Compared to other toy companies, Hasbro has always had rather bold ambitions. After all, back in the ‘80s, it didn’t just take some Japanese robot toys and sell them to American kids, it took multiple unrelated lines of Japanese robot toys, hired Marvel Comics writers to give them new backstories, and combined them into a single toy line and cartoon (laying the groundwork for a glorious future where literally everything is an ad). This morning, Hasbro set aside some time to announce a handful of new projects it has in the works, and given that history, it should be no surprise that it’s all impressively diversified. This isn’t just a couple of new shows that are also ads, this is four new shows that are also ads and are landing on different networks and streaming platforms—ensuring that Hasbro continues to make money off of everybody.
First up is two separate Transformers cartoons, both of which are a departure from the ongoing “serious” shows that Netflix has been doing. One is being billed as an “action-comedy series” about “a new species of Transformers” that gets adopted by a “human family” in the midst of the ongoing Autobot/Decepticon war, and it’s been picked up by Nickelodeon for 26 episodes already. That comes from a press release, which also says that Dale Malinowski and Ant Ward, who both work on Nickelodeon’s recent Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, are among the show’s producers. The press release also mentions that this will feature “original characters and fan-favorites,” so it seems safe to assume that Bumblebee and Optimus Prime will be stopping by. (We’re not complaining, Optimus Prime should be in more things.)
The second Transformers show is heading to Netflix, but rather than focusing on the Autobots and Decepticons, it’s a tie-in with Hasbro’s BotBots toy line and seems like a Transformers-y take on Toy Story. The BotBots toys are tiny little figures that turn into boring things like a carton of french fries or calculators, and the show will be about a group of these BotBots getting lost in a mall and having to hide from a security guard. It’s unclear if this is part of any kind of Transformers canon, but the press release does mention these little robots tyring to “gain acceptance in the eyes of the other bots.” Is one of them Optimus Prime? Probably not, but maybe!
Next is My Little Pony G5, another Netflix series, with Hasbro saying that it will follow the events of the streaming service’s upcoming CG My Little Pony movie. In G5 (which apparently designates this as a “fifth generation” MLP cartoon), the world of Equestria has lost its magic, leading to “paranoia and mistrust” among the ponies and a new society where ponies “live separated by species.” Racism in the My Little Pony World! Wild stuff. The series will follow a pony named Sunny Starscout who, naturally, befriends a unicorn (a different kind of pony!) and goes on an “epic adventure.” If the ponies need help, though, they should call Optimus Prime. He’d shut down this segregated society real fast.
Finally, Hasbro has also announced a live-action G.I. Joe series for Amazon that will focus on Lady Jaye, the undercover agent of the Joe Team (played by Adrianne Palicki in one of the movies, though there’s no mention of her returning for this). The show is coming from Erik Oleson, showrunner of Amazon’s Carnival Row, and Deadline says that—while it will tell a “standalone story” about Lady Jaye, it will also “connect to the larger G.I. Joe universe.” If we had to guess, that means this could serve as a potential test for other live-action Joe shows, or maybe even a direct tie-in with that Snake Eyes movie. Or, you know, the ‘80s G.I. Joe continuity did exist in the same universe as the ‘80s Transformers continuity (an old Cobra Commander showed up in an episodes of The Transformers), so maybe Lady Jaye could meet some Cybertronians during her solo adventure… like Bumblebee, Iron Hide, or, just to throw a random third example out there, Optimus Prime.