It’s that time of year again. Time to head to the Big Apple to see what toys will be on shelves over the next few months to batter my bank account. The American International Toy Fair takes place primarily at the Jacob Javitts Convention Center, in addition to a few scattered off-site showrooms. This is where you will get a look at all of the hottest toys hitting shelves over the next few months. This year, the fun kicks off with Hasbro. Toy Fair ran Sunday through Wednesday this year, but Hasbro had an exclusive media briefing on Saturday. The Hasbro report will be divided into 4 sections: Transformers, G.I. Joe, Star Wars and Marvel. Let’s get started.
25 years ago, a Japanese toy company named Takara conceived a line of toy robots that changed into vehicles, such as cars and jets. After the addition of an epic back story featuring two warring races, the phenomenon known as Transformers was born. Transformers is celebrating the Anniversary with a new movie, due out this Summer. In addition to a line to support the new movie, Hasbro is celebrating with new additions to the Universe and Animated toy lines. Here’s the rundown on what to expect from the “Robots in Disguise.”
Season 3 of the animated series begins in March. New figures being released in teh animated line include Samurai Prowl (Which features some pretty cool armor), Waspinator, Arcee, Wreck Gar, Electrostatic Soundwave (which will come with Ratbat) and the two pack of twin brothers Jetfire and Jetstorm. The two jets have the ability to combine into Safeguard.
This is the line that will be used to celebrate the 25th Anniversary most. New packaging will utilize a slider bar to show where in the 25 year history of Transformers a particular figure fits. The figures in this wave cover several different eras and are in several different scales. From Generation 1: Smokescreen, Ratchett and Inferno. From Beast Wars: Dinobot. And, from Energon‘s Unicron Trilogy: Hot Shot (with Jolt mini-con). Also, Hasbro is using the Legends scale to bring back 4 of the classic mini-cars: Wheelie, Warpath, Cosmos and Rodimus.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
This June, from Director Michael Bay, comes the sequel to the Summer 2007 smash hit film. This time, the Autobots face the return of the Decepticons and a new and frightening menace from Cybertron’s past. There will be new allies and enemies in addition to returning favorites. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen hits theaters on June 26, 2009. The toy line begins hitting shelves in advance of the movie with two “Sneak Preview” figures: Bumblebee and Soundwave. The figures will keep the same four major scales as the previous line: Scout (Smallest), Deluxe (Medium size), Voyager (Large) and Leader (Largest size). Here are the details.
The Scout class last time was made up primarily of “Real Gear” Transformers that changed into everyday items. This time they will turn into smaller vehicles. The lineup consists of: Roll Bar (Delivery Truck), Dirt Boss (Forklift), Knock Out (Motorcycle) and Dead End (Sports Car).
Deluxe Class is most commonly associated with most of the supporting characters, although Bumblebee belongs to this class. This class contains the two “Sneak Preview” figures, which will come out in advance of the main movie line. The Deluxe lineup includes: Breakaway (Jet), Mudflap (Van), Rampage (Bulldozer), Sideswipe (Sports Car), Skids (Sports Car), and the two “Sneak Preview” figures: Bumblebee (2007 Camarro) and Soundwave (TRIPLE CHANGER!!! – 2 Different Satellites).
Next up is the Voyager Class, which is where we find most of the secondary members of the main class. The announced Voyager Class lineup includes: Demolishor (This is the vehicle with the large wheen from the end of the trailer. The vehicle mode is a front loader.), Ironhide ( This is a new mold featuring a huge new cannon weapon. His vehicle mode is still a GMC Truck.) and Starscream (This is also a new mold, with Cybertronian tattoo deco. His vehicle form is still a jet. Starscream is also one of the figures that will contain the new “Mechalive” feature. This feature consists of visible moving gears inside the robot that mimic the organic look of their movie counterparts.
Finally, we have the Leader Class. This were you will find the “heavy hitters” of the cast. The only Leader Class figure Hasbro is showing right now is Optimus Prime (His vehicle form is still the truck cab with the flame deco. Optimus will also sport new arm blade weapons and the “Mechalive” feature with moving gears in his chest. In addition, the Leader Optimus figure will feature lights and sound, including the voice of Optimus himself: Peter Cullen. There will also be a Leader Class Jetfire and one other unannounced Leader Class figure.
The biggest enemy in Rise of the Fallen is the massive Devestator. As in the original, Devastator will made up of six robots called Constructicons. For the record, their names are: Hightower, Long Haul, Mixmaster, Rampage, Scavenger and Scrapper. Unlike the original Constructicons, these do not have a robot form. The assembled robot is ENORMOUS, with estimates putting it at 2′ long by 4′ wide! Devastator will be sold as one massive pack containing all 6 Constructicons for $99.99.
This will be a series of Transformers that will come with human ally mini-figures. The only announced figure in this series is Bumblebee, who will come with his human friend, Sam.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – The Video Game
Activision was at Toy Fair in the Transformers showroom to show of the tie-in video game. This game will feature even more fluid transformation animations and transformations can occur anywhere. There will be over 14 playable characters in the game. We will have more on the game in the coming weeks.
That does for the Transformers report. It should be a great Anniversary year. So, Transform and Roll Out!