A video from unicron.com surfaced on Facebook with John Warden talking about the new Jetfire and Omega Supreme toys done by him and his team. The big takeaway from it was the fact that both feature backwards compatibility with the previous toyline trilogy John Warden worked on, Prime Wars.
Omega Supreme has ports on his track which are compatible with the bases in Titans return including of course the other Titans Trypticon and Fortress Maximus. This is so that fans and kids can build their own massive citis with the huge bases. You can see those connecting ports on the image below.
Jetfire also has backwards compatibility but with Prime Masters and Titan Masters. Both of those smaller kinds of bots can sit in Jetfire's cockpit.
These are just fun Easter Egg type features that will not be documented since they are meant as a bonus to fans who already have figures from prevous lines. If you don't have those previously released figures, don't worry there is a lot to enjoy from these fgures which each have their own special features.
Another point regarding Omega Supreme, John Warden did confirm that his bot mode is meant to scale with Devastator.
Let us know if any of this info makes you happy and if you feel Hasbro is taking things up a notch with their Transformers toys.
Travis Knight sat down with Empire for their spoiler podcast to discuss the Bumblebee movie in his most candid interview yet. While he discusses a lot of this prequel's aspects we wanted to share some segments pertaining to the continuity with the Bay films. It is a subject he does address, and one the interviewer is very curious of (as we all are). He does mention why certain aspects may be inconsistent or not mentioned, even though it is a prequel and within the larger Bayverse. We have a transcript of those questions and answers below along with a question pertaining to Alf.
Please note, the transcript is a slightly edited version of what was said, for ease of reading.
Was it important to bring sector 7 back in because it was a nice little running thing for this
Yeah, we wanted to have a foot in each world. There is the last 10 years of Transformers movies, directed by Michael Bay, which have a ton of mythology and also the original wave of Transformers which had its own mythology and its sometimes connected and sometimes not with the films and so I wanted to have a foot in each world. So we're paying tribute to the last 10 years of live-action films but also a foot in the origins of these things where we can pay tribute to the initial wave of Comics and cartoons. So sector 7 was something that he evolved out of Michael's films. It was a secret society that hunts Transformers and there is a lot of subtle nods to the stuff that Michael has done. Even if you have never seen a Transformers film you can watch Bumblebee and nothing else matters but for those were fans of the live-action series or the cartoons there are a ton of layers and easter eggs and sector 7 is one of them including agent Simmons who is a young John Turturro who becomes one of the heavies later in the series.
Witn John Cena I wanted an actor who was physically formidable and who had layers of menace and aggression and when necessary humor and pathos. For me because I had seen him as a comedic actor, I had never seen him do what we ask him to do in this movie. I was incredibly impressed by what he was able to bring to the movie and he was a real joy to work with.
Regarding the Michael Bay films, were there points of cannon and that you had to stick to? Did you feel constricted that you have to meet certain things or not contradict certain things?
Yes, there is always concern with that although I think that continuity is certainly not a huge priority of Michael's. He prioritizes other things like incredible visuals and spectacle and fun. But even within the films themselves as much as I enjoyed them there are inconsistencies, so with this film if you're going to be consistent with one thing you'll be inconsistent with another thing. But it was important that I had a degree of continuity and wanting to tell a self contained story that was not necessarily bound by a decade of mythology, which was a little bit tricky. We had to simplify it. I wanted to make sure that an audience could come to the film watch it from beginning to end and have a good time, get all the information and all the fun they can get out of it. But at the same time someone who is a Transformers fan can get other layers of entertainment. But yes there were definitely things you couldn't play around with (editor's note, see Megatron article for examples) and there were other things that we could take some liberties with.
Everyone in this reality seems to really like Alf so is that a personal favorite?
Yes that is absolutely me, nobody else cares about Alf, that was me, that was me putting Alf in there.
Alf is amazing and ALF stands for "alien life form" so it's a nod to Bumblbebee and his origins as well.
China.Org has reported of a potential Beast Wars movie as well as the (still rumored) Optimus Prime movie. Bumblebee movie producer, Lorenzo di Bonaventura was also careful to state that the chances of subsequent movies are riding on the success of Bumblebee at the Box Office.
He also mentioned the animated movie was in its writing stage, though with other titles already riding on Bumblebee's success – being in the writing stage doesn't exactly guarantee even the animated movie's release, either.
China.org wrote:"We have an animated movie in the writing stage right now. We are trying to figure out an Optimus Prime movie, while the Beast Wars franchise has the chance, too."
However, the producer stressed this could only happen under one condition: "Bumblebee" must be a success.”
You can read the full report here, which also mulls over design choices for the Bumblebee movie and its more G1 centric aesthetic.
With the Bumblebee movie still being pushed at the cinema is it too early to be giving hints of Beast Wars and Optimus Prime to generate hype for more movies or is it a carrot to generate additional sales for the Bumblebee movie? If Beast Wars or Optimus Prime is going ahead – what are you hoping for? Share your thoughts on the Energon Pub right here on Seibertron.com!
The percentage in the title is not a turn of phrase nor something inferred in any way, it comes from a quote by Bumblebee movie producer Lorenzo Di Bonventura. Whether Bumblebee is a prequel or reboot (or anything in between) has been a hot topic for fans , especially those who want to distance themselves as much as possible from the previous films made by Michael Bay. These debates have reached Bonaventura who sat down with Metro and explained why to him, the Bumblebee film was 100% a prequel and nothing else. Here is everything he said. Of course, please be advised that it contains spoilers:
“Someone described Bumblebee to me as, ‘99% prequel, 1% not’.” “I was like, ‘What was the 1%?’ He said, ‘It is the scene where Optimus and all the other guys come to Earth at the end.’”
“I was like, ‘That doesn’t contradict anything we have said before. Who is to say they haven’t been around Robots In Disguise since then.’”
“That scene was always imagined but in many different versions. We didn’t do that scene until we’d shot the movie. Because we felt the movie was going to dictate that scene a little bit. What happened is that you got to see Haliee return to her family. Bumblebee needs to return to his family. Otherwise what happened to poor Bumblebee? That was our thinking.”
“Plus Optimus said we are going to go to Earth. We are gonna regroup. And then we are gonna go back. In our minds they went back out. It had nothing to do with the other films, and was completely about the emotional journey of Bumblebee.”
A couple of updates from the world of the Transformers Bumblebee Movie - the sixth to be produced and released, but yet unsure if the sixth in the series (even as a prequel, it's believed more and more this may be part of a new narrative timeline) - in the form of a new interview with screenwriter Christina Hodson courtesy of Den of Geek.
“I always wanted to see me be the hero,” Hodson says. “I wanted to see me kick ass. I mean, not literally. I had no desire to be an actor, but I wanted to have those role models and those heroes. I think what's really fun is that [Bumblebee] is a big, cool, fun, action movie the boys are going to love, but girls love action, too, and this is a chance for girls to see themselves in the movie. Which I think is a really special and important thing.”
“Charlie is really our entry point into the movie. She doesn't know anything about Transformers,” says Hodson, calling Bumblebee “custom-made for people who are new to the franchise.” “But, of course, if you're a fan, you'll get wonderful little Easter eggs that you'll get to enjoy that other people won't.”
The prequel film offers a chance to get to see the Bumblebee character, who Hodson admits has always been her favorite, in a new light.
“This is really an origin story for Bumblebee,” she says, “but the character traits are all the same. They're all there. His loyalty, his kindness. He's fun-loving and really he's been the one who has always had that special bond with humans, whether it's Sam or someone else; that was something that I wanted to lean into a bit and see where and how that began.”
Additionally, we also learn of some reshoots happening for the movie, with cast members Hailee Steinfeld and Jason Drucker (Charlie and Otis Watson) as well as the Volkswagen alt-mode for the titular character, as per the actors' Instagram stories.
Were all of you excited out the new Bumblebee trailer? Well Travis Knight has done an interview with Empire Online on the trailer, revealing some behind the scenes as well as some insight on the movie to come.
Some highlights is the character of Memo (played by Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) who is Charlie's new neighbor.
"Memo is new to town, he's Charlie's next door neighbour and someone who we get to know as she gets to know him at the same time. We see their relationship bloom and grow and be challenged; they have a lovely friendship in the film but the core of the movie is the relationship between Charlie and Bee."
We also get confirmation Starscream will appear, possibly as a background character.
We're swiftly disabused of that notion thanks to a barrage of familiar faces including Decepticon premiereship players Shockwave, Starscream and Blitzwing, all in their original, first generation forms.
We also get a little heartfelt speech about Transformers to Knight.
"I grew up with these Transformers and the story that I wanted to tell was something that was resonant and evocative of those original wave of Transformers stories. I loved those things so much. They were new, they were magical, they were wondrous. They connected with me emotionally and they were exciting to watch. That's the kind of film I wanted to make here."
Knight also heavily implies Wheeljack is going to make an appearance in a G1-esque body.
"There's a lot going on," laughs Knight. "If I was going to make a Transformers film I wanted to give nods to some of the things that I loved most about the series to begin with and for me seeing those original designs on Shockwave and Soundwave and Ravage and Wheeljack and all those different characters was a really exciting opportunity to take the audience back to that initial wave of Transformers and to evoke the same feeling that they evoked in me. I was pretty giddy bringing those guys to life."
This slipped under our radar in previous days, but there is a new interview with IDW Publishing's Publishing President Greg Goldstein, courtesy of ICv2, in which no actual new information comes out - but we do have confirmation on two major points that people have been speculating about the Transformers (and Hasbro Universe, I suppose) comic once the current continuity ends this October.
Namely: yes, there will be a reboot, set for some point in 2019; and yes, the licence from Hasbro has been renewed, the ending happening at the same time as the renewal was a coincidence at best. REad the relevant extracts from the piece below, and head here for the full story.
A couple of quick questions on licenses. You mentioned how you’re wrapping up your Hasbro storyline. Was that done in conjunction with the time for renewal of the license?
Yeah. It's funny, I've seen some commentary on that. We've been in business with Hasbro for 12 years. We love the relationship. They are a great partner. We try to deliver the best possible books month in and month out on not just Transformers, but on GI Joe and on My Little Pony. We had a great Jem and the Holograms series. Jem will be back. They're probably going to say, "Why is Greg pre‑announcing these things?" In any event, no. Sometimes, it's easy to extrapolate incorrect information, so no, the Transformers line and the other titles continue.
We’ve got three monthly Marvel books as of January 2019, the opportunity to do some specials, maybe one‑shots and some other things with Marvel. They're very excited about it, we're very excited about it.
Our Transformers reboot for 2019 is going to be great.
We've got some pretty exciting projects on the Star Trek front.
[Teenage Mutant Ninja] Turtles is heading to issue 100. We have the longest‑running Turtles series in the history of the brand. The brand's 35 years old next year.
Since early this morning, Hasbro has been taking questions on their official Instagram page about the upcoming Transformers War for Cybertron: Siege toyline. And a few of those questions are now up with accompanying answers, on Hasbro's Instagram story! Only a few questions have been answered so far, and it's unknown how many more will yet be answered, but even in the ones currently released there are some answers worth sharing.
The first and biggest (get it?) answer Hasbro released is on the subject of a Titan class figure being released in the Siege toyline. While an entirely direct answer wasn't quite given, it seems that a Titan is effectively confirmed for the line!
Another question asked about the increased sculpted detail in the line (as most noticeably seen on Chromia). Hasbro's answer confirms that the greater detail is an intentional choice, and claims it helps to "enhance [the] Cybertronian mode" of characters.
In response to a question on the whereabouts of the Decepticons, Hasbro answered (unnecessarily indirectly) that Decepticons would be revealed in the future so stay tuned.
Hasbro also stated, replying to a question of if the toys would be available on Amazon, that the line "will be available at all major retailers and online in 2019!"
And there you have it! Those are all the (actual) questions answered so far - as of this time Hasbro is still taking questions, so you can submit your own questions (and check for more answers) on their Instagram story here! Check out screenshots of the Q&A below, and share your thoughts in the Energon Pub Forums. And as always, stay tuned to Seibertron.com!
The ACG Hong Kong 2018 show is underway and while it is outside of Japan, Takara is there in full form (since many Takara products are sold in Hong Kong through Hasbro Asia). The upcoming Masterpiece figures MP 17+ Anime Prowl, MP 29+ Anime Shockwave, MP 34S Shadow Panther and MP 42 Cordon were on display and we got photos of them from the Transformers Never Die Facebook group.
Prowl an Shockwave are redecos, Shadow Panther comes with different accessories from Cheetor (including a mutant mask) and Cordon is a slight retool of Sunstreaker.
As we know already, this Prowl figure will also be released simultaneously in the US and an interview between Seibertron and Hasbro confirmed that this will happen more frequently from here on out. Due to the brand unification going both ways, Hasbro will now be importing Takara Masterpiece figures themselves and selling them through specialty retailers (like Entertainment Earth, BBTS, ect) with a wraparound cover for English words. We have transcribed the interview for you below, you will find it after the images of the Masterpiece figure display.
Ryan (interviewer) – Speaking of Masterpiece, Takara Tomy is releasing Beast Wars Megatron – is that coming from you guys or not?
Ben (Transformers Brand Manager) – It’s a partnership we have with Takara now, so Hasbro are now importing the Takara Masterpiece items stateside. You will see a box that will go around the Takara Tomy original packaging, like a slip sleeve sort of thing, that will bring our brands together. It will be the exact release you would’ve expected in Japan, at the same time you would’ve gotten it in Japan.
Ryan – Is it a product you worked on together?
Ben – There’s definitely more collaboration going on, not to the level of Movie Masterpiece, but in general you see the unification of our brands, product lines, the Masterpiece line that Takara is creating is our next step in working together.
Another of Seibertron.com's big interview videos from last weekend's San Diego Comic Con 2018 event features the Hasbro Transformers brand team, with the awesome/gruesome twosome of Ben Montano and John 'Hasbro' Warden answering questions as much as they're allowed to on the War for Cybertron: Siege toyline for the first half, our thoughts about the reveals and the future events in which more product will be shown (worldwide), then moving on to some Masterpiece line questions and US distribution of those figures (they're all coming over!), their hopes for the Bumblebee Movie and what's next in fiction.
The full video is posted below for your viewing pleasure, and we've provided an almost verbatim transcript beneath that for ease of parsing and understanding the points made in the interview. Check it all out, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub discussion boards!
Ryan Yzquierdo (Seibertron) - Seibertron.com Alex Valente (Va'al) - Seibertron.com John Warden – Hasbro Design Manager Ben Montano – Hasbro Marketing Manager
Va'al: "We saw today the reveals for the War for Cybertron Siege stuff, and you've said it's a very one sided war with only the Autobots revealed for now – when are we to expect more stuff (Decepticons in particular, ndr)?"
Ben: "Later this fall, there are some really cool conventions coming up around the world and we have a global tour coming up on our plan and we'll have a lot more to share. I can't say right now exactly when but stay tuned. Best non-answer answer I can give you."
John: "But I can say that if there were enemies they would be very cool and defy all expectations."
Va'al: "We've seen the different size classes for the line (Battle Master, Micro Master, Deluxe, Voyager, Leader, Weaponizer). IS Weaponizer only for the deluxe class, or will we see it across the line?"
John: "The Weaponizer classs robot is a deluxe class character, there will be other in the line than Cog, it makes sense from [?] - take Cog, he transformed into a bunch of weapons and vehicle, so it makes sense for that size to work with other characters to hold. So right now, deluxe."
Ryan: "One of the comments on our YouTube videos asked if Cog can also turn into the invidual robots that made up the character originally, can he still do that?"
John (with Ben) – No, he's not a Duocon. We'll put the actual vehicle and robot mode in the case soon, we need to move things around. He has a dedicated vehicle mode that can split into two, and he does have a third mode in being able to be all the weapons – that's the Weaponizer."
Va'al: "Combiner Wars had Devastator, Titans Return had Trypticon, Power of the Primes Predaking. Are there any plans to have something that size or with that idea in the line, at any point in the trilogy?"
Ben (with John) – Yes, that's our intention. Somebody fitting of the battleground. Fans have responded really strongly to it, so we'd like to continue with it."
Va'al: "So you'd like to continue the Titan class."
John: "Definitely. I mean, this is really taking a page from the 1984 pilot episode, and it's what happens on Cybertron in the last hour, and there's definitely room for a big character for sure"
Ben: "There's a lot of good guesses out there, online right now."
John: "It's exciting to see what people are saying, because we get an idea of what they want."
Ryan: "A question about Micro Masters, for the Unicron Trilogy fans: was there any talk of giving the Minicon ports? Are they compatible with previous figures?"
John: "We did talk about that actually, early on. We didn't want them to become too cluttered with stuff, and in order to pay homage to the original late 80s Micromaster line we wanted to really keep the conversion from vehicle to robot, but also make sure fit in the new ecosystem which is weaponizing. So they do convert and form weapons and munitions thing, so they do have that screwport, but so did the original Micromasters anyway."
Va'al: "In terms of the where this is now going, Siege being the first chapter and two more after that. Do you already know what the next two will be, or are you waiting to see how this one goes before moving onto the next part?"
Ben: "We already know where it's going. The Trilogy is mapped out, we're waiting to see some of the response and reaction, and some elements can change but the story is pretty much outlined in our heads, which is great and why – I think John would agree – the product is sharp, because we are focused, we have a plan, and we're able to provide a real play experience in Siege."
John: "Part of it is putting a stake in the ground with our design philosophy early on, we've been working of Siege for almost two years now, and trying to understand the constants. Scale is going to be a constant. The level of articulation mostly, and trying to make the characters the best version of that character they can be. Ultra Magnus is kind of a testament to that. The front cab turns into the white Ultra Magnus, the trailer turns into his armor, that's part of what he is. The plan is to keep that philosophy, so that people can go for a ride for three years. If this year they didn't get this one guy, they might get it next year."
Ben: "Assuming that fans love all we're doing is not fair to anybody."
John: "But coming to events like this and talking to you guys, finding out what you want is really exciting. Hearing what you have to say really does influence what we're doing."
Ben: "We had some people say 'I didn't vote for Impactor or Mirage' and the votings were close, so the more we hear from you guys, from your fans, it feeds the roster, it gives us depth through the line. There are certain things that will be standards, but there's flexibility in what micro collections can be fulfilled. Someone asked about Powermasters – there's a lot of subsets within the continuity that we can bring into the storyline if we see there's enough interest in it."
Va'al: "You mentioned the Armada retro-compatibility with the Minicon ports (that are not there), you have RID elements in Ultra Magnus, are there any other references or ideas from previous iterations that are not G1 or not RID that are present in the line?"
John: "There is Chromia, who is sort of IDW but really is an homage to that episode where she appears, briefly for a second. But there is definitely room to put things in that make sense in War for Cybertron: Siege and the Trilogy in general. There's a misconception that this is a G1 brand, and in a certain sense it is: there's the original Ark crew, things like that, but we also have characters like Ultra Magnus, he's got the RID vehicle mode. As we think about this toyline, it's more about who makes sense, if people want an authentic G1 experience, they can buy a Masterpiece toy – this is Generations, so what is best in the context of this new story."
Va'al: "So the story first approach is still continuing for this line."
John: "It's definitely a toy story, if you think of the ecosystem at play. I don't know about you guys, but my most favourite toy experiences as a kid were coming up with my own stories, pulling down Encyclopedia off the shelf and building a Cybertronian base and using sugar cubes as Energon."
Ben: "You took off a week from not designing toys and made this diorama. John did this for a week, or a month. 'John aren't you supposed to be checking emails?' 'No, I'm busy making this diorama.'"
John: "I was just moonlighting, much to my wife's chagrin. I jut worked day and night, I worked twice as hard. But when you get an opportunity to build a diorama… Ben's right, you get a chance to channel those exciting things that made you fall in love with being a toy designer in the first place, and I think this new line is not just about collecting characters, it's about creating that universe of story on the shelf, that's why those fireblast effects are in there. That's why we're adding levels of customisation to the characters, and more articulation than we've done in years. It's about how does your Transformers universe come to life. What does it mean for you to be a collector."
Va'al: "To that point, what is your target point for this particular age bracket? Are you looking at both the old collector and the new collector?"
Ben: "We've found that a huge set of the audience is kids, 7-8-12 years old getting into the Generations line. A lot of it has to do with parents getting their kids into the line, whether this is the touch point or the animation. But a large percentage of the fanbase is not the 30+ collector. It's just appreciation for really cool toys. John and I talk a lot, and you've asked if we have a long view for this trilogy, and we definitely do. And there's definitely a misconception in the universe that we may prefer one era of Transformers over another, say G1 over Beast Wars, but we grew up in different eras, half of our writers on Cyberverse grew up in the 90s, early 2000s, our design team is the same, we have designers who are in their mid 20s, so we're introducing G1 to them too – so what you'll see in this is an extended universe continuity introduced within Siege. So to a lot of people saying 'you don't like Beast Wars' 'you don't like the Unicron trilogy' I am fairly confident that we will debunk that over the course of the next couple of years. We respect the entirety of this brand. This is our first step, a starting point which will be epic, and I'm confident that everyone will be excited to go on this journey with us."
John: "Ultimately, the reason I hope this line will be popular with kids – just like Power of the Primes is – is that Transformers is fun to play with. It's fun to change a vehicle into a robot, you take time out on a rainy day to do so. And I think it's time to break that perception that there's Beast Wars fans or G1 fans – we're Transformers fans, we're a big family, we may have big fights online about stuff but we still love robots that convert into cool stuff."
Va'al: "So what you're saying is we'll complain no matter what you do anyway. [Laughter]"
John: "I didn't say that."
Va'al: "No, that's what I said. It's what I heard."
Ben: "Transformers fans unite. That's the vision we have, the entire team has, there's no reason there should be animosity within the fandom. Everyone has their own preferences, got it, we respect that, we don't want people to lose that, their passion, their 'G1' - but everyone has their own G1. We hope that this trilogy will be the opportunity to bring all of those things together, same with the Bumblebee movie, I really feel like that movie is going to unite fandoms. That's really a vision we have."
Ryan: "I hear you talking about Siege, your plans for the next stuff, I see IDW is coming to an end with the Unicron storyline – can about the fiction behind this? It's ripe with stories, any plans on that front?"
Ben: "Nothing yet. Nothing yet. But the fact that your head is already going there is great, this says 'tell me about it'. So we'll have a lot more to share in the future."
Ryan: "I'm really excited about this, I think it has a lot potential. If we switch gears real quick, I wanted to ask about Bumblebee – it looks like a different style to what we've been used to, there's a lot of love going into it, you seem to be having a lot of fun, can you speak to that?"
Ben: "The toys or the movie?"
Ryan: "The toys, that's where you guys are at."
Ben: "Yeah, so we've shown two characters so far with the Studio Series, Dropkick in a really cool new mode, that no one had seen yet. But also to have a VW mode for Bumblebee is really fun, it tugged at a lot of strings that we had as we got into this brand a long time ago. But even a lot of the other stuff, DJ Bumblebee, Energon Igniters, there's a place for them. Here at SDCC, seeing the kids' surprise and excitement around Bumblebee, having 3-4 year old kids running into here screaming 'Bumblebee' that's a whole new universe, a whole new group of fans that want to have fun with this brand. They're not looking for war, they're looking for their favourite hero, the playfulness of it, converting their figure, and we're having a lot of fun creating toys that do that."
John: "And what's exciting is knowing that that kid, who might go see the Bumblebee movie, maybe his first toys is the Power Surge one, but guess what – this world [Siege] is here, if he or she feels like they need another level of complexity, Transformers is great like that. There's room to grow into something. Once that kid is done with doing War for Cybertron, maybe they start collecting Masterpiece. There's ways of graduating into it."
Ryan: "Speaking of Masterpiece, Takara Tomy is releasing Beast Wars Megatron – is that coming from you guys or not?"
Ben: "It's a partnership we have with Takara now, so Hasbro are now importing the Takara Masterpiece items stateside. You will see a box that will go around the Takara Tomy original packaging, like a slip sleeve sort of thing, that will bring our brands together. It will be the exact release you would've expected in Japan, at the same time you would've gotten it in Japan."
Ryan: "Is it a product you worked on together?"
Ben: "There's definitely more collaboration going on, not to the level of Movie Masterpiece, but in general you see the unification of our brands, product lines, the Masterpiece line that Takara is creating is our next step in working together."
Thanks and END.
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