Botcon 07 News Roundup!

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Botcon 07 News Roundup!

Postby Skids » Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:33 pm

I'm BAAAAAACK from Anime Expo. And I bought some figures you prudes would REALLY frown on! ^_^ Anyhoo, it seems we have a whole raft of BOTCON news, from the fact that Classics is coming BACK as a Universe-style line, to all sorts of goodies on the Movie and Animated (How does the return of Blackarachnia and the Dinobots in Animated sound to you?)

I started a separate topic because of the sheer volume of information. We can just let it hang around as a point of reference.

http://www.allspark.com/index.php?set_a ... _photo.php
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Allspark Forums member DragonYen brings us some news that was perhaps expected, but is good nonetheless. It's official - Transformers: The Movie is getting a sequel! On the HBO First Look show covering the movie that releases in the States next week and is already out elsewhere, it's revealed that the studio has given the green light to start early work on Transformers 2.

http://img528.imageshack.us/my.php?imag ... 792pt3.jpg

Here's more news from Botcon, as Hasbro unveils its future plans for toys and the Animated series...

Transformers: Animated:

Set on earth in near future in Detroit, alien TFs are thrust into a world populated by humans and automatons. As visitors to earth, the Autobots --Prime, BB, Prowl, Bulkhead, Ratchet-- work in the human world, interacting with the natives

Bumblebee - Bumper Robinson (apparently in a Chris Rock-esque performance)
Bulkhead - Bill Fagerbakke
Prowl - Jeff Bennett
Ultra Magnus - also Jeff Bennett
Arcee - Susan Blu (also the voice director)
Blackarachnia - Cree Summer
Jazz - Phil Lamarr
Corey Burton - Shockwave
Tom Kenny - A Constructicon
A garbage truck (Junkion?) - "Weird Al" Yankovic

This is all in addition to the previously announced Kaye as Optimus Prime, Corey Burton as Megatron, and Tom Kenny as Starscream. Quite a cast, in terms of both actors and characters. Hopefully more information will also come out of tomorrow's Hasbro panel! Thanks to Dr. Fang and Sprocket for the info.

*UPDATE* Kaye said that most of the characters outside the core cast (Prime, Bulkhead, Bee, Prowl, Ratchet) will be single-episode cameo appearances. He also strongly hinted that Waspinator might make an appearance, though if he does, unfortunately Scott McNeil will not be available to return.

New movie toys for 2008: ALLSPARK POWER! The Allspark has the power to give life to new characters, or give new power to others.

The Osprey is Incinerator. See the Hasbro Tour gallery for photos. Voyager.
Landmine - Sector 7 "awesome dune buggy." Big, heavy, dark colors. Deluxe.
Stockade - black Escalade. Naturally, a Decepticon. Deluxe.
Desert Attack Brawl - Leader redeco, with Xed-out Autobot logos.
Nightwatch Optimus Prime - Leader redeco, blue nd grey.

BEAST WARS ROBOT HEROES. Cheetor, Megs. Blitzwing(?) and G1 Galvy too.

"Should we do a larger Bonecrusher?

We'll talk about it." Massive applause, natch.

Next up: Transformers: Animated.
"The last time we had a really good time slot was Armada." Time for a fresh approach, to get into a better time-slot, to bring in more kids. (And us too).
Eric has pretty much run the show. They've been working on it a long time. There'll be lots of surprises, and we'll like them. Yessir!

What's it all about?
3 episode mini-movie in January. Relateable stories and characters. New possibilities with the toys. Produced in the US, partnered with Cartoon Network. "Don't Lose Tradition, But Move With The Times." Trying to do something new, not just make a better G1.
More everyday stories, simpler story, not just a massive space opera.
"We are not dumbing down the Transformers franchise at all." Kid-relateable means more humor, more focus on the characters, but great action too. More interaction with people in cities, not just battling out in deserts somewhere.
"A bit less Robots In Disguise," but "more fish-out-of-water."

From a bullet-point slide:
Episodic, but ties into an overall seasonal arc.
Smaller cast of bots, with more character develpment. Return to Beast Wars in that sense!
Action driven, with a dose of humor.
Major focus on personality and abilities. Super-powered Autobots, like Hound and Mirage from G1.
Rich action sequences.
Familiar and new characters. G1 reappearances, and of course new characters.
Human super-villains and Decepticon villains. Hasbro and Cartoon Network wanted the Decepticons to be more of a menace - "OMG A DECEPTICON." Decepticons are a much bigger threat than the humans. "When Megatron's gonna show up, it's gonna be a big deal." Not a Con/Bot battle every day. But, there's often a Con influence on what the human villains do.

Artistic Style
Highly styized and fluid animation.
More energetic and expressive Bots. Almost humanistic expressions--you'll see what they're feeling.
Major focus on personality and abilities.
Grow from mechanical to emotive designs.
Familiar and New Characters
Realistic and stylized Transformations. "While there is one 'Tasmanian Devil' transformation, it's not going to be constant." Not just stock-animation transformations, not just whirlwinds--they'll transform in different interesting ways in the scenes.

Model Sheets
Cybertronian Mode Optimus - recognizeable, but different. He's got a visor that comes down like a surgical mask.
Earth Mode Prime - sometimes he'll have a trailer, sometimes not--like G1.
Bumblebee - alt-mode looks a lot like Classics Bee. Yellow and stubby with a stripe.
Bulkhead - OMG BIG FAT GUY. ig and strong. "Kinda like the Thing from Fantastic 4." Big wrecking ball flail from his fist. Big tanky trucky alt-mode.
Prowl - "The resident ninja." Motorcycle.
Ratchet - "he's been packing away too many doughnuts." The most seasoned one, the only one who's been in many wars. "Like R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket."
OMG GRIMLOCK. Very like Classics. "You thought there'd really only be 5 Autobots?" There will be 2 more Dinobots too. "They're three crazy dudes."

Decepticons
Cybertronian Megatron - wowowow. Big fusion cannon. Grey. Dunno alt-mode.
Starscream - Character is the same as always. Latta-style voice from Tom Kenny. Dark colors. Jet wings point forward like Cyclonus.
Blitzwing! Jet/tank/robot! "Eric finally found a way to get him into a line." He'll have different faces, spin to switch.
Lugnut - OMG BIG FAT GUY. Purple huge cargo jet. Loyal, unquestioning servant. Over the top and funny. "If Bulkhead is the Thing, he's the Hulk."
Black Arachnia - Pointy! Purple, black, and yellow spider. Very spindly in spider mode. Different origin story than BW. She starts off as a different character, then you learn more about her through flashbacks. A villain you'll really care for.

Human characters
Cpt. Fanzone - olice chief in Detroit
Sari and her father Isaac Sumdac - the most interactive human characters. They can't tell us how, but NOT the "annoying human sidekick telling the big robot from outer space what to do." Sari's an outcast, she looks to them for friendship. They look to her to fit in.
Human villains - "The Angry Archer" *snerk!* Looks like a dopey evil Robin Hood. "Super-powered dudes. Some can run fast, some are super strong, some spew acid, some look good in a pimp suit."

The Ark! Looks like G1, with more colors - gold, with red and grey accents. Inside, CR chambers, BW style. Will there be a playset? "Next slide."
Nemesis is massive. Purple and pointy and huge. The Ark is the size of one of its spikes.
Detroit - Designers flew out there to draw some familiar buildings, but it looks really futury. Centerpiece is the Sumdac Tower, owned by Sari's dad-the Bill Gates of the city. It looks like a sparkplug. Detroit now builds robots instead of cars.

What will the toys look like?
Toys developed at the sme time as animaion designs. All the designers got together to work the toys and animated designs out all at once.
Animation style allows us to show more personality with each character.
90% animation/toy accuracy.
New sculpting style.
NO MORE FULL LINE GIMMICKS.
Transformation IS the feature!
Signature weapons and poses - Attitude and stance. Weapons may transform as well.
Range of motion is great!

Toy photos!
Prime - Deluxe=Cybertronian
Voyager=Earth mode. Look perfect!
BB and Bulkhead - it's amazing how much these look like the animated designs. Amazing stylization. BB has rockets on the sides of his car. They have a look almost like vinyl toys. It's unbelievable they can transform - but they do, and they look just like the cartoons in both modes.
Prowl and Ratchet - Ratchet doesn't look too fat. Prowl is scrawny, seems to come with a stoplight.
Grimlock (Voyager) - no toy photo, but an AutoCad model. Man, that looks like Classics.
Voyager Megtron - alien vehicle. Still has the big fusion cannon. Legs look like Movie Prime's, actually.
Voyager Lugnut and Voyager Blitzwing.
Deluxe Black Arachnia - spider definitely bulkier than the animation bodel, but robot mode looks lithe and agile.
These are going by very, very fast. Suffice it to say, they look GOOD.

Toys will have a matte finish, not glossy. More like Batman toy paints.
Working on season 2 of another 13 episodes. Possibility of season 3 and 4.
More familiar and new characters in S2. Desire to create new characters, with cameos by G1 favorites.

"Roll the sizzle!"
Animation clips. 22nd century Detroit. Into this land, crashed a small group of Autobots, stumbled upon the Allspark artifact.
Prime and Megatron show with axe and swords.
Lots of shots of Prime with mouth. Transformations simple and stylized. Clearly some stock animations. Autobots fighting giant monster, like Thrakkorzogg from the Tick. "I'm Bumblebee!" "I'm Sari." "Don't be!" Silly, fast, fun. Prime's face looks VERY human.

CLASSICS 2.0
Continuing with realistic look, melding with Classics styling... Sunstreaker with Sideswipe repaint! But you can transform the chests differently.
Under the Universe umbrella, for fall 2008, allowing broad influences. Very realistic, but not licensed.
Octane! Bulky! Triple-changer! Big crgo jet, tanker, grey/purple/green robot. Trying to get EVERY triple changer remade. Deluxe.
That's all the Universe/Classics we get to see. They're looking at adding an Ultra scale. The Universe line is "the rest of the world of Transfomers." It'll encompass Classics 2.0, Robot Heroes, etc. All but Transformers: Animated, basically. They're working on a licensing program for it, for more Classics licensed products--like the designs in the Style Guide part of the Hasbro Tour.

Q&A
"Any chance of combiners in Classics or Universe?"
"Yep."

Why not a movie toon? They're just separate. They had different schedules, and it's just how it happened. They wanted to keep some recognizeable elements to tie them together--the stripe on BB, the deco on Ratchet, etc.

The toys will launch around March. Deluxes, Voyagers, and a Battle Pack at first, with a full launch in the fall. The movie line will continue through about the summer.

Mini-Cons? No plans for fall 08. May consider for Spring 09.

They're evaluating Robot Heroes to see if they should keep going.

They definitely wanna use more BW characters. BlackArachnia is it for now.

"Any chance of getting an Ultra Magnus who isn't a Prime repaint?"
"Yes."

Alternators and Titaniums.... DEAD. They felt the Classics was the best one to keep alive. (AMEN) Classics 2.0 will start with 4-8 Deluxes, 3 or so Ultras, about the same as Series 1. They'll continue as long as it's successful. Jazz is likely.

Animated Voyager Prime will have an axe that partially transforms from his trailer.

If someone is in Animated, they probably won't be in Classics. They're supposed to complement each other.

There will eventually be a combiner in Animated.

Titaniums will likely end with WWI Prowl, because that's had packaged samples. Probably WWI Grimlock too. Unfortunately, they'll probably be hard to find.

Any other Classics 2.0 revalations? PROWL PROWL PROWL PROWL PROWL PROWL HOO#%@$INGRAY. *ahem* Also Prowl's redecos, of course, and Ironhide, which you'd assume would lead to... you know. PROWL. Man, and Ironhide. I'm happy over here. Sorry, back to the regularly scheduled semi-unbiased reporting.

They're confirming most of David Kaye's voice revalations. "Weird Al" already recorded his part. We won't necessarily get toys of every Animated cameo character, but we'll see.

Classics 1.0 was a bridge to the movie. They're glad it was so popular, and Classics 2.0 will be longer.

Female Transformers in Animated? Well, it'll start with Black Arachnia, and then we'll see.

They can't find the G1 Dinobots molds, so reissues are pretty much out for Hasbro or Takara.

Sunstreaker and Sideswipe will have different heads. And again, they're working on giving the chest the ability to transform two different ways, so they'll look more distinct in robot modes.

Classics Octane's plane mode is based on a Hercules.

"There may be some things we're working on corporately that are bringing [Marvel and Transformers] together."

Someone asked about having an "angsty Thundercracker" in Animated, and several asked about the "Never Gonna Happen" shelf on the Hasbro tour. Both were basically answered with "no plans." They suppose it's not 100% out of the question to make a Titanium or two into Classics, since the scale is similar, but no plans.

"Playsets for Animated?"
"We think you'll be happy with something we've got planned in the next year and a half or so."

TFA Ratchet is a Deluxe, Bulkhead is a Voyager.

Not shown yet, but Lockdown the Boba Fett-esque bounty hunter will appear in Animated. It's Eric's favorite character.

Classics Galvatron will come out. NOT a Megatron repaint.

New Movie Toys!

* Incinerator is the Osprey we saw at the Hasbro Tour. He is a Grey and Dark Grey deco Osprey Plane. Bot mode has some blue on the chest.
* Landmine is a brand new Military S7 Vehicle
* Stockade, Sector 7 Surburban is Autobot.
* Desert Attack Brawl is the repaint of Movie Leader Brawl.
* Nightwatch Optimus, Movie Optimus Repaint.
* Beast Wars Robot Hereos. Megatron, Cheetor.
* Robot Hereos Astrotrain and Galvatron




2 segments for FALL 2008 - Transformers Animated and Transformers Universe (everything else), 2 distinct styles, TF animated will have heavy licensing, Universe will as well

Classics characters? Dinobots? Jazz is likely, Arcee maybe, no dinos focusing on realistic vehicles

any combiners? yes, but not working on it right now

remaining Titaniums? tooling not done so no, maybe ported over to classics at some point

any chance for Cosmos? showed it last year, dropped out of classics, sent it to Titaniums, now off the table again, will keep trying

trying to bring G1 va's to do occasional guest on animated? up to cartoon network and Susan Blu, not Hasbro, Weird Al did a character

can we get the Botcon classics stuff at retail? absolutely not, would devalue what people have spent, didn't know we would come back to Classics when that was greenlit, it is an exclusive, period

harder to do all 6 seekers in one line? they do sell, but want to have a decent variety, can't do too many... second Classics line will be longer and contain realistic styling in non-movie years, so maybe

Astrotrain repaint in different color? not sure, maybe an exclusive but not top of the list

other vehicles, steamrollers, garbage trucks, etc...? yes, maybe in the animated series


Human action figure line? Perhaps

Movie Jazz Solstice in Alt style? no plans

Dinobot grammar? familiar to what you've seen in the past

minor characters like Fallen--any chance of Jhiaxus? yes, we will be going beyond the S1 and S2 guys

any TFing base or playset? something clever coming up in the next year and half, blends playset with bigger robots

other 6" Titaniums? Skywarp not happening, MAYBE Soundwave redeco?




Botcon toy photos:
http://www.tfw2005.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/1811
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Skids
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Postby Matrix3 » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:15 pm

Here is the first video of Botcon 2007:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=dRbQbHtCp_c
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Postby Beastbot » Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:31 pm

There will eventually be a combiner in Animated.


It'll be the Constructicons, according to Kaye.
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Postby Skids » Tue Jul 10, 2007 9:56 pm

Ooooh, niiiice. Here's hoping we get a nicely Devastatery Devastator for once (I like these recent ones, but they don't really have much in common visually with the original big guy...and aside from Predaking, I still find old Dev the most intimidating G1 combiner. Bruta-who? :D).
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Postby Transypoo » Tue Jul 10, 2007 10:04 pm

*Skids jumps in my way*

Hem, yes of coures, Devistator... who else, hummmm?
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