News From Hasbro Germany
Sunday, August 13th, 2006 5:58pm CDTCategories: Toy News, Company News
Posted by: Hotrod Views: 18,033
"A few months ago, Hasbro Germany's current Transformers "brand manager" invited me and a few other fans to Hasbro Germany's new offices. Unfortunately, the trip initially wouldn't happen for time reasons, which is why I had an extended phone call with him today instead.
- Apparently, European distribution in general is down to the US mother company, who decide on which toys will get released in Europe. The domestic branches don't have much of a say in which individual products they will release and what the case assortments will be.
- Some toys being released in Europe in US packaging (cue Cybertron Starscream in the UK) is due to a combination of sudden demand and a shortage of products. US toys will be shipped to Europe and applied with a sticker, making it legal for the European market.
- The German TV airing of the Armada cartoon three years ago was apparently cut short (20 episodes only) for concerns about "too much violence". Hasbro didn't agree with that decision either, but the TV station was very serious about it.
- The Cybertron toy line will be fully released in Germany (i.e. anything that's available in Europe will also come out in Germany). All size classes will come out (not sure about Supreme Starscream, see below for why).
- High end collectors' items are not considered viable for the German market. As a result, 20th Anniversary Prime might not come out here.
- The movie toyline is already in production. Some people at Hasbro Germany have even seen animatics of the movie.
- The Hasbro Germany guy described the aesthetics of the movie characters as a "quantum leap" as compared to what we've been used to so far, but also admitted that some old school fans might be disappointed.
- There might be a sneak preview of the movie toyline in Hasbro Germany's offices later this year. No photos will be allowed.
- Hasbro Germany hope that the movie line will re-ignite interest in Transformers in Germany.
- Hasbro consider LEGO their biggest competitor for the "Boys Toys" market at least in Europe/Germany.
- Hasbro Germany appear to be VERY eager to cooperate with the fandom. They're willing to participate in contests, and also consider asking fans for help with background information for media coverage.
- As far as Hasbro Germany's PR department is concerned, the live-action TF movie will be the first live action movie based on a toy line. When I mentioned the "Masters of the Universe" movie from the 80s, he said he'll blissfully ignore that one.
- There's one more thing I won't discuss in here - but if it does indeed pan out, Hasbro Germany will earn a lot of respect for their efforts."
Credit(s): Nevermore of the Trans-Europes Express Group and Transformers @ The Moon