Movies & TV / Columns

Hasbro’s Transformers Team Speaks w/ 411 on Power of the Primes, the Bumblebee Movie, and the Brand’s Future

August 13, 2017 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
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During the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, 411mania got the chance to speak with the braintrust behind the Transformers toy brand over at Hasbro, including Transformers design manager Leonard Panzica and Senior Manager, Global Brand Marketing & Development of the Transformers toy brand, Ashley Creedon.

A lot of major reveals were made for the Transformers toy line at Comic-Con, including the reveal of the new Power of the Primes series for Transformers Generations, which marks the third chapter of the Prime Wars trilogy. The first chapter was Combiner Wars, and the second chapter was Titans Return. Here’s what Ashley and Leonard had to say about the big Comic-Con reveal and what’s in store for the future of the Robots in Disguise.

Jeffrey Harris: What can you tell me about the Power of the Primes series?

Ashley Creedon: We’re super excited about the third chapter [of the Prime Wars Trilogy], Power of the Primes. Today we revealed a lot of great characters; one in each scale from Liege Maximo, our Prime Masters scale, all the way up to our Leader Class Rodimus Prime. We introduced our new story ecosystem as the Prime Masters turning into the Spark of the Primes. So they carry the power of all 12 Primes. And you can transfer that power to all your figures by attaching them to various places on each of the figures.

Leonard Panzica: You’re infusing the power of the Primes [into the figures].

Jeffrey Harris: What about the power of Matrix of Leadership?

Ashley Creedon: That’s in there as well. So we have a great figure at Leader Class, Rodimus Prime, that comes with a Matrix of Leadership. You can actually plug your Prime Master into the middle of the Matrix of Leadership and give it that extra boost of the power of the Primes. It’s a really cool figure if you haven’t seen it. It basically comes with a deluxe class Hot Rod that you can evolve up into Rodimus Prime. So it’s really three figures in one.

Jeffrey Harris: And the Matrix is good with all the other figures?

Ashley Creedon: The Matrix is good with all the other Prime Masters in the line, yeah.

Jeffrey Harris: For Leonard, which figures are you most excited about for the Transformers movie Triple Changer figures?

Leonard Panzica: For that line, I’m really excited about our Turbo Dragonstorm; the triple-change Dragonstorm. He’s got a lot of really cool features. I love beasts. I loved beast Transformers as a Beast Wars kid, so being that we have a dragon in the line now I was super excited. Kids love dragons too, so it was near and dear to my heart to be able to make an item like that. But, what was great about him is that there’s a handle on him, so you can fly him around. But also, he can bite and attack with the handle. When you bite and attack with that handle, he literally breathes a light fire. And that fire, or the light, will reveal fire across the other triple changers.

Jeffrey Harris: Do you think a larger size transforming Quintessa figure could happen at some point based on Transformers: The Last Knight?

Leonard Panzica: Maybe. Maybe. We don’t have anything slated. We haven’t worked that out. We’ve talked about it for sure. Nothing yet. Anything is possible. We try to represent as many things from the universe as possible as you can see with Generations and the movie too. If it’s not in the movie line, we might get to it later.

Jeffrey Harris: Have you ever thought about doing sound and voice effects for any of the movie figures at all? Besides the role-playing toys that had sound and voice effects.

Leonard Panzica: We do, we do. Dragonstorm actually has sound effects in him. Dragonstorm has got a really cool chest piece that has this ribcage detail. In the middle of it, he has a gem. When you press the gem, he’ll say really cool knight lines. When he goes into Dragon Mode, he will make dragon sounds. So, it’s a really cool imagination of the transformation with the electronics.

Jeffrey Harris: After working on The Last Knight Leonard, will you be working on the figures for the upcoming Transformers Bumblebee movie?

Leonard Panzica: I will. I will. We’re deep into it. Work is underway. I can say that.

Jeffrey Harris: Would you say any reveals are planned for the Transformers line as HasCon, the first Hasbro Toy fan convention event later this year?

Ashley Creedon: We definitely have reveals planned. We can’t say for what. We definitely have some really exciting reveals planned for HasCon.

Jeffrey Harris: So have you seen this really awesome Comic-Con exclusive, the Hasbro IDW Revolution set that features Jetfire from Transformers and figures of other Hasbro properties?

Ashley Creedon: We have. Another team within our company worked on it, but it’s a really cool set.

Jeffrey Harris: So is it possible that Hasbro might consider future crossover items like this? And if they do, do you think they’d just be reserved for special events like Comic-Con?

Leonard Panzica: I think probably for special events or whatever we are pursuing that year. So, I would say special events because we want to celebrate those characters who haven’t been celebrated in quite some time. So we want to carve out some space to really get those characters out of there.

IDW Revolution Comic Crossover - Transformers

Jeffrey Harris: So Leonard, what would you think about maybe some new Transformers figures that are non-transforming, but in a GI Joe scale?

Leonard Panzica: I think that would be rad. It would be rad. I get excited. I’m an action figure guy. So to be able to do a true blue action figure of the robots we know and love would be super exciting.

Jeffrey Harris: So what are the plans for a movie Unicron toy for Transformers: The Last Knight?

Leonard Panzica: Well, we’ll have to wait and see. I wish I could say more. … As a designer and as a Transformers fan, I would like to make one.

Jeffrey Harris: For Ashley, for the Power of the Primes series, when can we start expecting to see those in stores?

Ashley Creedon: So right now, those are planned for a Spring 2018 launch. So, we expect some might start to get out by the end of the year.

Jeffrey Harris: And also what about the new Transformers animated web series based on Titans Return?

Ashley Creedon: There is, yes. We partnered again with Machinima to bring Titans Return to go90 across most of the globe. We’ve lengthened the content, so it’s now going to be 11-minute episodes; 10-11 minute episodes. They really heard from the fans. They wanted [something] a little bit longer of episodes. They’re shaping up really great. They’re in full production right now. We expect those to debut in November. Peter Cullen is returning as Optimus Prime. Judd Nelson is returning as the voice of Rodimus. That’s very exciting. [There are] lots of returning characters that the fans really appreciated. So yeah, very exciting. And then, we have announced as well that we’ll be working with them [Machinima] on the third chapter, Power of the Primes.

Thank you to Leonard Panzica and Ashley Creedon for taking the time to speak with us. You can find the latest toys for Transformers: The Last Knight and Transformers Generations from Hasbro in stores now.

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