There’s exciting news for those who’ve been hungry to experience a lost piece of Marvel Comics history: the publisher and toy maker Hasbro are finally getting along enough that a legitimate reprint of the classic late 70s-early 80s comic ROM Spaceknight is actually happening.
In 1998 the first Cranium party game was introduced — a combination of elements that had appeared in other party games including art, trivia, language, and performance. The game took off and made its creators a mint, and also turbocharged the career of artist Curtis Baseman (who created the characters that appear on the box). Several other spinoff games were added to the market before Cranium and all that had to do with it was sold to Hasbro Games in 2008.
In the deregulated 1980s, every popular children’s toy got its own movie. And then starting in the 2000s every popular children’s toy from the same era got its own movie AGAIN, with some results better than others. So when we say “GI Joe The Movie,” we are talking about the animated 1987 feature, not anything made afterward.
In the world of Transformers, things are pretty simple: Autobots good, Decepticons bad. What would you expect out of a gang with “deceive” built into their name anyway? But in Shattered Glass, the miniseries released last year by IDW, everything is turned upside-down. The book took place in an alternate mirror universe where Optimus Prime was pure evil and Megatron was the one fighting for justice. And since it sold pretty well, we’re getting a sequel this year.
Boy, we wouldn’t want to be the My Little Pony series that has to follow Friendship Is Magic. The TV series, which debuted on Hasbro’s defunct cable network The Hub, was arguably the biggest success story in the franchise’s history, expanding its appeal beyond the target audience to reach all age groups. What can the next version possibly do to hold a hoof to that?
The residents of Equestria have been getting around lately. They met the Transformers in an IDW comic earlier this year, and now the worlds of My Little Pony are colliding with Dungeons & Dragons in a new series of collectible figures.
Marvel worked some real wonders with its licensed toy comics back in the 80s. It was standard back then for a toy company to bring them an action figure and say, “Figure out this character’s story….here are a few basic beats, now just go nuts.”
Hasbro owns both Transformers and My Little Pony, two timeless toy brands that have gone through many iterations over the decades. Yet the worlds of Cybertron and Equestria have never intersected, likely because the tonal clash would have been too ridiculous for edgy Gen-Xers to swallow.
If there was ever a Transformer that would be worthy of the largest model built to date, it would be Unicron. Star of Transformers: The Movie, devourer of worlds, and voiced by Orson Welles, everything about him is larger than life — and now, so is his figure.
Wizards of the Coast is teaming up with Hasbro to produce a Transformers card game. We don’t know much at this early date, but we do know these bots are coming to Earth.
One of the nice things about the New, Rebooted Star Wars Extended Universe is that writers are finally free to experiment with new characters, or new backstories for old characters. Doctor Aphra probably wouldn’t exist otherwise. Invented during Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca’s run on the Darth Vader comic book in 2016, Aphra was introduced as an assistant to Lord Vader and came with two droids much like C3PO and R2-D2 only frequently sociopathic.
Deadline broke the news this afternoon that the Power Rangers franchise has just been purchased by Hasbro. The deal also included some lesser 80s properties like My Pet Monster and Popples, but Power Rangers was the big get.