Last May we brought you an exclusive story
with Hasbro answering questions about their deal to reacquire the various "Sunbow" properties, including the original cartoon series for both Transformers
and G.I. Joe
. Both properties are getting new live-action films this summer, with the theatrical debut of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
hitting June 24th (G.I. Joe: The Rise of COBRA
follows on Aug. 7th). Since December, rumors have run all over the internet to expect new DVD releases of the classic animated shows, to tie in with the summer releases of the films. Frankly, that's a no-brainer...and for that reason, along with lack of solid info about the particulars, we've held off saying anything here.
In the past couple of weeks, information started coming into focus about a Transformers
-related release, however, and this morning we've had some fan e-mails telling us EXACTLY where to look! A pre-order listing at Walmart.com for The Transformers - The Complete 1st Season: 25th Anniversary Edition
on DVD is now showing, with a June 16th
release date and a list price of $29.99 SRP. The studio description indicates that this first release will contain the 3-part "More Than Meets The Eye" introductory story, plus the 13 regular episodes that all made up the first season of the "generation one" ("G1") version of the legendary program:
During the 1980s, one cartoon series ruled the airwaves..."The Transformers." This is the complete first season that launched "The Transformers" entertainment franchise. It ran beginning in 1984 and introduced audiences to "The Transformers," sentient robotic beings from Cybertron who crash land on Earth in search of Energon and must fight between two factions, Autobots and Decepticons. Includes 16 episodes from Season One on 3 Discs.
The running time listed there is 370 minutes, with video in full frame and audio in English (no details about the sound format are provided). Who's putting this out? The studio listing shown at Walmart.com is "UMVD," which is short for Universal Music Video Distribution and is basically another way of saying "Vivendi." Vivendi Entertainment distributes for several independent studios, most notably Shout! Factory. We've been hearing whispers for a little while that Shout! was eagerly pursuing this property, but there's been no announcement from the studio that they had gotten it. This may be an indicator, however, that they did.
Since the studio hasn't been talking about it yet, and neither has property-owner Hasbro, we asked our own sources in the home video biz what they've heard. Well, we've had word from industry sources that the information posted there at Walmart.com may not actually be 100% finalized info, so don't be surprised if we update our readers later on to say that any (or all) of the provided info has changed. Still, the info's VERY public over there, and we thank our readers who wrote in (notably Jeremy VanDervoort, who was first). So we're passing it along to our readers right away...including the front box art shown below, taken from Walmart's listing. That just some temp art, though; we're certain it's not finalized (note the watermark). Stay tuned for updates, just as soon as we can provide them!