As TFCon Chicago gets so very close, and NYCC is just around the corner, we'll keep on getting Transformers: Robots in Disguise news. Today, it's the auctions of a China-based eBay seller, jet_tang_2000, who appears to have prototypes for the series' iteration of the non-transforming Titans. The three figures available, show off three headsculpts and body variations: Bumblebee, Qui-Gonn Optimus Prime and a new head dubbed Galvatron by the seller - though it looks a lot like that wolfish character in the trailer. Check them out below!
TFCon USA 2014's adding another special guest to their list of Transformers behind the scenes attendees, and this time it's none other than Bob Skir!
You may remember Mr. Skir as one of the creative minds behind Transformers Beast Machines. Quite possibly one of the most polarizing pieces of Transformers history, both in terms of toys and most definitely the show.
Robert N. Skir was the Story Editor and Head Writer for the Transformers TV series Beast Machines, in his words perhaps the most polarizing series in Transformers history. Bob will be speaking at TFcon Chicago and meeting with fans all weekend.
Remember, TFCon USA 2014 takes place from October 24th through the 26th, and if you can't attend, Seibertron and his fellow staffers will be there on site to keep all of us updated and bring us the best galleries to share!
Keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!
Following the earlier announcement that the upcoming Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series will find its way to Cartoon Network, we finally get an actual look at an actual trailer for its first season! Check it out below, courtesy of the Transformers Facebook page.
The first official trailer for Transformers: Robots in Disguise is now online! Get your first look at the story and characters from 2015's brand new Transformers animated series. And keep your eyes peeled, because there's even more Robots in Disguise goodness headed your way this week!
Cartoon Network Becomes the Home of Hasbro Studios' Newest Series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise
Latest Installment of Hasbro Studios' Top-Rated Series to Debut On Its New U.S. Network Home in First Quarter of 2015
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Hasbro Studios, the Los Angeles-based entertainment division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), announced today that Cartoon Network, the regularly top-rated primetime network for boys' ages 6-11 and 9-14, will become the U.S home of the brand new series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
The latest installment in the Transformers franchise - a global phenomenon across TV, film, consumer products and digital media - will debut in the first quarter of 2015 and is written and directed by top Hollywood talent and influenced creatively with feedback from its avid fan base, which is reflected in the tone and style of the new series.
"Robots in Disguise begins a brand new chapter in storytelling, filled with great humor, lots of fun adventure and animated in a cooler, lighter, brighter style that we know kids are going to really love," said Stephen Davis, president of Hasbro Studios and global entertainment & licensing for Hasbro, Inc. "We have spent a lot of time listening to what kids like about Transformers and they haven't been shy about giving us their opinions. And we have listened! Robots in Disguise is reflective of all that we have learned in our conversations with kids. It has the most relatable Autobot and Decepticon characters we have ever ‘Rolled Out' in a Transformers animated series."
The mission begins as Bumblebee must step up to be leader in the years after we left the Autobots in Transformers Prime. Summoned by Optimus Prime to save Earth from a new faction of Decepticons, Bumblebee puts his light-hearted mettle to the test after assembling a rouge team of young Autobots action heroes. Bumblebee must balance his job fighting off evil with being equal parts squad leader and coach to a rascally band that needs constant coaxing to learn how to work together. The results are comical when the cool rebel, elite guard cadet, bombastic dinobot and exciteable mini-con must balance team-building with chasing and capturing their new enemies in every episode packed full of action, fun and adventure.
Finn Arnesen, senior VP of global distribution and development for Hasbro Studios, commented, "As the regularly top-rated U.S. TV network in prime among Transformers' core audience of boys ages 6-11 and 9-14, our beloved Autobots and Decepticons will feel very much at home on Cartoon Network. And to seal our new partnership with Cartoon Network on the 30th anniversary of the Transformers franchise makes this a truly iconic event."
The highly innovative Transformers franchise is one of the biggest brands in the world, spanning television, film and digital entertainment (including the 2014 global blockbuster, TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, the fourth in the hit film series); gaming; apps; publishing; transmedia events; toys, games and licensing.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company's world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company's Hasbro Studios is responsible for entertainment brand-driven storytelling around Hasbro brands across television, film, commercial productions and short-form. Through the company's deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Learn more at www.hasbro.com.
With the restructuring of the Hub, it was unsure where Transformers: Robots in Disguise would land. An article from Variety states that Robots in Disguise would be moving to Cartoon Network. Though the article was removed, there are still traces of it online. Its summary can be found by a simple google search.
Some of you may already have their hands on the recently released BluRay edition of Transformers: Age of Extinction. And some of you may have seen the special features regarding the design and production process for the toys. Which also means you may have spotted a Dinobot shaped intruder: could this be our first look at the upcoming Robots in Disguise animated series Grimlock figure? Check out the image below, via fellow fan HaltroN1 on Twitter!
-- Hasbro and Discovery Partnership Focused on Continuing Successful Creation of Entertaining and Award-Winning Content for Kids and Families --
-- Discovery Communications and Kids Television Veteran Tom Cosgrove Named GM of Discovery Family Channel Under the Leadership of Group President Henry Schleiff --
SILVER SPRING, Md. & PAWTUCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) and Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) today announced The Hub Network will become Discovery Family Channel effective October 13, 2014. The network will broaden its programming focus to serve families in primetime and continue to showcase Hasbro Studios award-winning children's content in daytime.
During the daytime, Discovery Family Channel will offer a robust line up of brand new Hasbro Studios' series as well as beloved library programming, including MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS, while during primetime, the network will serve a growing family audience that began to develop under The Hub Network. Primetime programming will draw from Discovery's three decades of leadership in creating the highest-quality, real-world content that appeals to the entire family in the Natural History, Adventure, Animals and Science genres. Initial series will include SUPERHUMAN, TIME WARP, FLYING WILD ALASKA, AFRICA and EXTREME ENGINEERING: BIGGEST REVEALS.
"The next chapter of our collaboration will harness the incredible content strengths of both Discovery and Hasbro to program Discovery Family Channel with highly-rated award-winning storytelling around Hasbro's brands and Discovery's most popular non-fiction shows that appeal to both children and families alike," said Hasbro President & CEO Brian Goldner. "Discovery Communications has a nearly 30-year track record of building television brands that create maximum value for advertisers and distributors through their world-class raft of programming and we look forward to evolving this network together."
Under the executive management of Group President Henry Schleiff, Tom Cosgrove will assume the role of general manager of Discovery Family Channel and will manage all network operations and programming, working closely with the Hasbro Studios team as the new channel will prominently feature Hasbro Studios-produced content in daytime. Schleiff has overseen the successful turnaround and growth of several networks within the Discovery portfolio. Previously, Cosgrove served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Discovery Channel and Science Channel and has held senior leadership positions at ABC Family, Fox Family, Fox Kids and TV Guide Channel prior to his time at Discovery. Most recently, he led 3net and 3net Studios.
"Hasbro is a world-class company with franchises and characters that appeal to kids and families around the world. They have been terrific partners over the past several years as we developed our kids television audience in the U.S., and we look forward to a continued strong collaboration as we evolve to the Discovery Family Channel together," said Discovery Communications President & CEO, David Zaslav. "Henry's proficiency in developing and growing strong brands combined with Tom's experience on Discovery's flagship brand and deep background in family programming make for a perfect leadership team to drive the network toward future growth."
The repositioning to Discovery Family Channel builds upon Discovery's ongoing strategy to maximize its portfolio of channels to satisfy viewers and drive value for distributors and advertisers, while working alongside quality content partners to create long-term value. The Hub Network has grown from nearly 56 million homes in 2010 to approximately 70 million U.S. homes today. Since launch, the strong performance of Hasbro children's content helped lift the network's total day P2-11 delivery by +89% and for the past three years, The Hub Network has consistently been the most co-viewed children's cable network among kids 2-11 watching with adults 18-49--a trend the partners plan to continue with Discovery Family.
"Brian and I want to thank the entire team at The Hub Network for their passion and dedication in building this brand over the past five years," added Zaslav. "They are a fantastic group of executives, guided by a tremendously creative and inspiring leader in Margaret Loesch. We are grateful for their work in creating a channel of which Discovery and Hasbro have been incredibly proud."
Discovery Family Channel will continue as a joint venture of Discovery Communications and Hasbro, with Discovery Communications taking a 60% ownership position in the new channel and Hasbro's stake decreasing to 40%. The network will be consolidated and managed under the Discovery portfolio of networks.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 pay-TV programmer reaching 2.7 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity, engaging and entertaining viewers with high-quality content on worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Science, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Discovery also controls Eurosport International, a premier sports entertainment group, including six pay-TV network brands across Europe and Asia. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) is a branded play company dedicated to fulfilling the fundamental need for play for children and families through the creative expression of the Company's world class brand portfolio, including TRANSFORMERS, MONOPOLY, PLAY-DOH, MY LITTLE PONY, MAGIC: THE GATHERING, NERF and LITTLEST PET SHOP. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with innovative play and entertainment experiences, in a variety of forms and formats, anytime and anywhere. The Company's Hasbro Studios is responsible for entertainment brand-driven storytelling around Hasbro brands across television, film, commercial productions and short-form. Through the company's deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Learn more at www.hasbro.com.
A while back we reported on two upcoming multimedia collections of songs, intros, themes and clips from the 30 years of Japanese Transformers animation. Renowned Transformers blogger Alfes2010 has now posted a couple of in-hand images of the two items, the Music Matrix and Song Masterpiece, showing off some of the artwork included - check them out below!
The Hub is currently a joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Networks, and has been in operation since 2010. The network aimed it's shows and movies towards families, with a large portion of the the shows being Hasbro properties, such as My Little Pony and of course, Transformers. (Including the Emmy winner, Transformers Prime and it's sequel, Beast Hunters.)
The Wall Street Journal and Variety are among the news sources bringing this late breaking news to our attention.
It's stated that Hasbro Studios's plan is to take a back seat, giving Discovery the controlling interest in the network that they've been seeking. Discovery has been trying to redirect the network to be more family-centric and less kids only.
The rebranding has no set date and the plans aren't finalized, but it is expected to occur sometime between the fourth quarter of 2014/first quarter of 2015. Hasbro will be given a block of programming from 9 AM to 3 PM, so there is no expectation that the upcoming Transformers: Robots In Disguise will be affected much, if at all.
Here's a snippet of the Variety article:
The network has seemed troubled in recent months. Margaret Loesch, the kidvid veteran who worked for legendary animator Hanna-Barbera and ran Fox Kids for a time, announced in June that she intended to step down as CEO of Hub by the end of 2014. She did so after unveiling a plan that would reshape the network’s primetime schedule to appeal to parents and kids, abandoning repeats of old sitcoms in favor of originals.
Despite making headway with “My Little Pony,” a cartoon based on the popular Hasbro toy, The Hub had trouble making a dent in Viacom’s Nickelodeon empire and Walt Disney’s suite of kid-and-tweens-focused networks.
You can read the full Variety article here and the WSJ article here.
We will keep you updated with any and all updates as they become available.
Keep your optics tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest in news and updates, plus the best galleries around!
The Other Truly Thrilling 30 Sunbow's Transformers Cartoon Series Turns 30
The day is Monday, September 17th, 1984. The 18th Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney was sworn in, and Reggie Jackson of the California Angels hit his 500th major league home run, becoming only the 13th person at that time to have done so. Not a very exciting day for most, but for some, this would be a day forever remembered.
You're going to see and be able to read a lot of articles today on the internet, specifically in the Transformers Fans' corner of it, and these will be about a certain birthday happening today. This is one of those articles. You're going to read about perspectives from people that were, with a fairly good chance of likelihood, about 5 to 7 years old on that date, who were captured by the premiere of a new cartoon series for the fall season called "The Transformers" on a Monday morning or afternoon. They'll talk very factually and sequentially about the history of the show and where it came from. They'll write well and give good reference for history down the road. This is not entirely one of those articles.
First, some of that base history but not too much, just to give some background. Marvel Comics' run of Transformers books had started in May, 1984, and had seen two published issues with a third to be shortly on the way in October. This was, of course, one channel through which to support the newly imported, rebranded toyline of the same name. The other was a joint production between Marvel Productions and Griffin Bacal's Sunbow Productions, a cartoon series designed to capture the attention of the children in Reagan's America with lots of action, little plot or continuity, and over the top, fun characterizations of the toys they could go have their parents buy on the local store shelves.
It was a simpler, peaceful time, when children ran through quiet streets with gumdrop smiles and wealth trickled down to the middle class and, and, um, wait a minute. I wasn't born yet. What the hell am I writing about?
This is not your typical retrospective, because it can't be. I wasn't born until almost a year after this cartoon premiered. I can't pretend to know what it was like when it came out. Suffice it to say, by the time I was aware of what a Transformer was and could follow along with any sort of cartoon or comic, the show was meandering the random scheduling of syndication and the toyline's only fictional support was in the form of the latter quarter of the Marvel comic run. So how on earth would someone that only hit the rough target age for "The Transformers" in 1990 fall in love with the franchise on a level so deep that close to his own 30th birthday, he still spends countless hours collecting toys, absorbing fiction, and writing long form articles about the brand? How could this happen when things like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were new, hip, and vying for attention? The answer's quite simple: home video.
Through the magic of FHE's home video releases, over and over again even children like me born well in the middle of the heyday of The Transformers' success could relive the spectacle of 24 minute long toy advertisements. Given the rushed production schedule, the efforts of now legendary (within our hobby, at least) names such as Flint Dille, David Wise, Wally Burr, George Bloom, Floro Dery, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker, and countless other voice actors and production crew will never be forgotten by, well, probably anyone reading this site and almost definitely anyone bothering to read this article!
That picture perfect low-res reproduction, right in your own home.
The first season enjoyed by so many through either broadcast or VHS gave us some of the most memorable and joyful characterizations of fan favorites such as Optimus Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Ironhide, Bumblebee, Soundwave, Grimlock, the Constructicons, and so many others. For a very young child like what I was at the time, with undeveloped reading skills, these characterizations from the original animated cartoon will always stand out as the original and archetypical examples of those characters within my memory and subconscious.
Right, wrong, or both, my brain instantly says "Rumble" because of the cartoon.
Of course, the show went on for a good while and eventually would come the event that changed everything, at least at the time. This event is also a fond VHS memory, and yes, it's the first Transformers Movie released in 1986.
Having a copy of this amazing work only brought my interest in Transformers to a fever pitch, as between it, VHS copies of nearly all of season one, the continuing toy line, and the comic I had just begun to be able to understand, a fan for life was born. Regardless of your path, or what kind of fan you may be today, some significance can be found by tracing back to 30 years ago today.
Transformers, of course, has continued on persistently in some new animated form ever since, barring the time from 1988 through the start of Beast Wars in 1996 where only repackaged episodes of the original show were still used for various purposes. Even these new evolutions of the brand borrow heavily in spirit from the original show, with characters reusing lines, traits, and sometimes even actual voice actors.
Treacherous, has a crown, flies, yep. It's Starscream.
Even now if we look ahead, 2015 will bring us yet another cartoon series and the second one to be titled "Robots in Disguise", and this will surely be the crux of the franchise's focus next year. Transformers has taken many branching paths and become a multimedia force in Hasbro's brand stable, with never ending toy releases, ongoing comics, frequent video game releases, and of course live action movies. Despite all that, the brand persists on as big and as well as it does because of the cartoons and their influence. Television is a powerful medium, and it's unlikely that The Transformers will ever divorce itself from that medium for very long every again.
I'd be remiss to not also remember some of the fantastic voice contributors to the original cartoon that we've lost over the years, here on a day where we learned the sad news that Buster Jones, the iconic voice of Blaster, is no longer with us. Here's to also remembering the good times brought to us all by such amazing artists as Chris Latta, Scatman Crothers, Casey Kasem, Orson Welles, and others that I may have forgotten.
The legacy of the first Transformers cartoon is undeniable. Hopefully in another 30 years, I'll be back to write another one of these as a crotchety old man, still surrounded by rotting 60 year old plastic toys.
Tell your story in the comment thread below. Why did you, and why do you still, enjoy the original cartoon? Maybe you hate it, that's ok too. Either way, there's no denying the impact it has had, which must have been so unimaginable 30 years ago to the day.
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