Are We Living in the Age of (Toy) Leaks?

Hasbro’s online equivalent to a Comic Con reveal event is coming up this week with Hasbro PulseCon. The event promises special guest stars and big worldwide reveals for the company for many of their top collector’s brands. G.I. Joe, Transformers, Star Wars, Marvel amongst others will be their top priorities. In the day and age of 24/7 social media sharing and insider info being spilled straight from the factory floors, is there anything that will be announced at this online conference that our community hasn’t already been tipped off about?

These days we are more connected than ever. Not just to each other, but to the properties and brands we love. Major companies like Hasbro have not been shy in these trying times about sharing upcoming collector targeted toys and action figures with their social followers. It’s been great getting weekly tidbits and reveals in light of canceled large scale events that usually are a platform for the company to make announcements. The timing of these announcements mid year seem to have always been favorable for the company in order to keep things under wrap. This late in the year however we are currently seeing a deluge of current production pieces across the board being leaked. This is just par for the course as we see the ramp up for the holiday season and first quarter 2021 product– it is usually scheduled to be completed and ship before the end of the current year. If Hasbro was planning big reveals and jaw dropping announcements for us this weekend, they may have already failed.

It’s September of 2020. We currently have Target and Walmart inventory listings for nearly all of Transformers War For Cybertron: Kingdom, Transformers Studio Series, the next few waves of Star Wars Black Series (last week we saw packaged samples already), G.I. Joe Classified, and Marvel Legends. On top of that, there are a new crop of YouTubers who have seen the benefits of securing very early looks at upcoming product. This usually requires acquiring factory production samples by nefarious means so that they can be the first kid on the block to show the world these toys.

Case in point: Transformers Studio Series is making the shift from Michael Bay films and the Bumblebee movie to pure G1 animated greatness for the upcoming 35th anniversary of Transformers The Movie and we know this because we’ve already been exposed to three absolutely amazing looking figures from the first wave. As of writing, Hasbro hasn’t acknowledged this toy line’s existence.

Photo credit to TonTon_Reviews

We’ve also had full video reviews made available of upcoming Transformers Kingdom Rattrap, Cheetor, Black Arachnia, and Warpath weeks before Hasbro made the announcement of this line and that it would be revealed at PulseCon on Saturday, September 26th. Earthrise Runamuck and Runabout were shown together by mistake in online retailer solicitations. We’ve even seen the new Fossilizer character that replaces the Weaponizer character from Siege and Earthrise with dinosaur bone armor and melee weapons. Will Hasbro be the first to show us Optimus Primal, Beast Wars Megatron, Galvatron, or Earth Mode Ultra Magnus before an overseas insider shows us all the ins and outs in a full high res review? My money is not on Hasbro beating anyone to the punch unless it is a new retailer exclusive item or repaint.

Photo credit to Kremzeek! Reviews

However, my money is very much with Hasbro. Even if they are not getting ahead of leaks and being able to announce their own new product to a fresh audience, they are doing some of their best work to date in these properties. Star Wars, Marvel, and G.I. Joe have never looked better. They are finally taking attention for Transformers back from many third party companies that have held collector’s interest for years. They’ve seemed to figure out that if they just created beautiful screen accurate representations of characters with engaging, intuitive transformations, a healthy dose of paint, fun accessories and most importantly not at the high end Masterpiece level price point, that they could win us all over. I mean, I’m more excited about 2021 than ever just as a fan of Transformers with Beast Wars, the 1986 movie, and more season 1 & 2 character offerings all in the Generations lines.

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