Matthew Greenbaum, our reporter, got these extra tidbits of info regarding Transformers:
- More than one senior Hasbro staffer gave a "nonconfirm, nondeny" regarding a gold Ark redeco. One of them actually grinned and said "you guys really know us, huh?"
- MP Hot Rod still planned for U.S. release in 2011. They are aware of "some" of the QC complaints. In order to make sure the really serious ones got addressed and the whole thing doesn't get dismissed as fanboy whining, I said that some of the complaints are on stuff that's basically acceptable (paint scratches, loose guns) but other problems are totally out of line--specifically how transforming the feet according to the instructions can break the springs. The designer I spoke to said "yeah, that one is a serious QC issue and we'll look into it. We wouldn't release anything with an unacceptable problem."
- TFPrime toys were originally going to be limited to just Prime, Starscream, and BB in the Generations line, but then they decided the line warranted larger treatment and so it will be spun off into its own product label.
- There is no endpoint imagined for TFPrime. They'll keep it going as long as they can as a storyline universe, though some of the packaging and labeling may change--like how the movie-continuity toys are still on shelves representing their own universe, just with the "Hunt for Decepticons" or "RTS" helping to refresh it for retailers. When Aaron said "decade," he meant it. The Hub means Hasbro does not have the same old worries about keeping commercial sponsors and broadcast partners quite as excited about all-new product.
- Generations will continue throughout 2011. They put the remolded heads into the instruction manuals on purpose, to show us what else is planned. Everything that got new tooling will come out, eventually.
- KREO differs from Built To Rule in that KREO pieces are much higher quality and snap together better, and they are also smaller and there are many more pieces in each kit--it's more of a true "building" experience, instead of putting together what was more visually clearly a disassembled Starscream in a few pieces. They expect an averagely-versatile 9-year-old would be able to turn 500 loose pieces into either mode of Optimus Prime in 2 hours.