new products

Casio G-SHOCK partners with 'Transformers' for special model


Uniting two global brands from Japan, Casio has announced the DW-6900TF-SET, a set of a G-SHOCK watch and a "Transformer" figure that transforms from a robot to a pedestal for the watch, and back again. 

The "Transformers" franchise originated out of a toy line created in Japan by Takara Tomy KK. The "Transformers" toy line was launched in the U.S. market in 1984 and was followed by a hit animated television series and comic book series. The "Transformers" toy line and animated television series were later released in Japan in 1985. The "Transformers" live action movie directed by Michael Bay and produced by Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg was released in 2007 and became a big hit, launching a movie franchise. 

This is the second tie-up project between G-SHOCK and "Transformers" following the first watch-movie collaboration in 2017. The new collaboration, which celebrates the 35th anniversary of G-SHOCK in 2018 and the 35th anniversary of "Transformers" in 2019, goes a step further in the form of a special "Transformer" robot known as Master Optimus Prime Resonant Mode and a G-SHOCK watch. 

The special robot included in the DW-6900TF-SET integrates a G-SHOCK watch into its chest and transforms back and forth between Master Optimus Prime Robot Mode, a standing robot figure, and Pedestal Prime Mode, which displays the G-SHOCK watch. 

  • Model: DW-6900TF-SET 

  • Price: 29,000 yen (before tax) 

  • Release date: Dec 8, 2018 in Japan; availability and price may vary elsewhere
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Why couldn't Casio come up with a G-Shock smartwatch?

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How about a G-Shock taser for self defense? Tells you what time you fired your taser :)

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G-shock makes awesome watches.

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Why couldn't Casio come up with a G-Shock smartwatch?

The short answer would be because they make watches.

But for all I know, they're developing or trying to develop one. However, when it comes down to it, watches and smartwatches (don't be fooled by the name) are very different devices. Almost everything that watches do very well or perfectly, smartwatches do badly. They're awkward, hybrid devices that, in addition to being bad watches, are bad computers.

Considering Casio as a watchmaker, they have a vast range of products and have built a reputation for watches that above all else, are ultra-reliable. At the bottom end, they're extremely cheap. You can even get one for less than 1000 yen. G-Shocks are in a class of their own when it comes to robustness. There are also a number of middle and higher end Casio watches, and specialized product lines, sometimes pretty expensive, but all with something that justifies their price.

The moment they step into smartwatch world, they're unleashing a product that goes against almost everything they've built up over the years: short lifespan, terrible battery life, non-rugged, unreasonably pricey for what you get, and likely to be on a shelf collecting dust after a few months. Now they may make that move one day, or even be about to make it now, but it's a risky area to enter. Casio owners have come to expect 2, 7, or 10 year battery life, and those are the ones who don't have solar watches. Convincing such people to go with a device that has a 1-2 day battery life is not just a hard sell, but could erode the position they already have.

They'd also be committing themselves to "this one's better than the one you bought two years ago", which is not really how watch makers and watch buyers think. They may happily buy multiple watches, but the watches they do have don't get superseded. Not after 2 years, and not after 10.

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The "Transformers" franchise originated out of a toy line created in Japan by Takara Tomy KK

Technically this is incorrect adjusts nerd glasses- what eventually became Transformers was based on two existing toy lines, Diaclone and Micro Man, both of which had existed separately for several years. Then Hasbro in the US bought the rights to these franchises and used them to create the Transformers (with a lot of help from Marvel). Actually it's a very interesting story, I recommend watching "The Toys That Made Us" on Netflix if you want to learn more.

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