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New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

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New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby El Duque » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:29 am

Motto: "I ain't got time to bleed!"
Weapon: Gattling Gun
Thanks to Hasbro's online product catalog we have some new official images of the upcoming Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts Cliffjumper, Dead End, Breakdown, Thundercracker, and Silverbolt. Also images of Elite Class Hound and Megatron. Check out the images mirrored below.

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Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their 2 modes! Use the 45 pieces to build your Cliffjumper figure as a robot warrior or combat vehicle. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this 2-in-1 Cliffjumper figure!

Includes 45 pieces and instructions.

Product Features:
· Build this 2-in-1 Cliffjumper figure as a robot or combat vehicle
· Includes 45 pieces
· Convert to the other mode or tear him down and build him again

Scout Class E1:06 Cliffjumper


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Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their 2 modes! Use the 47 pieces to build your Dead End figure as a robot warrior or combat vehicle. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this 2-in-1 Dead End figure!

Includes 47 pieces and instructions.

Product Features:
· Build this 2-in-1 Dead End figure as a robot or combat vehicle
· Includes 47 pieces
· Convert to the other mode or tear him down and build him again

Scout Class E1:07 Dead End

Ages 6 and up


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Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their 2 modes! Use the 45 pieces to build your Decepticon Breakdown figure as a robot warrior or jet. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this 2-in-1 Decepticon Breakdown figure!

Includes 45 pieces and instructions.

Product Features:
· Build this 2-in-1 Decepticon Breakdown figure as a robot or jet
· Includes 45 pieces
· Convert to the other mode or tear him down and build him again

Scout Class E1:08 Decepticon Breakdown

Ages 6 and up


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Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their 2 modes! Use the 39 pieces to build your Silverbolt figure as a robot warrior or jet. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this 2-in-1 Silverbolt figure!

Includes 39 pieces and instructions.

Product Features:
· Build this 2-in-1 Silverbolt figure as a robot or jet
· Includes 39 pieces
· Convert to the other mode or tear him down and build him again

Scout Class E1:05 Silverbolt

Ages 6 and up


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Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their 2 modes! Use the 41 pieces to build your Thundercracker figure as a robot warrior or jet. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this 2-in-1 Thundercracker figure!

Includes 41 pieces and instructions

Product Features:
· Build this 2-in-1 Thundercracker figure as a robot or jet
· Includes 41 pieces
· Convert to the other mode or tear him down and build him again

Scout Class E1:03 Thundercracker

Ages 6 and up.


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Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their 2 modes! Use the 52 pieces to build your Autobot Hound figure as a robot warrior or 4x4 vehicle. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this 2-in-1 Autobot Hound figure!

Includes 52 pieces, storage tray and instructions

Product Features:
· Build this 2-in-1 Autobot Hound figure as a robot or 4x4 vehicle
· Includes 52 pieces
· Convert to the other mode or tear him down and build him again
· Includes storage tray

Elite Class E1:03 Autobot Hound

Ages 6 and up



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Construct! Customize! Convert! The Transformers Construct-Bots come in pieces, and it's up to you to build them in one of their 2 modes! Use the 55 pieces to build your Megatron figure as a robot warrior or tank. Once he's built in one mode, you can either convert to another mode or tear him down and build him again! Build your own Transformers adventures with this 2-in-1 Megatron figure!

Includes 55 pieces, storage tray and instructions

Product Features:
· Build this 2-in-1 Megatron figure as a robot or tank
· Includes 55 pieces
· Convert to the other mode or tear him down and build him again
· Includes storage tray

Elite Class E1:05 Megatron

Ages 6 and up.
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Noideaforaname » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:59 am

PRIME Dead End! But no gaping hole for a mouth...
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Bumblevivisector » Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:18 pm

We finally get a full-grown Prime Breakdown stateside. Whoopie.

I'm used to Prime Dead End's color-scheme and all, but am I the only one who thinks this one looks more like Venom trying to evolve from a cicada into a dragster? That could partly be childhood memories of Insecticons blurring together with my beloved Buddy-L Bug Bots.

Or maybe it's just that so far my only interest in Construct-Bots has extended to guys I could repurpose as characters other than officially intended. Anyone think this Thundercracker would be easier to dye G2 Cybertronian green than scout Starscream, or is the blue just too dark?
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby DecepticonFinishline » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:22 pm

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Prime Dead end was awesome and all.... But.... I miss the G1 color scheme.

Like, seriously. G1 Dead End is the ONLY Transformer I considered painting my car to resemble.
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Scout:
Windcharger (RTS), Dune Runner (HFTD), Beachcomber (ROTF), Brakedown (ROTF), Oil Pan (ROTF), Breacher (HFTD), Crankstart (HFTD), Sky Stalker (ROTF)

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Fallback (RTS), Mindstorm (RTS), Vehicon (FE), Cliffjumper (FE), Ratchet (B.H.), Dreadwing (B.H.), Arcee (B.H.), Knock Out (B.H.), Shadow Strike Bumblebee (B.H.), Prowl (B.H.)

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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Metrosuplex » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:20 pm

Motto: ""Nothing so liberates the heart as when a fool awakens from his folly.""
Weapon: Null-Ray Rifle
For those who collect this line ( :SICK: ), there's a Hasbro $3 off coupon that you can get directly from their Coupon site (don't know when it expires).

I don't get how so many G1 characters appear in these offshoot lines (i.e. Botshots). Is it that Hasbro is desperate to get these to sell? And if so, why would they market these to older collectors, when they've made clear, time and time again, that their core market are children?

I guess I am asking how G1 characters are relevant to kids... But then again, maybe it's about pumping out as many toys as fast as they can, and they just revert to an old list of characters (rather than create a proper cast out of this toyline). :-?
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:18 am

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Metrosuplex wrote:For those who collect this line ( :SICK: ), there's a Hasbro $3 off coupon that you can get directly from their Coupon site (don't know when it expires).

I don't get how so many G1 characters appear in these offshoot lines (i.e. Botshots). Is it that Hasbro is desperate to get these to sell? And if so, why would they market these to older collectors, when they've made clear, time and time again, that their core market are children?

I guess I am asking how G1 characters are relevant to kids... But then again, maybe it's about pumping out as many toys as fast as they can, and they just revert to an old list of characters (rather than create a proper cast out of this toyline). :-?


If a certain character sells well, why replace him? See 1986 and beyond.
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Noideaforaname » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:01 am

I don't see how a character from a 30-year-old cartoon (which, IIRC, is actually on The Hub now) would be any harder to sell to a kid than a new character with no media support. They'd both be unknowns to kids.
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Metrosuplex » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:13 pm

Motto: ""Nothing so liberates the heart as when a fool awakens from his folly.""
Weapon: Null-Ray Rifle
JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:If a certain character sells well, why replace him? See 1986 and beyond.

You missed the entire point of my comment. Sells well to WHO?

AND, you make a big assumption about "selling well = on shelf". See Optimus/BB scenario. :roll:

Noideaforaname wrote:I don't see how a character from a 30-year-old cartoon (which, IIRC, is actually on The Hub now) would be any harder to sell to a kid than a new character with no media support. They'd both be unknowns to kids.

Riiiight.... so then kids are expected to buy random robots with little-to-no-media support? Cause, we've seen how well that's worked for Hasbro over the years... :roll:


Here's my take: these are marketed to G1 collectors/fans, so that they buy them FOR their kids. We've already seen plenty of "my kids love them" comments on here.

Anyway, I find this attitude insipid and disrespectful - are we really just a walking bag of child money to Hasbro? It's a bit obnoxious to roundabout sell toys marketed at us... but not for us. :-?
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Aceoftherebellion » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:56 pm

Motto: "Those that can, do"
Weapon: Energo-Sword
Eh, I think people might be over thinking this. Hasbro has repeatedly referred to transformers as a character brand for a while now, and this is precisely what a character brand is- a constant stream of merchandise and marketing surrounding the same recognizable characters. We can expect to see the same G1 characters show up across any and all brand merchandise for the exact same reason you'd expect disney to constantly put out things with Donald Duck or Warner brothers to continuously produce looney toons merchandise and product lines regardless or whether or not there's a currently running marketing series or not.

After a certain point, you don't actually even necessarily need to have a running cartoon or movie to advertise characters anymore, simply seeing them over and over again as toys or in stores generates the same level of familiarity. That's not a good thing or a bad, per se- especially as we've seen Hasbro has no qualms about introducing new characters or radically reinventing older characters to keep parts of the brand fresh.

That said, for people who are sick of constantly seeing Optimus Prime and Bumblebee everywhere, maybe it's time to just accept that that's the nature of the franchise now. It's probably not even just for 'kid appeal' at this point- that's just what makes the brand recognizable. If anything, that's almost certainly WHY the brand remains as successful as it is.
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Metrosuplex » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:15 pm

Motto: ""Nothing so liberates the heart as when a fool awakens from his folly.""
Weapon: Null-Ray Rifle
Aceoftherebellion wrote:Eh, I think people might be over thinking this. Hasbro has repeatedly referred to transformers as a character brand for a while now, and this is precisely what a character brand is- a constant stream of merchandise and marketing surrounding the same recognizable characters. We can expect to see the same G1 characters show up across any and all brand merchandise for the exact same reason you'd expect disney to constantly put out things with Donald Duck or Warner brothers to continuously produce looney toons merchandise and product lines regardless or whether or not there's a currently running marketing series or not.

Thank you for the thoughtful response. I hope you don't mind if I debate some of those points... :oops:
First of all, I doubt these characters are as "recognizable" as you think. Certainly, when we look at the Disney example, the only reason a kid would recognize Donald Duck is because he's been featured in a NEW CG cartoon. Similarly, I wouldn't expect any kid to recognize, say, Iron-hide, as he hasn't been featured in anything for kids in AGES (or ever, since G1, circa 1984-86). Or did Energon briefly introduce him? :???:
But let's get back to your point of iconic characters selling well (or needing to be sold by their respective corporations): are you completely CERTAIN that Bugs Bunny sells the same as back in the Looney Tunes heyday? I'm not. I'd be willing to make a substantial bet that these "ageless" mascots do NOT, in fact, pull in customers like they used to (especially so if they have no current cartoon, or if said cartoon is unpopular).
Great example is TMNT: the relaunch of 2003 was a complete failure, but the Nickelodeon relaunch is a success. Why? Are these characters timeless and infinitely valuable?
Back to Hasbro, I still assert that these G1 characters mean NOTHING to kids. But I do respect and understand your point - in theory, it is beneficial to shill the same characters, generation after generation. I'm just not convinced that theory = money. :roll:

Aceoftherebellion wrote:After a certain point, you don't actually even necessarily need to have a running cartoon or movie to advertise characters anymore, simply seeing them over and over again as toys or in stores generates the same level of familiarity. That's not a good thing or a bad, per se- especially as we've seen Hasbro has no qualms about introducing new characters or radically reinventing older characters to keep parts of the brand fresh.

In theory, again. But what are the real dollar amounts? Look at FAO Schwartz, for example. They've had some of the most iconic toys and were an iconic brand name. They had a feature movie (1980's BIG), and should have been timeless. But they went bankrupt.
I'm just saying this: brand familiarity is a small part of the equation; it's not the ENTIRE equation. And when you listen to HASBRO MARKETING regurgitate the importance of brand recognition, they're really just spouting marketing THEORY. As I've said, theory is not real world, and I don't believe characters like "Acid Storm" or "Motorbreath" are all that iconic or recognizable - i.e. they do NOT sell well to children (but would presumably sell well to the adults that COULD recognize them). Much in the same way that a GRANDPARENT would buy a MICKEY MOUSE toy/clothes for a grandchild, even if said child did not recognize the icon. It falls on the grandparent to explain the iconic character, but then this is how the toy/clothes are marketed at the adults, NOT the children.

Aceoftherebellion wrote:That said, for people who are sick of constantly seeing Optimus Prime and Bumblebee everywhere, maybe it's time to just accept that that's the nature of the franchise now. It's probably not even just for 'kid appeal' at this point- that's just what makes the brand recognizable. If anything, that's almost certainly WHY the brand remains as successful as it is.

I really don't understand how you think "recognizable" is more important than "sell-able". You can recognize a hooker, for example, if she's been on a corner long enough - it doesn't make you her customer, does it? :roll: TMNT is a great example - the cartoon is popular, so the toys are popular; it's not that the characters are iconic, so the toys sell well, regardless.
You, ironically, are the one who's over-complicating things (with marketing theory and brand recognition nonsense). This is how upstart brands end up DECIMATING the ones that have been around for 50 years - it's about appealing to the NEW GENERATION, not about being a long-term brand people recognize - at least for selling toys to children. Think about it.

You're not incorrect for saying what you said - I feel it doesn't apply as closely to THIS business model as it does to others (but even then, you have stores like HOT TOPIC that are more successful selling to certain markets than the department stores with brand recognition). Anyway, I can't help but feel that you say all of this in defense of Hasbro. I say that because much of what you say sounds like a Hasbro marketing rep direct. :roll: I don't mean to disrespect, but I just want to know you thought about those Hasbro statements and didn't just take them at face value (as so many others seem to). Hasbro is a marketing machine, and they say plenty of stuff that's either unrelated or a complete stretch (about their own brands/products). I've seen what they say, and it's absolute drivel - it's aimed to wow and sucker idiots with marketing terminology like "brand awareness" and "FaceBook fans". Call me an investor: I require ACTUAL NUMBERS, not marketing bullsh*t.

Anyway, I don't think kids recognize the bulk of these Bot Shots, and that they're meant for adult fans to buy for their kids (which I find obnoxious, as Hasbro does not cater much to this segment). You don't have to think about this like I do, and you don't have to agree... but I think it's relevant to throw it out there (for the sake of discussion).

If I were to tell you that the Optimus/BB fetish is driving the brand into the ground, what would you say? That Hasbro doesn't agree? That it's not true because of general financial statements or marketing wizardry? It's important to question the company and raise concerns - how else would you expect Hasbro to even notice the complaints (if no one bothers to question them)?

When I see a BB/Optimus shelf-warming, I don't shrug my shoulders and think, "F*ck, it's not my problem." No, I think, "If this continues, the brand is going to suffer, and adult collectors will be the FIRST to get the shaft (as time has shown over and over again)." And my kids won't be able to enjoy the brand either, because poor business decisions will cause the brand to suffer, and in ways I can only imagine. So yeah, please don't be TOO cavalier about all the BB/Optimi on the shelves - it DOES affect you, whether you want to admit it or not. And keeping quiet isn't going to help anyone. Maybe this is a worthless forum that no one really checks, but maybe enough of these comments appear that even the densest Hasbro executive takes a cue and changes SOME policy. It's either that, OR hope that there's a massive housecleaning that puts new players in charge, who will run a more profitable TF business than the previous tenants. :PRAY:
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Aceoftherebellion » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:36 am

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I don't mind at all, I always enjoy a thoughtful discussion. And I actually absolutely agree that while certain transformers characters I would argue have become instantly recognizable in pop culture (The likes of Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Starscream and Soundwave), most of the classic G1 characters we're really talking about here don't enjoy anywhere near that level of familiarity or popularity (Characters like Cliffjumper, Blitzwing, Wheeljack, etc) and I very much doubt you could stop somebody on the street and have them identify these characters off the top of their heads. What I really mean to imply is that I feel that hasbro is actively trying to achieve the level of recognizably and success other character driven properties enjoy. How successful they've been is debatable, but in that light their marketing decisions make a lot of sense.

As for dollar amounts, while that is the million dollar question (huur hurr) it's also the data that's the hardest to actually gather and correlate, and it's data that takes the longest. Obviously that's their bottom line and those numbers will speak louder than anything else to a company, but in a way companies like hasbro are almost forced to play by theory as stated above. In large scale business the hard numbers would otherwise frequently arrive too late. A lot of big business is more about accurately predicting trends before the actual numbers are in, and as you said with examples like FAO Schwarts, it's very frequently not as successful as one might hope. But that's all business 101 and is probably a little bit too academic/theoretical for our purposes here. Especially since apart from their quarterly profit statements, we on the fandom level will probably never know the real breakdown of where the money comes and goes anyway, haha. That said, my understanding is that investors aren't given much more information than that either.

At any rate, the point I'm trying to make isn't so much that 'recognizable' is superior to 'sellable'- more that to corporate eyes like Hasbro, the two are probably more often than not very much one in the same. It should also be said that to some degree, all toys are marketed secondarily to parents and grandparents to buy for their children based on the simple logical fact that generally there aren't a lot of children who can drive themselves down to wallmart and buy themselves toys with their own paychecks, unless there's been a recent boon in lemonaid stand tycoons I was not previously aware of. The fact that so many adults with young children now grew up with transformers is definitely going to factor into that, and this is really not a bad thing in and of itself. As an adult collector I can definitely say 'boy it sure would be nice if hasbro catered a little more to my tastes sometimes' but I'm also very aware that being such a small portion of hasbro's profit margin, catering too much to my tastes would probably be a about as helpful as a cyanide pill.

But don't get me wrong, I am in no way a hasbro apologist. I love the brand and I've been generally pleased the last several years with how the property has been handled but I'll be the first to agree that they've had just as many fumbles. (Ahem, first edition prime, anybody?) They're also not the only factor involved. Retailers themselves have a lot to answer for when it comes to what product is stocked, when it's stocked, and often times how much of it is stocked. My understanding is that the glut of Optimus and Bumblebees clogging store shelves is a direct response to retailers specifically asking them to pack more of those characters into their assortments because those are the characters that generate the most sales.

Maybe we've reached a point of over saturation, but our ability to speculate as fans is somewhat limited. That's really more what I mean about over thinking things- I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that all of hasbro's moves are entirely deliberate, and taking in any number of factors that we as fans may or may not know anything about. It's true that things are pretty rough for the toy industry right now, with all companies reporting decreases in profits, but that's an industry problem and I find it very unlikely that any of this plays any significant factor overall. My understanding was that Hasbro was still outperforming rival toy companies at any rate, and with a new film on the horizon I find it exceptionally doubtful that the future of transformers is in any real peril any time in the near or foreseeable future.

That said, I also readily admit that I could be incorrect or misinformed on any of the above points, so do feel free to take my long-winded ramblings with the prescribed amount of salt.
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Metrosuplex » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:19 pm

Motto: ""Nothing so liberates the heart as when a fool awakens from his folly.""
Weapon: Null-Ray Rifle
Aceoftherebellion wrote:I feel that hasbro is actively trying to achieve the level of recognizably and success other character driven properties enjoy. How successful they've been is debatable, but in that light their marketing decisions make a lot of sense.

I agree with all of that... but we're talking about two different things, in this case. I'm talking about selling toys to kids, and I argue that they do NOT recognize these toys, so the goal must be to sell them to adults who do.
You're talking about making Optimus sweat shirts and car accessories. If you're selling these things to adults, there's a lot of brand to build (and over time). But when we talk about kids, we're talking about people who are fresh out and into the world. These are not clients you build brand with - case in point, Hasbro makes NO MENTION of adult collectors in most (if not all) of its marketing documents. Well, I guess I am referring to toy buying, as I'm sure they have no issue with mentioning how many adults bought costumes and t-shirts. But again, we're talking about separate things.

Aceoftherebellion wrote:... it's also the data that's the hardest to actually gather and correlate, and it's data that takes the longest. ...In large scale business the hard numbers would otherwise frequently arrive too late. A lot of big business is more about accurately predicting trends before the actual numbers are in...

You make a big assumption by saying it's hard-to-come-by-data! Again, I feel like you're just repeating what a Hasbro rep told you. Is it really SO HARD? I don't think so - there are lots of avenues to gather such data, and if Hasbro is too incompetent to do it on their own, there are also outside companies that can do the work for you. Don't tell me that "difficult data" = "never collected or compiled". I don't buy it. :roll:
Anyway, isn't it possible that Hasbro is misleading you and investors? Maybe they know something and don't want to say it? On the outside, we at least have their quarterly earnings and whatnot (as you mentioned), but they paint a very vague picture, and Hasbro has not done much to clarify it. Accident? Incompetence? Purposeful misleading? Well, I argue the latter - you don't have a great marketing department without the ability to mislead people, too! :roll:
Besides, there should be (by now) plenty of data to tell Hasbro that spamming shelves with Optimi and BB's isn't a sound strategy... and yet? We see at least one BB and Optimi in EVERY TOY WAVE. That's absurd AND incompetent. But they're building a brand? I am asking at what cost. When is it okay to lose money in the short/middle term during a recession and general decline in toy sales? If there's a reason behind this madness, Hasbro may not have the resources or time to see it through. Kids are switching to iPad's and mobile games. Spamming shelves with unsellable junk? I don't get it, and I don't get why it's taking so long to work it out. That $60 Optimus Prime isn't going anywhere this holiday season - a lot of people are going to lose their shirts. And since Hasbro doesn't reimburse for poor sales, it's going to be the B&M stores that lose it. :sad:

Aceoftherebellion wrote:It should also be said that to some degree, all toys are marketed secondarily to parents and grandparents to buy for their children based on the simple logical fact that generally there aren't a lot of children who can drive themselves down to wallmart and buy themselves toys with their own paychecks, unless there's been a recent boon in lemonaid stand tycoons I was not previously aware of.

But then why make toy commercials for kids? The goal is to get kids to bug their parents into going to Wal-Mart. This was so prolific during our childhoods that new standards were created to limit the amount of commercials shown to children. :-B
Aceoftherebellion wrote:but I'm also very aware that being such a small portion of hasbro's profit margin, catering too much to my tastes would probably be a about as helpful as a cyanide pill.

Hasbro is quite vague about how "small" a portion you are. And I've seen more adults buy TFs (without kids) than I've seen kids (in MANY markets, across multiple States). So I don't have hard evidence, but I do see enough of a local trend to really question how many kids are buying these toys. At least with no Summer movie, of course. No doubt, when TF4 hits theaters, the kids will flock to the toys. But who keeps the toyline going in the interim? The kids? :roll:


Aceoftherebellion wrote:Retailers themselves have a lot to answer for when it comes to what product is stocked, when it's stocked, and often times how much of it is stocked. My understanding is that the glut of Optimus and Bumblebees clogging store shelves is a direct response to retailers specifically asking them to pack more of those characters into their assortments because those are the characters that generate the most sales.

I find that hard to believe, when so many retailers are swimming in BB's and Optimi. Where'd you hear that? Hasbro? I mean, you say you're not a Hasbro apologist, but if you don't mind me negating that, I'd point out that "it's the retailers fault, mostly!" is the biggest argument Hasbro apologists use. And I have a hard time believing it because retailers are so incompetent when it comes to the specifics of what sells. Target, for example, sells what? Hundreds of thousands of items? Does it really fall on Target to pay close attention to which TF characters are popular enough to sell? No! It falls on Hasbro! Just as the look of store displays and packaging appearance falls on Hasbro! The stores DO have a say, certainly, but I think Hasbro puts too much of the blame on the stores (or the fans do, as I don't know who started this whole, "let's yell at the stores for being stupid!" argument).
At the end of the day, Target can reduce their orders because this crap won't sell. How does it help anyone to say it's Target's fault? No, I say Hasbro needs to do a better job of explaining and helping these stores stock better. They need more variety in their waves, and if the Optimus/BB fetish DOES come from retailers, they need to be the first to suggest it's a bad idea to put that much product on the shelf at once, when a little more variety would sell better. Personally speaking, I think Hasbro is slow and dumb, relying too heavily on their "Mickey Mouse".
Aceoftherebellion wrote:I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that all of hasbro's moves are entirely deliberate, and taking in any number of factors that we as fans may or may not know anything about. It's true that things are pretty rough for the toy industry right now, with all companies reporting decreases in profits, but that's an industry problem and I find it very unlikely that any of this plays any significant factor overall. My understanding was that Hasbro was still outperforming rival toy companies at any rate, and with a new film on the horizon I find it exceptionally doubtful that the future of transformers is in any real peril any time in the near or foreseeable future.

Too much faith in the system, my friend. Look at it from a more realistic point of view: Hasbro is fat and thus, lazy. As a company grows, you will find much of the day-to-day operations run themselves - this means less innovation and more spamming of age-old, time-tested tricks and practices. It's very likely, at this point in time, that Hasbro is too large to notice the ticks on its back. And it's these very ticks that will drain the lifeblood of the brand. Don't believe me? Try not rolling your eyes at the tenth iteration of an Optimus toy. Or maybe buy one of the BB plastic toys that have no articulation and do not transform (large, "detailed" chunks of plastic). This kind of crap merchandise dilutes a brand over time, and often in subtle ways. Certainly when I go to Disney World today, I do notice how much the quality of merchandise has decreased - it's not an intangible thing that is imperceptible to the common consumer. Hasbro decreases the toy size, hollows out the toys, AND increases price. You really think no one notices? Or that it does NOT affect consumer buying behavior? :roll:
Yes, the movies will sell toys: kudos to Michael Bay. But the overall profit figures for Hasbro during non-movie years are depressing, to say the least. You can count on Hasbro losing money (or more accurately, declaring lower profits) during any non-movie year: this is NOT good news. This does not speak volumes of how great the company is: it does the opposite, proving how fragile the TF brand is, as it will rubber band between high and low almost instantly. And that kind of rubber-band behavior is not good investment news: the movies will lose steam over time, and Hasbro needs stronger sales that don't rely on a movie. Otherwise, one big movie flop and we're talking MAJOR LOSSES FOR THE COMPANY. And then, mark my words, you'll see some slashes: more job cuts, toy quality reductions, price increases, etc. Once that happens, and when you compound the situation with idiotic decisions like spamming Optimi, we're talking about a bad downward spiral that can knock a good company on its @$$. I'm not saying they go broke (Hasbro has tentacles in other areas, after all), but the logical decision at that point is to either cut TF from the portfolio or (more likely) let the soil go fallow for a few years (as what happened to the Star Trek series on TV). You really shouldn't have so much confidence in Hasbro, just because they used to do things right. If they take too many wrong turns... well, I'm sure you know what happens when you end up in a bad part of town! ;)
Long story short, I grow concerned when product does not move during non-movie years. I guess I have no REAL idea of ACTUAL NUMBERS, but then seeing said numbers would make me feel a lot better. As it stands, I'm concerned, and I'm shocked the rest of you are not. The movie toys, IMO, are crap - a lot of people hate how complex they've become and they have turned away a lot of kids/parents. I hope they make the next batch more approachable to new fans, as I'm sure that kind of crap cuts into the profits. But hey, let's just see what happens in May, 2014, right? Let's see if it's new toys from a wiser Hasbro, or the same crap, with 2-3 Optimi and BB each per wave! :lol:
Aceoftherebellion wrote:That said, I also readily admit that I could be incorrect or misinformed on any of the above points, so do feel free to take my long-winded ramblings with the prescribed amount of salt.

I thank you for your thoughtful response and want to assure you that quoted facts/numbers mean little in this speculation. Whatever numbers you could come up with are subject to cross-reference and criticism. Like I said, we have Hasbro marketing info, but that's largely bullsh*t that does not acknowledge actual sales figures. So... yeah, feel free to express your opinion and share your thoughts. We might not agree, but I'm happy to learn more about your viewpoint, and I'm often swayed more toward the middle when I hear disagreeing points of view. "The wise learn more from fools than fools from the wise." :BOWDOWN: :grin:
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Metrosuplex » Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:53 am

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Incidentally, there's a bigger reason we see so many G1 characters in Bionicle TF's and Bot Shots - TRADEMARK RETENTION.

We know Hasbro lost the Bumblebee TM, and that was due to none-use of their original TM, right? Well, guess what: these cheap Bot Shots are the perfect way to fulfill the use requirement WITHOUT HAVING TO MAKE A FULL DELUXE FIGURE!

Hence, I put forth this argument: Bot Shots are preventing proper representations of beloved G1 characters. If not for Bot Shots, we might see some of these as proper deluxes or voyagers. :-(
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Aceoftherebellion » Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:56 am

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I would argue that trademark retention and an increased focus on a smaller and more specific pool of classic characters with more overall material are part of the same coin and reflect the same intention on Hasbro's part. In what is purely my own opinion, this pleases me, as I'm thrilled to see old favorites resurfacing and gaining all this new material. I had no intention personally to buy any construct-bots merchendise but I was almost tempted simply by what I (as an adult collector) immediately say as an 'all star lineup', although again as I am not a small child that's neither here nor there. I will say that they've probably been more successful than you might expect, though. I don't have children of my own, but some of my old college friends do and I had to say, it was a lot of fun finding out that one of my best friend's three year old daughter is quite the fan of the cartoons and got a pretty big kick talking about favorite character and finding that she DID recognize a lot of them, thanks to the Hub Network's airing of the series, including G1. That much is of course strictly anecdotal and one (very cool) little girl might not actively reflect children at large, but it does at least show that even very young children do seem to care.

As for the hard data, of course Hasbro is collecting as much information and as many numbers as they possibly can, because that's their livelihood. All I mean to say is that it's not a hard and dry science and that relative outsiders (fans, investors, people on the street) are typically (sometimes intentionally) kept out of the look on that a lot of the time. As far as what any specific hasbro rep has to say about it, I honestly have no idea. Whatever insight I have mostly stems from attempting to minor in business back in college- I.E., it's a very broad and quite possibly flawed interpretation.

That said, retail giants like (especially) wallmart are fairly well known to have a major influence on production of all goods, transformers being one small element of that influence. It's an entirely different discussion not appropriate for this message board, but the simplified version is that many stores like Wallmart have based their entire business model on taking a strong-arm stance with goods manufacturers in so far as having very specific and rigid demands on which items to make and how much of it to make and at what price point, using their size as position as some of the world's largest retailers to essentially bully companies into compliance. To my knowledge hasbro has never directly complained about these practices(and would be foolish to do so and risk a conflict of interest), but it has an extremely significant impact on what you actually see at retail. It should also be noted that Takara does not face these restrictions do to the difference in how business is conducted overseas, and we see the results of this constantly when you compare takara and hasbro product. But that's also an entirely different conversation. The long and short of this is simply that Hasbro isn't the only cook in the kitchen when it comes to what you actually see on the retail shelf.

In that area I will actually agree with you that these policies aren't exactly good for hasbro and the brand, as big block stores have little interest in hasbro's long term profits as they're mostly out for their own pocket books. A sad example of exactly what you're talking about already happened back in the early 00's with the rise and fall of Gundam product in the states. In short, walmart and other stores made overly specific requests/demands on which product to make, only to have unwanted product languish on shelves so long that the store later refused to carry any future gundam related merchandise- With transformer's longstanding history and relatively consistent sales and presence I highly doubt it would face that same fate, but I will concede that it is theoretically possible and does have some precedence.

I'm not entirely unconcerned with some of Hasbro's decisions, either. I actually do agree that they've pulled some head scratchers, and I also certainly hope that the company has enough footing and foresight to continue to navigate some of these hurdles. But they do have a reasonably consistent track record, and I'm comfortably confident that they'll keep chugging along without more than a few hiccups along the way. Their recent layoffs are troubling but again given the nationwide recession, not entirely surprising. I guess what I'd say is that I might be concerned, but not enough so to actually worry, and certainly enough enough to panic.

As for the quality of toys, I'll have to politely disagree with your opinion on that one- I wasn't all that thrilled with mechtech but overall the movie lines (especially ROTF) have been some of my favorite transformers ever made, with their complexity being one of the reasons. But then again, I didn't much care for animated, which everyone else seemed to absolutely love so opinions are just one of those things. And of course that's also an entirely different discussion. I do have to say the solid plastic bumblebee and optimus they put out came out of left field, but I also kinda like those- they remind me of the old Jumbo Machinders. Which might also actually be marketing to adults, I don't know.

As for bot shots... I can't say I disagree with you in the slightest. Definitely not my thing.
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Re: New Official Images: Transformers Construct-Bots Scouts

Postby Metrosuplex » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:53 pm

Motto: ""Nothing so liberates the heart as when a fool awakens from his folly.""
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Sorry for the late response!

Aceoftherebellion wrote:I would argue that trademark retention and an increased focus on a smaller and more specific pool of classic characters with more overall material are part of the same coin and reflect the same intention on Hasbro's part.

Your statement is a contradiction: Hasbro retaining TMs by using obscure characters and conversely NOT focusing on said characters... how is that the same coin? I guess I don't get your analogy, as "same coin" typically connotes two paths to the SAME goal. Focusing on a small pool of characters has the goal of making that small pool more lively and popular. Extending TMs with bogus/cheap toys is purely a legal matter - or one can argue that when Kreo's are so cheap to manufacture, it's only natural to focus on ALL TF characters, versus reprinting Optimus and BB over and over (which is a shock that they don't do more of that in general with Kreo).

Anyway, my 2 year old prefers G1 over BW and Prime (Netflix FTW). Would he "recognize" G1 characters? Hell no. I remember being 7-8 and watching the reruns of G1. Do you think I could name more than BB and Optimus? No. I guess I didn't watch enough, but I clearly remember being confused by the cavalcade of characters that showed up on G1 (sometimes for only a few seconds of actual air time). In other words, save for a few odd children, the Kreo/ConstructBot focus is either on Collectors who know the characters, or more likely for trademark retention. If kids enjoy the mold and buy the toy, that's a bonus. But I don't believe any relevant character association is happening. G1 wasn't the best vehicle to teach kids about characters and military organization, IMO. At least not the cartoon on its own. :???:

Aceoftherebellion wrote:As for the hard data, of course Hasbro is collecting as much information and as many numbers as they possibly can, because that's their livelihood. All I mean to say is that it's not a hard and dry science and that relative outsiders (fans, investors, people on the street) are typically (sometimes intentionally) kept out of the look on that a lot of the time.

OR, Hasbro is incompetent and hides their mistakes like the typical corporation. :roll: I sincerely do not understand how so many Hasbro-fans decidedly ignore this possibility. Make 1 mistake, you're human. Make 2, it's a coincidence. But make half a dozen? Let's just go with the Optimus/BB fetish as the example: you're implying that Hasbro has some amazing sell numbers on those characters, and that, in fact, they are NOT shelf warming as badly as we think they are. And you COULD be right. But then the overall sales figures don't really seem to agree with that theory. If Optimus sold like hot cakes, being the "most popular TF", wouldn't quarterly earnings reflect this "sound" strategy? I mean, Optimus MUST be selling amazingly, as Hasbro continuously banks on his mold. Over. And over. And over.

Ehhh, it's possible Hasbro does a piss-poor job of analyzing sales, and some pompous CEO or executives are making some stupid decisions. That's my concern. That's my lean.

But it's all a moot point when the movies come out. Despite the missteps with overly complex TF toys, they sell amazingly well when tied to a movie. I suppose part of why G1 could never be revived is because of the movies. But that's fine and dandy while the shine and glimmer is still blinding - a few analysts, however, have raised the concern of what happens when the movie fails? What happens when people get over the hype of "transforming cars" and move on? :-? Well, Hasbro knows best. And my guess is that Optimus and BB will continue selling well. :roll:


Aceoftherebellion wrote:That said, retail giants like (especially) wallmart are fairly well known to have a major influence on production of all goods, transformers being one small element of that influence. It's an entirely different discussion not appropriate for this message board, but the simplified version is that many stores like Wallmart have based their entire business model on taking a strong-arm stance with goods manufacturers in so far as having very specific and rigid demands on which items to make and how much of it to make and at what price point, using their size as position as some of the world's largest retailers to essentially bully companies into compliance.

A great point. But do you think this is relevant for non-movie years? I see this happening more when a movie is coming out and Wal-Mart specifically cares about the TF brand. The rest of the year(s)? I doubt they care enough to make any demands. And specifically, my guess is that Wal-Mart helps decide the particular floor display.... but I'm not certain of even that. For example, the TF packaging has remained the same for many years (blister cards) - you think Wal-Mart is behind that? Like they demand peg-able toys only? No, I'm sure they don't really care, as long as it sticks to the general standards of selling toys in the USA. You bring up a great point, but it's a bit of a desperation argument in that I'm not sure how strong or clear the "bullying" is.
But I said it before: at the end of the day, it's a partnership, and non-selling stock hurts everyone. As the company that theoretically does the analysis of TF sales, Hasbro comes from a much more knowledgeable corner than Wal-Mart (who stocks hundreds of thousands of items). Regardless of the "bullying" (that may or may not be happening), Hasbro has the responsibility of guiding the TF brand and setting up displays (or suggesting displays) to these stores. Hasbro has the power to stop the Optimus/BB fetish, even if it's Wal-Mart who started the trend to begin with. I'm a little tired of seeing people give Hasbro an easy out by saying Wal-Mart is all-powerful and Hasbro is an ant. That's not how American business works: you don't have one store crashing a product to the ground due to arrogance and bullying. That DOES happen occasionally, but I'm not so convinced it's an everyday thing to say that it's CLEARLY happening to Hasbro. Or that any product misstep is CLEARLY due to Wal-Mart bullying, and NOT a poor decision by a Hasbro marketing/product exec.


Aceoftherebellion wrote:It should also be noted that Takara does not face these restrictions do to the difference in how business is conducted overseas, and we see the results of this constantly when you compare takara and hasbro product.

I really don't think Takara is as autonomous as you suggest. >:oP If that were true, why don't we see more Takara-specific molds out there? Other than a handful of Prime BH combiners and MP's, they just offer better paint jobs and stickers. :???: This isn't really a debate on your point, but more of a puzzlement I've been experiencing. Theoretically, Takara should be more collector-focused, I always figured, but they basically do whatever Hasbro does. I know they create molds together, but I get the feeling that Hasbro spearheads the projects and Takara goes along for the ride (as the toy designs seem to benefit American economics more than Japanese). For example, the Cyberverse line is clearly established for customers who can't afford the expensive deluxes/voyagers - it's a way to keep prices low on toy shelves. But does Takara really need this, too? Ehhh, it's a different discussion, as you said, so sorry to go off on a tangent here! :oops:

Aceoftherebellion wrote: A sad example of exactly what you're talking about already happened back in the early 00's with the rise and fall of Gundam product in the states. In short, walmart and other stores made overly specific requests/demands on which product to make, only to have unwanted product languish on shelves so long that the store later refused to carry any future gundam related merchandise- With transformer's longstanding history and relatively consistent sales and presence I highly doubt it would face that same fate, but I will concede that it is theoretically possible and does have some precedence.

I was a big fan of the Gundam era here! :APPLAUSE: The way you talk about it makes me think you have specific examples. I'd love to hear what toys were demanded by the large retailers. Otherwise, I'd venture to say it was pure over-saturation and a natural decline in franchise interest. Gundam was big for a while... but by the time G-Gundam hit airwaves, I think it was already on its way out. So was it the stores and poor planning? Or was it simply a natural death, due to people moving on? :???:
Conversely, TF's have a distinct appeal regardless of animation or tie-in product: they're toys that change from one toy into another. I think part of the longevity of this brand is the pure novelty of the toys, which I believe continues to be novel with each generation. In other words, TF has more appeal overall as a toy, and when coupled with a successful animation, it has lasting strength (as compared to a Japan-centric program about mobile suits).

Aceoftherebellion wrote:I'm not entirely unconcerned with some of Hasbro's decisions, either. I actually do agree that they've pulled some head scratchers, and I also certainly hope that the company has enough footing and foresight to continue to navigate some of these hurdles. But they do have a reasonably consistent track record, and I'm comfortably confident that they'll keep chugging along without more than a few hiccups along the way. Their recent layoffs are troubling but again given the nationwide recession, not entirely surprising. I guess what I'd say is that I might be concerned, but not enough so to actually worry, and certainly enough enough to panic.

I will add this basic business fact: the size of a company determines its ability to withstand poor corporate decisions. Next, you must factor in the idea that Hasbro has a pretty strong presence in toy stores already, and shelf space is limited (i.e. newcomers have a big barrier to entry). Thus, I submit to you that just because the company is floating along does not mean the ship isn't full of holes. It just happens that the boat is too big to instantly sink. But you can't deny that other boy brands have crept up and taken over stores. You also can't deny that Hasbro's boy-toys section has diminished over the years, and will likely continue to diminish under tougher competition and limited shelf space. Then there's the overall decline in interest in toys, thanks to iPads and video games. The layoffs are meant more to increase profitability, which I suppose it what you said, but I would still prefer to express it in cold terms: people aren't as important as profitability, and though this is a recession, it's better to fire people who may not be able to find new work. Awesome. The problem I have with the layoffs (and cheaper-looking, smaller toys) is that they manipulate the company data to make Hasbro look more profitable than it is. They're facing a crisis and are being quite clever: cut costs and it won't seem so bad. But if things don't turn around, we could be looking at a downward spiral. I'm not panicking; I'm concerned. Girl toys and games are seeing better growth than the boy division. This is concerning. One flash-in-the-pan movie release will not change this trend of boys playing with toys less these days. This is why Hasbro has such an interest in video games and mobile games lately! ;)

Aceoftherebellion wrote:As for the quality of toys, I'll have to politely disagree with your opinion on that one- I wasn't all that thrilled with mechtech but overall the movie lines (especially ROTF) have been some of my favorite transformers ever made, with their complexity being one of the reasons. But then again, I didn't much care for animated, which everyone else seemed to absolutely love so opinions are just one of those things. And of course that's also an entirely different discussion.

No, I agree with your statements completely. You misunderstood me: I meant the Prime and IDW toys. They're smaller. They're hollowed out and not hiding it as well. The prices have gone up, and the toys look more SCOUT than DELUXE. The Cyberverse line is bigger than the Deluxe line, and puts out more characters/toys - they're cheaper to make and can be sold at a lower price.
Your statements about the movie toys were accurate. I meant more recently than the last batch of movie toys. Look at the newest Leader class Optimus: he looks a lot smaller than the previous movie Optimus, wouldn't you say? But does he cost less? :-? I've been told that I don't understand inflation, so maybe this is "inflation" (even if it's only been 3-4 years since the last movie).


Aceoftherebellion wrote:As for bot shots... I can't say I disagree with you in the slightest. Definitely not my thing.

Honestly, I appreciate the sentiment, but I'm not looking for agreement or opinion. I'm just trying to discuss the company strategies, and bringing up concerns about the brand moving away from actually transforming. It's not cause I'm old and "afraid of change", but that I simply believe the appeal is in the actual novelty of TRANSFORMING. Construct Bots and Bot Shots have their own appeal... but it's hardly married to the TF brand (they could be from any other brand, even G.I. Joe). It's just my observation that Hasbro seems to be interested in finding cheaper ways to make TF toys (and this is clearly evident with their cost-cutting plans of reducing spending by a whopping $100 MILLION). Not all of that money will be pulled from TF toys specifically... but I believe the boy division is their most profitable section AND the TF brand, in specific, is either the best or second-best seller (as compared to the SW toy brand they also manage). You'd think that'd guarantee that the money would be kept in the TF brand... but remember that the boy division is seeing stunted growth (and even decline, I'm sure), so it makes a lot of sense to pull money from TF's and SW and GI Joe. In fact, you can see that the GI Joe toys have been simpified with less articulation (the ones included with vehicles, specifically). Same thing with SW toys, I believe (less articulation).

Well, if part of your business is in decline, you face some choices: do you pump more money into it? (Hasbro says no). Do you move onto more profitable areas, such as mobile games? (Hasbro says YES!). Do you focus on other divisions such as Girl toys, which saw significant sales increases? (Big YES). And where can you pull your spending from, at the end of the day, in order to improve company profitability and outlook? Probably the boy toys. Probably TFs.

I'm just saying I predict that boy toys will soon become a collector's niche market (i.e. Takara sells expensive MP toys to Collectors, not children). As the young buying population dies out (we're seeing strong evidence of that now), so too will the product choices on the shelves. Hasbro is doing what any large corporation would do: tightening its belt in preparation for hard times. Some of that is from recession, sure, but then again, you don't necessarily see the effects of recession on Call of Duty sales. #-o

Hasbro is a stalwart captain who has done fine for many a'years... but with excellent 3rd Party choices out there right now, it begs the question: is it time to retire? Can other companies do better? Essentially, should George Lucas have complete control over SW, even if the fans have come up with better material than he has over the last few years? (And don't say let's have Disney buy the brand, as I've been secretly hoping that was possible several threads away - alas, Disney has no interest in toy companies, and the TF brand is married to Hasbro).
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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #90 - Dark Scorponok
Twincast / Podcast #90:
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