TakaraTomy Staff Interview - Noriaki Maeda

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by SydneyY, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. SydneyY

    SydneyY @syd_tfw Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Disclaimer: The original of this interview was published in Transformer Masterpiece Official Guide book. The reason I provide this translation is solely to help non-Japanese fans who are unable to read this insightful interview in the book they have purchased. Hope you'll enjoy and pardon the grammar errors and/or typo.

    Credit to RedTruck for providing me with the material. If not for him I'd have had nothing to work on at this stage (hurry up, Australia Post!)
    I'd also like to thank Underwear and Liampope for getting me off my lazy butt.

    This is the last instalment of the interviews.


    Noriaki Maeda
    Joined Takara in 1998. Has been the TF Marketing Team Producer since 2010 and been involved with the MP series since MP-9.

    - You have been involved with the MP series since 2010.
    M: At that time, MP was our flagship high-end TF product. However, by the time I joined, (the series) was rather quietened down and frankly put, seemed to have reached its limit. I suppose the momentum had been lost after several years.
    But such atmosphere has completely changed once MP-10 Convoy was released. There was MP-1 Convoy, which was released 8 years before, but it was becoming difficult to continue its production due to various matters such as the cost and the mould. I can't remember exactly, but it was one of the reasons why MP-10 was planned.
    MP-10's trailer has many functions, but the initial idea was even more impressive. Unfortunately it would have easily increased the ptrice to over 30,000 yen. We trimmed what could be trimmed to make (the product) as affordable as possible, and settled with the features it has now.
    These happened in succession and while I could see the potential marketability of the MP series, I began to suspect if we should stop assuming that if we made a good product it would sell however expensive it was. The new trend MP-10 started was an opportunity to reassess the ideals and directions of our Transformers products.

    - Is that why MP-12 Lambor was handled differently?
    M: On top of its design and concept, MP-12 gave us new challenges in terms of material and its texture. It was quite rewarding.
    The MP series is currently doing extremely well, and I realise it's thanks to Lambor.

    - The Lamborghini emblem on the box is especially eye-catching.
    M: It is officially licensed after all. Obtaining the licence from a famous car manufacturer overseas was much harder than dealing with domestic companies. Although thanks to the successful movies, there seems to be more understanding of the Transformers brand and the tradition of form-shifting (note by Sydney; the direct translation of the words he uses here is "Form-shifting culture"), and the negotiation goes fairly smoothly in recent years.
    The series is doing better and better, and I am hoping to present the next step of the development to the market between later this year and the next near.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2014
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  2. Sam

    Sam Arrival

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    Really curious what the next stage is in the series now.

    Wonder what else they had planned for MP-10's trailer apart from Huffer
     
  3. crazee928

    crazee928 Well-Known Member

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    I'd personally would love to see them go balls to the wall with a high end figure without having to worry as much about pricing. I would love to see what kind of engineering they can come up with. I'm sure they could sell at least 5 of them ^.^
     
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  4. Dean ML

    Dean ML Well-Known Member

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    Very cool. Wish it was longer! Every bit of insight is appreciated, though.

    Thank you, SydneyY!!!
     
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  5. Cax6ton

    Cax6ton Insufferable Smartass

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    I guess that dovetails with the other 3 designers referring to MP10-22 as "Real Car Series" and their previously stated desire to do something more. Hopefully that doesn't mean the end of licensed MP cars, even if it means we'll see non-car characters get the MP treatment.
     
  6. optimalprimus

    optimalprimus Well-Known Member

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    Maybe MP 21 is the break point for the 'Real Car Series' and MP 22 is the beginning of the next step? Tackling non licenced modes eg Springer, Kup, Headmasters etc basically season 3 cast?
     
  7. Underwear

    Underwear Banned

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    Hah! Bayformers movie gets the credit for the somewhat resurgent MP line. ;) 
     
  8. FortressMaximus1976

    FortressMaximus1976 Well-Known Member

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    I think they will continue on with the cars, but they wont be as prevalent as they have been in the past 1 1/2 years or however long its been since Sideswipe...maybe 1 car a year or something like that, intermingled with other G1 based characters
     
  9. optimalprimus

    optimalprimus Well-Known Member

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    I'd be happy with that, be nice to get some other characters while still adding to the ark crew..
     
  10. Raiju

    Raiju Go For Broke Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

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    Nice read! Lambor really was a game-changer and we have Hasui to thank for it.

    As for 2015, I really hope Takara makes good on its hints and starts tackling some big name MP Decepticons. So far we've only have MP-11 Starscream (and his repaints) and MP-13 Soundwave (and his cassette minions) as the only distinct "big" Con molds since the MP line was rebooted. The Cons deserve more love and variety than they've been given thus far.
     
  11. Ra88

    Ra88 Dutchman!

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    May not be the biggest movie fan, but I'm glad their success is helping the growth of the stuff I do like. :) 
     
  12. danny boy

    danny boy Banned

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    There are those words again "next step".
     
  13. Cyclonus79

    Cyclonus79 Decepticon General

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    Next step = combiners / triple changers!! ( I'm hoping ).
     
  14. optimalprimus

    optimalprimus Well-Known Member

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    ^this!
     
  15. darkedgex

    darkedgex Burritocon

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    This × 2.

    I think we're likely to see Constructicons, Stunticons and/or (based on past comments) possibly Combaticons in the next couple of years. While I'd personally like to see a Megatron, preferably one that's in better shape than what we got with MP-5.
     
  16. Autovolt 127

    Autovolt 127 Get In The Titan, Prime!

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    I still think they'll make carformers, I mean they still need to do Jazz, Sunstreaker and Cliffjumper.

    I think a New Megatron and MP Ironhide are going to be next or part of the next step.
     
  17. optimalprimus

    optimalprimus Well-Known Member

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    If there's an MP Ironhide, there'll be an MP Ratchet not far behind..
     
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  18. Rodimus Mike

    Rodimus Mike MP & TF Collector

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    If this is right then we have gotten all 9 Original 1984 Decepticons (10 if you count Buzzsaw) in the Masterpiece Line,but only got 7 out of 18 of the Autobots,so that leaves
    11 we still haven't gotten yet,and even if these weren't popular overseas they were certainly popular here in the states and deserve to be made for the MP Line at any cost.

    So I really hope Takara decides to go ahead and give us all of the 1984 Lineup and include these as they were what started it all.Who's with me?

    Mirage
    Trailbreaker
    Hound
    Ratchet
    Ironhide
    Huffer
    Gears
    Sunstreaker (tho technically I think Yellow Tigertrack is the unofficial Sunstreaker)
    Cliffjumper (but I'd be happy with a Bee repaint and new head)
    Brawn
    Windcharger
     
  19. botfan

    botfan Quote this Avatar

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    So no new announcements until end of the year or early next year. Great...

    It's weird to be checking this site daily for news that's given months apart. There must be a more efficient way for me to keep tabs on updates.
     
  20. Underwear

    Underwear Banned

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    I'm with you bro & i'm from Asia.

    We watched the same kind of G1 cartoons as the folks in the states. Only difference we get to see the Japanese G1 as well as it's broadcasted on national tv.