According to the New York Times, Hasbro is simplifying their Transformers transformations as part of a “brand refreshment.”
When Hasbro conceived its Transformers toy line 30 years ago, the concept was simple: robots that turned into vehicles faster than you could say “more than meets the eye.”
But as the brand evolved over the years, the toys became more complex, some involving dozens of steps to complete a single transformation. In the eyes of Brian D. Goldner, Hasbro’s chief executive, they had lost their magic.
“We’ve made incredibly sophisticated robots,” he said, “but it can be like a 1,000-piece puzzle.”
Enthralled by the special effects in three big-budget “Transformers” movies that enabled the robots to convert in a matter of seconds, Mr. Goldner decided the toys needed to return to their roots. So he challenged his design team to reconceive them. Now, on the 30th anniversary of the brand, Hasbro is revealing a new look for the toys, including simple maneuvers that will complete a transformation with the push of a button or flick of the wrist.
As a former Transformers collector, I do agree that some of the more recent toy lines have had overly complex transformations (I’m looking at you, Alternators!). However, that was often the price to pay for both an accurate vehicle mode and a well articulated robot — which is what adult collectors have wanted.
It seems Hasbro is trying to go back to basics and get kids interested in Transformers again.
I’m hoping that the above image of Optimus Prime isn’t indicative of what we can expect from here on out, though. It’s a little too simple and looks like a robot with a truck strapped on his back. Even G1 wasn’t that basic for larger sized toys.
Thoughts? Discuss it below.