Generations was not the only Transformers line shown off at the NYCC 2014 Hasbro Press Party, the upcoming Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series also had its fair share of floor and table room - and you can find out more about it all below, with official product images and class description! The breakdown and images also confirm the names of Grimlock, Steeljaw and Strongarm as new additions, with Sideswipe and Optimus Prime joining the Transformers: Prime veteran Bumblebee.
TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE ONE-STEP CHANGERS Assortment
(Ages: 5 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $9.99/Available: Spring 2015)
More than meets the eye in the blink of an eye! Each TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE ONE-STEP CHANGERS figure features a character from the all new animated series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, coming to Cartoon Network in 2015, and converts from robot to vehicle and back in one awesome step! Each sold separately.
TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE LEGION Assortment
(Ages: 6 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $5.99/Available: Spring 2015)
Each TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE LEGION figure features a character from the all new animated series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, coming to Cartoon Network in 2015 in a small-scale, highly collectable figure that converts from robot to vehicle in 10 steps or less! Each sold separately.
TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE WARRIORS Assortment
(Ages: 6 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $14.99/Available: Spring 2015)
Each TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE WARRIORS figure features a character from the all new animated series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, coming to Cartoon Network in 2015. Warrior figures feature updated puzzle play for fans that want the classic TRANSFORMERS experience. These highly detailed figures are great for collectors and kids as they convert from robot to vehicle in 10 steps or less. High articulation means more action play, as kids can pose their figures and play out their favorite battles from the new animated series. Each sold separately.
TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE THREE-STEP CHANGERS Assortment
(Ages: 5 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $19.99/Available: Spring 2015)
Each TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE THREE-STEP CHANGERS figure features a character from the all new animated series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, coming to Cartoon Network in 2015 in a fun, larger size with an amazingly fluid conversion. Kids can convert each figure in three steps and get right into the action! Each sold separately.
TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE TITAN HEROES Action Figure Assortment
(Ages: 4 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $12.99/Available: Spring 2015)
Kids and collectors alike will have big fun with these 12-inch scale action figures based on the new animated series coming to Cartoon Network in 2015. Each non-converting figure features five points of articulation and packs a lot of play at a great price! Each sold separately.
TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE 6-INCH TITAN GUARDIANS Action Figure Assortment
(Ages: 4 & up /Approx. Retail Price: $5.99/Available: Spring 2015)
These figures bring awesome action-figure fun to the TRANSFORMERS brand. These non-converting figures are the perfect entry point into the TRANSFORMERS universe for young fans. Each 6-inch TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE TITAN GUARDIANS figure features a character from the hot new animated series coming to Cartoon Network in 2015. Each sold separately.
The Other Truly Thrilling 30 Sunbow's Transformers Cartoon Series Turns 30
The day is Monday, September 17th, 1984. The 18th Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney was sworn in, and Reggie Jackson of the California Angels hit his 500th major league home run, becoming only the 13th person at that time to have done so. Not a very exciting day for most, but for some, this would be a day forever remembered.
You're going to see and be able to read a lot of articles today on the internet, specifically in the Transformers Fans' corner of it, and these will be about a certain birthday happening today. This is one of those articles. You're going to read about perspectives from people that were, with a fairly good chance of likelihood, about 5 to 7 years old on that date, who were captured by the premiere of a new cartoon series for the fall season called "The Transformers" on a Monday morning or afternoon. They'll talk very factually and sequentially about the history of the show and where it came from. They'll write well and give good reference for history down the road. This is not entirely one of those articles.
First, some of that base history but not too much, just to give some background. Marvel Comics' run of Transformers books had started in May, 1984, and had seen two published issues with a third to be shortly on the way in October. This was, of course, one channel through which to support the newly imported, rebranded toyline of the same name. The other was a joint production between Marvel Productions and Griffin Bacal's Sunbow Productions, a cartoon series designed to capture the attention of the children in Reagan's America with lots of action, little plot or continuity, and over the top, fun characterizations of the toys they could go have their parents buy on the local store shelves.
It was a simpler, peaceful time, when children ran through quiet streets with gumdrop smiles and wealth trickled down to the middle class and, and, um, wait a minute. I wasn't born yet. What the hell am I writing about?
This is not your typical retrospective, because it can't be. I wasn't born until almost a year after this cartoon premiered. I can't pretend to know what it was like when it came out. Suffice it to say, by the time I was aware of what a Transformer was and could follow along with any sort of cartoon or comic, the show was meandering the random scheduling of syndication and the toyline's only fictional support was in the form of the latter quarter of the Marvel comic run. So how on earth would someone that only hit the rough target age for "The Transformers" in 1990 fall in love with the franchise on a level so deep that close to his own 30th birthday, he still spends countless hours collecting toys, absorbing fiction, and writing long form articles about the brand? How could this happen when things like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were new, hip, and vying for attention? The answer's quite simple: home video.
Through the magic of FHE's home video releases, over and over again even children like me born well in the middle of the heyday of The Transformers' success could relive the spectacle of 24 minute long toy advertisements. Given the rushed production schedule, the efforts of now legendary (within our hobby, at least) names such as Flint Dille, David Wise, Wally Burr, George Bloom, Floro Dery, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and countless other voice actors and production crew will never be forgotten by, well, probably anyone reading this site and almost definitely anyone bothering to read this article!
That picture perfect low-res reproduction, right in your own home.
The first season enjoyed by so many through either broadcast or VHS gave us some of the most memorable and joyful characterizations of fan favorites such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Ironhide, Bumblebee, Soundwave, Grimlock, the Constructicons, and so many others. For a very young child like what I was at the time, with undeveloped reading skills, these characterizations from the original animated cartoon will always stand out as the original and archetypical examples of those characters within my memory and subconscious.
Right, wrong, or both, my brain instantly says "Rumble" because of the cartoon.
Of course, the show went on for a good while and eventually would come the event that changed everything, at least at the time. This event is also a fond VHS memory, and yes, it's the first Transformers Movie released in 1986.
Having a copy of this amazing work only brought my interest in Transformers to a fever pitch, as between it, VHS copies of nearly all of season one, the continuing toy line, and the comic I had just begun to be able to understand, a fan for life was born. Regardless of your path, or what kind of fan you may be today, some significance can be found by tracing back to 30 years ago today.
Transformers, of course, has continued on persistently in some new animated form ever since, barring the time from 1988 through the start of Beast Wars in 1996 where only repackaged episodes of the original show were still used for various purposes. Even these new evolutions of the brand borrow heavily in spirit from the original show, with characters reusing lines, traits, and sometimes even actual voice actors.
Treacherous, has a crown, flies, yep. It's Starscream.
Even now if we look ahead, 2015 will bring us yet another cartoon series and the second one to be titled "Robots in Disguise", and this will surely be the crux of the franchise's focus next year. Transformers has taken many branching paths and become a multimedia force in Hasbro's brand stable, with never ending toy releases, ongoing comics, frequent video game releases, and of course live action movies. Despite all that, the brand persists on as big and as well as it does because of the cartoons and their influence. Television is a powerful medium, and it's unlikely that The Transformers will ever divorce itself from that medium for very long every again.
I'd be remiss to not also remember some of the fantastic voice contributors to the original cartoon that we've lost over the years, here on a day where we learned the sad news that Buster Jones, the iconic voice of Blaster, is no longer with us. Here's to also remembering the good times brought to us all by such amazing artists as Chris Latta, Scatman Crothers, Casey Kasem, Orson Welles, and others that I may have forgotten.
The legacy of the first Transformers cartoon is undeniable. Hopefully in another 30 years, I'll be back to write another one of these as a crotchety old man, still surrounded by rotting 60 year old plastic toys.
Tell your story in the comment thread below. Why did you, and why do you still, enjoy the original cartoon? Maybe you hate it, that's ok too. Either way, there's no denying the impact it has had, which must have been so unimaginable 30 years ago to the day.
Here on Seibertron.com we posted news all the way back during the UK Toy Fair, which was then confirmed by official images, about the Rescue Bots characters getting a dino make-over. We've seen Optimus Prime in T-Rex mode, and a raptor Bumblebee, but check out, courtesy once more of Facebook page Transformers Colombia, Rescue Dinos Chase the Stegosaurus and Boulder the Triceratops!
A PDF has surfaced online that contains what is likely Hasbro's slide presentation from the recent Australian Toy Fair. These images give us idea for what they have in store for the Transformers brand through 2017. As we already know the main focus for the remainder of 2014 will be Transformers: Age of Extinction, however the slides reveal an "Animated Stunt" scheduled for the fourth quarter. The slides go on to reveal years 2015 and 2016 are labeled "Animated" with some interesting new faction logos! The live action film franchise returns in 2017. The slides also include some nice concept and promo art from Transformers: Age of Extinction giving us some new looks at the upcoming film characters.
From the same site, we've gotten a look at a wide variety of possible Transformers: Age of Extinction merchandise. Some of it is just at concept stage right now, but there are some pretty interesting possibilities here.
Thanks yet again to voice actor DC Douglas, we now know that the third season, confirmed by Hasbro at Toy Fair 2014 to feature the new dinosaur modes for the main cast, including Optimus Primal, is currently recording - and Levar Burton is part of it! Check out the Vine here. The season should air towards the end of 2014, still according to Hasbro.
Toy Fair 2014 has yet to officially start in New York City, but we're already getting into the swing of things with some preliminary reveals! Today Hasbro were presenting their wares to their investors, and the slideshow was made available to Seibertron.com. They touched upon the following:
- The new film, talking about its theme of 'a truck looking for a friend', and the inclusion of the Dinobots.
- The subdivision of the franchise with Rescue Bots, Age of Extinction and Generations lines for three types of fans, from younger to older.
- CyberTRON Monday: online midnight madness event in May and various launches around the world leading to Age of Extinction premiere June 27.
- The redesign of the brand with new packaging, logos and digital platforms; several new games coming in 2014.
- Demonstrated the new simplified transformation for toys on stage (for younger fans and Age of Extinction), though no footage available. Products included: Stomp and Chomp Grimlock one-step transformation; Mega one-step Bumblebee.
- Rescue Bots taking on new dinobot forms, Optimus becomes Primal - Season 3 announced.
- For the committed fan: Generations and Platinum Edition lines (popular in Asian and North American markets). Products included in presentation are Leader Jetfire, Deluxe Windblade and Masterpiece Soundwave.
- Battle Masters Transformers, previously revealed.
If you wish to listen to the presentation yourself, take a look at the embedded video below, courtesy of Seibertron himself.
Check out below for an overview of what 2014 will bring in terms of transforming robots, including the previously announced Jetfire and Windblade.
With the animated series of Prime: Beast Hunters now behind us, and Predacons Rising almost here, we are very happy to welcome show and comics writer Mairghread Scott for another interview with the minds and hands behind IDW!
Va'al - Thank you for agreeing to do this, Mairghread - you have the honour if being our first writer! My first question, before we jump into your work, is about origins: How did you first become a fan of Transformers?
Mairghread - I actually grew up on Beast Wars, which makes me a bit odd because I never really saw Optimus turn into a truck (although I knew he did) until the Michael Bay films. But in some way, I think Beast Wars really was the best place to start when I worked on Prime. The idea of being outmatched and outnumbered, the shifting alliances; these are all important elements of both shows. Plus, even though our CG technology has come a long way, we still face a lot of the same challenges in terms of characters and sets.
Va'al - At last, someone else who grew up in the Beast era! I thought I was the only one, by now. How involved were you with the franchise back then? Did you collect the toys as well as watch the show, or branch out into other aspects of the Transformers like comics or other cartoons?
Mairghread - Neither. Comic books and action figures were 'boy things' and as a little girl I just sort of knew (and I'm sure my friends re-enforced) that I wasn't supposed to have either. I remember I looked for Airrazor a few times, but I could never find her on the shelf. On the bright side, it meant I got to play Beast Wars a lot with just my sister. I was an Osprey (until Jurassic Park, then I was a 'raptor for a while). I upgraded to puma-osprey with rocket launcher wings when everyone went all Fuzor/Transmetal. I feel like my sister was an orca because she was really into whales and I was always harrassing her about how she couldn't do anything in Beast-mode then. I wasn't the best sister.
Va'al - At least you played with her, though! I have to ask - were you ever able to track down an Airrazor figure later on in life? A lot of Transformer fans have their personal 'holy grail' toy, or so I'm told; would you say that was, or still is, yours? Or did you just outgrow the toy stage, and never really bothered?
Mairghread - No, although I would take one if I came across it. I tend to collect characters I've written for, so my Holy Grail is a modified Rip Claw made to look like Ser-ket. I just picked up a G1 Sludge at BotCon and would love to give him a sister to play with.
Va'al - You heard that, customisers. Be ready to be inundated by offers now! Speaking of writing characters - you're a writer for essentially two parallel stories, one told in the animated series, one in the comics. How do you juggle the different approaches, if they are different? Are there similar challenges in the two media? Do you have a preference between the two?
Mairghread - Well it does help that we have two different casts in each book and that they are both tailored to their medium. The Dinobots aren't nearly as talkative as, say, Optimus, and that works much better when you have the ultra-limited space of a comic. Since the Dinos don't do well in close-up or just talking, I try to think of the comics almost as an 80ish panel haiku instead of a TV script. I'm trying to pick out the best possible moments to suggest the movement, drama and staging that make Prime what it is instead of just transcribing an episode onto the page. When it comes to which I like more, I think I'd have to say comics, if only because I get to really interact with the fans in a way I never could if I just wrote TV. Talking to people who are passionate and nerdy about what you're passionate and nerdy about...it's the best.
Va'al - Communities of fans like the one for Transformers are indeed a gathering of multiple backgrounds and views with an extremely passionate dedication to the common interest! You're obviously welcome to join us on Seibertron any time, I know you write on other fansites at the moment. Speaking of fandoms, I was wondering about something. You've always been pretty determined and vocal about the female presence among the Transformers fans, but there are only a few named women creators in your position (alongside colourists Priscilla Tramontano and Joana Lafuente) - do you think the franchise is still a bit of a boys' club, or is that a misperception? Have you ever received criticism, from fans or peer creators, which was more about you as a woman than your work?
Mairghread - It's funny, I used to be really worried about the role my gender played when it came to my writing and how others saw it. So much so that once I was brought in on a non-TF show to write an episode that had a lot of female characters in it and I actually asked point-blank if they'd picked me because I'm a woman. The response was they'd seen Hurt and they picked me because I could write revenge. So 'no' I've never felt that people see my gender as anything other than another aspect of who I am.
That said, Transformers is still thought of by the public, the media and the industry at large as being a male-oriented brand. It's not surprising: the industry category for Prime is called 'boys action,' the toys for Transformers are in the blue-colored section at toy stores and in several TF comic books there are no female characters at all. This obviously makes it harder for women to feel like we want them to be involved in our brand and I want to change that. Everyone should feel allowed to like Transformers. If seeing my name on a comic makes a woman in the store give it a try, that's great. If writing Firestar means someone's daughter will read his Beast Hunter's issue with him -- awesome! But most importantly, if some little girl out there wants an Arcee as badly as I wanted an Airazor toy, I want her to know that she's not weird, or silly, or alone and if my work does that for her, that's the best thing of all.
Va'al - That's a great goal, and I agree wholeheartedly with your mission. It's also nice to read that the industry is changing its attitude towards pre-existing ideas, even if slowly. This is a franchise that, as you said, starts by being aimed at a young male audience, even though, in fact, there is a fairly big adult reception already - showing how there is also a good female reception should be next! You mentioned Firestar, a character who for now only shows up in a couple of issues of Beast Hunters - was that entirely your idea (with Mike Johnson), or was it suggested by IDW/Hasbro? How did she come about? And for that matter, how was Zoom introduced too?
Mairghread - Bringing back Firestar was my idea. As soon as we got picked up I decided to start adding female characters until someone told me to stop (and, actually, a lot of the background characters are also female, even though it's not obvious). So far, Mike, IDW and Hasbro have all been fine with it, so I press onward. I'd love to bring back all the pre-existing TF ladies, but we'll see how many I can squeeze in before the end.
Zoom is Mike's creation and another good example of IDW and Hasbro giving us a fairly free hand. I'm sure if we tried to remake the book as the Firestar/Zoom show, they'd say something, but when it comes to adding more minor characters, we get a lot of control.
Va'al - I did notice some of the remains in Last Spark were mentioned as being female, actually, yes. You don't seem to have been told to stop bringing in characters so far! Are we to expect any other ones before the series ends? I realise we're only half-way through, and that leaves us with two story-arcs worth of potential new faces.
Mairghread - Well, we just got preview images from Issue 5 and, I don't know if anyone's picked up on it, but they reveal Chromia, the blue Autobot next to Grimlock telling everyone to get under their beds (for protection in an earthquake). But don't worry, she does a lot more than that, but it's been fun to see her sneak into the sneak peek.
Va'al - Yes, I did spot Chromia, and I mentioned her (and Scrounge) in the review for issue 5. And speaking of issue 5, we now have the announced point of contact between the animated series and the comics, and we're very close in its placement with the end of the TV series. Will the comics cross-over or spill into the upcoming Predacons Rising epilogue?
Mairghread - While the two lines will merge in 7 and 8, the timeline between TV and comics means that we are following the show and not the other way around. That said, I've very excited at what Mike's cooking up, so you'll have to wait and see.
Va'al - Really not letting anything out of the bag, huh? Well, I think that moment of suspense is actually a good place to stop this time round. Mairghread, it's been an absolute pleasure talking to you, thanks again for doing this! Do you have any last words for the readers on Seibertron.com?
Mairghread - Only to thank them for the chance to play with characters they know and love. Hopefully, we can bring more fans to planet Cybertron. And if anyone has any more burning questions, you can reach me on Twitter at @MairghreadScott or Tumblr at mscottwrites.tumblr.com.
You heard her, readers - head over to the social media to ask your questions, or post them along with your comments in this thread! Stay tuned for another interview soon, we have some really interesting guests coming up.
Site sponsor BigBadToyStore has listed pre-orders the Transformers Rescue Bots Beam Box video game system that was first revealed earlier this year at Toy Fair. Pre-orders for the base system and the first two ways of individual game figures can be found by clicking here. The core system and first two waves of figures are due out in September.
This plug and play system take the figure and 'transports' it into the game world for young children to play. Base set has Optimus Prime and five games; additional figures sold separately
This is for all the UK fans out there (or disgruntled Brits, as we call ourselves): Hasbro and Bite Global are partnering up this summer to take the Optimus Prime truck on tour around the country, in order to promote the Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters series and line. Read the following press release for more information!
THE HUNT IS ON: TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS TOUR HITS THE UK
“A new fearsome faction of TRANSFORMERS beasts has arrived on earth to threaten the AUOTBOTS, who must now evolve into BEAST HUNTERS to fight them…”
To celebrate the launch of the new TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS, the OPTIMUS PRIME truck is embarking on a UK tour where fans will get the chance to ‘choose their side’ and discover the new range.
Based on the third season of the Emmy Award-winning animated series TRANSFORMERS PRIME, TRANSFORMERS PRIME BEAST HUNTERS, the AUTOBOTS face off against both the DECEPTICONS and an unprecedented new foe: the dragon-like PREDACONS, led by the spectacular PREDAKING character! Hasbro’s 2013 TRANSFORMERS PRIME product line will be based on the new BEAST HUNTERS story and will feature many of the new PREDACON characters as well as new designs for favourite characters like OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE and more.
Accompanying the replica of the AUTOBOTS leader will be an interactive TRANSFORMERS Station that will showcase the new range of BEAST HUNTERS toys alongside viewings of the thrilling new DVD series TRANSFORMERS PRIME, digital play areas and the opportunity for fans to have a customisable picture taken with OPTIMUS PRIME and the new BEAST HUNTERS against a green screen.
The OPTIMUS PRIME truck and TRANSFORMERS Station will be at the following events this Summer:
Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh: 20th-23rd June
Fairford Airshow, Swindon: 20th-21st July
Sunderland Airshow: 27th-28th July
Bristol Airshow: 8th-11th August
Lollibop, London: 16th-18th August
Bournemouth Show: 29th August-1st September
For more information on the OPTIMUS PRIME truck and TRANSFORMERS Station, please contact Hasbro@biteglobal.com / 020 8741 1123
With the same press release, another piece of information has been revealed, concerning the release of what appears to be series three of Transformers Prime (though confusingly named Series One).
Also coming this Summer is the new TRANSFORMERS PRIME: SERIES ONE – DECEPTICONS UNLEASHED on DVD. The latest series sees the Transformers face their toughest challenge yet in their quest to save OPTIMUS PRIME - a must-see for any Transformers fan! The DVD is available at all major retailers and via digital download from June 24th, priced at £10.99.
Not the biggest news, but it appears The Hub is in the process of rebranding itself to Hub Network. This news reaches us from Nick and More!, who after doing a little internet sleuthing have found that HubNetwork.com is now registered to The Hub’s SVP Business and Legal Affairs Joshua Meyer. Nick and More! speculate the move may be to improve search engine optimization. No word on when the change will become official, they also revealed Hub Network's new logo.
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