What was old is new again and the landscape of children's entertainment is a reflection of what it was thirty years ago. Children of the 1980s have grown up and inspired a rich era of nostalgia that has maintained Transformers' status as a powerful force in entertainment.
The Transformers feature films just recently enjoyed their fourth installment, while the toy sales continue to grow and the newest cartoon, Transformers: Robots In Disguise, is going strong on Cartoon Network. Now, Hasbro has revealed big plans for the franchise with the Prime Wars Trilogy.
THR has revealed that Hasbro has some ambitious plans for our favorite robots in disguise. The toy giant has unveiled a plan to roll out a story arc that will span multiple media, from the toys and comics to games and cartoons for the next few years. The new Prime Wars Trilogy will begin with the current arc The Combiner Wars and move on to Titans Return in the fall of 2016 and conclude with an as of yet unnamed arc in 2017 or 2018.
David Erwin, who heads Hasbro’s Transformers story team, revealed the plans:
"We decided to initiate the creation of a bigger deeper worlds. The fan reaction was really good. And that’s when we decided we wanted to make this a trilogy and really make this immersive. And when we say immersive, that means to create that experience across all different platforms, to take it across everything that we do."
Fans that haven't stayed current with the Transformers in recent years will find that the stories have grown far past the first generation toys and cartoons that birthed the franchise in the 1980s. The Prime Wars Trilogy looks to unite the storytelling of the Transformers in a way that we've never seen before, which will allow for greater fan accessibility. In the past, as with many prolific franchises, each cartoon, comic and toy line would be following their own stories and continuity. This move will unite many of the various media to keep the characters and stories consistent.
A major focus of the new stories will be fan favorite Optimus Prime predecessor, Sentinel Prime. The Combiner Wars signifies a focus on one of the aspects that made the toys very appealing to kids during the 1980s; the ability of the smaller Transformers to combine into one large robot, commonly referred to as a combiner or gestalt.
This news comes in the wake of the news that Paramount is looking to create a shared and expanded cinematic universe for the Transformers that will include spinoffs and possible crossovers over the next decade. The recent fourth installment in the franchise, Transformers: Age of Extinction, was an international box office success, despite less domestic earnings than the previous films.
Paramount has assembled a dream team writers room that is working on expanding the Transformers film franchise to take full advantage of every possible angle. This comes in the shadow of Disney's ambitious expanded cinematic universes with its Marvel and Star Wars franchises. The possibility of a spin-off movie for Bumblebee has been discussed, and the conjecture about a crossover with GI Joe is always on the minds of fans. The two franchises have had popular crossovers in the toys and comic books in the past.
Transformers: Robots In Disguise is set to return for a second season on Cartoon Network in the near future. The as-yet unnamed Transformers 5 feature film is in development at Paramount.