Battroborgs, TOMY’s motion-controlled battling robot toys, leap to vivid life in a CG spot from the animation pros at Nathan Love. Creative Director Joe Burrascano and Director Jim McKenzie collaborated with agency Superfly Marketing Group to create a tangible onscreen representation of the epic battle that would stream from a child’s imagination. The result is a spectacular full-throttle Battroborg showdown played out beneath the lights and roaring crowds of a futuristic arena.
“Superfly wanted a cinematic and atmospheric piece that would make the Battroborgs appear larger than life,” explains Burrascano. “Jim, with his uncanny ability to understand clients’ needs and find engaging, creative solutions, was able to lead a large CG team to create this incredibly detailed, bold story promoting these cool little toys.”
The most significant creative obstacle came in enhancing the characters’ appearance and actions while maintaining the heart of the physical toys’ look. This meant adding points of articulation to the animated characters that do not exist on the robots, substituting the eye stickers for LED lights, and buffeting the onscreen combatants with wear-and-tear without making the product unappealing. To achieve the most accurate look possible, Nathan Love created 3D models of the robot products, then blocked out their movements in animation, making incremental changes that drove the spot without dramatically altering the look of the toys.
“The goal was to make the Battroborgs feel larger than life in both appearance and performance,” notes McKenzie. “Working closely with the creatives at Superfly and their clients at TOMY, we were able to find a balance that both embellished the storyline and stayed true to the toy’s actual form.”
Superfly, new to animation, had approached Nathan Love to work on the Battroborgs spot after a number of associates recommended the studio. “Executive Creative Director PJ Loughran cold-called us after hearing about our work from several sources,” remembers Burrascano. “As soon as we heard the words ‘epic,’ ‘battle’ and ‘robots,’ we were hooked!”