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IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise Writers John Barber and Georgia Ball in Conversation

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise Writers John Barber and Georgia Ball in Conversation
Date: Thursday, April 16th 2015 11:43am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 15,445

Via a notification from fellow Seibertronian robotmel, we have an interview conducted by IDW senior editor John Barber, also writer for The Transformers, with Georgia Ball, the new writer for the new series Transformers: Robots in Disguise! Check out some highlights below, and read the full piece here.

Transformers News: IDW Transformers: Robots in Disguise Writers John Barber and Georgia Ball in Conversation


JB: What was your entry into the world of Transformers—as a fan, I mean? Do you have a favorite version of Transformers from over the years?

GB: I was parked in front of every episode of Transformers G1 in the 1980s but I couldn’t convince my mother to buy me any of the toys. She was a huge toy collector and had no problem showering me with Star Wars figures but Transformers just didn’t speak to her. After tons of pathetic begging she bought me one: Topspin, a Jumpstarter who sort-of-kind-of popped onto his feet when you pulled him backwards.

GB: I missed out when the movie was in theaters due to the same lack of parental interest—I saw it years later on TV and turned it off when Starscream died, because without Starscream around I just didn’t see the point. I returned to Transformers with Transformers: Prime, then jumped into the comics and bought my own toys, although my daughter’s plan to “share” the Bumblebee I got for my birthday isn’t working out in my favor. Now if only someone would take nine boxes of Star Wars figures off my hands.

JB: This new TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE comic is based on the all-new hit tv series airing on Cartoon Network. But this comic isn’t an adaptation—it’s all-new stories set in that world, but with… well, without giving anything away, some old friends you’re only going to see in the comic, right?

GB: The stories tie into the continuity the show shares with Transformers Prime and what happens in the cartoon will have consequences in the comic. But the comic will also feature new villains and explore different themes. There will be squabbles and there will be punching, but the first arc weaves in an element of mystery and betrayal. Bumblebee has to put the pieces together and he may not get them in the right order. I like resolving subplots in one or two issues within the context of a longer ongoing story, I’m not a fan of ending an issue without getting somewhere.

[...]

JB: What do you think of TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE artist Priscilla Tramontano’s work? Have you two had a chance to collaborate much yet?

GB: This will be my first time working with Priscilla, who I was familiar with mainly for her color work in the comics. I love the somewhat organic feel she brings to the characters that lets them act out their emotions, she’s the perfect choice.

JB: Any other messages for Transformers fans out there?

GB: Transformers Robots in Disguise is accessible to new readers and is all about action and fun. Plus Autobots punching weird Decepticons in the face.

Voice Actor Chris Jai Alex Interview: Age of Extinction Drift

Transformers News: Voice Actor Chris Jai Alex Interview: Age of Extinction Drift
Date: Friday, April 10th 2015 11:42pm CDT
Categories: Game News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: jON3.0 | Credit(s): jON3.0

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Views: 11,240



Our own TwinCast member and professional voice actor interviews voice actor Chris Jai Alex. You've heard him in many video games and cartoons including the voice of Drift in the Transformers: Age of Extinction video game as well as others like Steven Universe, Boondocks, Resident Evil and more. He talks about the influence of Transformers on his work as a character in the game, growing up with the toys, the original movie, meeting Mark Wahlberg and much more about the video game and cartoon voice acting business.

Check out phineqx on youtube at http://youtube.com/phineqx!

Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Date: Friday, March 27th 2015 7:56am CDT
Categories: Book News, Interviews, People News, Toy News
Posted by: Va'al

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Views: 23,490

A very different take, perhaps, on the Transformers franchise, was brought to the stage and under the spotlight by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster, in the IDW Publishing Transformers: Legacy book. Showcasing the art that adorned the packaging of the toys from the early Generation 1, 2 and their Japanese counterparts and continuations, the book has been extremely well received in the Transformers fandom (and outside of it), and you can hear the Twincast Podcast talk to one of its authors here, and read an interview here.

Here at Seibertron.com, we were able to contact one of those wonderful artists involved in the creation of the original pieces, and an unsung part of the face of Transformers in toy, iconic and pop culture: freelance artist and illustrator Mark Watts!

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
The artist in the studio, with Transformers: Legacy


Va'al - Mark, thank you for the opportunity to discover more about this side of the franchise. So how did it begin, were you approached by Hasbro? Or did you pitch work to them?

Mark - Back in 1985, many, many illustrations ago, I was called into my Agents office. In New York I was shown the Transformers toys fresh from China, some being Prototypes. I was working on a lot of kid toy boxes for Mattel, Kenner, Tyco and more also working on Movie posters I did the Movie Poster for Pink Cadillac staring Clint Eastwood. Some of the Transformers shown were being sold in China and had done very well. At that point I was given a Transformers Bible, top secret, to be kept under lock & key. It contained technical drawings of each Transformer including the placement of colors, logos, ect.

Va'al - Did you choose what to work with yourself, or were you assigned characters?

Mark - Originally I was given six to start with, they were to be used on blister packs for Autobots. Of the six toys, some I believe were Prototypes. I completed the drawings with forced perspective to make the toys more exciting and menacing.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark WattsTransformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Early Autobots!


Va'al - And how did you go about creating them, what methods and tools do you use?

Mark - This first set of six were painted in Dr. Martian Dyes and Luma Dyes, completely done in Airbrush with cut frisket to protect the area not to be spread. Cut tracing paper was used to move around when spraying to create a softer edge in the reflections. Later paintings were done with Airbrushed Acrylic paints. I like them all I paint in mostly with Acrylics, and occasionally Oils. In the beginning of my Illustration Career I used Airbrush almost exclusivity with - Dyes, Watercolor and Gouache then I switched to Acrylic. I also like Digital now it is faster and easy to change and correct colo,r of course when I started out in the late 70s everything was done by hand, no computers. The Software I use is Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator, Lightwave, Vue. Also I use a combination of 3D rendered and wacom tablet.

My objective on these illustrations in particular was to make them as reflective as possible, like car paint--exciting with a lot of reflections.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark WattsTransformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Newer projects by Mark, returning to car illustration


I completed the set of six and all were very happy with the results. The rest is History, and I continued to work on Transformer art for many years.

Va'al - That sounds fantastic, you almost defined a whole style and even the franchise itself, in a way! How many pieces did you create for Hasbro?

Mark - I did the Original Artwork on about 45 Boxes and Blister Packs for the Transformers Toys when they 1st came out in America in around 1985 and on. In the New Transformers book: Legacy The Art Of Transformer Packaging - Pages that my Art is on: 7,14,15, 30, 34, 35,82, 83, -( 283 Eagle Eye ) - ( 242 Ram Jet ) - ( 264 Reflector ) 295.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
The Big Purple himself


You never know when a toy will take off like Transformers did and become such a sensation. It was my pleasure working on all of the illustrations for the Transformers packaging, the toys were enjoyable and I am sure they were a part of many fond childhood memories. The Art itself feels like Pop Culture Art to me now. It was a real pleasure to be involved.

Va'al - I can tell! So what happened to the originals? Any plans for them, or anything based on them?

Mark - I have decided to put on sale Signed prints of my Transformer Art on www.markwattsstudios.com. I am offering them on Canvas, Aluminum and Paper, and all Prints are made direct from the the Original Art of these Great Iconic Transformer Toys from 1985, 1987 and beyond…

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts


All 29 prints [featuring Costructicons, Stunticons and Menasor, Jetfire, and much more - V] can be found on the Store section of my Web Site.

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts
Blast from the Combiner past!


Va'al - That is some great stuff, and quite topical with the new IDW/Hasbro event and lines of Combiner Wars! What else do you see yourself doing now and in the future?

Mark - I am planning on mass market my Illustrations on prints and products, I have some more Ideas for products I want to Patten. I also have many more Illustration Ideas floating around in my head and on sketch pads that I will be doing right now I kind of have my Business hat on for a little while longer. As for life, I just had my 1st Grandchild, Crew Winsor Watts. I am enjoying him and my 3 Children, Justin, Britney, Amber, they are all dong great and are very artistic as well. My Wife is a Nurse, she enjoys being a Nurse and is going to start working on a Children's Book that I think she is going to let me Illustrate them.

Va'al - Well then, best of luck to all of you, and in your sales too! Thank you for the chat, Mark.

Mark - Thank you as well for the Interview, Alex.

Mark Watts can be found at his website www.markwattsstudios.com, and is available for prints, commissions and car illustration art. Head over here for more about him and his work!

Transformers News: Interview with vintage Transformers box artwork artist Mark Watts

Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise" includes interview with James Roberts!

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise" includes interview with James Roberts!
Date: Thursday, March 26th 2015 2:26pm CDT
Categories: Interviews, Media, Podcast, Site News
Posted by: ScottyP

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Welcome to the latest episode of the Seibertron.com Twincast / Podcast. This episode features your always exceptional, sometimes sober host, ScottyP, the very metal xRotorstormx, dark horse Megatronus, and the ever winsome RodimusConvoy13.

Oh, and this pretty popular author you may have heard of stops by: James Roberts! Sit back and enjoy as Va'al and Scotty P cut up, hang out, and wax philosophical with this very special guest.

Episode #113 "Signal to Noise" is available directly and in our RSS Feed, and should appear on iTunes and Stitcher Radio within 24 to 48 hours of when you see this news post.

Spoilers Abound! This episode contains spoilers for all of the following: Episodes 1 and 2 of the new Robots in Disguise cartoon, Transformers #39, and More Than Meets The Eye #s 1-39. This is your one and only warning.

First we change things up with some long awaited cartoon talk. The first two episodes of Robots in Disguise have premiered, and most of the Twincast crew has seen most of the episodes. Where does RID fall in the constellation of its many cancelled predecessors? Underbite ate WHAT? Listen and find out.

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
Bumblebee doesn’t always speak, but when he does, he’s Batman Beyond.


Something momentous is coming. Wait, no, it’s already here: Combiner Wars #1 (otherwise known as Transformers #39). Sit back as we discuss Starscream’s bodies, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed Swindle, our varied and shifting opinions of Livio Ramondelli’s art style, and more.

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
Heeeeeeeeeere’s Offroad!


Then, we have a very special treat for our listeners – an interview with none other than James Roberts of More Than Meets The Eye fame.

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
We insisted he do the interview with the jacket on.


If you just came here for the interview, you can find it at 47:30 of the file, wherein our brave host Scotty P and devious News-Staff-slash-resident-comics-expert Va’al inherit the wind:

  1. What schemes has Roberts unleashed in his travels back to pre-war Cybertronian society?
  2. Time travel paradox?

    Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
    Paradox schmaradox… at least until a certain briefcase is involved.

  3. Remain in the Light was an awesome arc and powerful story, made more powerful by… prose?
  4. Roberts shows us his love for music, and for the growing More Than Meets the Eye community.
  5. Which (T-Rex) characters should we expect, which are gold, and which are big ole black holes?
  6. The Decepticon Justice Division finally returns – oh, the humanity, err *ahem* morality.

    Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
    Bird, Dragon, or Bird-Dragon? Why not both Zoidberg?

Our sincerest "Thank You" greetings to Mr. Roberts for lending his time to the show, and for the amazing content at that! We hope you all enjoy listening to the interview as much as we did conducting it.

After that, we return to our traditional comfort zone: upcoming Transformers toys. Images of the new, simplified Cyber Series sub-line took us all by surprise. What do we think of these 7” figures? Are they a welcome addition to the Generations fold, or more of the same? This is also the part where you learn another terrible Twincast secret: We don't know how to read good, and want to learn to do other things good too.

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
Just don’t take away our Generations, man.


Platinum Edition Blitzwing and Astrotrain are Awesome and/or the Worst Thing Ever. Is Platinum Blitzwing an homage to Shattered Glass or Flywheels? What’s with that orange on Astrotrain? Will the Twincast crew be picking these up? While we decide, check out Seibertron’s awesome galleries of G1 Astrotrain and Blitzwing.

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
Alpha Bravo, is that you?


In other Platinum Edition news, the long awaited Coneheads are being reissued. Now this is something the Twincast crew can get excited about… if the price is right. New Platinum set, same question: will the Twincast crew be picking these up? Better yet, can you spot the differences between these newbies and the originals? Check out Seibertron’s galleries of G1 Thrust, Dirge, and Ramjet to try your hand (or rather, your eye).

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
Sticker shock?


We finish up the Twincast with some bragging rights. What did everyone get since the last recording?

Transformers News: Twincast / Podcast Episode #113 "Signal to Noise"
No complaints. Really!


And remember, send any complaints, rants, and cease & desist orders to IHateRazorclaw@seibertron.com before the next episode.

Don't forget, the show only gets better if you tell us how. Drop us a review on iTunes and be sure to tell us what you love, what you hate, and what you want to hear!

Not on the show to give your take? Probably not, so don't forget to keep the discussion going on the Seibertron.com Energon Pub Forums by simply replying to this post!

Got a question for the Twincast? We take all of them, we just don't take them all seriously! Leave a question in the Ask the Twincast thread and, if it makes the cut, it may get read and answered on the show.

Transformers UK Classics - Interview with James Roberts and Lloyd Young

Transformers News: Transformers UK Classics - Interview with James Roberts and Lloyd Young
Date: Friday, March 20th 2015 5:12am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): The Solar Pool

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Via a tip from Seibertron.com member Sabrblade, and courtesy of fellow Transformers fan Stuart Webb, we have a wonderful set of interviews with the minds behind the remastering and repackaging of the Marvel UK G1 comics - now collected into several volumes under Classics UK by IDW - editors James Roberts (texts) and Lloyd Young (images/scans)! You can read the full, detailed, lengthy piece here, and some snippets below.

As well as providing the making of text, how involved are you in the development of the book? Do you have a say in things like design, layout and covers as well?

(James Roberts:)

The cover and contents page designs have been constant throughout, and were conceived entirely in-house at IDW. For every edition I'm asked to give Andy Wildman a detailed cover idea (let's face it, no one else involved in the production of the book would have asked for Nightstalker and an Autobot Overlord on the cover of Vol 2). You'll have noticed that with the covers we try to highlight the unique aspects of the UK stories, typically the characters that never featured in the US comics.

I'm responsible for selecting what should go in each volume, from the stories to the non-story scans: posters, letters pages, adverts etc. I re-read the 30 - 40 issues covered by each volume and flag up everything I think would be interesting to fans old and new, such as Transformation pages that trail or tease a big story, or announcements for new toys, or promotion about the original Movie and so on. Letters pages that disclose hitherto unknown 'in universe' facts are worth reprinting, too. I'll choose the front-papers - usually the inside cover of the annual, so that's easy - and the sequencing of the contents.

I'll submit the text - the foreword, the introductory essay, the story intros etc - and notate it to indicate which scans should go where.

At this point I must sing Lloyd Young's praises. The series wouldn't be a tenth as good as it is without him. Lloyd got in touch after Volume 1 and offered to use his complete collection of TFUK issues to provide high-quality scans of all the material that IDW didn't have. He spends hours and hours cleaning up and 'brightening' the strip pages, and digs up all sorts of rare free gifts and original art. I couldn't do any of this without him.

[...]


We’re now past the halfway point of the series, how advanced is the work on the remaining three books and do you think we’re likely to remain on a one volume a year schedule?


I'd love to be able to do more than one a year, but realistically... it's Volume 6 later this year, and Volume 7 in 2016. Maybe we'll get Volume 8 - the final one - out in 2016 too. I'd like that. As much as I love the project, I want to see it done! I can't relax until all eight volumes are on the shelf. I owe it to fans - and to myself.

As for how advanced work is on the remaining books, I know precisely which issues and annuals will be reprinted, and what special features we'll put in. I keep a list of non-story material we've not yet printed, and it's pretty long. I know exactly what's going in Volume 6. And I have my list of confirmed and prospective interviewees.


Be a huge tease and give us a hint of an exciting and new fact we’ll be learning in volume 6.

There's interesting stuff in Volume 6 (did you know that a TF character appeared on the cover of another Marvel UK publication in the late 80s?), but it's in Volume 7 that there's a real revelation. Wait until you find out what was originally planned for after issue 212...



I understand you and James first came into contact about this series via the TMUK forum, had you known each other before this, and what has the process of working with him (and IDW generally) been like?

(Lloyd Young)

As fate would have it, it was only a short time after finding all of the free gifts from the UK series and joining the TMUK forum that I was introduced to the one and only James Roberts. It was prior to Volume 1 of Transformers Classics UK being released and I received an email with an introduction. At the time I probably had to re-read it, it’s not often you’re approached to contribute to something that’s dear to you. After James explained what he was trying to achieve, there was no doubt that I wanted to be involved.

I couldn’t do this interview without highlighting the sheer passion that James has put into these books. He really has gone to the ends of earth to interview key contributors in its rich history to dig up information that would have potentially been lost forever. Each time we work on a new volume and I’m hunting around for items to include, I sit back and think, how the bloody hell is James going to fill this issue out? But testament to his unrelenting passion for the series, he does. Quite often, we’ll be nearing our cutoff dates to collate everything we need to hand off to the IDW guys, who then stitch the book together, and James will message me at the eleventh hour saying he’s found space for one last thing. That ‘one last thing’ often turns into the ‘tenth last thing’ but that’s what I love about this project, we’re always pushing to get the best content we can in.

This is where the guys over at IDW obviously do a great job as well and as James said earlier, are always kind enough to push the page count up if there’s more great content to include. As the books lay flat on my table you can visibly see the thickness change from the first few volumes. Without these guys, the books wouldn’t happen either. Shout out to Justin Eisinger.

[...]

And finally, you’ve contributed to an officially licensed Transformers book about the comic you love and have had your name in the credits alongside the great and the good who worked on the original series. On a scale of one to ten, how much of a good feeling is that?


It’s nothing short of amazing; I give it a 1984 out of 10 (the year that changed it all for me). What an absolute privilege to contribute to not only something you’ve loved since childhood, but to have your name in the same publication as the guys who shaped the original series and those who continue to work on the existing stories. I pinch myself from time to time.

During my years working in the games industry, I was also fortunate enough to work on a Transformers game. Although I was working as a 3d artist at the time, my good friend and fellow 3d artist/ photographer Jamie Andy Evans was given the role of advert photographer. Long story short, like a child attempting with their dear life to answer a questions in class, my arm went immediately up. I said to Jamie, “I have to get my face in this game; I don’t care what it takes”. It’s safe to say, I’m now immortalized on a mobile phone billboard. Sadly, Jamie passed away mid way through 2014, far too young and I’ll be forever thankful to him for taking those photos. RIP mate.

I’ll sign off now by once again thanking James Roberts and IDW, not only for including me in this epic journey of theirs but just because these guys rock it hard for TF’s! I’m certainly looking forward to meeting James and the gang in the flesh, we’ve only been working together for 4 years now after all.

American Cinematheque LA - Transformers: The Movie Cast and Crew Panel

Transformers News: American Cinematheque LA - Transformers: The Movie Cast and Crew Panel
Date: Wednesday, March 18th 2015 10:29am CDT
Categories: Cartoon News, Event News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Realistikk videos, Topless Robot

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With the current flurry of screenings across the US of the 1986 Transformers movie, and the unfortunate news of the passing of actor Leonard Nimoy, it's unsurprising that we hear more from the people involved in its creation, from a cast, crew and other perspectives! Entertainment website Topless Robot has posted a list of ten major points to come out of the Q&A session during the event in LA (which you can also watch for yourself via the embedded clip below!), ranging from Flint Dille, voice director Wally Burr and voice actors Neil Ross and Michael Bell. Check out some of it below, and the full piece here!



TR: Did your writing process change when you began scripting the movie as opposed to the TV show?

Flint Dille: Well, it did from the point of view that we knew this was going to be a very big movie. Of course, the purpose of the movie was not only to have something in theaters, but also to introduce next year's product line. Which meant that we had to first kill off the old product line to make way for the new toys.

TR: So Optimus Prime had to die?

FD: Exactly. We just didn't realize that it was going to bother anybody! :laughs: But I'd argue that had we not killed him, we wouldn't be talking about Transformers right now. Still, we didn't know the can of worms that we were opening when we wrote those scenes.

[...]

Topless Robot: The film world recently lost Leonard Nimoy, who voiced Galvatron in the Transformers animated feature. Can you talk about what he was like to work with?

Wally Burr: Very professional. Business-like. He came in and was ready to work. I asked him if I could give him the profile of what the show was about, to help get him up to speed. And he said "Go ahead." So I did. And when I finished with the full explanation, he said, "Okay, get your director and let's do this." :laughs: He didn't realize that I was the director! He must have thought I was a production assistant or somebody hired by the studio to hold his hand until he was ready to be used.

TR: What about Orson Welles? He came with quite a reputation, I imagine.

WB: With Mister Welles, I was intimidated in advance. Because if you've ever heard any of the outtake reels on him, he could be pretty tough. And he had a right to be! He could look at any script and say, instantly, I know what you need here. The problem was, he didn't want to be directed. But somebody had to coordinate the session, and that's what a voice director does. We coordinator of the cast. Otherwise, they'd overlap each other. The voice director keeps the characters straight, and so on. So I thought I was going to have a lot of problems with Mister Welles. And I did. At one point he was rather slow in his delivery, so I gently said "Mister Welles, this is sounding great. I'm wondering if I can ask you to pick up the tempo just a little bit." And he said, in that voice of his, "I'm reading this as rapidly as I possibly can. And furthermore, I'll do the slating from now on." Well, the voice director usually slates from the recording booth.

[...]

Topless Robot: You both voiced a number of different characters throughout the Transformers film. Did you have any particular favorites to play?

Neil Ross: Yes, I think so. My favorite was called Springer. He could turn into a helicopter at will, and he was just a good, fun, solid hero-type to play. He also didn't involve any throat ripping.

TR: Throat ripping?

NR: :speaks in a painfully scratchy voice: "That's when some of the characters sound like this!"

Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview
Date: Monday, March 2nd 2015 4:59pm CST
Categories: Interviews, Media, People News, Toy News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Allspark.com

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Views: 25,980

In addition to the Dengeki Hobby scans, fellow Seibertron.com and Allspark.com member Powered Convoy has shared with us images of the Figure King magazine, issue 205. The publication also features a lengthy interview (shown below in translation) with Takara designer Hisashi Yuki. Check it out below, and the images after that, featuring more on Masterpieces, Transformers Adventure and the ThreeA Dark of the Moon Megatron replica!

Powered Convoy wrote:
The Allspark in collaboration with SydneyY is happy to present a translation of the latest Interview with TakaraTomy Designer Hisashi Yuki from Figure King #205. In the interview he talks about his work on Unite Warriors Superion and MP-24 Masterpiece Star Saber.


Disclaimer: The original of this interview was published in Figure King magazine issue #205. The reason I provide this translation is solely to help non-Japanese fans who are unable to read this insightful interview. Hope you'll enjoy and pardon the grammar errors and/or typo.

Hisashi Yuki on Unite Warriors Superion, MP Star Saber and "Adventure"

- How did "Combiners" become the theme?
Y: In "Generations" series overseas, popular characters were picked without a particular theme. (Generations figures) are packed with IDW comics overseas, but there wasn't much connection between the characters, their designs and the contents of the comics. Then Hasbro changed their direction and decided to develop a series with the "Combiners" theme and connect the comics to it. TakaraTomy had been suggesting combiners to Hasbro for a while, and this time it was fit for what Hasbro was looking for.

- So the situation is different from when "Generations" Bruticus was developed.
Y: The purpose was to create a high priced product firstly, and Bruticus from the game was selected.

- It seems that the Japanese fans and the overseas fans see "combiners" differently. How was the reaction of the overseas fans?
Y: I think knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans overseas were pleased that they were finally getting combiners. I was at BotCon when "Combiner Wars" was announced, and when the silhouettes were revealed there were cheers.

- How did you proceed with the development of Superion?
Y: Due to the scheduling, 3 or 4 people are working with the products including Superion. Since it was being re-made as a current product, an extra effort seems to have been made to have as few excess parts as possible. The head and the chest plate were excess parts in the original toy, but now they are incorporated into Silverbolt. As for the base mode, it was omitted at the beginning because of the various factors that would have been required to form the runway. The wrist transformation gimmick is an idea which had been thought of a long time ago, but wasn't realized in a product until now.

- This Superion's legs are back-to-front.
Y: It is due to the joint movement. If the nose of the jet is at the back of the leg, it gets in the way when the knee is bent. Though it is possible to combine them back-to front. It is not the official way, however I think using such tricks is also a part of combiner robot fun.

- How did you decide on the direction of Japanese "Unite Warriors" development?
Y: This can be said for "Legends" series as well, but the concept for the current domestic products is that we want (the customers) to remember the Transformers from the past. We do not want someone who had (Transformers toy) long time ago to feel (the new ones are) somewhat wrong. When we first learned of Overseas Superion's specifics, we thought, "huh? There's a wrong guy in the team" (*laugh) So it was decided to make Japanese Superion consisting of all jets.

- How come is it sold as a set?
Y: I believe the concept works only when the five robots are present and they should be to played with as a whole team. Although some in the (developer) team suggested to sell them separately. The 5 robot combiners are to be released one by one this year and because of that they are marketed separately from "Legends". Hasbro's lineup is gearing toward combiner warriors and we are considering developing "Legends" series that is different from the overseas.

- Any other point of interest besides changing a member?
Y: The color scheme is closer to the cartoon image. Actually I combined the images evoked by the cartoon and the original toy well so that the end result is not too far off from either. I like Hasbro version's black wrists and ankles, but still chose white in accordance with the original. As for the paint applications, I made it as close to the original as possible such as the patterns on the wings. If you are not familiar, they are all minor changes, but I did not want to compromise after we went as far as changing a member to stick to the original. When it comes to the Japanese versions, one of our unofficial objectives is to give them deluxe deco so that the fans all over the world would want them, too. I would be happy if they buy Transformers as souvenirs when they visit Japan. (*laugh)

- Also MP Star Saber is going to be released in March at last.
Y: I was particular about constructing it using the colors of molded parts. You will notice it when you see the actual item. This is not only because of the cost, but I also wanted it to be a toy that you can play with freely without worrying about chipping the paint. If this concept is received favorably, I think Masterpiece series will be able to have wider range of lineup.

- I was amazed at the volume of it when I handled the sample.
Y: Giving (MP Star Saber) the impression of the volume as close to the original as possible was one of the concepts since the beginning of the development. The people who played (with the original) must have considered it very big and I didn't want them to think it became smaller as a Masterpiece.

- I can't help wondering about Victory Leo....
Y: I'd like to know that as well. (*laughs) In fact I haven't done anything so far. When I developed Star Saber I drew a rough sketch, but I can't go any further until the company gives the green light. This Star Saber is also considered to be the 30th anniversary celebration item, so first of all I hope the people who voted (for Star Saber) or owned Star Saber long time ago will be satisfied with it when they have it in their hands.

- Tell us about your current work.
Y: I am working on the localized series such as "Adventure", "Legends" and "Unite Warriors". As for "Adventure" toys, more colors are added to make them cartoon accurate as well as homage to the past series. Their release dates are not far behind their overseas counterparts, and I hope the Japanese versions will be purchased with confidence. Also, some characters who were not able to release previously will be added to the line up this time. I made Dreadwing's color scheme closer to his appearance in "Beast Hunters".

- "Adventure" seems to be marketed ambitiously, for example (the toys) are released close to their overseas versions.
Y: We are taking various ambitious approaches such as the way the show is broadcast; as well as showing on Animax, it will be broadcast online so that the viewers will benefit from being able to watch it any time. The preceding show, "Q-Transformer" has been played online more than our expectations.

- This year is the 30th anniversary of Transformers arriving in Japan. What do you suggest the fans to pay attention to?
Y: Firstly I hope you will take notice of "Adventure". The story is interesting, and the picture is bright. It is a typical Transformers show in a good way. There will be many merchandise, too, and I hope you will watch the show and discover your own hero. (note by Sydney: in the original text,Mr.Yuki uses the phrase "boku ga erabu boku no hero" (My hero, chosen by me), which was a catch phrase for G1 toy advertisement) Also, the other cartoon, "Q-Transformer" is received favorably by female audience. If "Q" Bumblebee is your favorite, I hope you will take a look at "Adventure" Bumblebee as well (note by Powered Convoy: QTF Bumblebee and Adventure Bumblebee share the same voice actor).

- Very colorful lineup worthy of the 30th anniversary indeed.
Y: We had 2 major lines last year; "30th Anniversary" and "the Movie". This year we are aiming for a wider variety. I will be happy if you can meet many different kind of Transformers and enjoy them.


Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Transformers News: Japanese Magazine Scans April 2015 - Figure King, Plus Designer Hisashi Yuki Interview

Windblade Returns in Transformers: Combiner Wars - Another Interview with Scott And Barber

Transformers News: Windblade Returns in Transformers: Combiner Wars - Another Interview with Scott And Barber
Date: Friday, February 27th 2015 1:18pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): WWAC

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Views: 19,405

The second piece of news from Rachel Stevens of Women Write About Comics has some of a crossover with the CBR article we posted earlier, but offers some interesting additions and further developments to that interview, as Mairghread Scott and John Barber answer even more questions about the upcoming Combiner Wars event with IDW Publishing and where the two series - Windblade and The Transformers - will be going from there. Read more here, and some selected quotes below!


If you were to pitch the story to a new reader that hasn’t had the fortune of reading prior IDW Transformers comics, what is Combiner Wars and why should you be reading the current Transformers stories?

Mairghread Scott: Combiner Wars is about a world on the verge of imperial takeover. Cybertron has recently discovered one of a series of long lost colony worlds (this is where Windblade comes from), and they’re reaching out to them once more. But with the rise of the combiners, Cybertron (and more accurately Starscream) has military power no one’s ever seen before. He could easily turn these colonies into conquered worlds, creating a vast empire even Megatron never imagined.

John Barber: If you’ve never read Transformers, you probably wouldn’t guess what the IDW Transformers books are like. I mean, there’s a lot of action, yeah—and Combiner Wars definitely has some serious fighting—but a lot more personal interactions and political machinations go on than somebody might expect. I think word of mouth has spread about what we’re doing in these books, and hopefully something like Combiner Wars will give new readers a good place to take a look at this universe.

[...]

What do you want to do after Combiner Wars? Windblade Returns has been confirmed to not just be a miniseries, but little more besides that has been stated.

MS: That’s by design. Actually, the comic is named Transformers: Windblade; “Windblade Returns” was just a title card put up to announce our comeback. And we haven’t said much about it because Combiner Wars is so linked in with Windblade’s story that saying too much could spoil this event. I will tell you one thing. There’s this old saying I keep thinking of as I write it: “God never gives you more than you can handle.” Windblade is a lot stronger than she was when we first introduced her, but that just means her problems have grown that much bigger with her. I want to believe that Windblade really can build a better future for Cybertron and Caminus. But, as a writer, it’s my job to push her as hard as possible and see if she actually does.

JB: The next set of issues of Transformers deals with the ramifications of what happens in Combiner Wars back on Earth, and the rest of our solar system. With the changes in CW, we’ll see Arcee taking on a new role, and get some good Cosmos stuff, finally. And see what happened to Kup when he was in the Dead Universe. Plus, somebody will return. I won’t say who.

James Roberts on IDW’s Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye - Audio Interview

Transformers News: James Roberts on IDW’s Transformers: More Than Meets The Eye - Audio Interview
Date: Friday, February 27th 2015 1:11pm CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, Media, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): WWAC

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Views: 21,541

A couple of news posts courtesy of Cybertronian correspondent Rachel Stevens over on Women Write About Comics, starting with a lengthy interview with current IDW Publishing writer for Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye. The hour-long audio deals mostly with general issues of the series, from its conception to ongoing issues, but there are some very interesting snippets throughout. You can listen to it in its entirety below!

James Roberts, writer and mastermind, talks robots, disguises, and the scope and humanity of IDW’s Cybertronian comics universe. Robot gender, robot psychology, and entry points for new readers — this sprawling conversation with WWAC staffer, Rachel Stevens, has it all.



Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art
Date: Friday, February 27th 2015 11:56am CST
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews, People News
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): CBR

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Views: 19,225

Courtesy of entertainment website ComicBookResources.com, we have another interview with some of the creators behind the upcoming IDW Publishing Transformers: Combiner Wars event, crossing over current ongoing The Transformers and returning series Windblade. Read some snippets from the full piece - found here - below, in which John Barber and Mairghread Scott touch upon some of what is to come in terms of stories and themes, including some preview art for from Sarah Stone and Livio Ramondelli!

CBR News: This is the first big "Transformers" crossover since last year's "Dark Cybertron" epic. While we understand the basic gist of the crossover, what more can you tell us about "Combiner Wars?" Who, exactly is combining? Who is warring?

Mairghread Scott: "Combiner Wars" starts when Starscream (a rather evil guy and ruler of Cybertron) gains the ability to make a Combiner (a super-powerful giant) and seems poised to build a new Cybertronian empire.

Let that sink in.

Because when we talk about empire in "Transformers," we're not talking a few countries in Europe. We're speaking of whole planets who might be about to bow to the power of one man. Combiners are the ultimate weapons of Transformers, and Starscream can now make as many as he wants.

So you have two very different wars happening at the same time. Windblade and Optimus Prime are fighting a war for influence (Can they get people to see the danger Starscream poses?), while others take a much more literal war with every weapon they have.

John Barber: Meanwhile, on Earth, Prowl is sitting at the head of the up-to-now only really properly-functioning Combiner -- the other attempts have basically failed outright or driven the component people mad -- and he's not keen on Optimus Prime's leadership of the Autobots, or Starscream's ruling of Cybertron.

To put it in a real world setting: It's six issues (one "Opening Salvo" and five actual parts, just like most of the Combiners have) that starts in "Transformers" #39, goes to the new "Transformers: Windblade" #1, back to "Transformers" #40 and alternated until it's done. Mairghread and I are writing it, and the art is by the amazing Sarah Stone and Livio Ramondelli, alternating issues

[...]

Diversity is a big issue in comics -- and everywhere, really -- and something that I know is important to both of you, but how exactly do you promote diversity through stories about giant sexless, raceless robots?

Scott: The term "sexless" is debatable in my view. I want to be clear: There are Transformers who are inherently male and inherently female. That doesn't mean the same thing as it does in humans, but Transformers that call themselves "she" aren't doing it because they like the 'sh' sound. They are female, and we're going to meet a lot more of them.

The term "raceless" is also misleading. Transformers have a long history of racial tension against cassettes, animalistic transformers, headmasters, etc. They are just as noble as humans and we're pushing the envelope to make them at least as diverse as we are. So what can you expect in terms of Transformers in the future? More! More body types, more races, more LGBTQ, more religions and creeds and classes. More conflict about all of the above. Working with robots doesn't stop us from exploring diversity. It offers us the chance to push the boundaries of diversity in a lot of interesting, allegorical ways.

Barber: Yeah, what Mairghread said there. One of the things that non-"Transformers" fans might not realize is how wide-ranging and inclusive the "Transformers" fanbase is. I mean, it's self-evident if you're part of the "Transformers" world, but "Transformers" readers, "Transformers" fans encompass the entire spectrum of people. And it's important to have the characters in the comic be reflective of that.

It's sometimes a complex line to walk, between the out-and-out science-fiction-ness of the "Transformers" universe and its relationship with the real world, but it's important.


Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

Transformers News: Writers Talk "Combiner Wars" Event, Transformers Gender Identity & More, Plus Preview Art

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579 total news articles in this section, 10 per page.

Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #114 - Brainmasters
Twincast / Podcast #114:
"Brainmasters"
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Posted: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015