Thursday, December 29, 2016

Transformers at Joelanta 2017

For the past few years, I've been helping operate the annual Transformers panel at Joelanta here in Atlanta. It's been a ton of fun and thanks to it's success, it's grown into it's own event within the convention. This year (2017) the Transformers panel has changed into it's own series of panels in it's own dedicated space. The planning for the event has been fun and the closer it gets, the more excited for it I get.

Joelanta is a wonderful convention in it's own right. It's this amazing nirvana of toys and fun that just can't be replicated. The annual parachute drop is probably my favorite event. Just imagine throwing action figures in parachutes off the balcony of a very tall hotel and you've nailed exactly what it is. Pure fun and a little crazy. I'm also looking forward to the trading party on Friday. Last year I traded a giant ziplock bag full of tiny monster toys for a Green Goblin. I kinda want to take him back and see what I can swap him for. Just see if I can keep it going and see what I get each year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Weekly Spotlight: Shattered Glass Blurr

The smarter I am, the faster you die.

Before he was recruited by Prime, Blurr was an eloquent and well-groomed lecturer. Though his demeanor hasn't changed, Blurr looks more like a battle hardened warrior rather than the soft spoken robot he is. Yet, Prime uses Blurr as an information hub first, and a soldier second. Constantly on the move, Blurr is well equipped to intercept messages from enemy couriers such as his heroic renegade cousin, Crasher. Though no longer on the lecture circuit, Blurr now finds himself trading information and unreleased protoform images with other archivists, desperate to get an upper hand on his opponents. He often seeks to add any vital information to his data banks in order to provide eloquent strategic infiltration plans to his Autobot comrades. In vehicle mode, he can travel faster than most Decepticons, speeding past them to the point where their microcircuits fuse together, leaving them helpless. Once disabled, Blurr meticulously disassembles their processors, slowly explaining the entire process in excruciating detail to each victim.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Weekly Spotlight: Lightspeed

Light years flash past as mind numbingly sub-atomic speeds.

Exceeding all known groundspeed limits, faster than light itself, he speeds ahead of the team on reconnaissance missions. Energon figure fitted with micro lens photo-record equipment supplies all the data Flame and Gripper need to formulate the battle plan. In robot form speed element is transferred to fighting ability. His lethal laser-jousting technique renders the laserblade invisible in motion. This impossibly rapid Motorvator is beyond the reach of the slow moving Overlord. Even the Jet can't track him; a blur on the radar, he's already on his way back!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ninjas have particular steel

That would make a great Trapper Keeper.

The new Power Rangers show, Ninja Steel, is starting soon and I'm pretty excited for it. I've always been pretty casual fan of Power Rangers, but this one has me stoked. I've always been a fan of Godzilla and other giant monsters in movies. It wasn't until much later in life I learned the word kaiju, but damn I knew I loved them. Fortunately, TBS showed one practically every Saturday afternoon hosted by Grandpa Munster.

As I got older, USA started showing Dynaman late Friday nights. They dubbed the show with hilarious comedy and I loved it. Then a few years later, Ultraman started showing on local channels in the afternoon. By the time I was in high school and Power Rangers started, I knew I liked this kind of show that was like Godzilla. So, I watched Power Rangers every afternoon after school and eventually VR Troopers and Super Human Samurai Cyber Squad joined my viewing. I watched Power Rangers regularly up until the end of Power Rangers Zeo.

That was pretty much when it became a show I watched when it was on and I was in front of a tv, versus make time out for every day. I've pretty much been like that with Power Rangers and similar shows since then, if it's on when I'm watching TV, I'm watching. So, I fairly admit to being a pretty casual fan. I know of it's Japanese origins and have watched some of different toku shows in subtitles, but I just like good old cheesy Power Rangers. Regularly older episodes of different Power Rangers shows and similar shows would be on my cables in demand menu, so I'd watch them.

This past summer I finally became a regular Netflix user. Before I'd off and on have a membership, but the wife and I decided to use the service more regularly and oh hey... pretty much all those shows were now available all the time. So, my usual Saturday night routine of watching tv while working on a 6 pack of beer, has became watch old episodes of Power Rangers while I work on a 6 pack of beer.

I've bought toys from these shows off and on. Not a lot, just a few. I just enjoy watching the shows. Ok, I've pretty much gotten all the Imaginext Power Rangers, but can you blame me? They're awesome.

So when the various adverts for this new series starting soon popped up online, I was pretty interested. I like the way the show looks and dude, pretty much all the monsters are contestants on a intergalactic game show.  So I've decided to watch this one completely. Just like I used to, but instead of after school, it would be off my dvr instead of watching reruns of The Middle before work. I'm kinda looking forward to it. I like ninjas.

And there is no way I can't watch this little guy

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rogue One Imperial Ground Crew

Dramatically directing traffic for the Empire.

I like a good basic action figure and Hasbro's Star Wars lines has had good basic action figures for awhile now. As a kid in the 80's, most of my action figures had the same 5 points of articulation. So it's my mental go to for an average action figure. I'm not going to lie, I do like the additional articulation of fancier figures, but I'm completely happy with the basic 5 points.

I say that to start off, because I love the basic Star Wars figures. They're good looking representations of the characters and pretty much give me what I want at a relatively low price. The Imperial Ground Crew figure from the new Rogue One collection is a really solid basic action figure. He has a really good sculpt and a good looking deco. It's a good looking toy.

Included with the figure are his/her light batons. The figure can either hold the batons in his/her hands or store them on his/her back as part of the uniforms utility clothing. These light batons are not a weapon, however, they are a utility tool. You see, this is a figure of a member of the ground crew (as the name implies). One thing Star Wars figures has always excelled at is making toys out of every single on screen character no matter how big or small their role.

A good reason not to take pictures of a toy in your kitchen is the lights bleeding out the Imperial sigil.

As a member of the Imperial Ground Crew, this toy would direct vehicles into or out of stationary positions. Maybe the vehicle needs to be worked on. Maybe needs to be prepped for action, or even seeing to the vehicle upon it's return. Maybe the pilot needs help getting in or out. This kind of position is a reality in the real world and is represented often in works of fiction. But good old Star Wars is one of the few toy lines that would take the time to make a figure of those nameless techs. Not just a figure, but a pretty good one.

The Imperial Ground Crew figure's included Combat Gear (an exciting word for extra accessories) is a really neat jet pack. The jet pack has wings that fold out to an impressive wing span. With this jet pack, the Ground Crew member can take to the air to maybe escape the base's imminent explosion. Or maybe the Ground Crew needs to lend a hand in a battle, as the jet pack is packing some on board blasters. It's a cool accessory and really adds to the figure. It's sculpting blends in with the figure and makes for a neater overall toy.

I'm patiently waiting to see Rogue One this weekend, a figure like this really feeds my excitement as a fan of Star Wars and of toys in general. It makes for a good appetizer for what looks like an awesome movie.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Weekly Spotlight: Energon Cruellock

By the time you see me, it will be too late.

Cruellock is the most powerful and cunning of the Terrorcons, combining incredible strength with lightning speed. He is a great tactician whose hunting skills are unmatched. In raptor mode, he can jump to great heights and attack his enemies with powerful energon claws and teeth. In robot mode, his energon-cutting blade can slice through anything, or anybody that stands in his way. It has been said by many that Cruellock's gaze is as deadly as his bite. Beware!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Programming Note

Once again, just apologizing for updates being slower than normal. The holidays are a busy time, so sometimes I find myself really stretched thin during the time. I've totally got a few posts in mind and in que, just time to work on them. I'm sure  readers understand, but I still feel like I'm slacking.

I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I plan to start writing occasional posts about other interests here as well. Obviously, I won't share them on the same places as I do for Transformers stuff for networking, but they will be on the feed. While Transformers is my most dominate hobby and fandom, I do have others and this is a good place to talk about them when I feel the need. It's fun for me, and I'm sure it's not a big deal. Just as this has been strictly Transformers content, I felt the need to explain why there might be an occasional Star Wars, or GI JOE, or something post. I mean, I want to get those new Voltron lions, or say that occasional Megazord. I'm sure it'd be fun for regular readers as well. Of course the main focus will still be Transformers, but you might see Dracula or something sometimes. I'm updating the blog description just in case.

I'm going to make a tag for these kind of posts, as I don't share them on any networks, but the occasional reader might be curious to track them.

Also, thanks to each and everyone of you for reading Zone Base!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Weekly Spotlight: Energon Landquake

Behind my sensitive exterior lives a hardened fist.

This incredibly powerful Autobot possesses a physical design similar to his brother, Landmine. Unlike Landmine, Landquake does not enjoy one-to-one scrapes with Decepticon enemies. He believes that fighting is a waste of time. Instead, he prefers to help the Omnicons mine energon. During many excavations, Landquake has used his powerful fists to crack open energon-rich rock deposits in extreme climates like the Arctic. When there is a call to battle, however, he will not hesitate to use his brute strength to thwart an enemy attack. Many Decepticon have learned that angering this gentle giant can prove to be a ground-shaking error.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Universal Studios Generations Optimus Prime

And back, and back, and back

Like I've said before and before, some of the Cyber series toys got US releases as Universal Studios exclusives for the Transformers ride store. Of course I went nuts in the store and bought a bunch of things. The newly made Universal Studios exclusives seemed like the perfect material to talk about here, while I'll cover everything else on Being Awesome.

You can't have Transformers without Optimus Prime. I mean, you can try, but he's going to show up. Out of the three Cyber series toys to get the exclusive treatment, Optimus is the most like a legion/legend toy. In fact, he's practically the legion class Optimus Prime toy you can find at your local Family Dollar store with new sculpting and in a larger size.

It's a good thing the smaller toy is one of the better legion scale figures. This newer, larger figure is great. He's pleasantly big in hand and feels very sturdy. Being such a homage to the classic G1 Optimus Prime makes this figure perfect for the Transformers ride store. He's a large simple toy that looks enough like the classic Optimus Prime even the most casual park guest fresh off the ride would recognize.

I wish Optimus has a trailer to connect to his truck mode, just to completely sell the classic Prime package all the way. It's a large truck toy that just screams 'PLAY WITH ME'. So, I drove him all over the living room so he'd stop screaming at me. I don't regret it as I had a great time doing so.

Optimus rounds out this batch of toys making for a perfect souvenir of a trip that I was sad to see end. I highly suggest if you ever get the chance to go to Universal Studios and ride the Transformers ride, don't hesitate.

It's a super fun ride that really comes the closest you'll ever come to being in a Transformers adventure. Let alone face to face with Optimus Prime. Not to mention the parks and the entire resort is wonderful. I hope to go again, hopefully sooner than later. It really was just perfect and probably my favorite vacation ever.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Universal Studios Generations Starscream

I scream, you scream, he supposedly screams.

As I've talked about before, some of the Cyber series figures were made as US exclusives in Universal Studios for the Transformers ride store. I've chosen two make each one the subject of a Zone Base post.

Starscream is one of the more surprising figures out of the three. He's a little larger, a little more complex, and even has guns. While he still is a simpler toy that owes it's design aesthetic to legion/legend class toys. He has a little more 'umph' to him.

Starscream's signature null ray guns can be removed and held in his hands, which is neat. I've always liked it when seekers held their guns for no particular reason. Starscream also has more color to him, owing to his traditional colors are more elaborate than Bumblebee's. He's a pleasant toy to hold and feels satisfying. I'm pretty happy with this version of the character.

His jet mode is traditional Starscream all the way, but has a little Robotech flavor in its appearance. It almost makes me hope for a Jetfire redeco of the toy. Starscream works really well in this class of toy and also works well for a park guest who just got off the ride. It's classic G1, simple to transform, and pretty much falls into that 'memento of the trip' just rightness to work.