Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Generation One Viral Videos

Two video have hit the web that use CGI to integrate G1 toys into "real world" environment in pretty neat ways. Its possible the videos are studio sponsored but considering its all G1 based with no movie related anything in them it seems unlikely. It just seems some creative Transfans decided to have some fun.

Car Park on YouTube:

Transforming Bug on Google Video UK


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

No Transformers Trailer for the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl Sunday is near and usually its the time that big bucks are spend on advertisements for upcoming summer movies. A kind of coming out party for the expensive tent-pole pictures for May, June and sometimes July. Usually the idea is tons of eyeballs to see the ads making it worth but apparently this year the studios are making the decision to use the big bucks in more careful manner instead saving it and directing it towards the various hit television shows currently running such as American Idol and Heroes (perfect for Transformers). Considering there is no proof that a Super Bowl commercial in February helps drive tickets sales in May, June and July, it could just be the studios are wising up a little. Sucks for us Transfans though hoping to catch another glimpse of some TF action.

Frank Welker Not In Transformers Movie

Its seems that its just recently been discovered by various websites that Frank Welker has briefly posted on the Transformers movie in regards to his casting as Megatron. The post is from 12/8/06 but no one noticed until now it seems.

The post from his official site:

Are you going to do any voices in the upcoming live-action TRANSFORMERS movie?

I am not really sure what's happening with the "Transformer" movie other than my talented friend Peter Cullen has been cast. Presently, I have not been offered any roles. They are doing a new series based on our old shows which neither Peter nor I were cast. I think Corey Burton is playing the new Megatron. He is a wonderful voice talent and a great guy, so it's nice to be replaced by folks you like at any rate.

Happy Holidays!

Frank (12/8/2006 9:49:54 PM PST)

One month after that was a rumor from that claimed Frank Welker might be days away from signing for the roll. Obviously anything from the horse's mouth so to speak is the more reliable source but a lot could have changed in the month and half since that post. Also notice the phrase of "offered any roles" which is much different then auditioned for roles or discussed roles. In other words, the possibility is still open to him being cast.

Considering the relatively small role Megatron plays in the movie, I don't see why not, but if spending $150 million to make a film and probably another $25 million plus to promote it, then I am sure there is pressure to get some A-list stars into the movie in some capacity while not costing a ton of money which voice work would fit the bill nicely. Either way, the movie opens soon, the advertising campaign has to gear up so an announcement has to come in the next few months one way or the other.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Transformers Movie Cyber Slammer Optimus Prime Pic

eBay has an auction for a new toy from the Transformers movie called Cyber Slammer Optimus Prime. Its just a guess but this toy reminds me a lot of the generation 1 toys of Twin Twist and Tail Spin where you roll them back and when they move forward they flip up "transforming" automatically into robot mode. Seems like this one does something similar just without the flip. The underside suggests it might be more to it then just a stand alone toy.


More Pics of Fast Action Battler Jazz

More pics of the "Fast Action Battler" version of Jazz have popped up. This is a less detailed, more simplified version reported on earlier and not the same as the ones released in the catalog pictures. The full gallery is here.

Movie Toys Real Gear Line In Package

More pics of the Real Gear line in their package both the front and the back. The line is most likely based on a rumored moment in the movie where the Allspark unleashes some energy turning the electronics in the area to life. How binoculars fit into that, if true, should be interesting. The full gallery is here.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Catalog Scans of Move Transformers Including Megatron In Color

TFW2005 has posted up a scan from a catalog that shows what the final designs of multiple move Transformers will be. You have the "Leader" class of Optimus Prime and Megatron. Prime looks good, Megatron has improved from previous leaked pictures with the additional detail and color but still not entirely sold on him. The "Deluxe" class has the 1976 Camaro Bumblebee, Barricade, Brawl, and Jazz. All of them looking pretty darn good and toys I most likely will add to my collection. Next is the "Cyber Stomping" versions of Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Not sure what these are as they don't transform. Last is the Optimus Prime Big Blaster mentioned before that shoots nerf balls. Just guessing but I am thinking the "Deluxe" line will retail for $19.99 and the "Leader" class for $24.99.

Its just a guess but this might be part of the first wave of the toy line for those classes. Still missing from the Deluxe line is Ratchet, Bonecrusher, Ironhide, Blackout, Scorponok, and 2007 Bumblebee. From the Leader class is the earth mode version of Megatron. Then there is the cheaper $9.99 and $6.99 price points that Hasbro likes to hit such the "Fast Action Battlers" of all the above and the various "Protoform" toys unless Optimus and Starscream are the only ones which doesn't seem likely. To see more pics of Protoform Starscream, click here. Thanks to Daniel S. for the link and info.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Automorph Technology?; "Allspark" Official Rename for Energon Cube

The leaked packaging design of Rachet has made reference to something called "Automorph Technology". So what is that?

According to the pic of the side of box:
Automorph Technology is a new Transformers technology developed to enhance the vehicle to robot conversion of both Autobot and Decepticon Warriors. Getting them ready and into battle faster. Moving one part of the robot or vehicle causes other parts to move, making Armor plates and weapons shift automatically easier. Faster conversion can mean the difference between victory and defeat in the battle for the the Allspark!

What have we learned? Personally not a darn thing as far as what automorph technology means. Sounds neat but who knows. I guess when play with Rachet or one of the other movie toys will get a better idea.

However, we have learned that the McGuffin of "Transformers", the Energon Cube, has definitely officially been renamed to the "Allspark." Before it was an unconfirmed rumor.

Old school fans can rejoice that energon cubes retain there energy definition and Beast Wars fans can jump for joy to the "Spark" reference that began in that CGI cartoon series. For Transformers, a "Spark" is the Transformers lifeforce, or soul. It is what gives the Transformers alive beyond just being a robot. Kill the spark, kill the Transformer. Therefore the AllSpark is the giver of life for Transformers in the movie, or will take it away depending on who is in control.

Another name for this was the Matrix, but its definition was rather flaky throughout the history of Transformers so can see why they may not have run with it. Depending on which cartoon series vs comics vs whatever the Matrix moved from giver/taker of TF life to the contained essence and knowledge of all Autobot leaders throughout Transformers history.

So what do you need take away from all this? In the Transformers movie the thing all the TFs want and Sam Witwicky has is called the Allspark and things go boom as the two factions try to claim it. So ends the Transformers lesson for today.

Movie Rachet in Retail Box

The finalized retail version of the Transformers movie toys and therefore finalized designs of the Transformers in the movie continue to leak slowly onto the web. Today its Ratchet's turn to take a bow in his nifty little box of the $19.99 price point size.

Pics of 1976 Camaro Bumblebee Prototype

The 1976 Camaro version of Bumblebee (purchased by Sam at beginning of the movie) prototype toys have hit the web. The face looks a little odd with the camera giving the eyes a slightly eerie look. More pics are here.

More Pics of Longview

There are pics of Longview, the Real Gear binoculars. More pics of that toy are here.

Movie Jazz Prototype Toy Pics In Color

TFW2005 has posted a few pics of possibly "Fast Action Battler" Jazz in color. Pretty good really. I am looking forward to the probably larger more expensive model that will hopefully look identical to a Pontiac Solstice so a laymen will not know its a Transformer until you tell them (that is when a TF has reached true toy perfection IMHO). The bug faces still don't endear me to the characters but you can see some of the classic Jazz features such as the horns and especially the visor.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Optimus Prime Close-Up CGI Head Shot has posted up a pretty sweet close up shot of Optimus Prime's head that shows the detail that is going into the design of the characters. Click the picture to get the full size version.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New Image of Optimus Prime and Other Pics

Coming Soon has posted up a few pics from Transformers the movie. The Optimus Prime one seems like might be a possible poster image with a few additional on the set pics. One is a nice shot of Megan Fox's cleavage, probably part of the chase sequences towards the middle of the movie, but no so sure if its a particularly flatter still for her overall. But fanboys like boobage so probably a good call on the marketing department's part. That last two are related to the opening act of the movie, the initial attack of Scorponok.


Masterpiece Megatron

Not really movie related but too cool a toy not to post about, a pic of Masterpiece Megatron, the next toy in the Transformers "Masterpiece" series following Optimus Prime (the $70 one in stores like Target) and Starscream (out in Japan only so far). Due to US law against toys that look like realistic weapons this toy will probably never be released stateside but I am still something I am going to pay some extra freight to get when it comes out in the next few months.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Paramount Pictures Transformers Marketing Plans

The Hollywood Reporter has an article about the general plans for the worldwide marketing of Transformers the movie. The plans entail focusing on the event nature of the movie and the human characters of the film to invoke a "family movie" type feel beyond just the robots making things go boom.

The article:
"We really recognize the fact that for most people, 'Transformers' are a toy," Paramount Pictures International executive vp international marketing Jon Anderson acknowledges. "Our job is to change that perception." Indeed, Michael Bay's latest big-budget special effects extravaganza about alien technologies fighting their war on our world will be marketed as an event and spectacle, rather than just a movie about a hugely successful toy line.

Hasbro will nonetheless support the upcoming summer action film with a worldwide promotional blitz and ignite a new product and merchandising frenzy, Anderson assures. "Given its strong presence as a toy, children will be drawn to the film as a matter of course," he says. "They are going to want to see it."

The challenge then becomes how to go about establishing the film for adults, push the teen appeal and, says Anderson, dispel "any preconceived notion that this is a kid's movie."

The transformation started with a new trailer at the end of last year that aimed to alert the marketplace as to just how big the film is going to be. In addition to the enormous scale, the trailer also was designed to hint at the story's human element. "It is more than just machines," Anderson insists. "There are other elements beyond (simply being an) action movie."

But the campaign is not just for moviegoers, and Anderson hopes the early publicity also will make an impact on exhibitors. "(We want) to make sure that the exhibition community understands its full scope as well," he says. "We are lucky enough to have some fantastic footage that we will be taking around the world. The reactions have been sensational so far."

For tentpole films such as May's "Shrek the Third" and July's "Transformers," it makes sense for Anderson and the team at PPI to do a big sell internationally and reap the rewards immediately, rather than wait to see what happens."

Most major territories, including Australia/New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Nordic countries open concurrently with "Transformers'" July 4 frame set in North America. As a general rule, "On the big titles, we are moving much closer to the U.S. release dates," Anderson says. "Obviously, piracy is a serious issue these days ... but it's also about the event nature of some of the films. You really want to be out there when the buzz is coming around the world, as it can be a tremendous boost in getting that all-important boxoffice."

With the entire world already covered by mid-August, the global message is clear. "Our marketing push is all about making people understand that this is a big movie," Anderson explains, "a blockbuster to be thought of in the same breath as (Buena Vista's upcoming May actioner 'Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End') and (Sony's May actioner) 'Spider-Man 3.' It is high-concept, has state-of-the art CGI effects and will provide all the thrills and action that one expects from a big Hollywood summer movie."

PPI's marketing group has developed some unique plans for Japan, where the film's opening has been set for Aug. 4. A special trailer was launched during the peak December season that included a personal message from Bay and executive producer Steven Spielberg, as well as detailed the star power of the film's creative team and the immense popularity of the director behind some of the biggest blockbusters of all time.

As to why this tactic would not be imported to other markets, Anderson cites cultural differences. Personal messages have been used effectively in Japan before, he notes. "Japanese audiences are more in tune with seeing the talent behind the camera up there on the screen and talking to them," he says.

About the expense, Anderson feels it is certainly warranted for a country that can be the most important market after North America. Notwithstanding the theme of robots being ever so popular in Japan, PPI also plans to reinforce the film's other thematic elements such as family and teen romance that, while resonating across the globe, elicit particular reactions in Japanese audiences.

Although detailed tracking information was not yet available, anecdotal evidence shows that the special message was extremely well-received, including a trailer exclusive on Yahoo! Japan and a key TV program. Tracking general awareness and expectations is a crucial tool that "is getting more sophisticated for international and something we are taking seriously. Just to see how effective and what impact it has on the people in specific countries, (PPI looks at) research regarding television spots, not just trailers, and other materials we are using."

Indeed, when it comes to "event" films like "Transformers," Anderson insists, "You almost have a global brand. The concept and look of the film do translate very well."

Spoken as a true marketer. However, he adds, "It's only six months before the release, so there's still plenty of time to keep working on this film."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Movie Ratchet and Big Blaster Optimus Prime In Box has posted up some pics of movie version of Ratchet in display box. It looks like this is the finalized retail version for him. Based on box size, it looks like he will be of the $19.99 price point. In addition, there is something called Big Blaster Optimus Prime that has the movie colors of Optimus Prime combined with the G1 trailer. The idea behind the toy is the truck transformers into hand of Optimus holding his blaster. Actually pretty creative. Thanks to Daniel S. for the link.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Small Sector 7 Site Update

Sector 7 (password: takara83), a Transformers movie related site, has made a slight update with an image of a weapon called the H9-2 Harpoon Gun that I guess is used to take down Transformers. What is has to do with the movie beats me but I am betting it involves a chase sequence at some point. Thanks to Joe P for the info.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Real Gear Items In Package

AC Toys forum has an image of various "Real Gear" toys in package.


A Transformers Movie Line Revealed: Real Gear has scored some pics that reveals the name of one of the Transformers movie line of toys called Real Gear. This line would include the various transformable electronic gadgets including the camcorder, cell phone, camera, gameboy, and binoculars.


Prototype Pics of Zoom-Out the Camcorder

Another eBay auction. This time the first pics of Zoom-Out, a transformable camcorder.


Various Transformers Toy News has had a field day today with all kinds of various toy news aimed at the little wee ones that need conversion to Transformers fandom. The first up is "Optimash Prime", a Mr.Potato Head version of Optimus Prime, similar to the Potato Head Star Wars line from last year. In addition, there is a possibly plush version of Optimus Prime to go to bed with and finally a "Beatmix Bumblebee" that is similar to the iDog toy that dances to music from an mp3 player. Last but not least is an non-transformable version of Bumblebee that may be the start of a Transformers action figure line. Images for all is below. Looks like the already leaked images are just a tip of the iceberg in the blitz of Transformers movie related items.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Transformers Movie Concept Designs for Megatron Alt Mode

Essentially already confirmed by the leaked toy design pics comes the concept model sheet for the Megatron that shows alt mode and its various stages. Not sure what the differences are between the stages as they look identical to me. It also shows the design for his "Arm Cannon". Since none of the leaked designs before now have shown the traditional gun attached at the arm, I am guessing this is more like his arm transforms into the cannon.


Transformers' Blackout Prototype Pics with Color

Pics of Blackout have hit the web. He is the copter design seen briefly in the trailer and also a brief model that leaked online a few months back. Good looking toy, lots of detail, but I am hoping the final colors are black and shades of black rather then the current blue. Thanks to Daniel S. for the link.

More Pics of Optimus Prime

More pics of Prime are on the web. Same as the leaked designs of the possible Fast Action Battler design. Sadly not a color version of the one of the larger scale models that hit the web the other day.


More Ironhide Pics

More pics of Ironhide seen previously. Theorized its part of the Fast Action Battler line due to its simple looking transformation.


More Pics of Starscream

More pics of the possible "Fast Action Battler" version of Starscream leaked before. Still not sold that these release pics are of that line as the toys themselves don't seem large enough for the $9.99. Hopefully soon Hasbro will release something soon confirming the line designs and price points.

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