Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

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JediTricks
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Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by JediTricks »

Hasbro is doing a bi-monthly Q&A for their Transformers brand, and I'm going to try to get us in on that action. The deadline is October 6th.

* - Keep in mind that the Crossovers brands - Star Wars and Marvel - are not handled directly by the TF team, so while they'll be considered, it's not going to be the main focus.

* - Also, Hasbro suggests not asking questions about the '09 movie right now as they're not answering any at this time.

Anyway, go ahead and post your questions here, we'll need 5 for each round. And if you want to vote for anybody else's, post that too.
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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by onslaught86 »

Oooh! I was really really really hoping you could pull us some strings there, JT. Enormous, enormous thanks if you can.

Firstly, if they get to read this, I want to SINCERELY apologise to the Hasbro reps for the hundreds of fans asking ridiculously stupid questions elsewhere, and I thank them profusely for tolerating the fandom long enough to do anything like this. "When is [upcoming toy x] coming out?" "Will you put [character y] in [toyline z]?" Give fans a chance to ask the powers that be anything they like, and they'll ask the questions that are least useful in the long term.. Sigh.

I'm going to have to give this some serious thought, as there's a lot I'd love to know.

1. What's the story with the Universe boxart? The return to boxart is very welcome, but Universe's is very static and lifeless.

2. How far in advance are redecos of new figures generally planned? Does planning these in advance mean the figure can have a larger budget than others? Universe Sunstreaker and Prowl, for example, with their multiple built-in redecos, got to keep their translucent parts while Tankor had his cut.

3. While the current team may not be able to answer this, Beast Wars had a lot of figures that were clearly designed to have lightpiping, but did not end up with it. Some of these figures, like Dinobot and Waspinator, had semi-translucent parts anyway. The G2 Flipchangers used for Machine Wars (Hoist, Mirage, Megatron, OtherJet) suffered the same fate, but had this restored for later releases - whereas the beasts did not. Why was lightpiping abandoned as a practically line-wide gimmick?

4. Is there any information available on who the non-Megatron jet mould used in Machine Wars and onward was originally intended to be? Unlike the other three moulds, it's not clearly a previous character.

5. A vague question, but are there any surprising examples where ambitious design elements didn't clear the budgeting? While Energon Ironhide and Cliffjumper suffered obviously for losing their translucent parts (Not to dwell on translucent parts, but..) Cybertron Optimus Prime's cancelled spare tire weapons were a surprise. Some have speculated that Vector Prime, for example, was originally intended to contain a light gimmick.

That's five, but a cheaty bonus one anyway:

6. Does the design team read toy reviews?

Aaand I'm off to go think of more. Heh.
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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by Dominic »

I recommend we move this to the general forums, as it could easily cross more than one line.

Dom
-has a few questions to post later.

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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by BWprowl »

I've got one:

It's generally assumed that the toys are designed first, and that those designs are then adopted for the other media (Cartoon, Comics, etc.). With Animated though, it seems that this might not be the case. How were the designs for Animated handled? Were the toy designs worked out in tandem with the cartoon designers? Or was it some other process?

Someone else could probably word that more gracefully and open-ended than I did...
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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by Onslaught Six »

BWprowl wrote:I've got one:

It's generally assumed that the toys are designed first, and that those designs are then adopted for the other media (Cartoon, Comics, etc.). With Animated though, it seems that this might not be the case. How were the designs for Animated handled? Were the toy designs worked out in tandem with the cartoon designers? Or was it some other process?

Someone else could probably word that more gracefully and open-ended than I did...
I thought it was clear that the animation designs are finished first in this case...

Anyway, I vote fully for all of 86's questions.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.
People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by Dominic »

I really like O86's "does Hasbro read the reviews" question.


Okay, here are 3.

-Who writes the specs? And, is there a process for it?

-Any chance of new content pack-ins like comics and such?

-How reactive is Hasbro's distribution system to changes in supply and demand?


Dom

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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by JediTricks »

Dom, could you flesh out that last question please? I need to understand exactly what you mean there.
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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by onslaught86 »

It's generally assumed that the toys are designed first, and that those designs are then adopted for the other media (Cartoon, Comics, etc.). With Animated though, it seems that this might not be the case. How were the designs for Animated handled? Were the toy designs worked out in tandem with the cartoon designers? Or was it some other process?
That one we know - for both the movie and Animated, they were designed as character models first. Animated's were specifically crafted to be very expressive, tailored characters - Prime would look every inch the cartoon hero stereotype shape, for example. Then they were tweaked to make it possible for Hasbro to design them as toys. It's why the movie and Animated toys have some odd engineering, I'd say, and aren't as all-round toylike, being more model-esque.
-Who writes the specs? And, is there a process for it?
Forrest Lee writes the bios, last I heard, with the techspecs being done separately and then matched. There's obvious stat inflation abounding.
-How reactive is Hasbro's distribution system to changes in supply and demand?
Ask the bubble box Alternators, who were relaunched for Wal-Mart..
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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by Dominic »

Wow. Forrest Lee does some good work. Whoda thunk it?


As for my distribution question, I was asking how well Hasbro can correct for a spike or dip in demand for a given wave.

Dom

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Re: Questions for Hasbro's Transformers team

Post by JediTricks »

Dominic wrote:As for my distribution question, I was asking how well Hasbro can correct for a spike or dip in demand for a given wave.
As I understand it, that sort of thing can take several months to iron out. Basically, the cases go out as initially planned based on how much product they can deliver at once, and if they get word soon enough that there's less demand, they can thin it out in about 2 months (it takes a long time to ship this stuff by freighter). Most of the time when there's not enough product at the outset, it's due to production speed limitations. Usually, when you see repacked items in later waves, that's their only response - they can do revision cases but generally this line doesn't use them.
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?

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