Hasbro Answers to TFviews Questions #4

Our readers came up with these 3 great questions to send in on May 4th, and after a couple week’s extra delay (we’re assuming for Botcon), Hasbro was generous enough to supply us all 3 answers.

TFviews.com: Some Transformers toys have very complex transformations. Is there an ideal level of complexity that the design team aims for, based on factors such as line and price-point? Are there examples of toys having been significantly revised or canceled for being too complex or difficult to execute, or for being too difficult for the market? Along similar lines, are there any toys the design teams are especially proud of for their significant yet satisfying complexity?
Hasbro: We try to target a certain level of complexity for each segment of the line, while offering innovation and variety. The final complexity largely depends on the character design and features, but we always keep a watchful eye to make sure that certain conversions do not become too difficult and make appropriate adjustments as needed.
Leader Optimus Prime is a perfect example that we are proud of where the design of the toy perfectly matched the complexity of the conversion.

TFviews.com: Among the fans, there are a few theories about this next one, so we figure we should just get it cleared it up once and for all. Why did the techspecs change the term “Firepower” to “Fireblast” a few years ago? The former not only was around since the inception of the line, but is a real and descriptive word, while the latter enjoys neither standing. Was there a concern that parents might not like the idea of their kids playing with toys that have “firepower” despite some figures bristling with cannons, or was it something else?
Hasbro: This certainly is a great question and remarkably has a pretty simple and direct answer. Simply stated someone trademarked firepower and we simply could no longer use it.

TFviews.com: Retailer exclusives have become a growing part of the Transformers brand over the last few years, with more repaints, multi-packs, and even whole sub-lines showing up at specific retail chains. Heck, the roll-out for the 2007 movie line featured a major tie-in with Target. Could you give an overview of the process behind designing store exclusives?
Hasbro: The general process is we try to target the specific needs/requests and then consult with main line team to see what molds are available. Work through what are best fits for those molds and then also take into account what fans are looking for and would appreciate. We try to stay abreast of those characters that fans and collectors tend to favor and do our best to work them into the line.

– Well, that’s it for this round, this is a bi-monthly Q&A series so we’ll have more great questions ready to go in mid July. Thanks to all the readers who participated by coming up with these questions, and a huge thanks to Hasbro for making this Q&A possible!

If you’d like to discuss these answers with other fans, or you’d like to submit a question of your own, join us in the Transformers Q&A thread in our forums!