Saturday, July 08 2017 13:30

Hasbro's HASCON Gets Epic with Brand Experiences for TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE, STAR WARS, MARVEL, MY LITTLE PONY and more...

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2017 marks the debut of HASCON - Hasbro’s first-ever family convention that’s taking place on September 8-10 at the Rhode Island Convention Center and Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, RI. With the toymaker highlighting their own brands for the very first time in a convention atmosphere, many have been wondering what that will entail, in addition to how some of their licensed properties (Star Wars/Marvel) would be represented. In short, this event is looking to be massive. Heading into the weekend, Hasbro sent over the full details on their brand experience activities for Transformers, My Little Pony, Nerf, Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Marvel and Play-Doh. Check them out below!


Immerse yourself in the world of Transformers where things are  “More than Meets the Eye”!  We take you behind-the-scenes through the latest entertainment from movies to animation to comics, and have fun with the latest toys, hearing from the designers themselves how they bring this amazing brand to life! 

Ready to roll out?  Highlights and hands-on experiences include:

  • Get up close to an epic collection of Transformers movie props
  • Meet and get your picture with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee costume characters
  • Photo Ops featuring  statues of Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sqweeks, and more
  • Photo Ops with Camaro Bumblebee and the IMSA/NASCAR TRANSFORMERS: The Last Knight racing car
  • Hands-on play with the latest Transformers toys, plus previews of 2018 action figures and toys
  • Historical products from the Hasbro Vault
  • Designer Archives featuring prototypes and imagery of never-before released toys

Plus, enjoy Transformers panels and VIP/add-on experiences, including:

  • TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT in the Making - the making of Transformers: The Last Knight with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura and special guests
  • More than Meets the Eye – get a glimpse behind the scenes of the Transformers toy line
  • PETER AND FRANK SOUND OFF: The Voices of Optimus Prime & Megatron!
  • IDW - Transformers Comics: How Artists and Writers Bring Stories to Life
  • THE PRIME WARS TRILOGY: See the story come to life!
  • TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame Dinner (add-on or VIP ticket purchase required)
  • TRANSFORMERS: The Last Night Movie Event (add-on or VIP ticket purchase required)


Yo Joe! Celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the launch of the Real American Hero story with a fantastic selection of brand experiences that pays tribute to this epic fantasy and toy line!

  • Soak in a collection of G.I. Joe movie props including Firefly’s motorcycle, costumes, and more
  • Photo-Ops with life-size versions of the 1982 Snake Eyes blister card and 1964 G.I. Joe Action Soldier box!
  • Treasures from the Hasbro Vault features rare products and artifacts from the 1982-1994 product line,
  • Enjoy selections from our amazing collection of original G.I. Joe packaging

Plus, enjoy these G.I. Joe panels and VIP/add-on experiences, including:

  • Creating the World of G.I. Joe Characters - hear the stories straight from G.I. Joe Legends who created the characters that launched and evolved the story and toys
  • Creating the World of G.I. Joe Vehicles & Playsets – hear the stories straight from G.I. Joe Legends who created this epic lineup from 1982-1994
  • G.I. Joe Legends Dinner:  Join co-emcees and G.I. Joe authors Derryl DePriest and Dan Klingensmith for an intimate and entertaining evening event featuring one of the greatest gatherings of G.I. Joe Legends ever assembled! (add-on or VIP ticket purchase required)


The force is with us!  Come celebrate 40 years of Star War memories, and make some new ones with activities including:

  • Photo ops with the Emperor’s Throne, Yoda, and Stormtrooper statues
  • Pose like a real action figure and get your picture in with three different life-size action figure backer cards
  • Feast your eyes on 40 years of iconic Star Wars product
  • Highlights of the current product line with a preview of the epic Last Jedi  2018 line-up 
  • Take part in the world's largest lightsaber built, sponsored by Blade Builders
  • Hang out in the screening area & lounge to watch Forces of Destiny episodes, Episode 8 trailer, designer desks and other content

From a galaxy far, far away, we have some fan-tastic panels, including:

  • Star Wars: 40 Years of Play:  Star Wars team members, veterans and newcomers alike will discuss their favorite products, hidden history and even the line’s origins at Kenner in 1977
  • Behind the Black Series: Design Director Steve Evans and the talented team behind The Black Series gives a behind-the-scenes look at development of the line, never-before-seen details and other great surprises
  • Star Wars - Forces of Destiny: Join the team as they take you behind the scenes and dive into the creative process of developing the exciting new Star Wars Force of Destiny line
  • A Chat with Chewbacca Mom Candace Payne, along with a chance to get her autograph


Love the ever-growing Marvel Universe of super-heroes?  Tingle your Spidey-senses with these amazing experiences:

  • Super-heroic photo ops featuring life-sized Thor packaging and the Enormous Hulkbuster statue photo-op
  • See how toys are made and get a sneak peek into the production process, presented by the Hasbro Model Shop
  • Meet the designers and marketers behind the Marvel line-up
  • Experience the current line of exciting figures and role play, with sneak peaks into what’s coming in 2018

Plus take in super-hero sized panels, including:

  • Panel with Marvel legend Stan Lee
  • How Marvel Toys are Made: Come learn how Hasbro brings Marvel entertainment to life in toys with a peek behind the curtain of the creative process
  • Spotlight on James Gunn: Moderated discussion with James Gunn, writer and director of the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise
  • Marvel Legends: The Hasbro and Marvel product experts will discuss Hasbro’s ever popular line, with a sneak peek of upcoming, never before seen Marvel action figures


Welcome everypony!  Discover the magic of friendship with a behind-the-scenes look at the latest pony adventures in entertainment (can you say NEW MOVIE? Oh yeah!), character meet-and-greets, a ponification experience and much more!  Highlights include:

  • Meet and mingle with the Mane 6 and Spike costumed characters
  • Photo-ops with life-size movie ponies and scenes from My Little Pony: The Movie
  • Get ponified like your favorite character at the Ponification Station
  • Explore Equestria and take snaps, selfies, and pony pics
  • Play the most ponyriffic My Little Pony apps and games
  • Get a sneak peek of the latest MLP toys, along with rare treasures from the Hasbro Vault
  • Visit Pinkie Pie’s Sugarcube Corner, an exclusive MLP-themed café

Plus, enjoy these My Little Pony panels and VIP/add-on experiences, including:

  • The Making of My Little Pony: The Movie featuring Meghan McCarthy
  • The Voices of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
  • First Look at My Little Pony Season 8
  • My Little Pony Designer Q&A
  • My Little Pony Mane Event: Hall of Our FANmily Dinner (add-on or VIP ticket purchase required)
  • My Little Pony: The Movie Sneak Peek (add-on or VIP ticket purchase required)


Nerf Nation unite!  Get ready for  an awesome hands-on intense, most action-packed, and most definitely “Nerf-tastic” weekend ever created.  This is how we play! 

Look for these hands-on activities, and more:

  • Nerf Arena: The ultimate Nerf action in the inflatable Nerf arena
  • Demo the latest in Nerf Modulus Build-a-Blaster and Nerf Nitro along with lots of Nerf blasters in the test area
  • Demo Dude Perfect Smash football and Flying Disc Golf
  • Photo-Ops with life-size Nerf Modulus package and Nerf Nitro car
  • Go behind the blaster as we peak inside to see how they work
  • Visit the Nerf Rival test area (ages 14 and over)

Plus awesome panels and add-on experiences:

  • Selfies with Dude Perfect
  • Dude Perfect: Best Friends, a Panda, and Nerf: Join the dudes from Dude Perfect as they talk about their awesome  collaboration with Nerf and show off the brand new Nerf Dude Perfect Signature Bow
  • Building Nerf – How the World’s Best Blasters Come to Life
  • Add-on purchase required: Hang with Dude Perfect - Meet the dudes of Dude Perfect, enjoy some of the Dudes’ favorite snacks, snap a selfie, and receive an autographed Nerf Dude Perfect Football


Immerse yourself in a MAGIC-filled weekend with tournaments galore, demos for those new to the game, and an array of life-size experiences:

  • Hands-on demos to with Wizards of the Coast staff to teach you the basics of Magic and highlight some of new cards and features of the latest sets
  • Roaming costumed MAGIC: THE GATHERING characters for memorable photo ops
  • Photo ops with mind-blowing MAGIC: THE GATHERING 3-D sculpts

Plus these in-depth panels:

  • Magic: The Gathering - 25th Anniversary Show: Join us as we celebrate Magic’s past and present and reveal exciting announcements for our future!
  • Blogatog Live! Join Magic: The Gathering's Head Designer, Mark Rosewater, for a full hour of Q&A on all things Magic!
  • Magic: The Gathering Improv Show: Looking for some fun and maybe a few laughs? Watch as Wizards of the Coast's very own improv artists and their buddies embarrass themselves for the enjoyment of our fans!
  • Live Art with Aleksi Briclot: Join Aleksi, the illustrator of Magic: The Gathering's original five Lorwyn Planeswalkers, as he does a live painting of Chandra Nalaar
  • Magic: The Gathering - Building the Worlds Best in Fantasy Gaming: Join creative directors from Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering as they pull back the curtain on building some of the most iconic worlds in fantasy gaming


Grab your swords and spellbooks and get ready for an epic adventure! Dungeons & Dragons at HASCON offers everything you need to join the party and create stories you’ll be sharing for a lifetime. Experiences include:

  • Join Dungeon Master extraordinaire Matthew Mercer as he leads a party of celebrity players through a fun-filled live D&D game on the HASCON main stage
  • Play through Tomb of Annihilation, our newest D&D adventure, at the D&D tabletop play area
  • Collect all the D&D loot, including the HASCON exclusive My Little Pony themed D&D Dice Tin
  • Meet our goblins in the Jungles of Chult at the D&D experience on the HASCON main floor


Open a can of creativity with an array of experiences to inspire your inner maker:

  • Hands-on play with Play-Doh Touch - build and scan your own creation
  •  bring your ideas to life in the Play-Doh Test Kitchen
  • Meet a Doh-Doh costume character and photo op Make memories with Giant Play-Doh can photo op
  • Doh-Doh lifesize statue photo op
  • Create a masterpiece and add your design to the DohVinci art wall

For tickets and more details, check out https://hascon.hasbro.com/

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

Learn more here

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