Hasbro Transformers Design Manager Sam Smith has continued updating his Instagram account with images of the development process of several Studio Series toys from sketches, concept art, CAD model to the final physical toy.
Mr Smith had previously shared a nice set of images focused on the Bumblebee Movie Studio Series toys (which you can fin on this news post), and this time we have images and very interesting comments and trivia of Studio Series ROTF Grindor, DOTM Dino, ROTF Jolt, Bumblebee Movie Ravage, ROTF Sideswipe and Bumblebee Movie B-127.
Enjoy all the mirrored images after the jump and don’t miss the backstory comments about each figure. Click on the discussion link below and share your impressions on the 2005 Boards!
SS-73 ROTF Revenge of the Fallen Grindor
“No Prime please no!” Did he really say that as Optimus had his hooks in his face? I don’t hear it, do you?
Ok, while I’m not finished with the Bumblebee Movie content, I do want to switch things up for a bit and talk about the primary show runner for Studio Series, the Bayverse! Love him or hate him, you have to admit, the guy is responsible for some pretty substantial leaps forward in cinematography, and CGI heavy action sequences. If you haven’t watched the behind the scene content for his TF movies, there’s a lot in them to inspire creatives!
While I did not work on the original Blackout figure, I did have the opportunity to work on his repurposed robot model by way of Grindor! It was a lot of fun rewatching the film to try and capture all the unique color elements that would help to separate it from the original Blackout release. We also got to take the opportunity to update the hands with some much needed articulation, as well as adding a ROTF specific Ravage.
Lets start with some fo the discrepancies for the character. Between TF1 and TF2, Sikorsky retired the MH-53, so when it came time to film ROTF, the CH-53E Super Stallion was called in. While sharing much of a common silhouette, the CH-53E boasted a longer length by about 10’ and feature alternative equipment off of the nose. But as this translated to Grindor from Blackout, his scale shifted massively. Blackout was supposed to be around 33’ tall, while Grindor is recorded as being almost 50’ tall!
Now I’m, not going to blush over the Blackout robot design here. I absolutely love it, but there will be a better time to talk about him in the future. In looking for visual differences to set Grindor apart, I had to go frame by frame to capture various details from the helicopter flying with extreme shadows, or briefly while dangling a tethered Saturn Astra. There was very little to go on, but with a lot of color balancing I was able to gather the general details. Frame by frame in the forest scene, we see a more rusted weathered look to the bot mode, which I tried to bring to the figure without completely blowing the deco budget.
SS-71 Dark of the Moon Dino
“On the ground, per favore! And stay there!”
Alright, lets kick the weekend off with the first poll selected pick, Dark of the Moon Dino. This was one of the first Studio Series figures that I had the opportunity to work on when I rejoined the transformers team a few years ago. In taking over various segments of the line, I took on this character at the block model stage.
This “bright red mid engine European inspired supercar” design had already been established by the prior team, and there was a lot of care taken to keep the design generic, while still being inspired. Overall it transitioned nicely into a supporting form for Dino. Theres not a whole lot we can say about the vehicle for this one do to licensing restrictions, but I’m sure if you’re google inclined you can find out enough history on the topic. Regardless it was a huge step up from the previous release back in 2011 (which was just a redeco’d Sideways)
Ittoku Kuwazu did a great job of bringing the ILM movie CAD to life. This character had a ton of personality in the film, so it was great to see that translated ta a more accurate figure model. We focused his accessories on his bladed gauntlets, but we did explore utilizing his tethered blades that he hooks into Hatchet. Maybe there will be another opportunity to incorporate them in the future.
The bot mode does suffer from a bit of a backpack due to the vehicle mode /scale /and prince point. There is such a slender fragmented torso to the bot mode, that it wouldn’t have been possible to utilize the vehicle panels to complete it. I do think that the CAD details are able to shine via the chest and more notably in the face and feet.
Paint wise, I chose to keep his exposed mechanical details in a darker gun metal shade of gray, along with the intricacies of the face. I found it to compliment the red of the bot mode vs the stark contrast of using black and bright silvers.
Overall, I think he’s a lot of fun to stack up against a legion of dreads, and features the articulation to support some pretty wild poses.
SS-75 Revenge of the Fallen Jolt
Over a decade later, we finally get a good look at Jolt by way of an all new figure. I was thrilled that we were able to revisit this bot form and deliver his onscreen head for the first time.
Jolt, although having a very minimal role In the film, played a large part in awakening of Optimus Prime, and the fusing of Jetfire in the final Egypt battle. Jolt includes his tethered energy whips which can be swapped into his hands to help recreate his brief but iconic onscreen moment.
Jolts vehicle mode was based on a 2009 Chevorlet Volt concept car, which featured some interesting design details, including massive 5 spoke wheels with multi piece faux brake rotors (seriously there are no calipers) behind them and an electric blue paint that never made it into the production launch model.
Partnering with Kunihiro Takashi, we found various ways to incorporate the clear paneling though out the bot mode. I think the most successful uses of this were the thigh and lower torso panels which have intricate tech detail sculpted into the back side of them.
At the deco stage, I chose to darken the tint on the clear plastic in order to maintain the illusion of the swooping glass windshield roof and rear windscreen from the concept car. If there was an opportunity to add more paint to this figure, I would have liked for the tech detail on back of the clear panels to have received some secondary color accents, as well as getting some of the red and yellow cabling accent details on the upper chest.
I know there are some fan theories that Jolts head shows up in AOE as scrap remains, but there are a lot of the details that don’t align to character model. What do you think, is Jolt secretly alive? Or did he meet his demise after Revenge of the Fallen.
SS Core Bumblebee Movie Ravage
“Meow? Roar? … BIG CAT NOISE!”
Alright, so we talked Soundwave, we’ve talked core, so let’s get down in the details of Ravage!
This character pairing was locked in from the beginning. Once we knew that we were going to take on the the Bumblebee Movie figures, and that we would be introducing the core scale to Studio Series, Ravage was a no brainer as an assortment debut.
One of the few Cybertronian character to have an alt mode designed for the film (a literal block) Ravage gave us a glimpse into just how loyal this opening scene would be to the original toy. Press Soundwave’s eject button to deploy his minion into battle!
This figure was a lot of fun to design. Working along side Ittoku Kuwazu as the same time that we worked on Soundwave, these characters needed to be developed in tandem in order to ensure that the cavity in Soundwave’s chest was sized properly to fit Ravage.
Ittoku had the brilliant idea to include a missile pod for Ravage, that could be stowed into the shoulder cannon of Soundwave. This is to be reminiscent of the original G1 toy, and it’s an awesome incentive to link the two together once you’ve added both of them to your collection.
Getting the jaw to finally articulate while adhering to tooling challenges of ensuring that we didn’t run into a thin steel issue with the teeth almost didn’t pan out. When the tools are cut for ABS parts, there are minimum wall thickness for both the plastic and the steel to ensure that both can survive large capacity manufacturing runs. This is done to avoid short shot and tooling deformations. In the end, with some clever mold layouts and part draft, we got to a plan that would satisfy our production standards.
Deco wise, I think we were able to cover off on all the main details. What was nice about this guy was that all of the paint operations could be dedicated to the beast more, since the alt mode didn’t utilize any unique applications.
What are your thoughts on this theatrical Ravage? Do you prefer this design, or the Ravage from Revenge of the Fallen?
SS-78 Revenge of the Fallen Sideswipe
“Damn, I’m good”
What an awesome introduction to an all new bot form hidden inside a concept debut corvette that roller blades, and uses his doors to sever Sideways in half. Without a doubt, these Autobots showed up in full swing, and certainly made the deceptions sweat a bit without Megatron at the helm. It was almost mirrored years later by the Autobots being hunted at the beginning of TF4. With such an epic entrance into the live action universe, we are long overdue for getting into the details of SS ROTF Sideswipe.
First off, we need to talk about this vehicle mode. The 2009 Corvette Stingray concept was such an incredible heritage design, that was beautifully brought to life for the 7th generation Corvette (Crosshairs era). This hard top version of the concept car was such a perfect inclusion for the film and helped to keep that muscle car nostalgia alive after seeing Bumblebee’s Camaro concept in the first film.
I was glad to see that this character was part of the line plan when I joined the team, as it was long over due for the studio series, and was my preferred design of the Stingray concept. This figure was established as a partial, but it still received a pretty sizable amount of tooling modification to satisfy to screen used vehicle.
Yuki Hisashi did a phenomenal job of maximizing the tooling efficiencies for this character to try and gather all the sculptural differences between the two vehicles. In the end, I think the only details that we needed to sacrifice were the daytime running lights on top of the fenders. Sadly we couldn’t work entire new front fenders into the cost as it would have required an entirely additional mold. Overall, I think the vehicle was still very successful and frankly prefer the look with out the lights on top, its one area in which I feel the convertible succeeded to improve.
I am not personally a huge fan of molded silver, and feel that it is often wasted when an entire vehicle is being painted silver. It tends to look very dull, almost translucent, and to be honest, I don’t think it is a color that I have ever molded a part in on transformers. I really saw the robot mech details as being a darker gun metal metallic, with the bright silver paneling of the vehicle overlayed. This became a nice point of differentiation from the original SS release, and I was pretty happy with the end result. Hopefully I am not the minority with this application.
Which version of Sideswipe do you prefer? ROTF or DOTM? Do you prefer the darker color palette to the bot, or did we ruin the look?
SS-70 Bumblebee Movie B-127
“Sorry I’m late, hit a little traffic.”
Bumblebee B127 is a redeco of the existing SS Cliffjumper figure, which is an extensive retool of SS Offroad Bumblebee. This figure utilizes the alt head from the Bumblebee Jeep mold to deliver the battlemask portrait. Odly enough, the combination of this body, and this head only appears for a brief moment as Bumblebee faces off with Agent Burns for the first time, before rescanning and fleeing the scene. I literally had to scrub through the film frame by frame to find a brief moment in which the mask is down with the Cybertronian chest plate. I think the Buzzworthy redeco is a more accurate depiction of how this character is presented in the film.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about the design of this figure, as it’s selection and tooling were all preexisting, but what this figure does do is label a milestone for the paint decoration process on Studio Series.
Back in 2020 right after the Pandemic began, Evan and I were transitioned over to support the Transformers design team, and help out with various segments including Studio Series. This was my first venture back into transformers product since I started at Hasbro over a decade ago, and I was eager to implement some process improvements that I had been utilizing on other teams.
The previously existing process for generating deco utilized photoshop painting over gray model photographs, which was a very time consuming process, and required a repeat procedure for every image that was created. This often involved trying to accomplish the deco model in as few images as possible (often 3/4 view for efficiency).
I got to work on a procedure that would take advantage of the 3D toy data that was available at the time we would be starting deco, which would enable us to separate the models into individual parts, breaking them out by molded color and material, and allowing those selections to take place across all of the views simultaneously. The end result was an overabundance of color information being able to be shared with a much quicker delivery.
B-127 marks the first character I took on in rejoining the team, as well as the first character to implement this operation. It has since grown to a third variation that I started to implement with the BB cybertronian characters, which I will share more about in a future post.
Overall, I think the vehicle design for the film is such an awesome adaptation for a cybertronian bumblebee alt mode. The execution in delivering this vehicle as a SS deluxe unfortunately was drastically limited by being a partial tooled figure. I think the vehicle sculpt came out fantastic, but falls short in transformation.
What are your thoughts on B127? Is he part of your current collection? Do you prefer this or the Buzz-worthy variant?
i still like the old tlk mold, and i still plan to get one at some point, but it was only a good mold, the new ss hotrod is PERFECT
i mean thats kinda true? it really isn't hiding the the arm kibble as that one is on full display and from the rotations i dont see a gap in there, just his back hanging off a bit but it looks very compact. the ankles are sadly skinny but a compromise like this is to be expected from a bay deluxe. he is still a generally very lanky bot just the arm kibble makes him look wider than he is. i see your points tho and certainly the original isnt a bad figure by any means
That is possed in a rather flattering angle – it hides the kibble on the arms and legs the thin ankles and the stocky legs- as well as the visible gap though his body – and the short and fat torso – the original at least looked lanky as it was based on Lockdown who is skinny too.
That said I don't much like the should kibble on the original – but I do like the colours and the skinny legs. I also like that the new one has a decent launcher.
I certainly don't dislike the new one – he just wouldn't have been on my personal top 20 of the things as yet unmade Movie things to prioritise is all.
I wouldn't mind a more elegantly propotioned Laserbeak sometime.
TF Hot Rod
But the trade off was accuracy and being a retool.
thats true but i am not surprised considering he was a lockdown with new arms
Huh… as bad as that tlk hotrod was, somehow has more paint on it…
i was like that saying to myself that they couldnt really make a good looking hot rod but goly what a glow up
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I pre Ordered The Fallen – as I can see me playing with that – as a rule Live Action Movie toys often tend to be overly complex and so not fun to play with that doesn't matter with The Fallen as his Transformation is just 'some sillyness'.
So considering I don't get much actual use out of most live Action Movie toys (Bayverse ones anyway) I think I will wait for a sale on these guys, and Sideways and Bee Movie Ironhide as well. After all both Sideswipe and Jolt both got cheap rather quickly.
I just have to remember to actually buy them at some point in the future – that said I might bite if Hasbro has another 40% off Pulse sale sometime too. But these days I prioritise what I know I will actually play with – that is why I don't prioritise Cyberverse – as the knackered articulation on them ruins their playability just as much being tiny and fiddly ruins Bayformers for me – I'd in all honesty buy a lot more of these thing with more enthusiasm as 17cm KO's as at least them the overly squashed in Transformations of something like a Bumblebee or Dino wouldn't be quite so much of finger biters to mess with.
They are fine for what they are – though Hot Rod isn't exactly "sleek" looking – he still has a face like a cartoon seal too.
To be honest I was perfectly fine with the deluxe's we already had.
TF Hot Rod
It seems they can.
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only will consider him if the doors have enough articulation to be moved to the sides of his body, i know the front panels can , but i want the DOORS, thats the only way he could get a bit less…"back kibble"
Hot Rod really does look like DX9's but smol.
Knew Crosshairs was too good to be true. Pretty clever how the reveal images hid the backpack. Sad truth is that it was inevitable. At least they kind of made it seem like part of his trenchcoat.
Man anyone who thinks these guys don't love what they do needs to read more of these. You can tell there's pride in everything they do.
Sam Smith – Hasbro ⚓️ on Instagram #Transformers #Autobots #Decepticons #Hasbro #Studioseries #generations #legacy #Takara #Tomy #robot #concept #studio #movie #toydesign #TheLastKnight #TLK #NEST #Crosshairs #generalmotors #chevy #chevorlet #gm #Corvette #Stingray #7thgen #Z06 #AOE #AgeofExtinction #TF4 #TF5"
SS-92 TF5 The Last Knight Crosshairs
“Love that guy. Goosebumps every time.”
Next up on the reveals today we debuted the all new Crosshairs! TF5 Crosshairs is based on a repurposed design from AOE that saw modifications to the vehicle mode. The licensed C7 Corvette Stingray saw minor body modifications to mimic some of the wider flared details of a Z06, while introducing a new spoiler, canards and an all new livery.
Talk about an impossible design, a lot of the new characters introduced in Age of Extinction didn’t take transformation into consideration when hiding car parts amongst the robot forms. To make matters worse, they introduced a figure wearing a trench coat, turning car parts into pliable clothing.
Yuki Hisashi had a hell of an undertaking in trying to bring this character to life, but I think he succeeded marvelously. This figure is a massive improvement from his premier edition release, and does a great job of modernizing the articulation, and introducing an articulated trench coat flaps to the front of the figure.
Crosshairs includes his iconic submachine guns which can be stowed in his door panels, along with his jetpack that can be found on the upper back. Unfortunately Crosshairs does have a rather sizable kibble on his back due to the entire vehicle form needing to disappear from the robot design.
What are your thoughts on this guy? Does he hit his mark, or miss the target?
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via Sam Smith on Instagram
Sam Smith – Hasbro ⚓️ on Instagram
SS-93 TF5 The Last Knight Hot Rod
I am thrilled to finally be able to share (and potentially unspoiled) Studio Series Hot Rod! This figured was an absolute blast to work on, so sit back and enjoy as I blush over this design.
Hot Rod gets a proper figure and vehicle representation by way of his primary vehicle mode for the film, a licensed 2017 Lamborghini Centenario. No repurposed parts, no alt heads, just a true to form figure with phenomenal transformation and articulation.
The Last Knight presented a number of fantastic robot designs, but they in most instances were absent of any of their vehicle counterparts pieces. In the minority, is Hot Rod. He maintains enough of the vehicle mode to make for an ultra compact transformation, with next to no kibble. I was fortunate enough to partner with Tomo Tatsumi on this item, who delivered on all of the complex curveballs that our RI design team, and vehicle licensor through at him.
The vehicle and a majority of the robot mode are clad in a gun metal metallic to help replicate the carbon fiber chassis of the Centenario, and is accented with an orange livery to match the robot panels. I was happy to be able to capture the DRL and tail lamps, along with active aero spoiler in the raised position as seen in the majority of the London chase scenes.
As I mentioned on the stream, this might be my favorite studio series character of the year, at least from the Bayverse. I really hope you all enjoy him as much as I do! What do you all think, will he be joining your collection?
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Same. Some positive news though, there is a possibility that they’ll make a core class figure for Frenzy that turns into something like a protoform gun for Barricade to wield. It was an idea presented to designer Sam Smith under one of his studio series posts. He seemed to like the concept, which was of course based on the DNA Designs upgrade kit version of the character.
TF Hot Rod
VW Bumblebee is in desperately needs of a update.
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Yeah you pretty much need a commander class price point to allow them to work. And even then I doubt that all modes will work.
I'm still not quite over how Studio Series Barricade didn't come with a Frenzy.