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Robots/Monsters/Misadventure へんしん せんたい

Friday, May 24, 2019

Bone Age


Sometimes the coolest things don't succeed, there's a meme for that and all, but failure's just one of the more unfortunate parts of life. Bone Age by Kenner is one of those things that seemed too cool to fail and somehow did. Basically a prehistoric version of M.A.S.K with the additional play value of modular toy design worked into the mix. The series wasn't around long, no cartoon, just some toys and a kids meal promotion. There was more toys planned, but they never came out.


The toys were dinosaur skeletons driven by cavemen that could convert into a vehicle of sorts by disassembly and reassembling (called parts forming in the Transformers world) the bones from one form to another. The caveman would be from a different warring clan and usually had a dinosaur skull helmet that could be removed and some weapons. They were generally well sculpted and around the same size as a M.A.S.K toy. With the removable helmets and conversion gimmick, I wonder how come it wasn't tied into M.A.S.K in some way. It's not hard to imagine they were at some point in the planning period. Though Kenner's Sky Commanders were also pretty similar as well. So maybe it was just a house style.

 

I don't have to tell you that I thought they were great. What's not to love? A cool dinosaur skeleton that turns into a helicopter with a tiny little caveman dude who wore a skull. If the line was a bigger sucess, I'm sure the satanic panic groups would have had a field day with this one. How wouldn't they, it's pure heavy metal. Skeletons just walking around with a skull wearing caveman beating the crap out of one another by any means necessary. ANY MEANS NECESSARY. Think you're putting up a fight? Well, my skeleton can turn into a skeleton tank... yours turned into a plane. I'm going to use my skull helmet magic to shoot missiles from the horns of my DINOSAUR SKELETON TANK. Somebody at Kenner was crazy in the best way possible.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Get Godbeast's Stuff!

If you haven't checked out the newest batch of Kabuto Mushi from The Godbeast, what are you waiting for?!!? Somehow he manages to outdo himself each series and this current batch is out of this world! Every figure uses the Glyos system which allows for tons of custom builds. While the figures looks great on their own, the things you'll find yourself coming up with can be really exciting.


Pretender Monsters


Christmas in July, Halloween in May. Summer is the prelude to Halloween and I've got monsters on my mind. With so much of my focus on smaller Transformers (and fortunately Hasbro feeding this need) I find myself really wishing they'd do something like the Monster Pretenders again. Not just because it's something I'd personally love (maybe 95% why), but as Generations has been focusing on late G1 the past few series, I think this would be a great fit and add a little variety. That and monsters are hip daddy-o, monsters are on the rise in popularity. Godzilla is doing so well in America that Toho is setting up offices here to capitalize after the deal with Legendary expires in 2020. You damn well know I'm excited about that.

This Italian commercial from GiG's Transformers line calls the Monster Pretenders just Pretender Monsters. This works really well as it flows a little better than Monster Pretenders as a name. At the time I'm thinking Monsters in my Pocket were on shelves as well as other 'gross' toys, so obviously GiG was marketing towards that market with this cool as crap commercial with monster hands ripping away the monster shell. Not to mention that AWESOME logo. I am so freaking jealous of that logo and with the way GiG sold these guys. So freaking jealous.

It's kind of genius in a way, if they really sold well, they could release multiple color variations so you could make your own Monstuctor and even get some cool slime add on for the shells. Just imagine a world where Transformers became a cool monster line. I do often admittedly, but as the line has had so many damn monsters in it already... why didn't it?


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Cup Noodle Fever Dream


What the hell just happened?

Dora Circe

In anticipation of Rangerstop next month, I've been watching Zyuranger episodes lately to curb the excitement. Admittedly I watch enough Rangers as is, but that's my alibi and I'm sticking with it. Earlier today I watched the episode "Terror! Eaten in an Instant" which starred Dora Circe as the monster of the week. The MMPR Pudgy Pig is based on Dora Circe (in case you thought he looked familiar) and the characters are pretty similar (maybe not as much in the case of the second Pudgy Pig). The episode is one of the more silly adventures of Zyuranger featuring a grocery store owning family of who loves to eat together. Bandora was bitter as she was trying to loose weight and saw the family leading her to sick the monster on them.

Dora Circe, despite outward appearances, moves so fast that's he's practically invisible. This leads to some funny bits where the family thinks their food is being stolen by one another and starts fighting. The monster then goes on to eat all the food in their store before moving onto the rest of the town. Before long the entire town is fighting among each other (you get grumpy when you're hungry) and the Zyurangers discover the pig monster causing all the problems.

Initially they confront Dora Circe, whom during the fight eat's their weapons and gains the upper hand before Gnome intervenes and takes the Rangers with him to his home. It's there that the Rangers have to pass a test so that Gnome will give them a herb that will help them defeat the monster. Of course it's a food themed test and the Rangers have to eat an insane amount of food. After Boi is able to eat a carrot (apparently he hates carrots) they are given the herb.

The Zyurangers trick Dora Circe into eating the herb causing him to vomit everything he's eaten (including their weapons) out. The weakened monster is promptly destroyed with the Howling Cannon and the town gets back to normal. Like I said, it's a silly episode. Despite the comedic nature, it goes into the more fantasy elements of Zyuranger that I like so much. The MMPR episode that uses the footage from this episode isn't too different, but enough to be distinct and have a separate plot. I do like MMPR better as I've been watching it for 25 years and have an attachment, but I do think Zyuranger is a better show. Episodes like this are part of the reason why.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers

Over the weekend, pictures of new Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers popped up. I've been a steady fan of the little guys, only missing series 5 so far. I've been hoping for a G1 themed blind bag series (ala WST TF) and this is close enough. I like the design aesthetic for Cyberverse and think it applies itself well to the cute looks of a TTC. Really hope these guys are more widely available as I don't want to have too hard of a time getting them.Hopefully they pop up at Five Below. That's like the perfect place for these.

Something that I've been wondering about TTC figures. They're blind bag mini figures obviously, but would they be keshi? Small rubbery collectible figures is basically the definition of keshi and these guys fit that description. I guess it ultimately doesn't matter, but it's nice to have a name compartment to stick them under. Seeing as some folks describe Grossery Gang and Shopkins as keshi, I suppose BotBots and TTC could fit under the label. Man, I really want things like glow in the dark and clear chase versions of these guys.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

VR Troopers Happy Meal


This Happy Meal was out when I worked at McDonald's in High School. Let's just say some goober with kool-aid dyed hair thought he was awesome wearing this stuff to school.

Did not go as planned.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Godzilla Store Invasion!


2019 Toho x Kinokuniya
GODZILLA STORE INVASION
A Godzilla Pop Up Shop

With the highly anticipated release of GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS on May 31st, several Kinokuniya stores across the nation have come together to bring the Godzilla Store to you to provide you the best in Godzilla merchandise! At Godzilla Store Pop Up Shops, you can find an abundance of unique visual books, a whopping 12 of the Godzilla “B SIDE LABEL” stickers, various Godzilla T-shirts including the coveted TOMODACHI shirt featuring Godzilla and Jet Jaguar, a Second-Form Shin Godzilla Cable Bite, several Godzilla straps, and so much more! These unique and one-of-a-kind items can be found nowhere else outside of Japan’s Godzilla Store in Tokyo. GODZILLA STORE INVASION will be available at these Kinokuniya locations starting from May 18th to June 30th.

New Jersey
New Jersey
Mitsuwa Marketplace
595 River Road
Edgewater, NJ 07020
Illinois
Chicago
Mitsuwa Marketplace
100 E. Algonquin Road
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Washington
Seattle
Uwajimaya Village
525 South Weller Street
Seattle, WA 98104
California
San Francisco
Japan Center
1281 Webster Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
Los Angeles
Little Tokyo
123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Texas
Austin
6929 Airport Blvd.
Suite 121
Austin, TX 78752
Carrollton
Carrollton Town Center
2540 Old Denton Road
Suite 114
Carrollton, TX 75006


*Thanks to Rogers & Cowan for providing Zone Base with this news*

Beast Hunters

Transformers Prime as a series ran from late 2010 through 2013 with a 3 season cartoon and direct to video movie. The toy line was released in late 2011 and ran through 2013 (it was delayed in part to the Dark of the Moon push). The series was a mixture of traditional TF and movie flavors that for the most part was well received. As with most Transformers series, the line show/toy line got a refreshing and that's what I'm here to talk about today. The third season (and movie) of the show and the second half of the toy lines got rebranded as Beast Hunters and with it the entire direction changed.
The most obvious addition to the line was the 'beasts', which in this case was a new faction of dragon based Predacons. These served as antagonists to both Autobots and Decepticons, ala The Evil Horde. However, on the show was limited to only one character (later 3 in the movie) and was sided with the Decepticons. The Autobots and Decepticons were in turn changed to 'hunters' who now had spiffy armor to hunt these dragons. New mold figures mostly (not all) had removable armor pieces, while older figures were remolded with the armor on their body. Neatly enough, the armor was a mixture of mid-evil and animal theming. This led to some really creative designs. Bumblebee for example had bird themed armor that worked out in a very spiky 'Mad Max' looking car, while Knock-Out had a crocodile theme that carried over from robot to car.

I had mentioned the tv show earlier, which is a good start to addressing the fictional setting. The show was a CGI cartoon entering it's third season. With the show well on it's way before the Beast Hunters theme was applied, there wasn't a lot of wiggle room to add the Predacons in easily. This lead to one character, Predaking, to be worked into the cast. Optimus too was given a new body, which some could argue that the resources could have went to another character. However as his design wasn't as beastly as the others, I wonder if that was in place prior to the new theme. Ultra Magnus also joined the cast, whose appearance was a modified version of the earlier Optimus Prime model. Joining the Deceptiocons was Shockwave, whom also was more traditional. In the direct to video movie which followed the season finale, two more Predacons joined the cast fortunately.
IDW launched a Beast Hunters comic series as well, which followed the adventures of the Dinobots on Cybertron after their Fall of Cybertron comic instead of the toys or cartoon. While I enjoyed the comic during it's brief run, it was disappointing that it wasn't a better adaption of the namesake. Honestly one has to wonder if somebody in that department just didn't want to tell that story. Fortunately Hasbro included a pack in prose fiction on the instructions of the toys called 'Tales of the Beast Hunters'. This story was more following of the toy line and I super appreciated it. It was a nice addition and allowed for the toys to have more life than just existing. In Japan another smaller series followed named 'Triple Combination: Transformers Go!'.

Go! was comprised of animated shorts packed in with toys of new mold Autobots and a new group of Predacons made from the prior dragon molds. Go! was a bit of a departure from Prime before it and was more like a Brave series. The animated shorts are available online and man I wished I'd had gotten some of the toys. Though I suppose I still can.


Transformer fan reaction was mixed as usual and as usual I loved it. Beast Hunters was the original working title for Beast Machines and that excited me instantly. While I liked Prime as is, this new direction appealed to me as it combined beast era with more super robot themes. The toys were really neat and I found myself liking the 'hunter' figures more so than the 'beast' figures oddly enough. The armor just made for a creative and cool toy that captured my imagination. While Wheeljack is my favorite of the group, that Bumblebee is a close second.
It's funny how something from the mainline not that long ago can go borderline obscure in time, but Beast Hunters just isn't that talked about anymore. This of course is the nature of things, especially in an ever changing long running franchise. I wonder if a time will come where Prime is looked back upon fondly and how Beast Hunters will be remembered. Time will tell I guess, but during it's time, Beast Hunters was a great time.



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Famicom Disk System


I've always been a mix of wishing the Disk System would have came out here and relieved that it didn't. I had a hard enough time explaining that it wouldn't play my Atari games as it was. 

It was a different time.

Micromaster Transports



I love small Transformers, you know this. Often I find myself wishing for more play sets to go with the current crop of Tiny TF on shelves. Titan Masters had the benefit of larger TF's having a base mode for them with their partners acting as vehicles (as well as the larger TF's). That was great. Now with Siege bringing me outright Mircomasters, I'd really love to have more to go with them.

The transports of the G1 Micromasters were wonderful and probably some of my favorite Micromasters related things. I've always liked when Optimus's trailer became a play set, with the transports, you had several 'trailers' with that functionality. It's a little silly to see a truck hop into it's trailer and fly around... but at this point we've already accepted so much that this seems completely normal.