Hasbro unveiled its TRANSFORMERS movie merchandising program at the American International Toy Fair in New York, as fans of all ages eagerly anticipate the first-ever live-action feature film from DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures, based on the globally popular franchise that first captivated kids worldwide in 1984.
Due in theaters on July 4, the film is directed by Michael Bay (Armageddon, The Rock, Bad Boys I and II) and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, and follows the epic feud between the AUTOBOTS (led by OPTIMUS PRIME) and the DECEPTICONS (led by MEGATRON) as they bring their battle to Earth. In their efforts to help the humans, the AUTOBOTS meet up with an unsuspecting teen, played by Shia LaBeouf (Holes, Even Stevens), who finds himself in the middle of an intergalactic war being fought on our planet. The movie also stars Josh Duhamel (Las Vegas), Tyrese Gibson (Annapolis, 2 Fast 2 Furious), Megan Fox (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen), John Turturro and Jon Voight.
“Hasbro is thrilled to work with DreamWorks, Paramount and Michael Bay in making the most amazing, larger-than-life version of the TRANSFORMERS saga ever created,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Producer of the film. “Michael, Steven and the production crew have captured the personality of the TRANSFORMERS characters through ground-breaking visual effects and they have translated the storyline into a film packed with non-stop action and excitement.”
HPG, Hasbro’s licensing team, has signed more than 200 TRANSFORMERS-branded licensing agreements across all major categories in more than 70 countries. Hasbro and HPG will give attendees of Toy Fair a first look at select products slated for worldwide distribution later this spring.
“We’ll be showcasing dozens of highly innovative TRANSFORMERS-licensed products geared to fans of all ages at Toy Fair this week but let me assure you that it is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Jane Ritson-Parsons, President of HPG. “We presented licensees with the opportunity and challenge of creating genuinely inventive, out-of-the-box products that engender the TRANSFORMERS brand – items that are ‘more than meets the eye.’ The range across all categories is phenomenal.”
ROBOTS IN DISGUISE
Kids and kids at heart can recreate epic battle scenes between the AUTOBOTS and the DECEPTICONS with Hasbro’s toy and game line that is slated to reach retail shelves on June 2. The action figure collection features highly stylized figures based on all of the key robots in the film, including OPTIMUS PRIME and an “ultimate” version of BUMBLEBEE, all which convert from their robot mode to vehicle mode and back again. Kids can also prove to their friends that they are “more than meets the eye” with the OPTIMUS PRIME VOICE CHANGER HELMET that changes your voice into the voice of the AUTOBOTS leader.
STEP INTO OPTIMUS PRIME’S WORLD
Several deals struck in the digital media arena will allow fans to step into the virtual TRANSFORMERS world joining the ranks of the AUTOBOT or DECEPTICON faction while embarking on an epic quest for CYBERTRON. Activision, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) has signed on to develop titles for the video game console, handheld and PC platforms while Glu Mobile will bring to market a mobile experience. For old-school arcade gamers, under a pending license, Moose Mountain will be producing a line of TRANSFORMERS pinball machines.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
On the publishing front, pending completion of contracts, HPG expects dozen of items from publishers such as HarperCollins, Random House, Readers Digest, Publications International and IDW Publishing to hit book shelves around the world beginning later this spring. Products will include novels, comic books, picture books, panel books, sound books, sticker books, coloring and activity books, junior and graphic novels.
WRAP IT, WRITE IT, POST IT
In the stationery and paper products categories, companies such as American Greetings, Trends International, Meadwestvaco, and Giddy Up! (pending contract) are creating a variety of items including gift wrap, posters, party goods, binders, pencil pouches, coloring books, notebooks, and drawing pads.
Accessories makers such as Accessory Network, StyleMark, PeachTree Playthings, Mello Smello, and Basic Fun, are producing a myriad of items such as bags and backpacks, stickers, magnets, sunglasses, key chains, carabineers, pens, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, markers, and binders.
READY TO GO HEAD TO TOE
TRANSFORMERS fans will be stepping out on the town in a variety of items and styles based on completed or pending deals with apparel and footwear companies such as Extreme Concepts, Kids Headquarters, Fruit of the Loom, Elan Polo, Adorable Kids, Saramax Sleepwear, Changes, and Drew Pearson. Goods will include T-shirts, fashion and fleece tops, hoodies, short sets, underwear, pajamas, robes, swim trunks, headwear, sandals, casual shoes, athletic shoes, and aqua socks.
MAKE ROOM FOR TRANSFORMERS
TRANSFORMERS will move into the home as well with companies such as Delta Enterprise, Northwest, and Franco Manufacturing with desks, tables, chairs, toy boxes, blankets, throws, comforters, sheet sets, towels and pillows. In addition, sporting goods makers including Kent, PTI, and Bell Sports (pending contract) are developing a range of sports items from bikes to protective gear for the TRANSFORMERS athlete in every home.
PARTY LIKE A ROBOT
There will be plenty of choices for consumers who want to go all out with a TRANSFORMERS-themed party or seasonal affair. Agreements inked with companies such as American Greetings, CSS Industries Inc., Bakery Crafts, Seasonal Specialties Disguise Inc. and Mello Smello will bring to market party goods, cake kits, gift tags, gift bags, activity kits, holiday stockings, masks, removable tattoos, ornaments and gift sets.
FLASH AND BLING
Jewelry and electronics makers will add their own touch of glisten, flash and shine to TRANSFORMERS-related goods in 2007. Companies such as Seiko Instruments U.S.A., Inc. and KidDesign, Inc. (pending contract) are working on products that include watches, flashlights, cameras and walkie-talkies.
RETAIL GEARING UP
As a result of the landslide of TRANSFORMERS products coming to market, retailers across the board -- from specialty mall-based stores to mid-tier and mass market retailers -- have stepped up to provide premium in-store support for the line.