Two blockbuster entertainment franchises from Hasbro go head-to-head in a new crossover by IDW Publishing’s My Little Pony/Transformers!
This May, two blockbuster entertainment franchises go head-to-head in a new crossover by IDW Publishing in My Little Pony / Transformers. The four-issue comic book event from Hasbro, the largest toymaker in the world, and IDW, licensed publisher of comic titles from powerhouses Disney and Cartoon Network, brings together the Robots in Disguise and the enchanting Rainbow Squad from My Little Pony.
Toys and comics books have a well-established bond that has spanned decades of printed and digital media, and the symbiotic relationship has paid dividends for a number of action figure franchises developed by Hasbro. Home to Power Rangers, Monopoly and Nerf, Hasbro owns and produces products from Kenner, Milton Bradley, and Parker Brothers, as well as subsidiary Wizards of the Coast, publishers of the popular roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons and the collectible card game, Magic the Gathering. In 1984, Hasbro introduced a line of action figures that converted, in a few quick twists, from robotic hero (or villain) design to a vehicle-shape to an enthusiastic toy market, and a worldwide fascination with Transformers, Robots in Disguise was born. After six feature films, numerous animated series’ including a full-length animation film, video games, and 15-year comic-book run at IDW Publishing, the clash between Optimus Prime’s Autobots and the Decepticons, led by the wicked Megatron has become a mainstay in popular culture and the miniature-mechas are a favorite of toy fans and collectors across the globe.
Hasbro enjoyed similar success in the early 1980s with a novel take on the ages-old dream, a pony of your very own, pitched to the manufacturer by illustrator and designer Bonnie D Zacherle. My Pretty Pony hit stores in 1981 and, after a nominal rebranding, My Little Pony pranced from the shelves and into a lucrative franchise that now includes video games, animated series’, a motion picture, a roleplaying game Tails of Equestria: The Storytelling Game, from River Horse, and the 18 volume Friendship is Magic comic book series from IDW Publishing. The Rainbow Squad, central characters of the My Little Pony enterprise consists of Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Applejack, the unicorns, pegasi, and ponies that populate the magical world of Equestria. This spring the prismatic ponies return to face the “menace of malevolent magic and machinery” from an evil alliance between the Rainbow Squad’s nemesis, Queen Chrysalis of the changelings and the maniacal machines of Megatron, in IDW’s My Little Pony / Transformers crossover. Only with the aid of noble Optimus Prime and the valiant Autobots can they hope to overcome the mechanized nightmare that threatens PonyLand, Everfree Forest, and all of Equestria.
In what IDW calls “the wildest crossover of Hasbro creations ever,” the world of My Little Pony faces an incursion from giant robots after “the scheming Queen Chrysalis casts a spell in search of changeling allies, but accidentally interferes with a distant Cybertronian Spacebridge … and brings the Autobots and Decepticons to Equestria!” The comic publisher has assembled a team of writers, in James Asmus, Ian Flynn, and Sam Maggs, and the artist talents of Casey W. Coller, Jack Lawrence, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Priscilla Tramontano, and Tony Fleecs (who also provides cover artwork for the entirety of the series), to craft the dimension-hopping team-up. IDW’s Editor-in-Chief John Barber explains, ”We’re all really excited to see this mashup of characters by a mashup of creators who are honoring the legacy of both universes … and doing it in the most bonkers, fun way imaginable!”