I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I got a shit-ton of cool stuff, especially lots of great books. Transformers-wise, Dollface got me a set of unopened vintage Transformers View-Master reels. Of course, this leaves me with the quandary of whether or not to de-virginize and enjoy this set or leave it in its pristine state. (Hint: toys are made to be opened, no matter how long the wait.) I also got this awesome Decepticon-loving shirt:
Why am I collecting Transformer Kreons?
Do I really love cute and/or kitsch versions of Transformers that much?
Though I immediately saw the appeal when they first debuted, I resisted because the brick sets were too expensive to buy just to get hold of the little Lego-style TF figure that came in the package.
Some months ago, Camson Tran brought to my attention a Japanese variant I was missing. It turns out that the art for Road King -- the Japanese release of the Autobot Powermaster Slapdash -- is different in the, um, chest area. (Hey! My eyes are up here!) Whereas Slapdash is wearing his "yellow engine" halter top, Road King has his Powermaster engine protecting his modesty. Those crazy Japanese. So I emailed heroic_decepticon, who forwarded along a scan from his friend ZFEAKYE (pronounced "huh?") of The Cave Collection, which I promptly passed along to Ginraii, who took time out of his busy schedule doing CGI for the Transformers movies to edit it. And NOW, FINALLY, BEHOLD! (Road King left, Slapdash right.) Thanks, everybody!
Are you wondering what else has been going on in Botch's Transformers-Filled Life...?
For years, Charlie was not only my roommate and best friend, he was my Transformer confidante. He didn't collect them, but as a kid he was a big fan and owned most of the first few years of the toy line. As such he had no problem discussing Starscream, Mirage or the Stunticons, or transforming my toys and posing them in silent diorama of battle in our Queens apartment. He even once wrote the first scene of a Shakespearean-style Transformers story in iambic pentameter. (Charlie, please feel free to elaborate in the Replies about the title and highlights, and email the text if you still have it, and I know you do, you "just have to dig it out of somewhere" and yes I am asking you to do that.)
But Charlie has betrayed me. He is a fan of the Michael Bay movie. He has no aesthetic objections to the design of the "Bayformers". He is really eager to see the forthcoming sequel. And all of this is fine, to each his own, but the terrible part is that, by contrast, he doesn't see the charm in the Transformers: Animated line. It's a sin!
Yesterday I drove with a couple Transfan buddies to CybCon 2008, a small Transformers convention in Tacoma, Washington. CybCon is run by Greg Gaub, one of the few people whose Transformers site has been online longer than mine. Back when I first started the Transformers Box Art Archive in 1998, I was using Gaub's animated "spinning logos" throughout. (You know, back when animated gifs on the internet were actually cool.) Anyway, I brought home quite a substantial haul, and I thought it important to share the details with you, because you never know when this information could save your life!
Like Jesus said: It is finished. Except it's not actually 100% complete. No European ones yet. And there are a couple missing, like Starscream. And Jesus might not have actually even existed, much less uttered that particular phrase. All that aside: the Action Masters portion of the Transformers Box Art Archive has been launched! Go ahead and check out the respective non-transforming Autobots and Decepticons.
Transformers have a sense of smell. Some, like trackers, have a more acute sense than others to facilitate their function. For most Transformers, though, like humans, smell appears to be the most negligible sense. But what I'm more interested in is the fact that some odors are pleasant for them and others are repulsive. Huh!
According to various tech spec entries [Skalor, Blot, Apeface], poor Transformer hygiene in the form of unmaintained personal lubricants has a disgusting odor. Also, "decaying refuse" is unpleasant [Landfill] as well as, for some, the smell of any organic creature [Rippersnapper]. Interesting!
I shall now review the entire Transformers: Classics Deluxe and Voyager collection, per toy, in the order in which they were obtained, via haiku.
cautious g-one fan
dollface spies him at target
The greatest Decepticons are motivated by a lust for power and a desire to inflict cruel punishment on others. Thus it should come as no surprise that they often scrap with each other (for advancement in rank). The most noteworthy, pivotal and super-bitchin' (cool) of these throw-downs are the ones wherein the mantle of leadership hangs in the balance. That's right, some cocky Decepticon comes along to challenge the head honcho, and the only way to decide such a thing is with an old-fashioned giant robot fight.
This leads to some of my favorite covers from the old 80's comic book series, your favorite and mine, The Transformers. Observe the one to your right. Ah, my favorite Transformer, Shockwave, cooly repelling Megatron's attempt to wrest back the command that was stripped of him while he was offline. This is issue #6, and was the first instance in the comic of the Decepticon leadership changing hands. This trend was something unique to the comic book continuity — the cartoon never really played with the status quo — and Shockwave was usually involved. Maybe that's one of the reasons I enjoy the character so much (besides his dispassionately logical demeanor): he's the bad guy's bad guy.