Hasbro Joins VR Craze with Transformers, Nerf Offerings

by Guy Frum

The children of the 1980s were mostly in their 20s by the time the Internet started taking hold in the late 1990s. That means today they are all in their 40s and 50s, about the age where you start getting those president and vice-president positions at the major tech companies and can start dictating your firm’s latest offerings based on the nostalgia of your youth. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Hasbro, which had the toy market virtually cornered in the 1980s, is releasing a pair of new updates in its VR category based on 1980s staples - Nerf and The Transformers.

The Transformers has somehow endured as a franchise for going on 40 years, largely thanks to the resurgence in popularity that began in 2007 with the Michael Bay-directed live-action film, which spawned four sequels and a spinoff. The new Transformers: Beyond Reality gives Generation I fans a taste of what they always want - the original look of the mighty Autobots and evil Decepticons from the original comic books and afternoon cartoons. In the game, players can team up with Autobots favorites like Bumblebee and Optimus Prime to duke it out with the likes of Megatron, Soundwave, and Starscream in a host of different environments, including on Earth as well as the Transformers’ home planet of Cybertron. The game will be playable on SteamVR and PlayStation VR and is due for release at Christmas 2021.Meanwhile, Nerf Ultimate Championship is set to release its Season 1 effort with four new characters - Float, Clash, Sprint, and Vault - which sort of sound like workout poses as much as game characters. This was announced at the mid-October Hasbro Pulse Con, a two-day virtual showcase event. The Hasbro leadership said it wants the characters in its Ultimate Championship game to appeal to people all over the world.

“Where could these people be from? How does that impact their backstory and their personalities as they enter the Nerf Ultimate Championship,”
said Josh Maldondado, a studio director for Secret Location, adding,
“We had a lot of discussion within Secret Location with the development team and with Hasbro at large, as well, gathering a wider range of feedback just to make sure that the ideas we had were good and resonating with people, and to double-checking that we weren’t offsides with some sort of assumptions.To that end, Float is a female Korean breakdancer who is the master of rhythm and dexterity.
Vault is a French parkour legend who hates the spotlight and shuns social media. Vault is so hardcore that he wears a face shield and shin guards, and Sprint is a second-generation Olympian hailing from Nigeria.Also along for the ride is Clash, a superstar in American football who is a great leader on the field but quiet and shy off of it. Nerf Ultimate Championship drops in 2022, with the next trailer due out during the holidays.