At the Hasbro Collector's Event, we had the opportunity to informally chat it up with Aaron Archer, Head Designer of the Transformers Design Team. This wasn't a formal interview of any kind, just some casual talk and questions. Surprisingly, Aaron offered an answer to our question about Transformers Energon... sort of.
Powerlinx Jetfire will look like "another member of the same fleet". He will have similar colors but different markings to separate the two. Aaron is still working on a name for this character; he wants "Galaxy Shuttle", but he is also considering "Astrotrain". We jokingly suggested "Sky Linx" (a play on "Sky Lynx" and "Powerlinx"). Aaron seemed to like it. Well, he wrote it down at any rate; maybe that was just to appease us....
We are getting a Powerlinx Demolishor, with a color scheme inspired by Sixshot. Apparently these colors were chosen because his fingers remind Aaron of the original six-changer from Generation 1.
Contrary to visual evidence, Sideswipe was not designed with Nightbeat in mind in any way.
We tried in vain to get Aaron to rename the recolored Dirt Boss "Big Daddy". But he's sticking with the original name. (An aside: a black car with flames... it's almost a crime that it's not Big Daddy.)
The Powerlinx Hot Shot will not contain an LED like the Japanese version of Hot Shot. Including the electronics would have pushed the price higher than that for a Deluxe toy, so it was ruled out.
"Corona Sparkplug", the gold Mini-Con recolor that comes with Powerlinx Optimus Prime, has spent some time on the sun. What that means, we don't know. (To those of you who called him "Goldplug", you should be commended for and ashamed of that pun.)
Powerlinx Thrust will not be a classic color scheme reference.
Whether you like or dislike the colors chosen for the Transformers: Universe line, don't blame Aaron. He didn't work on those color schemes. In other Universe news, Razorclaw will have a Maximal symbol and a painted Decepticon spark. Also, Silverbolt's green will probably become more yellow.
Aaron was the one who removed the black hood and roof of Anime Bluestreak and turned him back into Silverstreak. He did this because he wanted to do a straight reissue of the original Bluestreak toy.
"Nebulon", Unicron's Mini-Con, is now called "Dead-End". For about a week, he was "Gobotron", but that was deemed too snarky for a toy with Unicron's stature. (Another side: Just think about it -- Unicron enslaving Gobotron. Boy, that would have sent some fans into a tizzy....)
Unicron's electronics contain only lights. He does not have a sound box. Also, you may have noticed the wheels on Unicron's shoulders. These are used to position Mini-Cons so they fit in the space provided.
Surprisingly, Unicron is not his "baby", the Armada toy he's most proud of. When asked, he replied that he still thought of Megatron as his pride and joy. That makes sense seeing the amount of design he put into him. And, I suppose, knowing that he likes drawing him as well also makes sense.
Oh, you want to know more about Transformers Energon, don't you? Well, we asked him about an interesting domain name that had been recently registered: transformersenergon.com
"What can you tell us about 'Transformers Energon'?" we asked.
"Transformers Energon. Yeah, that was that stuff, it was purple and came in cubes, andTransformers would use it for energy or sometimes it would make them drunk," he responded.
"... so, in other words, 'No comment.'"
"No comment," Aaron replied with a smile.
Well, we did say he answered it... sort of.
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