Monday, September 27, 2010

Astrotrain Handkerchief from France

An oddity I found during my late night hunting of robots on the net. It's a handkerchief of Astrotrain circa 1985 from France. What's so special about a hankie with the design of the best Decepticon triplechanger? Dude look at it.

Only in Europe do you find colors like this. I swear it could have been like a long lost G2 UK reissue from the early 90s. But I kid, it's just straight up a bad coloring of G1 Astrotrain's boxart along with the toy's shuttle alt mode (The original boxart had the train alt mode shown)

Well Hasbro, it looks like the search for your next repaint of the Astrotrain Classics/Henkei mold has come to an end. Hop on the DISCO TRAIN!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No major blog today, so instead........

Super busy today but at the same time a bunch of great stuff came in the mail, so I will show you one of the smaller items for now.

A replica of the Wonderfest Ultra Magnus armor for the WST Ultra Magnus chase figure...... but done in glow in the dark plastic. Here is a little video I did (Turn up your screen brightness a bit for the effect)

Anyhow hopefully more tommorow!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A look back at Joe Eibe, Botcon Legend

Ah Joe Eibe....... not many of you Transfans know of the name, but you know of the face, the image and the legend. Born in 1966 in California, Joe was your typical cosplayer, he embodied the "Comic Book Guy" while having the personality of Filburt from Rocko's Modern Life.

The man LIVED for cosplay, claiming he started doing it when he was 2 years old. And look how awesome he does it...... LOOK AT IT!!!

Now you ask what really does this have to do with Botcon? Well in 1998 Botcon came into his neck of the woods. Normally Joe only trolled the local anime/sci fi conventions that the good state of California had to offer but finally Botcon came to town. So he put together a Metalhawk costume (from Transformers Masterforce for those not in the know) and hit the TF con scene. Needless to say he left an impression that people would speak about for YEARS to come. One impact was Fumihiko Akiyama (of Transformers Generations guide book fame), when he went on to do a guide about Botcon, he had to show pictures of Joe Eibe's Metalhawk.
You have to keep in mind that prior to 2007 Bay Movies and the female fandom EXPLODING (namely due to fad hoppers), cosplay at Botcon was rather limited, but he brought the bacon.... and no doubt ate it all too.

Joe still cosplays to this day, he has not been back to Botcon since that legendary 1998 year but he did continue to make other Transformers costumes. His first was Optimus Prime (with opening chest to reveal a Matrix), Metalhawk (as we just mentioned), Saber (the smaller jet robot of Star Saber from Transformers Victory), Wreck Gar (He said it could transform if he could just bend forward......... I laughed a bit) and had plans for an Ultra Magnus that never happened.
He said all the costumes today are in pretty bad shape today due to him sweating a lot and it getting into the cardboard and destroying them. You know I can't make any of this shit up, so please dont laugh. In his spare time he likes to write cross fan fiction about the Transformers having adventures with Dr. Who or even the Star Trek crew. Sigh.......... I think we will leave this blog post at that. One up your fandom people!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Optimus Prime vs. Jesus

I ain't a religious person, but if I had to pick one.... it would be Cybertronian. Preach the word of Primus.

"And there came a hero who said hurt not the earth, nor the
sea, nor the trees, nor the very fabric of time. But the
hero would not prevail, nor would he surrender!" [13:14]

A little bit of Covenant of Primus for y'all. Anyhow what really matters, who would win. Optimus Prime vs. Jesus.

Click to expand. So Prime wins..... but we already knew that.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 14: 2002 Convoy Ring

Back in the swing of the Wonderfest thing for a bit. Next up we have......

The Wonderfest 2002 Artisan Wisdom Convoy Ring (aka Optimus Prime for your dirty gaijin ;D ). The ring was made of cold casted Lustrium (Sounds hot eh? No it's just a metal) and sold for a whooping 150,000 yen. Only 300 were made.

Price and rarity aside, it's "transformable". The base ring itself is the front truck cab of Convoy, when you open it downward, you can then flip up Convoy's head (inside the ring cavity reveals Convoy's famous line "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings"), and then close it up to make a "semi" robot mode.

The ring was rather large and expensive and so far I only know 2 people who got their hands on it. One of the earliest Wonderfest TF related items and atleast to me..... one of the coolest. To quote Sam's mom from the Bay movie; Transformers 2007 "It's his bling"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fresh Beast Wars of Bel Air

I have a huge comic/toy convention this weekend so today's blog is going to be a quick one

Ah Fresh Prince and Beast Wars, 2 important pieces of my high school years. Combine them and they lead to some FUNNY. Youtube Video

I think the only problem I have with this is Will says "Razorbeast" but indicates Beast Wars Croc Megatron. He is a great guy, but he ain't perfect.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

History of Transformers and Video Games

About 2 months ago, I hosted a panel at TFcon (the 2nd largest Transformers convention in the world) about the history of Transformers and all the video games it had from it's humble beginnings up to the pre-Bay movie era (2007-ongoing). A lot of stuff was unknown to most people so it's worth a look. Enjoy

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Unicron is the largest robot ever? Confirmed.

Back in 2000, Hobby Japan (known for it's very Gundam biased ways) gave it's readers a scale chart to show which are the largests robots and mechas of all time. The results were quite interesting.

Shown above is Unicron (behind him is Jupiter, as in the planet for scale), then they move onto smaller mecha in a whole other size class (Compared to the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco). From left to right, the SDF-1 Macross (Of Macross/Robotech), Metroplex (Of Transformers 2010...... odd they left out Fortress Maximus) and below them all is Mazinger Z (of you guessed it, Mazinger Z). Keep in mind this ain't meant as a countdown from biggest to smallest, just to give an idea of different sizes (otherwise we would have Gunbuster somewhere).They then go onto a smaller scale yet again (comparing to the Twin Towers pre 9-11, this again was done in 2000). From left to right we have Danguard (of Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace), Ideon (of Space Runaway Ideon), Combattler V (of Combattler V) , the RX-7 Gundam (of Mobile Suit Gundam 0079) and above is Yamato (of Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers).

So it looks like our beloved Unicron is the king of the robot size class. Also I don't want to hear about Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann being bigger because the final form was not a robot but the combined form of Spiral Energy (like say the combined Minicon sparks in Transformers Armada that made the "Green" Unicron), I love Gurren as much as the next guy but it kinda ends up in a different grey area.. Either way, it's good to be on top.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Transformers bootleg predicts the future.... or not

Sorry for the lack of blog yesterday, the days after Montreal Comic Con tend to be super busy. Now let's get back to business.
Once and awhile, China/Hong Kong puts out a bootleg of a mainline Transformers toy that might as well be a page out of Nostradamus. Then again...... they might just like neon wacky colors for their knock offs.Enter "The Changable Robot". Called Bumblebee on the back of tha packaging, this is just your typical example of taking molds of other characters and making them seem like another of creator popularity. For those not in the know, this is really a "BLOWN UP" Transformers Movie 2007 Legends Barricade, repainted orange and blue (which somehow makes it "Bumblebee"). Normally, we would chuckle and that would be the end of the story..... but here is the freaky part.

Flash forward to the beginning of December 2009 when Hasbro's official Transformers Collectors Club revealed their next "Free Club Figure". DION! But wait! Look at those colors...... could it be!? Nah....... maybe we are reading to much into this, maybe it's all just one big coincidence. Either way.... it's crazy.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 13: 2004 Binal Tech Arming

Back when Alternators / Binaltech was in full swing, Takara mentioned an idea of a weapons/accessory set (guns, oil cans, road signs, ect). This never came to be but we did see some of the concept put into Kissplay (The Kissplayer items like the surf board or fishing pole) but that didn't stop the garage kit community in Japan from having a go at what was at the time "The best Transformers line ever".
Wonderfest 2004 would see the debut of the Binal Tech Arming sets by TFclub, a Hong Kong based group. TFclub decided to play up the 1 day license concept and how people would dig what was a spin on the axed idea by Takara. Not to mention they also were a cheaper way to get more rocket launchers for your other figures (Seeing how BT-07 Smokescreen GT was the only way to get it). They sold 2 different sets at the show, limited to 300 each for 1500 yen. The left overs ended up all over the internet (Ebay, Tformers Marketplace, TFclub forums, ect)

Both sets came with the same stuff just minor color changes. Each set came with 1 repro Smokescreen GT shoulder rocket launcher (with a chromed tip this time), one repro of Kicker's Energon Saber, and 3 Light Sabers. As you can see in the picture above one set had a grey rocket launcher and chrome silver Energon Saber, one had a black launcher with a chrome gold Saber.

These came out before a time when garage kits and 3rd party TF stuff were a dime a dozen and upgrade sets were made by everyone. One of the first to do it, and now extremely hard to come by cheap. Truly a piece of 3rd party history. Anyhow this weekend is the Montreal Comic-Con, TF related guests like Kirby Marrow (Hot Shot, Rad) and Larry Hama (GI Joe vs. Transformers) will be there. So enjoy the weekend and see ya Monday!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 12: 2006 G1 Convoy Chest Upgrade

Sitting in the corner of Wonderfest was a plucky young man selling his limited run of hand man upgrade chests for G1 Convoy aka G1 Optimus Prime. Sold in a clear box for 2500 yen
The upgrade was a piece that sat snuggly in the chest of your G1 Optimus Prime and acted as a case carry for a Matrix of Leadership piece (which was also included). The chest itself was a strong ABS plastic that was done in a "worn out" grey (to look like Prime's insides) while the Matrix was hand painted. I don't know the exact numbers of this run, but no doubt it was very low.

Once again a nice little piece. It's one of those that get overshadowed by the more mass produced be name guys but still cool to have. Till next time!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 11: 2009 Cybertron Drift Model Kit

So today marks the debut of the Transformers Drift mini-series. The talented combo of Alex Milne (Art) and Josh Perez (Colors) along with the scribing of Shane McCarthy (Also the creator of Drift). I am very pleased with how this book turned out and I suggest EVERYONE go pick it up, let your voice be heard by the comic book sales I always say. Which leads us to why I bring up Drift at all (besides having an amazing mini-series).
Wonderfest 2009 was the debut of SG Collect's "DFT-01", better known to us as Drift. It was a model kit that also sported a transformation into Drift's Cybertronian mode (unlike the Generations Drift toy we would get a year later that turned into his Earth Nissian Silvia S15 car design). The toy originally was just for pre-order at Wonderfest for 7500 yen.

The toy came in 2 releases. The first was molded in a solid white with some black areas and had a run of 300 which sold out very quickly. A 2nd release (dubbed DFT-01X Assasin) was molded in black with selected red areas (see picture 2) with a limited run of 50/50 (50 at to by online, to sold at the Singapore Toy Carnival). He was to scale with most Classics and Universe 2.0 toys at the time and when it was concieved, Hasbro did not debut their Generations Drift yet (Botcon 2009 would be 1 month away).

The model kit turned out pretty good, SG Collect know their stuff, but sadly needed paint to get all the fine details. All and all an awesome figure considering we never got Drift with his Cybertronian alt mode (but who knows what the future will bring). All I can say is go pick up Drift #1 at your local comic shop NOW!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 10: 2004 God Ginrai Model Kit

Going to be a quick one today. Transformers War For Cybertron has it's 2nd DLC Character and Map Pack coming out in a couple of hours so I got to be on alert. Get my Zeta Prime ON! Anyhow! Today we have Wonderfest 2004's God Ginrai model kit. Originally sold for 3000 yen.
Simple, clean and molded in color. Limited in articulation and trying it's best to be show accurate. I never found out which company did this but I know that years later they would take a 2nd stab at the idea (during a time FILLED with 3rd party guys) with a better take on the epic CHOKON POWAAA Cybertron.

Here is the 2010 version, using more poly caps and modern engineering, this one sold for 7000 yen and honestly..... I don't know much else, I didn't get it yet. Sorry to cut this one short but I think I just heard Dead End shooting over my Energon Nod. Gotta fly!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 9: 2004 Superlink Misha Doll

Oh... ho ho ho. Kit Factory took a poll at the end of 2003 if Japanese fans would be interested in a doll casted after Transformers Superlink Misha. Needless to say they were very positive about the idea. The doll is amazing and a riot on many different levels (Get a load of the bootylicious boxart) . It sold at Wonderfest 2004 for 15000 yen.
Misha came fully assembled and painted. Removable boots, a diecast belt with removable belt pack, the wrist bands are also diecast, it also came with 3 pegs that I don't know what to do with for the life of me and the uniform is also removable via a zipper on the back. The funny part? This mold is cast from the typical "squishy boobs" doll type, so if you need to give Misha a breast examination, you can!

This is not Kit Factory's first shot at the Misha character. In late 2003 for the Wonderfest Winter event, they sold a Microman / Microlady Misha, dubbed Misha Bust. While they were selling these is when they took the poll about a Misha doll. A lot of Misha love huh?

Friday, September 03, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 8: 2005 Superlink Misha Statue

Ah Superlink (known to the filthy Gaijin as Energon,..... I kid I kid....). The Transformers series that gave us tons of human female characters that even makes Transformers Kissplayers a little nervous. Leading the pack was Misha Miramond. She was super popular in Japan and spawned tons of Wonderfest related merchendise between 2005-2006. So today we start with the Wonderfest 2005 Misha Resin Kit Statue. Originally sold for 3000 Yen.
Like most resin kits, she is molded in solid white resin, has to be assembled and painted but sadly she is advertised with 2 variations you can go about it; her typical Cybertron City yellow space suit or her one shot motorcycle racing outfit (seen in "Special Traninig! Roadbuster! Episode 34 of Superlink). Why I say sadly? Cause you only can pick one and you have to stick with that. I weep a single tear.

Scaled at 1/15, this figure goes nicely with the Microman release of Kicker from the same year and is a super sexy piece of resin. I wish this was more mass produced and put out there for the whole fandom to enjoy. More Misha to come later. For now enjoy your weekend people! See ya Monday!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 7: 2008 WST Arcee

Ahh... the World's Smallest Transformers line. Truly one of the best things to come out of the blind packed Takara-Tomy toys. So the talented people at Wonderfest got cooking and in the spring of 2008 we got a bunch of unpainted semi snap together kits of World's Smallest Arshi (WST Arcee). Originally sold for 3000 yen.
As stated before, molded completely in white plastic and had to be assmebled via snap together parts, a simple kit for a simple toy, but maaaannnn did it sell out quick. I remember seeing it at Botcon 2008 later that year and before I knew it, it was gone (Damn you Xjunky).
But this story has somewhat of a happy ending, in late 2008 someone started to cast their own WST Arcee using the same mold from this Wonderfest release (a common thing in Japan/China/Hong Kong, bootleging of garage kits) and released a handful of these assembled AND painted, with a twist

About 10 were made, some painted as Arcee's typical G1 colors, the other painted in a very NOT-Paradron Medic blue (Chromia perhaps?). Pretty awesome stuff. But that would not be the end of Wonderfest and WSTs........................

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Wonderfest Retrospective Part 6: 2008 Revol Soundwave

The final garage kit of the Revol mini line from Wonderfest 2008 exists in the form of Revol Soundwave. 8000 YEN gets you the Cassette Man!

What do I love? It's molded in purple, so not only can you make Soundwave, not only can you make Soundblaster, but you can make Marvel G1 1984 Comic book Soundwave!............. yeah....... anyhow, it came with clear plastic doors for the chest and tampos for his chest.

So my hats off to the guys at Wonderfest who brought us this Revol line........ now if only they didn't cost the price of 6 official Revoltechs.