Transformers: The Cybertronian Enquirer 6-20-07

Opening Salvo

Well the post Mike Kaye era begins this week. For those of you who missed it Mike took his final bows here. Do me a favor and shoot Mike a little note saying goodbye, good luck, or something like that. He thinks nobody is going to miss him and we all know that to be untrue. I don’t want to get all mushy on ya’ll but I’ve never met Mike and probably never will but as far as I’m concerned he’s not heavy, he’s my brother. Don’t worry about the column though; you’ll get the same hodgepodge of bad jokes, news and reviews as only a 27-year-old bitter Quick Service manager can provide. It’s time to transform!

Toys: What I got, what they got, and some news too

My shelf at BBTS must be bulging now since my VF-0A with Ghost Booster is in; still waiting for the chess set before I let things ship but I’m really starting to loose my patience. By the by still haven’t touched Megatron yet either.

It appears a Japanese company by the name of Daiki will be making a PVC figure of Hot Rod, or as he is known in Japan Hot Rodimus. That was announced over a week ago and I’ve yet to hear anything more about the figure, to be quite honest I’m a bit pissed that most TF sites have gone into full movie mode while ignoring most other news. Keep reading you’ll see what I mean.

Well Justitoys has released more details for their MP Megatron stock/silencer set. The stock will somehow connect around the but of Megatron in pistol mode while the silencer fits on as normal. The parts also can fit together to form the cannon that was seen in an early G1 episode. Personally I would’ve liked to see them go all the way back to Megatrons’ Microman days and include the seat that allowed a Microman figure to operate the cannon. BBTS has already announced that Justitoys will be making a special version for them that will have some sort of orange cap. I have no idea why they need to do this since these parts aren’t a gun onto themselves. That right there along with the fact that it took me nearly 3 months to get my Megs might make me wait until we get a perfect Masterpiece set like MP-04 Convoy to get the add on parts.

If you have 4 grand to burn and a loading dock for a backyard then you too can own your very own 6.5” tall Optimus Prime. I don’t know anyone who could afford one of these let alone has the space required for it to be delivered. If any of my loyal readers out there get one of these bad boys, let me know and send pictures.

Radio personality Howard Stern announced on his radio show last week that he turned down a role in the TF movie. Apparently he was or more directly his voice was to have had a small cameo role in the flick as one of many sounds coming out of Frenzy in radio mode. As it is right now the going rumor is that Stan Bush’s “The Touch” is going to be featured during the same sequence that Howard Stern was supposed to be a part of. Speaking of Stan he released a statement on his MySpace page thanking the fans for their support and stating the obvious, which is his track for the TF movie, was turned down. It as well as another TF inspired song will be two bonus tracks on his soon to be released album. It would’ve been nice to see Stan included on the soundtrack as a nod to the original soundtrack since that was the selling point for the animated movie for years. Personally I think the musical selection is crap; they have the right idea going with artists who have a harder edge but I think they should’ve gone with NWOBHM bands like Maiden, Priest, and Saxton. Since the movie had it’s premier earlier in Australia we now have a complete list of the voice actors. Frank Welker who was reported to be voicing a robot in the film is nowhere to be found. In a brief interview he did with the CHUD website Frank graciously defended his voice work for Megatron and praises both Hugo Weaving and Peter Cullen. I’m not saying anything more now since I don’t want to get my dander up again. Believe it or not but they’re already talking sequels for Transformers. Apparently Michael Bay is already looking beyond a trilogy and making the series much longer in length. Tom Desanto is already coming up with ways to have the Dinobots and Constructicons in the sequel. Keep in mind that these future movies, if they are made, will be done in a more timely fashion since most of the CGI work has been laid out for this first movie. I wouldn’t mind seeing a TF movie every two years or so since that would theoretically give me a break from collecting but in reality just give me an excuse to buy more Macross/Robotech goodies. Interesting side note; Hasbro recently fired the talent agency, CAA, that originally brought Dreamworks and Hasbro together. The rumor going now is this is in response to the movie designs that Hasbro are well known to be displeased with. From what I’ve read online from industry professionals what Hasbro did is natural since CAA isn’t set up to handle the kind of demand for the Hasbro and Transformers brand that the movie will bring. Believe what you will but it makes sense when you consider that out of all their summer movie tie ins they’re banking on Transformers to give them the best results.

Best Buy is giving away $5.00 in concession money for Transformers when you buy these select films:

Aeon Flux
Clear and Present Danger
Collateral
Congo
Deep Impact
Dragonslayer
Escape from LA
Event Horizon
Face off
Fire in the Sky
Galaxy Quest
K-19
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider: Cradle of life
Paycheck
Peacemaker
Rules of Engagement
Sahara
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Shaft
Star Trek: the Motion Picture
Star Trek II: Director’s Cut
Star Trek III
Star Trek IV
Star Trek V
Star Trek VI
Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: First Contact
Star Trek: Nemesis
Star Trek: Insurrection
The Core
The Hunted
The Island
The Italian Job
The Saint
The Score
The Sum of all Fears
Timeline
Virtuosity

On the flip side Wal-Mart is giving away free beach balls when you buy these films:

Clueless
Stepferd wives
Jimmy nuetron
Crocodile Dundee
Crocodile Dundee II
Good Burger
Mousehunt
Antz
Ladybugs

Notice that the Best Buy selections are more action oriented while the Wal-Mart selections are more family oriented. Dreamworks is really trying to cover both sides of the plate for this flick.

Well it appears that the folks behind Bot-Con have gotten wind of a little scalping going on. People were trying to make a buck or two on their Bot-Con Primus packages by selling them for a premium on Ebay. The kicker is that Master Collector keeps records of who buys what so if the names don’t match the package is considered void. In other Bot con news the box art has FINALLY been revealed. It is done, rather nicely I might add, Classics style. I’ll be paying Mike an arm and a leg for his spare set, which means I’ll be spending some quality time on a street corner near you. The mold being used for the customizing class has been announced as Classics Grimlock. Right now the going rumor is that he will either be repainted into G2 Grimlock or Trypticon. They also haven’t mentioned if there will be new parts supplied to add to the figure. The big news though is that they’re bringing in Stan Bush to play at the convention. Now comes my rant; Bot-Con is less than a week away and we’re getting this info NOW? We still don’t have any rumors on the other attendee figures. I understand that Hasbro wants the main focus to be on the movie but COME ON! For those of us that don’t give a crap, don’t delay other news that we might find interesting. Nobody outside of Australia cares that there is a sale in a Australian TRU, or that there is an exclusive contest; EVERYONE for the most part cares about what will be available at Bot-Con. I’m sweating like a pig now because I got so worked up.

Surfing the Space Bridges

Speaking of Bot-Con anything particular you’re hoping to hear about coming out of the convention?

The World Around Transformers

Some sad news to report as Macross composer Kentaro Haneda has passed away at the age of 58. This guy was considered a big name over in Japan due to the mainstream popularity of Anime. God bless Mr. Haneda; may a fleet of Valkries carry you to your eternal reward.

There is a rumor making the rounds on Macross message boards that we might see a new series for the 25th anniversary of SDF Macross and it will be done in CGI. Keep in mind that it might be a good year or more before we see the show on these shores. I’d hope to see Southern Cross and Mospedia released by ADV first.

Soul of Chogokin GX-38 has been announced and it is none other than Iron Gear. This is going to be the largest Chogokin to date and transforms from space ship to robot. Raideen is also supposed to be on his way as well. Raideen is important since the toy is considered the Grandfather of transforming robots released way back in 1976. I’ve been informed however that there was a toy that changed from either a radio or TV to robot form back in the mid to late 50’s. If anyone has pictures please send them along.

And now, what you’ve been waiting for, for way too long; Dancouga, in his complete super robot form.

While skimming through the Wikipedia entry for Dancouga I found this interesting little tidbit; unlike most super robot anime the four component vehicles didn’t combine to form Dancouga until half way through the series. When you consider how heavily armored each component vehicle was you could see why.

It took me awhile to completely understand the instructions since I didn’t realize Bandai added in some added features to make the figure more anime accurate; namely a special adapter that you can combine to Eagle Fighter to give the Dancouga head more articulation. Combining isn’t too difficult and I was happy to discover that the robot possesses a wide range of motion including simple articulation at his ankles.

As seen in the photo above Dancouga has the ability to use Big Moths cannons in super robot mode. I like this but the two blasters on each hip hinder some arm articulation.

Combining the rifles of the four component robots into one blaster creates the Dai-gun. Unfortunately the gun is then too heavy for Dancouga to hold without pegging the stock into the side of his torso, this obviously limits the poses he can strike while holding his gun.

Like most super robots Dancouga carries a rather large sword called Danku Ken. I’ve never had the chance to see it in action but I’m sure fellow Mecha like Star Saber, Predaking, and King Exkaiser are envious.

Dancouga came with a booster unit that according to the show gave him the ability to fly. This was done away with in the OVA God Bless Dancouga. The unit pegs into the figures back then is secured by two shoulder hinges and two hip locks. I had issues getting the right hip lock to properly secure into place.

Finally I leave you with a close up of Dancouga’s head. Just because I think it’s cool and I swear I see a smile. I wasn’t too high on the component bots but Dancouga’s combined form more than makes up for it.

Sixty-Second Review

Transformers: Commemorative edition
Soundwave
MSRP:19.99 and up on Ebay
OUT NOW but good luck finding him in stores.

Last year Hasbro announced that they would be discontinuing their Commemorative reissue line with the exception of one or two special figures. At Bot-Con they revealed Commemorative Soundwave, who happens to be a repaint of Takara collection Soundblaster, who was a remold of the original G1 Soundwave, who had a slightly different paint scheme and decals from Microman Cassetteman, as the first of these special figures. Confused? Let me explain.

Way back in 1974 Hasbro partnered with Takara came up with a batch of designs for Takara’s Microman line with the intent that some of them would be brought over for GI Joe. As the work progressed the designers got the idea of basing the transforming robots on every day items. One of these items was a micro cassette recorder and player. Almost 10 years later the design was realized in the Microman offshoot line Diaclone. Shortly there after he and his cassette compatriots were re christened Transformers and went on from there. By 1988 Takara decided to update the mold and had Soundwave destroyed in the cartoon and rebuilt as Soundblaster. The toy now sported a double tape deck capable of holding two cassettes and sporting an all black finish. It was a good thing that they did this since shortly after Soundwave was released as part of the Takara collection line the mold disintegrated. Thus when Hasbro wanted to re-release Soundwave they had to use the Soundblaster mold; which to me makes more sense since in the cartoon he could hold more than one cassette. To enhance this feature he comes with two of his cassettes, Laserbeak and Ravage.

The box is done in a book box form in the Classic design with a pop-up image of the figure in robot mode once opened. Surprisingly Soundwave comes with the chrome still on his missiles and two mini cassette cases that were a throw back to the Diaclone days. Transformation is easy and a real throwback to the old days. Laserbeak unfortunately suffers from SMS and thus doesn’t sit in Soundwave’s chest snugly. Interesting note; the instructions don’t mention how to apply the decals thus we have to refer to the big cut out of Soundwave on the box. I really don’t have to tell you to go buy this figure do I? On Elohim’s Energon cube scale I give Commemorative Soundwave a perfect ten.

Parting Shots

Well hopefully by next week there will be some news that doesn’t pertain to the movie since it’s starting to get to be a bit much. Other than that be well. Until next time;

The King of the Fanboys,

Charles

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