar and new characters. Possibility of Season 3 and 5 desire to create brand new characters. Cameos by G1 favorites. Each season is 13 episodes.
We see only part of the character list. More to come we’ll see how things go but Hasbro/CN/Takara hope to make it 3-4 Roll the “sizzle.” Small crew of Autobots. The Allspark is part of the story. Looks like matrix shaped cube. Optimus w/ axe, Megatron w/ sword. Strong characters much character development and a lot of heart. A new look and new feel for transformers. Megatron very menacing and stylized. The collective fandom of over 1,000+ in the room