As we reported a short while back, Stan Bush is planning the release of his next album The Ultimate, and would be posting a new mix of his classic 'The Touch' track this weekend - the Power Mix. Wait no more, for here it is, in its new Fall of Cybertron clothes! Check it out below.
Some economic discussion had already started in the past few days, but it seems we are not alone: William Bias, of The Motley Fool has written a relatively short piece on Daily Finance, discussing some options that Hasbro could consider to increase its revenue. His suggestions? Bring back G1 and prepare a live-action series. Read more about it below!
Hasbro experienced great success with its live action Transformers movies over the past six years driving an increase in revenue following their releases in 2007, 2009, and 2011. However, its revenue then suffers in subsequent years as the euphoria from the previous movie slowly wears off (chart below). So far in 2013 Hasbro's revenue remains roughly even with the same time last year. However, Hasbro can do two important things to help boost revenue during the down years between blockbuster movies.
Create live action TV shows
Hasbro along with The Hub, its media outlet jointly owned by Discovery Communications , needs to follow in the footsteps of Walt Disney and Time Warner in creating adult targeted live action television series. Walt Disney's Agents of SHIELD serves the purpose of raising brand awareness for the Marvel based brands despite the ratings slump. Fellow Fool Leo Sun cites the show's construction on "faulty 1990s logic" or a monster of the week scenario for the show's waning popularity. Joss Whedon's creative team behind this show certainly possesses the talent to turn Agents of SHIELD around if necessary, as evidenced by later Buffy: The Vampire Slayer seasons where the audience saw more depth in its characters due to choices made under difficult and unusual circumstances. Time Warner and 21st Century Fox's contributions to the bandwagon include a Batman Prequel called Gotham, Arrow, and its spinoff Flash.
Along those lines, a live action Transformers or G.I. Joe television show would go a long way in boosting toy revenue in between movie years. While well written animated series such as Transformers Prime are great, they generally are viewed by children limiting the scope of popularity. It's difficult to write an intelligent series geared toward that audience. A live action Transformers television series would probably be expensive ; however, the studios could produce short seasons in a Game of Thrones fashion. G.I. Joe would certainly prove feasible for Hasbro's studio partners.
Bring back Gen 1 Transformers
Walt Disney and Hasbro appeal to the nostalgic collector by releasing toy lines such as the Star Wars: The Black Series and reissuing old Star Wars toys. Moreover, Hasbro occasionally releases a Transformers Generation 1 reissue geared toward people who enjoyed Transformer's original line in their childhood. Hasbro could take this a step further and produce an animated (not computer generated) series that picks up where it left off during the second season in 1986 bridging the gap between that time period and the animated classic Transformers: The Movie. An hour long show with a shortened season could conserve on costs. A good working title: Transformers 1980s. Hasbro could also do a spinoff series that centers on post Transformers: The Movie characters such as Headmasters .
The Foolish takeaway
Next year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the first Transformers line and the release of Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth live action Transformers movie. A direct-to DVD Transformers Prime animated movie and a new animated series is also rumored to be in production for release later next year. Hasbro and Hub need to think past next year and put forth some larger revenue generating initiatives like the ones highlighted above or its revenue will likely suffer in 2015.
Diamond Comics Distribution's PREVIEWSworld website has just revealed the twelve Gold Sponsor comics for Free Comic Book Day 2014. Our favourite transforming robots have made the cut again, after 2012's ReGeneration One #80.5, and this time, they're not alone: IDW Publishing's offering for the Gold Sponsor tier is the first issue of the new ongoing series of Transformers vs G.I. Joe, co-written by Tom Scioli and John Barber, with art by Tom Scioli. Check out the cover image below, as well as more details on the issue and the FCBD initiative.
IDW – TRANSFORMERS VS. G.I. JOE
(W) Tom Scioli, John Barber (A/CA) Tom Scioli
Two titans of pop culture clash in the kick-off of an all-new, all-action ongoing series! When Earth is threatened by giant machine life from outer space, the planet’s greatest heroes unite—but will they be enough? From the pulse-pounding pen of visionary artist Tom Scioli begins the most cosmic crossover of all time!
The Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) Committee has selected its twelve Gold Sponsor comic book titles for the comic book industry’s top annual event, Free Comic Book Day, scheduled for Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 at participating comic book shops. Next year marks the largest Free Comic Book Day ever with 60 comics available to choose from including fan-favorite and new comic book characters that encourages readers to explore the fun and excitement that comics have to offer.
Chosen by comic shop retailers on the FCBD Committee, there’s a free comic book for everyone’s taste from the Gold Sponsors: from superheroes, to action- adventure, and all-ages favorites.
“Once again, comic book publishers are giving fans what they want: great stories with recognizable characters all inside a free comic book!” said Dan Manser, FCBD spokesperson. “This year’s Gold Sponsors are comprised of the top publishers in the comics industry we we’re sure that fans will be pleased with the line-up. We look forward to seeing all the fans during Free Comic Book Day at participating comic shops across the nation and worldwide.”
A complete listing of all sixty FCBD titles, including the twelve Gold and forty-eight Silver comic books, can be found in the January issue of Diamond Comic Distributors’ PREVIEWS catalog, on sale at all comic book shops January 1, 2014 . Look for a separate announcement next Thursday, December 19, about FCBD’s 2014 Silver Sponsors and their comic book titles.
We've received a recent press release presenting the collaboration between Hasbro and SmarTots, a China-based company dedicated to the development of educational apps for iOS and Android systems. The two companies will be creating a series of apps for children, using Hasbro's franchises, including our own favourite transforming robots! Check out the full press release below.
BEIJING, Dec. 10, 2013 -- SmarTots, a leader in mobile learning games for kids, and Hasbro, the international toy manufacturer, are partnering to create a new coloring experience for three- to six-year-olds on the iPad.
With the new Transformers coloring game, developed by SmarTots for iOS, kids can use a variety of art tools to color in and decorate their favorite Transformers characters. The app seeks to cultivate creativity, and kids can express themselves as neatly or messily as they want!
"Transformers is one of the most exciting brands that we could imagine working with. We're thrilled to be creating a kid-friendly product using these renowned characters," says Jesper Lodahl, SmarTots CEO. "Our creative art apps are very well received by kids and parents alike, and adding Transformers to the mix adds a whole new layer of appeal."
SmarTots is also developing apps for other Hasbro brands like My Little Pony and Tonka, with plans to release in them in near future.
The creative art apps currently offered by SmarTots have already amassed over 1 million downloads (according to App Annie). This is due in part to the upward trends of the Chinese mobile market in both the gaming and education categories.
According to a recent survey of parents in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, a colossal 49.6 percent of parents would use a mobile device to teach their children. Hardware manufacturers like Samsung are also tapping into the kids space as products like the Galaxy Tab 3 Kids, a tablet designed to be used primarily by young ones, come to the market.
SmarTots is a developer, publisher and platform for kids' apps on iOS and Android. The company's mission is to change the idea that learning and fun are separate concepts. Every SmarTots app strives to stimulate the curiosity and creativity of kids, to engage and educate.
SmarTots is a Softbank backed company based in Beijing, and is active in the China market. The company was founded in 2010 by Jesper Lodahl of Denmark and Victor Wong of Canada.
Hasbro, Inc. 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 develops and produces television programming for more than 170 markets around the world, and for the U.S. on Hub Network, part of a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications.
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 http://www.hasbro.com.
Comics and media news website Comics Alliance has produced a number of lists of Best.. of 2013 items, including comic book covers and toys. Our favourite transforming robots take their place in two of them: Best Toys of 2013 and 2013 Holiday Gift Guide! Click on the links for the full features, and take a look below at what they have to say about Generations Metroplex and Masterpiece Soundwave.
When writing up our “Best Toys of 2013” list we were torn between giving the title to Hasbro/Takara’s humongous Metroplex or the equally awesome Masterpiece Soundwave. It was a tough call, so you’ll have to forgive us for relegating Soundwave’s current ultimate figure to the Gift Guide. Think of the inclusion of Soundwave and his compatible team of transforming cassette tape robots (Laserbeak, Ravage, Rumble, Buzzsaw and Frenzy) here as a plug for the best Transformer you can buy someone this year… that’s shorter than 2 feet tall. Good luck finding one for its approximate $120 retail, however, as this SDCC 2013 debut/Toys “R” Us exclusive figure is now going for closer to $200 and higher online. One alternative is the less accessorized Takara version from Japan, or you can just bite the Energon cube and splurge for your favorite Transformer fan.
After seeing it up close at Toy Fair and going hands-on with Hasbro’s massive San Diego Comic-Con 2013 exclusive version of Metroplex, CA can assure any fans on the fence about picking up the $125 retail version that it is, indeed, as substantial as it looks. At roughly 24.5″ tall in robot mode, Metroplex appropriately towers over every other Transformer EVER. Sure, he’s not in perfect scale with Hasbro and Takara’s more pocket-sized robots in disguise, but considering a 1:1 Metroplex would probably take up a full city block, this toy is about as good as it gets. Metroplex has a sturdy build despite its proportions and transforming it from a robotic warrior to two styles of battle station/cityscape is a relative snap. If anything, applying its dozens of decals is the most strenuous part of playing with Metroplex, but the stickers are still a nice bonus even if you’re as bad as popping them on as a certain CA Senior Editor.
Jayson Napolitano of Scarlet Moon Productions sent us a message to inform us of Vince DiCola's newest work. Mr. DiCola is well known in the Transformers fandom due to his quite excellent soundtrack for the 1986 Transformers: The Movie. A deluxe edition with extended and unreleased tracks debuted as a BotCon exclusive in 1997, titled "Til All Are One".
His newest work is called "Christmas Adventure", for the Saturday Morning RPG video game available on Steam and mobile devices.
Here's what Mr. Napolitano had to say
Thought you might be interested to hear composer Vince DiCola has just released a Christmas medley that's featured in his soundtrack for Saturday Morning RPG, which will be released in its entirety next month.
Vince has long been a supporter of the Transformer community, and even though this news doesn't pertain to Transformers itself, I think it's relevant to his fans, and he'd love your help spreading the word!
Saturday Morning RPG is an episodic role-playing game set in world heavily inspired by 1980s Saturday morning cartoons. Players take the role of Martin “Marty” Michael Hall, an average high-school student who has just been granted an incredible power. This power leads him to attract the ire of the world’s most notorious villain, Commander Hood.
Secondly on tonight's agenda, we have the names of the human cast's characters. They are as follows:
*Mark Wahlberg as Cade Yeager, an inventor.
*Nicola Peltz as Tessa Yeager, Cade's daughter.
*Jack Reynor as Shane Dyson, Tessa's racer boyfriend.
*Stanly Tucci as Stanley, whose role is unknown at this point.
*Sophia Myles as Darcy, a geologist.
*Li Bingbing, who's character goes unnamed and is ominously described as the "CEO of Chinese Transformers".
*Kelsey Grammer as Harold Attinger, who is described by Empire as the "big bad of the non-robot cast".
Rounding out this update, Empire Magazine sheds some light on the setting of Age of Extinction. If you would like to remain spoiler free, this is the end of the article for you. For those who wish to know the outset, continue at your own risk!
=== SPOILER ALERT ===
To paraphrase Empire Magazine, this is what we know: after the third film, the Earth is scarred, and the Transformers have disappeared, but Earth's population remains suspicious of their surroundings, expecting everyday objects to change form and attack them. The Witwicky family has moved on with their lives. When the inventor Cade Yeager unearths an ancient Transformer (a Dinobot, perhaps?), the war between Autobots and Decepticons begins anew.
That about wraps it up for tonight. For those who made it this far, post your thoughts in the Energon Pub! Remember to keep it spoiler free for those who wish to remain so!
Welcome to the latest edition of the Seibertron.com Twincast! This episode features auxiliary host ScottyP, Seibertron, Rotorstorm, Razorclaw and El Duque.
Episode 81 "Fixit" is available directly and in our RSS Feed and should appear on iTunes within 24 to 48 hours of this news post.
Dark Cybertron is upon us. You've read Va'al's review, now see what the Twincast crew thinks of the culmination of years of plot threads finally being drawn together.
Special topic: cleaning and repairing Transformers! The crew delves into some tips for fixing and improving everything from junker G1 figures to modern figures with factory defects.
Next, we take a keen eye toward the recently revealed Hasbro Product Listings. We discuss the code names, the cancelled figures, and our thoughts on the future. Are we excited? Miserable? Are our bodies ready? Find out!
From the list of things to come, we shift our focus to some figures coming very soon but discussing the in-hand images of Waspinator and Skids. Check out our thoughts before a thought bullet undoes them!
TRANSFORMERS ARMADA: THE COMPLETE SERIES Relive the Adventures of This Classic Animated TV Series in One Complete Set Featuring All 52 Action-Packed Episodes
BRING HOME THIS COLLECTIBLE 8-DVD SET ON MARC 11, 2014 FROM SHOUT! FACTORY
Brace yourself to relive some of the most astonishing TRANSFORMERS battles between the AUTOBOTS and the DECEPTICONS through the complete series release of TRANSFORMERS ARMADA. In 2002, TRANSFORMERS fans and kids were introduced to the animated television series TRANSFORMERS ARMADA. This is the unforgettable chapter of TRANSFORMERS lore and the first part of the rare UNICRON Trilogy – consisting of ARMADA, ENERGON and CYBERTRON. OPTIMUS PRIME, his team of AUTOBOTS and their human friends stepped up the fight against MEGATRON and his DECEPTICONS for control of the universe and the power-enhancing MINI-CONS, a lost race of TRANSFORMERS. Valor, deception and unexpected twists unfolded in these captivating adventures, leading to an unlikely alliance between natural enemies in the face of a genuine evil known as UNICRON.
On March 11, 2014, Shout! Factory, in collaboration with Hasbro Studios, will unleash TRANSFORMERS ARMADA: THE COMPLETE SERIES on home entertainment shelves everywhere. For the first time ever, the entire series is collected in one deluxe 8-DVD set, featuring all 52 memorable episodes. Whether reliving the childhood memory or discovering this series for the first time, this is an essential home collection for every fan, collectors and entire family to complete their TRANSFORMERS home entertainment library. This complete series 8-DVD set is priced to own at $44.99 SRP.
Our heroes, the AUTOBOTS and their nemesis, the DECEPTICONS are at it again in this complete series of the TRANSFORMERS ARMADA. This series open to a war between the two factions of TRANSFORMERS on their home planet of Cybertron over MINI-CONS, a race of smaller, power-enhancing TRANSFORMERS. This struggle will bring AUTOBOTS, DECEPTICONS and MINI-CONS to earth, where they continue to battle, even after two humans get involved. Through the course of this series, the TRANSFORMERS face mysterious mercenaries, mighty MINI-CON weapons and even time travel as they fight for control or freedom.
About Hasbro Studios
Hasbro Studios is the Los Angeles-based entertainment division of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS). The studio is responsible for entertainment brand-driven storytelling for the company across television, film, commercial productions and short-form. It develops, produces and distributes TV shows based on Hasbro's world class brands, including TRANSFORMERS, MY LITTLE PONY, LITTLEST PET SHOP and FAMILY GAME NIGHT. Many of these shows air on the Hub Network, a U.S. television network for kids and their families, that is a joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Hasbro Studios shows can also be seen on networks in more than 180 territories globally. Since its formation in 2009, the studio has received seven Daytime Emmy wins and 16 nominations. On the film side, the studio is developing and producing a number of features based on Hasbro's brands, including TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (Paramount), G.I. JOE 3 (Paramount) and CANDY LAND (Sony). The studio team also oversees the production of commercials that feature Hasbro's brands as well production of short-form content that can be seen on all of the major digital and social media platforms globally.
About Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras. Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations. In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America. Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com
Thanks again to Seibertron.com member PrymeStriker, we have another video to show you from Entertainment Tonight! The first one revealed the identity of one of the unnamed vehicles from the robot cast of the fourth Transformers movie, the second hints at something that might play a significant part in the plot of Age of Extinction, as well as looking at some of the pranks played by the cast on each other. Click here to view the video, and keed your ears peeled at 1:37 for this potentially spoilerific tidbit:
"The world has progressed and modernized to a point where it can almost cannibalize and kill itself."
ET's exclusive Transformers: Age of Extinction set visit continues across the globe in Hong Kong, where we find out what the cast does in their downtime, including some recurring pranks performed by Mark Wahlberg and Jack Reynor on their female co-star Nicola Peltz.
"We got Wild Weave Wednesdays...when Mark and I rip out Nicola's weave every Wednesday," shared Reynor (Shane), who plays Peltz's (Tessa) boyfriend in the fourth installment of the Transformers live-action film series.
As always, leave your thoughts in the Energon Pub!
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