Transmedia Storytelling Techniques Are Keeping Fans Engaged With Transformers Characters - Even When There Isn't a New Transformers Movie in Theaters

A March 1st, 2013 article in The New York Times reports on how toy companies Hasbro and Mattel are using transmedia storytelling techniques to extend their toys "into other media and [how they've] added new toy lines to appeal to everyone from toddlers to adults."

For example, the Transformers brand undertook a 2012 co-promotion with McDonalds to keep the storyworld alive (see the video above) - even in a year when no new Transformers blockbuster films were being released.

"In Transformers, Hasbro has one of the most valuable brands among toy makers. In 2011, the year the third Transformers movie was released, Hasbro recorded $960 million in sales from products related to Transformers and Beyblade, a spinning top game, according to the company’s latest annual earnings report. When it was developed in 1984, Transformers consisted of a toy line and an animated television series. But in 2007, Hasbro began a new strategy to build the brand into a worldwide franchise that now includes live-action movies, video games, publishing and even theme park rides."

"But the growth of the Transformers franchise has had its pitfalls, too. When there is not a Transformers movie rumbling through theaters, the toy line stumbles. Hasbro reported net income of $130.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, a 6.3 percent decline from the previous year. Sales in its boys business fell 23 percent in the quarter from the same period in 2011, the year the last Transformers movie came out. Analysts say it is important for Hasbro to keep the Transformers brand fresh in non-movie years."

Thanks to Mike Monello for spotting and sharing the link.

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