SDCC TF team interview

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JediTricks
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Re: Need questions for SDCC TF team interview very soon

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andersonh1 wrote:I think you've worded my questions better than I did. After re-reading them, I think I came across a bit negative, which wasn't my intention at all.
I have a lot of practice, having done this for 8 years, and rewritten many of my questions for just that reason. ;) It's easy to get sucked into coming across frustrated with Hasbro, often because we're frustrated with Hasbro. :mrgreen:
Almighty Unicron wrote:
JediTricks wrote:Almost got me with that one, it's the 20th anniversary of Beast Wars, and Armada is 13 years old.
I'm not ready to accept the present. I'm gonna kick back with my straight ironed hair and my Fall Out Boy records and pretend Hayden Panettier is still relevant and was ever attractive.
That last one, sir, is impossible.



Adding a new question, so here's the updated list:

Recently, Hasbro's GI Joe and Transformers divisions worked together to produce cross-brand packs through the official fan club for Marissa Faireborn and Old Snake as GI Joe figures, characters that have direct connections in one form or another to both the Transformers cartoon and the GI Joe cartoon. Have you considered also tackling Hector Ramirez, the cartoon's version of Geraldo Rivera, for this line? He crossed over on Hasbro cartoons for GI Joe, Transformers, Jem, and Inhumanoids, and would make a great addition.

Combiner Wars seems to have marked a change in Transformers Generations production facilities from China to Vietnam. Why the change, and what benefits and challenges have you had from changing manufacturing to a different country?

With Devastator, why did the design for Mixmaster change so the vehicle is essentially backwards to traditional cement mixers and thus the G1 original?

On the current "Transformers: Robots in Disguise" line and the "Transformers: Generations: Combiner Wars" line, there seems like a significant difference in design and aesthetic, with "Robots in Disguise" having simpler product aiming more for a kid style. Will this trend continue into the future, splitting how the brands are developed?

Will future collector-focused lines like Generations have unified themes the way we've had with the "Combiner Wars" theme this year?

With the 20th anniversary of Beast Wars coming up next year and Takara suggesting they will do a Beast Wars Masterpiece figure from Optimus Primal, will Hasbro be tackling the anniversary in any way as well?

Similarly, will we see more homage and celebrations of other series beyond Generation 1 in the future? For example, when Transformers Armada is 15 years old in 2017, might we see something like Masterpiece Hot Shot?

Might Hasbro develop Combiner Wars beyond just modern-day vehicles? The Technobots forming Computron from futuristic vehicles or the Terrorcons (the monster-bots forming Abominus) who could perhaps be remolded into the Predacons (forming Predaking) would be prime examples.

On the Combiner Wars Deluxe figures, the IDW comic book pack-in issues are taken from the IDW Transformers book before the Combiner Wars crossover, so they don't correspond to the characters they come with, some don't even have combiners in them at all. So how are the comic books chosen for the pack-ins?

Considering the relatively small size of the comic book reading audience (around 10,000 a month) compared to a television series (a couple million an episode) or certainly the live action movies (hundreds of millions of people), has packing in comics with the deluxe figures produced higher sales for either or both figures and comics?

Does Hasbro view the IDW comics as an idea-generator for the toy brand, an entity that produces new designs and updated takes on existing characters that can then be used to produce a new version of a toy -- such as Ultra Magnus coming with the Minimus Ambus mini-figure, or creating demand for Swerve?

Why does Devastator not have 5mm holes in his hands to hold other Transformers weapons? He's the only Combiner Wars figure who doesn't have them in one way or another.

In the last few years, the price of figures has gone up several times while the products got smaller or simpler. Now at least the cost of oil is coming down, but other economic question marks are out there such as labor. Do you expect pricing to stabilize for a while where they are?
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Dominic
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Re: Need questions for SDCC TF team interview very soon

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I had nothing to add. The questions that Misanthrope et al asked were better than anything I would have come up with.

With Devastator, why did the design for Mixmaster change so the vehicle is essentially backwards to traditional cement mixers and thus the G1 original?
I am afraid I do not understand this one.

Does Hasbro view the IDW comics as an idea-generator for the toy brand, an entity that produces new designs and updated takes on existing characters that can then be used to produce a new version of a toy -- such as Ultra Magnus coming with the Minimus Ambus mini-figure, or creating demand for Swerve?
I recall this being the assumption about 5 years back.



I look forward to seeing how Hasbro will avoid answering those questions.

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Re: Need questions for SDCC TF team interview very soon

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Dominic wrote:I had nothing to add. The questions that Misanthrope et al asked were better than anything I would have come up with.

With Devastator, why did the design for Mixmaster change so the vehicle is essentially backwards to traditional cement mixers and thus the G1 original?
I am afraid I do not understand this one.

Does Hasbro view the IDW comics as an idea-generator for the toy brand, an entity that produces new designs and updated takes on existing characters that can then be used to produce a new version of a toy -- such as Ultra Magnus coming with the Minimus Ambus mini-figure, or creating demand for Swerve?
I recall this being the assumption about 5 years back.



I look forward to seeing how Hasbro will avoid answering those questions.
I'm honestly a little touched you remember that I used to go by "Misanthrope Prime" on a lot of websites.
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Re: Need questions for SDCC TF team interview very soon

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Dominic wrote:
With Devastator, why did the design for Mixmaster change so the vehicle is essentially backwards to traditional cement mixers and thus the G1 original?
I am afraid I do not understand this one.
See my review that just went up. They used a modern front-discharge cement truck (I didn't know the name when I wrote the question, it wasn't until I wrote the review that I found out what they're called).
I look forward to seeing how Hasbro will avoid answering those questions.
Ouch, but kinda yeah.
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Re: Need questions for SDCC TF team interview very soon

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The interview is up, we got 9 questions asked out of the 13 we compiled for this interview, which is not a bad turnover. There literally was someone screaming through part of the interview, which is always the problem doing interviews on the convention floor, but it's worth it to make that effort to continue the conversation between fans and brand management.

http://www.tfviews.com/news/main/3125

While perhaps not as probing as we intended, there's a few interesting responses.

I would say the "stay tuned" on the question about expanding Combiner Wars away from just modern vehicles was probably the most interesting response, even moreso in the audio. The irony is that I really don't think we were going directly for those specific characters, but they had just revealed Scattershot the day before and were on guard for Technobots-type questions.

I believe the response about bringing MP Primal may not be quite what it seems, but we'll see.
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Re: Need questions for SDCC TF team interview very soon

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I won't buy a toy until they commit to MP Hotshot complete with 1:1 scale JaAm.
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Re: Need questions for SDCC TF team interview very soon

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Almighty Unicron wrote:I won't buy a toy until they commit to MP Hotshot complete with 1:1 scale JaAm.
"Summer 2017: your shoulders will hurt and you won't know why!"

God, can you imagine?
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Re: SDCC TF team interview

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TFviews.com: Might Hasbro develop Combiner Wars beyond just modern-day vehicles? The Technobots forming Computron from futuristic vehicles or the Terrorcons (the monster-bots forming Abominus) who could perhaps be remolded into the Predacons (forming Predaking) would be prime examples.

Hasbro: A little leading there (ha ha!). Well, obviously we hear the fans loud and clear, and we know how beloved the beast combiners are. The challenge of the question is how would we do it strategically in order to make it worthwhile value for our consumer and make it balance out so that you can live around those characters in a good and meaningful way. I guess you can just say “stay tuned.”
That reads like "Nope", even if he did take a bit of time to say it. No problem, we've got some very nice updated Combiner teams out of this line, so I've got nothing to gripe about. Just wondered how far down the line the G1 Combiner remakes would go at this point.
TFviews.com: On the Combiner Wars Deluxe figures, the IDW comic book pack-in issues are taken from the IDW Transformers book before the Combiner Wars crossover, so they don’t correspond to the characters they come with, some don’t even have combiners in them at all. So how are the comic books chosen for the pack-ins?

Hasbro: In general, we would have those… they would be linked up, I know some of the first ones that were released due to some scheduling conflicts, we were only able to put in rereleases with new covers even though they don’t have combiners in them and they might not be part of the Combiner Wars story. Going forward, you’ll see that more synced up, where they’ll have actual Combiner Wars comics in there. Unfortunately, the development timeline didn’t line up properly, but you’ll see that more going forward. Ideally, they would be completely synced up, which is where we’ll be getting to.
So we'll just have to watch and see if the comics better reflect the figure they're packed with in future.
TFviews.com: Considering the relatively small size of the comic book reading audience (around 10,000 a month) compared to a television series (a couple million an episode) or certainly the live action movies (hundreds of millions of people), has packing in comics with the deluxe figures produced higher sales for either or both figures and comics?

Hasbro: I think when you look at what’s great about our partnering, IDW is a fantastic partner, and what’s great is like, when you look at comics, there’s the print comics but there’s also digital, and ultimately it’s just great storytelling, so what we wanted to do with the pack-in of the comic is that when somebody, when a child, older kid, whoever gets the product, mom takes it home, they can read about a character, they can read a story for Transformers, and it just continues to add to the storytelling that we’re doing. So it’s always one of those things, it just kinda enhances the story, completes kind of that circle, and we like having this packed into the product lines that will deliver that.
He didn't want to talk about sales. Fair enough, though I suspect that if either product was boosting the other, we'd have heard about it. So again, I'm thinking this is a "no". And that's fine, packing in a full comic alongside a figure is not different than those Armada mini-comics.
TFviews.com: Does Hasbro view the IDW comics as an idea-generator for the toy brand, an entity that produces new designs and updated takes on existing characters that can then be used to produce a new version of a toy — such as Ultra Magnus coming with the Minimus Ambus mini-figure, or creating demand for Swerve?

Hasbro: Well, I spoke to this in another interview, but I think it’s pertinent to this question as well: I think the partnership with IDW is fantastic. We’re inspired by them as much as they’re inspired by us, so moving forward we’ve got this great partnership where we do meet them, we communicate what the big line plan is. They would find out we have a character coming and they might weave it into their stories in a meaningful way. But I think it’s just like how we do it with our characters with like “what is the best fit for a character, what’s the best way to have a meaningful part of their story” and it all comes down to that great partnership we have which now is stronger than ever before. And I think you make a good point, Magnus is really inspired by the great depiction in the IDW series, but definitely we look at a character like Victorion, that was created by the fans and the IDW storyline is going to weave that into it, so I think it’s just a testament to how strong our partnership is with IDW.
So that's a yes? Partly? I don't mind the elaboration by any means, but a straight "yes or no" would be helpful as well.

Thanks for taking the time to get these questions and submit them JT.

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Re: SDCC TF team interview

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You're quite welcome, and it can be challenging when doing these interviews and you just want a clean answer, but they A) need time to think of the answer; and/or B) they want to show their love for the fans by filling a lot of information as well as their love for running the brand. I suppose there's also the nuance angle.

We did get one straight no, Hector. And one yes, though I am not sure you can call it "straight" the way they cited RID. I'll still chalk that up as a yes.
TFviews.com: Will future collector-focused lines like Generations have unified themes the way we’ve had with the “Combiner Wars” theme this year?

Hasbro: Yes. That’s an easy one! Yes, I mean you can see the trend there, with the Combiner Wars and what we’re doing telling them one unified theme throughout that whole line – just like Robots in Disguise, you have a unified theme that we can align with.
Aww, you feel the "stay tuned" is a nope? It surely could be a "nope for now" answer, I was hoping it was a "you may have seen through our tricks" answer.
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Re: SDCC TF team interview

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I tend to agree with Anderson's "Occam's Razor" reading of the answers. But, it is good to have answers in any case.

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