Hasbro's 30th anniversary panel for the Transformers toy lines at San Diego Comic-Con made a series of announcements that had many a Transfan salivating, from crazy Construct-Bots to the "Thrilling 30" line of premium figures to an all-new character created by fans.
2014 marks 30 years since "The Transformers" toy line and cartoon premiered in the US -- "and like any good 30th anniversary, we're starting in 2013," the panelists joked. The slides were often presented with such tongue-in-cheek commentary as "WARNING -- WHAT YOU'RE ABOUT TO SEE MAY BLOW YOUR MIND." We'll let you judge for yourself.
The panelists expressed a desire to streamline the transforming process for the figures, recalling how the original Optimus Prime figure only required five steps to go from big rig to Autobot. This was compared to three pages of steps for a more recent figure. Several of the figures they showed were based around five to six steps, to applause from the audience.
-Construct-Bots got a big push, with an upcoming "Best Bots Challenge" that launches on TF.com in Mid-August. Participants can upload pics of their creations and pit them against other fan creations -- and a "Kid-Built Bot" contest will see an individual fan-created figure win. A number of custom-created Construct-Bots were shown mashing up such classic characters as "Thunderbee," "Silverdown," and our favorite, "Megahound."
-Speaking of Megahound, er, Megatron, we loved this Construct-Bots "Unicron Megatron." That's a bad dude right there!
Coming off three Daytime Emmys, "Beast Hunters" also got a big push. We have many, many pics, but a favorite was this re-do of Shockwave, which includes some tusk-type details and a vinyl version of the cord on his laser-arm, making him extra-poseable.
There's also a mad-cool Optimus Prime with Dragon Ring.
Another personal favorite was Sharpshot, the classic Insecticon, who comes with a Targetmasters weapon of Reflector, the robot that turned into a camera (or rather, three robots that turned into a camera) from the original series that was a mail-away only and we were never able to find, not that we're bitter.
The "Generations" line, which combines a number of Transformers from different eras, features a number of cool upcoming figures, including the menacing Whirl...
...to Grimlock vs. Bruticus...
...to original characters they're working to create with IDW for the "Transformers: GEnerations" comic to be original, fleshed-out (so-to-speak) creations for the line.
-Getting to the big stuff: The "Thrilling 30" is a line of super-cool premium figures released throughout 2013 through the end of 2014 representing some of the coolest figures. Some of our favorites included this "Beast Hunters" Ultra Magnus...
...and this reissue of the massively massive combiner of the 1980s, Predaking, which is now available for pre-order on Amazon!
There's even going to be a Transformers pop-up book by pop-up master Matthew Reinhart, which will feature actual transforming pop-ups, including a MASSIVE one of Omega Supreme we sadly can't show you (it's the biggest pop-up Reinhart's ever done).
-The final major highlight was the revelation of the fan-created Transformer. Hasbro's people admitted this was one of the most intimidating figures to create, as they didn't want to let the fans down.
The fans voted on every aspect of this figure -- from it being an Autobot, to a female one (yay! Arcee has friends!), to the transformation to the color scheme to the name. And so, we present:
She includes a Kabuki-mask-style face, a transformation into a vertical-take-off-and-landing jet, and a "Tornado Blade" she can charge up to unsheath and help the Autobots.
The character will be a deluxe figure in "Generations" by the end of 2014, and Hasbro's working with IDW to come up with a backstory and include her in a comic. There was the promise that "Windblade could show up anywhere!"
Excited about any of these? Manage to actually get that super-massive Metroplex figure from the show? That thing's like three feet tall! Dang Hasbro lines, everyone wants the cool stuff...