Transformers (film) toy line

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The Transformers movie toys were released in conjunction with the 2007 Transformers film, comics and video games, and expanded on the characters and story in them. They were manufactured and sold by Hasbro worldwide, except in Japan by Takara Tomy.

It was expected that the release of a new movie would involve the production and release of associated toys from Hasbro and Takara Tomy. Images surfaced, online, of some toy prototypes, notably Starscream and a new Decepticon who was to be named Blackout, along with packaged samples of movie preview "Protoform" Optimus Prime and Starscream toys. Similarly, fans found preliminary artwork of multiple characters, although it was not known at the time how close these were to the final designs. The designs were significantly different from those of the Generation 1 characters with the same names. Reactions varied widely: some fans objected strongly to the designs, occasionally going so far as to threaten a boycott if the designs were not changed to be more traditional, while others liked them. The issue became a divisive one, as detractors accused supporters of lacking respect for the franchise's history, while supporters accused detractors of being "stuck in the past", and not accepting change. Fans of the franchise have affectionately nicknamed the designs "Bayformers" due to director Michael Bay's influence.

Even though the Transformers were heavily modified for the film for a more alien "feel", they still kept some key features from the G1 look to stay true to the character's origins.

In 2008, the Deluxe Class line was awarded "Boy Toy of the Year" at the 8th Annual Toy of the Year Awards, which is held at the American International Toy Fair in New York City.[1]

Automorph Technology[edit]

The special feature of movie figures is "automorph technology". Moving one piece of the robot in the transformation sequence makes another piece move automatically. Most of the figures in this toy line have this feature. This is a debatable feature because some fans of the new toys tend to dislike the automorph, as it can have unwanted effects while transforming the figure.

Scout Class[edit]

Scout Class figures in this line are Target store exclusives and redecos of toys from the Energon and Cybertron line.

  • Wave 3

Deluxe Class[edit]

Movie Deluxe Class Bumblebee (Camaro Concept)

Deluxe Class figures comprise the bulk of the movie toy line. Many figures feature Automorph Technology. The bi-lingual English/French cards featured an error, in that all the Deluxe figures were put on cards with Decepticon logos, no matter their faction. Release dates vary, as some waves were seen before others, or released alongside another wave. These are seen sorted into waves designated by Hasbro, and their official Transformers website.

  • Wave 4
    • Final Battle Jazz - Redeco with battle damage and movie-accurate weapon.
    • Longarm - Autobot 1/36 scale tow truck (resembles a Dodge Dakota pickup).
    • Payload - Deception armored truck.
  • Exclusives
    • Generation 1 Autobot Jazz - A Target store exclusive repaint in Generation 1 colors.
  • Japan Exclusives
    • Metallic Bumblebee (Classic Camaro) - Lawson exclusive, repainted in metallic gold with black stripes.
    • Protoform Optimus Prime - "Fusion Cluster" version, molded in transparent colors to simulate entry into Earth's atmosphere.
    • Protoform Starscream - "Fusion Cluster" version, molded in transparent colors to simulate entry into Earth's atmosphere.

Allspark Power[edit]

  • Wave 3
    • Jungle Bonecrusher - Green redeco.
    • Overcast - Black repaint of Dreadwing.
  • Wave 4
    • Stealth Bumblebee - Inverted color repaint with armored head sculpt.
    • Salvage - Autobot redeco of Dropkick. According to Hasbro employees at Botcon 2008 his colors are inspired by the truck from the television series Sanford and Son.[2]
  • Wave 5 Target Exclusives - Packaged in clear, cylindrical plastic cases and in displayed in robot mode. These are regular Deluxe Class toys with light blue highlights to simulate the effects of the Allspark.
    • Barricade
    • Decepticon Brawl
    • Bumblebee
    • Autobot Jazz
  • Premium - repaints of the regular figures with more realistic paint jobs.
    • Barricade
    • Bumblebee - Comes with armored head sculpt.
    • Autobot Jazz

Screen Battles[edit]

Each Screen Battles package consists of one Deluxe Class figure and accessories to form a mini-diorama.

  • Desert Attack: Scorponok with figurines of U.S. soldiers Lennox, Epps and Figueroa.
  • First Encounter: Barricade with figurines of Sam and Mikaela, along with a Frenzy figurine that is more detailed than the one normally supplied with Barricade.
  • Capture of Bumblebee: Bumblebee (Camaro concept version with yellow/gray repaint) with figurines of Agent Simmons and two Sector 7 operatives.
  • Final Stand: Longarm (slight repaint with Mikaela figurine inside) with a legless version of Robot Replicas Bumblebee.

Voyager Class[edit]

Voyager Class figures are one of the largest figures compared to Deluxe and Leader Class figures. Many figures in this line feature Automorph Technology.

  • Wave 3

Some confusion results in Optimus Prime and Megatron's wave placements. In one source, Megatron is part of Wave 3 and Optimus is part of Wave 3.5. Other sources declare Megatron a revision of Wave 2, and Optimus part of Wave 3.

  • Target Exclusives
    • Robo-Vision Optimus Prime - Metallic repaint with enclosed code for exclusive online content. Packaged in robot mode.
    • Starscream - Repaint in Generation 1 colors.
    • Deep Space Starscream - Silver repaint. Packaged in robot mode.
  • Best Buy Exclusives
    • Autobot Ratchet - Metallic repaint.
    • Megatron - Metallic repaint.
  • Wave 4
    • Rescue Ratchet - White/red repaint made to resemble the G1 color scheme.
    • Thundercracker - Repaint of Starscream with a new head mold.

Allspark Power[edit]

  • Wave 1
    • Evac - Autobot redeco of Blackout with a new head mold. In addition, the Scorponok figurine is replaced by a raft that doubles as a weapon.
    • Offroad Ironhide - Blue repaint.
    • First Strike Optimus Prime - repaint in Generation 1 colors.
  • Premium - Repaints of the regular figures with more realistic paint jobs.
    • Ironhide
    • Blackout
    • Ratchet

Ultra Class[edit]

The only Ultra Class figures in the movie line are redecos of Cybertron figures and are Toys "R" Us exclusives.

Multi-Packs[edit]

Store-exclusive multi-packs include one Voyager Class figure and one Deluxe Class figure.

Leader Class[edit]

The largest size class with more than one figure. They feature Advanced Automorph Technology and electronic gimmicks, and are the only mainline figures with a "Try Me" feature on the packaging.

  • Wave 2
    • Megatron - Decepticon 1/46 scale Cybertronian jet.

Allspark Power[edit]

  • Wave 1
    • Nightwatch Optimus Prime - Redeco in stealthy, dark blue colors.
    • Deep Desert Brawl - Redeco in desert camouflage.
  • Premium - Redecos of the regular figures with more realistic paint jobs and original sound effects replaced with the transformation sound.
    • Optimus Prime - Comes with redesigned head sculpt and forearm blade in place of cannon.
    • Megatron

Ultimate[edit]

Overall, the largest size class - and effectively, the most expensive - in the toy line. The only figure offered in this line is Bumblebee (Camaro Concept), which features working lights and sound effects. In addition, Ultimate Bumblebee is animatronic, with his head and arms moving mechanically. Ultimate Bumblebee speaks numerous pre-recorded phrases and plays samples of songs such as the Transformers theme and Devo's "Whip It".

Trans-Scanning[edit]

The Trans-Scanning line consists of Deluxe-sized figures sold only in Japan and Asian markets by Takara Tomy. Each package consists of a highly-poseable skeletal frame called a Core Body, along with parts to assemble the Core Body to either a Protoform mode or robot mode. In Protoform, the figure can transform into an atmospheric Entry Mode. The figure with robot parts is able to fully transform into vehicle mode.[3]

Cyber-Slammers[edit]

Cyber-Slammers are toy cars marketed to younger children, with pull back motors and one step transformations.

  • Bumblebee (Classic Camaro)
  • Barricade
  • Optimus Prime
  • Decepticon Brawl
  • Autobot Ratchet
  • Bumblebee (Camaro Concept)
  • Autobot Jazz
  • Ironhide
  • Rescue Ratchet
  • Cliffjumper (Bumblebee Camaro Concept redeco)
  • Scout Barricade

Fast Action Battlers[edit]

Fast Action Battlers are Deluxe-sized figures with simple transformation for younger children.

  • Megatron
  • Optimus Prime
  • Brawl
  • Ratchet
  • Blackout
  • Ironhide
  • Starscream
  • Bumblebee
  • Barricade
  • Jazz
  • Frenzy
  • Ramjet (redeco of Starscream)
  • Smokescreen (redeco of Jazz)
  • Rescue Ratchet
  • Desert Brawl

Movie Legends[edit]

A line of Micro class transformable toys was released for the 2007 Transformers movie. It included individually packaged toys as well as a Target exclusive package with Megatrons and Optimus Primes from the movie and Cybertron lines.

Japan Exclusives

  • Bumblebee (Scanning Version) - Hyper Hobby magazine exclusive, molded in transparent yellow to simulate pre-formatting.

Allspark Power[edit]

Released as Allspark Battle two-packs, these were released in 2008.

    • Cliffjumper (red repaint of Legends Bumblebee) vs. Recon Barricade (gray/blue repaint)
    • Autobot Jazz (G1-style repaint) vs. Bonecrusher (G1-style repaint)
    • Rescue Ratchet (G1-style repaint) vs. Decepticon Brawl (modified M1 Abrams)
    • Ironhide (GMC Topkick) vs. Desert Blackout (tan repaint)
    • Nightwatch Optimus Prime (blue repaint) vs. Stealth Starscream (black repaint)
    • Final Battle Bumblebee (battle damage redeco) vs. Scorponok (robotic scorpion)
    • Final Battle Jazz (battle damage redeco) vs. Ice Megatron (blue repaint)

Robot Replicas[edit]

A line of 4", non-transforming, poseable figures were released recently and included the following figures:

  • Wave 1
    • Megatron - 1/79 scale
    • Barricade
    • Bumblebee
  • Wave 2
    • Optimus Prime
    • Jazz
    • Frenzy

Wal-Mart Exclusive Megatron vs. Optimus Prime battle damage 2 pack

Fun4All KeyChains[edit]

A wave of Movie Transformers keychains release as smaller version of the Robot Replicas:

  • Wave 1
    • Optimus Prime
    • Bumblebee
  • Wave 2
    • Megatron
    • Barricade

Real Gear[edit]

A line of movie toys made up entirely of original characters who transform from Scout Class robots into non-functional, actual-size (or near actual size in a few cases), gadgets, possibly inspired by the ability of the Allspark in the movie to bring electronic items to life.

Oddly, the Real Gear toy line lacks any mention of Paramount and the official Transformers film logo on the boxes, making them a bit separate from the rest of the line. It has been revealed that at least some of the molds were originally designed to be in the Cybertron line, as Autobots hiding on Earth.

Reception[edit]

GamesAxis Unwired Magazine said Read Gear Robots would make Soundwave turn over in his plastic grave.[4]

  • Wave 1
  • Longview - An Autobot that transforms into a pair of binoculars. He holds a picture of Cybertron Crumplezone in binoculars mode.
  • Power Up VT6 - An Autobot that transforms into a hand-held video game system. Has a jet that looks like Cybertron Jetfire on the game display.
  • Speed Dial 800 - An Autobot that transforms into a cell phone. Has the time 7:47 on his display, a reference to the original planned premiere date of the Transformers 2007 film, July 4, 2007. 1/1 scale.
  • Spy Shot 6 - An Autobot that transforms into a digital camera.
  • Wave 2
  • Booster X10 - A Decepticon that transforms from an MP3 player and earpiece into a robotic condor inspired by Generation 1 Laserbeak. He is portrayed as a mean-spirited trickster who enjoys causing accidents. 1/1 scale.
  • Zoom Out 25X - An Autobot that transforms into a digital camcorder. He has an image of Cybertron Override on his display.
  • Wave 3
  • Wire Tap V20 - A black/red Decepticon repaint of Speed Dial 800.
  • Night Beat 7 - A silver/blue Autobot repaint of Booster X10.
  • Meantime - A Decepticon that transforms into a sports watch.
  • High Score 100 - An Autobot that transforms into a 1/2 scale video game controller. He is portrayed as a martial artist who learned by studying others fight.
  • Wave 4
  • Highline 1070 - A red Autobot repaint of Speed Dial 800. A cell phone resembling this one can be seen in the Alliance comic book being used by Epps.

Other toys[edit]

  • Optimus Prime Voice Changer Helmet - A helmet shaped like Optimus Prime's head and can fit head sizes from kids to adults. Features sound effects, battle phrases and a microphone that can give the user's voice a robotic effect. First releases featured Garry Chalk's voice as Optimus Prime, but later releases following the film's premiere had Chalk's recordings replaced with those of Peter Cullen.[5]

Drought[edit]

Many fans were disappointed at the drought of many of the mainline figures when the first waves flew off the shelves in July 2007. Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us, etc., underestimated the popularity of the movie and supporting toyline, and did not place enough orders to meet the demand. With several action-themed toylines in the same summer (Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Transformers), they were conservative with their estimates for Transformers, the only relatively new franchise in the mix. Especially with Spider-Man 3 toys underperforming, retailers did not consider ordering more Transformers toys until it was too late to meet demand on time. By August 2007, most Deluxe and larger toys had sold out of nearly all retail outlets - with only the Cyber Slammers and Real Gear toys remaining.

A shipping backlog in China further exacerbated this problem and has led to an unusually long drought. The demand has led to many "scalpers" buying many duplicates of figures to sell on eBay - particularly Deluxe Class Bumblebee (Camaro Concept edition), which fetched high two-digit numbers online during the film's run.

Hasbro has been the target of many fans' anger over this situation, despite the fact that the company does not determine order sizes or distribution. They promoted the movie toyline as best they could, but inventories are not produced unless orders are received for them. Ultimately, retailers simply did not order enough from Hasbro.

See also[edit]

References[edit]