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Transformers Fall of Cybertron trailer featuring Metroplex

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Bot Shots game is looking good

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on February 24, 2012 | Hasbro |

The Hasbro toy fair collectors’ event in New York seems to have gone well this year. These events are always made more difficult by the fact that corporations are obliged to promote their products throughout the year. This means that those who attend the events run the risk of being less than overwhelmed by things they have already seen promoted in advertisements and so on. Hence toy companies have to be shrewd enough to keep some interesting details back before unveiling them at fairs.

2012 was the fifth year Hasbro chose to showcase its products in this way and it seems to be developing a winning formula. There was a lot to see and the company clearly has a busy year ahead. Transformers fans will be pleased to learn that a theme park construction will be opening in Universal Studios, as we reported last September. However, British fans may be even more interested in some toy-related news.

Bot Shots will be launched via an internet game on March 1 2012 and offline products will become available. At first glance, prices seem reasonable. In the United States, $5 will be the amount charged. A fan will be able to collect up to 44 small robot figures. Playing with them should be great fun because when the Bot Shots come into contact with one another all sorts of possibilities will open out.

Hasbro has put quite a lot of development into how the Bot Shots will be played. The outcome of battles will be determined via a process that may seem complex at first. However, this process will soon become second nature we’ve been assured.

Hasbro and FarmVille enterprise team up

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on February 22, 2012 | Hasbro |

What is good for Hasbro is good for Transformers as, if Hasbro does well, their toy output is likely to go from strength to strength. Hasbro has recently entered into a very exciting partnership with Zynga. For those unfamiliar with Zynga, they are a firm which make games that are played on the social media giant Facebook. These games include the well-known FarmVille, among other games designed to eat away at your free-time.

Zynga is a big and powerful corporation, much like Hasbro itself. Lots of people love playing their games online (although not me). Believe it or not, the market value of Zynga currently exceeds that of many long established (more…)

Hasbro toy fair shows it’s hard to please everyone

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on February 13, 2012 | Hasbro,Toys / Action Figures |

There was a lot going on at the recent Hasbro Toy Fair Collector’s Event in New York. Many people were very impressed by the wide range of interesting toys. Some fans can barely wait for the release dates to arrive. However, there were some observers who were less easy to win over. They noticed that Hasbro has not pushed ahead on the American front, with all the Transformers figures associated with the movie ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon.’

To their credit, Hasbro was open about this development. They stated to the media that unfortunately Wheeljack, Ratchet and Bumblebee Deluxe models would not be made available in the United States. More positively, they will be obtainable in Canada and Asia. As long as they are available somewhere in the world, dedicated fans will track them down.

However, it is apparent that there was not as much US demand for these items as one might have thought and hoped. Indeed, some unreleased toys such as Human Alliance Soundwave have been cancelled. It might be that the American market is being adversely affected by the tendency for people to desire online games.

Perhaps Hasbro has found it hard to shift some toys when they have had smallish roles in a big movie. However, it is hard to be pessimistic after what was ultimately an entertaining and interesting toy fair. Transformers fans have a lot to look forward to and here in Britain we will certainly not get too downhearted over a glitch on the other side of the pond.

Hasbro fights Transformers corner

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on January 6, 2012 | Hasbro |

We are all grateful for Hasbro (even though we sometimes don’t like to admit it). Its toys and films have kept many of us amused for longer than we care to remember. A sizeable proportion of us were around the first Transformers came out, while many of us are ‘Johnny come latelys’ to the toys.

Whether we’re old hats to Transformers or new to the toys, one thing that has always been around is the ‘knock off’. While many knock offs are interesting at best, some forms of knock off are the worst kind – knocks offs of a name or brand. Asus Computer International has elected to use the great name for its tablet. We can understand why Hasbro has resorted to legal action in an effort to keep its trademark special.

Asus Computer International may not be the most creative company the world has ever seen. A tablet could be called by a diversity of names. They seem to feel that there would be no possibility that their tablet could clash with a mere toy. To potentially infringe the trademark of a company is clumsy; to appear contemptuous of the fine product of another company is careless. Regardless of the outcome of the case, Asus Computer International has not been very careful with its reputation management.

Fans of Transformers do not wish Asus Computer International any harm. However, it would be pleasant if they adopted a more conciliatory attitude towards Hasbro. Hasbro has worked hard to create brand recognition and Asus Computer International should appreciate that.

Hasbro workers toil in terrible conditions?

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on December 22, 2011 | Hasbro |

When you’re opening and playing with your Transformers on Christmas morning perhaps you should spare a thought for the people who put them together, if a new report on the working conditions in one of Hasbro’s factories in China is anything to go by.

Hasbro-workersAccording to the report, published by GlobalLabourRights.org, the conditions in Hasbro’s factory leave a lot to be desired. The report is entitled ‘Holidays by Hasbro, Transformers from Hell’ and is 40 pages of condemning documentation and photographs about the conditions. The report states that workers are fed on food that is described as ‘pretty much like swine food’, they sleep in rat infested dorms, work 12 hour shifts at peak times and all for the equivalent of 92 Cents per hour.

The report also states that emergency exits are kept locked, and there are no fire drills.

Perhaps the worst of the highlights is that workers need to ask permission to use the bathroom, are not allowed to even look up and are searched three times a day (presumably in case they try to pinch Transformers).

Possibly the most worrying thing to come out of this news is that a lot of Transformers fan sites have refused to publish this story and, according to one source, IDW has refused to allow discussion of the news on its website. It seems that Hasbro has a lot of power, and to many this news is just too disturbing to mention.

The executive summary is below, and you can read the full report here.

Executive Summary

Jet Fair sweatshop in China produces Hasbro’s Transformers

  • Workers housed in filthy, over-crowded dorms, infested with rats and bed bugs. Workers report they cannot sleep at night from the bed bug bites.
  • Workers describe factory food as “Pretty much like swine food.”
  • Workers allowed less than 9 minutes to assemble each Hasbro Transformer, for which they are paid 17 cents.
  • “We are drenched in sweat,” workers say. Factory temperatures soar to 104 degrees F in summer.
  • During peak season, workers toil 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, while earning a take-home wage of just 92 cents an hour.
  • Workers undergo three body-searches each day, are not permitted to talk or lift their heads to look around, and need permission to use the bathroom.
  • Hasbro is open to the hiring of 14 and 15-year-olds on a “case-by-case basis.”
  • Workers in the spray paint department fear they are being exposed to dangerous solvents.
  • There are no fire drills and some emergency exits are locked.
  • During the slow season, hundreds of workers are fired under false charges so management does not have to pay their legal severance.
  • Workers are cheated of paid sick leave and maternity leave.
  • Workers describe their work as mindless, miserable, constantly monotonous, yet furious and exhausting.

Hasbro to attend Auto Assembly 2011

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on August 2, 2011 | Auto Assembly,Hasbro,News |

Last night Auto Assembly made yet another announcement about this year’s Transformers convention, taking place in Birmingham in just ten days time. The latest announcement is that Hasbro will be attending, and will have a Transformers display of some of the latest toys. Here is the official announcement from Auto Assembly:

We’re just 11 days away from Auto Assembly 2011 but we’re not finished with our big announcements yet…!

We are proud to announce that we are continuing to develop our relationship with Hasbro UK and once again they will be having a display at the convention this year showcasing some of the latest Transformers available. They are also going to be donating some prizes for us to give away at the convention but we’re going to be leaving details of that as a surprise for the weekend itself.

We still have more big announcements to come and the clock is ticking away now for you to hurry and pre-register to guarantee your place at Europe’s Largest Transformers Convention! Pre-booking will get you earlier admission to the event, a better chance for more free gifts in your goodie bag, and you’ll be automatically entered into two free prize draws, one of which is to win autographs from various Transformers actors including Peter Cullen and Shia La Boeuf!

If you’re not able to join us this year, don’t forget that bookings are open now for Auto Assembly 2012 taking place over the weekend of 3rd – 5th August 2012. Tickets are selling at an astonishing rate with almost 40 sold in the first week!

Auto Assembly 2011 is taking place over the weekend of 12th – 14th August 2011 at the Holiday Inn Birmingham City Centre, Birmingham, England and tickets are available from the website now. For more details on the convention, to see a full list of all the guests and activities taking place over the weekend, or to book your tickets, visit the website at www.autoassembly.org.uk

Latest Transformers toy releases from Hasbro

Written by Tom Potts on May 13, 2011 | Hasbro,Toys |

Hasbro is keeping fans excited about the release of their latest Transformer toyline, which will go on general sale on the 16th May.

Hasbro has been updating regularly in anticipation of the launch and recently revealed the character Cyberverse Legion Crowbar. The Vector Sigma database, that also launched during the redesign, reveals Crowbar as part of the Dread team, along with Crankcase and Hatchet. Additional figures that are part of this update include fellow Legion class, renamed from Legend Leadfoot, Bolt Bumblebee, and Commander Blackout.

As well as the characters Hasbro has included a brief description about the toy characters and their strengths and abilities.

CROWBAR infiltrates and observes AUTOBOT tactical movements with unmatched stealth and intellect. He has been trained in the most brutal DECEPTICON attack strategies for the unlikely event he is discovered.

BUMBLEBEE charges into battle, engine roaring, and ready to turn DECEPTICONS into scrap. His dogged bravery is idolised by the AUTOBOTS and feared by his enemies.

LEADFOOT and his cohorts drive fast, have a thing for loud weapons and maintain a strong dislike for DECEPTICONS. But LEADFOOT is not all flash and show; while on CYBERTRON he was called a genius weapon designer!

These toys are going to be on wide release and will be available from most retailers such as ASDA, Amazon, Argos, Boots, Debenhams, Firebox.com, Hamleys, John Lewis, Play.com, Smyths, Tesco, The Entertainer, Toymaster, Toys R Us and WH Smiths.

Product selection, availability, and pricing may vary by retailer.

SDCC 09: Hasbro Panel Summary

Written by Big Bot on July 24, 2009 | Hasbro | Tags: , , , ,

Hasbro’s Transformers panel was yesterday at SDCC 09 and luckily, the guys at AllSpark.com were alert enough to written down a detailed but not-too-long summary.

There are details on the future of Transformers: Animated and Transformers: Universe, what else is coming in the Revenge of the Fallen toyline, and which Masterpiece figures are getting a release outside Japan.

There were no details on Transformers 3, but slight hints towards the next Transformers cartoon.

BotCon 2009: Hasbro Panel

Hasbro’s panel at BotCon 2009 is in mid flow and a few of the main USA sites are live blogging/twittering/posting updates from the convention. Unfortunately, no photos or videos are allowed, so there’s only lots of text to read.

The panel consists of Greg Lombardo, Aaron Archer, Bill Rawley, Joe Kyde, and Erik Siebenaler, as well as some of Hasbro’s writers and marketing team. There’s a lot of information on Masterpiece, Animated, Universe and Revenge of the Fallen toys for the rest of 2009 and 2010. Hopefully there will be some more news on why Animated was cancelled, but we may have to wait until tomorrow.

If you can’t be bothered to read through everything, I will post the big news from the convention: Hasbro are planning on becoming more environmental with their packaging and removing the twist ties. Amazing!

TFW2005.com
AllSpark.com
TFormers.com

Transformers Revenge of the Fallen toys at Toys R Us

Written by Darren 'Starscream' Jamieson on May 28, 2009 | Hasbro,News,Toys,Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen |

Toys R Us sent us some images and copy about the Transformers 2 toy line that will be launching in their stores nationwide in the UK this weekend. That’s right, this Saturday May 30th you’ll be able to get your hands on Transformers Revenge of the Fallen toys at Toys R Us.

To mark the launch of the new Transformers toy range, Chevrolet will roll into Toys R Us in Brent Cross on Saturday 30th May (10am until 6pm) with an exclusive branded version of their Camaro as seen inthe Transformers movies.

The Chevrolet Camaro comes in yellow colours with the black racing stripes, just like the real Bumblebee. The car also features the Autobot insignia on the steering wheel, the seats and the wheel centres.

Here’s the press release from Toys R Us.

25 years after the original Transformers were launched, toy giant Toys R Us has announced it will dedicate a massive 24ft wall of space at the front of their stores to accommodate the latest Transformers toy range…4 weeks prior to the new movie release.

In 2007, Transformers hit cinema screens across the UK with their first movie and became a spectacular success and a big hit with toy shoppers. Now Toys R Us are set to give Transformers 2, the new live action blockbuster due for UK release next month massive support at store level and online and has tipped Transformers action figures to be top of toy wish lists yet again.

Already available on ‘pre-order’ at the toys giants online store, the latest toy releases have been given an On Sale Release Date for Saturday (30th May). New Action figures and key character Bumblebees’ Helmet and Plasma Cannon accessories are just some of the new toys about to hit the streets.

Toys R Us will be the first and only major multiple to create the ultimate in-store experience defining the Autobots and Decepticons on huge visual and audio imagery giving fans both young and old a unique Transformers shopping experience.

Mike Coogan, Toys R Us Marketing Director said “Transformers has been an enormous product concept since Toys R Us launched back in ’85, the size of our stores allow us to merchandise a vast selection of products within the Transformers range from action figures and games to helmets and stationary. If you love Transformers, then you’ll enjoy a trip to Toys R Us, the displays will be amazing and the new range is very exciting”.

TRANSFORMERS 2 REVENGE OF THE FALLEN TOYS

Transformers 2 Deluxe Figure Bumblebee £12.99

Get ready to roll out with Autobot allies, especially Sam’s pet favourite Bumblebee. This detailed Bumblebee figure unleashes a launching pulse missile in robot mode and converts to a cool, Camaro concept car in vehicle mode.

Also available is Soundwave, Breakaway, Sideswipe, Rampage, and Sideways.

Transformer 2 Movie Leaders Megatron and Optimus Prime £44.99 each

Add to the Transformers collection with these latest Revenge of the Fallen Movie Leader figures. These large scale Megatron and Optimus Prime action figures come with realistic styling and detail. Mech Alive technology reveals inner gearing whilst electronic lights and sounds truly bring the action to life.

Transformers 2 Bumblebee Helmet £39.99

Kids can pretend to be the fun-loving Autobot character Bumblebee with this role-playing helmet that lets a child mix their own voice with music and includes ‘tune in’ radio phrases from Bumblebee and battle sound effects.

Transformers 2 Bumblebee Arm Blaster £39.99

To complete the fantasy, kids can pretend to battle the Decepticons with Bumblebee’s Plasma Cannon – the awesome arm blaster with its arsenal of weapons to protect humanity with its realistic lights and sounds.

Coming Soon

One of the largest and most powerful Decepticons Devastator is expected for launch next month.

Transformers 2 Movie Construction Devastator

Look out for this new Devastator made up from no less than six construction vehicles.

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