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Hasbro Celebrates 20 Years of the TRANSFORMERS Brand at the Official TRANSFORMERS Collectors' Convention in Chicago

Transformers News: Hasbro Celebrates 20 Years of the TRANSFORMERS Brand at the Official TRANSFORMERS Collectors' Convention in Chicago
Date: Monday, July 26th 2004 6:32pm CDT
Category: Site Articles
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Saturday - Sunday (July 31 - August 1)


--(BUSINESS WIRE)--


Convention expected to draw thousands of fans from around the world


WHAT 
Thousands of TRANSFORMERS fans from all over the world will converge on the Chicago area on July 31 and August 1 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the original ROBOTS IN DISGUISE at the Official Transformers Collectors' Convention. The event is co-sponsored by Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), marketers of the TRANSFORMERS brand, and organized by 3H Productions, Inc.


Convention activities include: fan art display room and contest/auction; dealer tables featuring hundreds of vintage and current TRANSFORMERS merchandise for sale; a panel and presentation of the latest TRANSFORMERS products by Hasbro; panels with special celebrity guests from the toy, comic book, and television industries, including voice actors from every TRANSFORMERS animated series aired in the U.S; and a live-action script reading featuring voice actor guests and two lucky convention attendees.


Information about the Official Transformers Collectors'  Convention can be found at www.otfcc.com.


WHEN
Saturday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, August 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


WHERE
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
5555 N. River Road
Rosemont, IL 60018


WHY
In 1984, the TRANSFORMERS brand took the world by storm with its compelling saga of the ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, and quickly became a childhood rite of passage with a tremendously successful toy line from Hasbro and Takara, comic book series, television program and animated feature film. Twenty years later, a new generation of kids has discovered the excitement of the TRANSFORMERS brand and the legendary characters, such as OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON, which truly are "more than meets the eye."


Legendary TRANSFORMERS Property from Hasbro Will Come to Life with Live Action Film from DreamWorks and Paramount; Steven Spielberg to Executive Produce

Transformers News: Legendary TRANSFORMERS Property from Hasbro Will Come to Life with Live Action Film from DreamWorks and Paramount; Steven Spielberg to Executive Produce
Date: Friday, July 23rd 2004 9:04am CDT
Category: Site Articles
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LOS ANGELES & PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 23, 2004--DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, in association with Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), will develop a live-action, motion picture based on the globally popular TRANSFORMERS franchise. Steven Spielberg will executive produce. The film is slated for release in the summer of 2006. Lorenzo di Bonaventura ("Constantine"), Don Murphy ("The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen") and Tom DeSanto ("X-Men" and "X2: X-Men United") are attached to produce.



DreamWorks Head of Production Adam Goodman stated, "Steven and everyone at DreamWorks are very excited about the prospect of expanding the world of TRANSFORMERS into the live-action feature film arena. The possibilities for a thrilling action adventure are virtually endless, and a film holds the definite promise of expanding an already worldwide fan base to new audiences."


"This is a tremendous franchise that offers us the opportunity to create an inventive and thrilling action-adventure film," said Donald De Line, Vice Chairman, Motion Picture Group and President of Paramount Pictures. "We're happy to work with our colleagues at DreamWorks to develop this project with Hasbro. There couldn't be a better team to bring the TRANSFORMERS to the big screen."


"We are truly fortunate to have the best talent in the entertainment industry on board for the TRANSFORMERS movie and are excited at the opportunities this powerful collaboration will bring to the property," said Brian Goldner, President of Hasbro's toys segment. "The TRANSFORMERS franchise has been successful in many entertainment arenas and we are thrilled to give millions of fans an extraordinary experience that's never been done in the history of the brand."


Hasbro will work with the production team, DreamWorks and Paramount on all aspects of the film's creative development, marketing, promotions and will manage merchandising in conjunction with the release of the film. Hasbro will also team up with Takara, who has been the co-developer of the TRANSFORMERS brand since its beginning in the early 1980s.


"The TRANSFORMERS brand has always struck a chord with fans around the world and remains one of our strongest franchises since it was introduced 20 years ago," said Keita Satoh, President and Chief Executive Officer of Takara. "Together with Hasbro, DreamWorks and Paramount, we will bring the property to a new level for fans in the Japanese market, as well as around the world."


DreamWorks will distribute the film domestically, while Paramount will distribute internationally.


In 1984, the TRANSFORMERS brand took the world by storm with its compelling saga of the ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, and quickly became a childhood rite of passage with a tremendously successful toy line from Hasbro and Takara, comic book series, television program and animated feature film. Twenty years later, a new generation of kids has discovered the excitement of the TRANSFORMERS brand and the legendary characters, such as OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON, that truly are "more than meets the eye." Today, the franchise features a popular toy line, an animated series on Cartoon Network and a chart-topping comic book series from Dreamwave Productions, which sold two million TRANSFORMERS comic books last year.


Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys, such as MONOPOLY and G.I. JOE, ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.


DreamWorks SKG was formed in October, 1994, by its three principal partners--Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen--to produce live-action motion pictures; animated feature films; network and cable television programming; home video entertainment; books; toys; and consumer products.


Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment operations of Viacom, Inc., one of the world's largest entertainment and media companies and a leader in the production, promotion and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and music.


Creative Artists Agency represents Hasbro and Steven Spielberg.


Creative Artists Agency is a talent and literary agency with offices in Beverly Hills, Nashville and New York City. CAA represents the most creative and successful artists working in film, television, music, theatre, and video games, and provides a range of strategic marketing services to corporate clients. The agency serves as the access point through which artists, consumers and global brands intersect to create, acquire and sell entertainment properties, and to enrich entertainment and brand experiences. CAA has an equity relationship with Shepardson, Stern and Kaminsky, a strategic communications consulting firm. Youth Intelligence, a youth market research and trend forecasting company, is a division of CAA.


"Tanuki": Animal Tracker, Raccoon Dog

Date: Tuesday, June 29th 2004 8:16pm CDT
Category: Site Articles
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I gathered some information together that I found around the Internet about the Tanuki, the Japanese animal on which Heinlad is based (from Beast Wars Neo). To view pictures of this Transformers figure, please check out the SEIBERTRON.com Photogalleries.


-----------------------------------------


By ROWAN HOOPER


* Japanese name: Tanuki


* Scientific name: Nyctereutes procyonoides viverrinus


* Description: Tanuki look a bit like fat foxes, with short legs and black and gray fur. They grow up to 60 cm long and have distinctive stripes of black fur under their eyes, a bit like pandas.


* Where to find them: Standing at the door of many traditional restaurants in Japan. Statues of tanuki, holding a bottle of sake, welcome guests arriving to eat. Real tanuki are not so easy to find, but are quite abundant from Honshu to Kyushu. They live in lowlands, forests and mountain valleys (up to 2,000 meters in altitude) and sometimes come into gardens looking for food. Unfortunately for them, this can bring them into contact with dogs, from which they can catch dangerous diseases.


* Food: Almost anything. Tanuki are the classic omnivores, eating rodents, lizards, frogs, fruit, berries, insects and other invertebrates, including slugs and snails. They can even stomach poisonous toads, apparently producing huge amounts of saliva that dilutes the toad's poison.


* Special features: Tanuki don't usually carry bottles of sake, but the statues are correct about their biology in one important detail: testes size. Rather than being used as an impromptu drum, as Japanese folklore would have it, the scrotum is large because of high levels of competition among males for females. This means that they copulate very frequently -- and need large testes. Also, according to folklore, tanuki can change shape at will. Despite their playful nature, tanuki are wild animals and should never be kept chained up like in the photo above.


The Japan Times: July 27, 2001
(C) All rights reserved


Article originally published at http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fe20010727a1.htm.


________________________________________


Tanuki, you old toad-eatin' rascal story by Mark Brazil for the Japan Times, July 29, 1998

The tanuki is found throughout Japan. In ceramic form it is even more widespread, perhaps even more numerous than the wild creature itself. This rather stout, short-legged creature with its short, bushy tail is an atypical member of the dog family.


The tanuki's English name is raccoon dog, though if you search for that term on the Internet you may be surprised, as I was, to find that lots of Americans call a dog used for hunting raccoons a raccoon dog! That old chestnut of mistranslations, tanuki as badger, is as well represented on the Internet as it is elsewhere.


The Japanese name for the badger, an entirely different animal, is ana-guma. Not only that, some Web pages about tanuki actually feature pictures of raccoons.


The tanuki is the subject of innumerable amusing and intriguing myths and folk tales, and is often linked with the teakettle because of its pot-bellied appearance. Its image is that of a jolly, carousing and womanizing character. Like the kitsune (red fox), it is a master of shape-changing and disguise. The term tanuki-gao is often used to describe women with rounded facial features, in comparison with the more tapering kitsune-gao or "fox-face." In the past, it was hunted in Japan for its meat, its black-brown fur (used for making brushes) and its bones, which were reputed to have medicinal qualities.


The tanuki has also been introduced in several countries. Native to Japan, southeastern Siberia and Manchuria, tanuki were introduced to the western parts of the former U.S.S.R. for fur farming. Some escaped (or were released), and since the 1950s have spread westward into Scandinavia, and south even as far as France.


Whereas most members of the canid (dog) family live in open areas, tanuki occur in heavily wooded areas, often close to water. They are also more omnivorous than most other canids, and this is reflected in their teeth, which are relatively small. Their molars are enlarged, enabling them to tackle plenty of plant food, whereas their bone-shearing carnassial teeth are rather small.


As its teeth attest, the tanuki has a diverse diet, strongly dependent on the season and the region. It relishes invertebrates, small animals (frogs, lizards, rodents and ground-dwelling or ground-nesting birds) and (particularly in autumn) seeds and berries. Where they live by the sea, tanuki will also scavenge along the tide line in search of crabs and other marine life that washes up. They are most active soon after sunset throughout the evening, and then again in the early hours of the morning, during which time they may wander for 10 to 20 km in search of food.


Amazingly, raccoon dogs are one of' the few animals able to eat toads. Apparently they produce such copious saliva that they are able to dilute the toads' toxic skin secretion.


As tanuki have moved into suburban and even urban areas in Japan during the 1980s and 1990s, they have taken to feeding at rubbish dumps and are even fed by local people in their gardens. I was initiated into LOBATAWA, the Loyal Order of Backyard Tanuki Watchers, in a Kamakura garden in the early 1980s, where readers of this column had tamed their local tanuki with offerings of food. Residents are not kept awake at night by tanuki, for unlike other members of the dog family, they do not bark.


The tanuki is an unusual member of the dog family in many ways, not just in being barkless and having such an omnivorous diet, but also because it almost hibernates. It doesn't actually sleep through the winter, but it does put on weight in autumn and then retreat into its burrow, from November until about April. It may emerge at times to feed, and in the warmer parts of their range, may hardly sleep at all.


Tanuki mate and rear their young in the spring, like most temperate mammals, so in late summer the young tanuki are learning their way around their home forest in preparation for the coming autumn and their first winter.


In some respects the tanuki has fared well during the last two decades. Winters during the 1980s were mild with rather brief periods of snow cover, hunting declined and perhaps as a result tanuki were able to extend their range into suburban and even urban areas. Because highly nutritious human food is plentiful in suburban habitats, these may actually be capable of supporting more tanuki than natural habitats.


Luckily, not only for tanuki, but also for other species of wildlife here, the numbers of hunters in Japan declined during the 1980s too. In a period of 10 years the number of tanuki killed by hunters halved from a peak of about 75,000 in 1981 to about 33,000 in 1990, according to Environmental Agency figures.


Unfortunately, its increased population densities in urban areas have led to new problems. At unnaturally high population densities, diseases are able to spread more readily than when their hosts occur at low densities, and it is disease that is now hitting the tanuki hard.


Recent research at Osaka City University indicates that many tanuki have become afflicted with sarcoptic mange, an uncomfortable condition caused by a parasitic mite. Infected tanuki suffer from skin deterioration and progressive hair loss leaving them partially, or even entirely, bald. In this state their likelihood of suffering and dying from hypothermia is greatly increased, and since about 1990, many have been found dead during winter.


Mange has been reported in a number of wild canids, most notably the red fox and the coyote, and since 1981 among Japanese raccoon dogs too. It appears that mange has been able to spread out from suburban areas with high tanuki densities into wilder areas too, leading to serious declines particularly in the Kanagawa and Miyagi prefecture populations. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, mange spread rapidly and the numbers of animals suffering increased greatly, especially in the relatively milder Pacific coastal prefectures.


Perhaps as the tanuki population falls it will become more difficult for the mange mite to spread. Let's hope so. A bald tanuki is not a pretty sight.


The Japan Times - July 29, 1998


Hasbro Properties Group Brings Global Toy and Game Brands to Licensing 2004 International

Transformers News: Hasbro Properties Group Brings Global Toy and Game Brands to Licensing 2004 International
Date: Monday, June 7th 2004 8:41pm CDT
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     Licensing 2004
Booth #3417

PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 7, 2004--The Hasbro Properties Group (HPG), the intellectual property development arm of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS), arrives at Licensing 2004 International with one of the industry's richest portfolios of brands that translates into a world of fun and excitement for children and adults. This year, HPG launches new licensing programs and builds upon its successes with properties such as DUEL MASTERS, WEEBLES, MY LITTLE PONY, TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE, CANDY LAND and ACTION MAN. HPG will support these programs on a global or regional basis through a wide range of consumer products categories, including publishing, digital gaming, entertainment, apparel and accessories, footwear, food and beverage, sporting goods, housewares and greeting cards.


"Licensing Show is a great opportunity to see the depth and breadth of Hasbro's brands and their impact on our consumers," said Jane Ritson-Parsons, President of the Hasbro Properties Group. "Many of our brands have global appeal and we have been fortunate to work with many of the world's leading consumer product and entertainment companies in providing consumers with rich experiences through a host of publishing, lifestyle and entertainment platforms."


The following are some of the company's core brands that will be exhibited at the Hasbro Properties Group booth (#3417) during this year's Licensing Show at the Javits Center:


DUEL MASTERS


After topping the charts in Japan, the hot property DUEL MASTERS has arrived full force in the U.S., Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The DUEL MASTERS property launched in the U.S. and Europe with Dreamwave's comic book series, an animated series on Cartoon Network and Wizards of the Coast's trading card game. Hasbro's line of toys and board games will follow beginning in fall 2004 in both the U.S. and U.K. Building upon the DUEL MASTERS property, the Hasbro Properties Group will deliver a highly coordinated global licensing program targeted to boys aged 8 to 12 that focuses on promotions, publishing, apparel, digital gaming, sporting goods and accessories. In the works is a DUEL MASTERS Gameboy game from Atari, Inc., a line of books from Scholastic, pending contract, and a direct-to-video release due out next spring.


WEEBLES


Hasbro's Playskool brand announces the global return of those beloved, wobbly characters--the WEEBLES! The world of WEEBLEVILLE will be bustling again this fall as toys full of motion, music and brilliant colors inspire toddler's imaginations and celebrate the simple joy of play. HPG is developing a licensing program for the brand, including a promotion at Wendy's this fall. Plans for 2005 include, the wacky, new WEEBLES characters making their direct-to-video debut and, pending contract, will be featured in a children's books series by Penguin Young Readers Group's Grosset & Dunlap imprint.


MY LITTLE PONY


In 2003, the MY LITTLE PONY property returned as a highly popular lifestyle brand for little girls. Since last fall, more than four million ponies and over three million books have reached the U.S. marketplace alone. Around the world, fans were able to make MY LITTLE PONY a part of nearly every aspect of their lives with more than 135 licensees signed to date. As a credit to the success of the licensing program, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association has nominated MY LITTLE PONY for three 2004 LIMA International Licensing Excellence Awards, including "Best Character Brand License of the Year."


This year, there is even more to look forward to as the MY LITTLE PONY brand celebrates a new theme - FRIENDSHIP BALL. Little girls will enjoy these new pony adventures with an in-pack video being distributed worldwide. The MY LITTLE PONY story will also be told through the successful and growing publishing program. This year, Simon & Schuster, Hemma, The Five Mile Press and Egmont Books will work with HPG to bring publishing to multiple countries and more than double the number of titles released.


Additional licensees for the brand in 2004 include Atari, Cohen & Wilks, American Greetings, pending contract, and Fruit of the Loom, to name a few. In spring 2005, look for a promotion with a major restaurant chain.


TRANSFORMERS


TRANSFORMERS is one of Hasbro's most popular global brands in the entertainment category, as evidenced by the Cartoon Network animated program and Dreamwave comic book series, which sold more than two million copies last year. To build on this success, an array of merchandise based on the current TRANSFORMERS ENERGON theme is due out this year, including the recent release of the highly anticipated PlayStation 2 video game from Atari.


At this year's show, Hasbro will announce a new TRANSFORMERS storyline for 2005 - TRANSFORMERS CYBERTRON. Fans will be able to experience this new theme through a wide variety of entertainment, toys and licensed merchandise. This next installment in Hasbro's legendary saga is a complex story of intrigue and surprises, and will remind fans what it means to be "ROBOTS IN DISGUISE"!


G.I. JOE


Forty years ago, Hasbro revolutionized the way boys play by introducing G.I. JOE, the world's first action figure. In 2004, kids embark with the G.I. JOE team on another new and exciting adventure - VALOR VS. VENOM - which comes to life like never before with the direct-to-video release of "G.I. JOE: VALOR VS. VENOM," a new full-length feature packed with thrilling, non-stop action. The movie is slated to be available on DVD and VHS in September from Paramount Home Entertainment. One of the biggest marketing programs in the history of the G.I. JOE brand will also support VALOR VS. VENOM with a McDonald's promotion and an array of consumer products, including new publishing titles from Scholastic and Devil's Due, which sold more than one million G.I. JOE comic books last year, and camping and fishing gear from South Bend Sporting Goods.


SECRET CENTRAL


Fans of SECRET CENTRAL are already in the know about this cool new property with an irresistible twist. Girls learn all about the day-to-day lives of the 20 classmates of the Class of '04 by picking up clues to what's really happening through the handwritten notes that come with Hasbro's doll line, and on-line stories that change every day at www.secretcentral.com. To continue the fun, HPG is developing a focused licensing program for SECRET CENTRAL, including a live-action direct-to-video from Executive Producer Tom Lynch to be released this fall. And, the Class of '04 graduates this month, making way for the SECRET CENTRAL Class of '05. In addition, publishing is in the works for spring 2005, as well as social expressions journals and stationery for back-to-school 2005.


CANDY LAND


For 55 years, the CANDY LAND game has been a favorite first game for preschoolers in the U.S. In 2004, children will experience this classic game like never before with the game's new look, updated characters and expanded story line. The game will also cross the Atlantic and Pacific for the first time so that children in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand will have the opportunity to enjoy this childhood classic. The first-ever CANDY LAND movie is scheduled for direct-to-video release in the U.S during spring 2005. The excitement around this cherished classic will be also reflected in an expanded licensing program for 2004. A broad range of publishing opportunities for the CANDY LAND brand are also being explored.


ACTION MAN


ACTION MAN continues to be a leading boys' action brand in Australia, New Zealand and across Europe. Now in its 10th year, ACTION MAN consumer products have also enjoyed a strong following across multiple categories from apparel to live entertainment. Building upon this history of success, Hasbro continues to deliver exciting new ACTION MAN products to consumers in 2004, including the release of an ACTION MAN Game Boy Advance game and a 45-minute CGI movie released on DVD. Also, now in its seventh year, the McDonald's ACTION MAN promotion now reaches fans in 42 countries.


For more information on these properties and other Hasbro brands, including MONOPOLY, TONKA and SCRABBLE, visit the Hasbro Properties Group booth # 3417 at Licensing 2004 International.


About Hasbro and the Hasbro Properties Group


Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.


The Hasbro Properties Group develops and expands Hasbro's core brands such as G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, ACTION MAN, MONOPOLY and CANDY LAND, into a wide variety of entertainment and consumer categories.


(C)2004 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved.


DUEL MASTERS is a trademark of Wizards/Shogakukan/Mitsui-Kids. (C)2004 Wizards/Shogakukan/Mitsui-Kids/Sho Pro.


SCRABBLE is a trademark of Hasbro in the U.S. and Canada.


Atari Begins the "Ultimate Conflict" with Worldwide Release of 'TRANSFORMERS' Video Game

Date: Wednesday, May 12th 2004 9:21pm CDT
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Highly Anticipated PlayStation(R)2 Game is "More Than Meets the Eye" and Now Available at Retail


BEVERLY, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 12, 2004--The classic war between the heroic AUTOBOTS and the evil DECEPTICONS has begun! Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) announced that the highly anticipated TRANSFORMERS(TM) video game, developed exclusively for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, is available at retail stores worldwide today. Under license from Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS), Atari's TRANSFORMERS video game allows players to control AUTOBOT legends - OPTIMUS PRIME, HOT SHOT or RED ALERT - as they battle to destroy the mighty forces of the DECEPTICONS.


"The TRANSFORMERS brand has established itself as an evergreen property whose immense popularity spans generations. This powerful brand combined with innovative gameplay and amazing graphics, is sure to make our game a favorite with fans and gamers alike," said Nancy MacIntyre, vice president of marketing for Atari, Inc. "We are thrilled to bring this game to market in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the TRANSFORMERS brand this year."


"We feel that have developed the most authentic TRANSFORMERS video game experience to date," said Andrew Carter, vice president of product development for Atari's Melbourne House. "As TRANSFORMERS fans ourselves, we really wanted to bring the brand to life in a fashion that hasn't been achieved thus far and we believe we've done so in every aspect of the game - from the precise models to the classic items featured in the extras section."


Atari's TRANSFORMERS video game takes place during one of the AUTOBOTS darkest moments. Back on the TRANSFORMERS home planet, Cybertron, the evil DECEPTICON leader, MEGATRON has unleashed his massive DECEPTICLONE army whose sole purpose is the destruction of the AUTOBOTS.


Led by OPTIMUS PRIME, the AUTOBOTS only hope for survival is to locate and rescue the long-lost third race of TRANSFORMERS, the MINI-CON, that are stranded on Earth and possess a unique ability to make ordinary TRANSFORMERS characters extremely powerful. The ultimate goal is to free the MINI-CON race, defeat the MEGATRON warrior and his evil arm, and save the Earth.


Atari's TRANSFORMERS game is a fast-paced, single-player, third-person shooter with countless enemies, immense battles and intense boss fights against the DECEPTICON leaders. Players control a single AUTOBOT character as you battle against some of the most infamous DECEPTICONS, including MEGATRON, UNICRON, STARSCREAM, TIDAL WAVE and CYCLONUS. Special MINI-CON partners including SPARKPLUG, JOLT and LONGARM will assist the player in combat.


With an arsenal of weapons available, combat spans eight colossal environments, each incredibly detailed and open to exploration. There are specific objectives and numerous secondary objectives that need to be accomplished on each level, as well as many hidden power-ups and un-lockable extras.


Developed by Atari's Melbourne House, the TRANSFORMERS video game is rated "T" for Teen and has a suggested retail price of $49.99.


About the TRANSFORMERS Brand


The year marks the 20th anniversary of Hasbro's TRANSFORMERS brand. With a best-selling Dreamwave comic book series, a hit TV series on Cartoon Network, and a wide array of licensed merchandise, the TRANSFORMERS saga continues to inspire the imagination of its numerous fans.


Additional information about Atari's TRANSFORMERS video game, including artwork, videos, game information, character bios, press reactions and TRANSFORMERS forums can be found online at Atari's TRANSFORMERS dedicated website www.atari.com/transformers.


About Hasbro, Inc.


Hasbro (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.


About Atari


New York-based Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S. The Company's 1,000+ titles include hardcore, genre-defining games such as Driver(TM), Enter the Matrix(TM), Neverwinter Nights(TM), Stuntman(TM), Test Drive(R), Unreal(R) Tournament 2003, and Unreal(R) Championship; and mass-market and children's games such as Backyard Sports(TM), Nickelodeon's Blue's Clues(TM) and Dora the Explorer(TM), Civilization(R), Dragon Ball Z(R) and RollerCoaster Tycoon(R). Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext 5257), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe. For more information, visit www.atari.com.


(C) 2004 Atari, Inc. All Rights Reserved. TRANSFORMERS is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Used with permission. (C)2004 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved."PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.


All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Atari and Universal Motown Records Group Announce Joint Marketing Relationship

Date: Monday, April 12th 2004 12:22pm CDT
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Atari’s TRANSFORMERS Video Game Hits Cross-Promotional Road with ReAlign/Universal New Band, DROPBOX


 


BEVERLY, MA – April 12, 2004 – Highlighting the entertainment industry relationships that have become its hallmark, Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) today announced an ongoing cross promotional collaboration with Universal Motown Records Group, which will tie-in ReAlign/Universal’s hot new band, DROPBOX, with Atari’s highly anticipated TRANSFORMERS video game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, based on Hasbro, Inc.’s popular TRANSFORMERS brand.


 


This marketing relationship will utilize both traditional and non-traditional marketing vehicles to support both the May 11 launch of the TRANSFORMERS game and the DROPBOX album release on April 13.  The campaign will include the utilization of DROPBOX performance footage and the TRANSFORMERS game footage in the band’s forthcoming new video and Atari’s TV advertising spot; radio advertising, in addition to TV; online street teams; and live performances.


 


“The high level of collaboration between Atari and Universal Motown Records Group enables both companies to significantly extend the effectiveness and reach of their marketing efforts,” said Nancy MacIntyre, vice president of marketing for Atari.  “DROPBOX and the TRANSFORMERS game are already generating significant buzz with their respective core audiences, and this partnership should serve to attract new fans to both.”


 


 


 


Elements expected to be included in this joint campaign include:


 


§         DROPBOX's debut single, “Wishbone," as well as the band’s recording of its version of the TRANSFORMERS theme song will be available in the game as un-lockable bonus tracks;


§         DROPBOX's new music video for "Wishbone," shot by award-winning director, Nigel Dick, and produced by Quentin Tarantino’s production company, A Band Apart, will feature TRANSFORMERS game footage;


§         A TRANSFORMERS brochure will be included in 1 million Universal Records music CDs;


§         Atari’s TRANSFORMERS TV commercial will highlight the "Wishbone" sound track and portions of the band’s music video;


§         DROPBOX will be included in Atari’s national print advertising campaign for the TRANSFORMERS game;


§         The DROPBOX multi-city promotional radio tour will include mention of its tie-in with Atari’s TRANSFORMERS video game;


§         Atari’s in-store TRANSFORMERS videos will feature DROPBOX's "Wishbone" single and its version of the  TRANSFORMERS theme song;


§         Universal will develop and produce key account radio commercials which will include a TRANSFORMERS tag;


§         A fully integrated on-air and online promotion with the FUSE music video network will include:


o        A live appearance by DROPBOX on the live daily show “IMX” that will also feature behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of the music video;


o        An online campaign including the IMX “Daily Download” and a promotional contest;


§         Atari will include DROPBOX content on its TRANSFORMERS website located at www.atari.com/transformers and Universal will utilize online street teams and other online vehicles in support of the Transformers game and DROPBOX;


 


To kick off this relationship, DROPBOX celebrated with video game media at Atari’s TRANSFORMERS preview event in February.  In anticipation of the formal agreement, public relations and promotional initiatives for the making of the DROPBOX music video featuring Transformers video game footage are moving forward as well as additional retail and consumer outreach.


 


“Atari and Universal Motown Records Group are respected industry leaders and it is fitting that such a collaborative effort comes from two such vanguards,” said Kojo Bentel, SVP of Strategic Marketing and Business Development, Universal Motown Records Group.  “Music has become a crucial element of the video game experience and DROPBOX’s raw, rock sound is a perfect fit for Atari’s TRANSFORMERS game.”


 


Developed by Atari’s Melbourne House studio, the TRANSFORMERS game will be available worldwide on May 11, 2004.  More information can be found online at www.atari.com/transformers.


 


 


 


About Universal Motown Records Group


Universal Motown Records Group is a division of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 71 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's largest global music publishing operations.


Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Strategic Marketing and Commercial Affairs (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technology division.


Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.


 


About Atari


New York-based Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S.  The Company’s 1,000+ titles include hardcore, genre-defining games such as Driverâ„¢, Enter the Matrixâ„¢, Neverwinter Nightsâ„¢, Stuntmanâ„¢, Test Drive®, Unreal® Tournament 2003, and Unreal® Championship; and mass-market and children’s games such as Backyard Sportsâ„¢, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Cluesâ„¢ and Dora the Explorerâ„¢, Civilization®, Dragon Ball Z® and RollerCoaster Tycoon®.  Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext 5257), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe.  For more information, visit www.atari.com.


 


#  #  #


 


© 2004 Atari, Inc.  All Rights Reserved. 


TRANSFORMERS is a trademark of Hasbro, Inc. Used with permission. ©2004 Hasbro.  All Rights Reserved.


Universal Motown Records Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.


"PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.


All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Dropbox Helps Celebrate Transformers 20th Anniversary with Atari

Transformers News: Dropbox Helps Celebrate Transformers 20th Anniversary with Atari
Date: Friday, April 2nd 2004 12:33pm CST
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

Permanent Link
Views: 28,994



BAND'S MUSIC FEATURED THROUGHOUT



NEW VIDEO GAME RELEASE COMING MAY 11


 


QUINTET IS GODSMACK SINGER SULLY ERNA'S


FIRST SIGNING TO HIS NEW UNIVERSAL IMPRINT, REALIGN


 


BAND TO OPEN GODSMACK HEADLINE TOUR with ILL NINO


 


DEBUT ALBUM SLATED FOR APRIL 13 RELEASE


 


 


 


April 2, 2004   New York, NY - DROPBOX, newly signed to Godsmack Sully Erna's  Realign/Universal Records, will help celebrate the 20th anniversary of the  popular TRANSFORMERSâ„¢ characters along with Atari, which will roll out the new TRANSFORMERS video game for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system on May 11.  Featured in the game will be several unlockable bonus tracks including the band's first single, "Wishbone" from their self-titled debut slated for April 13 release, and a specially composed instrumental version of the TRANSFORMERS theme song.  Like the rest of the band's new album, the memorable "Wishbone" has the timeless feel of vintage rock, complete with the whiskey-soaked croon of a vocalist who can actually sing and a tempo that matches the quick action pace of the new Atari game.


 


The popular TRANSFORMERS characters featured in the game are best known for their "fight against evil" across the entertainment spectrum.  This includes the highly rated (and long running) TV show now airing on the Cartoon Network's Toonami block, the best selling Dreamwave comic book series and the leading, multi-billion dollar toy line from Hasbro.


 


DROPBOX, which features vocalist John Kosco, guitarist Lee Richards, guitarist Joe Wilkinson, bassist James Preziosa and drummer Bob Jenkins, are huge TRANSFORMERS fans and see DROPBOX as a perfect fit for the game.  "TRANSFORMERS were personal favorites for many of us growing up and I know some of us still have a few of the toys lurking around in our basements," Kosco admits.  Jenkins who considers gaming to be part of his job description, says "our music is heavy and has a way of building which I think can inspire a gamer to really get into playing, especially when it comes to helping Optimus Prime!" Atari's fast-paced action video game features and brings to life all the main characters, puts the player in the TRANSFORMERS universe like never before, and allows them to join the epic battle against the evil Decepticonsâ„¢.


 



 


DROPBOX, set to deliver an explosive album of sprawling melodic rock, is just getting started.  A long standing friendship between Godsmack's Erna & Richards, Godsmack's first guitarist, held the door open and led the way to the formation of DROPBOX and extensive collaboration between them.  In fact, Erna was so impressed by the band's bluesy fire, he joined in the recording process, playing drums on the majority of the album's 11 tracks, including the blistering lead single "Wishbone."  Erna, Kosco and Richards also co-wrote and perform together on "Touché," which appears on Godsmack's highly anticipated, chart topping acoustic CD, "The Other Side (Universal Records).


 


Watch for DROPBOX to open Godsmack's headline tour in April with Ill Nino.


4/02     St Louis, MO, The Pageant      


4/03     South Bend, IN, Morris Performing Arts Ctr


4/04     Toledo, OH, Toledo Sports Arena


4/05     Rochester, NY, Auditorium Theater


4/07     Albany, NY, Palace Theatre


4/08     Elmira, NY, Coach USA Center


4/09     Wilkes-Barre, NC, Wachovia Center


4/10     Atlantic City, NJ, Xanadu Theater      


4/12     Springfield, MA, Hippodrome


4/13     Hershey, PA, Giant Center          


4/15     Uncasville, CT, Moghegan Sun Casino Arena  


4/16     Lewiston, ME, Central Maine Civic Center    


4/17     Syracuse, NY, Landmark Theater 


4/18     Wheeling, WV, Capitol Music Hall


 


About Universal Music Group


Universal Records is a division of Universal Music Group, the world's leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 71 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's largest global music publishing operations.


 


Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, DreamWorks Records, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Strategic Marketing and Commercial Affairs (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technology division.


 


About Atari


New York-based Atari, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATAR) develops interactive games for all platforms and is one of the largest third-party publishers of interactive entertainment software in the U.S.  The Company’s 1,000+ titles include hardcore, genre-defining games such as Driverâ„¢, Enter the Matrixâ„¢, Neverwinter Nightsâ„¢, Stuntmanâ„¢, Test Drive®, Unreal® Tournament 2003, and Unreal® Championship; and mass-market and children’s games such as Backyard Sportsâ„¢, Nickelodeon’s Blue’s Cluesâ„¢ and Dora the Explorerâ„¢, Civilization®, Dragon Ball Z® and RollerCoaster Tycoon®.  Atari, Inc. is a majority-owned subsidiary of France-based Infogrames Entertainment SA (Euronext 5257), the largest interactive games publisher in Europe.  For more information, visit www.atari.com.


 


#  #  #


Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.


© 2004 Atari, Inc.  All Rights Reserved. 


"PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.


All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Figuring out Don Figueroa

Transformers News: Figuring out Don Figueroa
Date: Sunday, January 18th 2004 9:19pm CST
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

Permanent Link
Views: 36,302

Written by Supreme Convoy


Almost a year ago, I interviewed Don Figueroa about the first volume of the amazing War Within mini-series. Now Don’s career has taken another leap as the artist for the ongoing Transformers: G1 series written by Brad Mick which hits comic book stores January. And once again he’s taken a moment to answer questions about his life and work.


Supreme Convoy: First of all I gotta say how much I enjoyed the look of your work evolve. To be honest, I remember looking at the humans in Macromasters and they look a bit "fake." But I can see in the GI Joe vs. Transformers #1 cover you nailed the GI Joe crew.


Don Figueroa: That was a Jam-piece, I only did the TFs, and Dan Norton did the Joes/Cobra. Glad to know what you really think of my work though :(


Supreme Convoy: Oops, guess I was mistaken on that one :(


So how has your life changed since working with Dreamwave? Has it become a "rock star" lifestyle or still a "starving artist" lifestyle?


Don Figueroa: More of a hermit. But besides the lack of human contact. I'm glad I have a job that I enjoy working on. I guess the only down-side is that I'm stuck in the house more than usual.


Supreme Convoy: How did it feel to have completed a series like War Within that seems to be an instant fan favorite to whomever reads it?


Don Figueroa: Glad to hear people enjoyed it. I'm really proud of that series and I hope I get to do another one that is as successful.


Supreme Convoy: After the success of War Within, have other publishers asked you for projects? I'd like to see your work on a superhero book, maybe even Iron Man for obvious reasons.


Don Figueroa: I'd like to work on Iron Man someday, but it's been a while since I've read the comic. But for now, I'm happy working on Transformers.


Supreme Convoy: Is it a bit weird to see your artwork on Transformers merchandise like shirts, books, DVD covers?


Don Figueroa: Not really, I haven't seen much of my work in other merchandise. I did do a cover for the TF:TM DVD for the Australian release, but that's it. I haven't seen a shirts or anything like that with my artwork. There's probably a few out there though.


Supreme Convoy: What are you most looking forward to on the G1 series?


Don Figueroa: Just getting to work on the originals is great. There's no pressure of having to redesign them.


Supreme Convoy: And I'm assuming there'll be many easter eggs in the series just like you did in War Within?


Don Figueroa: Most Likely. Keep an eye on them


Supreme Convoy: Is there any particular reason why you weren't on board for War Within II? Was it because you were already signed on the ongoing G1 series?


Don Figueroa: Yeah, and because I was already working on Armada: Worlds Collide.


Supreme Convoy: Oh, and I have to say I enjoy the designs you did for GI Joe vs. Transformers and War Within II, especially with Skyfire who looks a lot like Strikefire from Macromasters.


Don Figueroa: Thanks. I'm always proud of that design.


Supreme Convoy: What can we expect to see in the new G1 series? Perhaps introducing new characters?


Don Figueroa: It's really up to Brad. If he wants to introduce a new bot. That's cool. I'm always up for it.


Supreme Convoy: Can you give us a quick rundown on the ongoing series?


Don Figueroa: I can't sorry. You'll just going to have to get the book ;)


Supreme Convoy: Any regrets in terms of what you wanted to do in the comics but just could do because of time or practicality?


Don Figueroa: Probably the way I laid out the panels and pages on the first War Within series. Looking back, I could have done it better and less confusing. I also wanted to do some "Director's cut" stuff in the TPB, but due to time, we never got to do it.


Supreme Convoy: What is your favorite piece of art that you have done so far?


Don Figueroa: The Convention exclusive cover for TF:G1 #1.


Supreme Convoy: What do you think it is about the Transformers saga that makes it so appealing to people even 20 years later?


Don Figueroa: Great Characters and great toys.


Supreme Convoy: Any other projects you are currently working on?


Don Figueroa: I have a couple of other projects I'd like to do if I have some extra time. As for now, they're just ideas.


Supreme Convoy: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?


Don Figueroa: Hopefully still working on comics, TFs or otherwise


Supreme Convoy: Have you had a chance to play our Heavy Metal War game? From personal experience, it's quite addicting.


Don Figueroa: No sorry, I haven't played a lot of games, especially video games, ever since I started working on comics. It just takes up way too much time.


Supreme Convoy: In the upcoming year, is there anything you're looking forward to? Like Energon, Masterpiece Optimus Prime, Alternators?


Don Figueroa: Yes, but I can't tell you what it is;)


Supreme Convoy: Just out of my fascination of Batman, is the image of Grimlock jumping off a cliff in War Within #2 suppose to be an homage to Dark Knight Returns?


Don Figueroa: Yep an homage, That Batman silhouette just looked so damn cool


Supreme Convoy: And I have to ask, what's the status on Macromasters? Is it still on the backburner? I'm always dying to hear any Macromasters news since it's been along time.


Don Figueroa: I can't work on it anymore, basically because I'm too busy nowadays, and I'm sure the storyline and art is out of date by now. if I ever decide to work on it again, I'd probably start over again


Supreme Convoy: Speaking of Macromasters, someone has archived the site here.


I'm still marveled at the level of work you put into those figures.


Don Figueroa: Thanks, I'm itching to get back into making a couple of new "Toys" just for the hell of it. but I used to get all cut-up and bruised working with plexiglass and I'm worried I might get injured and not be able to draw for a while. I'm thinking of using other materials like clay or more epoxy putty


I’d like to thank Don for another great interview. And just like last time for War Within, I’ll be definitely looking forward to the Wednesday when Transformers: G1 #1 comes in January.


Interestingly enough, when I was in high school Don's Macromasters was my favorite Transformers fan fiction. Currently in college, War Within is my favorite Transformers comic book. I wonder what Don will do next after I'm done with college... (*crosses fingers* Come on, Hasbro/Takara toy designer!)


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