Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction

Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction

Saturday, May 24th, 2014 3:02pm CDT

Categories: Movie Related News, Digital Media News
Posted by: ScoutBumblebee   Views: 32,576

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According to an interview with Michael Bay posted at Entertainment Weekly, Bay had a hard time getting automakers on board with putting their vehicles into the first film, knowing they'd likely be destroyed. But by now, Bay says,
...every car company says, ‘We will fly out any car to show you so it can be in the movie.'
But he says there is one catch--and that is that they all want their car to be one of the good guys.

Apparently, a bounty hunter isn't looked upon TOO negatively, considering that Bay was able to obtain a Lamborghini Aventador for Age of Extinction. Daimler Trucks North America provided a 2014 Freightliner Argos to be one of the villains. Bay says the Argos was a million and a half to design, and Freightliner paid for it, hoping to see what the value of the movie does for the car world.

Optimus Prime is a Western Star truck, in tribute to his G1 toy form, and Bumblebee starts the movie as a 1967 modified Camaro, before becoming a custom 2014 model. Because GM has started making the Camaro a bit smaller, Bay worked with GM designers to create Bumble's look.

Keep your optics here for the latest in Age of Extinction news, and head on over to the Energon pub to discuss your thoughts.

Credit(s): Entertainment Weekly


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Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1576910)
Posted by Noideaforaname on May 24th, 2014 @ 5:01pm CDT
That's kinda cool they can get just about any car to "play" a Transformer... but it also seems limiting. That is, you have a greater incentive to use just cars, and flashy ones at that, and only in a good light, and as the heroes, and at some point it just becomes one big car commercial. DotM and AoE are bloated with automobiles, and you just know any and all sequels will follow suit.

Thankfully someone had the sense to add dinosaurs, but there's still waaaaaay less variety than the first two movies had.
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1576913)
Posted by Dr. Caelus on May 24th, 2014 @ 5:29pm CDT
Dang, it's too bad there are so few villains in Transformers that turn into things that aren't cars, you know, like armored trucks, tanks, artillery pieces, jets, helicopters, space shuttles, construction vehicles, giant cats, birds, gorillas, dragons, scorpions, wolves...

Actually, cudos to Bay for getting a lot of those into the movies already, but still...
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1576974)
Posted by morphobots on May 24th, 2014 @ 11:58pm CDT
My question is what does this exposure really get them as far as the bottom line is concerned? Which vehicles have had a boost in sales besides the Camaro? Hummer was already on the way out at the time of the first movie. Pontiac is gone. The Top Kick was discontinued. The Volt was a flop. I'm just wondering if the expenditure to (basically) advertise in the movie is justified later. I find it strangely ironic that the original cartoon was criticized for being just a big commercial to sell toys, and yet now the movies are bigger commercials to sell bigger toys.
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1576978)
Posted by BERSEKAEL on May 25th, 2014 @ 12:28am CDT
Cool, but ... I love Decepticons, infact my car has a Decepticon sigil, interesting how car companies refuse to bring a decepticon in their lines. No wonder why we wont have Stunticons in this upcoming movie.
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1576992)
Posted by xyl360 on May 25th, 2014 @ 3:36am CDT
I guess they didn't pay attention to how well the Mustang Saleen did after the first film. It was and still is my favorite of all the movie alt modes and I'm pretty sure that feeling would be different if Barricade wasn't a Decepticon.

Bad guys are 'cool' and bad cars are even cooler. I'd take a black and white sporty police car that says To punish and enslave (and will help me find my glasses if I lose them :P) over a yellow Camaro that speaks in 'radio' any day.
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1577023)
Posted by Fifo on May 25th, 2014 @ 10:59am CDT
Wow, these car manufacturers are idiots.

Is this why there are only three new Decepticon characters (that we know of)in Age of Extinction?
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1577036)
Posted by 5150 Cruiser on May 25th, 2014 @ 1:17pm CDT
morphobots wrote:My question is what does this exposure really get them as far as the bottom line is concerned? Which vehicles have had a boost in sales besides the Camaro? Hummer was already on the way out at the time of the first movie. Pontiac is gone. The Top Kick was discontinued. The Volt was a flop. I'm just wondering if the expenditure to (basically) advertise in the movie is justified later. I find it strangely ironic that the original cartoon was criticized for being just a big commercial to sell toys, and yet now the movies are bigger commercials to sell bigger toys.


One must remember that its not just car sales, but royalties from toy sales and other merchandise. Manufactures get a cut of each toy. Not just the figures, but also anything that spawns the related alt mode. Even a table cloth or coffee mug with Bumble Bee on it can bring in royalties for GM. Same with Saleen, Oshkosh, peterbuilt, etc. I doubt that Rosenbauer will get any additional Fire Truck sales from Sentinel Prime dawning their rig as an alt mode, but i also bet that many here are more familar with that name than you were before the movie. ;)

xyl360 wrote:I guess they didn't pay attention to how well the Mustang Saleen did after the first film. It was and still is my favorite of all the movie alt modes and I'm pretty sure that feeling would be different if Barricade wasn't a Decepticon.

Bad guys are 'cool' and bad cars are even cooler. I'd take a black and white sporty police car that says To punish and enslave (and will help me find my glasses if I lose them :P) over a yellow Camaro that speaks in 'radio' any day.


Agreed. The Saleen mustang is my Favorite of any of the alt modes of the movie characters. So much so that i built a 1/18th scale movie replica of the car. And you can bet i'm not the only one. Building replica's of the movie alt modes is very popular with model builders and that's just another form of revenue for the manufacturers.

But its not always about revenue resulting in one project, but opening the doors for other opportunities. Other directors/producers might see their vehicles in TF and think... "Hey,maybe (insert auto company name here) would want to work with us." its all about exposure, not nessasarly about just selling the cars featured.
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1577049)
Posted by morphobots on May 25th, 2014 @ 2:33pm CDT
5150 Cruiser wrote:
morphobots wrote:My question is what does this exposure really get them as far as the bottom line is concerned? Which vehicles have had a boost in sales besides the Camaro? Hummer was already on the way out at the time of the first movie. Pontiac is gone. The Top Kick was discontinued. The Volt was a flop. I'm just wondering if the expenditure to (basically) advertise in the movie is justified later. I find it strangely ironic that the original cartoon was criticized for being just a big commercial to sell toys, and yet now the movies are bigger commercials to sell bigger toys.


One must remember that its not just car sales, but royalties from toy sales and other merchandise. Manufactures get a cut of each toy. Not just the figures, but also anything that spawns the related alt mode. Even a table cloth or coffee mug with Bumble Bee on it can bring in royalties for GM. Same with Saleen, Oshkosh, peterbuilt, etc. I doubt that Rosenbauer will get any additional Fire Truck sales from Sentinel Prime dawning their rig as an alt mode, but i also bet that many here are more familar with that name than you were before the movie. ;)


True, I hadn't considered that factor, and I do realize that a corporation the size of GM can turn around and write off a loss on its taxes. It all just seems like such an expensive gamble to myself, though, especially when I read about a million dollars being shoveled into one vehicle alone. Is that what would normally be devoted to development if said vehicle wasn't going to be attached to a movie?
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1577170)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on May 26th, 2014 @ 8:04am CDT
5150 Cruiser wrote:One must remember that its not just car sales, but royalties from toy sales and other merchandise. Manufactures get a cut of each toy. Not just the figures, but also anything that spawns the related alt mode. Even a table cloth or coffee mug with Bumble Bee on it can bring in royalties for GM. Same with Saleen, Oshkosh, peterbuilt, etc. I doubt that Rosenbauer will get any additional Fire Truck sales from Sentinel Prime dawning their rig as an alt mode, but i also bet that many here are more familar with that name than you were before the movie. ;)


Didn't Peterbilt refuse to allow their symbol to be used on Prime? It's clear that he is a Peterbilt 379, but the company itself refused to allow the movie and Paramount to identify him as such, I believe. Wouldn't this disqualify them from any potential royalties? (If this is true, I wonder how badly they're kicking themselves, considering how well the movies have done, as well as how popular the leader class Optimus, from RoTF especially, became, with all its variations and even continuing onto DoTM.)
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1577226)
Posted by 5150 Cruiser on May 26th, 2014 @ 11:56am CDT
morphobots wrote:True, I hadn't considered that factor, and I do realize that a corporation the size of GM can turn around and write off a loss on its taxes. It all just seems like such an expensive gamble to myself, though, especially when I read about a million dollars being shoveled into one vehicle alone. Is that what would normally be devoted to development if said vehicle wasn't going to be attached to a movie?


Yes. Concept cars average $700,000 to $1,000,000 to develop depending on if its just a stationary display to an actual running model. Whether there movie bound, or just making the car show circuit. Custom sheet metal, dash boards, one off wheels, all cost big bucks to develop and create. But that's not nearly the cost to put a vehicle in to full fledged production. Manufactures use the concept vehicle to test the public's reaction to design and even test new features. Some might be years away from being able to be put in production, but it shows the direction the automakers are taking with design and technology. That feed back is then carried over into various vehicles across said auto makers line up. So that million dollor investment can result in millions of profit if used properly.



Rodimus Prime wrote:
5150 Cruiser wrote:One must remember that its not just car sales, but royalties from toy sales and other merchandise. Manufactures get a cut of each toy. Not just the figures, but also anything that spawns the related alt mode. Even a table cloth or coffee mug with Bumble Bee on it can bring in royalties for GM. Same with Saleen, Oshkosh, peterbuilt, etc. I doubt that Rosenbauer will get any additional Fire Truck sales from Sentinel Prime dawning their rig as an alt mode, but i also bet that many here are more familar with that name than you were before the movie. ;)


Didn't Peterbilt refuse to allow their symbol to be used on Prime? It's clear that he is a Peterbilt 379, but the company itself refused to allow the movie and Paramount to identify him as such, I believe. Wouldn't this disqualify them from any potential royalties? (If this is true, I wonder how badly they're kicking themselves, considering how well the movies have done, as well as how popular the leader class Optimus, from RoTF especially, became, with all its variations and even continuing onto DoTM.)


I believe your partially correct. Originally Peterbuilt did not provide any 379's for production, but did allow them to use the name. So Bay and the Production team bought a couple used ones, pieced them together and came up with the bad ass rig you see in the first 3 movies. I'll have to check, but I believe on the package for all of Prime's movie toys through DOTM it says his alt mode is the 379. with the copyright insignia. If that's the case, then regardless of them providing vehicles or not, there entitled to a percentage of merchandise royalties. Also remember that providing vehicles does not automatically mean your getting the same royalty treatment as others. Both Ferrari and Audi gave permission to use there vehicles in the films, but there actual vehicle names never appeared on the toys. Heck, we never even got a "Dino" toy and Sideways toy alt mode just says "sports car". (even through its clearly an Audi R8, just doesn't sport any Audi emblems).
Re: Automakers Line Up to Get Vehicles into Transformers: Age of Extinction (1577239)
Posted by Rodimus Prime on May 26th, 2014 @ 12:18pm CDT
5150 Cruiser wrote:Sideways toy alt mode just says "sports car". (even through its clearly an Audi R8, just doesn't sport any Audi emblems).


Isn't that the case with Peterbilt? If I recall, I think Bay said in 1 of the movie commentaries that they had to put the Autobot symbol on the top of the truck's nose because that's where the Peterbilt emblem would normally go, but the company wouldn't allow them to identify the truck as such. Not in the 1st film, anyway. :-?

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