by Karen Yossman
Don’t try and tackle a Transformer before breakfast. Even if it’s only 10 inches high.
Hasbro previewed its new line of Transformers Construct-Bots at San Diego Comic-Con this morning, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the franchise next year. Torn between a table laden with breakfast and a table laden with Transformers Construct-Bot pieces, I over-enthusiastically found myself trying to navigate ball joints at 8am before I’d even had my first cup of coffee. Error. The sets may be aimed at 6 years and up but I found myself struggling to clip poor Ironhide’s feet onto his legs, eventually leaving him to hobble as I abandoned construction for croissants.
But my lack of hand-eye coordination is no reflection on the Construct-Bots sets themselves, which take the art of Transforming to a whole new level. Where previously interaction with Optimus Prime was limited to turning him into a truck and back, Construct-Bots allows you to not only modify an existing Transformer, but as Hasbro’s Global Brand Marketing Director, Jerry Jivoin, put it, to build “your dream Transformer”. Jivoin also revealed that an accompanying app is scheduled to come out later in the year which will allow fans to virtually customize and play with robots while a unique code, available with each Construct-Bot set, will unlock bonus content.
Die-hard fans may be skeptical of this new interactive direction but with Skylanders and Disney Infinity taking market share in the collectible toy/video game arena, Hasbro needed a product that took its retro properties into the future and Construct-Bots is that product. Meanwhile, I’ll probably have to wait a little bit longer at Comic-Con for the Transformer of my dreams: a robot that turns into a cup of coffee.
Construct-Bots are out on 8/1.