These things usually start with a small trial run in one part of the country before relaunching nationwide with issue 1 if it's a success (and with any bugs sorted out, the Who one had a different cover layout on the issues released during its trial run), the websites never mention this--annoyingly--because they don't want to put off subscribers. Though if you do subscribe during the trial it seems to vary if you get the issues or if they just wait till the national launch (though if you do get the test issues you get the repeated ones in the full launch free).
It looks like, as with the Who and potential IDW Trek ones (though if they're doing this I guess that was a success and will be going nationwide) they book will be chronological when on the shelf but released out of order to spread out the stuff people are going to be most interested in.
The main appeal for me is the idea of behind the scenes info on the American book, hopefully it will be up to the standard of the Classics TFUK stuff (which will presumably be the basis of the behind the scenes stuff in those books), so I can certainly see me getting those.
(All the above assumes there hasn't been a test run I've somehow not heard about. I hope they do something with the front covers tbh, they feel a bit dull)
I would assume (though I may use the fact I have A BLOG to try and find out more through their contact details like I'm a journalist of some kind. Which would in no way be an attempt to waggle review copies for at least the test...) they'll be able to reprint the Marvel characters through the same deal that let IDW do it themselves.
Are Hatchet involved in one of the Marvel Partworks (of which there seem to be several, including two comic ones...)? If they've a deal there it's almost a certainty.
The vagueness is probably due to it being a trial.
In terms of audience, I know from talking to James Roberts IDW's TFUK books sell to people outside of the traditional fandom. People who like UK comics or bought it as a kid who have followed nothing since. They won't own this material multiple times and presumably the whole thing is based on the assumption there's enough of them (and enough Brits who haven't thought of TFs comics in 30 years but would by this if an advert showed up in their Facebook feed) to justify it. There might not be, but that's what the trial proves.
The Marvel collection seems to have done well enough to be re-issued and/ or still running (really confused by that - the black volumes seem to still be an ongoing concern, but there was a relaunch a couple of years ago of the same series in magenta covers which I also keep seeing about), so I can see that other comic properties might be something Hachette would be interested in.
If I wasn't happy enough with the Titan stuff, I'd probably pick this up. I do wonder how well that Dredd collection fared. I didn't see it anywhere after the initial 5 issues of that.
The behind the scenes stuff is appealing - as it is for the IDW Classics UK books - but I just can't justify buying the same stuff over again for a marginal amount of content I haven't seen before. I hope it does well anyway. Transformers is probably of solid enough appeal, so it should sell moderately well.
The Dredd one is still going, these things (especially the more niche ones) usually ust stop appearing in newsagents after a while.
Furman has apparently announced he's editing and that they're not just going to be the first reprints to treat all the Marvel comic as just one series, they're going to try and present the American issues as we saw them, with the appropriate changes (I'm assuming the appropriate dialogue differences rather than splitting things in two and altering every use of "color").
Presumably this will depend on if it does well enough during the trial for them to get a budget that means not just using the recent IDW Marvel US stuff (and as such, how the American issues appear could wind up one of the differences between the trial and the main run, I suspect they'd just go for a straight reprint when testing the water. Of course the first issue will give a good indication with the changes to the stuff about Prime's injury...).
I collected the Marvel one way back when, i signed up for the original 60 but then they started extending it even further in to the back catalogue towards what should have been the final few months. I had to stay on longer just to finish the initial 60 so i could have the mural completed. They then started exactly the same collection again a year later. On the plus side TF isn't nearly as extensive as Marvel but they could move on to the IDW stuff. I'll grab the first issue in WHSmiths and see if it's worth it.
Saw a thread about it on another site and there was a f*cktonne of hate for IDW for some reason...is this a thing? (Hello again by the way)
Stormbringer is only just over halfway through the planned run (35 0f 60. That's a good chunk higher than War Within's number though, I wonder if they'll be doing the IDW stuff in that annoying "Suggested Reading Order" they're so fond of?), so it should be going a good way to the MTMTE and RID stuff.
Oh God, ReGeneration One will be in there somewhere...