Hasbro Transformers Panel
- Mike Vogel - Vice President, development
- Brian Lenard - Executive Director
- Jeff Kline - Producer, Transformers Prime
- Duane Capizzi - Producer, Transformers Prime
- Jerry Jivoin - Director, global brand management
- Andy Schmidt - Director, design & development
- Clint Chapman - Global Brand Manageer, Transformers
Commented on Transformers: Prime being an Emmy-award winning show.
Season 2 clip reel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS1bSqSYtEo
Question: "What is it like having a show that each week is more epic than it's ever been before and how will you continue that into new seasons and beyond?"
Answer: "Very little sleep." LOL "We have a great writing staff and a great creative staff, and our directors are amazing, we kick around ideas from asking around the room, and with a show like this, as much as we can, we want every episode to stand alone and feel like a completed series where it's overly satisfying. I think we hit a point in season 2 where that just went out the window. The epicness was just, you know, overtaking us, and we just finally said, 'You know what? It is a serialized continuing storyline and it will continue."
"One of those things about a CG show is the more episodes you do the better it actually gets. From a visual standpoint, the quality of the animation gets a little bit higher, you can put more stuff into itself, the more episodes you get to do the more stuff you get to do."
Question: "With the Transformers brand having been around for 28 years, for a brand that is that mature and has so much loyalty to its characters, you guys have done a really great job at making great homages to the classic stuff that people love but you've also done a lot of new stuff whether it's through designs, story arcs, changes; do you feel pressure to balance that? and how much of it is "we need to do this" and how much of it is "need to change something there"?
Answer: "There's not a moment that goes by where we're not feeling pressure. We know the fanbase is passionate, to say the least, and we're not as protective of G1 as you [the fans] are. But, whenever we do something, we want to do something with more to it. it's great to have all this history to look at and pull reference to, but we also need to come up with our own ideas."
Preview for the next episode, "Inside Job" - Sorry, no clip available, but it airs tonight on the Hub. However, when you watch the episode, you will see that it's the scene in which Starscream monologues to himself (and his dead clone's body that he kept around) and imagines what he would do if he had all the Omega Keys and revived Cybertron himself.
Question: "What is it about Transformers villains that makes them last and why are they so prevalent in your minds?"
Answer: "In regards to Prime, it's not just the writing or the designs, it's our amazing voice cast that breathes life into these characters. When it comes to the Decepticons, it's not just about how they are as standalone villains but how they relate to each other as a team."
Question: "But what about these villains makes them so lasting, and how do different iterations line up to each other?"
Answer: "One of the things about having a Rogues Gallery is that each has their own point of view, and as they grow from one iteration to another, it's fascinating to see and, with the team, cultivate those unique aspects of the villains and make them more and more villainous as they go along, and Transformers: Prime is a great example of that. I think it has the best refined version of Megatron, the most refined version of Starscream we've ever had, and it's exciting to work on this stuff and see where it's all going, and know that it's going into new places and new discoveries with these characters coming up. There's a whole bunch of stuff I'm not allowed to tell you about, but trust me, it's awesome."
Transformers: Prime villains reel and season 3 clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVD4WeWHCSQ
Bigger version of the season 3 clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB4cgeuh85E
Beast Hunters is going to be the overall theme of the third season as well as the entire brand. As for the story, they have a big new bad guy coming in and they wanted to go with beasts, but they didn't want to do Beast Machines or Beast Wars; they wanted to do something their own Prime way. The way beasts fit into Prime is like this. These beast for Prime are the Predacons, who are basically Cybertron's version of dinosaurs. They were Cybertron's first ancient race who were destroyed in a great cataclysm, but the way they will be brought into the show will be revealed in season 3.
Now for the toys!
We're seeing the first of many Predacons and the Autobots are greatly outmatched so they're gonna need some upgrades: Advanced Defense Armor, Energon Camoflauge, and Upgraded Weaponry.
Cyberverse Legion class:
Bumblebee w/ Hawkbow - x2 shoulder cannons, vehicle armor upgrade
Smokescreen w/ Chain Bolter - weapon is a chainsaw/gun in one, melee and ranged attack capabilities, "subtle" paint scheme
Airachnid w/ Novastinger Bow - Tri-Blade propeller saw, Stealth Chopper Mode
Twinstrike w/ Piston Hammer - Sinnertwin homage, twin dragon heads, Piston Cannon, CAUTION: Dragon Head Hands
As an aside, they noted that there have been some liberties taken between show and toy form, in that not everything we see in one will be seen in the other, and same with the Predacons, they made more Predacons for us to enjoy in toy form that we may or may not see in the show.
Cyberverse Commander class:
Bulkhead w/ Nova Hammer - Roadbuster colors, fashionable Viking helmet, 3 weapon options (pulverizing hammer, battle axe, mounted axe)
Predaking w/ Cybervenom Rocket - Predacon Leader, Dragon Mode, CAUTION: Anger issues, he is NOT a combiner like G1, this is a new take on Predaking (Robot mode was not shown)
There was one more Commander class figure that was confirmed but kept a mystery.
Cyberverse Vehicle class:
Sky Claw w/ Smokescreen - Beast Capture Claw, Twin Gunner Turrets, firing Projectile Launchers, Stealth Mode and Battle Mode
Apex Armor w/ Breakdown - Rapid fire missile launchers, dual gunner platforms, Autobot capture claws, Mech Mode
Bumblebee w/ Hawkbow - x6 projectiles
Soundwave & Ravage w/ Thunder Talon - retractable claw
Wheeljack w/ Falcon Spear - firing capture ring
Lazerback w/ Toxic Strike Blaster - acid missile, tail converts to a whip, CAUTION: Do not pet the wildlife
Predaking w/ Hydrafire Blasters - x2 blasters, x2 firing missiles, blasters can be attached in dragon mode to make a three-headed hydra (again, Robot Mode not shown) - NOTE: This is not the same toy mold we saw pics of previously
A second Voyager toy was confirmed at but not revealed.
New Beast Hunters packaging - the beasts themselves are larger this time and don't fit into the regular-sized packaging so they'll get their own.
Instructions - Now will contain a serialized storyline about each character ad continues through each Deluxe and Voyager figure of every wave.
With the threat of PREDAKING looming over them all, every AUTOBOT dedicates himself to discovering some means of battling the PREDACON overlord. But it is the scout BUMBLEBEE who discovers what may be the key to victory. Buried deep within data recovered alongside one of the Iacon Relics he finds evidence of a direlict transport starship - a courier packed with weapons more ancient than any relic yet recovered - set adrift ages ago among the asteroids girdling Earth's solar system. With no other way to reach the ancient ship, and not wanting to waste time, he contacts WHEELJACK, hoping the AUTOBOT mercenary can provide transport and - if it turns out to be a trap - an extra blaster.
Continued in Chapter 2 Deluxe SOUNDWAVE (sold separately)
Kre-O - Will also feature a Beast Hunters theme
Ripclaw Strike set: Ripclaw + 2 Kreons - Push-button battle active system, flapping wings, siphon claw, Military Officer Kreon, Ripclaw Kreon
Battle Net Bumblebee set: Bumblebee w/ Skystalker + 2 Kreons - 4X4 Beast Tracker Mode, double-barrel capture net, Bumblebee Kreon, Clutch Kreon, Predacon Skystalker
Beast Force Figure Pack: Trailcutter vs. Grimwing - Humor hide self-esteem issues, improved fuel efficiency; Launching tail projectile, air superiority complex
Beast Force Figure Pack: Windcharger vs Corhada - Launching projectile gatling blaster, advanced brick aerodynamics; Small target profile, CAUTION: Dangerous on both ends
Generations PLATINUM EDITION! - Collector-oriented, limited edition exclusives, will be sold on Amazon and BBTS by next Spring
Platinum Edition OMEGA SUPREME - same as the overseas "Year of the Snake" figure, redeco of the Energon Supreme Class mold, new head with flip-down visor, new spinning crusher claw (based on that of WFC Omega Supreme), rotating gun turrets, premium metallic paint scheme, mobile artillery train mode
Platinum Edition Optimus Prime - same as the overseas"Year of the Snake" figure, redeco of the Energon figure, power up with battle suit, includes 4 combining vehicles, firing projectile launcher, hauler trailer, Year of the Snake trailer icon
Platinum Edition packaging - current image is a placeholder, the final will match the figure's new deco, gold foil packaging, 5th panel with window, G1 comic-inspired artwork, carrying handle
Partnerships - media that goes beyond the toys and cartoons
IDW - Rage of the Dinobots - prequel to season 3, sequel to Fall of Cybertron, coming this November
IDW is also doing artbooks and will be doing pack-in comics with the Generations figures.
Transformers Legends - digital card game, will be available for mobile devices this Fall (some of hese images were taken mid-transition)
Hasbro currently has no plans for any U.S. release of Masterpiece Soundwave/Sideswipe/Red Alert, but they are looking into it. no announcement yet but we'll see.
They're still moving into the Beta Testing stage with the Transformers Universe MMO from Jagex.
Anymore novels after Exiles? Anymore of he Star Seekers or the Thirteen? Which Prime did Megatron still his arm from? Stay tuned.
They would like to bring over the Gaia Unicron toy, but there aren't any plans as of now.
2014 is the 30th anniversary of the brand. 2014 "Who knows what could happen for 30th Anniversary? We love Beast Wars, we know fans love Beast Wars..." Stay tuned.
Raf's ethnicity is Mexican.
Hasbro doesn't control the retail prices, so it's the retailer who have shot up the prices.
Rumble and Sergeant Kup are the last Deluxe toy wave before the transition to Beast Hunters.
Dinobots in season 3? Stay tuned
G1-colored Generations Bruticus in retail? Any more combiners? "Mmmm... maybe. Better stay tuned."
Will Unicron ever be making a return? Stay tuned.
With the popularity of the two ongoing IDW comics, would that lead to toys of the character from those series? Stay tuned
Hasbro would like to give us toys of ALL the in-show character like Smokescreen and the Takara-only guys like Breakdown. They know we haven't gotten everyone yet, but there needs to be patience.
Launching missiles and projectiles have returned and will be a big feature in Beast Hunters.
Season 2 Blu-Ray comes out a week or two after the season ends.
Voyager class Prime Grimlock? Jazz and Perceptor in season 3? "Since I can't say anything, I'll just say, 'Stay tuned.'"
Final question: "Could you just tell Nicole Dubuc and the rest of the crew that I really think Rescue Bots is totally awesome and can I get some applause on that?" *audience applauds at this* Jeff Kline is also given a shout out at the end.