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Thread: Hasbro AUS November Answers.

  1. #1
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    Default Hasbro AUS November Answers.

    With the misplacing of the November submission, the answers have now come in.

    The first one is no longer applicable, so they answered it according to the next major licensing period (the Movie).
    The answer to 18 is very 'customer service-y', but understandable with several questions submitted in November with a bit of a critical tone.

    I think the most interesting answers relate to Drift (there is no toy planned), while the answer to 17 (Snarl's new name) seems pretty definite that there is something soon that relates to this type of character or dino form.

    And the answer to 2 suggests that the western markets aren't supporting items aimed for the older demographic, so we are likely to get more kiddie focused stuff in future (it makes sense to only go where the money is).
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    1 - The Transformers Advent Calendar has been seen in Coles and Kmart already, are there any other officially licensed TF Christmas merchandise items for Australia this year?
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    There will be a large variety of officially licenced Transformers items available around movie launch. We don’t have the final listing but look out for products in the following categories:
    Apparel
    Swimwear
    Sleepwear
    Headwear and Accessories
    Footwear
    Beach Sets, sports balls, sports ball sets
    Costumes
    Blackboards, Bop Bags, Marbles, Masks
    Bikes / scooters
    Helmets
    Skates
    Stationary
    Publishing
    Confectionery
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    2 - Takara have released Transformers Model kits in the past, is there any interest for Hasbro to do something similar? Or maybe even a kit of parts from an actual Transformers toy to 'build-it-yourself' type of concept, for a select character toy, allowing for custom detailing and painting, or just the self satisfaction of building your own Transformers toy?
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    Hasbro have tended to shy away from this because our target market is boys aged 5-9 years. Past collector targeted items have met with minimal success and are harder to justify from a business level.
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    3 - Can we see the old 80s toy commercials released somehow, either as a future DVD bonus feature or on the Hasbro Transformers website?
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    We don’t have any plans for this.
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    4 - Can Hasbro look at doing a Roleplay toy resembling the Beast Wars Rhinox chaingun, which could be similar to the Nerf Vulcan dart Gun?
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    The focus is definitely on the movie and animated lines for this year so no plans for anything Beast Wars related in the near future.
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    5 - Do each Hasbro and TakaraTomy produce their own toys, or does one manage the production of all stock, and just forwards on the stock the other has ordered to their own design/deco specifications?
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    There are certain cases where both Hasbro and Takara make their own separate ranges (ie Alternity & Mickey Prime for Takara and Marvel/Star Wars Crossovers for Hasbro). Mainline Transformers items are produced through teamwork but Takara has distribution rights for Japan and the Japanese market has a very different retail structure to the US and other markets.
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    6 - Hasbro US were kind enough to detail the design process (from concept to finished product) of Transformers toys at BotCon 2007. Is it possible to get some details and photos of the actual production procedure in the factories to see just how these amazingly complex toys are actually produced, constructed, painted and packaged?
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    Unfortunately no as they are not Hasbro owned facilities.
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    7 - Hasbro US announced in one of their US Q&As that they would be releasing another Masterpiece figure late next year, is it the new MP Grimlock, or is it too early to reveal yet?
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    Too early to give info.
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    8 - Will Hasbro be releasing Disney Crossover Transformers, or is the 'Mickey' toy revealed by TakaraTomy a one-off figure that will not likely be released by Hasbro?
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    Not likely
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    9 - Is the 'Crossover' concept something Hasbro would like to expand further, into other franchises in the future?
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    This is a really fun idea from a design perspective; however it would depend on the property being “crossed over”. It has to be a strong licence otherwise it will not make sense to make a big development spend on it.
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    10 - Have any of the recent factory closures in China been ones that produce Transformers, and if so, has it affected any upcoming releases?
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    No.
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    11 - Are records (production or accounting) kept of exactly how many units of each toy is produced, including limited edition store exclusives?
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    Hasbro does not share its production numbers but yes there is such record keeping.
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    12 - Colour mismatching, like on Universe Sunstreaker and Animated Bumblebee - was this an unexpected occurrence from the factory compared to the prototype, an economic decision (limited by number of paint apps allowed), or just unavoidable due to paint and plastic colours currently available. And would this explain why the 25th Anniversary Optimus is a pinky red instead of its original deep red?
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    Yellow is the most problematic colour to use on toys as it is extremely difficult to predict how opaque molded yellow will be. We try to be as accurate as possible.
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    13 - Mr Toys Toyworld (a franchise of 20-odd Toyworlds in SE QLD) stocked about 200 Alternator Rodimus Toys last year. Since Hasbro have minimum order quantities, was the quantity of these so small because it was leftover stock at the factory's warehouse that Hasbro wanted to clear (Toyworld gets a lot of clearance items)? And since the precedent has now officially been set, can we now do this (with Toyworld's help as our agent) for various other figures not being released here, because we actually secured almost half of those 200 figures for fellow collectors (at little to no mark-up), and should be able to easily move that total figure in the local collector market if necessary.
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    These types of qty’s are generally clearance stock. We cant bring items in very small qty’s into the country due to MOQ.
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    14 - A comic book website last week with writer Shane McCarthy confirmed the upcoming 'Autobot Drift' toy. Will this be in the 25th line, and when is it likely to be released?
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    No, there is no character named Autobot Drift or any toy designed after the comic character coming out in our 25th Anniversary or any other Transformers line.
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    15 - Does Hasbro US or Hasbro AUS administrate the Australian section of the Hasbro Transformers website, and will it be updated soon, as it has been neglected for over a year now? And is it possible to get Hasbro US to disable the auto-redirect on their website, which prevents collectors from accessing the most of the main site (it registers your location as being non-US and auto-directs you to the applicable country page). I know that Hasbro US may not want to confuse the foreign markets (kids & parents) with product that may not be available there, but the outdated sections like ours is promoting unavailable product anyway.
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    As you can probably tell from our Australian web portal, we have had various technical difficulties behind the scenes with the development and maintenance of the site. This has been due to resourcing and allocation issues between the Pacific and the US. Development happens at US level and there have been issues with having the pages localised for Australia – hence the lack of product updates. We have been promised that this will be rectified before movie launch so we are hoping everything goes to plan! Unfortunately we are not able to disable to the auto-redirect.
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    16 - Why is Robot Heroes 'Hardshell' not called 'Decepticon Bombshell', or Universe 'Tankor' not called 'Decepticon Octane'? Is there some sort of Trademark issue, or a problem with the use of certain actual words (like the Dinobot 'Slag' being called 'Snarl'), because fans would rather see the prefex 'Autobot' or 'Decepticon' to the name, than see a new name for a toy that is clearly a homage to an existing toy/character.
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    Unfortunately using the designation “Decepticon/Autobot x” is not a foolproof device to use an old name. We do have a running list of names we currently have copyrights for and names that have failed legal clearance but I think it would be foolish to hold ourselves to ‘surefire’ names. Sometimes a character is cool enough to be produced in spite of not having the ‘fan preferred’ name. Sometimes we choose characters that are legally ‘unknowns’ i.e we take a chance. It has mixed results.
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    17 - If Slag toys (Triceratops) are now being called Snarl, what would a Snarl homage toy (Stegasaurus) likely to be called, if we ever get one?
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    It will start with an S. We have to go through a legal process to ensure copyrights on all of our names. So we would come up with a few options to submit to the legal department. Results vary every time we do this.
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    18 - Universe Galvatron was reduced to a Deluxe size because it was decided that there shouldn't be 2 similar figures (dark military vehicles) closely released in the one size class, so why was Universe Powerglide done in white, despite Silverbolt also being released as a white plane at about the same time?
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    Universe Galvatron was moved to a Deluxe class and designed for Deluxe because we had too many tank-like vehicles in the Ultra and Voyager classes. Powerglide and Silverbolt are actually not white but Silver. Silverbolt’s silver is a cool silver while Powerglide’s is a warmer silver. We added red highlights to Powerglide to pay tribute to the original red colour scheme of the character. Jets/planes tend to fill the package nicely and are very popular with fans and children. These two jets have very different silhouettes, hopefully fans and children don’t mind that there are two jet because they are both so cool and different.
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    19 - Around the time of Beast Wars (1997-2001), prices went up because the exchange rate dropped to US50c, but then stayed about the same as the exchange rate went up to US98c. With the recent drop in the exchange rate back to below US60c, are we likely to see another increase in prices here soon?
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    Prices on the majority of our action figures have actually remained remarkably constant over the past 7 or so years. In fact our sell price to retail of a Transformers deluxe figure has actually fallen slightly from 2000 to 2008. In comparison a litre of milk has risen 133% in that time! Having said that, you may see slight increases in prices over the coming year due to that fact that we have held our prices consistent for so long (remembering that we do not set the retail price).
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    20 - Is there any interest by Hasbro AUS or Australian toy companies in general, to have a convention or promotional event to market the toy products to the consumer, similar to how the annual Toyfair markets the toy products to the retailers? Or would this have to be instigated by an independent party or business?
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    Not at this stage.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffin View Post
    No, there is no character named Autobot Drift or any toy designed after the comic character coming out in our 25th Anniversary or any other Transformers line.
    Thank the matrix.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thanks Hasbro, drift can suck it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffin View Post
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    17 - If Slag toys (Triceratops) are now being called Snarl, what would a Snarl homage toy (Stegosaurus) likely to be called, if we ever get one?
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    It will start with an S. We have to go through a legal process to ensure copyrights on all of our names. So we would come up with a few options to submit to the legal department. Results vary every time we do this.

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    I guess they want to keep continuaty with G1-styled Dinobots who aren't Grimlock having names beginning with S.

    It'd be cool if a Snarl homage toy got named Sabreback. Besides my own personal preference, the name suits a Stegosaurus, moreso than Snarl, since I don't think Stegosaurus would really do much snarling.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky Shadow View Post
    Thank the matrix.
    SLAG YES!

  6. #6
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    i bet a slight remould of a Blurr figure could make Drift

    they look similiar to me

    Why n o wun like a dreeft figureine?

  7. #7
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    2
    "Hasbro have tended to shy away from this because our target market is boys aged 5-9 years. Past collector targeted items have met with minimal success and are harder to justify from a business level."

    Disappointing but understandable. Hopefully they whisper this idea to TakaraTomy.

  8. #8
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    Once again, I'm amazed by Hasbro Aus's support to the fans by providing detailed answers like this. Even when its an answer I don't like (No Drift? ) its great to have this open feedback.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by griffin View Post
    16 - Why is Robot Heroes 'Hardshell' not called 'Decepticon Bombshell', or Universe 'Tankor' not called 'Decepticon Octane'? Is there some sort of Trademark issue, or a problem with the use of certain actual words (like the Dinobot 'Slag' being called 'Snarl'), because fans would rather see the prefex 'Autobot' or 'Decepticon' to the name, than see a new name for a toy that is clearly a homage to an existing toy/character.
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    Unfortunately using the designation “Decepticon/Autobot x” is not a foolproof device to use an old name. We do have a running list of names we currently have copyrights for and names that have failed legal clearance but I think it would be foolish to hold ourselves to ‘surefire’ names. Sometimes a character is cool enough to be produced in spite of not having the ‘fan preferred’ name. Sometimes we choose characters that are legally ‘unknowns’ i.e we take a chance. It has mixed results.
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    This is the second time that Hasbro (as a corporate entity) appears to have confused trademarks with copyright in Q&A. You can trademark names and terms, but you can only copyright and concepts, I believe.
    http://www.tfwiki.net, the Transformers Wiki - Serious intellectual discussion about transforming space robots.

  10. #10
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    17 - If Slag toys (Triceratops) are now being called Snarl, what would a Snarl homage toy (Stegosaurus) likely to be called, if we ever get one?
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    It will start with an S.
    Sandra.

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