Hasbro Digs Into Transformers History for Some New Figures [SDCC 2016]
Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black Series typically get all the headlines from Hasbro at San Diego Comic-Con, but that doesn't mean Transformers gets left out in the cold. In fact, this year, despite having a bit of smaller showing compared to other shows like Toy Fair and even 2015's New York Comic Con, Hasbro brought out some rather big guns for the Transformers line. We're not just talking about the exclusive Fortress Maximus either.
The Combiner Wars have been running through the Transformers toy line (and through the IDW comics and Machinima animated series), so it only made sense that a new Combiner would make its triumphant debut at SDCC. Liokaiser is a massive Transformer, and one that pays tribute to an oft-forgotten Japanese animated series and that will finally see the character released in the US after more nearly 20 years.
Giving Liokaiser a Platinum box set was a no-brainer for Hasbro, and design manager John Warden offered some insight into how Hasbro's Combiner Transformers were sold, whether as box sets or being sold as individual "parts."
"There’s intrinsic mass appeal to some of those Combiners, and with characters like Menasaur, you don’t to explain to a kid who’s a fan or even an adult who’s rediscovering it, why a racecar is cool," Warden said. "You have so many layers of the fandom now, you have people understand the Japanese series or are specifically Beast Wars fan. In Generations we celebrate all those different types of fans, and when we look at putting stuff out at retail, we want to make sure it has plenty of mass appeal.
"When you look Titans Return, that’s a great example. You don’t have to explain why a transforming crocodile is awesome, but fans in the know know that’s Skullcruncher and he’s one of the beast type Headmasters from the late ‘80s. Liokaiser was done as a Platinum box set because it’s based on a rare set from the Transformers Victory series, which is a Japanese saga that over time became a cult favorite. We wanted to make sure we brought that to life in the Combiner Wars format. When we put those characters together in a box set, it’s more of the cult hits. Computron is another great example."
The Platinum sets certainly do make it easier to build up a collection, as each includes 5-6 different Transformers, but if having such a massive toy hanging around the house is cause for concern, there are still numerous normal Transformers coming this year. If you're really pressed for space, you can even just snap up a few of the Titans Return Titan Masters, which are basically the smallest actual Transformers in the Generations line you can buy. They aren't as complex as even some of the 6" figures, like the new Voyager Class Megatron, but they do offer some cool posing and sculpts despite their diminutive stature.
Those Combiners are pretty sick though. Might be worth bumping a few things off the mantel just to impress all your friends with something so gigantic and detailed.