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Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight / Interview - Razorclaw0000

Transformers News: Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight / Interview - Razorclaw0000
Date: Monday, November 26th 2012 3:12am CST
Categories: Interviews, Site Articles
Posted by: Anonymous.

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Views: 94,963

"Just a normal interview," they said. "Everything will be alright," they said. Well as this innocent Autobot reporter found out, his assigned interview subject happened to live in a no-so-alright star system controlled by Unicron. It also turned out that my interviewee was not-so-normal either. Among the list of his many credentials is some sort of secret 'Agent of Unicron', so I was not entirely sure if we were going to play Casino Royale, or there was going to be some Skyfall. Luckily I found my subject in his natural habitat, and coincidentally, he happens to Twincast/Podcast and Seibertron.com staff member, Razorclaw0000!


[START TRANSMISSION]


Blurrz: Every Transformers fan has a different origin. When and how did it begin for you?

Razorclaw0000: In my Universe, the Vok also created something greater from the sparks of Air Razor and Tigatron, but here, the Vok meant business. Instead of that sniveling Tigerhawk trying to stop Megatron from interfering with time, I just disposed of him. Tigerhawk is not me and I am not he. However, the Vok are not kind to their creations, and cast me adrift. Then, millennia later the Dark God Unicron found me and bestowed the mantle of General upon me. To feed the Chaos Bringer's thirst, I oversaw the Cauldron - a great Arena which put the ancient gladiatorial games at Kaon to shame. At that time, I also began amassing a vast collection of Microns and Minicons to please Unicron.

Alternatively, I've always been fond of Transformers, since I was very small. I was just a few years too late to catch G1 at its pinnacle, and ended up seeing reruns in syndication. My first few toys were Minibots, Perceptor, Blitzwing, Groundshaker, and Iguanus. We were not a financially stable family though, and toys that weren't from a dollar store were a sparse luxury, so I ended up with many anonymous robots from various low cost Chinese lines.

I stayed a fan for a long time, and saw some of Beast Wars as a teenager. Rampage was a fantastic character and the toy always excited me. It was a few years later, in my senior year of high school when I finally had a small job and a bit of money that I stumbled on a Rampage in a Boscov's Department Store, covered in dust, and had to buy it. I was hooked, but money was still tight. I ended up finding some good deals on clearance in Kay-Bee, a Scarem and Sonar, and a Transmetals Scavenger, which were my only toys for a few years.

By 2002, I had a fairly stable job, ironically at a Boscov's, while I was putting myself through undergrad. One day, I happened to stroll over to the toy area, and saw Armada Starscream. The design was interesting. There's a presence to that figure, with the stocky lower legs, smirk, and sword that mean business. I ended up buying it, but I felt slightly disappointed by the slightly less complex transformation. Within months, I ended up buying nearly every domestic Armada figure, skipping some repaints. I was hooked. There were some stinkers, like Scavenger, and some real winners, like Jetfire and Tidalwave that looked great, even if articulation was weak. I also started backfilling with clearance RID figures, and even a few Beast Machines figures hiding out here and there.

In 2003, I ordered my first Japanese figure: the reissue God Ginrai with God Bomber, on clearance at HLJ, along with a color set of Micromaster Six Wing. My fiancee (and currently my wife) was relatively annoyed but didn't complain too much. For years, I ended up picking up most of the domestic products, through Energon, Alternators, and Cybertron, along with a few pieces here and there from older or foreign lines, like a Sonokong Big Convoy. Right as Classics began to hit store shelves, we bought a house, and I took a large pause for nearly a year.

When the 2007 movie came up, on Memorial Day weekend, I found the movie prequel book "Ghost of Yesterday" and Protoform Prime and Starscream, and decided to pick them up. I was excited by the fiction, and intrigued by the molds. My collecting desires rekindled and I was on a mad dash to grab the Classics I'd missed.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
Unicron's glory reigns supreme in Razorclaw0000's collection!


Q: Sounds like Unicron will have Bards singing your tale! So let's get more into the little guys. What does collecting mini-cons mean to you?

A: When I was growing up, and we were poor, I did end up with a handful of Minibots, namely Powerglide, Brawn, Outback, Huffer, and two poor Seasprays that never managed to keep all the propellers. I think there's something about Minicons and Microns that pulls me back to those points, and there's some gleeful irony in the stupid prices a few of them are worth. I'm also borderline OCD, so the "gotta catch 'em all" aspect tickles my fancy. Finally, I think a few of them are so outright gorgeous and unique, like the DVD Sonic Attack team (girly planes!), Micron Booster Green Emergency team (minty fresh team!) , the Platinum team, and the US Giant Planet Team. They're fun to fiddle with, and don't take up much space, unlike other parts of my collection...

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
A mere glimpse into his collection - Razorclaw0000's work in progress Mini-con shelf!


Q: Like myself, you are an avid video game enthusiast. How are you feeling about Fall Of Cybertron the game, itself?

A: I think it looks good. I got chills when I heard the original trailer, featuring "The Humbling River" by Puscifer. I'm a huge Maynard James Keenan fan, so that was a nice treat. The visuals look great, and I'm intrigued by some of the characters, like the Combaticons. However, I was somewhat unimpressed with WFC. I'm a big fan of real cover shooters, like Mass Effect and Gears of War, with nice clean snap in cover mechanics. Standing behind a pillar isn't quite the same, and I'm a bit spoiled. I'm sure I'll pick it up, though, just to support High Moon and the property.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000


Q: Leaning more towards the Fall Of Cybertron toyline. How does it fit within your collection? Do you feel that WFC/FOC has done justice on the Pre-Earth Transformers? Do you think FOC toyline is a step backwards or forwards for the Transformers toy franchise?

A: I built up a shelf last year with Welcome to 2010 Primus, the War for Cybertron Generations Deluxes, BotCon Alpha Trion, and Universe 2.0 Blaster with Renderform's DJ Rockblast head. I'm pretty happy with it, and I have no problems adding a *few* more figures to it, particularly Shockwave, Starscream, and Bruticus. I'm not crazy that the mainline Bruticus has the inferior, pseudo-G2 color scheme, because I'd rather keep the SDCC MISB. The big thing that irritates me, though, is that large Soundwave with the annoying disk gimmick we saw at BotCon. I like the concept, but the execution is poor, and I can't help but think of all those development dollars that could have gone to more Neo-G1 figures, or Prime figures, or anything. Too much, too late?

Q: As we all know you have a nose for completion in regards to collecting toys. What made you lean towards this way of collecting? What was the most arguably painful and frustrating purchase you had to go through because of this mentality?

A: Completionism is a special kind of hell that only a dedicated few can put themselves through. It takes an understanding spouse, a dash of luck, and a whole heap of obsessive-compulsion. There's a special kind of yearning that enforces the "Gotta Catch 'Em All" feeling of toys, and makes you ignore the common sense that tells you one Backstop was enough, and you don't need two others in even worse decos.

Some of the hardest things to find in my collection are obscure non-Micron figures and items from the Micron Trilogy (the Japanese equivalent of the Unicron Trilogy here). I've been working for a long time on finding the last Force Chip (Cyber-key) that was not paired with a larger figure during Galaxy Force. If you know anyone looking to part with "Ignition Prize", send 'em my way! The Superlink Energon Weapons are also a bear to track down. Many of the hardest items are difficult to search for, and were often overlooked by sites like Seibertron when they were first released. Even getting photos is extremely difficult...

One of my happiest moments was tracking down the three rarest US Minicons, though. At the start of Cybertron, Wal-Mart released the Wave One deluxes in special tiny boxes, paired with a palette-flipped set of the Armada Road Destruction Team, along with "Tiny Tin" storage boxes. Each Minicon in the team was paired with two different deluxes. I've managed to complete a full set of the six deluxes, sealed, along with a loose set of the Minicons for display. Yes, that does mean I own the team three times...

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
Razorclaw0000's specials. Prototype Razorclaw and BotCon 2010 Customizing Class G2 Sideswipe


Q: Mini-cons certainly perpetuate happiness among certain members of the Seibertron.com staff! So among your massive collection, which one is your holy grail?

A: Shining Unicron is certainly the top of the "grail" list. Dragoyell is another Lucky Draw that tickles my fancy. For non-Micron Trilogy, I'd certainly love a Black Fire Convoy or the gorgeous Lucky Draw Micron Legends Megatron.

However, if we're looking for 'attainable' grails, it would probably be the Space Galaxy Team. They're still one of the most elusive sets of Microns ever produced that weren't Lucky Draws, and command absurd dollars in the after market, if they even show up at all.

If we step down from that, I'll be very happy when I wrap up the last three DVD Microns, Impulsor, Quench, and Freeboot, that I need.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
I don't want to die! Plot shield please?


Q: What is your opinion of Shattered Glass? Are you a devoted fan or strongly opposing it? What do you think of the upcoming e-hobby/TFCC crossover?

A: I'm not a fan at this point. It was clever at the beginning, especially since I'm a big fan of Star Trek, where the idea really blossomed from. However, I think it's been taken a bit too far by now, and is stunting the creativity of the club. To be fair, though, it's a nice avenue to get repaints we may not otherwise, like Road Rage. I'd just like to see some other property developed by the club already. Wings was promising, but seems to have petered out. I didn't join the Shattered Glass Collector's Club.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000


Q: On the topic of the club, which figure is your favorite of the upcoming 2012 Subscription service, and why?

A: I'm the odd man out, and I'm really digging Circuit. I enjoy that mold immensely; it's one of my favorites out of the amazing NEST Global Alliance/Hunt for the Decepticons/Reveal the Shield era. I'm also really enjoying the trend of giving us Action Masters. I love Double Punch, Slicer, Kick Off, and Thundercracker, and I'm really looking forward to more homages to that era.

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000


Blurrz: Whelp, looks like Unicron calls. Thanks for stopping by Razorclaw0000!

Seibertron.com Staff Spotlight/Interview - Razorclaw0000
Razorclaw0000 left this here.. What is this? I don't even..


[END TRANSMISSION]

Q&A with Game Director Matt Tieger from Transformers Fall of Cybertron

Transformers News: Q&A with Game Director Matt Tieger from Transformers Fall of Cybertron
Date: Friday, August 3rd 2012 3:11pm CDT
Categories: Game News, Interviews, Media, People News
Posted by: Seibertron | Credit(s): Kotaku

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Views: 107,711

Earlier today, popular game site Kotaku hosted a live Q&A interview session with Matt Tieger, the game director of the highly anticipated Transformers Fall of Cybertron game. The session ran for about an hour starting at 10am PT. Fans quickly bombarded Tieger but he addressed many of the questions presented to him.

Q&A with Game Director Matt Tieger from Transformers Fall of Cybertron

Q&A with Game Director Matt Tieger from Transformers Fall of Cybertron

Q&A with Game Director Matt Tieger from Transformers Fall of Cybertron

Here's the full interview from Kotaku ...

MrOpto: How did you first get the Transformers license? Did Hasbro put out offers or did you go them?

Matt Tieger: ATVI already had a relationship with Hasbro, but what they were looking for was someone to make a non-movie based game. They both felt that we would be a great fit and War for Cybertron was born. The success of that game allowed us to make Fall of Cybertron.

bigduo209: I love games that use Sci-fi inspired weaponry/abilities and not just future-looking guns (Ratchet and Clank, Bioshock), how many crazy weapons have you made for Fall of Cybertron?

Matt Tieger: The great thing about this game world is that there are absolutely shotguns and sniper rifles, but also lightning guns, acid guns, and 'tron' disk guns. The guns are divided into Primary and Heavy weapons. Many (but not all) of the more sci-fi guns fall into the heavy weapons category. In SP there is a Teletraan Store where you can buy and upgrade those weapons. In MP the weapons are divided between the classes based on countless play testing hours - so not every class can use every weapon. As to the exact number of them, since you explore and find blueprints to unlock them i don't want to spoil anything, so ill say quite a few more than we ever had in War for Cybertron.

Jason Schreier: How would you convince a non-Transformers fan that he/she should play your game?

snowtires: Play the demo, it's awesome.

Matt Tieger: Good Question, and one that I often think about. The worst compliment we get about War is, "what a great game, too bad nobody knew about it." What i would say is this (in my most passionate game dev voice. "forget Transformers, forget Michael Bay, forget the toys, and consider for a moment a game that allows you access to your vehicle at any moment in time, a game where the core tactical choices are movement based, and now imagine a game where each character is a unique experience with different vehicles or special abilities. This game offers something that no other game can, huge variety and tactical variety. Oh yeah and it happens to be Transformers"

SaburoDaimando: What are some of the lessons you learned on designing Fall of Cybertron compared to War for Cybertron?

Matt Tieger: When we developed WFC we looked for similar games that tackled similar level design issues and frankly, found none. So we blazed a trail and learned alot. With FOC we again did a survey and found WFC to be the only comparable game, so we set out to exceed it in every way. As one example, the driving got a bit stale in WFC, it might seem like a small thing but in FOC we added terrain, so instead of all flat metal surfaces, you now had hills - which innately make driving more fun. We also bowed down to the gods of player choice, and for much of the game you can tackle problems as you see fit - stay in vehicle the whole time, Transform constantly, etc. We had some of that in WFC, but now it is the rule in FOC.

Mike Fahey: WHERE IS OUR BEAST WARS GAME!?!?! ALL CAPS!>!!>!??

Hlokk: Most important question! Notice the all caps!

Matt Tieger: I get asked this alot. Lets see how this game does. We do have Dinobots and Insecticons, so i'd say its in the realm of possibility - someday.

Marquis_Gabriel: When taking on a IP, especially one with tie in's to a movie. What are your expectations?

Matt Tieger: just to make sure - we are not related to the movies in anyway, we are a distinct storyline. We do this by telling their story before they ever reach Earth. With any game you need to find the 'heart' of what makes that game so unique (original or licensed). Strip everything else away and Transformers are about 'transforming' (i know sounds simple, right?). By focusing on that single concept and making everything else supportive to that, we stay true to the license while still making a great game.

KnickKnackMyWack246: How does this universe connect (if at all) to any Transformers stories other than G1? A friend of mine suggested it's a prequel to Transformers Prime while another believes it's a prequel to the Michael Bay films. Can you clarify?

CodeMonkey76: It's a prequel to the G1 television series

Matt Tieger: G1 is our primary touchstone, meaning that we look to G1 for visual ques, abilities, VO quotes, etc. We look to not violate the Movie universe, but aren't beholden to it (and we do in-fact stay in the distant past to help with that). Prime has the most relevance with our game, there are many things introduced in WFC that are not part of the Prime show, like Dark Energon. There are a few elements that have the same 'visual DNA' like the Nemesis for example.

Emmerson: With how the Transformers scaled in the first game, with Scorpinok and Omega Supreme being the biggest we had seen. Then in the second game with having combiners, and then summoning Metroplex, how can you guys top that in terms of Transformers power and scale? How will you handle the issue like Fortress Maximus and Unicron?

Matt Tieger: Quick edit : last game didn't have Scorpinok in it (although that would have been cool) it had Trypticon. Your essential question is, "How do we keep ratcheting up from here?" Honestly, I dunno - you made some good suggestions, what we will do is wait and see what the reaction from this game is before thinking that far ahead.

Brian Erice: Im curious about the campaign design change for FOC. Why did you move away from the two split campaigns that were in WFC?

Matt Tieger: Excellent question. Game Director is often thought of as the best job ever, and some days it is, but often we have to make excruciatingly tough calls - the campaign change was one of those. In WFC, you had 2 separate campaigns that you could play in either order, so we never knew how you were going to play. What this meant for the game that there were functionally 2 first levels, 2 second levels, 2 3rd levels - you get the picture. and when you had played 50% of the game you had really played 100% of the game. We believe that one of the primary reasons for the major criticism of the game, "The gameplay got repetitive", was in-fact because it DID get repetitive based on the campaign structure. So we made a single interwoven campaign where we could pace it well.

Mungry: Hey Matt, huge fan and I love everything about the game we have seen so far! My questions is about multiplayer. I am wondering if their will be killstreak rewards in the game and if we can expect new multiplayer game modes as the game progresses through its life? Thx - SoooMungry

Matt Tieger: SoooMungry - I'm actually a fan of yours. At the studio we watch your Youtube channel and read the comments - thank you for your excitement for the game. Regarding Killstreaks, we had them in for a while during our dev of the game, we took them out for balance reasons. Let me explain, every game has a very unique MP pace and with all the changes from WFC, what we were seeing was runaway gamers, specifically due to killstreaks. By removing them, they game was more competitive. Along a similar vein we removed double jump, many gamers initial reaction were negative until the played it for a bit and realized that the streamlined approach actually made it better. remember this isn't WFC2 this is FOC.

DinoDinoBot: What made you guys change your mind about releasing it on PC after you said you wouldn't? And what do you think is the best addition or special feature in this version?

Thanks for the Q&A.

Matt Tieger: coming off of WFC we needed to laser our focus on FOC. Reducing the number of platforms that we ship on was one way to do that - and it was the right call for the dev team. The fan outcry wasn't lost on us, however and once we saw how much PC gamers wanted it we started looking for solutions. The short version is that, a PC version exists because of the fans.

czen2: Is there any plans to include other combiners like the aerial bots ,protectobots, or even transformers like ultra magnus ,hot rod,cup, etc.

Matt Tieger: Yes and no. The curse of Transformers is that there are so many of them. Last time I spoke with Hasbro i asked them how many there are, their response was in excess of 11,000! We simply cant put that many into the game. What we do have is customization in MP. There are millions of combinations and enough color choices that you can make, and name, a garage full of Transformers.

Emmerson: As my favorite Transformer(s) ever, I have to ask, Where is Devastator? Any chance on seeing him in the new game?

Matt Tieger: Devastator isn't in this game. however, who knows where we go from here

Leebee: how did you guys approach designing multiplayer this time around? what features did you guys want to add to make it fresh from the last game? how often did you guys release new builds to tweak overpowered/underpowered stuff? will keeping the MP suite fresh and balanced be a priority for you guys after release?

I'm a huge fan of asymmetrical competitive multiplayer design, and I love giant robots. you could say that I'm a huge fan of your games. :3

cheers, and thank you.

Matt Tieger: We host 5pm MP matches for the team, EVERY night through the ENTIRE project. Now not everyone can play every night and sometimes the build breaks, but more often than not the team is playing. What that means is that it gets tweaked every day, we try all sorts of stuff, game modes, who has what gun, footspeed adjustments, everything. the 'secret sauce' is countless hours by a dedicated team.

James De Moss: Will we see humans in the franchise? I know WfC and FoC take place waaaaaaay before humans were in the picture, but will the franchise ever go that far into the future?

Matt Tieger: Certainly not is this game, but we will have to see.

Aidil42: During development, with all ideas flying around, do you sometimes wish you're not tied up to an already established franchise?

Matt Tieger: In this case, i'd say no. The harder decisions are what not to put in.

FullmetalPrime: Are there any characters, save the Dinobots of course, that you'd like to have included into this months Fall of Cybertron?

Matt Tieger: Triple changers. I always thought that concept was a cool one. We just didn't have the bandwith to do it right, that I am not sure how much fun Astrotrain's train mode would be.

CFNexus: Any chance there could be a Transformers MMO in the future? Ive been thinking about 1 for years. I have already thought of character creation, mechanics and plenty of other things. I think and MMO has some very interesting things going for it.

Callum F, Northern Ireland.

Matt Tieger: It is definitely a big enough universe, but at HMS we aren't geared for MMOs.

mandrate: Is Co-op has been taken out for a more immersive single player storyline?

Matt Tieger: I mentioned earlier about tough decisions - this was the other big one. We do however recognize that Co-op is part of fan expectations, so we really put a lot of focus on Escalation. It is crazy addictive 4 player online Co-op, trust me you will like it.

Zurick: Will there be a 3rd game in the series?

Matt Tieger: Maybe. Lets see what the fans are saying about this one first.

dinowho: Why you no give autobots combiners? AerialBots! Thanks for revitalizing the Transformers to the glory they deserve

Matt Tieger: Deceptions get Bruticus, Autobots get Dinobots - sounds pretty fair to me!

Glenn Beck: Pre-order G1 DLC has been shown played to "The Touch." Make us all happy and tell us you have some Stan Bush somewhere in the game.

Matt Tieger: you will be happy.

Trax0r: How come it took 25 years for a designer to finally make a great Transformers game (WFC)? It seems like its the perfect premise and platform for a good story/fighting/shooter, and yet until, WFC, the ones that did come out were total shit.

Matt Tieger: Transformation is a tough concept to wrap you brain around. It sounds simple enough, but when you start to really knuckle down with the geometry and the mechanics it is a unique problem with no real parallels. We took this as an opportunity to do something different, I am glad you feel that we succeeded.

opieman2010: From what I can understand, War and this game are considered the "revised" official canon for the Transformers, as well as the Prime cartoon. How involved was Hasbro, outside of just overseeing the story? Were any other writers brought in to work on this that have also contributed to the Transformers story?

Matt Tieger: Hasbro was very involved, but the story starts and ends here are HMS. We have some very talented writers, a studio full of G1 fans, and a design staff that is passionate about bringing the story out in the world.

Cabbagetroll: Any hints to what else you guys are working on? Maybe a little bit of news about Deadpool?

Matt Tieger: No can do.

frizzlestick: The first level of the demo had you playing as Bumblebee, but for some reason his voicebox was smashed. I really enjoyed Johnny Yong Bosch as Bumblebee in the first game, so will he still have a voice or is this a reflection of the Bay-era where he never speaks?

Also, Dinobots are awesome, but they did get messed up by Devastator in the 80's film.

Matt Tieger: BB does not have a voice in FOC. This is one element that is in fact a reflection of the Bay movies. Per a comic that was a 'movie prequel' he has his voice box crushed by Megatron, in the game there is a VO that allude to that fact.

Chris Zombiechild: Are there any other cartoon series from the same era that you would like to make a game for?

Matt Tieger: Thundercats, Dinoriders, He-Man. Not sure that anybody other than me would want to play them, but they could be awesome. Also Big Trouble in Little China would make an amazing video game.

djs2879: How soon do you expect the Dinobot DLC to come out after launch?

Matt Tieger: not soon enough by most peoples standards, but it will happen.

Anubis_Arcane: Will we be able to use our custom built transformers for escalation mode? A few of my friends and I were wondering if that might be a possibility down the road.

Matt Tieger: in Escalation you play as the named characters, we chose this for 2 reasons. 1 so that you could use the official iconic characters with your friends and 2 because that mode requires an extreme level of balance within the team, we needed to set the rules.

montymonster50: I love the WFC multiplayer, but I thought it died out (relatively) quickly. Are there any plans to expand the multiplayer to keep players involved for a longer period of time?

Matt Tieger: Tell your friends about it. Seriously, we are very hopeful that the community can reach a much larger self-sustaining size this time around. ATVI has gotten behind the product in a big way, so if you love it help us get the message out there.

Seibertron.com: Are there any Easter Eggs in the game that die-hard Transformers fans can look forward to? (other than Stan Bush's "The Touch")

Matt Tieger: tons of them, keep your eyes open

TheBigTsk: Will the MP skills that were so popular in the first game be back? Right now there doesn't seem to be much info and the info that is out there looks bleak.

Matt Tieger: This game stands on the shoulders of WFC, but it isn't WFC2. Things are slightly different, and in our opinion significantly better. What I suggest you do is try the demo, you initial reaction might be that you miss something specific, but i'd bet that after a few matches you will realize the clarity of the MP experience and see how much better this game is. WFC had really good MP, FOC has great MP.

mannoroth0913: My question has to be: Is Grimlock as amazing in game as the trailers make him out to be, because there's no way I can miss a chance to play as the King

Matt Tieger: Yep. Not only is the gameplay fun, it is very unique compared to every other playable character and the story is exceptional - you get to see how they are created in a brand new official cannon story.

Atomic3xplosion3564: Is it possible for you guys to make a movie?

Matt Tieger: LOL. I hear that alot. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Liquid-X: Will we get some version of Starscream in a cape and crown?

Matt Tieger: smells like an easter egg to me.

opieman2010: What does an Easter egg smell like? Probably a lot like a regular, hard boiled egg.

SDCC 2012 Coverage: Interview with Hasbro's Aaron Archer and Jerry Jivoin

Transformers News: SDCC 2012 Coverage: Interview with Hasbro's Aaron Archer and Jerry Jivoin
Date: Wednesday, July 25th 2012 11:44pm CDT
Categories: Event News, Interviews, Site News, Toy News
Posted by: Seibertron

Discuss This Topic · Permanent Link
Views: 81,337

Shortly after Hasbro's Transformers brand panel on July 12th, 2012 at San Diego Comic-Con, Seibertron.com's owner Ryan Yzquierdo had an opportunity to interview Hasbro's Jerry Jivoin (Marketing Director of Global Brand Development) and Aaron Archer (VP Creative Director, Brand design IP creation). Jerry and Aaron are well known to Transformers fans around the world. The audio from this interview will be included in our next Seibertron.com Twincast / Podcast early next week. In the meantime, I did my best to transcribe the audio for all of you to read. Without further ado, here's Seibertron.com's interview with Hasbro.

Image

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "What can you tell us about Takara Tomy exclusive figures such as Unicron, Breakdown? Are they going to stay exclusive to Japan?"

Hasbro / Jerry Jivoin: "We don't have plans right now really. This is the second time this question has come up. We're definitely evaluating those and one thing that we're trying to do is that you saw with the Year of the Dragon edition Optimus Prime and the China exclusives that we're bringing over to Toys R Us is we recognize that Takara Tomy is working on great stuff that's being released and we want to bring stuff over to the fans here so rather than paying $200 on eBay ..."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "Yeah, I just dropped $70 on those Legends class toys [from Asia]."

Hasbro / Jerry: "I'd rather us get those into a store and sell it here. All that kind of stuff we're looking at. We don't have any plans right now but not to say that we wouldn't do it."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "Then again with the Takara Masterpieces, it seems like the smaller scale might be more appealing to American retailers such as Walmart and Target. Are you working with Takara on that or is that too far down the road?"

Hasbro / Aaron: "No we work with them on concept with "here's the next one we're thinking about", "what do you think?" so we do discuss it even though we know on the offset that it's for their market. Doing the smaller cars has helped but it's really about the market for Jerry. Do we do a non-connected high end item as an exclusive or where does it fit?"

Hasbro / Jerry: "The other thing with Sideswipe too is we have to get the Lamborghini license, which they have, which they were able to secure for the Japanese market. We have not [secured that]. If we're going to do that, we're going to need to approach Lamborghini and setup a licensing deal with them to do that. But we've seen them, we love them, we'd love to bring them to the US, there's no plans exactly yet but Masterpiece will continue. You've got Optimus Prime and Thundercracker this year, so we definitely see the value in bringing them over because fans love them."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "The first thing that came to my mind when I saw the new pictures from Takara is basically this is Hasbro's answer to Mattel with their Masters of the Universe Classics line which has the perfect epitome of all of those characters. That's what I [thought] when I saw that. What can you tell me about the shared exclusive G2 Bruticus set? You guys really went all out with that package so much so that I don't think I've seen you guys put that much work into an Amazon.com or BigBadToyStore.com exclusive before. Was that at one point going to be a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive?"

Hasbro / Jerry: "You know the package, we wanted to make it something special because we realize "hey, you can buy Bruticus in the main line in the deluxe format, we're selling him here at Comic-Con as an exclusive, and we wanted to make it special. We didn't just want to do a redeco and put it in a general package. This was an opportunity to really do something unique with this item. And a lot of it goes to our packaging creative group and art directors. They really had a lot of fun."

Hasbro / Aaron: "They challenged themselves. They went above and beyond, not that we didn't want that. The brief was the brief but they certainly did extra work to take it to a much finer point than may have seemed necessary at the beginning."

Hasbro / Jerry: "They surprised us when they showed it. They had a lot of passion for it. They just dove into it and replicated everything."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "Please thank whoever. That's awesome I think. Looking at the size of some of the other items that are with the Marvel or G.I. Joe brands, you've got the giant heli-carrier for Marvel, I feel like Transformers is getting the short end of the stick as far as big products. Someone mentioned about Omega Supreme, Metroplex, Fort Max ... some of those big guys ... is there a chance of getting some love for some of those guys?"

Hasbro / Aaron: "I think that we recognize that those other groups have done that and even some other companies have. You know, $300 items, $400 items, in the market place not just for collectors or [conventions]. So it makes sense for us to look at that so we're starting that process because we do have big characters."

Hasbro / Jerry: "And I think you see with Bruticus and having that ..."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "Well then you have the 3rd party companies coming out with the big figures and I know that's a sore spot."

Hasbro / Aaron: "(sarcasm) Not familiar with that."

Everyone: (laughs)

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "It's obvious that Transformers fans have lots of money to spend when it comes to this stuff. I'd rather give you guys the money than somebody else."

Hasbro / Jerry: "We appreciate that."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "Alright, one more question. Recently Hasbro trademarked "Transformers Combiners". Is that for the Kre-o line or is that for another future product line that you guys have coming down the ropes?"

Hasbro / Jerry: "Probably for Kre-o. We have our combiners from like the Bruticus combiners from Generations but it's probably from the Kre-os and Kreons that we showed today with those combiners. But it's probably specifically for them."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "Alright, one more. With the success of some of the big brands that Hasbro owns such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, ... My Little Pony apparently now, is there any discussion within Hasbro of maybe doing an equivalent of a Hasbro-Con or something to that effect?"

Hasbro / Aaron: "A lot of people bring that up, not at Hasbro, just people bring that up. And some at Hasbro. Not yet."

Hasbro / Jerry: "I think between the conventions and Toy Fair, like our collector day at Toy Fair, BotCon, JoeCon ..."

Hasbro / Aaron: "What's great about BotCon and JoeCon is that it's targetted conversation exactly about your brand to the people that care most about the brand. It's an ability to take all that information that goes out around the world."

Seibertron.com / Ryan: "Which we appreciate. I would not be a big fan of going that route just seems like a possibility as these brands keep getting bigger and bigger."

Hasbro / Aaron: "There could be risk of taking away that intimacy in doing that though the Hasbro mark is cool too though. It's not like the fans cross polinate all the time."


Thank you again to Jerry Jivoin and Aaron Archer at Hasbro for taking some time out of your very busy and hectic SDCC schedule to answer some questions for Seibertron.com. We really appreciate it!

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Translated Hideaki Yoke and Koujin Oono Interview

Transformers News: Translated Hideaki Yoke and Koujin Oono Interview
Date: Sunday, April 8th 2012 10:50pm CDT
Categories: Interviews, People News, Toy News
Posted by: El Duque | Credit(s): TFW2005's SydneyY

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Views: 60,139

SydneyY of fellow Transformers fansite TFW2005 has posted a translated interview with legendary Takara designers Hideaki Yoke and Koujin Oono from Million Publishing's Transformers Generations 2011 Vol.1. We've posted a couple of excerpts below, the full translated interview can be found by clicking here.

-Please tell us how "Transformers" began.
Yoke: As Diaclone Car Robot series was quite successful, we presented the products at New York Toy Fair through our American subsidiary. Our booth was small, but we received enough positive responses. However, in order to to market our product we needed a popular media tie in to introduce the background (of the characters), also we did not have the means to compete in the large American market nor the budget to spend on advertising which was much more expensive than in Japan. We weren't confident enough to take that much risk, and concluded that finding a partner would be a smarter move. We began our partnership with Hasbro by chance, and they wanted other products as well as Diaclones! (*laughs) Our strategy then was the same as now; make a comic 1st, and if it's successful, produce a cartoon, then a movie. However, when we were working on the story setting for a Transformers comic, we decided it would be best to be made into a TV cartoon right away. According to the time line, the storylines for the comic and cartoon were combined to create a story for the comic, and the cartoon was made next, though the process was almost simultaneous.
Oono: To be honest, I was shocked when I was told Diaclones and Microman series were to be merged. We had been working on those two lines with distinct ideas of how each should be and differentiated the two. Even the scales were different in 1/1 (Microman) and 1/60 (Diaclones). Every member of the team was complaining. (*laughs) But once we saw the new series, it was quite interesting. I thought, "This is awesome!".
Yoke: Mr. Bob Budiansky put together Transformers' early character setting and fundamental worldview. I had a chance to meet him for the first time in Botcon last year. We talked about our contributions to Transformers in the waiting room of 2010 Hall of Fame ceremony. He has been active as a writer mainly in Los Angeles, which is the center of the movie industry, but according to him, he majored in architecture. The magnificent story of Transformers he constructed - beginning from where they come from and why they are here, to each character's distinct personality and role - was written skillfully and consistently because of his architectural way of construction. Considering his age at that time, the amount of work he accomplished is marvelous. He said he was only given 1 week to work on Transformers, and he finished it off without stopping - he told me all this without stopping, too!
Oono: What I was especially impressed was how the enemies were depicted. We designed enemies for Diaclones and Microman, but I admired that the enemies were described in a much cooler way. It was different from Japanese point of view - both sides were equal and even the bad guys were made into products that would be in demand. I really thought it was the most wonderful aspect of the series.


Tell us about how The "Headmasters" series was born.
Oono: The combination of transformation with another gimmick was a new concept. In fact, Hasbro wanted us to provide them with something new at every meeting, but it was difficult to add more multiple modes than a triple changer, and there was a limit as to how many different combiner variations we could come up with on a regular basis.
Yoke: The idea for Headmasters happened when we had a meeting regarding product development with Hasbro in Tokyo - we had spent many days preparing, and we presented an enormous number of projects. However, it happened that after we had already used up all these ideas, none of the projects we presented was good enough be considered a breakthrough. We eventually ran out of material that day, and some of our superiors told us to gather more ideas by the next day before leaving for dinner. Many of us toughed it out all night, and one of the result was Oono's Headmasters.
Oono: I was inspired by "Koutetsu Jeeg" ("Steel Jeeg"). The head was always the most noticeable part, and I thought of using that fact. I feared the detachable head might not be a popular characteristic, and suggested a gimmick that a head could turn into an independent figure. Then....
Yoke: The reaction was, "This is amazing!" - he got an instant approval. That was the moment Koujin Oono became legendary. (laughs) I was impressed with his ability as well. Thanks to him, the whole team was spared.
Oono: The indicator gimmick on the chest also worked well. I went as far as making a test mould using our own factory, and when I saw the prototype, I was convinced it was going to be good. Since then, we always name a project that we really want to push "~master", and that was the case for 10 years or so. (laughs) Targetmasters followed, and a "key" was the motif in its successor, Godmasters (Powermasters) - the problem of the concept was that you couldn't transform the toy without the Godmaster figure, but I made it unlockable with the release button. The "key" feature was more a part of the background story.

Transformers Fall of Cybertron: Focus Bruticus

Transformers News: Transformers Fall of Cybertron: Focus Bruticus
Date: Sunday, February 12th 2012 11:12am CST
Categories: Game News, Interviews, Toy News
Posted by: Dead Metal | Credit(s): Kotaku

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Views: 59,445

So hot on the heels of our ToyFair coverage where we got to see the upcoming FOC Bruticus in the flesh plastic, it looks like Bruticus is the center of attention - like everywhere.
Kotaku have posted an article all about FOC Bruticus and the Combaticons, while it's mostly about the toy it's also part memories about combiners and part interview with the FOC creators. You can read the full article by clicking here.
Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #106 - McCarthyism
Twincast / Podcast #106:
"McCarthyism"
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Posted: Thursday, December 4th, 2014