Friday, May 29, 2015

Linkfest - Combiner Wars Continue

The Combiner Wars continue for Hasbro with an upcoming release of the Protectobots and for most of the 3rd party companies who have released either completed around four or five combiners this year with another 5 or so set to finish by year end. It is an embarassment of riches for fans but also quite wallet draining if trying to keep up, especially if trying to get all the combiners. That is before you include the 6 or so Dinobot lines that also in works from these companies.

Much like how combiners wars are a nod to the past so too are some of the links below with a look at potential Action Master designs using combiners as action figures, some behind the scenes info from Transformers: The Movie and 35+ year old commercials from Japan that feature many of your favorite G1 Transformers before they became Transformers. There are also links to galleries to the first 3rd party Grimlock, Prime 1 Studios Age of Extinction statue line, and a stop motion video.

As for reviews, the links include Hasbro's Combiner releases of Cyclonus, the Protectobots, Stunticons, along with Robots in Disguise Jazz & Drift, Playstation Optimus Prime and Masterpiece Star Saber. For third party releases there are a ton of reviews to go with their now overkill output. Iron Factory and 3DX has three releases of their legend scale lines. ToyWorld completes their not Throttlebot combiner after over a year of nothing on that front while also releasing a solid take on not Astrotrain. The number of not Dinobots in the works has reached at least six lines that I can think of including two of them being combiners. Probably need to develop a cheat sheet to keep up at this point. Warbotron has completed their not Bruticus combiner that looks spectacular while Unique Toys reaches the halfway point on their not Terrocons. Those are just some of the many reviews linked below.

Bumblebee: The Movie?

Thursday Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner presented at the Global Consumer Conference 2015 and TFW2005 was on hand to provide some information on some of their plans for their many properties including Transformers. On the Transformers front the CEO said:

"As we go forward, we would imagine several more Transformers movies. Not just in the current lineage but also spinoffs and focusing on certain key characters that a beloved by the world over. Many of you know Bumblebee; the yellow Camaro... formally known as a yellow VW Bug and he is a beloved character by kids all over the world. We could see stories told around Bumblebee and other characters

We are in a process of building the brand equity around the Comic Book Business, our TV Business, our Digital Gaming Business and adding to that our new movie business of Transformers. Last year was Transformers 4. It was quite a good success for us last year. We've begun to work with writers and we are now developing the Transformers [Cinematic] Universe beyond the first four movies. And we are continuing to have Television [programs] on the air with Cartoon Network where Transformers is performing quite well in the first quarter coming off of a movie year."
So the takeaway is the Transformers Cinematic Universe (TFCU? TCU?) will essentially copy the Marvel and Star Wars in approach with ensemble films and individual characters films. Also that Transformers: Robots in Disguise is considered a success so there could be more then just two seasons of the show and the IDW relationship continues to be going well. I would not read this to mean that Bumblebee is guaranteed a standalone film, just that he was being used as an example of the potential of such an approach. The news is good for the TF movie fans but I have to admit until I see some concrete plans the idea of Michael Bay's take on Transformers expanding to a yearly (or more) film per year does little to thrill me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Transformers One Prequel In Works?

Deadline is reporting that two more writers have joined the Transformers Writers Room and their task may be to write a prequel movie set on Cybertron. Ant-Man writers Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari have been tapped to potentially write the movie for "Transformers One" that will act as a prequel to the Transformers franchise. It might be an animated movie but to start it will be written with the goal of live action. The cost to produce will likely be the determining factor since it will be a CGI movie. There is no additional information about the story or the plans but it seems that Hasbro and Paramount is so heavily invested in the Michael Bay movie version of Transformers I doubt whatever is developed will have little to do with the "official" canon that Hasbro has developed for their video game and comic book properties.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Transformers Ruin Your Favorite Movies

Below is an amusing video from Funny or Die that inserts action sequences from the Transformers movies into some familiar movie scenes from Titanic, Forrest Gump, Speed, and more.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Transformers Tap Walking Dead, Pacific Rim and Lost Writers For Brain Trust

Deadline is reporting that Akiva Goldsman has worked out who will join the Transformers Writers Room to work out the future of Transformers franchise. Akiva will head a team that is joined by Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead), Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man), Zak Penn (Pacific Rim 2) and Jeff Pinkner (Lost, Amazing Spider-Man 2) to figure out a Transformers Cinematic Universe. The details of what they are planning remains unknown but the assumption is they will spend the next year working on story ideas that will then be handed off to either these writers or others to turn into movie scripts. I assume this includes Transformers 5 which has been pushed back a year to 2017 in hopes that Michael Bay will return to direct once he completes his current Benghazi related film.

The line up is solid as all have solid track records for creating or participating in world building which the franchise desperately needs. They also are pretty good at creating characters and adding character moments into their scripts which is an area that Transformers has suffered since the very first movie. I wish I saw at least one of the comic book writers in the room if only because they have proven to be unafraid of making the Transformers memorable as individual characters, with interesting back stories and a whole lot of excellent world building. Their origin for the war that includes the friendship of Optimus and Megatron and how it ends in open conflict that destroys worlds would provide plenty of fodder for a trilogy (and potential offshoots), especially if paired with an story set in the present. So what do you think of this writer's room?

IDW August 2015 Transformers Comics

IDW Publishing has released their publishing plans for August 2015. Five floppies and one trade are coming out that month. Really nothing new to point out as the various ongoings continue to move along in their various story arcs. For the full details of IDW's other books including GI Joe, Star Trek, and more click here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ILM Celebrates 40 Years

Founded in 1975 by George Lucas to help create Star Wars, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has begun to celebrate its 40th year anniversary. Basically how we see and listen to movies, especially action, science fiction and animation (thanks to Pixar that started there), has all but been defined by ILM. Their influence on movies, TV, this current generation of writers, directors and producers and those to come cannot be underestimated. Its amazing how they constantly obliterate the bar of what can be done in the last 40 years. I look forward to seeing what they do in the next 40.

Below is an all too short video nod to some of their work over the years including with the Transformers franchise. Wired has a very long article worth reading (with the section on "The Bay Effect" below) or if short for time Collider has a summary of 16 facts.

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