Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Secret Origin of Transformers Part II

Then Marvel's Editor-in-Chief (or about to be) Jim Shooter has posted "The Secret Origin of the TRANSFORMERS – Part 2". Normally when people get into the history of Transformers, the discussion is on the business side with Marvel and specifically Bob Budiansky's efforts in creating the characters and mythology we now all know and love. What Shooter gets into with the second part of the discussion is the business side of the Transformers origin from his Marvel Comics perspective, specifically the dynamic that existed between the three companies that was molding what would become a worldwide franchise - Hasbro (toys), Sunbow (cartoons), and Marvel (comics, creative aspects).

An interesting tidbit that I didn't know is that Sunbow was a division of Hasbro's advertising agency Griffin-Bacal that was created specifically for the G.I. Joe cartoons and commercials but then extended to include Transformers (and later other Hasbro properties). Now it is obvious since most 80s cartoons existed to push the toys but then I just thought of them as like another Disney type company that made stuff I loved. The result is Sunbow and Marvel execs clashed for Hasbro's attention. Sunbow would take credit for Marvel's efforts while one Marvel executive was happy to let them due to his own hatred of comics (ironic but typical). The result is the usual ego and fighting that often occurs at the executive level, especially when one of them thinks they know everything while really knowing very little. My own experience supports this often chronic but rarely identified problem that occurs in corporate America. The article makes you wish someone from Hasbro would do their own behind the scenes blog posts as I am sure the franchise had its own battles getting to market within Hasbro. Part 2 can be found here (part 1 here).


  1. There is a new iPhone App called Transformers 3: Defend the Earth! If you download it and start it you can hear a new track, possibly from Steve Jablonskys score! It sound freakin awesome!!


  2. I read both parts. It's 99% bureaucratic politics and 1% Transformers.


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