Transformers Comic Packs: Thoughts

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Steevy Maximus, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Steevy Maximus

    Steevy Maximus Movie Megs eats your soul

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    It seems Hasbro has take a liking to comic packs in recent years. The concept had solid success with GI Joe, and they are expanding it to Star Wars later this fall.

    With Transformers due for a major push next year (and Classics seemingly ending in the fall with rumors of a new cartoon series, which guarantees a new line of toys), what are your thoughts on possible Transformers comic packs?

    Personally, I think the concept has merit, the ultimate issues lie in the execution of it in several areas:

    Issue selection: Transformers has had not one, not two, but going on THREE different continuities. GI Joe and Star Wars have maintained a consistant comic continuity for over 20 years. Because of that, there is a great concern in deciding whether to use G1 themed comics from Marvel, Dreamwave, or IDW. And of course when talking about the later two, issue selection gets harder as a majority of the stories were written in arcs and taking just one or two, can be left as unsatisfying to readers. Beast Wars suffers from this as well, but the availability of toys offsets that (see below). In regards to Armada/Energon comics, I point you to the points below.

    Pricepoint: Hasbro managed to get 3 GI Joe figures to a pack for a mere $10 (at retail, the average figure price for GI Joe was about $3.50, considering the MSRP of two packs was $7), but Star Wars is at $15 for only two figures (average figure price is about $7). $15 seems doable for Transformers, but again, see the below point for the big hurt...

    Toy selection: Obviously, any comic pack will be designed to sell toys. However, some of the best and most popular toys produced for any line were at the $10 pricepoint. Hasbro is not one to cut THAT much from their price classes. As a result, the selections would have to come from "basic-ish" pricepoints.

    It isn't a big issue if they choose to go with Beast Wars (The Gathering features enough basics in prominant enough roles to work with), but where things get difficult is with G1 characters and more recent ARmada/Energon stuff. While I don't think Armada/Energon will be a prominant focus (if ever), G1 most certainly would be. Even bringing in Robotmasters, you get maybe 7 odd characters (Prime, Mirage, Jetfire, Skywarp, Starscream, Thundercracker, Leo Prime(featured in BW))

    The only way Hasbro would get G1 characters to work would be: accepting a profit cut in the $10 toys (in effect, getting a deluxe and basic in each set) or make all new molds that would better fit the price/size class (which would have to be an option has many popular G1 comic characters (Ratchet) never had an appropriate version period), or simply offering one toy per comic set in some cases (which raises product value questions, especially with the flop of BWX).

    In my opinion, if comic packs are done, new molds are going to HAVE to happen. G1 is the core of the comics availabe, and even counting "repurposed" newer toys, there are still a LOT of characters unrepresented, and included just one toy would immediately create comparisons and competition with mainline offerings (which would obviously carry more press).

    All that said (and boy I said a LOT), here are some ideas I think work for comic packs, I'm going primarily with the IDW series simply because they are still going and by promoting them, could potentially generate sales for IDW:
    Wave 1:
    Transformers Infiltration #1 Featuring Ratchet and Thundercracker
    Beast Wars: The Gathering #1 Featuring Razorbeast and Leo Prime (RM Lio Convoy)
    Transformers: WWI1 #1 Featuring Optimus Prime and Grimlock

    Wave 2:
    Beast Wars:TG #2 Featuring Drill Bit and Snarl
    TF:WWI1 #3 Featuring Starscream and Megatron

    Wave 3:
    TF: Infiltration #3 Featuring Prowl and Bumblebee
    BW:TG #3 Featuring Optimus Minor and Ravage

    Wave 4:
    BW:TG #4 Featuring Grimlock and Magmatron
    TF: Infiltraion #6 Featuring Optimus Prime and Starscream
     
  2. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Transformer's comic packs would be so cool. I seem to recall a rumor that these were in the works WAYYYY back when the Alternator Jets were proposed...
     
  3. Chosen

    Chosen Space Ninja

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    You were sorta ok with your BW pairings until you reached Ravage in #3, Grimlock AND Magmatron in #4, but I presume you were thinking new, smaller molds.

    What would work perfectly for your idea, and still be acceptable even with new molds, would be LOC figures. They retail for about $3-4, and could be sold in three-packs with a comic if Hasbro so desired. I think doing comic packs with TFs is definitely not a bad idea, there's just not really the right sort of TFs yet to do it without having the packs near the $20 pricepoint or higher.
     
  4. Steevy Maximus

    Steevy Maximus Movie Megs eats your soul

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    And again, at $20, you start getting into competition against Alternators and Voyager figures.

    Hasbro has done little in the $15 pricepoint since they switched to $20 Megas in 2002, aside from the Transforming Titanium and BWX.

    So again, new molds designed around the "basic-ish" size class would have to be done, especially for War Within since Hasbro doesn't have much of ANYTHING for the concept period, and it remains among the more popular comic offerings in recent years. My thinking is that with WWI, many of the same characters appear over and over, so reuses could be used to offset costs (ie, Issues 3-6 feature Prime and Megs prominantly, Hasbro could easily repackage the two of them with one of those issues).
     

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