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Hasbro changing the way Transformers, um transform

January 21st, 2014 by Irwin Fletcher Comments


Transformers figures have been among a child’s favorite toys for decades, essentially becoming multiple toys for the price of one. The more complex figures needed extensive instrunction books to transform it from vehicle to robot form. But this will soon change, and the only thing it will take to transform your favorite Autobot or Decepticon may be a simple push of a button or flick of the wrist.

The Transformers: Age of Extinction figures will be the first series in a brand-new look and design for the toys, which will lose their complicated transformation procedures.

According to The New York Times:

Enthralled by the special effects in three big-budget “Transformers” movies that enabled the robots to convert in a matter of seconds, Mr. Goldner decided the toys needed to return to their roots. So he challenged his design team to reconceive them. Now, on the 30th anniversary of the brand, Hasbro is revealing a new look for the toys, including simple maneuvers that will complete a transformation with the push of a button or flick of the wrist. …

The new look should help bolster retail sales, said Jaime M. Katz, an analyst at Morningstar, adding that redesigns are expected these days. “Toys were much simpler 30 years ago,” she said. “Everything has to keep evolving.”

The toys’ streamlined transformations also address the need for instant gratification sought by children today, she said. “A toy like this gets them where they are going faster.”

Mr. Lamb conceded that the brand had gotten a little off track over the years. “As new designers and engineers continued to work on this brand, it got more complicated,” he said. Hasbro will continue to make complex Transformers for adult fans who have collected the toys since their inception 30 years ago. But the new design is intended to re-engage parents and children, who found the transformations too challenging.

It’s been thirty years, so one cannot blame Hasbro for shaking things up a bit.

But I’m not sure what the ” toys were much simpler 30 years ago” means as any Transformers fan can attest some of the first wave were anything but. Iron Hide anyone? 

Surely kids that can work PC’s and iPhones should not need toys “simplified”. This is most likely a move to keep product cost down.

The move extends to the branding, too. The property often has multiple toy lines on sale, reflecting various TV, movie and classic versions of the characters, leading to confusion in the toy aisle. Now, all Transformers toys will come under a single, bold logo.

The first wave of the new Transformers are due in May, and is meant to coincide with Paramount Pictures’ release of the fourth movie in the franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction. Retailers will get their first look at the line in London this week at Toy Fair.

Source: New York Times (via io9)

I'm an LA journalist who really lives for his profession. I have also published work as Jane Doe in various mags and newspapers across the globe. I normally write articles that can cause trouble but now I write for FTN because Nerds are never angry, so I feel safe.