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:
The first "countdown" on our agenda is a slightly improved picture of Countdown himself, my favorite Micromaster. Edited lickity-split by Ginraii (Thanks, G!) from a secret source, it sits beside Countdown's full "command center" art from the front of his US box, and the rocket base mode from his Japanese counterpart -- uncreatively named "Rocket Base" -- making Countdown one of the most represented Transformers in the Archive:
I'm reminded that it's been forever since I had Countdown transformed into his full "command center" mode, mostly because it takes up a hell of a lot of space:
I also have a ton of Micromasters that were moved from their pickle jar to a large plastic bag, and I'm still trying to figure out what to do with them. I suppose I can just sprinkle them throughout my giant glass case, but I'd rather set up a self-contained Micromasterville. I'll let you know how all that turns out.
The second "countdown" tangentially concerns this site: Jim Sorenson's book of Transformers box art has gotten a name, cover and release date. It's called Transformers Legacy: A Celebration of Transformers Package Art, it's slated for Spring 2014, and you can pre-order it from Amazon. I've contributed to it, and am actually looking forward to it despite my initial trepidation. You just know I'll be slicing up my copy to improve any sub-par scans in this Archive.
In the final run-up to the book's publication, there are still some pieces that Jim is missing or wants to improve. You can read his want list on his blog and if you can help him out I encourage you to do so. Go check it out.
And for our last "countdown," since it's the end of the year and everyone is doing "Best of 2013" lists, I thought I might contribute a "Best Albums" list myself. The problem is that I never feel like I've adequately consumed enough of the range of new music to produce a truly authentic "best of" list. Furthermore, I tend to spend much of the year finding and consuming older music that's new to me (Morbid Angel, Incantation, early Beatles, Cattle Decapitation) and there's only so much time I can spend on what's just-released. All that said, inadequate as it may be, here's my metal-centric list of
Botch's Favorite New Albums of 2013
Colored Sands - Gorguts
Hubardo - Kayo Dot
Queensrÿche - Queensrÿche
Pinnacle of Bedlam - Suffocation
... and the absolute winner ...
13 - Black Sabbath
Interested in any of those? Google 'em.
Here's to a 2014 filled with heavy metal, plastic that pretends to be metal, and perhaps actual metal!