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WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:48 pm
by Dr. Caelus
I tried to submit this as news, but I guess it didn't go through.

See https://wizkids.com

Transformers, G.I. Joe, and My Little Pony Characters to Be Featured in Upcoming Miniatures Lines

February 25, 2019 – HILLSIDE, NJ– WizKids, the industry leader in high quality pre-painted & unpainted miniatures and established board games, announced a new licensing partnership with Hasbro today with the addition of beloved properties G.I. Joe, My Little Pony and Transformers to WizKids’ extensive line of miniatures.

Fans can expect to see their favorite characters first appear later this year in both pre-painted and unpainted formats.

“Much of the WizKids team has grown up with these cherished brands and are thrilled to be bringing them to life with the high definition sculpting processes that our customers have come to love,” said Justin Ziran, president of WizKids.

My Little Pony and Transformers products will be available throughout North America.

To learn more about WizKids, visit http://www.wizkids.com

TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2019 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro.

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:20 pm
by Dr. Caelus
Well, I'm excited, even if no one else is.

For those who don't know, Wizkids' major properties at this point are Heroclix and Dicemasters, but they also produce unpainted miniatures for D&D.

Wizkids started out producing a game called "Mage Knight", which involved fantasy characters warring with each other, but used rotating dials on the characters' bases to track changes in the character's powers and abilities. Mage Knight (I'm told) was a great game, and its basic clicking-dial mechanic spawned a number of other games in house - Mech Warrior, Crimson Skies, Heroclix, Horrorclix, and Actionclix. Hasbro even tried to cash in on Wizkids success a bit with their "Attacktix" miniatures line.

Topps shutdown Wizkids for a while to focus on their sports IPs, not seeing any future in comic book superheroes (oops!) and eventually sold Wizkids and some of its product lines to NECA. Over the years, Wizkids has experimented with lots of variations on the same basic mechanics - Actionclix, Horrorclix, and Heroclix were all extremely similar, to the point that they even released a BPRD Horrorclix set that could be played with Heroclix. Heroclix outlasted the others, and many of the ideas and properties explored in the dead-end product lines have ultimately reappeared in Heroclix. For example, the "Undead" set released a couple of years back was basically a revival of Horrorclix, but cleanly integrated with the contemporary Heroclix rules, and Star Trek: Tactics uses Heroclix rules, simply replacing the word "character" with the word "Ship." A few years back, Wizkids released a game model called DiceMasters, which is extremely popular, much cheaper than Heroclix, but looks boring AF to me so I know nothing about it.

Anyway, the way I see it, there are four general ways Wizkids might use the Transformers license.

(1) Collectible Miniatures without any Gaming Element - Back when Wizkids picked up the license to make Pacific Rim Heroclix, they also picked up the license for the Toho Kaiju (e.g., Godzilla). Everyone expected them to make Godzilla Heroclix to play alongside the Pacific Rim pieces, but for some reason that didn't happen - they made the miniatures, but didn't put them on playable bases. Needless to say, that was roundly considered a disappointment, so I don't expect them to revisit the miniatures-for-the-sake-of-miniatures approach.

(2) Dicemasters - The announcement specifically mentions collectible miniatures, so I wouldn't expect to see Transformers Dicemasters, especially since I think that such a game would be competing very much with the current Transformers TCG (since it's basically a TCG with dice).

(3) Transformers D20 - Hasbro's been hitting the market hard with D&D materials, and as part of their existing partnership with Wizkids, WK has been producing unpainted miniatures for use with Hasbro's D&D products. I could easily imagine this 'enhanced licensing deal' being the prelude to announcement of a full Transformers D20 RPG, published by Hasbro, supported by Wizkids miniatures line, and based heavily in IDW's new comic book universe.

(4) Transformers Heroclix - This is solidly the most likely option, as Heroclix remains WK's most well known brand, and WK has pretty much stopped making shoot-offs like Horroclix and Actionclix. WK has gone hard into acquiring licenses and loosely balancing the different licenses against each other to encourage play across property lines. Heroclix has so far included:

- Marvel Superheroes
- DC Superheroes
- A number of Independent comic book properties like Top Cow
- Halo
- Gears of War
- Assassin's Creed
- Street Fighter
- Yu-Gi-Oh
- Iron Maiden (miniatures based on the band's album covers - it was pretty weird)
- Star Trek
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
- Probably a lot more that I'm not remembering.

Over the course of those licenses, they've come up with a lot of rule mechanics that suit Transformers very well.

All Heroclix were originally one size, but they now have rules governing Tiny, Standard, Giant, and Colossal characters. (Note: Pacific Rim pieces were "Colossal" size for gameplay purposes, but they were printed on standard 1 x 1 bases, so I don't expect Transformers Heroclix to be over-sized.) Size determines who can see who at what elevations, how far a character reaches, and whether the character can carry other characters.

Along with different sizes came the inclusion of vehicles and bases with more than one character on them (duo-bases and team bases). The super rare Warlock in the Wolverine and the X-Men set actually had a special power that allowed him to transform into a vehicle.

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And, oh, yeah, don't forget that giant robot that split apart into six smaller robots:

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"Promotion", "Morph", "Shifting Focus", and "Switchclix" mechanics allow characters to be swapped out of the game with different versions of the same character when different conditions are met. This started with an "Alter-Ego" gimmick that allowed Peter Parker to become Spider-Man, etc., was further explored in Actionclix (your characters could accumulate points and then 'upgrade' to represent picking up different weapons), and reappeared in Heroclix with a version of the Punisher that switched between different weapons. It has now become an extremely common and varied mechanic; it is one way WKs sometimes balances characters that have 'too much going on' to represent well in a single piece, and it's been very good for 'mass shifting' characters like (Gi)Ant-Man. I could imagine this being the way Wizkids might represent the central gimmick of Transformers - a shifting focus style power that lets you swap robot Blitzwing for Jet or tank Blitzwing. Honestly, I hope they don't do that because I don't want to have to collect three miniatures to have one good Blitzwing.

Alternatively, the've also experimented with 'two-sided' dials. The standard size Heroclix dial has 12 slots on it (numbered 1-12), so some characters (e.g., Two-Face, Etrigan) have been represented with dials that are half that long but doubled (i.e., numbered 1-6, twice). I like that mechanic better than shifting focus, but it only works for characters with 5 clicks of health or left.

Finally, we've had a lot of characters now that can 'deploy' weaker, smaller characters to help them (e.g., Squirrel Girl with Monkey Joe or Klarion with Teekl), and that screams 'Targetmasters' to me.

I think the biggest tip off to what's coming though has been the shift in the point balance. Generally speaking, more powerful characters cost more points in your team build than less powerful characters, making team building a balancing act weighing quantity versus quality. That said, most characters can be obtained in different point values - Superman, for example, goes as high as 350pts, and at least as low as 90pts. That sometimes leads to ridiculous moments like a 130pt Ezio from Assassin's Creed severely wounding a 100pt Thor, but ridiculousness is half the fun.

Anyway, lately the point scale has shifted downward. Some of this is due to shortening characters' dials to make the game play faster, and some of it is due to power inflation (a 200pt character from 15 years ago has no real chance against a 100pt character from now). Ostensibly, this is because WK wants to promote 300-400pts as the build for a standard game, but it may also be that WK is trying to give themselves a little space for a property like Transformers, where even lightweight or weak characters like the Cassettes would give the average Avenger trouble. With Avengers: Infinity War, they also tried a gimmick where they made boosters about half again as expensive as they had been, but included a colossal character or vehicle in *every* booster. I could imagine Wizkids coming back around to that same mechanic for Transformers, to account for the wide size differences between characters.

Last thing, I'm going to throw this out there as a reminder that this happened:

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Twice:

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Wizkids and Hasbro to Team Up to Bring Us Transformers and More in Miniature Form

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:38 pm
by Wolfman Jake
We've got some very interesting news for you Seibertronians today. Courtesy of our own forum member, Caelus, we've been tipped off about an exciting new joint venture between Hasbro and Wizkids! Apparently, you can look forward to new miniatures featuring your favorite Hasbro brand characters from Transformers, G.I. JOE, and My Little Pony! Wizkids are known primarily for manufacturing small figurines that can be customized with paint, similar to the kind you would use for a table-top game like Dungeons & Dragons. They are also currently know for their HeroClix, Dice Masters, and Attack Wing product lines. You can read the press release from the official Wizkids website HERE. We've also copied it down below for your convenience.

WiZK!DS wrote:WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO


Transformers, G.I. Joe, and My Little Pony Characters to Be Featured in Upcoming Miniatures Lines

February 25, 2019 – HILLSIDE, NJ– WizKids, the industry leader in high quality pre-painted & unpainted miniatures and established board games, announced a new licensing partnership with Hasbro today with the addition of beloved properties G.I. Joe, My Little Pony and Transformers to WizKids’ extensive line of miniatures.

Fans can expect to see their favorite characters first appear later this year in both pre-painted and unpainted formats.

“Much of the WizKids team has grown up with these cherished brands and are thrilled to be bringing them to life with the high definition sculpting processes that our customers have come to love,” said Justin Ziran, president of WizKids.

My Little Pony and Transformers products will be available throughout North America.

To learn more about WizKids, visit http://www.wizkids.com

TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE and MY LITTLE PONY and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro and are used with permission. © 2019 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Licensed by Hasbro.


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What do you think of this new outlet for celebrating Hasbro brands and characters? Will you be picking up some miniature Transformers figures in the future? Got any plans for integrating them into your own table-top games or dioramas? Let us known in the comments below, and keep tuned to Seibertron.com for the latest news on all things Transformers!

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:54 pm
by sol magnus
If they're HeroClix, I'm all over it.

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 3:00 am
by Toizarus
A bit of an odd announcement. Producing miniatures with no defined purpose...?

"Fans can expect to see their favorite characters..."

= the same dozen or so done-to-death, "evergreen" characters that always receive an interpretation in any form of media: Optimus Prime, Megatron, Bumblebee, Starscream etc etc. Sigh.

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:57 am
by Coptur
should be good i just hope we aren't stuck with buying robot Op Prime and then have to buy Truck Op Prime. Will they all have giant, colossal and shape change?

I'd like to see 'attack wing' autobot and decepticon ship miniatures.


@Toizarus I understand this grumble but those characters sell, sell and sell and have proven themselves over and over.
Apecface, Moonracer etc just don't have the same draw or recognition.

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:10 am
by Kyleor
Hopefully they will either be of the same or better quality than the Mechwarrior game figures they were making before.

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:28 am
by Dr. Caelus
If it's Heroclix, it's hard to know what to expect. It could be a really small set of larger than average pieces like Pacific Rim or Star Track Tactics, but there's certainly a large enough character base to fill out a full brick with just Transformers.

I'd definitely expect the cassettes to be standard size characters (or pogs) with the other characters ranging up from there (e.g., Optimus as a giant, Omega Supreme as colossal). WK has become pretty focused on making sets compatible across licenses, and I'd also think that - if there's even the possibility of a GIJoe set down the line - they'd want the Joes to scale with the Transformers, since they've had so many crossovers over the years.

I feel like it's possible that they'll do alternate modes a la Shifting Focus, but I think it's more likely that the characters will just have traits or special powers to represent their transformations. Most G1 TFs don't actually have enormous play potential in their alternate modes, or at least, I don't think their abilities change enough in their alternate modes to warrant separate pieces.

Optimus Prime's transformation could pretty much be covered by giving him a "Roll Out" special power allows him to move along a straight line with +2 speed and damage any enemies he passes through (like the 'Top Gun' Iron Man from back in the day). Starscream and the other Seekers just need a few clicks of hypersonic speed or running shot. Some characters might have powers that require you to declare what 'mode' they are in at the beginning of the turn (like the Hawkeye that lets you choose between CCR and ESD). And some characters might just change modes as they take damage (e.g., Dinobots might start out with super strength, energy explosion, etc., and finish with blades/claws/fangs and battle fury).

As far as having a LOT of Optimus's, yeah, I think that's possible. WK has made a habit of putting an Iron Man, a Cap, and a Spider-Man in just about every Marvel set, and a Superman, a Batman, and a Wonder Woman in just about every DC set. Lately, they've been doing multiple versions of those characters in a set, though it was sort of justified it in Elseworlds, What If?, and Battleworld.

Notably, the TMNT sets were all themed, but each set covered variations of the characters across the full span of their history, all the way from the black and white versions up to the Nickelodeon CG versions. That makes me think that a TF Heroclix set might not be exclusively G1.

If we end up getting a full brick of 60+ characters just devoted to Transformers, I would definitely expect 4 Optimus Primes (a common, uncommon, rare, and super rare), which is a lot easier to justify if they don't limit themselves to the 80s cartoon. In that scenario I'd expect a green-ringed "b" variant (ironically called a "Prime") of one of those Optimuses as Nemesis Prime or Scourge. I could also imagine Prime's trailer showing up solo as a super rare or chase piece on a peanut base with support, energy explosion, defend, and the ability to spawn a Roller pog.

Of course, I'd really love it if they did Beast Wars Heroclix, as those characters would admittedly scale better with the other Heroclix sets, would fill out a gravity feed nicely, and make fun additions to Animal theme teams (Rattrap and Splinter FtW!).

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:42 pm
by sol magnus
Caelus wrote:If it's Heroclix, it's hard to know what to expect. It could be a really small set of larger than average pieces like Pacific Rim or Star Track Tactics, but there's certainly a large enough character base to fill out a full brick with just Transformers.

I'd definitely expect the cassettes to be standard size characters (or pogs) with the other characters ranging up from there (e.g., Optimus as a giant, Omega Supreme as colossal). WK has become pretty focused on making sets compatible across licenses, and I'd also think that - if there's even the possibility of a GIJoe set down the line - they'd want the Joes to scale with the Transformers, since they've had so many crossovers over the years.

I feel like it's possible that they'll do alternate modes a la Shifting Focus, but I think it's more likely that the characters will just have traits or special powers to represent their transformations. Most G1 TFs don't actually have enormous play potential in their alternate modes, or at least, I don't think their abilities change enough in their alternate modes to warrant separate pieces.

Optimus Prime's transformation could pretty much be covered by giving him a "Roll Out" special power allows him to move along a straight line with +2 speed and damage any enemies he passes through (like the 'Top Gun' Iron Man from back in the day). Starscream and the other Seekers just need a few clicks of hypersonic speed or running shot. Some characters might have powers that require you to declare what 'mode' they are in at the beginning of the turn (like the Hawkeye that lets you choose between CCR and ESD). And some characters might just change modes as they take damage (e.g., Dinobots might start out with super strength, energy explosion, etc., and finish with blades/claws/fangs and battle fury).

As far as having a LOT of Optimus's, yeah, I think that's possible. WK has made a habit of putting an Iron Man, a Cap, and a Spider-Man in just about every Marvel set, and a Superman, a Batman, and a Wonder Woman in just about every DC set. Lately, they've been doing multiple versions of those characters in a set, though it was sort of justified it in Elseworlds, What If?, and Battleworld.

Notably, the TMNT sets were all themed, but each set covered variations of the characters across the full span of their history, all the way from the black and white versions up to the Nickelodeon CG versions. That makes me think that a TF Heroclix set might not be exclusively G1.

If we end up getting a full brick of 60+ characters just devoted to Transformers, I would definitely expect 4 Optimus Primes (a common, uncommon, rare, and super rare), which is a lot easier to justify if they don't limit themselves to the 80s cartoon. In that scenario I'd expect a green-ringed "b" variant (ironically called a "Prime") of one of those Optimuses as Nemesis Prime or Scourge. I could also imagine Prime's trailer showing up solo as a super rare or chase piece on a peanut base with support, energy explosion, defend, and the ability to spawn a Roller pog.

Of course, I'd really love it if they did Beast Wars Heroclix, as those characters would admittedly scale better with the other Heroclix sets, would fill out a gravity feed nicely, and make fun additions to Animal theme teams (Rattrap and Splinter FtW!).

Pretty good summation. You on the realms?

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:08 pm
by Dr. Caelus
sol magnus wrote:Pretty good summation. You on the realms?


I read the Upcoming Sets and Rumors board and use the units section a lot, but have only posted a handful of times. I really ought to get more involved, as I have lots of custom scenario type stuff I could share.

I used to make a lot of custom character cards too, but I've sort of given up that hobby.

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Reskin of Striker Eureka as G1 Grimlock


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Full Custom Scrapper

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:56 pm
by sol magnus
Caelus wrote:
sol magnus wrote:Pretty good summation. You on the realms?


I read the Upcoming Sets and Rumors board and use the units section a lot, but have only posted a handful of times. I really ought to get more involved, as I have lots of custom scenario type stuff I could share.

I used to make a lot of custom character cards too, but I've sort of given up that hobby.

Slide1.PNG


Slide3.PNG

Nicely done.

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:54 am
by Black Hat
Oooh, I love painting miniatures, I can definitely get behind this.

Re: WIZKIDS ANNOUNCES ENHANCED LICENSING DEAL WITH PARTNER HASBRO

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:14 pm
by Dr. Caelus
Cannot confirm, but it sounds like it's sad news for Heroclix fans:

Member of Athens TN Heroclix group wrote:Update on WWE clix from my local store manager attending GAMA. Figs will be sold individually in non-blind boosters with a 7.99 price tag. 18 figs in the first wave. They plan on doing a total of 50. If it does well, then they will release future waves of 10-12 figures.

Also confirmed that GI Joe, Transformers, and Pony will NOT be clix. Only unpainted minis.


On the brightside, unpainted minis make me more confident that Hasbro's going to use their D&D license to push a Transformers (and presumably G.I.Joe) d20 game out there.