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Exclusive Interview with Transformers Animators from Sequence Group

Transformers News: Exclusive Interview with Transformers Animators from Sequence Group
Date: Monday, October 16th 2017 9:49pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles, Game News, Interviews
Posted by: william-james88 | Credit(s): The Sequence Group

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Views: 9,456 had the pleasure of conducting an exclusive interview with The Sequence Group, a design and animation firm in Vancouver, who recently animated our favorite franchise, Transformers. Teaming up with Kabam, Sequence helped create cinematic trailers for the TRANSFORMERS: Forged to Fight mobile game. Through speaking to Sequence, we were able to gain better insight into the design of these digital 3D characters, not unlike the live action Transformers films. Due to the interview being conducted in a conversational manner, what you will find below is a description of was discussed, followed by two videos showing the step by step process of creating the cinematics for game studio Kabam.

A Love for Transformers

I was glad to hear how overjoyed the entire team was at the opportunity to dabble in the Transformers franchise. These are all people that grew up with the G1 cartoon and the toys, much like the Forged to Fight team, and they poured their heart and souls into the few minutes we have in the trailers.

Speaking of time, this was their main constraint. Sequence and Kabam initially had longer scenes in mind, especially of the characters emerging from the crash landing, but that had to be cut to make the trailer fit within the tight run time. For those curious about other "deleted scenes", Sequence was eager to show a view from inside the Ark as it crashes, rather than seeing it plummet through the atmosphere.

Level of Creativity in Cinematics Based on a Video Game

I was very curious as to what Sequence’s leeway was in terms of creativity, especially since we are talking about an animated trailer sequence based on a game, based on pre-existing characters and designs.

Ultimately, Kabam had already developed a thorough script and a character roster line up (with design cues for the characters to match up with their looks in Forged to Fight), along with prerecorded voice clips of Peter Cullen. There wasn't any leeway in how Optimus Prime appeared, but the rest was up to Sequence, with a little guidance from Kabam’s talented art department.

Working closely with the Art Direction team at Kabam, a huge range of visual elements had to be strategized for maximum impact; including camera angles, lighting effects, particle effects, basically everything in the way a shot is composed and presented.

The example given to me was Megatron's reveal. The script says when Megatron is revealed and his design was provided by Kabam (using his Revenge of the Fallen body), but it was up to Sequence to make this moment stand out as much as possible. Sequence added extra smoke effects, worked with lighting and established the environment to add a sense of foreboding to his reveal, and that of his Decepticon army. By combining creative concepts between Sequence and Kabam, the two companies found a quick but efficient way to establish who Decepticons are (the bad guys), even to someone who may not know these characters.

While the trailer is very quick, a lot of thought went into making each character feel unique, which is important in a fighting game with different classes and different characters that suit different play styles. Sequence aimed to have each main character walk and move in a particular way, for instance, with supervision from Kabam’s game developers.

Lighting and Challenges with Scale

I wondered if Sequence was given any specific directions. It turns out Kabam wanted to use lighting like in a car commercial, highlighting bot shapes to make the models look as good as possible, since many of these models reflect toys we already have. And that is what Sequence was going for, because as I learnt, having 3D models be simpler and smoother makes them lose a sense of scale. Light needs to bounce off of the material in order to make it look realistic to the human eye, so you have to add as many light sources as possible.

This lighting approach ends up working fine if your goal is an awesome toy commercial, which was the goal in this case, but then I realized the big challenges Michael Bay and company may have had with bringing these characters to life. The importance of lighting and its connection to realism was very revealing to me. I will admit, I do prefer a smoother, simpler look to my Transformers over the extremely busy designs in the Michael Bay films, but this helped me understand the choice behind it.

In animation of any kind, it is the studio artists who can control infinite light sources in fictional 3D space but once you mix in live action, the light sources have to be consistent with whatever else is seen on screen in order to keep the realism that both the CG and live action components of a shot are sharing in the same space. So since the light source is limited by the practical environment (for example, take the shot in the 4th movie where Lockdown hunts down Ratchet), the realism of the scale within the shot has to be compensated by the light bouncing off of as many bot faces and facets as possible, hence the very busy character designs. And in a less technical way of seeing it, it is harder to get a sense of scale with a smooth surface so adding a lot of detail, rivets and plating to any design of a robot helps you see and understand how big it is, even in closeups where there is nothing to compare its size to.

Transformers News: Exclusive Interview with Transformers Animators from Sequence Group

Challenges with Posing and Positioning

Lighting and complexity of design isn't the only challenge when it comes to animating Transformers. The thing is, as explained by The Sequence Group, Transformers don't usually have the same proportions as humans. When keeping the more blocky character designs, which they do in this case, the action can be obscured by a bot's chunky features so it's all about positioning and layout. Since the characters are blocky, certain poses will result in the viewer having a hard time understanding the intended action.

Sequence pointed toward a shot of Bludgeon entering the scene. They wanted to capture the most dynamic angle possible as his sword dropped down. After much discussion, Kabam and Sequence decided on having the camera fall under him and off center, so the audience could see as much of his pose as possible. This is very different than having two humans fighting with swords, I was told, where several clean and readable angles are possible.

This also gives me another tip regarding recent choices in the Michael Bay films where the robots have gotten much closer to human proportions starting in Age of Extinction with Optimus Prime, Lockdown, Crosshairs and Drift (followed by all those knights in The Last Knight). Perhaps their solution to having clearer action scenes was to make the bot character models more humanoid than ever before in the franchise, instead of limiting possible camera angles.

Difference between Trailer and Game Graphics and Trailer Breakdowns

From a technical aspect, I was curious as to how these trailers differed from cinematics in the game itself. For instance, why couldn't the game's engine be used for trailer cinematics? As it turns out, the difference lies in the amount of light-sources available and the overall quality. If graphics were all in engine (rather than pre-rendered), you wouldn't be able to run the game.

Now here are two videos showing the breakdown of two trailers. You will see how it starts with an illustrated 2D storyboard, then transforms into rough 3D models, and then rendered models, followed by all the environmental effects.

Special thanks to founder and Creative Director Ian Kirby and Executive producer Dan Sioui for the interview as well as Georgia at Grammatik PR for helping this interview happen and connecting us with The Sequence Group. interviews Hasbro's Transformers Brand Team at #HASCON 2017

Transformers News: interviews Hasbro's Transformers Brand Team at #HASCON 2017
Date: Thursday, September 14th 2017 2:40pm CDT
Categories: Toy News, Event News, Interviews
Posted by: william-james88

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Views: 18,462 was able to speak with Ben Montano (Head of the Transformers Brand) and John Warden (Transformers Design Manager) from Hasbro's Transformers brand team at HASCON. Below is a transcript of the interview. The interview was done by our very own Megatronus and it includes Hasbro staff using "CHUG" as an actual term and them speaking of Machinima as a source of inspiration for their continued stories within the brand, among other neat tidbits. A video of this same interview can be found below for the full experiences and line dissection, enjoy!

Megatronus: A few years ago you guys released news of a design bible, or the brand bible I should say, that kind of guides the entire Transformers Universe. And I know you guys have a very long road map, so can you tell us about any changes that have been made in this brand bible recently or any other content in that repository that you are thinking of using for the road map 3 to 5 years out?

Ben: There's things, there's characters designs, there's stories, continuity that we have mapped out in this bible, but it is an ever living document. There are certain constants that will be there; like certain characters, what they stand for and their roles they play as they get introduced into content. But 100%, as we look into the Bumblebee film, there's new additions to that, and twists to that, that will have a ripple effect on the brand and we are fortunate enough to be part of those and those ripples in our continuity. Some of the fun is we give creative license to Machinima and the great writers there and on the new and upcoming Cyberverse series that we want to bring freshness to the story so we want to bring freshness to the story so we create the canon but the canon flexes and constricts when it's needed but the constants are there and John is one of the stewards as we go forward.

John: Yah, trying to align the continuity as much as we can in a natural feeling way has always been a challenge on Transformers going way back even before my tenure on the brand. It's kind of a rolling stone and as new toys come out and as the spotlight shifts, we adjust accordingly. And honestly, the brand does too as it's affected by pop-culture and things in the world.

Ben: And the fans are helping us write this book too, like with the fan polls.

Megatronus: When can we expect the next fan vote and can we expect anything to happen with the runner-ups to those fan-votes like Omega Supreme, Scorponok, Deathsaurus, etc?

John: Oh, absolutely. I mean, as you guys have witnessed with a lot of the previous fan-votes, I think it's an opportunity for us to kind of just get a consensus from the fan community. Honestly, it's too early at this time to speak in any kind of definites, but we reach out to the fan community, it's a great opportunity to gauge the excitement level. Also kind of test out, you know, is Beast Wars becoming more popular? Like when we put Deathsaurus and Star Saber in a fan-poll, for example, it was actually an opportunity for us to understand the depth of exposure that people had to the Japanese Headmaster series. Like, is that too deep or as it turns out a lot of people know about Deathsaurus and are asking about it. So a lot of times I say "stay tuned", but in this case really we've got some things on the horizon that will make fans happy.

Megatronus: So you're saying we can definitely expect another one in the future sometime soon?

John: Yah, I think we can safely say that.

Ben: For sure. When? To be seen. But yah.

John: Can't say which one or ones.

Megatronus: We can't probe too deeply here, we can just give crumbs and hope for more. After you exhaust the nostalgic G1 type gimmicks, I mean we're getting to Pretenders even, how do you see the brand moving forward? Do you think that we will be looking at brand new concepts and new characters, adding them to the fold in the vein of Windblade, or do you think that you might integrate other Transformers continuities like Unicron Trilogy, Animated or RID, into the Generations line?

Ben: Can we say all of the above?

John: No absolutely, all of the above. And, you know, one of the things is too if you think of the CHUG characters and things like that, its possible to go back and do figures of again and again and again. Once you get removed from Combiner Wars, you could hypothetically do Combiners again in a couple of years. It's about how do you bring that innovation and freshness back while not corrupting the original intent or awesomeness of the character in the first place. I think we've really tried our best to take the essence of the what made the characters cool in the first place and add detail, add articulation, and take the spirit of somebody like Skullcruncher or Highbrow, and do the ultimate version of it. I think as we look to the future, there's a lot more that we haven't even thought about, a lot of awesome anniversaries on the horizon and things like that, so I think fans can rest assure that even though the Prime Wars Trilogy is coming to an end, there's lots of awesome stuff on the horizon.

Megatronus: That's good to hear. Speaking of Prime Wars and Power of the Primes, you mentioned Combiners, can you tell us what inspired you guys to come back to the Combiners concept after Titans Return?

John: Honestly, it's you guys, it's fans. It's coming to events like this, we talk to fans, we listen, we read online, and we just have to kind of always be cognizant of what people are talking about and thinking about. We heard loud and clear that fans wanted the Dinobots, and we wanted to take it to the next level and make it a Combiner. We've heard loud and clear that fans want Terrorcons and things like that and there's lots of things that we're listening to and even Pretenders, we heard, Pretends are on the horizon. There's things out there that fans want. We're always listening and kind of being aware of it, and what the future holds we can't really say but know that there's always excitement to kind of bring back things so if fans of Titans Return are like "Oh man, I didn't get my Apeface or somebody that I really wanted" don't feel like it's the end-all-be-all at the end because as stewards of the toy franchise we are able to weave these things in where they make sense.

Megatronus: So I know there are a couple of people very high up at that are quite obsessed with Pretenders, so I'm glad to see that some of them are here.

John: Oh, really? [Laughs]

Megatronus: In Power of the Primes, you have both combiners and Titan Masters present so those are both very independent stand-alone concepts. So what kind of play patterns are you looking to inspire by having them included in a single line?

John: [Laughs] Well, Ben and I, early on, when we were talking about this thing, it's kind of like the last act at a really awesome rock-and-roll show so you've got like the first band comes on stage they do an awesome job and the second band, maybe a different music style ...

Ben: Maybe acoustic.

John: Yah, and then in that final act, it's both of those guys with an encore, they come on stage together. In Power of the Primes, we've got Primes Masters which are the physical embodiment of the Power of the Primes, some of them deceased, some of them missing in action, but it's the power and essence that they carry. So in a sense, those guys still fit backwards compatible with Titans Return. We also wanted to bring to life all of those great things or tidbits with Combiners. There's lots of cool things that we can still do, that we can still explore, so if you combine those two things together, I think it's a great final act and it's a great final act in our rock show which is the Prime Wars Trilogy.

Ben: Right, I think a lot of what inspired and motivated us too, to be honest with you, was Machinima and their writers there in the storytelling too, when we really started Combiner Wars, it was totally rooted in G1 and G2 kind of lore, it was character first. But as we progressed with this toy line and the stories, we started to introduce new spins, new twists, bring new characters together and stories that hadn't been told and a lot of it for us was "Hey, wait a second, we didn't see this character and that character back in the 80s but there's a story that wasn't told" so we're gonna show that to them in Titans Return or the Power of the Primes series with Machinima. And that for us, it was a creative license and we can do something that didn't happen exactly as it did in 84 through 87. We have a new story universe, we have a new fan community that are going to be engaged in this new idea. So I think that part of it, I don't want to say that the shackles are off, but if we did we looked at it and said we're creating new continuity and extension of continuity. Let's have some fun with it and not be as precious with exactly what may have been celebrated back in the 80s. So that was kind of the fun we had.

John: Absolutely.

Ben: So having writers in the new series expanded our minds and hopefully will blow yours.

John: And honestly, the same can be said with our great partners at Space Ape and all of our other aligned partners across the franchise. And I'll be speaking to this at the Prime Wars Trilogy panel on Sunday. We actually feed off each other when you think about all of the different stories that are happening at the games and the animation and it gives us, like Ben said, a license to try awesome new stuff.

Megatronus: That's great! I am very excited for Power of the Primes. It sounds like you are really excited about Power of the Primes as a highlights reel of kind of the last couple of years, which is awesome to think about in that way, so we've seen two Autobots leaders. Are we gonna see some Decepticon leaders soon in the Powers of the Primes line?

John: Uh ... hmm ... [Rubs chin] Leader class right? unfortunately I can't comment at this time, I don't want to break any hearts or anything.

Megatronus: So, that's fine, we'll ask about a different product. Since we are at HASCON, what's the potential for future crossover products? Because we are in the Transformers booth right now, Marvel's over there, Star Wars is just a skip away, and there's a huge Nerf play center over there. Do you see a lot of potential future crossover products like a new Transformers Nerf gun, a Transformers My Little Pony, something like that?

Ben: We are always looking at that and the Comic-Con Revolution is one step in that direction. There is a really awesome Rubik's Cube mash up we just did which is super cool which I have not ...

Megatronus: Rubik's Cube!?

Ben: Yah, it's like an 8 piece Optimus' head, and I have not yet solved it. It's absolutely insane. So, that one might be obscure, but that's kind of the fun we're having. As long as it's brand right, brand relevant, then we're open to those types of plays. But I would say we have a lot of great stories that we're telling on our own right now, so we'll be pumping out a lot of toys to support those.

Megatronus: That sounds great. Well, I think I have one last question. One of the big reveals of recent days has been Predaking, Titan Class, so ...

John: Sort of. I'm not sure what was that silhouette? I have no idea what that was.

Ben: Well, there was a really cool silhouette.

Megatronus: I've seen some interesting art that would indicate that there might be a large Predaking on the way.

Seibertron: You meant that's not Elita-One?

Ben: It could have been a winged Optimus Prime.

John: Yah, I think it's Winged Optimus Prime.

Megatronus: So that's all we're going to say about that. For now. Okay, so I'll let you guys off the hook. Well, I really appreciate you guys talking to us over at We're big fans of the work you do, we look forward to seeing more at the panels this weekend. And HASCON has been amazing!

John: Thank you. I can say one thing about that crazy silhouette. It's big. It's bad. And it's the most awesome thing Hasui and I have worked on since Devastator.

Megatronus: So, since Devastator, so ... so that silhouette is Titan Class, no?

John: No, I can't say that. I'm just saying he's big, he's bad, and uh ...

Ben: Except for those who made it to the Villains panel, any Villain is big and bad, right, especially in the Transformers universe.

[Banter continues ...]

John: Honestly, it's been an honor to have a chance to meet you guys, to talk to you again, and honestly I hope you have fun here at HASCON. We're having a lot of fun. It's crazy!

Ben: Yah, we're psyched and we've seen you guys and a lot of your fans and a lot of past events, whether it's Botcon, and this is special for us, a chance to share this. What I think is really great is that we're having a lot of fun in this conversation and that we can joke about things and what excites me the most is that we can talk about or not talk about things in the future. The fact that we're able to do that is because you guys share the love for our brand, what we're doing, and people keep asking for more. So we want to do this at the next convention and the next HASCON, and so the more everyone can support our brand and property and have fun like this the more we can share in news.

Megatronus: That's amazing. You know. the last BotCon was my first BotCon. So I got to go to the last BotCon, which was great, it was a cool honor to be there. It's an even more interesting journey to see how that's transitioned to this HASCON.

Seibertron: [directed at Hasbro] Are you accidentally inadvertently confirming a HASCON 2018?

Ben: No, I think, like I said, there's a lot of conventions we'll be part of. You'll see us at New York, hopefully I'll be able to drag this fine gentleman there as well.

Megatronus: Coming to my home turf!

John: It's just a train ride away!

Ben: Plenty of conventions to get to hang with you guys at.

Megatronus: We're very much looking forward to it.

John: Awesome.

Megatronus: Thanks so much guys, really appreciate it.

John: Thanks a lot.

Megatronus: John, Ben [shakes hands] Be good, enjoy the rest of HASCON!

John: Same to you.

Megatronus: See you at the panels! Thanks guys! Thanks everyone at We'll catch you later!

More Details on IDW First Strike Tie-in Issues, with Barber, Sitterson, Gage

Transformers News: More Details on IDW First Strike Tie-in Issues, with Barber, Sitterson, Gage
Date: Wednesday, September 13th 2017 8:42am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 8,774

With the third issue of the IDW Publishing Hasbro crossover First Strike out today - review coming soon, too, so stay tuned - we also have some additional information on some of the upcoming tie-in issues featuring the various titles involved: Optimus Prime, Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, the Micronauts and Rom. Check out the backmatter of the issue below, and join the conversation in the Energon Pub!

Welcome back, IDW Faithful! This month, we’re talking to writers John Barber, Christos Gage and Aubrey Sitterson about their First Strike one-shots featuring Optimus Prime, Transformers, G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand, the Micronauts and Rom!

Where do your stories take place around the First Strike event?

CG: Concurrently. Basically, while all the Cybertronian action is occupying G.I. Joe and Earth's other homegrown defenders, the Dire Wraiths see an opportunity to enact a new and exceptionally brutal attack on our world. But Earth isn't completely defenseless...Rom and the Micronauts are still around, and they're our only chance!

AS: G.I. Joe: First Strike and M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand: First Strike both take place concurrently with the main First Strike series. But while First Strike is set primarily on Cybertron, my two-parter with Ilias Kyriazis is Earth-based. With Scarlett and Roadblock both
off-planet, Shipwreck finds himself in charge of the team, and when a Cobra-backed V.E.N.O.M. attacks, things go about as well as you'd expect for someone with the codename "Shipwreck."

JB: Optimus Prime: First Strike starts during issue one of First Strike, in Colton's initial attack on Cybertron. That fight keeps going for the first few issues of First Strike, so it covers some of what's
going on during the whole battle—Optimus doing stuff you don't see in the First Strike comic itself, including a special attack on a particular Cybertronian character.

How is the status quo set up for the new series and new arcs coming out of the one-shots and First Strike?

CG: You're going to see the first encounter of any real length between Rom and the Micronauts, so we're laying the groundwork for them knowing of each other and working together. There are a
number of things Rom has in common with several Micronauts, which we'll touch on. And as the heroes come together, so too do the villains…

AS: Coming out of G.I. Joe #9, we've got a reinvigorated Cobra and a brand-new Cobra Commander, but we haven't really seen them in action yet. That changes in our First Strike issues, where Cobra begins piecing together a devious scheme that we'll see play out in the pages of our new G.I. Joe series, with art by the amazing Nelson Dániel! Additionally, with V.E.N.O.M. getting folded into the evil organization, G.I. Joe counters by bringing M.A.S.K.'s Matt Trakker onboard! and considering Trakker's particular set of skills, you'll be seeing some notable upgrades on the
team's equipment…

JB: These will bring in some of the characters and stuff that's been happening in Revolutionaries into the ongoing Optimus Prime series. We'll see where that leaves us in the next Optimus Prime arc, "The Dead Come Home."

If you could team up any two characters in the universe, who would it be? And have you done
it yet?

CG: I would love to do an entire series that is just Baron Karza and the head Wraith sorcerer, D'rge, being haughty frenemies. Which I guess kind of gives away that they meet up. Oops!

AS: What kind of question is this, when The Crown Jewel of the Hasbro Universe already features the most iconic odd couple duo in not just comics, but all of fictional entertainment?! I'm speaking, of course, of Rock 'N’ Roll and Skywarp.

JB: In the Hasbro universe? Kup and Action Man, and yes I have—right here, in fact!

#HASCON 2017 Transformers Brand Panel Q&A Video

Transformers News: #HASCON 2017 Transformers Brand Panel Q&A Video
Date: Tuesday, September 12th 2017 5:14am CDT
Categories: Toy News, Event News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al

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Views: 9,168

This next story featuring a recording from Hascon should be seen as a follow-up to our first report on the Transformers Brand Panel, as it was taken during the second instance of the talk given on the Sunday - see our Friday report here! Featuring both Hasbro and Takara Tomy designers for several toy lines, such as Sean Isabella Carmina, Lenny Panzica and John Warden and legend Hideaki Yoke-san, the clip specifically focuses on the Q&A section of the talk, which we've transcribed below the video, too.

In addition, we're including all previously posted videos from the weekend that deal with the toys talked about in the clip, all in one convenient viewing spot!

The panel are talking about how the issues that Hideaki had 30 years ago are pretty much still the same

Would you make a combiner out of combiners? Lots of excitement, but no - nothing in the plans.

Power of Primes compatible with Titan Masters? Yes, Prime Masters and Titan Masters are interchangeable. Optimus Prime can wear TR Optimus' head in his chest.

Any plan on Titan Masters/Prime Masters multipack? It's really cool - maybe around holidays (but no solid plan).

When designing, do you start in vehicle or robot? Depends on the designer, some start from the vehicle 'as armour', but vehicle to robot makes life a little easier. Combiners start from the way out, combined mode first. Always carry a sketch book. Yoke-san also starts with vehicle first.

Titans Return line had less paint than Takara, are there going to be similar changes in Power of the Primes? It's all down to value for consumers and price points: more details, more cost. Case by case basis, really.

Came up with a Transformers zodiac - but what are your signs? Warden - Leo, Panzica- Cancer, ISabella-Carmine- Aries, Yoke- Leo.

What type of background would get you a job like this? School, industrial design degrees. Blend of engineering and art, also fashion design with toy specialisation portfolios (Panzica's experience).

Level of discussion between Powermaster Prime and Super Ginrai, there was some, yes.

Importance of spark / allspark - distinctive difference between other mech: Transformers have a 'soul'.

Transformers can scan anything and transform into it. Ejector, Erector, ice-cream Transformers in Japan.

Sharkticons - are there any other designs planned to come out? Sharkticon that turns into jet, maybe?

Packaging: product converts vs transformers transform - not able to comment at this time, but it's way they do, they convert. (question by Seibertron, answer by Warden)

HASCON 2017: Transformers VIP Event TOY and Hall of Fame Reveals

HASCON 2017: Transformers Brand Panel featuring Dinobots, Optimus Prime, and more!

SDCC2017: Plans Until 2021, Only Slugslinger in Wave 6, Hidden Gimmicks and More Discovered in Interview with Hasbro #HasbroSDCC

Transformers News: SDCC2017: Plans Until 2021, Only Slugslinger in Wave 6, Hidden Gimmicks and More Discovered in Interview with Hasbro #HasbroSDCC
Date: Saturday, July 22nd 2017 10:25pm CDT
Categories: Event News, Site Articles, Interviews
Posted by: william-james88 | Credit(s): John Warden from Hasbro

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Views: 22,482

Site owner Seibertron had some exclusive news from Hasbro head Transformers designer John Warden during the designer's final interview at SDCC2017. We got several definitive answers to questions several fans had, and we thank him greatly for that. Here is the full interview

Can you tell us about the other two Titans Return box sets which we have not seen yet?

Sure, as fans have noticed, the sets are centered around the four different powers/tech specs and only two of those powers are getting the boxset treatment. We will not be releasing the other remaining powers as box sets of the same kinds but there will be unique offerings that will allow fans to have a representation of the two remaining powers. It will be exciting news shared later so stay tuned (Editor's note: this is probably what the recent Arcee and Ultra Magnus leaks are about and would explain why they are a different format than what we have previously seen since the remaining powers would not be done in the same way as the boxsets)

Will there be other toys in the Slugslinger wave?

Yes but they will all be repackaged characters. I do not remember which characters are repackaged however Slugslinger is the only new character in that wave and the final new toy from the Titans Return line (Editor’s note: this might be a response to the frequent practice of retailers not ordering/stocking the final waves of figures as was the case with Combiner Wars)

While the Combiner Wars show got a lot of hits and downloads, the fan community still felt there was much to be desired. Can you tell us if there will be an improvement with the Titans Return show?

We are very excited to be working with a partner like Machinima. The Combiners Wars show turned out great. Machinima has some exciting news that they shared at the panel we just had like all the new voice actor talent. They're very excited to say that Peter Cullen is back and so is Judd Nelson and Wil Wheaton will be the voice of perceptor which is great. They will also be lengthening the episodes which is really really cool.

Transformers News: Plans Until 2021, Only Slugslinger in Wave 6, Hidden Gimmicks and More Discovered in Interview

Okay well I'm looking forward to it. Now speaking of supporting fiction, what is the plan for supporting fiction in Prime Wars and Power of the Primes? Will these core ideas of the toy line be supported in the IDW fiction?

Um, well I mean that's a very good question. We do have a great partnership with IDW and we share with them all our plans. They're able to bring to life those characters in very interesting ways so I think that yeah I don't know specifics but yeah the plan would be to work with IDW as much as possible.

Why release the 12 Primes as avatars instead of making toys of the Primes themselves?

Also a really good question. So the primes really in some cases are more like spirits, you know, it would be hard to imagine some of them in toy form aside for some like Vector Prime. Also, they are lesser known to casual fans. The Prime Wars line really seems to be paying off like doing A-list characters and also mixing in some more obscure characters like the Targetmaster Decepticons that only had the G1 toy before. With the Primes, that's a lot more difficult especially when scale is a factor since some would be really big it would be a challenge to make a big version of a great Prime. So to bring them to life in an ecosystem it's better to look at it in a small and unified collectible way and introduce them that way. That's how we came up with the decoy suits, it gives a chance for younger fans to have a collectible and it helps to bring these lesser known characters into a toyline.

Why not wait for this Prime evolution gimmick to release Power Master Prime?

That's an excellent question. The idea we have in Power of the Primes line is that they evolve up so he would have been a good fit. But in the year Titans Return we wanted to make sure we had a big version of Optimus Prime and there's only so many big cool versions of the character so as we were looking at the Titans Return ecosystem we weren't even thinking of that evolution system yet which only came to real form a year ago and by that time Power Master Prime was already finished.

Quick question on that on (Power of the Primes) Jazz, is he a fully new mold?

Yes he is all new.

Any plans for God bomber in the US?

God Bomber, there are no plans for God Bomber to come to the US at this time. All that is planned is that Magnus Prime in the Seige of Cybertron set.

Transformers News: Plans Until 2021, Only Slugslinger in Wave 6, Hidden Gimmicks and More Discovered in Interview

It appears that there are combiner ports on the Power of the Prime deluxe figures and on Starscream. What can you tell us about Combiners in Power of the Primes?

I will answer that with a very vague answer right now. So story-wise the Prime Masters had the powers of the gods and they can unlock certain powers. Now we wanted it so that these powers are not just up to kid's imaginations, the Prime Masters can literally unlock some gimmicks that are hidden in these toys as well. That is as much as we can say for now but we will reveal more at a later date for sure, fans just need to stay tuned.

I'm assuming that Hascon is a place where this will be further revealed?

That's right, Hascon, and Hascon fans will be the ones that will see more of the gimmicks hidden in the Power of the Primes line.

There were some Headmaster characters that were missing in the Titans Return line so will the Titan Master gimmick have a resurgence in the power of the Prime line where Headmaster Juniors could have toys of their own?

Not in Power of the Primes line I can say that flat out but in the future, not only were we thinking ahead when we did the Prime Wars trilogy but as we start to think about the future we actually have our course mapped all the way to 2021 which is very exciting. So when you look at Generations, the roadmap for the future is very bright and gimmicks like a Titan Master are fully engineered and there's no reason why we would not revisit that later and these are all characters we could eventually cover.

When you guys started Combiner Wars, was the road map to Power of the Primes there or not?

We started with Combiner Wars and we knew we wanted some sort of a sequel to it since we knew that Combiner Wars would one day end. When I started planning, I came to the table with all these characters we had not done yet. Headmasters, Fortress Maximus, Trypticon, so we decided it would just so much stuff that the higher ups decided to make it a Trilogy. And that made sense to us so it happened organically. So the idea of doing Power of the Primes was there in essence and we put a flag in the ground a long time ago knowing it would eventually lead to the Primes and the Power of the Prime (literally) since it's the most epic part of Transformers history.

Transformers News: Plans Until 2021, Only Slugslinger in Wave 6, Hidden Gimmicks and More Discovered in Interview

Anything with Omega Supreme or Scorponok which were also into fan vote since you know we like those guys?

Well the fan polls are really awesome for us because they let us engage with the fans and see what they're excited about. When we look to 2021 and all the possibilities we now have with the technology, absolutely. Characters like Omega Supreme and Scorponok are some of the most memorable characters in The Transformers universe and in the spirit of imagining things that are cool and giving them a new light they are totally on the table.

Now what about the fan favourite Dinobots, is there any possibility of G1 reissues or in the Generations line, other than Grimlock?

One thing great about San Diego Comic-Con is speaking to people not just die hard fans like you, but also any casual fan that could be walking by. We hear loud and clear last year that Rodimus Prime was the character people really wanted to see and now we have him. We also heard loud and could people really wanted those Dinobots so nothing to reveal yet but I can say that we always listen to fans.

Transformers News: Plans Until 2021, Only Slugslinger in Wave 6, Hidden Gimmicks and More Discovered in Interview

Has Hasbro unveiled anything in terms of exclusives for Hascon?

Nothing yet but stay tuned, there is definitely something. It's a very very cool something.

Is there anything else you might want to share with us any random thought let us know?

I don't know, I think it's just really exciting to be at an event like this because not only do you have a chance to meet fans but when you look at characters like the movie Masterpiece Optimus Prime, there was 20 year old kid and I saw a sparkle in this guy's eyes and he was thinking "that's a toy of a character I loves seeing as a kid" (when he would have been 10) and it's energizing to see the torch being passed, I think that's really what makes our franchise so cool. It's not just G1, it's not just Beast Wars, it's not just the movies, it's everything and we're all together it's one big Transformers family. It's very exciting.

The Transformers IDWverse - Interview with Scott, Barber, Roberts on

Transformers News: The Transformers IDWverse - Interview with Scott, Barber, Roberts on
Date: Sunday, July 16th 2017 12:51pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): CBC

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With TFCon currently stunning over in Canada, national media have also run a piece on the current output of IDW Publishing's Transformers stables, with a lengthy interview featuring writers John Barber, Mairghread Scott and James Roberts! (Shame about the neglected artists, really.)

While the interview does not really give any new information exactly, it's a good point to take to reflect on where the TF comics have come and will be going, with Till All Are One ending, and Optimus Prime and Lost Light reaching their second arcs, as First Strike is about to .. Strike the Hasbro Universe too. Check out some snippets below, and read the whole interview here!

The writers' biggest challenge is figuring out how to explore gender in a race that has rarely encountered it while avoiding making the characters feel wholly alien to readers.

"If you took a hard-science-fiction look at a world of machine life that reproduces asexually, ideas like gender and sex would be either nonexistent or very, very different than our human understanding and background in those issues," says Barber.

"But Transformers stories exist in our human world, where we know Optimus Prime is male because people say 'he' and he sounds like (voice actor) Peter Cullen and whatnot. So there's gender in there whether it makes hard-science-fiction sense or not."


"Initially, you were invited to think of them [Rewind and Chromedome --V] as very good friends, and as the story progressed, as I became more confident in what I could and couldn't do, we became more explicit in establishing them as 'robot husbands,'" says Roberts. "And I'm pleased to say that everyone involved — IDW editorial and Hasbro — have run with it. And fans, most importantly, seemed to like it."


"There are certain things that Hasbro will dictate that they do or do not want, but other than major things like 'Don't kill our main characters' or 'We really want to highlight this person,' they let us tell the stories that we want to tell," says Scott.

Transformers News: The Transformers IDWverse - Interview with Scott, Barber, Roberts on

IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor - John Barber, Christos Gage, Alex Milne Interview

Transformers News: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor - John Barber, Christos Gage, Alex Milne Interview
Date: Wednesday, July 12th 2017 9:40am CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): IDW

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Views: 12,656

The back matter of this week's issue of IDW Publishing's Optimus Prime #9 - review coming soon, so keep an eye out for that - includes an interview with the three creators behind Rom vs Transformers: Shining Armor: writers John Barber and Christos Gage, and artist Alex Milne (who will be joined by Josh Perez on colours)! We've copied below what the three have to say to support the book and new character Stardrive - check it out!

John, Christos—does this series mark the first time that Rom and the Transformers meet? We
saw them together in IDW’s Revolution event, but this story is set 200 years in the past!

CNG: Yes, this is the first time Rom has met a Transformer. As we begin the miniseries, the Solstar Order and the Cybertronians are aware of each other's existence, but until this story they have
stayed in their own territories. But the end of the Wraith War—which led to the Dire Wraiths fleeing throughout the universe—has changed things!

JB: It's also the first time the Dire Wraiths meet the Decepticons. We've never seen what happens when a Wraith takes over a Cybertronian body before... and the results aren't pretty.

Stardrive is a unique character for a crossover like this—a Transformer that’s also part of the Solstar Order. How does this conflict affect her personality?

CNG: The interesting thing about Stardrive is that she has never met another Transformer before this miniseries. She has only been given the Solstar Order's take on them: that Cybertronians are destructive machine monsters that rampage through world destroying organic life. She's told that
she's "better" because she was raised differently, but it's unmistakable that she's been brought up to feel there's something wrong with her. Now, for the first time, she's actually meeting beings of her own species—and they're from opposite factions, so she's more torn and confused than ever!

JB: Stardrive's been an outsider her whole life, and when she meets other Cybertronians, she doesn't expect to feel even more alone. She's not part of their war; she doesn't want to be destructive
like they've actually become.

Working with Alex Milne on this—did you approach it any differently than previous projects? Were the scripts very specific or did you give him a lot of leeway on the art?

CNG: We worked plot-first and I think it was the right approach. John told me Alex loves to add detail, and boy, does he! We'd give him a four-panel page and he'd turn it into a nine-panel page chock-full of aliens (all different species) and sci-fi tech. I love it! I grew up on George Perez so Alex's stuff is right up my alley!

JB: Alex had an amazing run on More Than Meets the Eye for so many years, where he started out as a fantastic artist and only got better. I'd seen a lot of his sketches and his conceptual work as that
series went on, so I definitely wanted to make sure he had the opportunity to design this series—new worlds, new characters, new aliens, new space ships. It's not even just a visual thing—Alex thinks this stuff through from top to bottom, and that definitely shows through in the comic.

Alex, your art on this story is just on another level—crazy amounts of detail and panel-heavy layouts! Can you tell us a bit about how you approached the art for this project?

AM: The script for the book is written in a plot style—it leaves me with a lot of options on how to approach it. Unlike past scripts I've worked on that have had full dialogue and descriptions for the
panels, here it's all up to me, so I'm not worrying about trying to fit a lot of different actions into one panel. It's a very interesting creative freedom I feel working on this book. It pushes me to try different things and to see what I can come up with not just in the art but in the storytelling as well. It's a nice change for me!

Transformers News: IDW Rom Vs. Transformers: Shining Armor - John Barber, Christos Gage, Alex Milne Interview

IDW Editor David Hedgecock Interview on Hasbro Universe First Strike #HasbroFirstStrike

Transformers News: IDW Editor David Hedgecock Interview on Hasbro Universe First Strike #HasbroFirstStrike
Date: Thursday, July 6th 2017 7:17pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s): Dynamic Forces

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Views: 11,224

We have some more news on IDW Publishing's Hasbro Universe comics crossover event First Strike, starting this September, via the website Dynamic Forces, who were able to have a chat with current editor David Hedgecock! The full interview can be found here, but we've highlighted some snippets below too, covering the main plot of the event, the factions, the motives, and more! Check it out.

DF: It is so hard to have peace in any comic book universe, but the IDW/Hasbro Earth was on the verge of joining the Cybertronian Council of Worlds … not unlike the Earth of the Star Trek universe when it was initiated into the United Federation of Planets, to my mind. What goes wrong here?

David Hedgecock: The Transformers are members of a massively powerful ancient alien race that have been warring amongst themselves for millions of years. As the Transformers have spread out across the stars, that war has spread with them. No matter where the Transformers go, they bring death and destruction. The “peace” that the Transformers currently enjoy is but a breath in the grand scheme.

There are people on Earth who understand this. People who feel that Optimus Prime, by initiating Earth into the Council, has done nothing but paint a big red target on the planet and that our destruction is a foregone conclusion if something isn’t done. First Strike is about one man's mission to save his planet from what he feels is the greatest threat to humanity in its entire history, and his solution to save all of humankind... is to destroy all Transformers.


DF: David, there certainly seems enough action for two or three “events” in First Strike, but what can you tell us about the personal side of all of this? Who are the real POV characters here and what is/will become their motivations? What will give First Strike its heart?

David Hedgecock: Scarlett is really going to be the “heart” of this story. In the midst of all the chaos and destruction that will ensue, it’s Scarlett’s personal battle that may determine the true outcome and fate of two planets. I’m so amazed by what Mairghread Scott and David Rodriguez have been able to accomplish in this regard. These two writers have put together an event book worthy of the name, with all the explosions, destruction, and cyborg ninjas one would expect while still delivering a really compelling, heartfelt character piece with resonance and meaning. I’m in awe of both of them, truly!

DF: As August and this epic crossover approaches, is it possible to give readers new and established a road map of sorts as to where it starts and where it will go, title-wise?

David Hedgecock: August will see the “Season Finale” of several of our titles— G.I. Joe, M.A.S.K., Micronauts: Wrath of Karza, and Rom. These books are all coming to their natural conclusions and making way for the big First Strike event. We had several reasons for this but chief among them were two things— 1. All the stories were coming to their natural end for the “Season” and we needed to clear the decks for brand new material coming out of the event. 2. We didn’t want to ask our fans to buy more than what they were already comfortable with buying. With the event and its surrounding one-shots, we felt we had enough books in the market and didn’t want to ask our fans to buy MORE than what they might normally buy to be able to enjoy the “big” story we’ve created.

SPOILER Interview with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Transformers: The Last Knight Producer on Origin of Quintessa

Transformers News: SPOILER Interview with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Transformers: The Last Knight Producer on Origin of Quintessa
Date: Thursday, June 29th 2017 7:04pm CDT
Categories: Live Action Movie News, People News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s):

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Views: 14,006

Fellow Seibertronian Sabrblade has come across a new interview with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura on Transformers: The Last Knight, where there are more spoilers than a racing car festival. Seriously, the main point of discussion revolves around Quintessa and the post-credits scene in the fifth movie, so if you have not seen the film and do not want anything ruined for you, do not read further!

The producer, talking to, had some very interesting teasers to introduce when talking about the origin of the creators and of Quintessa specifically.

The premise of who and what Quintessa is seems pretty straight forward throughout most of The Last Knight's story; however, the Transformers 5 post-credit scene throws a big twist about Quintessa's character into the mix.

Read on to see what Transformers movie producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura revealed about that the big twist in Quintessa's character - and the massive implications it could have for the franchise mythos, going forward.

As di Bonaventura goes on to say in the video found here, her story might have big ramifications for the franchise as Paramount expands its territory in future movies. Read on below, check out the video, and let us know what you think in our Spoiler thread inside!

When asked what significance the big reveal in The Last Knight's post-credit scene will have on the next Transformers movie, di Bonaventura had the following tease:

"You never know, that's part of what the discovery is gonna be. But actually, if you look at the mythology, the mythology of The Quintessa is that she very well and was probably human. So when you go back in time and go through that 6 billion years of mythology, there's certainly a current of thought within it that says she was a human character and perhaps was actually the first one who built the Transformers. So ironically, if that's accurate, then humans built Transformers."

Transformers News: SPOILER Interview with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Transformers: The Last Knight Producer on Origin of Q

Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers
Date: Monday, June 26th 2017 6:40pm CDT
Categories: Comic Book News, Interviews
Posted by: Va'al | Credit(s):

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Views: 12,898

Courtesy of, we have some more detailed information about the upcoming First Strike comics event from IDW Publishing and featuring pretty much the entirety of the current Hasbro Universe - plus the tease for Visionaries once the event comes to a close. The article brings us an interview with the two writers on the series, Mairghread Scott and David Rodriguez, artist Max Dunbar, and editor David Hedgecock, plus an unlettered preview of the first issue, and some covers (some we've seen, some we've not, like the thumbnailed First Strike #2 by Leonardo Manco). Check out some relevant snippets below, and head here for more!

Since First Strike is the second story in a trilogy with the Hasbro universe, is it packaged in a way that will allow newcomers to come in fresh, not having read Revolution? Folks still have time to catch up, but what’s the important stuff to know going in?

DR: I think the series works as a jumping on point without needing much catch up. The events that the reader really needs to know is that at some point in the past, Optimus Prime annexed Earth and begged forgiveness (not really) rather than asked permission. This rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way. But now Earth is getting a seat at the big kids' table on Cybertron and joining the council of worlds. But Colton, and some other upstanding citizens of the planet, decide that the risk is too great. The Cybertronians are an immediate threat and need to be dealt with. And even if you don’t know that, we set this up in the early pages of the series.

MS: The Davids and I have done everything possible to make this event very new-reader friendly. We add little things like captions to introduce a character the first time they show up and David Rodriguez and I have made sure the dialogue gives you a great sense of who these people are and what they want right off the bat. That said, if you like earning extra credit, you should check out Revolution from last year, the current G.I. Joe comics, Revolutionaries, Optimus Prime, and Till All Are One. I am 100% biased, but definitely read all of Till All Are One just because we’ve had a grand old time doing robot politics.


Will Cybertron give the Transformer characters an upper hand going in? Quoting a line in your zero issue, are the characters from G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K. for example, going to be out of their weight class?

MS: I think the Transformers are at a huge disadvantage. Joe Colton has been studying how to defeat them for years; he is a master strategist and has planned a decisive first strike (Get it?) to knock them completely off balance. They also have to try to fight off the villains while protecting their home and civilians. Transformers may be in a whole other weight class, but they have never dealt with a foe quite like Joe Colton, which is why Scarlett becomes so important, because no one knows Joe quite like her.

DR: I think it hinders the Cybertronians at first because it is SO outside of their personal reality. A human invasion of Cybertron isn’t really something they’ve ever considered, and even while it’s happening, they are still sort of like “well damn, we’ve got termites, we ought to do something about that.” And that’s the teeny tiny advantage Colton exploits to get the jump on them. But that only lasts so long before the Transformers remind everyone just how deadly 30-foot war machines can be.


Can we expect more titles besides the announced one-shots bridging this to the third act, presumably next year? After all, Revolution was just short of 30 comics after all of the one-shots and tie-ins were tallied.

DR: I’m sure one of our lovely editors would LOVE to answer this question.

MS: Hedgecock?

David Hedgecock: Everything you need to enjoy FIRST STRIKE is contained within the mini-series and the one-shots. Coming out of the event, we have all-new, exciting storylines that will be new-reader-friendly!

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

Transformers News: Unlettered Preview for IDW First Strike #1, Plus Writer Interview and More Covers

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Transformers Podcast: Twincast / Podcast #186 - NYCC 2017
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