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:
Ever with his digits on the pulse of Transformers box art for sale, Nukeote pointed me to two auctions on eBay for original Micromaster art that I might have otherwise missed: one for the little-loved Detour of the Decepticon Sports Car Patrol; and another for one of the more popular Micromasters, Fixit of the Autobot Rescue Patrol (who actually just made an appearance in the most recent issue of the excellent ongoing Transformers: Robots In Disguise comic book series). I've cleaned up the images from the auction photos and added them to the Archive. Thanks for the tip, Nukeote!
Perhaps you remember I recently told you about a seller that was trying to auction Skystalker's original robot art on eBay? Considering how relatively insignificant Skystalker is in the Transformers universe, my response to the seller's $850 asking price was "Good fucking luck with that!" Well, get ready, because the "Buy It Now" price for the Detour listing and Fixit listing is a whopping $2,999.99. Each. For Micromasters! Good fucking luck!
There's an auction on eBay right now for the original package art of the robot mode of Skystalker, the 1989 Decepticon Micromaster Assault Base. You might not recognize it, because Skystalker's package front features the art for his "assault base" mode. This robot-only art does appear on his USA package, but never clearly: it's in his tech spec in small low-resolution form; and the top half appears on the back of his box above a comicly self-merchandising quote:
I know this art was also used for Metrobomb, the Micromaster that came with Metrotitan (the Japanese recolor of Metroplex) and who is identical in every way to Skystalker. Sadly, no one has ever scanned the Metrobomb art for me.
It's time to hang out the old "Editing Help Wanted" sign. We have a few character art scans that need to have their backgrounds removed. And they're all Decepticons. How cool is that!
Some improved box art devoted to some of the largest and smallest Transformers. Let's start large: Omega Supreme and Sky Lynx. Their artwork was scanned off their reissue boxes, edited and submitted entirely by Jeremy Barlow of Soundwave's Oblivion. Thanks again, man!
I think my favorite Omega Supreme moment is seeing the cover to issue #19 on a newsstand spinner rack while on a middle school field trip to Philadephia. The cover boasted, YOU ASKED FOR HIM-- YOU GOT HIM! And I thought "I don't recall specifically asking, but that is what I want!" Appearing invincible, Omega is crushing Starscream in his claw, a crunkled shadow-double of same darkening Omega's midsection. Great stuff.
I got an email from a gentleman named Dave who is auctioning a piece of original Transformers box art that he needed identified. Turns out it's MOONROCK of the Autobot Micromaster Astro Squad. What a coincidence! Just last night (while listening to doom metal) I was reading about the formation of the Moon including the fucking awesome "giant impact hypothesis." I had actually started off by reading about the utterly fascinating Geologic time scale of the Earth and wound up in all sorts of wiki-places from Anomalocaridids (terrifying) to Snowball Earth (the Slush Age).
Um. Oh yeah, Moonrock! He's only half-a-transformer: he has to combine with another Astro Squad member -- the unfortunately named "Missile Master" -- in order to form a missile transport truck. At least Moonrock is the front half, which I imagine somehow to be the preferable of the two positions.
My desk has way too many Transformers on it right now, I don't know where to put them all.
I mean, there's usually one or two or five, but look at this:
"Yo, Box Art Archive, I'm really happy for you, I'm-a let you finish... but Micromasters are the best Transformers of all time!"
Well, shit, I have some really great pieces to upload, like Stunticons and a Dinobot, and hopefully I can do some of that this weekend, but since Kanye drunkenly insists, let me get these Micromasters out the way.
Almost two years ago I requested that some people help me get scans from the front of the Micromaster Patrol cards so that, in addition to each individual Micromaster, I had an accurate version of how they appeared as a group on their package, overlaps and all. Well, Neo Kerberos has graciously fulfilled that request. The first batch he delivered went up some time ago, and I now present the rest of them. Thanks, Neo!
Race Track Patrol
I'll be the first to admit, I am slow to respond to emails, slow to post new scans and edits, slow to update this site... Please understand, when you spend 40 hours weekly on a computer just for your job, spending more time on a computer at home is hard. I start getting this pain in my shoulder and neck. My lower back starts to spasm. My concentration wanders. And concentration is important! I may not do as much actual background removal of edits as I used to, but I still do a lot of clone-stamping to weed out imperfections in the scans, color level corrections, resolution adjustments, and so forth. After all, we have standards to uphold. Plus there's the coordination of attribution (who scanned what, who edited what). So forgive me if I seem at times to be delinquent or remiss. But let's turn our attention over to some pretty, pretty updates!
First up, there was an auction not to long ago (several people brought it to my attention) for a handful of original TF box art pieces. The accompanying photos for a few of them were of better quality than what we had in the Archive, and Jeremy Barlow of Soundwave's Oblivion was kind enough to grab and clean them up. The greatest improvement comes for the Aerialbot Air Raid, but the scans of Astrotrain and Blitzwing are even better than the already-great entries we had. Thanks, Jeremy!
Nukeote pointed me to a site called Premier Collectible Auctions where, in addition to having many wildly overpriced MIB/MOSC Transformers, there are quite a number of pieces of original TF box artwork up for auction. The prices range from $3,000 to $10,000. Motherfuck! Well, unless I decide to sell my car — twice, somehow — I don't think I'll be picking these up. But at the very least, a couple of the scans for the auction listing are better than what I currently have, so up they go!
Primarily, it's the individual members of the Battle Patrol that are the real find: Flak, Sunrunner, Big Shot, and Sidetrack. These guys are actually among my favorite Micromasters, because they're atypically militaristic Autobots ... and they're so cute, too!