WTF @ PWTToo @ TFcon USA 2014 - Oct 27 2014

Discussion in 'WTF @ TFW Transformers Podcast' started by Vangelus, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Vangelus

    Vangelus Long Live the New Flesh Moderator Content Contributor

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    WTF @ PWTToo @ TFcon USA 2014 - Oct 27 2014

    [​IMG]

    After the convention came to a close, and dinners were eaten, and drinks were drunk, Vangelus and Aaron sat down with Rik Alverez and professional crew of onlookers to talk Play With This Too and other professional things.

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  2. Rodentus prime

    Rodentus prime Well-Known Member

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    When the talk turns to potential licencing deals - how amazing would it be if they could make a certain Freelance Peacekeeping agent as one of their future figures?
     
  3. Shipmeadow

    Shipmeadow Inaction Master

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    It would be marvelous, yes?
     
  4. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    Okay, for a synopsis...

    Vangelus and Aaron interview Rik. Starts with talk about where the company name came from (a comic book store Rik worked for) - https://plus.google.com/115947253475847089396/about?gl=us&hl=en

    Rik announces the "Play With Yourself" box set for the Kickstarter: 2-3 chests, 2 backs, 3 sets of arms arms, couple legs and 5-6 heads to customize your own figure. All white or grey parts to paint yourself.

    Toys will be ABS and PVC with sonic welding and screws. Sadly they can't get the figures made in the USA because they can't get painting here. They will be made in China. He wanted to make them in the USA.

    Rik asks if the hosts if Tech Drones should be made in the USA, but they don't be painted if they make them here, they will be on sprues with sticker sheets (like BMOG). Should they do that or make them in China with paint? Costs are the same, but no paint facilities exist in the US. The hosts seem in favor of kit building.

    Rik wants Desolataur to come with a cape because he's a demon. Maybe with holes and charred ends. He has also looked at chains.

    They are working on prototypes and will be showing them before the Kickstarter starts, it will be 3D printed.

    By the time the Kickstarter is ready to start they will show lots of designs ready to go. If it's funded it will go right into production in China. Someone will have to travel to China twice to oversee production.

    (Talk about paint apps and TMNT Cockroach Terminator.)

    Rik has been in talk about getting licensed good to make toys, and has another meeting coming, but he can't announce it yet.

    Talk about Aaron Archer and Simon Furman on staff. Rik thinks fiction can elevate toys to a higher level. Trent and Aaron also writing with Simon. Simon is free to write as he wants. Mini-Comics are expensive, they might have digital bios and fiction.

    There may be a giraffe character (joking)... Talk about Archer and his third party opinions. Rik says that when he worked for Hasbro he had to be "Mr. Corporate Guy", but once he was let go he could go out and spend money on the awesome toys he wanted. Rik talked with Aaron about how Aaron wanted to make monsters and octopi, and Aaron made Ancient Astronaut for the company. Archer says he's a fan of transforming robots, and he will buy whatever he likes, whoever makes it. Rik showed Aaron the beauty of Scoria. Rik has been working on breaking Aaron into accepting independent toys.

    Packaging for their toys will boxed in boxes customized to each character's personality. Ancient Astronaut may come in a die cut box where the guy is ripping his way out of the box with his tentacles. The tentacles will have curles that are 5mm ports, and there are 5mm and 3mm holes inside the suction cups.

    There is a lot of time between now and the Kickstarter, and they have more talent who will be announced. 5-7 more people to be announced, including a female artist who is a fan. Rik thinks they have a great collage of talent.

    The Kickstarter will have 20-21 figures including stretch goals. It will start with 2 figures, then other unlock as they raise more money. The head shots will come in Kickstarter exclusive colors. Aaron wants figures to be ordered ala carte, that you just say how many unlocked figures you want, or if you need to buy certain figures first.

    Astroblast has two remolds planned for the Kickstarter and one planned for after the Kickstarter. There will probably be a multipack and an "all in" offer. A tech drone army option. There will be 3 and 5 packs of troop builders.

    They are hoping figures will ship in November if the Kickstarter funds.

    Trent is designing a set of Head Shots.

    Rik likes animal figures, and wants to make a giraffe, possibly with squid tentacles. ;-)

    Vangelus suggests they have a lot of designer commentary during the Kickstarter.

    There may be a digital art book.

    Rik says they are not worrying about part counts, paint app count, or package size. The designer is allowed to put as much as they want into the toy. The current toy industry is run by marketing people and store buyers.

    Rik talks about the last things he worked on at Hasbro. In AOE the Dinobots had a bigger roll, had names and talked. There was an opening scene Ratchet and Tyrese hunting down the Chicago Decepticons. Lockdown kills Ratchet and takes his saw, then Optimus takes it back at the end. There was more talk about the Knights of Cybertron, but sadly they removed that stuff and spent more time talking about Romeo and Juliet laws. When the movie first came up Rik wanted Bay, Zemeckus or Cameron to make the movie. Lockdown was originally a beat up car. The AOE Dinobots were originally the five types from G1. Galvatron name was a placeholder, and one time he was a giant base or made of a bunch of parts of dead Decepticons (Starscream, Megatron, Brawl, etc.)

    Talk of an Aaron head with a 5mm port for interchangeable beards.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  5. Seth Buzzard

    Seth Buzzard R.I.P. Buzzbeak Content Contributor

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    This interview has me more hyped for what they are working on. Sort of wish I was there to take part but a mob of us had gone into the city that night.
     
  6. Chopperface

    Chopperface Holtzmanned

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    Very interesting stuff regarding AOE. Especially the first draft of Ratchet's death with Epps.
     
  7. GWolfv2

    GWolfv2 Deathsaurus - A name you can trust for peace

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    So basically, if hasbro's new movie studio DID do a comic adaptation...it'd be servicable..cause they have passable ideas...which they then hand to Paramount...ffffff
     
  8. Ironhide1234

    Ironhide1234 Rust Bucket

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    *Girl scream

    Brilliant...

    Meh.

    Wh.....what? Every fucker needs to go for TF5 :( 
     
  9. Galvatross

    Galvatross Shrekognize your Ogrelords! Veteran

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    Some of the AOE ideas sound better from Hasbro (Dinobots talking, Knights), others worse (the Galvatron stuff). As for Ratchet, I thought his demise was well done in the actual movie.

    As long as the Dinobots have larger roles in TF 5 and are explained further, then I'll be happy. Which I think we'll get because I remember the producers saying they wanted to see more of the Dinobots in the next one.
     
  10. Moy

    Moy Constructicons!

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    FUK.
     
  11. Cybermnky

    Cybermnky Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to know where the name Skull FCKR came for that one head shot :( 
     
  12. PWTToo

    PWTToo Well-Known Member

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    I'd never seen a design like that before. It struck me as totally bad ass and evil. Like this guy would just do the most horrific things to you....

    BTW, the name is French... The R is silent.

    Rik
     
  13. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    It always reminded me of Diablo III poster art.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2014
  14. LordGigaIce

    LordGigaIce (((Prime)))

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    Just listened to this. I respect what these guys have done, but...this just feels like Image Comics in the 90s. A situation where the artists thought they could make a go of it on their own without writers and editors.
     
  15. PWTToo

    PWTToo Well-Known Member

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    We feel like we have a really good team in place. We've got creative managers, designers, artists, writers, consultants, sculptors, marketers and an accountant... Everyone brings their own unique experience to the team.
     
  16. LordGigaIce

    LordGigaIce (((Prime)))

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    That's good to hear. It was Mr. Alverez's "this industry used to be run by the designers, not these business people" line that made me do a double take. It struck me as both naive and incredibly dismissive regarding the role others outside of the creative sphere bring to not just this industry but industry in general. Like, that VP at Hasbro who tells you to make something blue instead of orange may be tampering with the artistic vision of the piece but he's doing that for a reason. A tangible reason that's just as vital to a piece's success in the marketplace as what the artists out in.

    Again, I have nothing but respect for the PWTToo team for all they've accomplished. It was just something that came to mind when listening.

    I am looking forward to seeing what you guys have got. I'm also psyched to see what you'll have on the fictional end of things. Independent transforming robot toys that don't homage Transformers IP don't appeal to me because they often lack interesting fiction. Glad to see that you guys are aware of the role fiction plays.
     
  17. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Rik meant that non-creative people should have NO input, but it seems they have almost total control of the toys from Hasbro. It's not just Hasbro bureaucrats either, but the toy store beaurocrats demand a certain size and color toys, and a certain price point, on a certain date... it doesn't allow toy designers to make what they want or the collectors want to buy, it ends up with shelves of one Steps and Fast Action Battlers for the kiddies. While that's fine for the kiddies, some people want to make toys for collectors.
     
  18. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Interesting bit about production in the United States. I was so far ahead of the curve on that in every respect except for funding. Story of my life...

    If those business people were so smart, would we be constantly hearing reports of the toy industry dying and down to one national chain teetering on the edge of bankruptcy?
     
  19. LordGigaIce

    LordGigaIce (((Prime)))

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    Well we're specifically talking about Hasbro execs right? The company that's taking proactive steps to evolve within the changing marketplace.

    Besides, you can't blame people for failing in the impossible. The 10-17 demo's shrinking rapidly because video games have pretty much killed that demo's interest in toys. You could have the smartest exec who knows exactly what moves to make regarding colour, class size, and gimmicks. You could have the most talented artists and engineers on staff. You could hit the right balance of creativity and business sense. It's not going to mean a damn thing if the kids you're targeting just don't want your product.

    Out of all of the traditional companies Hasbro's the one making the biggest strides to evolve and not stay static. So yes, I would say their business people are quite smart. If they tell an artist that a toy needs to be a certain way to sell? Well I sympathize with the plight of the artist but what exactly are you suggesting? That business sense be tossed away for the warm and fuzzies that come from letting the artist do what he wants?

    No company, be it Hasbro, PWTToo, or any other independent "third party" group is going to last long if the realities of the market are not recognized and given priority.

    That's cool, and as I collector I don't feel ignored by Hasbro. I just picked up a Roadbuster figure that's pretty dang sweet. Collectors will become a bigger part of the consumer base as the 10-17 demo continues to shrink.

    As to your larger point, that's the plight of the artist. What the artist wants us not what makes money. It's my opinion you need smart people on both sides to really make a go of it. You need talented people who can pour themselves into your product, and you need business-minded people who know what's going to make money. Again, that's why I commented in the first place. The "these people don't appreciate the art" sentiment just struck me as way too idealistic.
    It doesn't matter if you're Hasbro, PWTToo, or any number of other "third party" groups. If you're not getting enough people (be they kids or collectors) to buy your product you either need to change so they do or you die. If you opt for the former then sometimes there's going to be conflict on the artist's end of things.
    Creativity is important, and should be cherished. Feeding your family? Even more so.

    Look. I realize I'm coming off on raining on a parade/great interview. That's not my intent, and I do sincerely apologize. My only real point here was to try and provide a counter-position, a sober view of things. To provide a bit of a rounded discussion about things. That's all I meant with this. Again, my apologies.
     
  20. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

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    Looking at some of PWTT's sketches, it seems they do balance creativity with practicality to some degree. We have original molds like Desolataur, Astroblast and Ancient Astronaut made by big time designers, but other figures are made from repainted parts of those figures like the Serpents of the Coiled Table and Bitemark. That's how they are saving money, by reusing the quality figures in mixed repaints, instead of making a few quality figured and a ton of cheap crap figures (which would be one Roadbuster figure for every 20 of the one-step changers from Hasbro).

    Of course the mixed repaints from PWTT are still quality figures collectors might want, while the one steps from Hasbro are useless to a collector.

    Problem with Hasbro is they will say "okay, you have reached your budget, you have to cut a paint app to add a weapon now". or "You will have to make all the arms and legs hollow or reduce him in height by a centimeter to stay in the Voyager price point". PWTT can just charge 1 dollar more and add the extra paint app or rifle on one figure. They don't need to keep all figures the same price and box size and shipping date if they don't want to.
     

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