Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast revealed today that the companies will be launching a new Transformers Trading Card Game later this year. Hasbro owns Wizards of the Coast, a subsidiary of the company that is mainly known for its popular Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons tabletop gaming offerings.
Transformers is a franchise that has undergone some major evolutions over the past few decades, but the current direction of the intellectual property is something that fans have mixed feelings about. The Michael Bay-directed Transformers live action films were met with polarized responses, and for a franchise that so clearly seems to lend itself well to the world of video games, there have been precious few breakthroughs worthy of the license. Now, with the Bumblebee movie looking to reboot what fans know about the Transformers movie series, Hasbro will also be steering its motley crew of robot heroes into the world of trading card games.
The Transformers TCG is described by Hasbro as a "fast, easy-to-learn action battling card game" that is designed to be enjoyed by two players. Players will be tasked with building a team of Transformers using character cards, a huge game element twice the size of regular playing cards, and furnishing them with a customizable deck filled with battle cards that help enhance their character cards. Character cards will be double-sided, too, allowing players to "transform" them between their bot mode and their alternate mode. While that gameplay mechanic hasn't been described in detail yet, it's sure to feature heavily into the way the Transformers TCG is played.
The Transformers TCG will feature a huge number of characters from franchise lore, including the already confirmed Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Ironhide, and Red Alert. Those cards will be available in the Autobots Starter Set, an introductory product meant to allow two players to play immediately, which will launch on September 28, 2018 in the United States. Attendees of Comic-Con International 2018 and Gen Con 2018 will also have a chance at some exclusive cards, however, in the form of Cliffjumper and Slipstream, who will be available in Convention Edition packs during those events.
Booster packs will let players build their decks out of new cards, and will contain 1 character card and 7 battle cards from an initial pool of 40 character and 81 battle cards. While the initial decks are designed to introduce players to the game, the booster packs will likely feature more complex and advanced tactical cards. While we're currently inundated with a lot of different takes on the traditional trading card game - Magic: The Gathering's Core Set 2019 comes out shortly, and games like Hearthstone and Artifact loom large online - there's something to be said for a timeless franchise as a vehicle for the format. The Transformers TCG will have some stiff competition, but it's being developed by a company with a pretty good track record when it comes to trading cards, and we might be seeing over-sized Bumblebee character cards at convention center tables across the United States in the near future.
Source: Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast
- Bumblebee (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018