Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Animated is 12 years old... wow

The other day (I'm a little late) marked the 12 year anniversary of Transformers Animated's debut. It's kind of hard to believe it's been 12 years... but easy to believe it's been 12 years of the movies which overshadowed Animated during it's run. It was a really great show that you can still watch today on DVD or various streaming services (I use Tubi). The intro is always a treat as the Mighty Orbots homages are in full view. Though, even with that, I do think the Japanese intro is a lot better. It's just so damn epic and impossible to deny that theme song.

Ringing in 2020 with Double Dragon part two

Am I the only one to find it slightly weird that it's almost 2020? I knew I lived in the future before... but this is a little crazy. As normal, I expect to see people asking where their flying cars are totally ignoring just how much they do with their phones. Speaking of phones. For those of you reading this on the mobile site, just like earlier you won't notice a difference. But for those using the desktop version of the site, under the break is the rest of the bios from the NES version of the Double Dragon instruction manual!

Ringing in 2020 with Double Dragon part one

It's New Years Eve! You've probably guessed just like Christmas last week that the holidays have disrupted things and you're totally right! Just like I'm you doing a mix of enjoying the holiday breaks and being completely confused by my odd work schedule during this time (I have no clue what day it is). But thanks to scheduled posts I can plan out in advance having SOMETHING on the site during this weird time.

During the 8-bit and 16-bit gaming eras I loved pouring through the games instruction manual. There was nothing worse when a game had a half assed manual included, because so many had great ones. More than just the basic instructions to play the game, the better ones would have all sorts of world building fiction included. The games back story, info on various items and power ups, and often little blurbs about the characters. I loved these and would read them over many over and over. Under the break (for non-mobile users) is a few from a old school favorite of mine, Double Dragon! Screen capped directly from the NES versions manual itself.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Great Value BotCon 2020 begins with an Astrotrain!

Will I ever get tired of my lame Great Value BotCon joke? Well, I can't predict the future, but right now I foresee a big nope. 2019 is coming to a close and folks have already found the 2020 Walmart reissue Astrotrain! I immediately checked the Walmart ap and sadly it's not in stock at the stores local to me. The ap is pretty useful for these types of things, but sometimes it'll drive you crazy. The ap will show it in stock, but it won't be on the shelf. Meaning it's still in the back. Or in 2018, it showed me the store nearest my work had Devastator in stock and no Starscream. Upon arriving... it was the opposite. Guess somebody goofed.

Thanks to the fan votes from this time last year, we know that Astrotrain and Perceptor will be the 2020 toys with no mention of Minibots. Seeing as the 2019 Minibots were something of a surprise, I'm hoping for a repeat of that. You had Optimus show up in January, Gears and Warpath shortly after. Soundwave in summer with cassettes showing a little later. The 2018 ones came out late summer with the Minibots in December. I'm wondering if 2020 will follow 2019 closer to release pattern. Hopefully that means smaller bots being a surprise. I'd be game for more Minibots or cassettes. Maybe something really neat like Throttlebots or something. Sure, the pattern is following previously reissued molds, but hey... we really only know what they tell us or get's leaked out. So, maybe something right out of the left field could happen. I'd really like that.

I'm glad Astrotrain's in his classic grey and purple deco. I'm sure they'll be slight differences from the original toy and this version (I like that honestly). In the mid 2000's when they released Astrotrain it was in his Japanese white deco. At the time that was really cool. White Astrotrain was like Stepper/Ricochet or Artfire, a cool oddity that was pretty hard to get at the time. Stepper got reissued making him easier to get. Same with Soundblaster. Suddenly these harder to get guys were a little easier to get and a little more common. While I have an old purple and grey toy, getting a nice new one is something I'm looking forward too. I've always really liked Astrotrain, so it's a pretty big treat for me.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Invasion of Faces

I talked about this briefly Thursday, but I'm so excited for it, I felt like talking about it more. This set was found at Target by popular toy reviewer Peaugh (the pics in this post are from him) and looked to be put out earlier than intended. It's not entirely known (but speculated) if this is exclusive to Target, but it scans at 29.99 on their checker, which is a pretty good price. A little earlier this year, maybe a month or two ago, first looks at the new Cyberverse packaging with additional naming on the packaging got out and this looks to follow suit. It looks nice.

I don't know if this set references an episode of the cartoon, or is just a fun thing on it's own. I don't care. I dig it. Something like a neat box set with a theme is a thing I really appreciate and it doesn't have to be confined to a big expensive thing either. Something like this is the kind of thing I like.

It's nice to have a Quintesson in the set. Some folks have pointed out his black body instead of gray, which makes me wonder if there will be multiple releases of the toy in various colors. Perhaps this is a individual Quintesson and lhey've just used one trademarked name to represent many. I'm going to call him Earl. Earl seemingly has made some neat mind control helmets that fit over reuses of the Spark Armor versions of Shockwave and Prowl. I like the idea of the Autobots and Decepticons having a mutual enemy in The Quintessons. That kind of thing is fun in a fictional setting. Maybe the cartoon will feature Decepticon focused episodes of them fighting Earl and his gang. That kind of thing is neat.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Godzilla vs SpaceGodzilla Special Announcement

I got quite a bunch of super cool Godzilla toys for Christmas, including a sweet Space Godzilla vinyl that's got me in the mood to watch his movie! I'll try to do that over New Years Day. Somehow I always take in some kaiju on NEW Years Eve/Day and I think the holiday is better for it.

Let's all get our Multiple General Node Combine System's on

Boy, it's hard to get my mind back on track after the Christmas break. My work schedule is all wonky for a while (still got New Years next week throwing things off) and my sleep schedule is complete off track. I'm normally a little confused about what day it might be, but right now I'm just lost.

One cool thing about the days after Christmas is buying neat stuff with gift cards you might have received. I've spent such funds on things like another year of Nintendo Switch Online, Siege Astrotrain, something for the future of the site (nope, not telling yet), a few others things... but relating to this post some way cool Mugenbine sets.

Mugenbine, for those not in the know, is a series of Machine Robo (Gobots) toys chock full of combination. I'm pretty excited to get them and hope they get here sooner than later (free shipping from Japan means around a month). In my excitement I thought I'd look up some commercials and found this compilation. It's one of those things that make you wonder, if Gobots would have continued on here...

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Cyberverse Quintessons!

Man, super looking forward to getting this set! Apparently it'll be 29.99, which considering I normally buy Cyberverse toys for around $10 at Walmart, that's a fair price for the set. Dude, I hope whenever the Quintessons show up on the show it's great. The Sharkticon episode sure was fun!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas from Zone Base!

Merry Christmas! I hope all my readers are enjoying the holiday and getting lots of neat presents under the tree!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Eve on Seasame Street

It's Christmas Eve! As you all could probably guess, I'll be taking a little break for the holiday. Hope everyone has a great one as I'll see you all in a few days.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Earlier today (it's Sunday as I'm writing this) I got in my viewing of the new Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker. I've been looking forward to this all year and had a great time with the movie. I've loved Star Wars my entire life and have really appreciated having a new movie every year for the past 5 years. Though after this movie, it's going to be a few years before the next. I guess a break is in order (grumble grumble). I'm no movie critic or reviewer, but I thought I'd discuss it a little. Just in case I get spoilery, it'll be under the break. Mobile readers... uh, it might get spoilery below.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Kabuto Mushi Wave 35 Now Availible!

My main man The Godbeast has one more wave for 2019, just in time for Christmas! Scarab Force, Mantid Force, and Oozarian sets available now! 

A Six Pack of Whoop Ass for Christmas

Nothing says Christmas like throwing a burly man through a table. It's not uncommon for wrestling promotions to put on a Christmas show, I mean... it's a good time to take advantage of most folks retiring for the night in front of the TV. And bam, there's a redneck in a Santa outfit kicking somebody in the junk in front of an audience. I don't think you even have to like wrestling to appreciate the artistry of Christmas time wrasslin.

Pouring one out for Titan Masters

I'm loving Siege and were it's going with Earthrise, don't get me wrong. I love the Micromaster interaction and all the great things going on. Just man, I really miss Titans Return. I just loved them damn Titanmasters so freaking much.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Beast Mode Saga

It's been a while since I've talked Battle Beasts, so why not look at this cool Beast Saga promo video from 2012... which is a lot longer ago than I normally realize! I really wish the little critter offshoot of Transformers would make another resurgence. Beast Saga was so dang neat, I'm really surprised it didn't last much longer. Though, there is plenty of unofficial Battle Beasts out there, but man wouldn't it be great to see these guys just hanging off the pegs at Target? Wait... work with me... Beast Sega. If anyone can take a good concept and make it great it's Sega. Guys... whoa. Beast Sega Mini...

Did the USA Kids Club ever give that kid a Turbografx-16?

The good ol' USA Kids Club, part of the USA Cartoon Express, a block of cartoons that came on every afternoon (and even weekends) in the channels better days. Show your allegiance and touch your hand to the screen. The USA Kid's Club was a pretty well beloved institution at the time that usually had some sort of great promotion going on. Here in 1989, they had a kinda high concept contest.

You write Santa by way of the Kids Club and tell him what you want for Christmas, anything you want as long as it's less than five hundred dollars. Then if they pull your letter, that day they'll not only read it on air, but also say the secret password for your letter. Whomever answers the phone in your household MUST answer the phone for the rest of the day with said secret word in order for you to win. Sounds easy right? Yeah, right. First off, they literally didn't even have to call. Like, they could have outright and probably did lie.

Then you add in Grandma not even remembering your name blowing the whole ordeal by not only answering the phone with the secret word, but then yelling at the USA Kid's Club operator for whatever she thinks they're saying. What's the cut off age for thinking every phone call is some sort of criminal activity? Because every single Grandma hits that wall of paranoia. Grandpa? Grandpa don't care. He can't hear the phone ring. If he does, somehow he always manages to have to take his pill then and there. Remember kids, you're going to be a nightmare to deal with when your old. I look forward to thinking the governments out to get me by way of cable boxes.

I remember sending in a letter. I'm sure the day they read it was the one day my parents absolutely had something we had to do after school. I do wonder if that kid got his Turbografx-16. The system was released here in America at that time and I don't think I could imagine anything more amazing than Santa getting you one by way of crazy cable contest.

Star Wars Action Fleet

The new Star Wars movie coming out this weekend (tickets for Sunday morning!) and like many of you I'm super excited. Well, aside from that one asshole who just mmmaaagggiiicccaaalllyyy has a problem with anything popular. I'm a life long Star Wars fan and just outright love the series. With The Mandalorian charming the crap out of everyone each week, Star Wars is on a pretty high note right now.

I'm hoping to enjoy the new movie and I'm pretty sure I will. That's not ignoring any faults the movie may or may not have, that's just me usually liking a Star Wars movie. I'm not particularly concerned on what some critic says or anything. Nobody else gets to enjoy it for me and that's my advice to any of you who are bound to see nerds being wet blankets online. Just enjoy yourself and don't worry what some douche bag says.

Back to loving Star Wars, one of my favorite toy lines from the history of the series would be the Micro Machines toys. Micro Machines are great on their own, but you pair Star Wars with the concept and it's just gold. I was overjoyed when they brought back the Micro Machines with the new SW movies in awesome blind bags as well as in standard packaging. Though, for a while there in the 90's, they made them even better.

Action Fleet was a sub series of Micro Machines of larger toys. Not huge or anything, just larger. Essentially a miniature toy line. Tiny little figures of the characters with a tiny bit of articulation (as opposed to the tiny figurines of MM SW) with play sets and vehicles they could pilot and interact with. I admittedly like small toys as is, but you can't deny how awesome it is to have a small well featured X-Wing that had removable pilots and droids. I doubt it's hard to express just how awesome something like a fully functional Jaba's Palace that could easily be stored away in a shoe box.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Formation Z attract mode

The Snowman is a drunk

Holy crap, there's ssssooooo many things going on here. First, the Snowman wants the kids (kids?!?!) beer and takes him flying through he air to steal it. The kid (kid ?!?!?!) taunts the Snowman with his beer, resulting in the Snowman just taking it and dropping him at whatever height they're at. Yes, the Snowman attempted murdering a child (child?!?!?!?!) for a can of beer. Yes, I know it's supposed to be a parody... but it's still a beer commercial featuring a beer drinking child. And attempted murder of said child. Still though, it IS better than the real Snowman.

Kabaya mofo

Me and Kabaya... yeah we're friends. Probably not to anyone who's been reading the sites surprise. To embellish on that fact, there's been times at H-Mart where I've bought Kabaya items I have no interest in just for the logo. Thomas The Tank Engine snacks by Kabaya... sure. But with the various TF items popping up at Dollar Tree lately combined with the various discount items already available. Man, it's not hard to hope for more items like what Kabaya creates.

Honestly, something like small blind bag figurines would be most welcome. I was at Target this past weekend looking through their pretty great selection of blind packed items. Man, some Kabaya Transformers would have been welcomed in that section. They could have an app and each figure comes with a QR code so you could scan your figure into the app. Maybe it could battle others, or just act as an album of your collection. Everyone loves apps, I can't remember the last time I ordered pizza without one.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Santa's too lame for buffalo wings

There was a time when chicken wings were deemed extreme. Well, getting pizza and wings on a Friday or Saturday night will always be rad... but I doubt the act of ordering food delivery is on the same level as doing the Dew and jumping a pig ole pile of mud on a motorcycle. Though, I'd rather order pizza. Because I'm extreme.

Know who isn't extreme as ordering buffalo wings from Domino's? Freaking Santa and his lame ass all bringing presents. Screw you Santa and your kindly gesture! Somebody extreme just ordered some wet spicy chicken dinner. The only gift you'll be needing to bring is some toilet paper. Because this Christmas is about to get painful. Extremely.

Silius and the Journey there

Last week when Nintendo updated it's NES and SNES channels (no longer a monthly thing sadly) with new content, included was the excellent Journey to Silius by Sunsoft. Though, if you'll note in the promo video above from Sunsoft... they're not talking about Journey to Silius... they're talking Terminator. Well, as any Google search for Journey to Silius will tell you (before anything else), The Terminator game that Sunsoft was making BECAME Journey to Silius as the licensing deal fell through during the games development. A little work here and there and a new game was made instead.

Early Looks at the Terminator game in development
It's weird how these projects work out. A movie/game/whatever will start out intended as one thing and become something else by the time it's done. Back then, you probably wouldn't have known any better unless you'd seen something in a game magazine. At most maybe got some Terminator vibes when playing the game. Though after you learn, it's pretty obvious.

It's funny in hindsight. I've always loved games by Sunsoft. I love the Terminator, well the first two movies anyway. At the time I would have been absolutely insane for this. I liked the game at the time regardless, but man in those days leading up to Terminator 2's release when I don't think I even knew what Subway was other than that place by Kroger.

Needless to say, suddenly I was hooked on subs and the reusable cups that were available. You can bet your assets I would have probably had a few weekends of this game and Subway leading up to the movies release. Sure, there was Terminator games for the NES available, but not until after T2 came out and well...

That is bad ass
The Famicom version is called Rough World, which isn't the best name they could have came up with (it's a little rough hur hur). I don't think it was ever a huge hit. No follow ups that I know of, the most Wikipedia has is a mention of it being released on a compilation. Well, they mention another non-related game was also on the compilation in the grand tradition of wiki writers enjoying the sound of their own voice. It's a great game. Platforming, shooting lasers at robots, good music. Solid Sunsoft fare. Honestly it's probably due to releasing towards the end of the NES's lifespan more than anything.

Not as great
The game came out in 1990 and people were slowly moving towards 16 bit machines. Though really, if Sunsoft would have paid off game magazines, it would have been made a bigger deal (they were always based on advertising first). Or maybe if a spruced up port would have been on the Genesis or something. I dunno. If you've got the Switch online service, spend some time with the game. It's a good game that's got a weird history. But a good game still.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Fatty Clause

Nezha Transformers are pretty neat

A video of somebody playing with a Nezha Power Up Pack figure popped up on Facebook Friday (I held this for today) and man does it look neat. While the Nezha Transformers looks to be mostly Cyberverse toys and character models with new characters and toys, the new Power Up pack figures (assuming they'll be more) have a bit more to them. Seemingly decently articulated, and storing the figurine of the toys driver type character (I'm assuming Nezha pilots his robot) in the chest, it's a pretty neat looking toy.

I mentioned a million times before about the more simple toys like Cyberverse figures being extremely similar to older Transformers toys. Nehza really makes me think of a fancier G2 toy, like Laser Optimus Prime. Before that one guy snorts and guffaws before asking for a donation, I don't mean that super literally. I meant as in about the same complexity and a similar enough build.

Warrior Class Hot Rod feels like a lost Brave toy to me, some Energon Igniters have very similar engineering and builds to G2 Aquaspeeders. Honestly the entire Power series felt like they could easily been adapted from Aquaspeeder or Rotor Force molds with the detachable pull back gimmick. Nezha makes me think early 90's super robot toy, and looks to have the same complexity of Laser Prime. The driver figure isn't anything new, but makes me think of Robotman/Biotron a little in execution. Though the new characters and look is super fresh and original and that's so hard not to like.

Friday, December 13, 2019


Production of completely new animation "SSSS.DYNAZENON" has been decided! Original: Gridman Director: Satoru Amemiya Screenplay: Junichi Hasegawa Character design: Masaru Sakamoto Music: Shiro Konosu Animation Production: TRIGGER dynazenon.net#SSSS_DYNAZENON
Looks like the follow up to last years AWESOME SSSS Gridman is on it's way and looks great!

Back on the chain gang

I love Pretenders. Seriously, there's just an extra level of fun by adding those goofy shells. Sometimes it's pretty weird how some concepts are handled in other countries. Takara's use of Pretenders was pretty dammed superior to Hasbro's. Takara didn't take a bunch of time to explain the concept like Hasbro, they gave it a few words and just ran wild with it. Though it doesn't hurt that the gimmick was pretty similar to other henshin heroes type shows and lines. Masterforce was practically an animated Super Sentai series, really.

Happy Friday the 13th part Christmas

Friday the 13th is great, it's like having a little mini Halloween throughout the year! But what if there's one in December? I guess Christmas themed horror movie marathon? When looking up various fast food Christmas commercials, I found this old Burger King spot with the restaurant giving out dolls of the King! While watching it, I thought the 'employee' sure looked familiar. Which isn't surprising as a lot of actors get their start in commercials. Some continually work in them for their entire careers. I'm sure it's a good paycheck in between spots on tv shows and such. But where do I remember that face...

It might not be... but sure does look like her huh? I could be wrong and I don't mind admitting I am, but man that's pretty big similarity. I seriously wouldn't doubt a old slasher movie kid did a few commercials. Btw, you could totally get a Burger King doll during Christmas in 1977. Pretty rad.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Street Fighter 2010

Man, the future was a decade ago.

Christmas with Crash Bandicoot and night terrors

Crash Bandicoot is a hard game that you are going to die many times. Though also, Crash Bandicoot is a lovable character who's antics are just a pure deligh...What the hell is even going on in this commercial? You get a kid dreaming of the new Crash Bandicoot game for Christmas, only to wake up next to Crash who... apparently lives with the family... and wakes up to randomly belly flop on the kid. Merry Christmasly, the kid gets said game for Christmas and Crash gets a CD he's been wanting and later gets it autographed at the park...

What the hell commercial, what the hell...

I was kinda happy for Crash though.

Nezha:Transformers trailer online!

Real talk, I'm a little under the weather. I don't feel good and sometimes when I'm this way I need a little pick me up. Seeing the first footage from the Nezha:Transformers cartoon did just that. After what feels like an eternity, finally there's something! A little while back I wondered if the show would be a repacking of Cyberverse stuff as it's pretty much straight up Transformers and probably a easy repackage for foreign markets. Looks like it was for the most part.

I don't make cartoons, but I'm sure reusing the cgi models in this new cartoon was a budgetary move. Probably relieves a bunch of the workload when most of the cast is already sitting as a cad file. Fortunately they're good looking models and makes for a good looking robot show. I don't know how well the show will turn out, but I really want to watch it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

There must have been some dark magic in that old cursed hat they found

I haven't seen this commercial on any cursed video list... but I'm going to go ahead and classify it as such. You're going to see that Snowman out the corner of your eyes forever now. I've never been to a Norwest Bank, and they've been long merged with Wells Fargo... who are we kidding. This commercial ruined them. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a dancing demon. Great job bank.

I have the Championship!!

One of the toy lines for 2020 that I'm super excited for is Masters of the WWE Universe. Mattel is doing a lot with He-Man in 2020 with the Origins toy line due in fall as well as other fun stuff like more Mega Construx toys (love) and the upcoming Netflix series. Mattel also makes the WWE action figures that are pretty popular among wrestling figure collectors.

Somebody had the idea to mash He-Man and WWE together in a fun toy line exclusive to Walmart. That somebody is a genius. I hardly watch WWE anymore, they lost me somewhere awhile back. I keep casually informed as to whats going on, but I'm more into other wrestling companies. That however doesn't keep me from loving this. Fortunately a good deal of the figures are older wrestling stars that I'd be more likely to buy like Sting or The Ultimate Warrior.

The toys seem to be using Origins bodies and weapons, so they'll match right along with those figures. It's kind of funny. Back in the day, companies like Remco would use their MOTU 'inspired' toy molds to make wrestling figures. Battle Tribes homages this with their figures. Now Mattel is even in on the act.

It's silly, but it's fun. The Grayskull Mania set is proof of that. Five point five customizers have been using wrestling figures for year, because duh. I'm really looking forward to where they go with these. Specially after some of the Savage World/Primal Age customs I've seen. It's just neat, you know?

Monday, December 9, 2019

This Christmas, buy your kid a laser

When Toys "R" Us went out of business, everyone was sad for Geoffrey. When the first one opened back up recently, folks were happy for Geoffrey. Nobody however, gave a crap about the TRU Robot. Here in this 1986 he shows dear old Dad who was about to steal his kids allowance to buy meth some way cool Laser Tag guns by Worlds of Wonder! Wonder whatever happened to that robot? Oh well, hey parents, shop at Toys "R" Us for your Christmas presents! It costs 50% more than Walmart!

Afterlife is coming!

Ghostbusters Afterlife is the official name for the upcoming new movie after months of rumors. Afterlife is skipping over the reboot and serving as GB3 and that makes me happy. Something like a new group of possible family members carrying on the team makes for a better setting. The trailer is hitting Monday/today (I scheduled this posted Friday) and I'll be sure to post it here and talk it on Transform Squadron.  Actually holding off on recording it until I see the trailer.

You know, I make a point of making summer the prelude to the Halloween season here on the site. From random horror stuff during the summer months, to last year outright pointing it out that I was indeed making it a thing. For 2020 it's getting it's own site logo. Summer is a spooky season and having a new Ghostbusters movie during it just adds to that.

IT'S HERE!!!!!!!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Merry Christmas, you look like crap

One thing I've always noticed about Christmas is the abundance of hygiene products given as gifts. I mean, sure, it's a good idea. Just like the packs of underwear and socks your Grandma will give you (and kinda creepy), it's something you'll use and need. Or some cologne/perfume from your spouse, because they'd prefer you to smell good and a good occasion for a bottle of Juicy. Not to mention, it can be pricey, so it's a solid gift idea... from a loved one. In the office secret Santa... not so much. All rational thought aside, it's a little insulting isn't it? A stroll down the Christmas areas of your local stores reveals a myriad of gift sets of various lotions, deodorants, razors, you name it. Thanks Aunt Edna... guess I stink.

Powered Masters of Prime

It's been a while since I've talked PMOP. My absolute favorite Transformer toy of all the times. Probably because, well, at this point there's only so much I can say about him other than the occasional 'man I love this thing' post. TFRaw.com posted earlier on their Twitter a great look at early working designs for PMOP. It's a really cool concept drawing that I would like to see a toy of eventually. Basically the cab and trailer modes hearkened back to Ultra Magnus's design, which in turn transferred over to the super mode for Optimus.

This was a really nice throwback to Diaclone in which the Ultra Magnus/Powered Convoy toy was a upgrade to the Optimus Prime/Battle Convoy toy. Part of me wonders how much Takara was planning on eventually reusing the molds later on. Several Transformers molds got used in later assortments of Microman as well as their use in Brave, which in turn the first few years of Transformers toy molds came mostly from Diaclone and Microman. So I wonder if Takara designers had potential future uses of the mold in mind at the development stage. Mind you, at this point Transformers had only been going on for a few years, and was starting to wane in popularity. What's to say a designer wasn't considering/expecting for the line to revert back to Diaclone at some point?

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Switch online NES and SNES updates!

The Snowman is a monster

We're walking in the air
I'm going to fucking die
The people will find my corpse with a frozen carrot up my bum
I'm holding very tight 
He's going to do horrible things to me
I should not be flying in the air
Why are we flying
The villagers are closing their blinds
I need an adult
The forests and the streams
Are were my body shall be found
Taken by surprise
Nobody down below believes their eyes
I'm dangling in the air
I've never been so terrified
We're drifting over my icy grave

Cheap Super Heroes

I've mentioned before my love for capsule toy machines. Probably one of the reasons I love blind bag toys so much and wish I had access to the gashapon haven that exists in Asian countries. As a kid and even now I can't pass one by without checking out what they have inside. Sometimes it's just those crappy rings (pass) and sometimes it's gold (dammit, I need quarters!). Before I go any further, this is one of those posts where all the images came from screen shooting Google image search results from shady auction sites. Bootleg Voltron figures sold in gumball machines don't exactly always pop up on Amazon, gnaw meen brah?

I didn't know what a keshi or a bootleg was when I was 8. But I did know these neat little rubber monsters and super heroes I'd get from the machines at the grocery store looked like Godzilla and guys from video games. Later in life when learning more about such things... turns out they were from Godzilla type productions and video games originally. Or hey, when my childhood arcade got prize redemption counters. That little bucket of colorful dudes have tiny Masters of the Universe mixed in with the dinosaurs. Luckily those always were the cheapest options, so a few dollars worth of skeeball really paid off. Or man, these little robot model kits in the Kroger machines look like the guys from Robotech. Some reason that one Kroger had those model kits on lock down.

One of the more odd outlets for these toys was party supplies. Thanks to curiosity getting the best of me on a faithful trip to the store, I noticed the party supply section had more than just balloons and birthday candles. Baggies of cheap toys intended for goodie bags usually contain those crappy race cars and planes with the wheels that fall off. Or those stupid little games where you have to make the ball bearings fit into the clowns eyes by rolling them around. But sometimes... dude are those Madballs?

Next thing I knew I had a bag full of tiny rubber Madball rip offs for a dollar. This is still a common occurrence. Next time your around a party supply section or store (the more ratchet the store, the better) check those out. Usually it's just crappy kazoos, but on occasion you'll find M.U.S.C.L.E rip offs or whatever. One time I saw some Street Fighter figures. They were from a gashapon series originally, bootlegged in weird plastic that kinda smelled like fish. That's the gambit you run with el cheapo bootleg toys. They're usually pretty sketchy and might be made in a facility next to bathtub meth. So uh... be careful mang.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Hardee's Christmas Carol

Lot's of things come to mind when you say Hardee's. Burgers, breakfast, and that weird Carl Jr.'s co-branding. For me in particular, I often remember the various promotions the restaurant has had. California Raisins, Gremlins read along books, Pound Puppies, and of course the Disney Christmas toys. To go along with the tv debut of Mickey's Christmas Carol, Disney and Hardee's came together and made dolls of the various characters from the special.

Happy, adorable dolls of the characters minus all the sad and spooky shit contained within the actual show. Hey kids, here's a doll of Jacob Marley's ghost! Jacob's here to haunt Scrooge, who's a miserable bastard. Such a miserable bastard that a bunch of other ghosts come to show him just how miserable of a bastard he is. Then there's Bob and Emily Cratchet who's kid is about to die, which Scrooge will learn via ghost showing him he's a miserable bastard. Or you can have Fred. Fuck Fred.

All jokes aside about the ghost story the special is based on, it was a pretty great promotion. Disney and Christmas just go together. Who wouldn't love a stuffed Mickey Mouse? And what a really good adaption of a morality lesson learned (don't be a dick) at Christmas time. Just the right thing to stuff them stockings with. Not to mention, the place has pretty good burgers.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Voting for the 2019 Transformers Hall of Fame is now Open!

  • Favorite fictional character from the 1984 season of The Transformers animated television series.
  • 2019 Transformers War for Cybertron Siege toy of the year.

  • See the official Facebook announcement with link to vote here!
  • Voting begins Tuesday, December 3 at 10am EST (TODAY!) and closes on Friday, December 7 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Winners of both categories will be announced on the Transformers Facebook page later this month.

War of the Gargantuas

Happy Hallow... Christmas from Minolta

Let's be 100% honest here. Minolta straight up recycled their Halloween commercial and tried to pass it off as a Christmas commercial. Know what? Good for them! Sure, by November 1st it's time to let the jack o' lanterns rest a little... but by January I'm missing seeing them at Walmart. So getting a little ooky spooky during Frosty and Rudolf's time is pretty damned welcome.

Though, what in the hell are these kids up to anyway? They just sneak up to their neighborhoods scary house and plan to get a picture of the much rumored spooky guy who owns it. For good measure, the blonde kid has a bowl (I almost said bowel because it looks like shit) cut and the scrappy kid sister is wearing her hat incorrectly.

The Minolta Kids Club is trying to take a picture of Mr Spooky Ass House and turns out he's a UMPIRE, not a VAMPIRE. HOLY SHIT THAT'S FUCKING WACKY, MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY, BUY A DAMN CAMERA. For good measure, whomever transferred the commercial from their VHS taped episode of Northern Exposure left on the following O'Douls commercial in the clip. After that adventure, somebody needs a beer. Unfortunately it's O'Douls. Made for sitcom episodes where the keg gets swapped out and everybody thinks their drunk.

Spinjas don't get dizzy

This past weekend when I was at Kroger looking through the blind bag toys, I saw Beyblade packs and was admittedly tempted to grab a few. It's not the first time either, I've often thought they looked neat. My main draw to them though if thanks to Spinjas, a very long forgotten and short lived toy line/game from Parker Brothers. From what I've gathered the line has had a few reboots both officially and non officially throughout the years in various countries. Which isn't surprising. What's not to love about making little figures duke it out? Instead of wwwaaaaayyyyy too many rules and instructions that just don't make any sense (looking at you every other miniature game ever made). Just pop the toys in a little gizmo and let them fight as tops, who gets knocked out of the ring looses.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Thoughts on Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers series 1

During the long holiday weekend (and much needed break), I was fortunate enough to finally find the Cyberverse Tiny Turbo Changers. I've been a big fan of the Tiny Turbo Changers and so far have gotten all of them aside from that last movie series that I could never locate (dammit). For those not in the know, Tiny Turbo Changers are a series of blind bagged Transformers figures. They are small and simple figures that transform in a few steps.

Imagine if a Micromaster was a bit more chunky in proportions and was more of a rubbery keshi figure and you've got the picture. The figures are generally 'cute' as in such a simple form that's pretty much the best bet (not to mention keshi are generally a little cute/silly). The Cyberverse series being the first non-movie based set follow in with something I've wanted for years- blind bagged traditional Transformers. Cyberverse is pretty much traditional Transformers and it's visual look really works into the whole 'cute' thing.

I went through the entire series and posted a bunch of pictures of them on my Instagram, so you can look at them all there and please like and follow while you're at it. I post a lot of the toys I talk about here as well as my various adventures. It's really the companion to this blog, so if you like what I do... you'd probably like what I do there also. Not to mention I don't e-beg, so that's gotta be refreshing.

Below are the figures in the assortment.

Back to the figures, this was really a mixed bag. As you can see, you've got the usual cast of characters to be expected in a Transformers series initial offerings. Though there is some surprises like Blackarachnia and Drift. The colors are pretty basic, but some have more than others. That's part of the game with this type of figure. I've seen some folks paint up their keshi, if you're inclined to do that, they make a pretty good blank canvas.

Earlier I made the comparison with Micromasters, Bumblebee and Drift are really good examples of that. I could see them being easily confused by somebody out of the loop on these. I was really impressed with Grimlock, Hot Rod, and Prowl. The sculpting was really great on these and I found myself favoring them the most. Starscream, Jetfire, Shockwave, and Blackarachnia follow those three closely. They're sculpted really nicely and are pretty great in both modes. Megatron is packing some weaponry that the others lack. His trademark fusion cannon is present as well as his energy mace.

Optimus is pretty much traditional Optimus just without the face plate. The obvious Ultra Magnus repaint will probably look pretty good. Soundwave is probably the weakest of the bunch. He fits into that 'could be a Micromaster' category and looks pretty good. Just I found myself constantly worrying that I was going to break him. His slightly more involved transformation involves rotation and placement of his head combined with a somewhat tight fit of body parts in conversion is just close enough for calamity. I can easily see a more ham fisted person just ripping him apart accidentally. I was pretty gentle with him and probably could have done the same. Be careful with your Soundwave.

Overall I had a great time opening each bag and discovering the fun each figure had to offer. I'm really looking forward to series 2 more now than I was before (assuming I can find them). This is something I've wanted for some time now and having them in hand is awesome. I hope future series have deeper cuts in character selection. That's usually the case with this sort of thing and after 35+ years I honestly have no problems with the initial characters in the series. Though I... hold on... Bop by Dan Seals is playing... I'm back. Though it would be really great to see a bigger variety of characters offered in this series. It's a perfect delivery system for some some of the more oddball characters from the history of Transformers and it sure would be fun to get them in Tiny Turbo Changer form.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

It's Christmas on Planet Zone!

It's Christmas time! Time for Christmas trees, festive decorations, and that same Hershey's Kiss commercial you've seen your entire life but they better damn well play that sum bitch again . It's about to get super seasonal around the old base for the next month. And why not? Christmas is freaking awesome. So strap on your matching pair of family pajamas Mom bought for everyone to wear together and open up that piggy bank full of Tootsie Rolls in your stocking. Santa is coming to town. Zone Base style.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Masterforce English dub bumbers

While we're all enjoying the holiday break, why not take a few moments to enjoy the bumper segments for the Star TV/Omni/RTM1 version of Masterforce. That guy totally gets hoarse halfway through.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Even Godzilla loves a turkey dinner

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone out there is having a great holiday and enjoying a great dinner! I'm sure you all understand me taking a little break from regular posting for a few days as I'm enjoying the holiday break and getting some much needed rest. But don't you worry none, in just a few days the lights will go up and we can all celebrate Christmas for the next month together!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Dark of The Capsule Machine

Epoch makes some really great capsule/gashapon toys. Their Dareore Dark Side line is particularly neat to me. A line of skeleton robot guys with various series of accessory toys. The machine skull series seen above is really drawn my interest. In the vein of more recent 'head' capsule toys, the head itself is the capsule dispensed from the machine and the various parts are inside the shrink wrapped head. Once assembled, you get one of six (two mystery versions) types of piloted units. I was first made aware of these cool walkers in Microman groups as they're a good fit for your micros. Though the Dareore figures they're intended for are a perfect match.

Cool articulated little robotic skeletons. Man, I dig that chest armor so much. The multiple colors and weapons are wonderful. I love it when sci fi is blended with gothic horror. Love it. Just for good measure, check out the Magic Furniture set. They just need a spooky space castle now. It even has an exclusive body type in that batch.

Damn, that's awesome. I've often wished I had access to gashapon machines like they do in Japan and other countries. Occasionally a random comic shop will have one or two, but the best I can hope for is that the gumball machines in front of the grocery store has something cool in it. I watch a lot of videos of people hitting up the machines and while I'm extremely jealous, I'm also in extreme awe. There's stores full of just the machines and often even with rent-able lockers to display the toys you're willing to trade and lists of what you're looking for. If I had those stores here... man. You could be sure it would be a big topic here on the site. I'd probably make a big deal of it. I'd have at least 3 more followers on Instagram.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Israeli Robots in Disg...that's G1

Wait. So... I was expecting 2001 Robots in Disguise footage in Hebrew and instead was given clips of G1 with... Axel F? That's kinda amazing. I'm not sure if the Israeli version of RID was just a repackaged G1 or if this was just some neat commercial package made for Fox Kids there. I tried finding some info on the wiki, but nope. I do have to say, I absolutely LOVE that logo.

The Simpsons (1991) Attract Mode

Sunday, November 24, 2019

I wish I was at Designer Con

I've been watching Designer Con 2019 via Instagram posts from various other toy bloggers and indie groups I follow. Man it looks like such a good time. I'd love to go take in all the art, indie toys, and just love all the cool stuff. It's the Sunday night before Thanksgiving here, so I'm working to offset the holiday week a little (weird holiday hours come with the life of a night shift cnc programmer). Though looking at all these pictures of cool stuff makes it easier... and me a little envious.

Some of my favorites are there. The Godbeast, Spy Monkey, and a bunch of other Glyos guys. Not to mention great keshi and sofubi on display. It's probably a good thing I wasn't there, I'd go broke. A con like this is refreshing, because it's artists showing off their art and people that enjoy it. There's not the pissing contest that comes with all sorts of news from the con and various click bait sites trying to capitalize. Just a bunch of people who like the same kinda things. I dig that so freaking much.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Neon Alien Syndrome

Great news, everyone. Earlier today news broke of upcoming Alien toys by Lanard! Lanard, best known as the makers of the Corps! line of action figures has been making some really great licensed toy lines. From Kong to Rampage, and now with Jumanji, Lanard has been really knocking it out of the park with their great toys at really low prices. This year I've been a big fan of their Primal Clash line of figures myself. They're just good toys at a great price despite the snorts of toy snobs online (how does that even happen?).

With this new Alien line, Lanard is following their formula of new sculpt monster packaged with reused Corps! figure molds. These toys are bright colored and neat looking. The sculpting of the Corps! figures with the colorful Aliens make me mentally think of various video games like Alien Syndrome by Sega or the Konami arcade game (among others). Not to mention by making the Xenomorphs colorful, they make me draw mental comparisons to recent Reaction figures and the classic Kenner line. I also like bright colors on toys and man just LOOK at that neon nightmare packaging.
So far details are scarce. They've been spotted on Smyths Toy Stores site and I sent Lanard an email this morning asking for any details they could give me. Usually Lanard action figures are exclusive to Walmart stores here in the US (for the past few years with a few exceptions here and there), so I already know where to look. I'm hoping they'll take the place of Jumanji toys and replace this years selection sometime after Christmas. As much as I loved Primal Clash, this would make one awesome replacement.

*edit* I just got a reply from Lanard,  the Alien toys will be in US Walmart stores shortly after Christmas with even more Alien product due halfway into the year.

Air Raiders of the Lost Waft

For a while there, toy's that required air pumps were all the rage. They're still around, sure, but there was a time when a puff of air was the next big thing. Air Raiders by Hasbro was a very short lived toy line that was fully centered around poofing air into things. A small scaled toy line, the air gimmick was centered around the vehicles and play set. With included air pumps you could do things like fire missiles or propel a vehicle across the ground.

Honestly, it's a pretty fun gimmick that worked well with well designed and neat looking toys. Though it's legacy is more focused on the figures themselves than the vehicles the gimmick was focused on. I know even back then, I loved taking the tiny figures on all sorts of adventures forgoing the air poofing all together. You could even buy multi packs of the figures on their own and I pretty much just wanted those.

The love for the figures has resulted in various homages on the indie toy scene. Most recently a Designer Con exclusive set by Warlords of War. Warlords of War make really good figures based on the Glyos System and share parts with Battle Tribes, a line I really like. So it probably goes without saying that I'm jealous of those lucky enough to snag a set.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Yokai Monsters: Spook Warfare

Color Changing Mayhem

I love the G2 Transformers toy. When I say that, I mean the gimmick heavy robot figures. There was a charm about the basic robot toy that went with such things as water squirting action, or rotor shooting guns. I would say they don't make them like that anymore, but they do and I talk about it often. Still, I buy regular modern TF's too and wish these guys were homaged as much as other eras. There's an occasional bone thrown here and there. I get it, it's business and they'd rather go with safe bets. I'm not a gambler, I'd go with a safe bet. Just man, how can you not look at these guys and just want more of that?

Ninjor likes to kick it

I'll never be a ninja. Mainly because I'm 41. Sure I've still got a lot of life to go... but there's a window for learning somethings and I'm pretty sure the life of a middle aged cnc programmer doesn't line up to that skill set. Ninjor is a ninja though. An evil ninja, who has all the cool weapons from that glass case at the gas station. The one by the cash register that has knives, dragon ash trays, and that one stuffed tie dye bear they all seem to have.

Ninjor is 100% the awesome ninja that has graced your favorite t-shirt and is probably exactly what you want to be for Halloween. The perfect evil doer to join the ranks of Skeletor in his quest to master the universe. Man... thanks to release timing, they liked to pair him off against Clamp Champ. Clamp Champ is a fine heroic warrior who worked with He-Man quite a bit in the mini-comics and magazine. Though... his special ability was a clamp (it's in his name). Pretty sure he's loosing in a fight against a ninja.