Unlike other movie heroes, the majority of characters in the Transformers franchise are literally made rather than naturally born. As machines – living machines, thanks to the deus ex machina “matrix” that brings each giant robot to “life” – the various Autobots and Decepticons that have fought across toylines, cartoon series, comic books, and three movies to date have all been built before entering their ongoing war, even inside their fictional world. Now Hasbro, the toy company behind the Transformers franchise, has decided to let the fans in on that process, inviting them to design the newest addition to the ranks of Robot In Disguise online.
To celebrate the upcoming thirtieth anniversary of the Transformers brand, Hasbro has launched an online poll called “Fan Built Bot” which will give online fans all manners of input into the creation of a new character. The crowdsourced robot will be added to the franchise in time for next year’s anniversary of all things Transformer. It’s not only the look of the new robot that fans will be able to weigh in on, but more “in character” elements as well. What will the new character’s personality be like? Will they side with the good guy Autobots or become an evil Decepticon? What type of vehicle will the bot turn into? And what should the new character’s name be?
“Since 1984, the Transformers brand has been bringing entertainment and excitement to kids and fans with our beloved characters like Bumblebee and Optimus Prime,” said Jay Duke, vice president of the Transformers brand at Hasbro. “We invite all fans to help us kick off the 30th anniversary of Transformers with a new character of their choice — for the first time in history.
“This is the perfect way to kick off our anniversary celebration and the ‘Thrilling 30’ line of special edition figures,” he continued. “It will be tremendous fun for everyone to keep track of the entire process from the designing of the character; leading up to its introduction as a toy and watching it become a part of the Transformers brand.”
The poll runs between now and May 5, with the final robot that results from the entire process scheduled to unveil at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. Afterward, the bot will be on its way to appearing in the official Transformers comic books and manufactured as a toy next year to coincide with the brand’s 30th anniversary. Isn’t synergy great?