Big news for Hasbro's fight against knock off (KO) toys. There has been an investigation by the Shanghai police which started back in April when Hasbro China reported on Weijiang's activities. For those unaware, Weijiang is a Chinese company that makes knock off Transformers toys. This investigation has lead to a raid of Weijiang's factories and five arrests. The charges are for allegedly designing, producing and selling counterfeit Transformers toys. We also learnt of the process. A designer would take the the official toys apart and map out the designs he would then sell to Weijiang.
You can read more about this in the following article from Shine.cn: https://www.shine.cn/news/metro/2007232766/ .
Thanks to Seibertronian DecepticonFinishline, we have some big news regarding the Transformers brand's management. John Warden, the Transformers brand Design Manager since 2014, has now moved on to another Hasbro property. According to the Twitter account @PwrRngrSite, Warden has moved to the Power Rangers and Ghostbusters brand.
John Warden (former Design Manager, Transformers 2014-2020) is now the Global Design Lead for #PowerRangers (and Ghostbusters). If you held a Transformer in your hand in the last 6 years, chances are John had a part in its creation.
Click on the photo above to be taken to the Tweet.
It's unknown at this time who his replacement will be, but he's certainly overseen the design for some very well received lines (Siege, Earthrise, Prime Wars Trilogy), not to mention the biggest Transformer to reach production, Unicron!
How do you feel about this news? Please feel free to speculate about his successor, his influence, and what you think below!
Thanks to a heads up from Seibertronian Nemesis Primal, we've been alerted to a post on the official Transformers Facebook page regarding the upcoming Fan First Friday event. This coming Friday, July 17th at 6:30am PST/9:30am EST/2:30pm BST/11:30pm AUS, Hasbro will have a lot of new stuff revealed on Pulse. Check out the announcement below and click on the image to be taken to Hasbro's page, which states that more than TEN new figures are to be revealed.
Since SDCC won't be happening in person this year, it's a pretty safe guess that at least one figure will be one intended for that convention. So what do you think these reveals are going to be? Speculate away below!
Thanks go to Hasbro (and fellow Seibertronian Aronjlove) for letting us know that the final trailer for the quickly approaching War for Cybertron: Siege series is available to view!
Netflix and Hasbro, Inc., in partnership with Rooster Teeth, today released the final main trailer for Chapter One of the highly anticipated TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY, premiering on Netflix July 30, 2020. The Series raises the stakes of the Autobot and Decepticon war with Chapter One having six, twenty-two minute episodes, complete with a new animation look and style that presents the TRANSFORMERS bots like you’ve never seen them before. The TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY plunges us deep into events that live at the heart of this legendary franchise, with SIEGE shining a spotlight on a critical timeframe in TRANSFORMERS history on Cybertron.
TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY: SIEGE begins in the final hours of the devastating civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons. The war that has torn apart their home planet of Cybertron is at a tipping point. Two leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, both want to save their world and unify their people, but only on their own terms. In an attempt to end the conflict, Megatron is forced to consider using the Allspark, the source of all life and power on Cybertron, to “reformat” the Autobots, thus “unifying” Cybertron. Outnumbered, outgunned, and under SIEGE, the battle-weary Autobots orchestrate a desperate series of counterstrikes on a mission that, if everything somehow goes right, will end with an unthinkable choice: kill their planet in order to save it.
Rooster Teeth (RWBY, gen:LOCK) is producing the original series for Netflix, and Polygon Pictures (Godzilla, Knights of Sidonia) is serving as the animation studio. TRANSFORMERS veteran F.J. DeSanto (Transformers: Titans Return, Transformers: Power of the Primes) is serving as showrunner on the series with several contributing writers, including George Krstic (Megas XLR), Gavin Hignight (Transformers: Cyberverse), and Brandon Easton (Agent Carter, Transformers: Rescue Bots).
The Series voice talent cast includes Jake Foushee (Optimus Prime), Jason Marnocha (Megatron), Linsay Rousseau (Elita-1), Joe Zieja (Bumblebee), Frank Todaro (Starscream), Rafael Goldstein (Ratchet), Keith Silverstein (Jetfire), Todd Haberkorn (Shockwave, Red Alert), Edward Bosco (Ultra Magnus, Soundwave), Bill Rogers (Wheeljack), Sophia Isabella (Arcee), Brook Chalmers (Impactor), Shawn Hawkins (Mirage), Kaiser Johnson (Ironhide), Miles Luna (Teletraan I, Cliffjumper) and Mark Whitten (Sideswipe, Skywarp).
Not only that, but the communication from Hasbro included this final line
More details regarding Chapter Two, TRANSFORMERS: WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY: EARTHRISE and Chapter Three coming soon.
This confirms that we're not only getting an Earthrise cartoon, but we may learn the title of the final chapter in the War for Cybertron Trilogy sooner than we think!
July 30th can't come soon enough! What do you think, fellow Seibertronians? Let us know in the comments below!
It's no surprise 2020 hasn't be great for businesses. The comics and publishing industries have been hit especially hard between halted productions, shipping delays, and most retailers only just now starting to come out of quarantine. But despite all of that IDW has announced a strong second quarter to 2020 even with a net loss of $0.04 per share. Revenue dropped to $11.6 million in the second quarter from a first quarter high of $14.1 million, which is no doubt a large drop, but it's a considerable improvement over the 2019 year revenue of $7.8 million.
Much of their growth comes from live action properties like completing production on the first half of season four of Wynonna Earp and Netflix ordering a second season of Locke & Key. They also credit things like puzzles, board games, coloring books and new graphic novels. They were also able to soften the blow of the pandemic through things like Paycheck Protection Program loans amounting to $3.0 million for furloughed employees, the majority of which have returned to work. IDW was also able to do things like focus on "back catalog, digital sales, direct-to-consumer sales, foreign sales, and book market channels" to keep ahead. This is where Transformers would have had the most influence on their revenue despite few titles being mentioned directly in the report.
There's a lot more information at the link above and charts aplenty if you really want to go deep on the details. If you were ever concerned that IDW was in trouble then rest assured that they're doing just fine and more Transformers comics are on the way!
Hasbro has a new post on their official Transformers page on Facebook, in support of the Black community. It highlights their commitment to speaking out and standing in solidarity, which they initially posted earlier this month on their site.
Their post makes use of the most well known lines by Optimus Prime, "'Til all are one!" and "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings", the later which has been a part of the character since his original bio. Clicking any image below will bring you to the original post.
News on the comics front was a bit slow due to IDW and other big publishers choosing to postpone their release of new comics during part of the pandemic. Well, we got a lot of news all at once and some of it is pandemic related and quite sad. Quite a bit of the senior staff at IDW who were furloughed initially have now been laid off. This includes Managing Editor Denton Tipton, Associate Publisher David Hedgecock, Senior Graphic Artist Gilberto Lazcano, Senior Graphic Designer Christa Miesner and Brand & Marketing Manager Spencer Reeve.
On the Transformers side of things, we have some new art with Freddie Williams II's retail incentive cover for Transformers vs. The Terminator 4. You can see it below. It will be coming out June 24th. And you can discuss about that series here.
Last but most certainly not least, we have Simon Furman discussing the first 4 pages of the upcoming Transformers '84: Secrets & Lies. This is set before Marvel's first issue of Transformers, and we have a nice shot of Jetfire working alongside his Decepticon brethren. The article comes to us from SYFY. This book is coming out in July and you can discuss that series here
“The attack on Stanix is also referenced by Optimus Prime in Transformers ’84 #0, dovetailing the narratives somewhat. Ratbat made his U.S. comic book debut in TF US #27, which established his role (on Cybertron) as the Decepticons’ fuel auditor, and here he plays a bigger role in the unfolding events. By the way, Shockwave’s solution (on the following pages) provides another key twist to established/formative events in Transformers (Marvel) #1.”
Hasbro released their first quarter numbers for 2020 today and actually took the time to detail everything fans, and more importantly retailers and shareholders, could expect for the remainder of the year. Since they have so many different supply chains globally, they have found a way to organize themselves so that they would meet full-year product demand requirements, which includes being appropriately stocked for the holiday season.
They also detailed which facilities are most affected, and their Vietnam facility, where our Transformers toys are produced is not on that list. So, when it comes to Transformers being produced and stocked, it's business as usual, whatever that usual may be for you.
We will share the passages that explain that more below, for those interested, and you can read their entire earnings report, which is mostly about Play-Doh, here.
Supply chain positioned to meet full-year product demand requirements leveraging growing retailer
channels, including ecomm and omni-channel
Outside of China: Manufacturing and warehouse partners outside of China operated at close to normal levels during much of the first quarter. Beginning in mid-March and through today, these locations are operating at varying levels of productivity depending on local government and safety considerations, with some markets operating at lower than normal production levels and other facilities have been closed for a period of time. Currently closed facilities include manufacturing in Massachusetts, Texas and Ireland, primarily for games, as well as manufacturing locations in India.
The global Hasbro team is utilizing its diverse global supply chain to meet demand from open facilities, existing inventory and to rapidly make up lost production. The COVID-19 situation is very fluid and based on our understanding of local governments directions at this time, we expect closed facilities to reopen over the summer. We will be using our full complement of sourcing partners globally to ensure a quick recapture of any lost production on priority items.
While there is a lot of talk and news about the current pandemic, the news that touched our hobby was mainly regarding events, and there was even worse news of Transformers AOE star Sophia Myles' father dying of the virus. Well, there is another news bit in this ven diagram and it is good news this time, which we wanted to share. Hasbro, the company responsible for our beloved Transformers franchise, will be contributing a major effort to the battle against COVID-19 by making face shields for hospital workers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
They are partnering with Cartamundi to produce 50,000 face shields per week (to make 250 000 total) for front line health care workers, and those masks will be produced in a facility in Massachusetts. So not only will there be more face shields available, but this will also be providing continued employment for the workers at that facility, who will be respecting all proper social distancing guidelines.
And the fact that these are donations means these states will not have to participate as much in the current bidding war states are having against eachother for this particular personal protective equipment, which has been a major strain on states' budgets.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to work together with our partners at Cartamundi to produce much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), to directly assist the critical needs of front-line medical workers in our community," John Frascotti, president and COO of Hasbro, wrote in a statement.
According to the Providence Journal, Hasbro has apparently shuttered its office doors worldwide out of concern for the Coronavirus threat. Here is the information available of Providence Journal's website in an article that addresses other companies around Providence such as CVS, Amica and others.
Hasbro closes offices worldwide due to coronavirus threat; other employers begin work-from-home
While toy and entertainment giant Hasbro is closing its offices in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, other large employers in Rhode Island have instituted work-from-home for their employees.
Company spokeswoman Julie Duffy says Hasbro’s offices will be closed around the world until April 1 to protect employees from the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19.
"At this time, no Hasbro employees have tested positive for COVID-19," Duffy said in an email to The Providence Journal on Friday. "We have made this decision in an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our employees and the communities in which we operate."
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