News and Updates from UK Toy Fair

Thanks to NinjaCyborg over at transformertoys.co.uk who was in attendence at this years UK Toy Fair, we have some news and updates on what Hasbro was showing. Get a look at the report that includes some details about Leader Starscream, War For Cybertron, New Universe and more.

Transformers selection was clearly visible through the booth window so I don’t see why I shouldn’t report what I could see. Not like I signed an NDA or anything. A lot of the display was current releases – ROTF scouts, HA Bumblebee, Leader Prime.

On display, but not on general release yet, was: Leader Starscream, ROTF Bludgeon and more importantly from the new stuff was: WFC Optimus – looked bigger than deluxe, more like Voyager size WFC Bumblebee – awesome vehicle mode, and even more awesome, metallic gold paint/plastic Universe Seaspray – ultra sized I think, since it was bigger than ROTF Bludgeon that it was next to.

Looks just like a huge version of the original – Same blue and white and yellow for the turbines. Very nice. Some new G1 style legends – I think I saw a jeep, Outback maybe? or Swindle?, It was khaki coloured but the view from the booth window was too far to see the smaller toys Some kind of combiner – could have been power combiners, but looked to me more like it was built from Legends sized figures – and it was definitely not Devastator.

One of the legs looked like a jet or shuttle of some kind. Could be a Legends Bruticus set? Was very lanky and with wiry limbs, but humanoid in shape. ‘Leader’ ROTF Bumblebee or whatever it’s going to be called Also visible through the Hasbro window was some Marvel Universe stuff, but nothing new and no Iron Man 2 that I could see.

Also saw the A-Team figures on another booth. Not bad likenesses of the new actors. Still hate Neeson as Hannibal though. Funny that Mattel or Mattel distributors are totally absent from this fair. No wonder you can’t find Avatar toys anywhere.

More details are just in from NIBMRatchet: Seaspray is a boat with room for Scouts on his deck Revenge of the Fallen toy line name will be dropped from packaging, the line will be re-branded just as “Transformers”. Power Core Combiners is a “Transformers” sub-line Power Core Combiners 2-packs and 5-packs can be combined together

One of the Power Core 5-pack combiners is a new Bruticus! New Transformers RPMs molds including Drift RPM Bumblebee track set RPM Stealth Force – deluxe/voyager size vehicles with fold out weaponry. Doesn’t sound like they transform. Transformers Animated may get ‘phased’ back into the UK in late 2010.

Source: Tformers

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Japanese Animated Toy Pics

Preorders for the first wave of the Japanese Transformers Animated figures has started, giving us the first images of these figures. These are promotional images, and thus may be enhanced with photoshop; however it seems that the figures may hav a metallic paint finish applied, and Ironhide (US Bulkhead) seems to be a different shade of green.

US Toy seller Big Bag Toy Store has posted listings, including images, of the Japanese Transformers Animated toys which include new metallic paint schemes. Ironhide (Bulkhead) also now sports a more teal shade as well, Ironhide Bumblebee (he’ll probably be called Bumble),

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Hasbro Morphs Its Toy-Movie Model

Toy giant Hasbro (HAS) used to bid against other toymakers for rights to sell toys based on hot movies. Now the tables are reversed, as some of the biggest movies this summer are coming right out of Hasbro’s own toy chest.
Case in point, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the latest installment of the Transformers franchise, which opens in theaters on June 24. Analysts believe the film from Paramount Pictures (VIA) and director Michael Bay could be even bigger than its 2007 predecessor, Transformers, which grossed $700 million worldwide at the box office. That movie also sold $480 million worth of toys for Hasbro, 13% of the company’s overall sales in 2007.
There’s more on the way. Hasbro has a movie based on its G.I. Joe toy line coming out on Aug. 7. The company has an April 2011 release for a movie version of its Stretch Armstrong figure. That is part of a six-picture deal the company has with Universal Studios (GE), which included a movie version of Monopoly. Meanwhile, archrival Mattel (MAT) is working on movie versions of Hot Wheels and Major Matt Mason.
Turning its own toy brands into movies has a lot of benefits for Hasbro. The company doesn’t have to spend as much on toy marketing since the movie studio is already doing that to promote the film. In the case of summer movies, it also means the toymaker spreads its sales more evenly throughout the year. And Hasbro doesn’t have to pay the fat licensing fees to filmmakers that made Star Wars creator George Lucas one of the company’s largest shareholders. “I can’t give you specifics,” says Hasbro’s chief executive, Brian Goldner, but “it is more profitable when we own the brand.”
ENDURING APPEAL
Since the original Transformers toy line and cartoon made their debut 25 years ago, the saga of cars, airplanes, and other devices that convert into battling robots has proven to have a wide, enduring (and for many people, surprising) appeal. Hasbro now has a large base of parents who are as familiar with the franchise as their kids. Michael Spector, a 37-year-old Web producer in Easton, Penn., has 600 Transformers action figures in his collection, so many it took a whole day to move them. He’s planning on buying a few more of this year’s versions, mostly on behalf of his 8-year-old son, T.J. “It’s a bonding thing,” Spector explains. “Who doesn’t want to see robots beating the heck out of each other?”
Hasbro has borrowed heavily from its Star Wars experience in creating Transformers toys. There are $300 limited-edition robot sets for adult collectors, $22 action figures with lights and sound for younger kids, even $12 preschool robots. This year’s Bumblebee Voice Mixer helmet, $40, looks suspiciously like a Darth Vadar toy Hasbro created under its Star Wars license. The $40 Plasma Cannon is a fatter version of a light saber.
Like Lucas, Hasbro has found ways to connect with its fans even in years when movies aren’t released. BotCon, an annual conference for Transformers toy collectors, which Hasbro sponsors, just celebrated its 15th year. It drew a record 7,000 attendees to Pasadena, Calif., in early June. “It’s fantasy,” says Brian Savage, whose company organizes the shows. “People have to have something they enjoy.”