Snap Creative’s Bill Howard chats about “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

Bill Howard, CEO of Snap Creative, whose company has been creating “talk of the town” products for over 20 years, discusses how Snap has created innovative packaging concepts for all of the Transformers films, including the $1 billion global smash Transformers: Age of Extinction, which arrives on Blu-ray and DVD September 30, 2014.

Media Mikes: You have been creating collectible Transformers home entertainment packaging since the release of the first DVD. How did you get involved with the Transformers business
Bill Howard: Paramount challenged our team at Snap Creative to create a DVD package for the first Transformers film that could turn into OPTIMUS PRIME, but it had to be the height and width of a standard DVD to fit on a store shelf and it had to be no more than double the depth. Our solution required a design that had hidden parts that could reveal for conversion, and we used bas relief sculpture on the front so that we could have layered parts but stay within the depth. All the sculpt detail and deco was on the front side which let us maximize it. That DVD was a huge hit and we’ve continued designing for the Transformers releases ever since.

MM: How do you keep the designs fresh for each release?
BH: On each subsequent movie we have upped the ante creating 2.0, 3.0 and now 4.0 for the new Transformers: Age of Extinction Blu-ray and DVD slated for release in September 2014. They have all been awesome, but I am confident that this OPTIMUS PRIME is our best one yet. It has new features that make it cooler for sure, and we worked with Hasbro and digital assets directly from the movie that provided great sculptural marrow. I am already thinking about how we take it further for 5.0, and am glad the film is a few years off to give us enough time to really get creative.

MM: What makes your packaging designs so desirable to collectors?
BH: Our Transformers designs historically have been hugely successful because the fans appreciate our level of extreme detail and authenticity. We often design multiple packages that are available at different retailers, and real fans go out of their way to get them all because they each have something unique and collectible about them.

MM: You also did theater promotions for Transformers: Age of Extinction this year to coincide with the theatrical release. Tell us more about those.
BH: Our movie theater popcorn collectible packs are really brilliant— they have one piece of board cut once and glued in one place which provides a package that holds cup, popcorn and candy. It can be carried with one hand and the operations folks at cinemas love it because it goes from flat to built in just a few seconds.

Each year we run about 15 promotions in theater with these packs. We have partnered with many of the top Hollywood studios to do licensed versions for some of the biggest movies including Transformers: Age of Extinction. These packs (some geared towards kids, some toward adults), are usually paired with a small collectible toy which is a fun way for property owners to extend their brands to families in theaters and at home. The Transformers: Age of Extinction pack featured a transforming keychain and collectible cup. Exhibitors love it because they generally see about a 20% lift in sales with these branded collectible packs and we’ve grown the program from around 2 million pieces to 6 million pieces just in the last two years. We are also continuing to grow internationally with programs in Thailand, China, Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Canada and more.

MM: You seem to have quite the collector following for your products. Many times it seems like your products double in value or more on the after-market. Why?
BH: One word: authentic. We work on every detail to get it right not just for Transformers, but for everything we do. Enthusiasts appreciate that we “get” them because we ourselves are collectors, so we understand just what they are looking for in a product. For powerhouse franchises like Transformers, we make a point of honoring the legacy of the franchise while also moving it forward in new and different ways.


Related Content

3D Blu-ray Review “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz
Directors: Michael Bay
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Run Time: 164 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

When I saw “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in theaters, I was very optimistic that this was going to “reboot” the franchise. In a sense it did but it also fell right back into the same old thing while doing so. The story like the past “Transformers” films is just chaos. There is so much going on that you just need to dumb down and just watch the action the pretty colors on the screen. That is what I believe will make you enjoy this film. It is also extremely over long. But all that aside, it is still a fun ride. It is also the year’s only $1 billion worldwide blockbuster. So expect a “Transformers 5” real soon.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” picks up four years after the battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons left Chicago in ruins. Due to this there is an all our war and hunt against the Transformers. The humans are hunting them down under the command of Harold Attinger (Grammer). All Transformers have gone into hiding. We meet Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), a struggling investor, who comes across an old truck while looking for a way to make some money to help save his house and send his daughter (Peltz) to college. What he finds is a very injured Optimus Prime. After fixing him, the race is on to reunite with the remaining Autobots and find out the truth behind the hunt on them.

This review will focus on the Blu-ray features of this release, so if you want more about the film read our film review here. Paramount is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet digital copy. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” may not be the year’s best film but it is definitely one of the best Blu-rays. The film simply delivers a stunning 3D presentation. I loved this aspect in the theaters and I love it more at home. It is also mixed with a ton of 1.78:1 IMAX footage, which makes it even more cool, last Blu-ray to this was “The Dark Knight”. This is definitely a film that needs to be viewed in 3D and on a nice big screen. This is a very visual film and it is a marvel to watch in this format.

This Blu-ray for “Transformers: Age of Extinction” also comes stocked with the first EVER brand new Dolby Atmos surround track for ultimate presentation. The track is describes with the following “This audio presentation is mixed specifically for Dolby Atmos® enabled receivers and speaker configurations to produce full, multidimensional sound without channel restrictions in the home — even overhead. Dolby Atmos is compatible with current generation Blu-ray players. Also select this option for Dolby 7.1 TrueHD speaker configurations. For Dolby Atmos playback, set your Blu-ray player to bitstream out and disable secondary audio”. All I have to say is WOW just WOW! I spoke with a composer named Steven Price, who just won the Oscar for “Gravity” and he spoke nothing but amazing things for Dolby Atmos and it’s future.

“Transformers: Age of Extinction” also comes stocked with a nothing short of mind-blowing 7.1 TrueHD track. It is just extremely amazing. When I was watching this film, I couldn’t help but say out loud how much I loved this score. Steve Jablonsky did an amazing job of delivering a really epic score for this film. What I loved is that it is seriously go from soft to freaking insane and still blend so very well. Everything from the constant explosions (we all know how well Bay likes to blow shit up) to the transforming. This track is just plain and simple perfect. Make sure that your picture frames are secured cause this one will give those nails a run for their money.

The special features are almost just as awesome as the audio/video presentation. There are over three hours of bonus content here. First up is “Bay on Action”, which is easy enough the director talking about his craft. There is a super epic, eight-part making-of feature called “Evolution with Extinction”. It dives into everything from casting to filming locations to digital effects. It is runs cumulatively around two hours all by itself. “Just Another Giant Effin’ Movie” shows the lighter side of the production. “A Spark of Design” looks into the creation of Grimlock. “T.J. Miller: Farm Hippie” is a funny set visit with the actor. Lastly there are some trailers and fun spoofs with “Kre-O” and “Angry Birds” included.

Here is a clip from the “Rise of the Dinobots” featurette:

Related Content
  • Film Review “Transformers: Age of Extinction”
  • 4DX Theater Experience Review “Transformers: The Last Knight”
  • Blu-ray Review “Batman: Brave and the Bold: The Complete Second Season”
  • Blu-ray Review “Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
  • Blu-ray Review “The Monster”
  • Film Review “Transformers: Age of Extinction”

    Directed by: Michael Bay
    Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Sophia Myles,
    Li Bingbing, Titus Welliver, T. J. Miller, Melanie Specht, Victoria Summer, Peter Cullen, Frank Welker
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Distributed by Paramount Pictures
    Running time: 165 minutes

    Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    It is that time people…more “Transformers”. Watching this film, I just couldn’t help but think how much Michael Bay like to blow shit up. The film definitely better “Dark of the Moon” but it is just too wicked long. Running in at a very mean 2 hours and 45 minutes, the beginning of this was great, the middle was kind of terrible and the ending saved it for me. I mean who can say no to freaking Dinobots! They only pop up in the end as an accessory to battle but they are still mad cool. Whether you love “Transformers” films are not, I know most critics don’t, but for Bay knows how to give audiences what they want. This film is like I said too long but it is still entertaining and an overall fun time. Either way gear up since this is only the first film in a new trilogy, the fifth and sixth installments are on their way.

    The film is a sort of sequel to the last “Transformers”, it picks up four years after the battle between the Autobots and the Decepticons left Chicago in ruins. Due to this there is an all our war and hunt against the Transformers. The humans are hunting them down under the command of Harold Attinger (Grammer). All Transformers have gone into hiding. We meet Cade Yeager (Wahlberg), a struggling investor, who comes across an old truck while looking for a way to make some money to help save his house and send his daughter (Peltz) to college. What he finds is a very injured Optimus Prime. After fixing him, the race is on to reunite with the remaining Autobots and find out the truth behind the hunt on them.

    If you are familiar with Michael Bay’s films you should know the story doesn’t always get the most attention. Nonetheless, this is “Transformers” and I just want to see giant aliens fighting other giant aliens. In fact, the fourth time around the Transformers have never looked better. With “Dark of the Moon”, they moved so fast you couldn’t even tell what was going on and who was fighting who half the time. This is much cleaner and they are just bad ass…did I mention already dinobots!? They easily steal the show. Optimus Prime is quite dark in this film much different than the last but never been better. Bumblebee got a clapping applaud when he first hit the screen, definitely a fan favorite. But personally in terms of Transformers, Hound takes the prize for me. John Goodman voiced him and really stole the show and was funny as hell.

    With “Age of Extinction”, we get an all-new cast. Mark Wahlberg takes the lead and does a great job. His acting sometimes feels a little iffy but I have to remind you it is a “Transformers” movie. Nicola Peltz plays his daughter, she is definitely a better actress than Megan Fox but I couldn’t get over her spray tan look. Jack Reynor plays her boyfriend and he was a solid newcomer, I can see him getting very big…very quick. We got the chance to interview the Irish actor actually, read here, so keep an eye out for him. Stanley Tucci is a riot as Joshua Joyce and gets a ton of laughs. No question the best new addition to the cast. Kelsey Grammer is also quite the surprise and absolutely bad ass as Harold Attinger.

    Besides the action and the dinobots (eek!), there is some other great parts in the film. The band Imagine Dragons have a fantastic song “Battle Cry”, which I immediately downloaded after seeing this film. Michael Bay did a great job of inserting that song into various parts of the film. Steve Jablonsky also delivered an amazing score for this film. In fact, I think it is easily one of my favorite recent action films. It also reminded me a bit of the “TRON Legacy” score as well. So “Age of Extinction” is far from perfect. It is drags major ass in the middle but it is a still a great popcorn flick and will no question take the crown for summer box office.

    Enter to Win a Transformers MIMOBOT Designer USB Flash Drives [ENDED]

    To celebrate the release of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” in theaters, Media Mikes is teaming up with Mimoco for an exciting giveaway of three . If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Transformers character that you want to see made into a MIMOBOT! Who knows Mimoco might just listen!! This giveaway will remain open until July 4th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

    For 9 million years, Megatron has battled for control over Cybertron and the Universe’s energy supplies. Now he has set his evil mind on seizing control of your data! With steel-colored armor, menacing scowl and piercing eyes, Megatron MIMOBOT® boasts his classic Transformers style and will stop at nothing, least of all the feeble attempts of Optimus Prime, to gain the Universe’s data, and that means your documents, music, pictures and more!

    For 9 million years, Optimus Prime has battled Megatron over the Universe’s energy supplies and control of Cybertron. Now Optimus Prime is battling to defend your data! The leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime MIMOBOT® stands heroic with his trademark red, white, and blue armor, and matching helmet. He’s travelled across the galaxy with a singular purpose: to protect your data from falling into the greedy clutches of the evil leader of the Decepticons, Megatron. Optimus Prime MIMOBOT, Transform and Roll-out! Learn more here!

    Cover your ears! Megatron’s greatest rival for control of the Decepticons is now available in MIMO-form! With his F-15 wings folded behind him, STARSCREAM MIMOBOT captures the Decepticon arrogance and power with a smirk all-knowing, and all-cruel. 64GBs of data storage capacity and AMAZING preloaded digital goodies like vintage 1980’s comic books and episodes of the animated series, make Starscream MIMOBOT ready to shriek his way into your world. Get him before he transforms and takes off!


    Related Content

    Win Tickets to an Advance Orlando FL Screening of “Transformers: Age of Extinction” [ENDED]

    This is not war, it’s extinction. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” hits theaters on 06.27.14 but you could be one of the first to see it!! Here is that you need to do if you would like to win some tickets to an advance screening in Orlando, FL.

    In order to win tickets we need YOU submit a photo of your own homemade Transformer costume, or send proof of why your are the biggest fan. You can submit your to us on our Twitter or Facebook pages using the hashtag #TransformersFan. Only one entry per person, per household. The best ones will be chosen and will win one of the following prizes:

    GRAND PRIZE (best entry) will get VIP/GUARANTEED seats for them and a guest
    Ten (10) runners will be chosen to win regular tickets for them and a guest

    This giveaway will remain open until June 20th

    The screening will take place on June 25 at Regal Waterford Lakes – 7:30PM

    TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION is the fourth film in director Michael Bay’s global blockbuster franchise. Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Li Bingbing , Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles, T. J. Miller, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor and Titus Welliver star. The film begins after an epic battle that left a great city torn, but with the world saved. As humanity picks up the pieces, a shadowy group reveals itself in an attempt to control the direction of history… while an ancient, powerful new menace sets Earth in its crosshairs. With help from a new cast of humans, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) and the Autobots rise to meet their most fearsome challenge yet. In an incredible adventure, they are swept up in a war of good and evil, ultimately leading to a climactic battle across the world.

    Transformers: Age of Extinction is in theaters 06.27.14

    Official site:
    Official Facebook:
    Official Twitter: