Launching a brand new Transformers TV series with nary a toy to be seen? Preposterous. Idiotic. Positively dumbass. At least, thats what I thought. With new information about Transformers: Prime coming to light during botcon, I'm actually beginning to think that Hasbro's approach could be be a work of genius. Could. Bear with me. Now I'll admit, even though I thought the 'Darkness Rising' five-parter was brilliant, I've found the subsequent episodes to be somewhat hit-and-miss. Their self contained nature and general lack of commitment to ongoing story arcs has frustrated me somewhat. According to the Botcon panel, however, this will all change with Season 2, with developing characters, stories, and a good smattering of juicy mythology thrown in for good measure. So why the disparity between the two seasons? The panel themselves said they wanted series one to be self contained, where it didn't matter if you miss an episode or not. This is where I believe the new strategy begins to make itself aparrent. What we have here is a series that can be re-run, rinsed and repeated in any order so that people (or more specifically, kids) can get into it easily. As the hype for the movie dies down, these ready-to-roll episodes can perpetuate the interest in the brand, as well get the audience familiar with all of the new characters and create interest in the inevitable toyline. The masterstroke comes when season 2 is ready to roll. By this point, Hasbro should have a keen, Tf: Prime savvy audience onboard who are invested in the characters and are ready for new, deeper storylines. More importantly, they'll be more than ready to open their wallets (or pester their parents into opening theirs!) for a new toyline thats been a VERY long time coming! All Hasbro needs to do is crank up the hype for season two, and boom! Hit TV show and toyline! At least, thats what I hope! (I'm sure Hasbro will be hoping for similar success!) Heres the feed for the TF: Prime panel if anyone missed it: Botcon 2011 Transformers Prime Panel - Transformers News - TFW2005 Let me know what you think!