HasLab War for Cybertron Unicron: Update #4

Unicron is legendary for being the most formidable villain in Transformers lore, and he and his packaging should live up to his legacy. The Chaos Bringer may not have made it through the '86 movie in one piece, but it's important to us he show up to your house in good condition.

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the distribution testing for the mighty Unicron so you can see some of the steps we've taken to ensure his safe arrival.

First, our Reliability Engineer, Lee, is going to answer some questions about his role and the basic process for making sure your favorite Hasbro products arrive in one piece. Then our packaging engineering co-op, Aurora, is going to walk us through some tests done specifically for Unicron and show us some really cool distribution testing videos!

Hi Lee, please introduce yourself to our fans!

My name is Lee and I am a Reliability Engineer at Hasbro. I have been with Hasbro for four years.

Q: What do you do?

A: Put simply, my job is to make sure Hasbro products are safe and reliable. In my role, I work closely with the product development teams to establish safety and reliability testing guidelines for every individual Hasbro product. Some of these guidelines are based on global toy regulations while others we have developed on our own based on many years of experience in the toy industry.

Q: Can you give some examples of these guidelines?

A: Sure – our guidelines include things like testing to ensure our products are free from harmful chemicals, normal use and abuse testing to ensure our products will stand the test of time, and Transportation/Distribution testing (outlined by Aurora below) to ensure our products arrive in consumer’s hands safe and sound. We also develop custom requirements for each of our items to make sure our customers are getting the experience they expect from Hasbro. Once guidelines are established, the product is tested throughout development and production to make sure we are meeting our goals.

Q: What kind of custom requirements were developed for Unicron?

A: From a quality perspective, we first thought about how our consumers would want to convert him (he is a Transformer after all). It was important that the conversion be as smooth as possible. We also knew our fans would want to display their Unicron proudly, so we needed to make sure the joints were strong enough to hold a pose. To meet these goals, we took a digital force gauge and started benchmarking the amount of physical force required to articulate each appendage and perform each conversion step. With each new model, we would fine-tune our benchmarks to optimize conversion while also preserving Unicron’s ability to pose. This was no small feat and required a lot of hard work from our Engineers and Designers in both Rhode Island and Asia. I am truly proud to get to work with such a talented team.

Q: What is the biggest challenge?

A: Unicron was a unique project in a lot of ways. I think one of the biggest challenges was meeting our Transportation/Distribution test requirements given the sheer size and weight of Unicron. After all, what good is an amazing product if it arrives broken? Luckily, our Packaging structure team was up to the challenge! AJ and Aurora did an unbelievable job of designing a package that is not only cool to look at, but also makes sure Unicron arrives safely and in one piece!


Here's a shot of Design Manager, Lenny, and Engineering Manager, Lynsey, going through one of the models with Lee.

Now our packaging engineering co-op, Aurora, has some really cool videos to share!


Aurora: Hello everyone! My name is Aurora, and I'm a package engineering co-op for Hasbro working on Transformers, Star Wars, Marvel, etc. With this position, I help create the packaging structures. I'm currently a 3rd year at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and have a background in distribution testing as an ISTA certified technician in the RIT Dynamics Lab.

Distribution testing is essentially simulating the shipping process. We recreate all the hazards a package would see getting from the starting point to the consumers hands. Typically, we will follow a specific testing standard produced from organizations such as ISTA (International Safe Transit Association) or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). There are several categories of testing that are done to a package to test its durability: shock, compression, vibration, conditioning, etc. The two main components we will be focused on in this specific test are shock and vibration.



Aurora: Shock testing can be completed in a variety of ways; the most common way (and the one performed in the video) is drop testing. The faces of the box are labeled based on the manufacturer’s joint (where the sides of the box meet and are sealed). Next, the package is dropped on the designated faces, edges, and corners. It is dropped from a specific height determined by the dimensions and weight of the box. Most drops will usually occur from a height of 18” rather than something crazy like 4’. This is because whenever the package is being handled by a person and they happen to drop it, they’ll be carrying it from around that height.



Aurora: Vibration testing replicates the different frequencies and G-forces that a package would see when being shipped. There are different vibration profiles to simulate the different forms of travel: truck, air, rail, etc. Sometimes (depending on the procedure) the package will be top loaded. When top-loading a package, a specific amount of weight is calculated based on the dimensions and then that weight is secured to the package for the duration of the vibration test. This process of top-loading a package simulates it being shipped with other items, which could easily end up stacked on top of it for the duration of its travel.



Aurora: I hope you learned more about how we ensure your package safely gets from the starting point into your hands. Thank you for following along!