TakaraTomy Staff Interview - Animated

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by SydneyY, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    Revoltech is owned by Kaiyodo. They have nothing to do with Takara/Tomy. Takara had pretty much killed the Microman line before the merger.
     
  2. Bumblethumper

    Bumblethumper old misery guts

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    Hasbro probably aren't like a monolithic entity, some of their departments could have awesome talent, and others, mediocre.

    I often wonder what'd happen if Hasbro ever decides to go it alone. Transformers is their property, so they could do it if they wanted. Are Crossovers indicative of what Hasbro-only transformers would be like? Nothing makes me appreciate TakTom more than the ineptness of Crossovers. Some of it is design, and the clumsiness of the proportions. But I think a lot of the difference becomes evident in the handling. The tooling on the molds is nowhere near the sophistication of Transformers. The joints don't work as well, they don't have the right tension, they don't pick the right types of plastic, parts don't meet up where they should. It's a vast gulf in quality.

    Of course I realise crossovers are produced by a different department, and I suspect some of the work gets sourced to people without much experience, but it makes for an interesting comparison.
     
  3. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    I'm very thankful that we get what we do. I still remember the days of "wishing for new G1 figures". Then I go look at my Classics Universe.

    I always love the kinds of insight we get with these interviews :) 
     
  4. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    There are a few TF toys that are supposedly Hasbro solo projects (or at least ones where Takara took a more backseat role in the engineering) such as Energon Grimlock & Swoop, the Highwire figure that came with Kicker, and the Titanium line. I wouldn't say they are near as good as most Takara-engineered toys, but they at least show Hasbro isn't totally incapable in that area, and if they needed to, could produce some great TF toys solo given enough practice.

    (I'm not sure exactly how much of what I just wrote is correct, however. :)  )
     
  5. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    I believe Cybertron Downshift is one, too.
     
  6. libeskind

    libeskind Well-Known Member

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    That line about getting 'applause like I've never seen before' cracked me up, oh those wacky Japanese.

    Never noticed the thing about avoiding back kibble, but it's true for the most part.
     
  7. caitlindevi

    caitlindevi Sculpticon

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    My point exactly there are quite a few branches of hasbro and the teams vary in ability and specialisim wildly....Take hasbro UK for example...their speciality for a long time was the Action man range...even thought they did other things that was the thing they were good at, but because it was very UK centric it wasn't a huge market and I think they may have dwindled the entire line down to very few pieces. THey always did great designs for the actionman range
    I'm not even sure there have been ANY transformers designed by the UK team
     
  8. RedAlert Rescue

    RedAlert Rescue Banned

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    They designed TM2 Rampage (never released), Unreleased Deluxe Obsidian (repositioned into Armada Cyclonus) & possibly Stryka (but i'm not certain if that was the deluxe or an unreleased larger one.

    The most famous Hasbro Uk design that actually came out is the Beast Machines Beast Riders & Deployers.

    Che (2000) - Maximal Interceptor - www.tfu.info
    & Rav (2000) - Maximal Aerial Recon - www.tfu.info

    I did hear a suggestion that hasbro Uk designed The Power masters like Bulletbike - but i'm not sure if that was just someone being insulting or not.
    Bulletbike (1995) - Decepticon Combat Destruction - www.tfu.info

    I think the European Exclusives were developed in conjunction with Takara - I don't know if Takara basically handled everything there or how much Hasbro Uk involvment there actually was in Turbomasters, Predators and so on I'm sure there must be some info on it someplace though.
    I've always thought Hasbro UK was heavily involved in late G1 / G2 items like that but It's not something i've heard much about really.

    --------

    Action Man fans would argue that it went down hill after it changed it's military theme to extreme sports and changed from generic bodies of decent quality to poor quality bodies with plastic trousers etc...

    Basically Gi Joes (90's kids type / Adventure team relaunch) were better toys than a lot of action figures Hasbro Uk produced - anything much later than 2002 was somewhat poor in general.

    I do remember some of the items of about a decade ago that were quite good though like Mission 2000, Space Explorer ( http://www.cqout.com/getimg.asp?id=816828 ) Mission Amazone, Ice Driller,

    I found this in a web search though - no idea if its the same one that came out in the Uk or something new / released or otherwise: http://www.mastercollector.com/neat/toyfair04/hasbro/actionman2.jpg

    I think the Action Man vehicles still had some good stuff though even in the later period - the quad bike being a good example or the Amazone explorer vehicle.
    --------

    I'd read that Kaiyodo had been bought by TOMY sorry if that was not the case.
    But I agree it was probably Takara that made Microman crash and burn.
     
  9. hutchprime

    hutchprime Made of sterner stuff

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    HUGE thanks to Sydney and Sol for this. Loved this interview, it was really interesting. Animated was my favorite series since BW and maybe since G1. How I miss it.
     
  10. Veloxiraptor

    Veloxiraptor MoƩ than Meets the Eye

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    This stuff about "Signature Transformations" makes me wonder about Arcee and how she transforms with her arms blocking her head.

    "NOT THE FACE!"
     
  11. Paxtin

    Paxtin Why am I here?

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    Yeah, I thought that was particularly interesting.
    I also liked how working on TFA has improved on designing the movie figures as characters.

    One can only hope. I'm still kind of holding out hope for the Constructicons.
     
  12. Anguirus

    Anguirus Well-Known Member

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    I noticed that too! I was very surprised by sort of the elegant simplicity of the Sideswipe design...not that I don't like the rest of the Autobots, but Sideswipe has that "muscular" appearance he was talking about.

    I hope this means the end of bricks. With rare exceptions, I can't get interested in them. Give me a recognizable outline!
     
  13. BWDinobot: Best

    BWDinobot: Best Well-Known Member

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    Is that Rhinox prototype gorgeous or what?! Would love to have a toy of that ;-;
     
  14. Fit For natalie

    Fit For natalie tfwiki nerd

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    They've said this before, that they are always pressed for time when doing movie toys because the production schedules for movies and toys are wildly different (films can keep changing things quite last into post production), whereas Hasbro/TakTom need around a year to get a figure out.

    Also, doing new tools of characters who already have toys is simply another means to get out products of on-screen characters. I think Hasbro said somewhere they'll concentrate on core characters since that's what sells, hence the 50 billion Bumblebee toys.

    I believe they said they don't use Ultra class much because it is confusing to retailers and customers. Ultra classes simply look like slightly bigger, more expensive Voyagers. Usually they have electronics to justify the price, because otherwise, most people can't tell the difference between the two classes (probably why they eventually eliminated electronics from Voyagers.

    They haven't bothered with new tool mainline ultras since Cybertron.

    I believe Energon/Universe Grimlock & Swoop, Kicker & Highwire were farmed out to another firm outside of Hasbro. The Titaniums were done by Hasbro's Galoob Micromachines department, as I recall Kickback saying.

    Pretty sure the entirety of the Transformers design teams are located in the US and Japan (excluding outsourced designs). For example, Takio Ejima apparently designed all of the UK/Euro Transformers (some of which were released in Japan) during the period where Hasbro ended the Transformers line in North America.

    In a related note, Steve Bono, who designed (Hasbro side) the latter half of Alternators/Binaltech, is currently the head designer of Action Man.

    Huh, where did you hear that?
     
  15. TwinSpin

    TwinSpin Hot Coffeebot

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    Great Interview. I think TFA will go down in TF history as being the most innovative and greatest toyline ever. Kudos to all the designers of the show and the toys, in the US and Japan!
     
  16. TwinSpin

    TwinSpin Hot Coffeebot

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    I agree. Such amazing shapes and it looks super fun. I wonder if any of that ended up in the Marvel Hulk TF?
     
  17. RedAlert Rescue

    RedAlert Rescue Banned

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    i) I think they say the design process used to be a year but now they have computerised milling machines and Compter aided design and stuff like that it can be as short as 7 months.

    ii) I don't know if the kids are going to want multiple Bumblebees - or if they'd want a character that is in the movie all be it briefly as well as a Bumblebee- like Jolt of Scrapper.

    I know lots of adult collectors would be moaning about the lack of a larger Blackout, Larger Bonecrusher or any representation of the other Decepticon Construction transformers - but what your average 7 year old thinks I can't say.

    I personally think it's Ok to make Transformers of vehicle modes in the movies (like Landmine, Stockade) but I feel they let themselves down when they do that but get the colors wrong like with Blazemaster - sure it's nice that he's G1 colors but - the news copters are not that color in ROTF.

    So even if you generic 7 year old saw that helicopter they'd not recognise it as a vehicle from the movie in that colorway.

    iii) I do get a bit vexxed though when Hasbro say things like they will continue to market the core characters of Bumblebee & Optimus to little kids - personally I think that daft - almost all the images on licensed products from ROTF feature the same 2 characters as the licensed goods from TFTLAM (Optimus & Bumblebee).

    Sideswipe at least should have got some of that - heck even the twins and Devastator. and I blame both hasbro and Paramount for focusing only on them. - I feel it's failing to build the movie brand as well as it could do.

    iv) New Ultra molds since Cybertron = Onslaught, Silverbolt & Powerglide.
    What I'm actually suggesting I suppose is to replace the Voyager scale with something more like the Ultra Scale for a while- sort of like how a Mega had not electronics and was only a little larger than a DX and then they added Electronics to make something of the size of Armada Red Alert / Starscream.

    So if they ditched the Voyager scale and replaced it with a size that was a hair bigger and perhaps had light up guns then it gives them an excuse to remake a voyager mold for Starscream, Ironhide, Ratchet, Longarm, etc..
    Or alternatively make more Human alliance figures.

    The new Voyager Optimus is neat - so perhaps if they downsized Leader Starscream in a similar way that might be also something worth doing.

    Also I can see how electronics could be used in Ratchet and Ironhide and Starscream in quite cool ways.
    If Ironhide was remade he'd still be a little smaller than Leader Optimus but he'd have more scale to end up more acurate to the CGI form - perhaps something like an upscaled DX Ironhide is a good starting point.

    v) Yes it says that Titaniums are 'Micromachines brand' even on the 6" ones, so they are made by the reminents of galoob.
    But of course the Star Wars & Marvel Transformers are a different team too.

    I think it was either that fella who posted on here about the repaints he designed or it was Aaron Archer wh mentioned that they were busy pre-developing /designing the then forthcomming Armada toys (And probably some RID stuff) and so they had to farm out the Deployers and Beast Riders to Europe.....(Mention was also made of a Transmetal II Rampage and Deluxe Obsidian too) There was originally Beast Riders for more Characters I remember seeing a design for an Optimus Primal Beast Rider for example.

    I can't give you more detail than that though. 'Sorry' - I'm sure some of the newssites must have archived that info though.

    But then i'm always surprised by what info they forget to include - like packaging pictures, product variations, assortment info and then current retail price.

    As I'm sure in a decades time people might want some of that info and no often have they bothered to keep it.
     
  18. Darkwing48

    Darkwing48 Heroic Decepticon

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    What about the super-chins? Not all American Heroes look like Jay Leno.
     
  19. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    Two teams, actually. Star Wars are done by the Star Wars team, and Marvel is by the Titaniums team.

    Because that's how Derrick J Wyatt drew them.
     
  20. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    Not all Animated characters do either. (just a lot :)  )
     

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