Hasbro Answers to TFviews Questions #7

  Posted in Hasbro Q&A on October 22nd, 2009 by JediTricks TF

Our readers came up with these 3 great questions to send in on October 5th, and after a couple days’ delay, Hasbro was generous enough to supply us all 3 answers.

TFviews.com: Does Hasbro consider Animated a successful line? We’ve heard that the figures themselves met and surpassed expectations from a design standpoint, but did the line as a whole, including the animated show itself, meet with the commercial success that Hasbro hoped for? And does the success in translating the figures into the animated style mean that other art styles that could depart from “traditional” Transformer aesthetics are being considered?
Hasbro: Overall, we were very happy with the success of the Transformers: Animated line. Not only were the toys able to transcend past the traditional design/aesthetic of our figures, but the ability for these toys to match the aesthetic of the animation is something that we are incredibly proud of. Of course, we are also happy with the fact that it has been appreciated by our dedicated fan base!

As far as determining what this means for future animation, that is something that is still too early to comment on.

TFviews.com: How does prioritization work when it comes to unfortunate cost-cutting measures that scale back the scope of a figure’s design? Obviously, we know the design team wants to deliver the best figure within the budget they are allocated, but what goes into the decision-making process to make those “Sophie’s Choice” cuts? Why take out, say, ROTF Starscream’s pop-out missile launcher gimmick but leave moving gears? Or why remove Optimus Prime’s much-needed side window paint apps and hand articulation, but leave the sliding switch activation swords?
Hasbro: As with every toy that we design, we deal with each item on a case by case basis. Often times we need to consider production/manufacturing limitations along with all features of the toy in making these sometime difficult decisions. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that we provide the most play value in all of our toys to our fans and ensure that we leave the largest and most impactful features in tact.

For Starscream in particular, we felt that the Mech Alive feature was a bigger action part of the toy and was one of the main features that we were trying to drive within the Revenge of the Fallen line.

TFviews.com: Recently Hasbro was quoted as saying about these Q&As that the questions asked should be not about specific future items so much as about policy and other “behind-the-scenes” stuff, otherwise it’s a waste of time, which we largely agree with. The thing is though, we believe our questions over the last six rounds have been excellent examples of trying to get that very “behind the scenes” type stuff revealed, and yet lately those questions have been largely met with short, shallow, PR-style answers that aren’t even always complete or on-topic. We’ve tried to ask about hypothetical scenarios such as “what would Hasbro have done if the 2007 movie line had tanked?” to gain a greater understanding of Hasbro TF policy is formed, yet have been told hypotheticals are off the table. These Q&As are fan-oriented rather than casual consumer-oriented, we hardcore collectors are excitedly trying to get detailed understandings from the source about how our favored brand works, so we’re really looking forward to those meaty answers and try to write strong, substantial questions to meet them. We don’t want to be the fans who just go “when will you make X?”, but with all due respect, why should we write deep, hard-hitting questions only to get brushed off? Is the problem that there’s only a relatively-brief, two-week turnaround, and if so, would you think extending that to three weeks would help improve the quality of the answers? What can be done to avoid being caught between the proverbial “rock & a hard place” of risking either PR non answers or PR shallow answers?
Hasbro: As a whole, we have been very happy about the opportunity that this forum allows us. Not many brands have direct interaction with their fans, so we certainly appreciate all of the time and effort that many of you put into the questions we answer.

We also want to make sure that we are able to provide insights into the Transformers world that are not available to those who do not work on the brand. So here is a guide: questions that ask about why certain deco schemes, designs, names are chosen for the line are great. Additionally, questions about the lore, storyline, etc. are also great questions.

As for the questions that we won’t answer, the general guide is that we will not answer things that have not been publicly announced, financial questions or are obvious trade secrets, i.e. characters, plot points or characters that have to do with the new animation or future movies.

We hope that this provides you with a little more direction and will do our best to provide detailed answers to the questions that we can answer.

– 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 late November. Thanks to all the readers who participated by coming up with these questions, and 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!

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