CCI: Transformers Roll Out at Comic-Con Panel

Every seat was filled at Comic-Con International in San Diego for the Transformers Brand panel as Director of Global Transformers Brand Jerry Jivoin thanked all of the fans for attending. We love coming to Comic-Con. You guys are the best fans in the world," said Jivoin, who went on to thank one very special fan: a young boy named Devon who attended the convention as a part of his wish from the Make a Wish Foundation. "We feel very honored when a make a wish is to come to the Transformers panel."

Though the panel was plagued with many technical difficulties, both the fans and the Hasbro team were able to make the best of a bad situation. While the bugs were hammered out, the floor opened for a few questions from fans. One fan asked about the release for the rest of the toys designed for last summer's "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." Although no actual release date was given, Jivoin reassured fans the toys hadn't been left completely by the wayside. "We have not forgotten about those toys," he said. "They are on our radar."

Fans also got some information about the "Transformers Prime" animated series. The second half of the second season airs during the back end of this fall. "How many cartoons have four Emmys?" Jivolin said, showing his pride for "Transformers Prime."

When at last the projector and slideshow were fixed, the panel really kicked into high gear. There were a plethora of toy reveals that had the fans filling the room with screams of excitement. First up was the reveal of the Evac toy, an exclusive for the Universal Transformer ride, only available at Universal Studios.

In news about the Rescue Bots line, Hasbro will be rolling out a new police headquarters model, complete with Chase action figure. There will also be a new Rescue Bots series called Energize, where all the characters will be filled with additional energy, which will affect their strength and designs. Many of these characters will be able to be joined together to create larger robots.

Hasbro also revealed four different combiners for the Micro-Changers line. Fans will be able to purchase all the characters to make the massive Prediking, Superion, Devestator and Bruticus.

In the world of Bot Shots, there will be four brand new launchers including a new Starscream and Optimus Prime. The Bot Shot toys will have some new features this year: jump, flip, spin and blitz actions will be added to the characters and each new action will be differentiated by package color. Bot Shots are now bulkier with more points of articulation.

Exclusives were the name of the game for the next section of the panel as Hasbro revealed the new Jetwing Optimus Prime. In November there will be a brand spanking new Thundercracker from Toys 'R Us and a Bruticus from Amazon and Big Bad Toy Store. Bruticus was available to pre-order at the Hasbro booth.

"Transformers" collectors won't need to pay extra for those rare Chinese figures very soon. Hasbro plans to import its China exclusive figures back to the United States. There will even be an opportunity to purchase the Optimus Prime Year of the Dragon figure, which has a gold dragon painted down the side of the cargo hold.

Some of the figures are going to get a new look with the Dark Energon series, which have darker paint schemes and translucent parts.

One of the toys that received the best reception was a new Voyager-size Grimlock. The toy is modeled after the character design from the upcoming "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" video game. Grimlock will have a rage mode in which lights in his mouth and head will make it look like he is breathing fire. "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron" is also has an art book planned for release. Published by IDW, the art book is written by Mark Bello.

Most fans of the "Transformers" films know that Linkin Park loves the robots in disguise. Hasbro has decided to team up with the band to help redesign Generation 1 Soundwave. The Linkin Park edition of Soundwave is two-toned gold and comes with all four of his cassette tape minions. The packaging was created to look like Soundwave in his boom box form. Inside his cassette deck is a certificate of authenticity.

As the panel drew to a close, Hasbro had a special announcement for "Transformers" video game fans. The company announced a new Transformers Universe MMO, which begins beta testing at the end of the year. Jivoin said more information will be released later this year about beta testing and how to apply for participation.

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