Following the panel at Lucca Comics & Games 2019, Tom’s Hardware caught up with toy designer Emiliano Santalucia (Transformers, G.I. Joe) to ask some questions regarding his work at Hasbro.
The following is an extract of a longer interview that can be found at Tom’s Hardware official website *. Emiliano Santalucia is a freelance designer, opinions and observations expressed in the interview are solely his own and do not necessary reflect those of Hasbro or its employees, neither they constitute official statement about Hasbro’s plans or strategies.
A push towards the vintage has been going on for a long time, generally in cultural products: in practice, now that we can, we buy back the toys that our mom threw away. But how do you go about meeting new generations?
“I could not answer you with certainty because at the moment we are very focused on looking back. With new things, you clash with the old audience because there is a fairly strong wall. With Hasbro products we look at both audiences, but each company decides if and how to make this type of bet. Looking to the past is certainly a security.”
What kind of wall is it, you’re talking about?
“It is a wall between new and old generations. The fact that the younger ones are digital native is one of the characteristics: children play much less and for much less time with the toy. We played up to 11-12 years, now above 7 it is already difficult, and it is difficult to capture their attention and build loyalty to a brand as we could have had them as children when we followed the brand for years. Now, either you abandon it immediately, or it is difficult for a brand to live long before it innovates: the Transformers for example, for children, propose a new series every 3 years.”
Looking back, it is true. Transformers: Prime went on for 3 years, Transformers: Robots In Disguise went on for 3 years and now Transformers: Cyberverse is about to enter its 3rd year. But, will it be the last before another reboot? Only time will tell.