Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction Blu-Ray and DVD Out Today

In case you some how managed to miss the commercials telling you, Transformers: Age of Extinction Blu-ray (BR) and DVD is now available in stores. The details on the special features are here. The movie comes in more or less four versions - Combo Pack (BR + DVD + Digital Copy), IMAX 3D Combo Pack (3D BR + BR + DVD + Digital Copy), DVD, and store exclusive with the Combo Pack. Below are the details on US stores prices.

On a related note, movie composer Steve Jablonsky announced that a CD copy of the score will be available starting October 7th via La-La Land Records. If aware of prices at other stores be sure to leave info in the comments.

Friday, September 26, 2014

More Transformers: Age of Extinction Concept Art

Paramount has provided Seibertron.com and TFW2005 have been provided with exclusive pre-production artwork that was created for Transformers: Age of Extinction. The art shows some of the concepts developed for various scenes of the movie, a look at designing Lockdown, rusted Optimus Prime, knight Optimus, ships and more. The full gallery can be found at Seibertron and TFW2005.

First Look Angry Birds: Transformers Gameplay, Characters and Music

Set for release on iOS (Oct 15) and Android (Oct 30), Rovio has posted several videos for Angry Birds: Transformers. The first vid is a look at the gameplay which seems to be a side scroller with Generation One homages. After the gameplay trailer is a look at Angry Birds version of Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and Lockdown. The last video is an interview with Vince DiCola (Transformers: The Movie) who is one of the music composers for the game. I think this just might be the first mobile Transformers game I am genuinely curious about playing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Peter Cullen Wants Bay for Transformers 5

In a brief interview with CinemaBlend, Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime) said he is hoping that Michael Bay will return to direct Transformers 5.

"I have a great deal of respect for him. He generates a great deal of excitement and energy. He's really a hands-on director. My son is a stunt man and worked in Chicago doing a lot of the driving sequences...he said he's a very, very diligent, hands-on guy. He creates a great deal of energy and puts everybody on their toes. I would certainly miss him. I think he's brilliant, his mind is unbelievable. Michael if you're [reading] this, I certainly hope you are coming back."

The Hub Rebrand Now Official

As mentioned last week, Hasbro were in negotiations to turn control of The Hub to Discovery Communications. Now that move is official. Effective October 13, the channel will be Discovery Family Channel. I doubt this will change anything from a cable provider perspective but from a viewer perspective the rebranding means a new schedule with a heavy emphasis on Discovery's "family friendly" content. Current shows they plan on adding to the channel are Superhuman, Time Warp, Flying Wild Alaska, Africa and Extreme Engineering: Biggest Reveals with probably more to follow. Hasbro cartoons will continue to air in the daytime with My Little Pony, Littlest Pet Shop, and Transformers Rescue Bots cited as examples but what time range is Hasbro's was not specified.

I am curious to know what drove this change. The Hub's business model wasn't profits through ads but profit by increasing toy sales for Hasbro. Even if the channel had been profitable selling the commercials, Hasbro would have considered it a failure if it didn't help sell their toys and judging by their last year or so of decreasing sales indicates that The Hub may have actually hurt them since few kids saw their ads/cartoons. My guess is most people's view of the channel was the same as mine. The Hub simply wasn't worth paying the extra $10 a month to get when Disney, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon were available at expanded basic cable tier. As a result between limited access to the channel compared to their competitor kid networks while simultaneously removing Hasbro's content from those competitor channels resulted in far few kids seeing those cartoons/ads than expected. So less eyeballs means less toys sells means channel being viewed as essentially a failure despite the multiple Emmys and critical acclaim some its programming enjoyed. After four years the Hasbro powers that be probably decided to just cut their losses and move back to a model that worked before - airing cartoons on whatever channel will pay for them with the advantage of getting in front of a whole lot more eyeballs. I don't know what this means for Transformers: Robot in Disguise which is supposed to air sometime in 2015. I would not be the least bit surprised if we learn later that Hasbro shopped it around to other networks to air.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Dinobots VFX Featurette Extended Version

Below is a longer version of the Dinobots Visual Effects clip that is part of the special features that is included with Transformers: Age of Extinction when its released on September 30th on Blu-ray. Thanks to Feris O. for finding it. To order from Amazon: Combo Pack | 3D Combo Pack | Limited Edition | DVD

IDW December 2014 Transformers Comics

IDW Publishing has released their publishing plans for December 2014. Probably due to next year's Transformers: Robots in Disguise cartoon, IDW has dropped the sub-title so now its just "Transformers". Strikes me as an odd choice since it would have been a perfect excuse to do soft relaunch of the title. Any case a somewhat busy month with five floppies and one trade. For the full details of IDW's other books including GI Joe, Star Trek, and more click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Hub Rebranding to Discovery Family

After four years of attempting to go toe to toe with Nickelodeon, Disney, and Cartoon Network for the pre-teen demographic, Hasbro has thrown in the towel. The company is going to turn over controlling interest co-owner Discovery Communications who plans on rebranding the network as Discovery Family with a goal of going for a more all ages approach. The preliminary deal would allow Hasbro to retain control of programming a 9am to 3pm block to help with advertising their various toy lines but outside of that Discovery will be free to program the network under the new brand.

Considering both Nick, Disney and Cartoon Network has shown a renewed interest in focusing only on the 13 and younger crowd by cancelling or marginalizing their all ages programming (Legend of Korra, all DC cartoon, and bunch more that don't immediately come to mind), Discovery might be able to take advantage of a segment that simply isn't being serviced anymore - parents who want to watch TV and cartoons with their kids while pretending they are not hating every second of it.

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