The Transformers Generations franchise offers us a sneak peek at the beginning of their “TITANS RETURN” product with these images of upcoming packaging artwork. There’s only so much room on a box or a blister card, so the scintillating character images developed by our artists sometimes gets maneuvered and cropped from the full glory of the original piece. The Hasbro Pulse has secured the full character artwork that will adorn the packaging for this July’s “TITANS RETURN” Deluxe Generations Wave 1.
The original artwork for their packaging was created by Ken Christiansen, a longtime contributor to the Transformers brand. Ken’s dynamic art style is well-known and appreciated by Transformers fans, and he took some time to talk to us about his work on the “TITANS RETURN” images:
HASBRO PULSE: You've been providing phenomenal artwork for Transformers toys over the years - is this the first time you've worked on a Power Master toy? How different is it to draw a Transformer with a removable head?
KEN CHRISTIANSEN: Thanks very much. I was really thinking about it, and up until working on Titans Retun, it's possible I hadn't drawn a Power Master since I was a little kid, and the original toys were on shelves, back in the 1980s! Drawing a removable head isn't much of a stretch when I'm working on Transformers - it's just another part that is in a different place during a transformation. Though the real magic of the removable head is that it's going to be yet another level of transformation, into a new character!
HASBRO PULSE: Your personal art style is a fantastic match for the aspirational nature of a franchise rooted in metal parts and straight edges - what artists have influenced your style and development?
KEN CHRISTIANSEN: My personal art influences as I was growing up were Drew Struzan, Frank Frazetta, and more to the point of the question, famed industrial and futurist designer Syd Mead. But the direct influence on my Transformers work to this day, is the original box back art on the first line of Transformers, the incredible battle scene that gave life and energy to the very idea of the Transformers. And now that I get to opportunity to contribute to the packaging art, I hope I can inspire the next generation of kids.
HASBRO PULSE: The first wave of Titans Return figures features four fan favorite characters in Blurr, Skullcruncher, Hardhead and Scourge. Do you have a favorite among these "first four?"
KEN CHISTIANSEN: I'm excited about all of them, but for me Skullcruncher is a real standout. I think the design team did an amazing job, and I can't wait to get my hands on him!
These four Transformers will have their toy versions unveiled at New York Toy Fair, and are expected to be available in stores this August.
The studio [Space Ape Games] has, so far, made its name as something of a specialist in what its founders call 'build and battlers', the mid-core asynchronous multiplayer genre established to such great success by Supercell and Clash of Clans. It's already had two successes in the genre: Samurai Siege and Rival Kingdoms, but now Earner and Hade are looking to take the next step with the attachment of a globally recognised IP in the shifting shape of Hasbro's Transformers for its new game Earth Wars.
"I guess you could say it's the modern take on classic Transformers, where the characters are bigger, chunkier and more colourful, rather than the [Michael] Bay-style, which uses more organic characters," says product owner Chris White when I ask if they're tying Earth Wars to the Bay-directed films. "It works very well for us because they're very readable when they're small."
"Talking to a lot of the Transformer fans we have over the course of development, it's amazing how many of them haven't played any games in this genre before," says White. "Whereas you'd expect everyone to have played Clash of Clans, they actually haven't, so we're introducing them to the genre for the first time. One really interesting thing we saw during development, when we were getting Transformers fans in, is that, as a developer you've obviously seen a lot of games, a lot of tutorials. You start to think that everyone must know how this works, that you need to teach the player something different. Actually, there's tons of Transformers fans out there that don't know the mechanics of the genre, or indeed any game.
"It's easy to be cynical, having played tons of games in the genre and developed a few of them, but then you realise that maybe in some areas you've actually gone a little too far with the innovation and you need to dial it back a bit and give people something they're more familiar with."
"Transformers is huge in Asia," Earner corrects me. "We have the rights to launch the game globally, we secured the rights via Takara to introduce the game to Japan, which is the only territory where Hasbro doesn't have the rights, but there's a long and productive relationship between the two. So it's not so much that we don't have plans for Asia, it's that Asia requires an extra amount of detail. We won't go live in those countries on day one because we want to put real time into it.
"A pleasant surprise for me, having spent a week in China last year: we always knew that China had become excited about what we call 'Bay-led' Transformers. Bay-led is a country or person whose introduction to the brand comes from the recent films. France is Bay-led, believe it or not, as is China. We suspected that, as a result they might not recognise some of the characters, such as Grimlock. But the mid-core player on the coast of China is also male, 28-45. They know this stuff and they love it, so we're extremely optimistic about it, but like you say, they're a different market, you can't just come at it straight."
Transmission ID: 000021
Operation: Target 2016
We are honoured to announce that Simon Furman, one of the most significant contributors to Transformers and its rich mythos, will be joining us for our inaugural convention!
It really does feel right for somebody who has worked so hard from the Cybertronian's earliest days be here with us to celebrate the bold new era of TFNation.
We would keep you here all day if we were to list Simon's complete Transformers credits. Much of his work comprises the bedrock of the comics, animation and films we all enjoy today. Simon's writing has stood the test of time and his work is still held in high regard today. He has worked for the successive publishers Marvel, Dreamwave and IDW.
Simon has also lent his comic talents to many other titles including Scream, Thundercats, Alpha Flight, Doctor Who, as well asco-creating Dragon's Claws and of course a certain Freelance Peacekeeping Agent who Marvel keep teasing may return...
In addition to his writing, Simon also served as an editor for Marvel UK and Titan Books.
Away from comics, Simon has been involved in the world of animation from Beast Wars, X-Men: Evolution, Dan Dare to most recently serving as both Head Writer and Script Editor for CITV's The Matt Hatter Chronicles.
Over the course of the weekend, you will have the opportunity to hear more about this storied career from the man himself and in much greater detail.
To keep up with Simon's current work, he maintains a blog over at:
http://tfnation.us11.list-manage2.com/t ... 1e517e5c6f (http://tfnation.us11.list-manage.com/tr ... 1e517e5c6f)
Simon will be signing autographs and selling comics and script packs from Friday 19th until Sunday 21st August 2016 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel at TFNation 2016. We look forward to seeing you there!
Further transmissions to follow.
Where All Are One
The TRANSFORMERS are coming to Machinima. In an agreement between Machinima and Hasbro, the TRANSFORMERS world will be brought to life on the many2many programming service that kicks off right smack in the middle of The Combiner Wars. The series introduces new lore and all-new characters that, combined with the characters fans have known for decades, will bring the TRANSFORMERS storytelling in a new direction as the Machinima series will deliver raging action and signature humor to legions of TRANSFORMERS fans.
he plans to be back in Chicago sometime later this year. The film is scheduled for a 2017 release, with plans already in the works for two more "Transformers" movies after that. Billion-dollar revenues will do that.
"You going to blow up Michigan Avenue again?" Richards asks Bay in his interview (at the 5:40 mark). "No, we're gonna find a new street," Bay said. "But I love Chicago." And then, referring to some of the city's systemic problems, including gun violence, added dryly: "We'll come in with some Transformers to even it out."
In next month's issue, in celebration of MTMTE reaching its half century, we're resurrecting the letters page.
This is an invitation to get your name in print and to share with other readers your thoughts on the last four years - favourite issues, stories, characters, character moments, you name it. Best of all would be an insight into what MTMTE means to you.
There's no word limit as such, but the shorter your correspondence, the more we can fit in - and we reserve the right to edit letters for space. You don't have to give your actual name, but we need some kind of identifier - your twitter handle, for example.
But listen -- time is of the essence. You only have until Sunday night to send something through...!
A special email has been set up - mtmte50[at]gmail[dot]com - so that your letters are immediately recognised as being intended for publication in issue 50. Sending something to that address indicates that the message is 'For Publication'. After Monday, once the pages have been finalised, the email account will be cancelled.
We can't promise to print every letter, but we'll squeeze in as many as we can.
Feel free to spread the word beyond Twitter to TF sites etc.
If you're moved to write, thank you. MTMTE would be nothing without its fans, and this is a chance to recognise and celebrate that.
News Categories: View All Categories, Toy News, Movie News, Comic Book News, Cartoon News, Site News, Rumors, Media, Event News, Collectables, Game News, Sponsor News, Store News, Company News, People News, Site Articles, Press Releases, Sightings, Reviews, 3rd Party News, Auctions, Interviews, Transtopia, Knock Offs, Editorials, Collector's Club News, Heavy Metal War, Podcast, Contests, Book News, Top Lists