Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by Nevermore, Mar 19, 2006.
I'm going to send this to Japan Times. Anything to add or correct?
The thing with journalism is, the writer had perhaps 20 hours tops to do the research and write the story. I'm grateful there was as much accuracy as there was. Good story overall.
And this is supposed to be surprising how exactly?
- We know there's a movie coming out next year.
- We know that Hasbro will release a "movie" toyline. Even if we didn't know, that'd be a very, very safe bet.
- We know that almost all Transformers toys to be released in North America these days are being designed by Hasbro AND Takara, regardless of whether they will come out in Japan or not. Energon Mega Dinobot is a rare exception.
So I don't really see how this is supposed to be a surprise in any way.
You would be amazed by the number of morons that, back when the movie was first announced (like 2 years ago), claimed that Hasbro would be unlikely to have a toyline tied-in to it. Not so much on these boards, but I remember on the Allspark that there were a handful of guys vehemently taking the position that it would be a very long shot. Phazer and I had a field day with these imbeciles.
Astrotrain has a sword? I thought that was Blitzwing!
So your observation has less to do with who contributed what, and more to do with who was more financially successful in their respective markets? That seems to be a different topic.
In any case, it's shortsighted as well. Takara has been selling Transformers for twenty years. Hasbro dropped the Transformers for several years in the 1990s in America (although not in Europe), and stopped producing animation for even longer. Hasbro may have had more success when it did restart its American marketing, but it literally had zero success there for several years. Both companies have had trouble finding its market over the years.
I found that line odd too, not only because most Japanese in most contexts don't use the socially-charged word "Judeo-Christian" (preferring instead the generic term "Seiou" or "Western"), but also because it is not actually quoted from Mr. Yoke's mouth.
Then again, the article didn't say that it was "unlikely"--the article said it was "less likely." The Transformers' personalities as we know them did come from Hasbro and Takara, but the anthropomorphic transforming robots themselves (some of whom were already sentient) did come from Takara.
Got to be honest Nevermore - if I'd written that article and then got sent your e-mail I'd hit the delete button before I got halfway.
Research around a subject is one thing but that e-mail is just the wrong side of anal. It's an article about a toy line for god's sake, the religious/cultural spin they put on it notwithstanding.
I've never seen any news that Hasbro had said they we're planning on a toy line based on the new movie
Of course, we all assumed they would. This is just first piece of confirmation that there will be a new toy line that will launch with the new movie. (Looking back on it, they never said it would be toys based on the movie. Just that it would launch with the movie, though common sense will say that it is figures based on the movie.)
The main point of this letter is valid (that Transformers is a collaboration between the Japanese company Takara and the American company Hasbro, with considerable contributions from Marvel), but the finer points could be corrected.
This part is misleading. Some were sentient, notably in the Microchange line.
The "which weren't particularly successful" should read "which weren't as successful." The Diaclone and Microman weren't as successful as the Transformers relabelling, but Microman was successful for ten years before and its Diaclone spinoff was successful for five years. (Microman would find success afterwards as well--there are Microman toys on the shelves now.)
As above, Hasbro had the idea to make all the robots sentient, but the idea to make some of the original toys sentient already came from Takara before.
This citation is also misleading. Not all of these robots listed are sentient. (Examples that come to mind are the Golem, almost all X-Men's Sentinels, and Buffybot.) Also, this is a list on the English version of wikipedia. There is a similarly long list at:
[This board's software might not be able to handle the Japanese characters in this URL.]
And that's just robots in animation. A longer list can be found in robots in manga and other parts of Japanese culture like novels. Not only are there more sentient robots like Eightman, but few countries have made a sentient robot as much a cultural mascot like Japan has for Mighty Atom (Astroboy).
It would be safe to say that anthropomorphic robots are more pervasive in Japanese popular culture than in the popular cultures of most countries, and furthermore, sentient robots are more pervasive in Japanese popular culture than in the popular cultures of most countries.
Again, the main point of this letter is still valid, but some of the counterexamples being provided are as misleading as some of the sentences in the article itself.
Actually, the personalities came from Marvel. And while Marvel, Hasbro or Takara can not be credited with sentient robots (they were around in comic books in the 30's, sci-fi movies in the 50's, and there were bunches of them in cartoons on either side of the Pacific in the 60's, etc), but the characterizations of early G1 are entirely Marvel. Nothing from Takara contributed to their personalities unless is was an aspect relating to their physical appearance/size/etc.
I'm sure they've confirmed it prior to this, but if nothing else, at last Botcon Aaron Archer announced that after Cybetron they were kicking around the idea of a G1 redo line (we now know to be 'Classic') to fill the gap between Cybertron and the movie line.
But ultimately, it's just common sense. The entire mythos is an advertisement for a toyline, why on Earth, when nearly every other action movie has an accompanying toyline (regardless of how unlikely a fit it may be for the story to be toys), would this story about toys not have an accompanying toyline? That would be the most collosal F' up in the history of marketing; yet I swear there were several people who swore up and down that it would be unlikely for there to be a toyline.
Heh, that was mistype--it should have read "Hasbro and Marvel" in the nested quote. The point still remains that Hasbro was not first to ascribe these particular toys with sentience, just the ones who asked Marvel to give sentient personalities to all of them.
There's still the misleading Wikipedia citing. Wikipedia doesn't demonstrate that sentient robots are more of a Western concept than a Japanese one. If anything, Wikipedia in its entirety (including the Japanese version) indicates that there are more sentient robots in Japanese popular culture than in those of other countries.
Also, the qualifying characterization of "(with a few exceptions in the Microchange line)" minimized how many of the Microchange robots were sentient. Most of the Microchange robots that found their way into Transformers were not controlled by humanoids, but worked with them (like Transformers).
There was at least one mod who swore that Hasbro wouldn't even make the movie line their main effort for the year too. Duh
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