HASBRO’S TRANSFORMERS BRAND EXPANDS “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE” UNIVERSE
On the heels of launching 2009’s largest grossing movie and in anticipation of the next installment in 2011, the TRANSFORMERS brand from Hasbro, Inc. ramps up the play in 2010 with new offerings that build on the energy and excitement from the brand’s history and blockbuster film franchise. Featuring over-the-top action figures, unique role-play items and innovative twists on the TRANSFORMERS brand signature play pattern, the 2010 lineup offers dozens of toys and two exciting promotions to satisfy and excite the brand’s ever-expanding fan base.
This spring the AUTOBOTS, the heroic protectors of Earth, need help from their human allies in the N.E.S.T. GLOBAL ALLIANCE as the planet continues to face threats from the evil DECEPTICONS. Hasbro is inviting kids and fans to join the alliance through a special promotion that is currently underway. By getting the N.E.S.T. ALLIANCE PACK and collecting three stickers included in specially marked TRANSFORMERS products, kids and fans can join the N.E.S.T. GLOBAL ALLIANCE and mail away for a special edition RAVAGE figure not available anywhere else. The promotion requires a payment of $4.95 for shipping and handling charges to receive the special edition figure and the offer is good while supplies last. Requests must be postmarked by April 30 and received by May 14. Then, in the fall, kids can ‘live’ the TRANSFORMERS adventure as the “Hunt for the DECEPTICONS” promotion begins. Look for exciting details about this interactive promotion later in the year.
If fans can’t wait until 2011 for the next TRANSFORMERS movie they can watch online webisodes of “Cyber Missions,” featuring new TRANSFORMERS adventures. “Cyber Missions” finds the AUTOBOTS working with humans in the N.E.S.T. global alliance to defend Earth against the revenge-seeking DECEPTICONS. There will be 12 webisodes total which began airing online at http://www.TRANSFORMERS.com in early January and new webisodes will continue to air throughout the year.
BUMBLEBEE continues to be one of the most popular TRANSFORMERS heroes as he acts as both a defender and a warrior for good. The new BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE action figure continues to push the boundaries of TRANSFORMERS toy innovation and showcases two sides of BUMBLEBEE with features unique to each of these roles. For example, when serving as a guardian, BUMBLEBEE features more playful phrases along with authentic engine sounds and lights. Then, when converted into battle mode, BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE has missile launchers that pop out, a converting plasma cannon that lights up, and phrases that change to reflect his battle personality.
Expanding upon the essence of DEVASTATOR — a robot built by combining multiple construction vehicles — the TRANSFORMERS brand unveils the new POWER CORE COMBINERS expression that redefines the magic of combination play. The toys deliver an interchangeable system of robots, vehicles and weapons that escalates the level of fun and increases the number of robots within a child’s TRANSFORMERS toy universe.
For those wanting to engage in heroic AUTOBOT role play, the TRANSFORMERS line offers new items including the OPTIMUS PRIME CYBER SWORD toy which features lights, battle and conversion sounds, as well as key phrases from OPTIMUS PRIME.
And for the youngest AUTOBOT-in-training, the TRANSFORMERS brand unveils the new ACTIVATORS expression of action figures. Designed with the youngest TRANSFORMERS fans in mind, ACTIVATORS toys feature easier conversion from vehicle to robot modes than traditional TRANSFORMERS figures and are available in popular characters such as OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE and MEGATRON.
Highlights of new TRANSFORMERS products available in 2010 include:
TRANSFORMERS ACTION FIGURES
(Approximate retail price: DELUXE Scale $12.99; VOYAGER Scale $19.99; Leader Scale $44.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Spring 2010)
For more than 25 years, TRANSFORMERS action figures have been known as “ROBOTS IN DISGUISE,” providing fans with the enjoyment of converting incredibly detailed, realistically styled vehicles into awesome battling alien robots. In 2010, Hasbro is offering a wide variety of all-new versions of fan-favorite characters, including OPTIMUS PRIME, BUMBLEBEE, MEGATRON and STARSCREAM in an array of scales: DELUXE, VOYAGER (larger scale), and LEADER (largest scale and includes lights and sounds).
Deluxe Battle Blade BUMBLEBEE
TRANSFORMERS BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE Action Figure
(Approximate retail price: $59.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The all-new BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE action figure is ready for battle! This large-scale figure truly shows fans the AUTOBOT hero’s personality, both as a protector of Earth and a warrior against the evil DECEPTICONS. With two distinct modes – Battle and Guardian – BATTLE OPS BUMBLEBEE features a variety of electronic sounds and lights, accompanied by a converting plasma cannon.
TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS
The TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS introduce fans to an all-new assortment of figures that expand on the classic play pattern of the popular “ROBOTS IN DISGUISE.” This new expression of figures combine with one another, in dozens of variations, to create a wide variety of larger COMBINER robots, with each figure serving as various body parts and weapons. Available in 2-packs and 5-packs.
TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS 2-Pack
(Approximate retail price: $9.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS 2-Pack includes one SCOUT scale TRANSFORMERS figure and one MINI-CON scale figure. The SCOUT scale figure features a ‘robot’ mode and a ‘vehicle’ mode. The MINI-CON scale figure has four modes: ‘robot’ mode, robot weapon, vehicle weapon and Power-up Armor for combining with the central SCOUT scale figure in both robot and vehicle mode. 2-Pack figures are interchangeable with 5-Pack figures.
Huffer with Caliburst
TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS 5-Pack
(Approximate retail price: $19.99; Ages 5 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The TRANSFORMERS POWER CORE COMBINERS 5-Pack features teams of TRANSFORMERS characters that can combine together to form one large TRANSFORMERS figure. Each team consists of one SCOUT scale figure and four LEGENDS scale vehicles. The SCOUT scale figure features one ‘vehicle’ mode and two ‘robot’ modes and each of the LEGENDS scale vehicles can plug into the specially marked ports on the central SCOUT scale figure to instantaneously convert into an arm or leg using auto-conversion technology. All figures can be swapped out with one another to form multiple different combinations and new figures. 5-Pack figures are interchangeable with 2-Pack figures.
Commander Skyburst with the Aerialbots
(Approximate retail price: $7.99; Ages 4 & up; Available: Spring 2010)
TRANSFORMERS ACTIVATORS toys, a new expression within the TRANSFOMERS toy line, feature conversion from vehicle to robot modes that’s easier than traditional TRANSFORMERS figures. Designed with the younger child in mind, conversion is triggered by pressing the AUTOBOT or DECEPTICON shield located on the figure and require only a few steps to fully change modes. TRANSFORMERS ACTIVATORS figures feature popular characters including BUMBLEBEE, OPTIMUS PRIME and MEGATRON.
TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME CYBER SWORD
(Approximate retail price: $19.99; Ages 4 & up; Available: Fall 2010)
The TRANSFORMERS OPTIMUS PRIME CYBER SWORD allows kids to role play just like the fearless leader of the AUTOBOTS and reenact their favorite battle scenes. Kids will enjoy its electronic lights, battle and conversion sounds, as well as key movie phrases.
SPEEDSTARS TRANSFORMERS BUMBLEBEE BATTLE TRACK Set
(Ages 4 & Up; Approximate Retail Price: $19.99; Available: Fall 2010)
Created specifically for the SPEEDSTARS TRANSFORMERS line of mini-vehicles, kids can join the adventure and help BUMBLEBEE and OPTIMUS PRIME defeat the evil MEGATRON by racing to victory with the new SPEEDSTARS TRANSFORMERS BATTLE TRACK set. The glory of winning depends on your skill; launch the BUMBLEBEE mini-vehicle, exclusive to this track set, at the correct time and send it crashing into MEGATRON who will crumble in defeat. Introduced in 2009, TRANSFORMERS mini-vehicles feature the robot version of characters unique to the TRANSFORMERS universe on the underside of each non-converting vehicle for easy identification.
SPEEDSTARS TRANSFORMERS STEALTH FORCE OPTIMUS PRIME Vehicle
(Ages 4 & Up; Approximate Retail Price: $24.99; Available: Fall 2010)
Featuring electronic lights and sounds, motorized conversions and firing projectiles, kids can “bring to life” the epic TRANSFORMERS battle with this new vehicle from the SPEEDSTARS TRANSFORMERS line. For covert combat, watch as select parts of this OPTIMUS PRIME semi-truck vehicle convert with the touch of a button to reveal stealth mode weaponry hidden inside to battle the evil DECEPTICONS like no other vehicle available.
Diablien wrote:For years now, Hasbro has been breaking from the mold and creating their own private viewing event corresponding with the date for the official Toy Fair Expo held in New York City. This tradition continued in 2010 with a presentation covering Marvel, Transformers, GI Joe, and Star Wars that was an invitation-only event geared towards media outlets for each of brand. Of course Seibertron.com was on-hand to bring a plethora of coverage through videos, photos, and up-to-the-minute update messages. However, coverage of one particular aspect of the presentation was left out - Activision's exclusive look at their upcoming title "Transformers: War for Cybertron."
The entire event was allowed coverage except for Activision's segment, which still contained some proprietary elements that were now allowed to be recorded or photographed. In lieu of any visual coverage, we will attempt to relay what was shown in as much detail as possible.
To start off, this game may be the Transformers' reaction to GI Joe's "Resolute" cartoons series that is aimed a bit more towards a mature crowd. The themes expected to be covered in "War for Cybertron" will be quite serious. In the live game play demo we were shown, death and destruction are at the forefront of the story. For example, Zeta Prime, who is assumed to be the previous leader of the Autobots, has died and Optimus has taken up command for the first time. Apparently, Zeta Prime will be the video game equivalent of the recent comic book fiction's Sentinel Prime. Regardless, the old leader is dead and Optimus is, like always, willing and ready to take up command.
The opening scene consists of Optimus, Ratchet, and Bumblebee traveling down an elevator and discussing the current situation. Megatron is making a major advance and Decepticon warships have surrounded the city. Bumblebee wants to get out there and "show Megatron a thing or two" but Optimus explains that Megatron will not risk decimating the Autobot's capital city of Iacon with a full-on assault, since he wishes to conquer and use it for himself. This appears to allude to Megatron's motivation in the game, which has been promised to be explained by Activision's reps. The biggest surprise during this opening scene was when Optimus hails Jetfire on the halo communicator. Not only is he mentioned by name, but Jetfire actually appears on the Halo screen! Jetfire explains that he needs cover fire. Prime, Ratchet and Bumblebee leave Autobot HQ to reactive the city's anti-air guns amidst the Decepticon onslaught. This is when the game play begins. As a giant warship crash lands at the Autobot's doorstep, Decepticons begin pouring out and pummeling the Autobots with heavy fire.
As the game play began, one of the first things that became apparent was the massive amount of detail given to the environment. Cybertron is alive with activity. The world is dark, cold and metallic, at least the parts that aren't currently on fire seemed that way! There are plenty of obstacles to hide behind to evade fire and the environment appears to have tons of destroyable materials. Optimus was transforming with ease and ramming Decepticons. It was also demonstrated that projectiles could be fired from the front of the vehicle. Although it was not completely clear, there seemed to be some sort of overheat gauge for being in vehicle mode, so there may be some sort of limit on the amount of time a player may stay transformed.
On to level two for the Autobots, which revealed even more unexpected characters - Aerialbots Air Raid and Silverbolt! Them, along with Jetfire are in orbit around Cybertron amidst hordes of planetary debris. Something has definitely gone wrong because this level made the asteroid field in "Empire Strikes Back" look like a snow flurry. In jet mode, the characters were dodging and destroying debris and could even transform to run across some of the larger sections of debris. It was explained by Activision that each level has 3 characters that will be playable specific to the mission at hand. This opens the amount of characters up to wild speculation. We already know that we will be seeing Soundwave, Starscream, Megatron, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Ironhide, Optimus, Jetfire, Air Raid, Shockwave, and Silverbolt, but just how many others? The next level reveals a surprise guest…
The last level that was previewed to the crowd at the presentation was a Decepticon boss battle. Megatron has the Autobots close to their darkest hour and that leads them to activate their last line of defense. You guessed it - Omega Supreme! Fighting against Omega were Megatron, Soundwave, and surprise guest, Decepticon Breakdown! Breakdown's head looked to be the spitting image of his G1 self. This level was only shown for about a minute but from what we saw, we will be having a lot of great moments in this video game. This Omega Supreme seemed much more G1 than the fully rendered trailer version, but I may be mistaken. Omega appears to be in a pit in the middle of a large room that the Decepticons can run around to take shots at him. Omega fires volleys of missiles at the Decepticons while Megatron barks orders at Breakdown to "stop whining and start firing." Omega's personality is G1 all the way and the voice is about as close to his 80's cartoon version as one could ask.
Activision told us that multi-player support for the game is going to be a very important factor. The 3 available characters for each mission allow for additional players to jump in and out at will. Although not specified, campaign may be playable via online. Other features that were observed from game play were that Optimus appeared to be able to jump and use a boost that could propel him in a variety of directions. There also seemed to be some sort of "power-up mode" but it was not obvious how this mode was activated whether by damage, or item collection. Optimus was glowing pink and it could be surmised that his attack power is increased during this mode.
Characterization of each character is incredibly detailed. The voice acting appears to be top-notch and we can expect this game to be the new gritty origin of The Transformers. Ratchet appears to be a bit of his movie persona, perhaps even the same voice actor. Bumblebee is a much spunkier version of the character. He seems to be arrogant and fool-hardy and Optimus Prime seemed to have to keep his head in the right place. Jetfire is a very bulky white and red bot. He seems very reminiscent of the Classics mold. Unfortunately, the Aerialbots were difficult to make out other than their faces, which each appeared reminiscent of their G1 counterparts. Soundwave has acting as the voice of authority on what to do next, such as pinpointing where Omega Supreme's weak points were. His voice had a very successful vocoder effect that should make Soundwave fans very happy. Megatron's voice may seem new to fan of the series, but his new authoritative demeanor will be very easy to get used to. As an added touch, when other characters speak or call out story-telling voice clips, a drawing of the characters' face plus name appear in the bottom right of the screen.
When the lights turned on and the game left the screen, applause filled the hall. "War for Cybertron" marks a progressive move for Hasbro's marketing for the brand. After having utilized cartoons and movie avenues of promotion, the next logical step to reinforce the Transformers lore is to target the video game crowd. Today's youth spends a lot of time immersing themselves in their games, very similarly to how a fan may watch their favorite movie over and over again. With each new piece of material revealed about the game, the fever surrounding it increases. "War for Cybertron" may be more than the next greatest Transformers video game, it may in fact become one of the best games of the year and is there a better way to move Transformers into a new decade?
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