Tuesday, September 4, 2012

creating Strong-Bot

The Transformers toys have had an ongoing popularity since they hit the American market in the mid 80s. They enjoyed a huge initial impact, spurring comics, more than one animated series, and of course the recent movies have introduced another generation to Optimus Prime.

Well, back around the turn of the millennium Hasbro was exploring the idea of tailoring Transformers to the preschool market, specifically through their Playskool brand.  It seemed like a natural progression, and in 2002 Playskool introduced their new 'Big Adventures' Transformers line;  Cheetor, Gorillabot, Mototron, Aerobot, and Speedbot.  Aside from being more playful and chunky in design, the main difference between these and the classic Transformers was the simplicity of the transformation, key for toddler play.
It was also around then that I was called in to come up with some ideas for the next wave of their new 'Go-Bots' line, as they were now called. The new line was comprised of both 'animals' and 'vehicles' assortments, I was commissioned to design a few Go-Bots with a construction theme.

These are the sketches I came up with;

Pretty rough beginnings. Fortunately at this early stage these didn't have to be fully though-out transformations.  It was the basic concept and theme they were looking for, with a transformation that seemed simple and plausible.
Out of the above they liked the 'Dozerbot' most,  having me do a clean-up and render for presentation;


The method of transformation was worked out, and the 'dozerbot' came to be known as 'Strong-Bot' in what was to become the first wave of 'Go-Bots' released.  In later lines the dozerbot was re-named 'Scrap-Bot' while the dump truck Go-Bot assumed the 'Strong-Bot' monkier.


Ultimately it didn't matter much to me what he was called, I was just tickled having designed a Transformer.


Cat York said...

I feel like I remember my male cousins being really into these. LOL I love your designs!

Edison Girard said...

Thanks, Cat!