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Old 2006-08-13, 07:14 PM   #1
Nevermore
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Default On the phone with Hasbro Germany

Originally posted in German here (site is currently down, but will hopefully be up again tomorrow):
http://www.thetransformers.de/includ...p&threadid=583

A few months ago, Hasbro Germany's current Transformers "brand manager" invited me and a few other fans to Hasbro Germany's new offices. Unfortunately, the trip initially wouldn't happen for time reasons, which is why I had an extended phone call with him today instead.

Summary:
- Apparently, European distribution in general is down to the US mother company, who decide on which toys will get released in Europe. The domestic branches don't have much of a say in which individual products they will release and what the case assortments will be.
- Some toys being released in Europe in US packaging (cue Cybertron Starscream in the UK) is due to a combination of sudden demand and a shortage of products. US toys will be shipped to Europe and applied with a sticker, making it legal for the European market.
- The German TV airing of the Armada cartoon three years ago was apparently cut short (20 episodes only) for concerns about "too much violence". Hasbro didn't agree with that decision either, but the TV station was very serious about it.
- The Cybertron toy line will be fully released in Germany (i.e. anything that's available in Europe will also come out in Germany). All size classes will come out (not sure about Supreme Starscream, see below for why).
- High end collectors' items are not considered viable for the German market. As a result, 20th Anniversary Prime might not come out here.
- The movie toyline is already in production. Some people at Hasbro Germany have even seen animatics of the movie.
- The Hasbro Germany guy described the aesthetics of the movie characters as a "quantum leap" as compared to what we've been used to so far, but also admitted that some old school fans might be disappointed.
- There might be a sneak preview of the movie toyline in Hasbro Germany's offices later this year. No photos will be allowed.
- Hasbro Germany hope that the movie line will re-ignite interest in Transformers in Germany.
- Hasbro consider LEGO their biggest competitor for the "Boys Toys" market at least in Europe/Germany.
- Hasbro Germany appear to be VERY eager to cooperate with the fandom. They're willing to participate in contests, and also consider asking fans for help with background information for media coverage.
- As far as Hasbro Germany's PR department is concerned, the live-action TF movie will be the first live action movie based on a toy line. When I mentioned the "Masters of the Universe" movie from the 80s, he said he'll blissfully ignore that one.
- There's one more thing I won't discuss in here - but if it does indeed pan out, Hasbro Germany will earn a lot of respect for their efforts.
 
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Old 2006-08-13, 07:58 PM   #2
another tf fan
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Go Go Gadget Hasbro.

You get to go see movie related toys first? Very cool.
 
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Old 2006-08-13, 09:33 PM   #3
Denyer
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Quote:
he said he'll blissfully ignore that one
Heh.

So does Hasbro US do market research, or just ship its castoffs over to Europe?
 
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Old 2006-08-14, 12:26 AM   #4
RID Scourge
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Default Re: On the phone with Hasbro Germany

Quote:
Originally posted by Nevermore
- As far as Hasbro Germany's PR department is concerned, the live-action TF movie will be the first live action movie based on a toy line. When I mentioned the "Masters of the Universe" movie from the 80s, he said he'll blissfully ignore that one.
Yeah, I remember that movie was particularly bad.
 
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Old 2006-08-14, 08:56 AM   #5
inflatable dalek
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Then your memory is wrong, MOTU is a fab little low budget Star Wars knockoff with a fantastic performance from Perry White as Skeletor. Plus someone who weant onto huge international fame and fortune: The bald guy from the Back to the Future films!.

Oh, and easily the best thing Courtney Cox ever did. If we get a TF Movie half as good we'll be on easy street.
 
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Old 2006-08-14, 02:51 PM   #6
trilobitepictures
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IMDb power GO...!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093507/
 
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Old 2006-08-14, 03:30 PM   #7
Tetsuro
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Quote:
- The German TV airing of the Armada cartoon three years ago was apparently cut short (20 episodes only) for concerns about "too much violence". Hasbro didn't agree with that decision either, but the TV station was very serious about it.
Lol, what violence?
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 02:10 AM   #8
another tf fan
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Germans limit childrens exposure to violence?

No Deutschland history class for the lil buggers then, huh?

(Please no offense to those who live or love Germany, i'm just pointing out the irony. )

...

(And yes I know that we in the USA can't have a re-issue Megatron cause a cop might shoot a kid brandishing it, so don't bother pointing that out.)
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 02:12 AM   #9
Denyer
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Quote:
Originally posted by another tf fan
Germans limit childrens exposure to violence?

No Deutschland history class for the lil buggers then, huh?
That's exactly why, in fact. Militarism is very strongly discouraged amongst many (if not most) circles of society over there.
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 02:17 AM   #10
another tf fan
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I suppose thats noble, but drawing the line at "Armada" seems a bit over the top.

But then again they get nudity on TV and I get limitless violence.
I'd trade some Armada eps for some wacky German porno.
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 02:39 AM   #11
Denyer
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Quote:
Originally posted by another tf fan
drawing the line at "Armada" seems a bit over the top.
It has little plot and is a series of poorly drawn fights -- and whilst some older fans argue it gets better later on, the early episodes would have to be screened for people to follow the story.
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 02:43 AM   #12
another tf fan
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Ahh hell, i never did like armada anyways.
 
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Old 2006-08-15, 01:13 PM   #13
Clogs
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MOTU is a cool movie, where we get to see Dolph Lungren in very little except Dolph Lungren. Then again, I like the Conan movies because Arnie is basically dressed in standard barbarian wear (please refer to Mr PTerry for full... er brief discription.)

A married woman's gotta dream....

Shame about Armada, but I do understand the principle there, even if the children over there can see things banned in the UK.

On the plus side, thanks Nevermore for advising us about the upcoming new toy line etc. With Lego releasing their Bionicles and movie every October for the past 3 years (is there a new one for the new Piraka, anyone?), the new TF Movie should rekindle their customer base so be prepared to fight sprogs for new toys!
 
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Old 2006-08-16, 01:08 AM   #14
tahukanuva
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clogs
With Lego releasing their Bionicles and movie every October for the past 3 years (is there a new one for the new Piraka, anyone?), !
No there currently are no plans to release anymore movies according to the guy who writes the Bionicle comics and editor of Lego magazine.
 
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Old 2006-08-16, 03:46 AM   #15
T.V.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denyer
That's exactly why, in fact. Militarism is very strongly discouraged amongst many (if not most) circles of society over there.
Why didn't we get the VW Beetle Alternator again?..

"Don't mention ze war!"

It's proliferent in many parts of german society.
It's for example the reason why only recently we saw a german made movie about Hitler* and blood and violence in video games is often curtailed/censored.

*Der Untergang, which is very good IMO.

On topic :
Nice to hear this info, Nev.
So Europe officially is the TF toy dump, now Hasbro finally acknowledges it.
 

Last edited by T.V.; 2006-08-16 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 2006-08-16, 03:50 AM   #16
Jaynz
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"You started it!"
"I didn't!"
"Yes you did, you mentioned the war! You started it!"
"No, you did it when you invaded Poland!"
 
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Old 2006-08-16, 04:36 AM   #17
another tf fan
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Heh heh heh heh . . . .
 
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