Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hasbro Q&A, 3/10/08

UNICRON.COM: To our dismay, we have heard that a decision has been made not to continue Transformers Animated beyond season 3. In our site's 12 year history, we have never heard such an uproar of fan disappointment that a series is coming to an end since this word got out. Over time, we have seen how very difficult it is for a series to be "firing on all cylinders" in the way that Animated does:

* Extremely well written, character driven stories.
* Engages and holds the interest of younger and older fans equally.
* Show accurate toys > among the most ever!
* Colorful, imaginative, iconic characters which incorporate the best facets of Transformers (from Beast Wars to G1, as well as references to Beast Machines and the Unicron Trilogy apparently coming in season 3!)
* A good mix of original characters (ie. Lockdown, Bulkhead, Oilslick, etc.)
* Unique and very recognizable (marketable) character aesthetic, as opposed to the movie line which is so visually complex, it's harder for young viewers to tell characters apart...
* The plotline has been thought out carefully enough that fans can easily imagine how it "fits" in with the rest of Transformers mythology (for those that want to).

I could go on. The point is, that even as much as we loved Beast Wars and the Live movies, THIS series, Transformers Animated, is what we fans have been waiting for, for a long time. Our first question(s) is(/are): Was the decision to not continue Animated beyond season 3 made by Hasbro or Cartoon Network? Why was this decision made? ... We cannot over-emphasize here, fans think you have a good thing going with Transformers Animated and want to see it continue; beyond season 3. Would you please reconsider this decision and extend Transformers Animated through season 4 and beyond? ... Please?!

HASBRO, TRANSFORMERS TEAM: First, thank you for your interest in Transformers Animated! We have been just as excited as our fans about how well this show has caught on! While we cannot discuss the long term vision for the Animated series, we are excited about the upcoming launch of Season 3 in a couple of weeks and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. As for plans post 2009, it is still a little too early to discuss these plans in any great detail.

UNICRON.COM: From what we've seen of Revenge of the Fallen toys at Toyfair 2009, the Transformers design team has taken another quantum leap in engineering and design aesthetics. The sculpting, detail and movie-accuracy of toys like Human Alliance Bumblebee, Leader Class Optimus and the new Starscream look spectacular. Bravo, great job! (It's hard to evaluate the others since we haven't seen the film yet, but they all look great!)

My question is about paint application and plastic colors. Especially for figures like Megatron, where most parts are either light grey or black and tend to look much more 'contrasty' then their on-screen counterparts. Has the Transformers team made improvements to the coloring of toys, such as using the 'paint wash' effect to accentuate the sculpting detail? In particular, I'm noticing the difference seen between these two pictures HERE and HERE. The same toy, looks so different. Hoping the final product looks more like what's seen in the first image. What can you tell us?

HASBRO TRANSFORMERS TEAM: Paint on a Transformer can be more difficult to asign than on other action figures. For example, if you're going to paint a GI Joe, you only have to worry about the human appearance versus having two versions (robot and vehicle). The two modes deco often encompasses much more paint ops to accomplish the deco that we are after. Often times, we'll try and add a mold texture to certain molds to make the plastic appear glossy or matted. Additionally, matching a certain molded color with another piece that is painted the same color is sometimes tricky, but our engineers do a great job of working with our manufacturing facilities to make sure we match up our colors as best we can.

As for the Bulldozer images that you are refering too, these do have slightly different finishes. The in second sample is a factory sample model or "first shot" with the colors cast in their correct colors rather than a painted sample that is in the first image. The final toy will look more like the factory sample versus the original sample. Yellow has always been a tricky color to mold for us but we are getting better at achieving a good color in our molded plastics.

UNICRON.COM: Combiners, we love'm! With the exception of ROTF Devastator, are there any plans for additional combiners to appear in ROTF, Universe or Animated?

HASBRO TRANSFORMERS TEAM: We are happy to see your enthusiasm for Combiners! Combination play has long been a part of the history of the brand and when possible, we have tried to incorporate this into our line. For ROTF, Devastator has allowed us to bring this part of Transformers history to the forefront. In the future, combination play will definitely continue to play a role within the line and we will look for opportunities to revist the great combiner teams from the lore.

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