• Tue. Sep 20th, 2022

As TRANSFORMERS Movies Get Lighter, Hasbro’s Toy Line Gets Gritty

ByJohn Y. White

Jul 25, 2018
Michael Bay no longer directing the live action Transformers movies and new spin-off/prequel Bumblebee Aiming for kid-friendliness and cartoon nostalgia, you might expect the toys to follow suit.

But good Bumblebee will get a very kid-friendly movie tie-in line, the rest of Hasbro’s toys will take on a decidedly darker tone, as the new storyline that the core toys will follow is one of war and survival. It’s called War for Cybertron: Siegeand kicks off a three-year planned game model that, John Warden of Hasbro tells us, “really from a toy perspective documents their desperate last day on Cybertron.”

Indeed, it’s the epitome of a grim/dark reboot, as “it’s a whole new ecosystem and toy collection for Transformers fans,” Warden says. “It’s Optimus Prime, the original Ark team, but also many of the characters we know have a familiar appeal but are reimagined in this harsh, warlike environment.” New features include increased battle grime and scar deco in place of stickers, and “gunfire” effects so you can pose your characters in battle by unloading their weapons or swinging their laser swords from dynamic way.

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Deco, articulation, and reasonably consistent scale will take priority over larger gimmicks on the main line, as well as in the Studios series, figures based on the Bay movies that are made using the effects files original Paramount visuals. They may not be as complicated in their transformations as their on-screen models, but they will get as close as possible. Again, while Bay may be done with the movie series, Hasbro isn’t – the company relies on kids who saw the first movie when they were ten and want to collect robots more complex now that they are in their twenties.

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The Studio Series comes in boxes that turn into movie-inspired backgrounds – these are designed for Instagrammers and toy photographers, to give them the chance to imagine how they would film a Transformers film. (As a toy photographer and collector, I love that they recognize this as a segment of the fanbase.)

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A few years ago at Comic-Con, I asked Hasbro if the Mountain Dew vending machine robot from the first movie, Dispensor, was on the table, and I was told no, because a soda machine wouldn’t. is not very dynamic for a child’s play pattern. But now that we are targeting collectors? “Scale is a tricky thing,” says Warden, but “I wouldn’t completely rule it out.” What about dark of the moon “Desert Nomad” Megatron, who didn’t get justice in toy form the first time around? “I’m a big fan of that guy,” Warden replies. With Bumblebee taking center stage, what about a WWII Bumblebee as seen in the last knight, but excluded for the main line of this film last year? “I can neither confirm nor deny, but personally I really enjoy World War II Bumblebee.”

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As to whether a giant-sized Transformer like Warden’s personal obscure favorite Star Saber could be funded through something like Haslabs, the new initiative through which fans have backed a star wars Jabba sail Barge, Warden hemmed briefly before finally saying, “I think that could be really cool.”

Which Transformers toys are more than satisfying for you? Buzz to the comments and “bee” be sure to let us know.

Images: Luke Y. Thompson