Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette

Monday, November 21st, 2016 4:41am CST

Category: Comic Book News
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 24,875

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Fellow Seibertronian MemphisR56, who provided us with an excellent review of the Hachette Definitive G1 Comics Collection, has some odd and disappointing news from the subscription service, which we're reporting in full below. The message accompanies the second delivery of the subscription service, and seems to claim that the project is currently on hold, though not definitely cancelled - but still, this seems to go against what we had known from the initial news of the run. Read along, and let us know what you think in the Energon Pub.

The smaller than expected box came with no free gifts, just 2 issues,
A note was enclosed, here's a write-up, verbatim:

"Dear Subscriber,

Thankyou for subscribing to Transformers the Definitive G1 Collection.

The limited four-issue run has now come to an end, and we will be looking at the level of interest before making a decision about whether the collection will be launched nationally in the near future.

We would like to thank you for supporting Transformers the Definitive G1 Collection limited run. Your account has not been charged and we are enclosing some additional issues for you free of charge.

We hope that this is to your satisfaction and please look out for exciting titles coming soon from Hachette Partworks.

Kind Regards
Hachette Partworks Ltd."

Very saddening. At no point during the run was it implied this would be a limited run to gauge interest so I can only surmise that there weren't enough subscriptions or sales on the first 2 issues for it to be a financially viable project and they've dropped it. But then again, you never know, right? Sometimes these partworks companies will rework the product and bring it out better than before for a second try.

I really wanted that coffee mug. : /

Credit(s): Hachette, MemphisR56


This article was last modified on Monday, November 21st, 2016 4:44am CST

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Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842416)
Posted by Kurona on November 21st, 2016 @ 4:47am CST
Was wondering why I wasn't getting any more issues... that's a shame.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842417)
Posted by Danxdub on November 21st, 2016 @ 4:51am CST
There was an extra note in the inside cover of one of my volumes saying the same thing but offering a "free gift" for subscribing as a thank you if you sent in your proof of purchase.
Maybe that's the subscriber gifts?
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842421)
Posted by MemphisR56 on November 21st, 2016 @ 6:13am CST
I'd kept my issues sealed so I hadn't noticed, but sure enough, it was inside the cover of Vol. 18.

"Dear Reader,

Thankyou for purchasing transformers the definitive g1 collections.

This limited four-issue run has now come to an end and we will be looking at the level of interest before making a decision about whether the collection will be launched nationally in the near future.

As a thankyou for supporting the transformers definitive g1 collection limited run, we would like to offer you a free gift. To recieve this free gift, simply send proof of purchase of the issues to the address below. Please remember to include your name and address.

Transformers collection
PO BOX 77
Jarrow
NE32 3BR

We hope that this is to your satisfaction and please look out for exciting titles coming soon from hachette partworks.

Yours faithfully,

Hachette Partworks

Alternatively,if you wish, we can offer you a refund on the issues you have purchased. Simply send proof if purchase to the address above. The above information relates to the UK only."

Well, i'm gonna be turning the house upside down looking for my reciepts : /. Wonder if they'll accept a printout of my confirmation emails. Good thing I kept them.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842423)
Posted by wwelliott on November 21st, 2016 @ 7:09am CST
Well, I'm rather miffed! I've never even seen the first volume - chased them up a couple of times, and was told most recently that I'd not received anything as they'd run out of stock. I'd hoped that at least meant that the full run would be viable, as it is looks like I'll get nothing.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842430)
Posted by BotsNotPlots on November 21st, 2016 @ 8:49am CST
First time posting as I thought I'd share my experience with a previous Hachette series.
A few years ago Hachette released a few issues of Marvels Mightiest Heroes and then stopped. I looked everywhere to get more than the single issue I had. Then, a year or so later the series began again, with the same issues and cover art, but with DIFFERENT spine art.

I think these initial issues are actually testing the water, so maybe expect the full series in a year? The downside is if anyone has already got the first four issues and they want the complete spine art, then chances are they'll have to rebuy them.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842431)
Posted by wwelliott on November 21st, 2016 @ 9:03am CST
Ah - After I posted on here earlier I emailed them to ask what's happening. They've said that they will send me the four issues that have already been sent out - when they launch nationally! So hopefully this is still happening. No more info than that though.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842435)
Posted by DR0hNO on November 21st, 2016 @ 9:21am CST
when did the collection start? becuase ive not seen a single issue in WHSmiths or outher newsagents at all.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842444)
Posted by BotsNotPlots on November 21st, 2016 @ 9:55am CST
I think it was some kind of pilot scheme, so would have only been in a select few places, as well as the online site.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842447)
Posted by MemphisR56 on November 21st, 2016 @ 9:58am CST
DR0hNO wrote:when did the collection start? becuase ive not seen a single issue in WHSmiths or outher newsagents at all.


I know fromthe the deagostini sets that sometimes they reease test runs only to certain parts of thethe country. Maybe this is just that, orso it's only been releasedrelease as an online subscription so far.

Did anyone find issue 1 at least at brick and mortar?
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842473)
Posted by Carnivius_Prime on November 21st, 2016 @ 11:28am CST
Didn't even know this had started. Hadn't seen any issues.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842495)
Posted by dragons on November 21st, 2016 @ 1:40pm CST
Glad I couldn't subscribe I be ticked find this out those people better get refund or keep making new books
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842499)
Posted by Kurona on November 21st, 2016 @ 1:48pm CST
dragons wrote:Glad I couldn't subscribe I be ticked find this out those people better get refund or keep making new books

It said that we wouldn't be getting charged and that they may be making more books in the future.

As someone who subscribed to it I'm not really mad about it. It's disappointing to be sure but if they couldn't do it for some reason, they couldn't do it. And hey, one less expense to pay; and I STILL got a few Transformers stories collected for a very low price even if it's a fraction of what I expected to eventually get. If you signed up for it, this is disappointing, but it's not like you got nothing out of it.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842512)
Posted by Prime Nova on November 21st, 2016 @ 2:14pm CST
Someone stated Previews had listed it up for Jan 2017 - I can't find it so if anyone has checked the Preview Nov 2016 for Jan 2017 listed items?
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842668)
Posted by starfish on November 22nd, 2016 @ 8:05am CST
Okay, this changes nothing.

Partworks such as this ALWAYS begin with a four-issue trial in a limited area. This was not sold nationwide in stores, only in a small test area (Rochdale/Manchester, if I recall correctly).

Other Hachette titles went exactly the same way. Initial test run to gauge interest, followed by a full run if successful. Their Doctor Who book series did the same thing, as did their Judge Dredd partwork. Both ended up going national.

Another thing to bear in mind is that partworks (usually) tend to be launched in the New Year. It's absolutely no surprise to see that this will go national in January (the inital clutch of four issues released during the test run will be re-printed - with mistakes corrected - when it gets launched properly).

I realise this is a North American site, and the whole UK partwork thing might be a little bit confusing for some, but as an avid partwork nut I just thought I'd come in here and calm things down.

I would certainly advise that the front-page news article be toned down a little, to be less alarmist.

To reiterate: this is par for the course with partworks in the UK. That type of 'this is only a trial' letter is industry-standard. Every book of this sort begins with a four-issue trial before going national.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842742)
Posted by Va'al on November 22nd, 2016 @ 12:26pm CST
starfish wrote:Okay, this changes nothing.

Partworks such as this ALWAYS begin with a four-issue trial in a limited area. This was not sold nationwide in stores, only in a small test area (Rochdale/Manchester, if I recall correctly).

Other Hachette titles went exactly the same way. Initial test run to gauge interest, followed by a full run if successful. Their Doctor Who book series did the same thing, as did their Judge Dredd partwork. Both ended up going national.

Another thing to bear in mind is that partworks (usually) tend to be launched in the New Year. It's absolutely no surprise to see that this will go national in January (the inital clutch of four issues released during the test run will be re-printed - with mistakes corrected - when it gets launched properly).

I realise this is a North American site, and the whole UK partwork thing might be a little bit confusing for some, but as an avid partwork nut I just thought I'd come in here and calm things down.

I would certainly advise that the front-page news article be toned down a little, to be less alarmist.

To reiterate: this is par for the course with partworks in the UK. That type of 'this is only a trial' letter is industry-standard. Every book of this sort begins with a four-issue trial before going national.


Sure, and thanks for the clarification! :D

However, there was no indication that any of this was the case when all previous news was given to us/was found by us, so we reported it as subscribers (all UK based) sent in their version of things.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842747)
Posted by Mr O on November 22nd, 2016 @ 12:50pm CST
I got the same letter and another one pretty much the same but with all references to TF changed to 'Disney Tsum Tsum Migurumi Collection'. I've no idea what that is but it backs up this being a standard thing.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842761)
Posted by starfish on November 22nd, 2016 @ 1:38pm CST
Dr Va'al wrote:Sure, and thanks for the clarification! :D

However, there was no indication that any of this was the case when all previous news was given to us/was found by us, so we reported it as subscribers (all UK based) sent in their version of things.


Hi, cheers for the smiley face (reading that last post back, it does come across a little patronising / mansplaining, glad you took it in good heart!)

It seems this whole thing is a little confusing to some (especially those who've never done partworks before), and I thought I might help by clarifying. It's not helped by Hachette's sightly ropey record at responding to emails etc.

If this follows the usual procedure, the following will happen:

1) Not all those who subscribed would have been sent copies of the trial issues (I got none of them!) This is due to the lower-than-usual print run of the test issues.

2) However, anyone who signed up and got no issues at all will likely receive a free copy of a single test issue thanking them for their interest.

3) Most people who registered will get a customer feedback survey to fill in (if this hasn't been done already).

4) Assuming the trial has gone well, the national roll-out will happen in the new year. The series will start again from scratch (as if the trial never happened) and start afresh from the Target:2006 issue.

[To reiterate, the UK partwork market is able to sustain a veritable smorgasbord of titles on the shelves, with subjects as varied as knitting, Warhammer, Zippo lighters and entomology. If something like "The Art of Quilting" can get greenlit, then anything can!!!]

5) There may be some TV advertising to market the new book, and subscription copies will start rolling out. There may well be changes to the books from the trial run, as stuff gets corrected, ironed-out, and feedback is taken into consideration.

6) Most regular High Street newsagents and magazine sellers will only stock the first ten-or-so issues before dropping the book. THIS IS NORMAL. The way these work is to get people hooked by giving early issues some in-store prominence, getting people to sign up to the subscription. Once enough people are signed on, these will slowly fade from view, only available to subscribers, the official Hachette online store, and in specialist comic retailers such as Forbidden Planet. I would advise anyone interested in this set not to rely on finding these at retail, and subscribe via the official route (or perhaps place a standing order at your newsagent, and get them to order it in for you).

7) One of the benefits of subscribing is that the price is locked in. Partworks generally go up in price as the run goes on, so if you go via Hachette you'll be safe from such increases. Although the books will be published fortnightly, you'll get them in batches of two issues, every four weeks.

8) The shipments will be randomly staggered, so don't worry if you don't receive your issues the same time as everyone else. Example:

Week 1: Half of all subscribers (the 'fast lane') will get their copies of the first 2 issues.
Week 3: The remainder of subscribers (the 'slow lane') get their copies.
Week 5: The 'fast lane' get issues 3 and 4
Week 7: The 'slow lane' get issues 3 and 4

So although everyone will get all the issues eventually, you might randomly get stuck in the 'slow lane' service and get your issues two weeks after some of your friends. Again, this is totally normal and is how these things are usually shipped. Be prepared to deal with it, or don't subscribe.

9) Be very prepared for the possibility that this will get extended beyond the initial run. Very rarely do partworks stop at the originally-intended end date. The Doctor Who Figurine Collection (for example) has had more than double the originally-intended issue count, and is still going.

You are of course able to cancel your subscription at any time, but OCD completists should know going in that this probably won't stop at the G1 stuff, and we may well end up getting the Beast Wars, Movieverse, Armada stuff (etc.) tacked on to the end, as ways are found to fleece the fans extend the series.

Sometimes these 'extensions' can lead to a bit of online rage, such as "I only signed up for 40 issues, but by extending the series my OCD nature means I can't possibly cancel. My completist nature is being taken advantage of! I'm being fleeced!" (This actually happens).

10) That's all I can think of at the moment. Hope that's been helpful and not at all condescending like my previous post was. I currently subscribe to three ongoing partworks, and have had experience with another half-dozen more - not just from Hachette but also the likes of Eaglemoss and (back in the day) Marshall-Cavendish.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842764)
Posted by Va'al on November 22nd, 2016 @ 2:08pm CST
That is really interesting, and enlightening - so thank you! And I mean every smiley face I use (I didn't think you were being condescending, for the record). :D

Which brings me to this one: :-?

How does such a scheme actually run for so long, and people still signing up for it? But, more to the point with this thread: will there be more of the TF material that people were seriously enjoying?
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842772)
Posted by starfish on November 22nd, 2016 @ 2:42pm CST
Dr Va'al wrote:That is really interesting, and enlightening - so thank you! And I mean every smiley face I use (I didn't think you were being condescending, for the record). :D

Which brings me to this one: :-?

How does such a scheme actually run for so long, and people still signing up for it? But, more to the point with this thread: will there be more of the TF material that people were seriously enjoying?


The usual sales model assumes that there will be a glut of initial subscribers, and takes into account that readership will inevitably fall away as the run goes on.

The pricing reflects that model: I would say the price per issue is rather high for what you get, but it does help subsidise the later issues where readership will inevitably be lower. Also, as I said, the cover price will inevitably increase by £1-2 over the course of the run which will also help offset the natural slow reduction in readership.

By catering to niche/sci-fi/'geek' fans (who are inevitably more OCD than regular people), they figure most readers will probably stay the course. You always see partworks based on genre stuff such as Star Wars or model steam locomotives, but never on anything a bit more mainstream. There's a Classic Jazz music partwork where every issue comes with an actual vinyl album, but there's no way you'd ever see a pop music partwork packaged with a CD album on the cover - their business model relies on their readers being hardcore fans rather than middle-of-the-road punters. The spine picture (which builds up like a jigsaw as the collection grows) is another clever piece of marketing in this regard.

Another well-used tactic is to delay the 'big hitter' stories until later in the run, to act as a disincentive to stop subscribing. Get people engaged by offering up Target: 2006 and Edge of Extinction very early on, but hold other biggies such as (say) LSOTW or maybe the out-of-print Dreamwave stuff until the very end. As an example, it took 76 issues for the Doctor Who Figurine Collection to get around to doing a figure of all 14 Doctors, meaning that anyone just collecting for the various incarnations of the main character had to stay the course for over three years.

As for the stories themselves, I can't really comment as to what other people enjoy, but this series does promise to reprint all the G1 stories (Marvel, Dreamwave and IDW) in their proper reading order (for the first time, slotting the UK stories in context within the US stories that surround them), with 'liner notes' and with an attractive design. My main reason for subscribing is the promise that the old black-and-white UK stories (including classics like Raiders of the Last Ark and Flashback) will be presented in full colour for the first time ever (thanks to John Paul Bove).

I realise most people will already have a lot of this stuff in various other collections, and it may well be hard to convince people to re-buy all this again. But for the seasoned fan who wants a new presentation of classic stories, or the relative novice collecting these for the first time, I'd say there's enough here to satisfy both ends of the spectrum to various degrees.
Re: Interruption of Transformers: The Definitive G1 Comics Collection Subscription, by Hachette (1842916)
Posted by Prime Nova on November 23rd, 2016 @ 12:34pm CST

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