Saturday, November 18, 2017

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Character Art

Last weekend Transformers: Robots in Disguise concluded its run, to be replaced with a show yet to be determined. If you missed the show already then head over to TFW2005 where bunch of character art from the show is available.

Transformers Accidentally Goes Political

Hasbro accidentally brought some US politics to their latest release from Transformers: Power of the Prime line. It has been discovered that Jazz has a tiny art under the Autobot logo that spells "MAGA" in Cybertronian. The assumption is that MAGA is the shorthand for "Make America Great Again" from the 2016 Trump Presidential campaign. i09 breaks down the details including a handy chart of the Cybertronian language but more importantly they got in touch with Hasbro who apologized for the unwanted insertion of politics.
It was brought to our attention that a graphic appears on one of our Transformers figures that, when translated from Cybertonian letters to English, spells out MAGA. We investigated the issue, and discovered that one of our vendors inserted this as part of the design without authorization. We are addressing this with the vendor.

We do not intend for our products to carry political messages, and apologize to anyone who was offended by this message.
Considering the toy line is mostly manufactured in China who are unlikely to give two craps about "MAGA", I can't help but wonder what vendor they are referring to. There could even be a none political explanation but nothing Transformers related comes to mind. My guess its whoever finalizes the designs before they reach China for manufacturing or programs the machines that paint the toy are going to have a job-less holiday season.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Transformers: Titans Return Premieres

Transformers: Titans Return has officially started its new season with the premiere of the first two episodes. The stories take place immediately after the events of Combiner Wars. The season includes episodes that are about twice as long (~10 minutes) and new voice talent including Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime and Judd Nelson as Hot Rod. In the United States the show will air on while internationally it will be on Machinima's YouTube channel for your country. To watch - Episode One | Episode Two

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bumblebee Wraps With Title and Logo Reveal

It seems that Bumblebee: The Movie has officially wrapped principle photography. At least according to posts on Hailee Steinfeld's Instagram account, at least before she was ordered to pull the images. Fortunately not before TFW2005 grabbed a copy. The main value in her images is the first look at the head of Bumblebee that seems to pay homage to his G1 horns while retaining much of his Bay-verse look. In addition the current title is Bumblebee: The Movie. I would not be surprised if this could be later altered to add "Transformers" to the title in some fashion for marketing purposes much like the official titles of Rogue One and Solo add "A Star Wars Story" just so the slower members of movie going audience do not get confused wondering "Is this part of Star Wars?".

Friday, November 10, 2017

Paramount Loses China Company Deal

Paramount Pictures and Huahua Media have formally ended their financing partnership the two companies announced on Tuesday. The partnership, estimated to be worth $1 billion if it had run its course, was used to fund around 25% of the cost for Paramount movies in return for a piece of the profits over three years. Transformers: The Last Knight and Ghost in the Shell were the first (and I think only) movies made under the partnership. Both movies performed well below expectations and were considered barely profitable by most industry estimates. The decision was basically forced on Paramount as Huahua's loss in confidence in the relationship was for them to simply stop making payments to Paramount.

“The actions we are announcing today establish a financing model that is better aligned to Paramount’s new strategic approach to film production,” Gianopulos said in a statement. “Our focus on a more balanced slate — a mix of big, broad-audience films and more targeted and co-branded films made with greater fiscal discipline — demands a more flexible and tailored financing model going forward.”

Technically Paramount could have sued to enforce the contract (but would have to do it in China as a US judgement is unenforceable) but remember China is a communist country so from their perspective Huahua is "owned" by the Chinese government so in effect Paramount would be suing the government for breach of contract and expecting that same government to find in Paramount's favor, a highly unlikely scenario that could also have side effects such as blocking Paramount movies from being shown in the country. Considering the growing importance of the Chinese market is for Hollywood's profit margins, it makes more financial sense to simply take the hit and move on.

As for its impact on future Transformers films, the likely catalyst for why the partnership even occurred, it is doubtful it will have any. The new five year deal with Hasbro probably already insured the franchise's future. Also the Bumblebee movie's $70 million budget already indicates Paramount was already making moves to cut costs of future Transformers movies.

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