Transformers: The Ride 3D primed for Super Bowl spotlight

Feb. 02, 2012 | 6:42 p.m.

Optimus Prime in new ad for Universal Studios Hollywood's Transformers: The Ride 3D. (Universal Studios)

If you tune in to the Super Bowl on Sunday you’ll see a parade of commercials for Hollywood’s upcoming heavy-hitter hopefuls (“The Hunger Games,” “The Avengers,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “John Carter”)  but two even bigger box-office brand names — “Transformers” and “Star Wars” — will be selling something beyond the silver screen.

“Star Wars” is back in a Volkswagen ad (after last year’s super-popular tiny-tot Darth Vader spot) while the massive space robots from Michael Bay’s film franchise will be bringing their unique version of heavy-metal combat to a pre-game, 30-second ad for Transformers: The Ride 3-D, which opens in May at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Here’s a snippet that, if you think about it, is a promotional teaser for a commercial about a ride  based on a movie created around a toy line.

The ad will also introduce the website PrepareForBattle.com, where fans can check out tie-in videos or play games (and possibly win Transformers collectibles or a trip to California to try out the new ride).

Here’s a look at that part of the project…

I went by Universal recently to get a tour of the new ride — it’s still under construction so what I saw was limited, obviously — but already it is an intriguing mix of velocity, atmospheric setting, state-of-the art digital illusion and theme-park mechanical wizardry. The ride is set in Chicago (and there’s a shocking amount of authentic detail to the city streets; it’s sort of like spinning through a Google Street View image)  and the mayhem and adrenaline looked impressive to me.

There’s also one big surprise in the ride … but more on that later.

– Geoff Boucher

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