It seems appropriate that Hasbro Inc. has transformed the existing app for its venerable Transformers brand, rather than simply launching a new one. Formerly the official Transformers: Age of Extinction mobile app, the app is now themed after this year’s Transformers Generations line, Combiner Wars, in which different Autobots and Decepticons can be connected to form big toy robots. Just as the new toy line emphasizes the importance of teamwork, the refreshed app gives fans a chance to collaborate on new Transformers for the Combiner Wars line, through Hasbro’s new Fan Built Combiner promotion. As we reported on our blog this past Tuesday, starting this week, fans who log in can answer questions that will help determine the upcoming line, such as what kind of vehicles make up the big robot’s various limbs, the kind of weapons, and whether they are in the good or evil camp. Each question is multiple-choice, and there will be a new round of questions each week for a total of three weeks of voting.
While the opportunity to weigh in on a yet-to-be-in-production Transformer is doubtlessly appealing, the app also offers an introduction to Combiner Wars, which is headlined by the teams that combine to form the Autobots’ Superion and the Decepticons’ Menasor. Along with background info on each character, those who go exploring will find artistic renditions, a behind-the-scenes interview video with production team members, and a list of “missions,” or quizzes in which the right answers require more than just a passing knowledge of the brand. Overall, the refreshed Transformers app is reminiscent of old toy catalogs showcasing what’s next, but given the kind of excitement that the brand has historically generated, perhaps it’s good that Hasbro embraced that type of experience. Why transform what’s worked so well for decades?