I'm sure I'm not the only person who has ever tried to think of ways of letting their Transformers collection infiltrate their workplace. I've been trying for years to think of an excuse, and last month I managed to finally find a way of embedding the toys into something I do at work, which was deliver staff and teacher training to further education lecturers.
The toys used were Transformers Animated Ratchet (x2), Animated Swindle, Transformers Prime Wheeljack, ROTF Strike Mission Sideswipe and ROTF Dirge. The conference room was set up so that the lecturers would be working in groups of 4. While I would have loved to use the Transformers all the way through the 3 hour training session, they only made up the 10 minute icebreaker at the start, but that's 10 minutes more than I've managed in 12 years!
Each toy was left on one table in vehicle mode with its Hasbro instructions and a set of the session aim and objectives (not directly related to the TFs).
As the training theme was cooperative evidence-based teaching strategies, multisensory resources and the use of graphic organisers, I used Hasbro's image-only instruction sheets for these toys to get groups of teachers to try and create the robot shown in the instructions from the vehicle modes. While it's very hard to ever call anything monosensory (apparently this isn't a word) as they were using the sense of touch as well as sight - and it ended up being a cooperative exercise which served as the perfect opener to the theme of the session.
The best part for me was how the staff engaged with the figures, from people who were in their mid to late 30s up to those in their late 60s. Amazingly, the Animated Ratchet - both of them - proved too difficult for the staff even with the instructions, as did Strike Mission Sideswipe and Animated Swindle (mainly because of stuff popping off). However, the groups with ROTF Dirge and TFP Wheeljack nailed it, and ROTF Dirge is not what I would call an intuitive figure to transform. I wonder if it was a coincidence that the managers were more methodical about the task and so were able to solve ROTF Dirge.
Now to find a way of making the robots a more integral part of the training!
(P.S. No robits were harmed in the making of this production)
All the best