Transformers: Combiner Wars is one of the newer series of Transformers merchandise, which refers to a group of Transformers that can assemble into one large robot, not unlike Voltron or similar franchises. For fans not down with the Michael Bay films, they can rejoice in knowing Hasbro still has fun ideas like these to show new directions for the series.
The Combiner Wars line is secure enough to have secured a series tie-in as well, as Machinima has gotten involved. San Diego Comic-Con 2016 brings with it the first full-blown trailer for Transformers: Combiner Wars: an upcoming digital series that deals with the return of the Autobots and the Decepticons to Cybertron - and how they handle a new threat in the form of an ancient technology.
This 3D animated series will feature 8 episodes that serve as the first chapter in the Transformers Generations Prime Wars Trilogy. The series launches exclusively in the United States on go90 this August, as well as internationally with various partners. This is all coming after the prelude series that already debuted on YouTube
For Combiner Wars, a very talented voice cast was also revealed for this series:
· ANNA AKANA, Victorion. With her 1.8M followers across YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, Akana is a social media powerhouse. As an actress, she has had roles in Marvel’s Ant Man, Hello, My Name is Doris, and Freeform’s The Fosters.
· JON BAILEY, Optimus Prime. Otherwise known as the “EpicVoiceGuy,” Bailey is perhaps most recognizable as the current narrator of Honest Trailers.
· CHARLIE GUZMAN, Menasor. Known best to his 2.6M YouTube subscribers as, “DashieGames,” Guzman has made a career out of gameplay videos. He’s built his impressive fan base by taking games like Grand Theft Auto and Mario Kart, and adding comedic commentary to his gameplay.
· RICKY HAYBERG, Computron. Ricky is an actor, writer, and the host for Machinima’s franchise show, ETC.
· AMY JOHNSTON, Maxima. Best known for her work with the production company, Bat in the Sun, Johnston has also cameoed in Machinima’s recent Street Fighter: Resurrection series.
· JASON MARNOCHA, Megatron. Marnocha is an actor and writer known best for his work on Throne of Atlantis, Deathstroke: Arkham Assassin, and Justice League War Abridged.
· LANA MCKISSACK, Mistress of Flame. McKissack is perhaps most well known for her YouTube channel, thanks to her comedy sketches. She also has an extensive list of acting credits that includes Four Rooms, The Magic Pearl, and The Passing.
· BEN PRONSKY, Rodimus Prime. Pronsky is a voice actor with various TV and video game credits. He’s provided the voice to characters in shows likeAldnoah.Zero, and Magi: The Kingdom of Magic, and for games such as Dynast Warriors 8 and D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die.
· PATRICK SEITZ, Devastator. With over 200 credits to his name, Seitz has provided voices for a variety of well-known films, TV shows, and video games. His work includes Inside Out, Monsters University, and Resident Evil: Damnation.
· FRANK TODARO, Starscream. Todaro is a voice actor with various video game credits. They include, Shardlight, Technobabylon, and LittleBigPlanet 1 & 2 where he was the voice of the Buzz Lightyear.
· ABBY TROTT, Windblade. Trott is a voice actress with credits that include the TV series The Seven Deadly Sins and Miss Monochrome, as well as the video game Killer Instinct.
The Combiner Wars series is said to be introducing new lore and characters to the franchise and combining them with fan favorites to take the storytelling in a new direction. There is also the matter of the look of this series, which is clearly taking on the Generation 1 visuals to keep things consistent with the style of the original Transformers.
Regardless of feelings on the films, a digital series is a fun way to build out a Transformers universe. Machinima has proven itself in the past with other web series such as Mortal Kombat: Legacy and they tend to work well by involving their studio with people that know and enjoy the properties being adapted. The voice cast is certainly promising as well, with a number of recognizable names that should help build further excitement.
If anything, the question will surround whether or not this series will catch on. Transformers fans are out there and would likely be very happy to tune in to a new series that expands the universe. Thus, it will come down to the awareness for Combiner Wars, with a hope that these first 8 episodes are at least decent, quality-wise.
A four-part prequel series, “Prelude to Combiner Wars”, began airing on YouTube June 28th and will be followed by Transformers: Combiner Wars hitting August 2nd.