Hasbro’s president and CEO Brian Goldner has been addressing the UBS Best of Americas conference, whatever that is, and giving an update on the company’s plans for the next few years of toymongering. I know this because I read about it on the Transformers fansite TFW2005, and they pointed me to the investor’s conference call.
So, apparently instrumental to Hasbro’s business plan for the coming years is the next Transformers movie, currently just being called Transformers 4 and represented with this stop-gap image.
The plan right now, said Goldner, is to have the film in cinemas during 2014. While the last movie did do rather well at the box office, Hasbro consider it a failure on another front.
You see, it didn’t generate many toy sales.
But the company think they know why. The theory is that sales of Transformers toys had peaked already because all three films in the series had featured essentially the same cast of robots. No new robots, no incentive to buy new toys.
As a result, Transformers 4 is to feature an overhauled line-up. The plan, it’s being suggested, is to shake the brand up a little. New robots in a new storyline.
But will this mean all-original Autobots and Decepticons, invented just for the movie and a new toyline? It certainly seems like a possibility.
I see no trace of Goldner explicitly mentioning Michael Bay, but the last we heard, Master B was coming back to direct part four and “set up” the series for a new director to come along in his stead.
Hasbro are also expecting their Stretch Armstrong picture to launch in 2014, alongside a TV series based on the character. Coming just next year is their Ouija movie.
They’ll be lucky if those add up together to something as successful as the Transformers franchise, but you can’t blame Hasbro for trying.