TCC Magazine and Timelines Panel
Year 11 – 2015
Issue 63 has two covers, one with Quickslinger, one with Brake-Neck
-Interviews with RID voice actors
-“Another Light” storyline
-And of course…
MTMTE Character profiles
Nexus Prime components return!
Where we stand
-Shattered Glass Earth, Shattered Glass Cybertron, and Classics Earth (the Classicsverse was destroyed, but Classics Earth was spared and brought over into the Shatteredverse; Regeneration One’s being made was why Classicsverse was destroyed)
-More twists and turns
TCC Year 12
-The 2015 story concluded.
-Expect a 2 year story arc, with next year’s story picking up after “Another Light”
-Some familiar faces return!
-So…with that. Let’s talk ->
Fun Pub Comics
Transformers Timelines Issue 11: Cybertron’s Most Wanted
Matt Frank art, written by Greg Sepelak, S. Trent Troop, Jesse Wittenrich
The TransTech universe was introduced back in 2008. Axiom Nexus is like Coruscant from Star Wars, one big global city. The TransTech are advanced Transformers involved in political intrigue, there’s never been a war. Axiom Nexus is a multiversal hub. Anytime some character gets lost in the multiverse, they tend to end up in Axiom Nexus and might decide to stay. But there’s still gonna be some troublemakers like the five main crooks in the story.
The original idea was to bring toys that were in demand, and the Guardian of the Galaxy trailer came out and it wasn’t intentional to make a story like that, but it helped to show that a story like this could work, rooting for the bad guys and all.
The Diaclone toys are meant to be how the original Diaclone concept was, with the Diaclones and the Waruders. They did homages to Diaclone before, but this time they wanted to be true to Diaclone proper.
The story relates to the overall TransTech fiction, but is more of a one-shot.
Q. There’s been speculation about the four Waspinator decos, what is the white and black one based one?
A. The red and blue one is based on Diaclone Warudaros, the yellow one is based on Fox Kids Transmetal Waspinator (“Buzz Saw” was spoken by accident) and was used for Shattered Glass Waspinator last year, so it works for both. The purple one is based on the Halloween Horrorcon Waspinator (“Halloween Horrorcon Skywarp” was said by accident), and the white one is slightly based on Bug Bite.
[Sidenote: Lanny Lathem explained at the Club store that the white one is not just a very loose homage to Bug Bite, but is also based on a particular real species of wasp, so it’s the one among the four that they wanted to stand out as more unique, being not based on a specific deco.]
Q. Could we expect cameos from more obscure characters like Thunderclash or Victory characters?
A. Yes, last year they went really obscure with the Destructons (“Destructicons” was spoken by mistake) last year. As far as future obscure cameos, possibly, but it just depends. They’re always looking at characters to explore and flesh out. But yeah, more cameos can be expected.
Q. What’s the expected timetable for more Collected Issues?
A. They’ve done the first five, that’s what the Nexus Prime lithograph is based on. They are planning on doing 6, 7, and 8, with Guido Guidi art, and which will contain the entire Wings universe all in one shot.
Q. In a few years, with Combiner Wars going on, are you looking at any Combiner Wars stuff?
A. Yes. Come to tomorrow’s Roundtable, they have some things that can’t be shared right now, but they’re really excited about it so come tomorrow.
Q. What was the inspiration for the Generation 2 pack?
A. Back in the 90’s, Generation 2 had several unreleased figures. Two of those were General Optimus Prime and Sgt. Hound, redecos of the G2 Auto Rollers. Of all the unreleased G2 figures that got samples, those two seem to have not. So those two have since been a soft spot, and when Scoop came out, that was the inspiration for Sgt. Hound. And when Roadbuster came out, his head looked like G2 Dirtbag’s head so well, and making the two out of those molds just worked beautifully. And for their bio cards, they were made to look like the G2 tech specs with art by José Delbo and Thomas Deer.
Q. When do you expect to have the Withered hope sequel released?
A. This year, they’ve been working on the Lio Convoy freebie toy’s fiction. This is the first year to not have the freebie figure in the magazine story, so the text stories being done for this year will tell his story. As for the Withered Hope sequel, they haven’t released it yet because they wanted to focus on Lio Convoy, but they hope to have it out later this summer.
Q. Any plans for future the collected edition covers?
A. The next ones will be different from the first five. They won’t connect side-by-side like the first five, but they have something cool planned for them. They tried a group shot, but it wasn’t what they wanted to go with, but stay tuned.
Q. Is there going to be Shattered Glass Fall of Cybertron Combaticons?
A. “Um… Are we gonna do those?” There are a lot of Combiner Wars molds coming out and those are nice molds. They do still like Shattered Glass and try to mix it up since they know not everyone likes the same thing. they did do Stepper, but there’s no plans for any other Shattered Glass toys right now. Or, wait, no, that’s not entirely accurate. Just keep reading the comic to see what’s going on. Shattered Glass will still get some love.
Derrick J. Wyatt came up to kinda hijack the panel. He worked with the Club back in 2011 on the Animated set.
A script reading is being done later this weekend. A “So you think you can voice act?” panel is being held at 10am on Sunday. A male and female voice will be casted to partake in the script reading. Susan Blu and John Moschitta are involved as well. Marty Isenberg wrote the script.
Visual aids will be up on the screen for the script reading. Eight illustrations by Naoto Tsushima.
Frank Todaro will narrate.
Blurr’s dialogue is so tiny so that they could squeeze all of his lines in.
Animated Nightbeat, Sari, and Hosehead auditions. Jon Bailey will voice Siren.
Behind the Characters – Derrick J. Wyatt Panel
Derrick J. Wyatt, Jim Sorenson, Josh Perez
Q. What’s the latest fashion sense on Cybertron?
A. Horned ears like Bumblebee’s. LOL. Though the Autobots aren’t much into fashion, the Decepticon Needlenose has a lot to say about fashion.
Q. If you could punch any Animated character, who would you punch?
A. Derrick: I love Sentinel, so I don’t want to punch him. I’ll punch Beachcomber. LOL
Jim: I’d be worried about hurting my hand punching a robot, so I’d punch Porter C. Powell.
Josh: The Headmaster. LOL
Q. Why do all the Animated characters have big chins?
A. Derrick: I like big chins. LOL
Q. Sari was one of the first great human characters that weren’t just plot convenience characters or well written? Why was she on Earth? Why was she created with the AllSpark in mind?
A. Marty Isenberg is more of the one to ask about this question.
Q. Is there any chance we would have seen Sari or any actual Headmasters (NOT the Headmaster)?
A. An idea Derrick had was that Masterson would have formed his own “Masterforce”, but it didn’t happen.
Q. Who is your favorite character from Animated?
A. Derrick: Swindle. Love G1 Swindle, love Animated Swindle
Jim: I don’t know.
Q. In season 4 would Optimus Prime have become Optimus Magnus?
A. He might have been forced into that role, but he’s more like Captain Kirik, being in charge of his own crew instead of being in charge of everyone.
Q. Why Bulkhead instead of Ironhide?
A. They wanted a new character and Bulkhead was already chosen before Derrick started.
Q. What do cathode ray tubes do for space bridges?
A. They’re “very sci-fi based” cathode ray tubes.
Q. Do you have a favorite Animated Mini-Bot (the guys in Bumblebee’s body-type)?
A.Derrick: First Aid.
Jim: Searchlight. He’s a Batman-like detective.
Josh: Aside from Bee, he likes Glyph.
[Sidenote: All three of these characters can be found in the AllSpark Almanac books]
Q. Did you ever really want Ben 10 to turn into a Transformer?
A. That would have been awesome.
Q. Why did you kill off Blurr?
A. The season 3 schedule was insane. Cartoon Network wanted season 3 to go in a darker direction, so they started killing off people. But, in the Almanacs, Blurr’s spark is still pulsing, so we might see more of that. And Blurr’s voice actor is in the script reading (hint hint).
Q. Who else did you want to kill off in Animated?
A. Beachcomber’s death was recorded, he would have turned to dust like G1 Starscream, but it got cut for time.
Q. Why do you hate Beachcomber so much?
A. Derrick: I don’t, I’m just joking around.
Q. Who else do you like as a character?
A. Ratbat, Strika, Waspinator, anyone from the 86 movie.
Q. If you could make a crossover with another property, what would it be?
A. First choice, Transformers/Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated. Second choice, Transformers/Teen Titans/Scooby-Doo.
Q. You’ve done a couple of shorts…
A. Derrick cut off the question knowing what she was going to ask and told us to email Shout! Factory about the shorts not having been included on the latest DVDs.
Q. Did you ever want to do Transformers Animated PSAs?
A. They didn’t think of it, but the closest thing they did do was the Sentinel propaganda video. Though, Sentinel doing PSAs would be cool.
Q. Where did the face-swapping Blitzwing come from?
A. That was an idea conceived in the production artwork from before Animated production really began.
Q. What are Broadside’s and the Monsterbots’ places in the Animated universe?
A. Season 4 was going to go into the Triple Changer concept, since it messes you up. They would have shown Blitzwing’s origin with Blackarachnia making him into a Triple Changer, and would have upgraded Megatron into Marauder Megatron. They considered doing Springer as a M.A.S.K.-styled triple changer to get around the craziness, but nothing much for Broadside.
Q. Do you have plans for Animated Combaticons?
A. Not really no. They wanted to do Devastator, though.
Q. If you could do a crossover with any Batman villain and pair them up with a Decepticon, who would be the Batman villain and the Decepticon?
A. Going back to the crossover talk, not a Batman villain but Mad Mod and Mindwipe would be cool.
The fan recommended the Joker and Blitzwing, and that led to them thinking of Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze and Blitzwing.
Q. Did you want to do more Beast Wars stuff in season 4?
A. They wanted to do an Optimus Primal thing in season 4.
Q. Did you want to do any other Unicron Trilogy characters like Sideways?
A. Not a fan of Sideways, but they did Tidal Wave and Hot Shot and wanted to do Demolishor. One of the pages in the Complete Almanac features a giant Tidal Wave face.
Q. Why are Shockwave and Longarm the same person?
A. Longarm was meant to be an Autobot who got lost in the war and Shockwave poses as that Autobot. They did Shockwave to make Corey Burton happy.
Q. Do you like TFA or Mystery Incorporated more? And did you put any TFA Easter eggs in Mystery Incorporated?
A. They did put Sari in Mystery Incorporated. Didn’t answer the other question, though.
Q. Why, in Mystery Incorporated, do the masks look real when they’re on the monster?
A. It’s a cartoon. It’s a classic Scooby-Doo convention. It’s a cartoon.
Q. Speaking of Easter eggs, will you ever put Curious George on top of Megatron’s shoulder?
A. Sue Blu directed Curious George, but that would be cute.
Q. Which character do you identify with in Transformers and in Mystery Incorporated?
A. Derrick: …I don’t know. There’s little aspects of me in every character, I have my favorites, but I don’t know who I identify with.
Q. Derrick came up to this person (a little girl) to answer the next question. She gets scared when she sees something scary.
A. He sympathizes with her. Everyone gets scared at seeing something scary.
Q. Why does Lockdown’s face look weird?
A. Lockdown is a unique character that they wanted to look asymmetrical and weird.
Q. Can you talk about the inclusion of Dug Base in Animated since it was an external property?
A. They needed two floats. They had one Grandus model and decided to recolor it. The script called for one float, but the animation came back with two.
Q. Character design wise, Isaac Sumdac’s eyes always looked like he was half-uninterested or tired; can you shed some light on that?
A. He wakes up and invents things all day, he’s absent minded with the crazy hair. Derrick wanted him to look like that.
Q. The very first images of Animated had negative feedback. And then it came out and the reaction was positive. How was it when the first images came out and then the episode came out?
A. The first images that came out were style guide art, and they were disappointed that that was what came out. Then the poster came out and the Comic-Con preview video came out, and it was cool to see people warming up to it. It can take a while for a fandom to adjust to new things.
Q. Hasbro likes to take old names and put them on new faces, what do you guys think when Hasbro reuses things like Lockdown in the new movie?
A. When Bulkhead’s in TF: Prime and Lugnut’s in Classics, that’s awesome! But when the names are applied to things that don’t match (like AOE Lockdown), it’s “ugh.”
Q. If you guys could do another fresh made TF cartoon would you guys do it?
A. Derrick: I did my Transformers, I put all my love into my Transformers. To do another wouldn’t be as cool so I don’t want to do that but, I don’t know, I’d never say never, but it would tough to do.
Complete AllSpark Almanac
Sky Lynx, Barricade, Landshark, Chromia, Knock Out, Drillhorn, Rung, Autobot X, Clipper, Blaster, Siren, Lyzack, Tidal Wave, Pharma, Strongarm, Cerebros, Swerve. An alternate universe hanger on is down below.
Q. If you could add one Autobot to the main cast in Animated who would it be?
A. They were gonna add Jazz and Ironhide in season 4. BB was not super keen on Ironhide since he bullied Bee back in boot camp. Ironhide was gonna be like Hugh Houser. But to add something weird would something be like Mainframe.
Q. Ratchet and Arcee? Legit couple or fanfics?
A. Marty once said, there’s definitely something there, but we’re not sure.
Q. I would really like to see a behind-the-story for Longarm and Shockwave.
A. They should really get IDW to make a mini-series! That’s cool.
Q. There are G1 veterans in the cast. Did you want anyone in particular to come back?
A. Having Judd Nelson was so cool, Michael Bell tried out, everybody would have been cool.
When Perceptor was brought into the show, they had run through their voice actor budget and didn’t have anyone left to voice him. So they came up with the idea of Perceptor having deleted his personality, so they made him like Stephen Hawking. Then years later, Derrick got to work on Ben 10, on which Paul Eiding voices Grandpa Max. So Derrick wishes that they could have had season 4 made so that Perceptor could have reinstalled his personality to let Paul Eiding come back to do Perceptor.
Q. What happened with Rodimus Prime?
A. He’s fine. The Cosmic Rust did not kill him. There were plans for him in season 4, but he is seen in crowd shots and “The Stunti-Con Job”. A story with him and Optimus stranded alone together to have them team up to survive and get back home would have been cool.
Q. Before the four Bay movies came out, there was word that some things were based on Animated, how do you feel about that?
A. Derrick: I don’t like it.
Q. Were you expecting Tessa to be a robot like Sari in the AOE movie?
A. Derrick: Ugh, no. I was not paying attention much to that movie.
Q. A little boy asked about Optimus coming back in RID (Derrick’s not a part of that show) and why the characters in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo looked weird?
A. Derrick likes cartoons with weird looks.
Q. How many plaid shirts do you own?
A. This is his third purple one. He’s a plaid shirt guy.
Q. Would they have done anything with CGI in Animated?
A. Derrick: We didn’t have a say at the time, I like 2D more than 3D. I like watching CG stuff, but not working on it.
Q. Would you have done the same stuff in Animated in CG?
A. Oh, no. Their limit is based on drawing while CG is based on technology. You can cheat with hand drawn animation, but not with CG. Like, TF: Prime Ultra Magnus literally cannot cross his arms.
Q. Was it weird that David Kaye was voicing Optimus?
A. Yes! Super weird! He came in to read for Megatron, but then tried for Optimus and they liked it. They like G1, but it was good in a different way. They also needed really versatile actors, and David’s really good at that.
Q. In the Waspinator episode, what were Waspinator’s plans?
A. To get Scott McNeil in the show? LOL They tried to get Scott McNeil, but he’s not SAG so they couldn’t. “Wazpinator not live in pineapple under the zea.”
The Birth of Transformers Panel
John Warden and Daizo-san from Hasbro.
Original G1 toy concept from Kojin Ono from TakaraTomy of Japan.
Some of these have never ever been seen before.
Ono-san was previously inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.
The origin of Transformers, pictures from Diaclone and Micronauts.
Favorite character – Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen. The head design became the Autobot logo.
Original design looks very different.
Dinobots: Dinosaurs were chosen in Diaclone to reach more audiences since kids love dinosaurs. Ono-san took his time to study what the mechanical dinosaurs should look like when designing them.
Original Grimlock design is slimmer and sleeker, more dynamic.
Original Sludge design is different too.
Triple Changers – Blitzwing and Astrotrain. They were to add play value with three modes instead of two.
Octane concept shown.
Fortress Maximus concept.
Headmasters. They needed something innovative and came up with Headmasters. They brought a new play pattern to Transformers. The gimmick showed their abilities in the chests.
Powermasters were originally “Enginemasters”. Hasbro named it “Powermaster”.
Original Takara concept for Getaway dated September 12, 1986
Powermaster Optimus Prime. The concept was to be Optimus Prime powering up, getting bigger, and looking closer to the show.
Diaclone Car Robot line.
Sunstreaker – red.`
Miniature real cars becoming robots added to a sci-fi line.
Original Sunstreaker design. He was a very popular toy. He was the first Dicalone Car Robot toy created.
Transformers would not exist if not for the Sunstreaker mold.
Ironhide and Ratchet. They were to be mobile armaments for the Diaclone drivers.
Optimus Prime – Battle Convoy prototype. Really tall smokestacks.
The first Battle Convoy was completely different with a wide blue cab and a yellow car carrier trailer
[Sidenote: An image of this one is on TFWiki]
The carrier design was first chosen over a trailer so as to let the cars be visible.
Jazz – original design looks a bit more rugged yet sleek in robot mode.
Hound – original design looks similar to the final version. The feet transformation was amazing back then.
Trailbreaker – larger Car Robot, original design.
Sideswipe/Red Alert – realistic Countach car design. MP toy is even more realistic looking that the Diaclone mold. Shogo Hasui created the MP design and showed it to Ono-san. Ono-San loved that Hasui-san designed Sideswipe since Hasui-san played with Sideswipe as a kid.
Mirage – Diaclone toy shown
Skids – “Honda City”, Ono-san convinced his boss to let a toy be made of this car.
Inferno – designed so that the ladder could extend in robot mode a well.
Grapple – totally new character with new exciting tooling.
Starscream/Thundercracker/Skywarp – original design had the wings pointing down. The Seeker mold caught Hasbro’s attention when they were looking to make Transformers.
Devastator – construction vehicles were usually yellow or orange in Japan, so the green deco for Transformers was interesting and gave a clear message in the cartoon.
The Combiner concept was to increase kids’ imagination.
Original Devastator design is much more beefy and blocky.
After Devastator, another construction vehicle combiner was conceived. Very colorful design.
Diaclone commercials! Car Robots, Battle Convoy, Powered Convoy, Construction Robo and Train Robo, Kyoryu Robo, Triple Changers
Micro Change commercials! Camera Robo, Gun Robo
Superion concept – was made to be for the Jizai Gattai spinoff line of Diaclone
Galvatron – movie design, original design was gray, not purple.
Metroplex – city robot concept.
Trypticon – base concept from Diaclone.
Unicron (Takara concept) – did not get a toy, had to give up because of the higher price point. It had a lot of models. The main gimmick was lights and sounds. The cassette tape provided from Hasbro had the voice of Orson Welles.
Dreadwing and Darkwing – the intend behind these two was to combine two jets instead of combining two robots.
Wooden models were sculpted to base real life car designs for the toys off of.
Wax models were used for designing robot mode heads.
2007 Movie 1 toys – Ono-san designed the Fast Action Battlers and Bumper Battlers
Animated – Ono-San designed Roll Out Command Optimus Prime, was to transform by remote control.
Train Robo – Trainbots
Were to originally be different types of trains, but were switched to all being Shinkansen (bullet trains) since those were popular with kids.
“Dethzarasu” (Deszaras) – new villain for Victory. Decided to give him dragon altmode for something new. Breast changes into a lion like the cassettes.
Metalhawk – new tooling for Japanese market. Challenging since the inner robot had to be smaller. Ono-san thinks he could now make a new kind of Pretender if given the chance to do so.
Diaclone Robot Base – main robot of the line.
Robot Base prototype.
Original Diaclone robot toys turned into non-realistic sci-fi vehicles.
Second series of Diaclone toys were the realistic ones like the Car Robot ones.
Car Robot artwork.
Magazine artwork featuring pre-Optimus and pre-Jazz.
A new character for Diaclone was brought to prototype form but never released. It was first seen here now.
Not a big line. Originally involved connecting vehicles together.
Very successful line.
Megatron and Cassettes. Revolver Megatron.
Reflector, Bumblebee, Mini-Bots.
Choro Q/Penny Racers.
Soundwave (Cassette Man), original illustration
Perceptor. Designed by Hideaki Yoke.
Binocular robot – was not released as a TF
Diaclone Dia Battles comes back to Japan this year!
Dia Battles-V2 prototype! Introduced right now at the Tokyo Toy Show!
Classic design, modern day articulation!
Q. Was the external engine on Sunstreaker based on something existing?
A. It was original, but inspired by cars from a car company.
Q. What is the meaning of Deszaras’s name?
A. “Des” is “death”, “zaras” is like a dinosaur “saurus”, “Deathsaurus”
Q. When you were working on Diaclone, they were created as mecha, non-living robots, so what was your reaction to their being living robots in Transformers?
A. He thought the change was new and great for kids, and that concept strategy change was when they met with Hasbro. They were really excited about it.
Q. With the MP figures now, licensing has become an issue. Did you have to consider licensing when designing Diaclone?
A. Back then, it was pretty loose, so they were able to move forward with that much more than they can nowadays.
Q. With today’s technology, do you find it easier to design Transformers today than back in the 80’s?
A. From a technology standpoint, it’s definitely made it easier to design, but conception-wise the process hasn’t changed.
Q. Was Powermaster Optimus Prime the first figure to use the fake window concept and how did they come to that decision?
A. They did want to make it as close to how it appeared in the show, and since the windows in the show looked opaque, they wanted to replicate that in the toy.
Q. Are there any plans to bring the new Diaclone to the U.S.?
A. “They will try”
Q. Will the new Diaclones be made out of diecast metal?
A. Again, “They will try”
G1 Retrospective Panel
John Moschitta, Susan Blu
Outside of events like BotCon, the two are more like ordinary people, whereas people treat them more like celebrities here, and they really appreciate how people love and remember them and what they do.
There is virtually no one who can do the kind of work John does.
Q. What’s the biggest difference between voice acting back then and today?
A. These days it’s less time consuming, while back then the sessions would run longer. When recording the 1986 movie, Wally Burr, who directed the movie, was a stickler for getting the actors’ lines just right, and usually had the sessions go for as long as eight hours, but for the movie they had to have the sessions reduced to four hours.
Q. In regular life, is John more recognized as Blurr or the Micro Machines guy?
A. People of an older age remember him as the Federal Express guy, another generation knows him as the Micro Machines guy, it’s more of a generational thing.
One fan (screenname Headmaster Don) gave Sue a TakaraTomy Legends LG10 Arcee figure since it’s the most show-accurate G1 Arcee.
Q. Would you ever be interested in voicing evil (i.e. – Shattered Glass) versions of you characters?
A. Does it pay? LOL. There might be a bit of a dark side in Arcee that we haven’t seen yet. Can you imagine Blurr as an evil character? Hohehehehehehehehehehehee!
Q. What’re your favorite lines from the 1986 movie?
A. There were so many, We’re not sure. The fans suggested a few Arcee lines like “No, you better stay close to me,” and “You didn’t understand the situation.”
Q. Sue, how did you transition from voice acting to voice directing?
A. She had worked with so many great directors and she saw it and felt that’s what she wanted to do. It was like her calling and she had taught acting before and, in short, she begged to direct a show that the other directors had all turned down and she finally got a call from her producer and she got the job. The show was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Q. John, how did you get involved in Transformers?
A. He got a call and they had written the part for him, so it was nice that they had a part for him rather than his having to audition for it.
Q. What is the job for a voice director?
A. They record the actors first. The writer or producer will provide a script or a storyboard, the director will study that, and the director will put in all the extra walla moves like falls and such. The director will fulfill the playwright’s intentions and record the dialogue track. The director shall direct the actor where the actor should feel tired, evil, angry, happy, sad, etc. in their lines. The voice director directs the acting and really gets the acting performance from the actors.
Q. Sue, about 20 years ago, when Beast Wars started, the end credits had her name in it. How did it come about for her to direct Beast Wars and other series?
A. She had been directing shows around that point and the producers in Canada felt it would be good to bring up a director familiar with both Transformers and animation, so she got the job.
Q. Has there been a defining moment in your career?
A. John’s had so many. He’s performed in front of eight Presidents, the Queen of England, and the Prime Minister of Italy. His birthday is the same day as Lucille Ball, so he usually spends his day watching the marathons of I Love Lucy on TV, and one year Lucille Ball was getting a Lifetime Achievement Award, and he got to meet her at that point and she recognized him from several things that he’d been in, so that was really special to for him that she knew who he was.
Sue’s defining moment is that she got a job to do a voice over and then direct a TMNT episode, and she got a call to do a role on Route 66, and she had to turn it down. And it broke her heart having to turn it down. But then she got another call saying that they wanted her for the part and she didn’t have to audition, and she still had to turn it down, but that she was wanted so much for that live acting role really meant so much to her.
Q. Beast Wars Rattrap mentioned his “great aunt Arcee”. How would Arcee feel about having rattrap as a great nephew?
A. She thinks Arcee would be proud as punch of Rattrap. So long as he doesn’t smoke grass. LOL
Q. Sue has been the only person to be involved with Transformers in all four decades (the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s, and the 2010s), would she consider coming back again for future TF projects?
A. She’d love to.
Q. Have you ever had a sore throat that was so bad that you didn’t have to go to work?
A. Sue’s worked through sore throats before, but if it was so bad that it was contagious, so even though actors can’t afford to get sick, she’d stay home. But then she go through what’s called pick-ups, where they go back and do lines she missed out on at a later date.
John’s had sore throats he’s worked through and has learned that drinking a spoonful of Vaseline (yuk!) helps.
Q. Sue, you were the original Arcee when there were so few female TFs, how do you feel about there now being so many more female TFs?
A. She’s thrilled that there’s so many females now, and she’s thrilled to have been one of the first.
Q. John, how do you feel about there being a (third-party) Masterpiece Blurr?
A. He thinks it’s great (though he doesn’t get any money from it). He thinks it’s cool.
Q. When doing a voice acting gig, do you having a favorite voice warm up you could demonstrate?
A. Sue did silly sounds and John did super fast noises. He likes to his warm ups in the shower since he finds it annoys other people, LOL.
Q. John, would you be interested in voicing The Flash?
A. He gave a really fast, really extended “Sure”
Q. The traditional request of having the actors do a skit of their characters ordering from a drive thru.
A. John played the clerk and Blurr (who wanted a TON of food), and Arcee ordered healthy stuff out loud while whispering her real order of junky foods.
Q. Sue, how do you feel about Arcee joining the Combiner Hunters?
A. Fantastic, who do we call? LOL
Q. “Did you choose acting or did acting choose you?” And how do you feel about that saying?
A. All Sue ever wanted to do was act in high school, she’s dyslexic and was a stutterer, having been in speech therapy till she was 16, and she feels that acting chose her.
John was doing smaller acting-related jobs before he went pro and just felt called to it.
Q. How often do you start to feel in partial ownership to your characters, or Sue as a director, do you ever feel that the writers have ownership of the characters since they’re writing them?
A. Sue feels that she doesn’t think any voice actor has felt they owned their character, but when dealing with celebrities those ones might feel that they own their characters and get away with more things than regular voice actors.
John talked about his past experiences with working with celebrity actors with directors telling him things like “Don’t sit in their chairs.” And how their trailers had to be just far enough from each other, so there’s a bit more ego in the on-camera world.
Q. John, you’re known for your speedy speech, was there a point in your life where you realized “I can talk fast, I can make money off this?”
A. He gave a super fast and long answer about how he’d use his voice as a child to draw attention to himself and annoy his sibling(s), and later in his career he once got an offer on That’s Incredible! that he turned down at first, but then work was low and he got another call from them and accepted it, thinking no one would see him on there, but several people did see him and several offers started coming in at that point.
Q. What happened to Cybertron after Beast Machines?
A. Sue: I don’t know.
Q. Any funny stories from your careers?
A. Sue had a funny Garry Chalk story. At some point, she needed someone to burp for a scene and Garry offered. He took a big sip of coke, burped, and the coke came back out all over the mic.
Hasbro Product Preview Panel
Three pillars for the franchise: Rescue Bots, Robots in Disguise, Generations
Rescue Rig w/ High Tide
Robots in Disguise
Quick video short – To Catch a Phrase (Bumblebee attempts to find his own rallying cry)
App updates coming soon…
New characters coming.
The show will have some classic characters from Prime in it.
The app will have Ironhide and Prowl
Legion Wave 4
Night Ops Bumblebee, Alpine Strike Sideswipe
1-Step Changers Wave 4
Night Ops Bumblebee, Ninja Mode Sideswipe
Warriors Wave 4
Night Ops Bumblebee, Gold Armor Grimlock (G1 deco)
Devastator (smallest Devy ever made)
Something MINI is coming your way… Get ready for the Mini-Cons!
Mini-Cons Wave 1
Jetstorm, Divebomb, Sawback, Dragonus
Velocirazor, Ratbat, Beastbox, Sandsting (Scorponok throwback)
Collect each entire wave and build a bonus Energon Mini-Con with each figure’s extra piece.
Great Story Partners – IDW and Activision
Transformers Devastation – new video game
Coming in October
IDW writers co-wrote the game’s story.
Sort of a prelude to the Combiner Wars story.
Fan Built Combiner
Over 255,000 votes globally.
Victorion – first ever female combiner
She’s not an ordinary Autobot, feels more like a Wrecker, has her own agenda, made up of five tough Autobots who define their own life, hailing from the Sea of Rust.
Galvatronus – mind control combiner, allows you to mix and match any limb you want
Optimus Maximus – made up of characters Kojin Ono had a hand in design all of.
Battle Core Optimus Prime – new head based on Star Convoy
Ironhide – retool of Offroad
Mirage – retool of Drag Strip
Prowl – retool of Streetwise
Sunstreaker – retool of Breakdown
Legends Wave 5
Rodimus (retool of Blackjack) and Skywarp.
Leader Wave 4
Starscream – comes with a crown
Tried to match the G1 toy’s gray color since they know it’s real important to everybody.
Spring 2016 Combiner Wars
New Deluxes, new Voyager Onslaught, new Legends Shockwave
Running change variant with G1 toy colors
Voyager Onslaught – Serious Hot Spot remold, wanted to do him right compared to the FOC Deluxe
Deluxe Vortex – Alpha Bravo mold
Deluxe Brawl – new mold, worked with Shogo Hasui on designing this.
Deluxe Blast Off – he’s scanned a new form, he’s now a VTOL jet, Quickslinger redeco
Deluxe Swindle – heavy retool of Rook
Triple changer Buzzsaw – MP3 player/tank/bird
Shockwave – held by Bruticus and can mount onto Bruticus’s back to give him flight
Chop Chop – Skrapnel retool
Pipes – Huffer remold
SKY-LYNX!!!! Winged dino to shuttle combiner Voyager!
Deluxe Hound! – Swindle remold
Legends Wreck-Gar! – Groove remold
Sky Reign – Has a golden lynx head
Lynx head can be used for a secret fourth mode on Sky-Lynx!
Titan class coming this Fall.
SDCC poster artwork
Exclusive IDW comic at SDCC for the Combiner Hunters story (will come out later as well)
Construction scoop box
Brand new head! G1 foil labels pre-applied! Vac Metal! Premium G1 deco!
Showed the development process, went through many shades of green for this.
Deco sheet, prototype pic, design sketches,
The Loyal Subjects
Arcee, Chromia, Windblade
Coming in to hunt down Devastator
Windblade was originally going to be all gold, but they inverted the colors to go back to her original red color to keep it consistent and iconic.
Arcee’s weapon was going to have a blue/yellow/pink glowing effect, but it didn’t make the cut.
Concept art of the three
Q. Will there be a CW version of Piranacon?
A. The Seacons are awesome.
Q. How come the Deluxes are missing the cards that come with the other size classes?
A. The Deluxes have comics instead of the cards. The first wave that came out with cards instead of comics was a fluke.
Q. Is the Kre-O line dead for the U.S.
A. Stay tuned on more Kre-O news in the future.
Q. How about CW versions of Liokaiser, Nexus Prime, or Tripredacus?
A. No plans, but they’re cool.
Q. Has third party influenced the current products?
A. Actually no. It’s from listening to the fans that they’re doing what they’re doing right now.
Q. Will we ever see a G.I. Joe/TF crossover?
A. That’s awesome, but the Viper toy is like that, and it’s a timing matter of when it’s right to do that.
Q. The backdrop at the Hasbro booth teases something called Titan Wars on it.
A. Stay tuned
Q. Traditionally as a line goes on, the later waves get lost in the retailers, is there anything to be done about it?
A. It’s a good question, they try to get everything out there since they have a lot of love put into them and they really want to get them out, they continue to evaluate further options internally.
The Japanese Perspective Panel
Jim Sorenson, Andrew Hall, Hayato Sakamoto
A fandom for the IDW comics is rapidly growing in Japan. They recently got All Hail Megatron released over there officially in Japanese.
Japanese fan artists turned pro:
Hirofumi Ichikawa – his first official TF work was The Linkage, went on to do design work for Binaltech
He’s been helping in the Ask Vector Prime Facebook answers for the Japanese-based questions.
He’d like to do a retelling of Energon but with his own take on it.
He’s done the Beast Wars Reborn stories.
Yamarishi – she’s doing the coloring for Combiner Hunters.
Gufu Kandagawa – a friend of Sakamoto-san’s, draws animals well, she’d be great for Beast Wars art
Transformers Cloud presentations
Sakamoto-san submitted a lot of proposals for Cloud. The following ones weren’t released.
He did suggestions for the line, such as TF: Prime Shattered Glass (this was when Prime was still airing in Japan, and there’s an interest in SG over in Japan)
There was a proposal for “Transformers: Part One”, featuring all the main characters in a new setting. The name has a double meaning since “Part One” is the parent company of the e-HOBBY website.
A Yuusha (Brave)-themed series was proposed called “Transformers: Bravemasters”. A lot of movie molds that didn’t appear on screen were hoping to be used.
Jim asks Sakamoto-san, since “Bravemasters” is such a good title, how would it have played into the fiction? The name was partially named after Breacher (Sea Spray’s little partner). He might have been the main character and it’d have the overall look of the Brave series. The idea was to have a TF hidden on Earth as an amusement park attraction like an animatonic or something, and combine with other bigger robots in typical Brave fashion.
The next images weren’t allowed to be photographed.
Concept sketches for IDW’s recent return to the DJD in MTMTE #39.
They show kind of a backstory for the creation of Nickel.
Nickel had no visual basis for her design, other than being a mostly unique, androgynous-looking character.
An early design for her was shown; it’s very retro-G1 in style, with a face similar to the final. They originally wanted her to turn into a car.
Another design. She was supposed to be a mechanic, like a repairbot. Lightbulb-esque fingers.
A third design. This one had her being a part of the DJD kept in mind. Altmode inspired by a Gatchaman look. Villainous flare. Rocketeer-shaped backpack.
A fourth design. Split the rocket boosters.
The original idea was for Nickel to turn into a car, but she had rocket boosters and could fly, so it was decided that it’d be cool if she could dive into the water as well, so she became an ATV to go on air, land, and sea.
A scene was changed in the comic script. It’s the scene where Blip is being interrogated.
Originally, when he pulls his brain module out, he’d do it with his teeth, which is soft. But when seeing the next page, the next page really had to be changed.
Deathsaurus’s design was based on the cover design Alex Milne drew.
Rough designs were made for the Victory characters who appeared in the comic.
Guyhawk – took influence from MTMTE Rodimus, wanted him to have an avian theme
Killbison – much bigger and beefier than the others
Doryu – the Dinoking feet are worn on him as shoulder pads
Blue Bacchus – gunman, patterned after Jigen Daisuke from Lupin III
The previous ones were permitted by James Roberts for use, the next ones are ones they came up with for use on their own.
The Mega Pretender that became Vroom – it was intended for release in Japan alongside Black Shadow and Blue Bacchus, but never came out. The comic brought him to life. He’s a Decepticon based on the deco of Death Garry Gun from Brave. His unofficial name here is “Bikecross”. Hopefully they’ll come up with a better name.
An early design for Greatshot - Greatshot was originally intended as a power up for Sixshot as a 12-changer. The color scheme seen on this early design here is based on Shadowmaru from J-Decker. The name shown here is “Greatsix”
An early design for Liokaiser was used as another character in the comics. The name shown here is “Strikesoldier”
Concept art for a character that might have inspired by Deathcobra, the name on the sheet says “Hawk” but his partner turns into a rhino. It might have been an early concept for Guyhawk before he was decided to be another jet.
Early design for Skystalker’s shuttle, or the Thunder Arrow, had a robot mode. They wanted to use it in the comic but didn’t get to.
During Victory, there was a design plan to use some of the original Diaclone Car Robot molds with extra armor as power ups, a Prowl concept was shown. If they could have used it in the comics, instead of it being an Autobot, it would have been painted black and made into Barricade.
Sakamoto-san is working on the Legends pack-in manga, box art, and online manga.
The premise of the story is that main characters are TF fans themselves, and simply woke up one day that there have apparently come Transformers into their world.
IDW-influenced designs were used in the art, like Swerve having his My First Blaster. They were going to have the characters meet James Roberts in the comic, but the higher ups told them not to do that.
Arcee, Chromia, and Windblade. The art was rejected a few times for being too sexy.
He wrote the Legends manga with a lot of parody and stuff for the fans to enjoy.
He did the original art for non-show Adventure characters like Greejeeber and Bloody Knock Out.
Greejeeber is probably a guy.
Roadblock and Junkion art.
His debut for America was via the TCC magazine.
“Timeless” artwork of Chromedome, Treadshot, Rewind, and their Arms Micron partners. It was originally drawn for a story proposal, but was instead used for the “Timeless” comic.
Two toy concepts were shown. One a gray redeco of Alpha Bravo and another a redeco of Optimus (missing its head, though). Both are to be featured in an upcoming Club text story.
TCC Roundtable Panel
Brian Savage, Lanny Lathem, Pete Sinclair
Box set design, character art, t-shirt design
Mock-up images of the box set toys.
Basis for Oilmaster – unreleased Double Pretender seen at BotCon 1996.
After last year’s Scorponok, they wanted to raise the bar while staying within their budget. Going from a Headmaster to a Pretender felt natural since that’s how it went down in the 80’s.
3D concept of Oilmaster
Oilmaster deco sheet
Two robots were needed inside the shell, and the Generations Legends toys had just come into the docket, and the double-nature of those felt perfect.
Megatron deco sheet.
Stepper deco sheet
Packrat deco sheet
Battletrap deco sheet
Zaptrap deco sheet
Waruders deco sheet
General Optimus Prime deco sheet. They needed someone to oppose the Most Wanted, and when they saw the Scoop mold, they felt it’d work for Sgt. Hound and the Roadbuster head looked like the Dirtbag head.
Sgt. Hound deco sheet
Bun Out deco sheet
Lift-Ticket deco sheet
More exclusives for 2015 (this year!)
2013 Club Crossover Exclusives
Old Snake w/ Stealth B.A.T.s
Marissa Faireborn w/ Afterbreaker
Old Snake’s energon cubes
Packaging art for both sets
2016 Free membership figure – Ramjet from Armada Starscream! New head!
2016 Club exclusive – Skywarp (redeco of Ramjet)
2016 Club exclusives - Rodimus and Arcee Synthoids!
2016 Subscription Service
Mayhem Attack Squad!
Triggercon Windsweeper – CW Skydive mold
Ruckus – Offroad mold
Spinister – Alpha Bravo mold w/ Targetmasters
Needlenose – Firefly mold
Bludgeon – Onslaught mold
Tentative combiner name is Mayhem Maximus
There will be a sixth figure, but no reveal right now. TBA before the end of next month at the latest.
Bonus seventh figure included. Will be a Deluxe, worked with Hasbro on it, want to surprise the fans, and think the fans will really dig it since a lot of work was put into it.
Q. Are there any attempts to have the con back on the east coast?
A. A lot of things go into picking locations. They look at a lot of locations, and what everyone could afford, they generally don’t go to the northeast due to union issues.
Q. Is there an estimate of when the TF/Joe figures will go up on the Club store?
A. They’re on the way to the Club now, so some point after BotCon preorders will go up and the toys’ll probably ship in July.
Q. Does the Club have any plans to continue the Dawn of Future’s Past (he really meant Beast Wars Uprising) toys?
A. Yeah, they’re looking into it. They got some plans for them. There’s obviously demand for them, they aren’t coming right now, but stay tuned.
Q. Any possibility for a Rotorstorm toy?
A. They can’t speak for any specific things, but it’s possible. It all depends on what’s available for them to use from Hasbro.
Q. Will we see the other deco of Oilmaster?
A. Maaaybe. Like Hasbro, it would be counterproductive to make a new mold and not reuse it. Stay tuned.
Q. Does the sixth subscription service character have a name?
A. “TBA” LOL
A question was asked about chasing orders that were refunded or returned, and that’s a customer service question.
Q. Any plans for a Victory-based combiner?
A. Possibly. Not trying to be coy, but there’s an opportunity with them, but with what Hasbro does and what the Club does you’ll see things that tie in together, it just depends on what the Hasbro brand team’s vision is and how the Club ties in to what’s happening with them.
Q. With Joecon and BotCon done for this year, how about making registration on time next year?
A. They hope so. They’re in the “divorce” process with the company they were working with, so now they’re moving code to different systems and servers, so the Club site might go down for a while, but it’s a timing thing and the process has already started.
Q. Any chance for unreleased G2 combiner figures via the CW molds?
A. They have to kinda pick and choose to see what would work best for the exclusives that they do, so it just completely depends. Voice feedback and opinions online.
Q. Since Packrat was done, what are the chances of seeing more 3H characters for releases?
A. As mentioned, it all depends. They’ve tried getting Transmetal Fractyl before. They’ve done some of those characters before as well. It all depends on what molds are available.
Q. During presidential election years, the con tends to be held in April. What’s with that?
A. They’ve done the con in several months so it all just depends on scheduling and such.
Q. Is it possible to move BotCon surveys to the website?
A. It’s very difficult to do.
Q. Any chance to get a G2-colored Jhiaxus or the other two Autobot Synthoids?
A. They’ve talked about it, there’s been opportunities, there’s not a lot that’s completely off the table and not possible, but it all matters on what fits and if the time is right.
A really happy fan passionately thanked them for this year’s exclusives like Battletrap and Sgt. Hound.
Q. The new Animated designs from the Complete AllSpark Almanac can only see the light of day through the Club.
A. They understand and agree. They’ll continue to do a balance from the familiar to the obscure.
Frank Welker Live! Panel
Frank started by thanking everyone for being so gracious to his being here.
Frank Todaro hosted the panel.
Frank Todaro Q&A
Q. What character or type of character is the most fun for you to play?
A. He’s played so many types of the characters, but he finds villains to be the most fun.
Q. Who were some of your inspirations when you started voice acting?
A. Bullwinkle J. Moose. He’d always run home to catch Bullwinkle on TV. Also Daws Butlet, Don Messick, Mel Blanc, Peter Cullen
Q. What’s happening currently?
A. He’s finishing up the latest version of Scooby-Doo. They’ve done 26 episodes and are now in the ADR stage. He’s also done a Scooby-Doo movie with KISS.
Q. Have you enjoyed coming back to do Megatron, and have there been any difficulties?
A. No difficulties, and he loves doing it. It’s a voice that’s like riding a bicycle.
Q. Where do you draw inspiration for the many animal voices that you do? Do you have any pets?
A. From the animals themselves. He’d go down the LA zoo and study how they sound. He had a german shepherd that was just is soulmate and he studied his dog.
Q. Is there any character you have not played that you’ve always wanted to, who, and what would they sound like?
A. The great thing about the voice actor business is that you could voice so many kinds of characters and the part will eventually come to you.
Q. Other than the tech involved, how has voice acting changed for you between the G1 days and today?
A. In the G1 days, the stories were faster, whereas nowadays the stories are slower. Through time, though, that time of animation lends to more concentration on the story, and the art has changed so much so you can do a lot more on the effects, which effects the visuals and the story.
Q. How much of the story do you know beforehand when you get a role?
A. It varies, but normally most guys will tell you that, if you do get the script beforehand, they don’t read it. For him, it’s better for him to come in and see what the director’s gonna say without having preset character ideas.
Q. Would you please tell us the story of stealing Peter Cullen’s steak dinner?
A. No. LOL. He did steal his parking space once, though.
Q. How was the casting experience for TF4 compared to other experiences?
A. He got a call for a general audition of characters, and figured he’d let his friends have those roles. But then got a call for a special character made for him. So he went in and worked with Michael in voicing Galvatron.
Q. Many voice actors of the past have told the story of doing the sounds of a payphone during a break. Is that true and cal you recreate that?
A. No and yes. LOL. He recreated it.
Q. What was your inspiration for creating the voice of Rumble?
A. Rumble was like the Dead End Kids from the Early ‘30s. Just kind of a tough kid.
Q. Do you have any anacdotes or reflections on working with Chris Latta?
A. Chris was amazing. He would work so hard and so fast that he would perspire greatly. He’d had so much energy that you could feel the power and energy coming off him. He was a treat to work with.
Q. When you take on a voice like Steven Speilberg, do they give you materials to do work off of, or do you get to talk to him directly?
A. He’d just seen a few interviews to base the voice off of, but Steve liked it.
Q. May we hear your impression of Mr. Cullen’s Optimus Prime?
A. That’s very dangerous. He may be stupid, but he’s not crazy. He declined… but did it anyway. He considers it not very good (it was booming and raspy, as though he was roaring like a lion).
Q. What is it like to voice one of pop culture’s most infamous villains?
A. Absolutely wonderful! Mwahahahaha! It’s really thrilling and means so much to him and he thanks everybody for appreciating what he does.
Q. Have you ever encountered someone who did get into voice acting because of you?
A. He spoke of when he worked with Howie Mandel on Laugh Tracks, and heard Howie doing funny voices and suggested to Howie that he should do voice work, and he introduced Howie to the producer of Gremlins, and to this day, Howie gives Frank Welker credit for his getting him into voice acting. And then, when Howie Mandel made Bobby’s World, Howie called Frank to voice Bobby’s dog.
Q. What sort of curious adventure would Curious George get into in the Transformers world?
A. He had Curious George mess around with Soundwave’s controls, Megatron asks who did it, and then Soundwave kills George. Oh…
Q. What else are you doing?
A. Aside from the Scooby-Doo stuff, he’s doing more Garfield.He did Garfield’s voice and spoke of the late Lorenzo Music, the original voice of Garfield.
Q. As a voice actor, who inspires you?
A. He would say everything and everybody. Nothing really specific but that inspires him.
Brian Savage led everyone in a prayer before the dinner began.
Mark Weber hosted the Hall of Fame ceremony
As expected, Frank Welker was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
They played a video honoring him and his roles from G1, Prime, Dark of the Moon, and Age of Extinction.
In addition to the traditional Hall of Fame “Optimus holding the Matrix” trophy, he was presented with a second trophy containing two of the Generarions Leader class Megatron in both robot and tank modes.
He gave a speech in which he thanked many of his G1 castmates,
He did an impression of Peter Cullen’s intimidating voice.
He concluded with “I am Megatron! Leader of the Decepticons! YOU! ARE! ALL! DECEPTICONS!!!”
Another video was played in which G1 Megatron himself took over as the host of the event.
He introduced the favorite characters as Optimus Primal, Prowl, and Galvatron.
The winner was… the Autobot named Prowl
He introduced the favorite combiners as Devastator, Bruticus, and Predaking
The winner was… the mighty Predaking
He introduced the best musicians as Anne Bryant, Vince DiCola, and “Weird Al” Yankovic
The winner was… the musician Vince DiCola
Mark Weber returned to close the event, announcing that the Megatron video will be posted to YouTube.