Saturday, March 30, 2019

Mega Drive Mini

"Mega Drive Mini" will be recorded "40 titles" that can be called "Mega Drive History". "Sega FES 2019" has released 10 titles of them! Please look forward to the title announcement in the future. #セガフェス2019 #メガドラミニ

Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

French Micromaster Combiners


I'm quite fond of the French Transformers jingle, it's just so pleasant. Recently Microforever has been down, causing an understandable amount of sadness in some circles (edit: it's back!). While it was a Microman and related lines site, it got me thinking about Micromasters (from the other side of Transformers with a similar name). With a site named after a Micromaster Base, it might be understandable that I'm quite fond of smaller Transformers. I've been eyeing my local stores for the newest batch of Siege Micromasters and Battlemasters, chomping at the bit for new a dose of Tiny TF.

Actually, earlier when I was driving to work, I was thinking about Mini-Cons. They've revisited the concept several times (though in reality they've just slapped the name on random Tiny TF), yet have never recaptured that magic found in the original Mini-Cons. Ironically that magic is pretty dammed similar to Siege Micromasters and Battlemasters, just having a bicycle plugged onto a dudes butt back then might have resulted in a gun popping out of somewhere.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Alien Storm attract mode

I'm far more familiar with the Genesis/Master System version of Alien Storm than the arcade (or Master System). I play it regularly on the portable SEGA Genesis player that I keep on my nightstand. Such a great game. I love side scrolling beat 'em ups and SEGA made some of the best during their glory days. Alien Storm is a little different in this genre as the fighting is done mainly with shooting weapons. There's a variety of game play as well, shooting areas like in Shinobi or even a few running while shooting spots give the game breaks in action to keep you on your toes. Saturday night, after my wife had fell asleep, I played good old Alien Storm until I ran out of credits. Got pretty far too. It's a shame the game never got any sequels or has a better legacy. Though it's regularly available on various compilations or on e-shops, so at least the option to play it is still present.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Go Goldran!

Thanks to a random fake image, I've had Goldran on my mind lately. I'm not going to pretend to know everything about Brave (there's plenty of others online who'll be glad to do that), my knowledge is pretty basic. Goldran, somehow is the one Brave series I've gotten the most toys from though. A Korean Death Garry Gun, and a few bootlegs (I'm telling you, they're everywhere). One take away I've had since buying my bootleg Goldran is how much I marveled at just how much it fits into late G1 TF.

Sure, Brave is extremely Late G1 TF in design (it's basically late G1 as is) and of course Death Garry Gun (yes, that's his name.. it's one of those words don't always translate well) is a late G1 TF mold reused, like others in Brave. But Goldran, man...

That dragon mode draws mental comparisons to Trypticon for me. It's not exact, but it's there. I suppose it's the similar stature and proportions. That's fair, that'd be a pretty reasonable explanation as to why I do so. I've always felt the dragon head was similar too, though that's probably just me. Vacuum metalizing is always a point of contention among TF fans. While it looks great, it can flake away easily. So of course Goldran is almost completely coated in gold vacuum metal. Honestly, I think it's gorgeous. It's such a pretty toy, specially in that samurai super mode. It almost looks like a trophy as opposed to a toy, or in my case, a bootleg robot toy I bought at Tuesday Morning.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Adventure People

Without a doubt, one of the best and most influential toy lines ever. I wish the space and sea sets were shown in the commercial.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Bumblebee animated short

Voice actor #木村良平 is one of the three roles hot 🔥 film [#バンブルビー] 3/22 published before the first series 💛 of cute & pop anime first 🖤[Bumblebee is picked up in the Junkyard #1 Earth life for the first time] the Earth people and friends Bee. Can we regain our original mission? ⁉️

I can't express just how much I love this. It's silly, it's cute, it's great. With the Bumblebee movie due out on video soon, I'm looking forward to picking up my copy (might even rent it on digital before the disk is available). I'm very happy with how the movie turned out and it's success. Hoping the talked about Optimus and Bumblebee buddy movie will be just as good. It was refreshing to see all the positivity towards the movie from initial teaser towards actual release, with whatever negativity being either subjective or predictable bed wetting behavior (which isn't really concerning). The enthusiasm and general euphoria from the movie and it's release time is still sticking with me, making me particularly jealous of Japanese fans who are just now getting the movie released in their region. The marketing and general swag generated for that market is unique, to fit that market better, and honestly just plain awesome.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Primal Clash

Lanard's new Primal Clash toy line is something special. Exclusive to Walmart here in the US and available as Jurassic Clash in other countries. The line serves as that mix of everything awesome that toy aisles have been needing for quite some time at a low price that is most welcome. I remember when the Jurassic Clash figures first started popping up online, I was ecstatic. I've long time been a fan of The Corps! action figure line as is. When Lanard started doing the Skull Island and Rampage toy lines, I was amazed. Here was this perfect synergy of monsters and soldiers, and the Kong from 2017 was almost every bodies toy of the year. Primal Clash takes that idea of man vs. monsters and adds that element of post apocalyptic sci fi that I love so much.
Lanard is following the same formula they did for prior monster lines, using a Corps! action figure and pairing it with a monster. For Primal Clash, they're using dinosaurs in a setting taking place in the future after mankind has brought back dinosaurs. The setting merges Terminator and Jurassic Park in a very well crafted and fun way (and all on the back of the toys package!) that seems like a lost game by SEGA. Like the prior lines, the figure isn't named, though I'm sure you could fairly use the Corps! incarnations name if you chose. This isn't really an issue, though I do wish there was a little variation in the deco (I'm sure that's a budgetary move). The dinosaurs are HEAVY. Solid pieces of plastic with no articulation (you will hardly notice), the dinosaurs are almost perfect little statues with great paint apps and full of character. The action figure is loaded with accessories that can be stored on the figure as well as the dinosaurs saddle features some sort of play feature (moving cannon, etc) with reigns the figure can hold while riding. There is a LOT of play value for not a lot of money.
With such a great and fun line, I can only wonder what Lanard has planned next. Part of me is hoping for mythological monsters or cryptids, maybe even more diabolical like demons and such. I'm also hoping more of the Jurassic Clash stuff finds it's way over here to Walmart shelves as it's hard not to want it all (and at the price, that's easily done). I've been finding myself imagining more possibilities within the line. It's hard not to get excited and just enjoy yourself with Primal Clash. Almost impossible, actually. Like a primal urge or something.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

DC Primal Age

The AWESOME DC Primal Age figures by Funko are hitting stores as we speak and it's pretty hard not to love the barbarian take on the classic heroes. Taking a cue from Funko's Savage World figures, Primal Age ups the ante by going in whole hog with the DC comics characters and turning things up to 11. I've been really appreciating the design aesthetics going into the figures. Not just simply making the figures buff and look kinda/sorta He-Man, but really taking time to design the classic characters into the theme. Masters of the Universe has that perfect fantasy recipe. Mixing swords and sorcery with sci fi flair and just that right amount of kitsch. Funko teaming up with He-Man's parent company (Mattel) has recreated that wonderfully and I hope this keeps being great.

Monday, March 18, 2019

The Best Wars

This past weekend sadly saw the passing of Larry DiTillio, 1/2 of the story editing team on Beast Wars. Larry was fondly regarded in the Transformers fan community not just for his great work on the show, but for his positive relationship with the fan community. Most members of the Transformers fan community think of Beast Wars as a high point in Transformers and Larry DiTillio is one of the reasons the series is so well regarded.

Rest in peace Mr. DiTillio.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Transformers 35 anniversary expo

The exhibition of the … Transformers 35th anniversary of the Ikebukuro Parco

Pictures from the Transformers 35th Anniversary expo taking place in Japan are surfacing online and man they're awesome. Various bits of box art, promotional art, design stuff, toys, prototypes, you name it is on display. This is the kind of Transformers event I'd fall over myself to go to. I'd probably have to be dragged out kicking and screaming. I don't think I would ever get tired of taking in all the cool stuff on display.

Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts is mood

It's damn near impossible to not love this commercial for Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts. Back when the Super Nintendo was new, I was entranced by the ad. Here we have some catchy music, clips of classic horror mixed in with game footage. Last weekend before we headed out to ToyLanta, I'd play some of the arcade Ghouls 'n Ghosts while the wife was getting ready. I spent some time trying to figure out which of the original three games was my favorite. As much as I love Ghosts 'n Goblins, the later two are better games. Though both versions of Ghouls rules, it's a hard line to draw which one is better. Though either of the three you play is a safe bet for a good time.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Masterforce Latin American bumbers

Sometimes there's little things you don't consider. Take Masterforce for example, it's a Transformers series I've always enjoyed quite a bit. It's one of the Japanese original series that uses Transformers characters and gimmicks that weren't in the American cartoon series (aside from the intros and bumpers from season 5) and in a type of show I enjoy. It's a different take on Transformers and a fun one at that. By the time I learned of it, I knew it had saw release in some English speaking areas thanks to the Star TV dubs. I was aware that it was shown in some way in other countries but didn't really get into that much.

So I run across these versions of the bumpers from what's described as the Latin American version of the show. That's super neat! When I was growing up we only had cable in the living room and used an antenna in our bedrooms. At some point I started watching shows on the Spanish channels I could pick up. I didn't understand the language but you can generally tell what's going on. Random kaiju and cartoons (not to mention wrestling) would play on these channels and I often would watch depending on what they were showing versus the infomercials on the UHF stations after hours.

Man, if only I would have came across Masterforce or any of the Transformers Japanese series back then! My Powermaster Optimus Prime usually stood perched on my TV stand next to my game consoles as the monument of awesome that it is. At the time I only thought he was on those puppet segments of season 5, seeing Ginrai would have blown my mind!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Iron Superman/Roboter Der Sterne/Mazinger Z - El robot de las estrellas

Yes, it's Super Robot Mach Baron.

One thing charmingly weird thing about oddball robot/monster shows is that they can surface in the strangest ways. Take Mach Baron, the follow up to Red Baron. He had his tv series, toys, and assorted fame that comes with such a character. Though oddly enough, he also had a movie in Hong Kong named 'The Iron Superman' made from assorted episodes of the show with new actors filmed for scenes (like Power Rangers). This movie found it's way to German and Mexican audiences under different titles (Mazinger Z?) and I'm sure there's probably fans of these movies that have no clue of it's heritage (like Power Rangers). Aside from odd clips, I've never seen Mach Baron. Just been aware of him, appreciated his look, that sort of thing (I can't watch and know everything ya'll).

So as I'm adding fun stuff to my watch que, I run across 'The Iron Superman' and say to myself 'That's Mach Baron, I'll watch this'. And after starting the weird movie, decide to look into the bizarre production and that's when I learned about it. Like other oddball robot movies you'll find in discount bins, it's another cobbled together production obviously meant to entertain children without much regard to it's manic pacing. Being made from random episodes of a tv show, the movie has a bunch of episodic adventures for our heroes at a crazy pace. 

Aside from the weirdness of the movies production, the show's pretty weird too in an awesome way. Like other older tokusatsu productions, Mach Baron has some crazy bad guys straight out of a haunted house (which I love) and the generic foot soldiers... are football players for some reason. I love the villains. There isn't a clear reason as to what they're trying to do, other than cause destruction and kill everything (they're from Deathstar, not the Deathstar... just Deathstar) and the head honcho looks like a demonic wizard with crazy hair that changes colors at random intervals (I don't know what's going on either). What's awesome is the outright violence. For a children's show, there's a complete disregard for the intended audience. It's somewhat jarring at times (I've said 'damn' so many times) and also completely amazing. I know I call things a fever dream often, but this might just be the epitome of the term.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Godzilla : Final Wars

While settling back into normal life post con and back into what's seemingly my normal work day after a rough few weeks, I'm reminded by a conversation with Shawn Sunday at the convention. We talked about Final Wars. He's never seen it and I love it. It's hard to exactly explain why I love this insane fever dream of a Godzilla movie... but I do.

First off, it's ridiculous. Completely and utterly ridiculous. Of course if your kaiju film isn't a little ridiculous, you've done it wrong. There's a suspension of disbelief when you've got a giant monster smashing a city, let alone fighting another giant monster. That being said, this movie is completely bonkers. Just crazy and weird and that's part of what makes it great.

The best way I can describe it is, a love note to the Godzilla and tokusatsu movies of the showa era on crazy pills. It kinda doesn't make a lot of sense, there's random high energy action sequences, every trope, and there's Godzilla pissed off and kicking all sorts of tail. Watching this movie is physically exhausting. You'll need to pause it occasionally. It's like Toho poured hummingbird feeder syrup into the film stock or something. It's just manic and crazy... and that's also what makes it so wonderful.

Kaiju and other tokusatsu by default is weird. You've got some movie where a giant monster is attacking the city... and usually a sub plot like aliens are invading Earth. Not to mention, the bulk of the movie is made with miniatures and folks in rubber suits. Add in stuff like kung fu sword fights and space ships... Look, it's not Dances with Wolves... probably because you're actually entertained. Watching is a mix of enjoying the plot and laughing at the visible zipper.

So in Final Wars, you've got a movie that is 100% a love letter to all of that at 100 miles per hour. What's not to love?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Toylanta 2019

It's time again for the greatest toy show in the world, Toylanta! I'll be attending all weekend and will be updating this post each night, so be sure to check back throughout the weekend! Also, be sure to check out my Instagram as I'll be updating it more frequently throughout the weekend from the show!

Friday Report

After the wife got home from work, we ate Publix subs and went to the show.  Traffic was pretty bad and we got there a little later than wanted. Early dealer room sales was wrapping up as we got in and got badges. Met up with Shawn in the lobby whom giffted me a New Age Toys Bugbite! We looked around some of the dioramas  and the lobby swap before the State of the Hobby panel. During so I grabbed a Gobots Tanks figure for $5.

The dioramas included an epic World War Z scene, an SS Flagg decked out with Night Force vehicles, and a large recreation of the Death Star trench run. The Death Star was seemingly made with all sorts of containers and random things like WD-40 lids and egg cartons. Really neat.

After the panel more talking was had in the lobby before the wife and I departed for the night. We stopped by Walmart for a few things and I grabbed a Gears for Shawn who hasn't been able to find one. Friday night at the shown is mainly a social night and it sure is fun to take it in.

Saturday Report

After a good nights sleep and a great breakfast, we got to the show around 10am. The line was still insane even by 10. Fortunately, I already had my badge and we went in. Man, the dealer selection this year is great. A giant variety of different things. Lots of indie toy guys, which I love. I buy toys all year long, so when I go to a con I prefer to find the more oddball stuff that won't be at Walmart. Nothing like a glow in the dark Storm Trooper with a cat head to sell that point!

One of the indie toy groups had a vending machine full of their own merchandise. I sunk about 2$ into it and got one of his Chewie Rolos (a plastic Rolo with a Kenner Chewbacca face) and a bunch of his pins. Another dealer has a free bin and I walked away with a Whispering Willie and a 2$ Ultraman figure. One guy who always has a good booth had a Waduros. I'm still debating on pulling the trigger on it. It's not complete, but so hard to ignore.

A dealer who had some Battle Beasts informed Shawn that he'd be setting up more for Sunday. So needless to say the heat is on! Fun was had and the wife and I got lunch at the hotel restaurant. Holy crap they had amazing food. The absolute best salmon burger I've ever had.

Afterwards we went to the panel room for the Kenner Designer panel. That was amazing. Apparently the Kenner designer created the Jurassic Park logo while coming up with stickers for the lines vehicles. During the product pitch Spielberg loved the sticker so much he made it the logo for the movie. Not long after that wrapped up was Dusty and me for the Transformers panel. We had a good crowd that made for a fun panel.

As our panel ended, the dealers room was closing. We found our way to the lobby for the parachute drop, which was as crazy as ever. Someone had begun throwing a toy plane from the balconies which became a slighty dangerous situation every so often. We talked ghosts a little before checking out a few room sales parties. Pretty fun, but the last one we went to had the best selection of stuff and stunk heavily of poots.

The wife and I headed after a fun day of the show for some rest. Toylanta is a great con and this year is going down in the top years.

Sunday Report

Aftet hibernating all night and a great breakfast, I got to the show around 10:30am (the wife stayed home) after a stop for a can of Java Monster (was momentarily confused that I gave the casheir too much money, fortunately was wrong ). I lucked up and got a front row parking spot (a first) and went right on in and right to the guy who was bringing more Battle Beasts and he didn't. Dammit. Spent some quarters in another indie toy guys vending machine and came out great! Got a tiny Gameboy cartridge, a tiny NES controller, amd a glow in the dark little bear. I bought a great Necronomicon as well. Found Shawn and we worked our way through dealers.

Sunday is the day for deals as everyone is packing up. Scored a non-transforming Galaxy Megazord I'd been eyeing all weekend for 7$. I don't have any real attachment to that Megazord, but it was such a nice looking robot that there was no resistance. One dealer that always has stickers and  buttons at the shows booth is a tradition of mine and I made a point to stop by.

Shawn and I sat down and chatted for a while before deciding to take one more walk around the dealers room. I hoped to get a better price on that Wauduros, but no luck. It was just too incomplete for the price sadly. Battle Beast selection was slim with most dealers having a handful a little over priced, which was a shame, but there's always later opportunities for better luck.

Didn't buy any Transformers, which was ok as I buy them all year long. Fortunately there was ample amounts of them there for those who were looking for a particular toy. One dealer had a great display of a few prototypes though. A Fall of Cybertron Kickback and Starscream was in that case for viewing.  I had a hard time pulling the trigger on some Rocklords. They were in great condition, I just think I'll be able to find some later cheaper. Problem with so many dealers is you have so many options that it can be overwhelming. No the worst problem to have at a con ;)

We struck up a Zoids conversation with some dealers that went longer than I realized (and somebody didn't adjust his watch for DST) and before long it was time to go (we had our grocery pickup scheduled for 4pm). Said my goodbyes to Shawn and said goodbye to Toylanta for another year. Next year will be at a different location, so it's kinda a bittersweet ending to a great con this year (I like the location). Though a roomier dealer space would be nice.

This years show was a great time and just what I've been needing after a few hard weeks at work (even had an earache all weekend, thank God for ear drops). While some of the things I hoped to find didn't happen (my favorite dealer didn't have  anything I wanted in his infinite baskets of neatness... a first), I still got some great things and just had a great time. Which is exactly what I wanted.

New Age Toys Critter gifted by Shawn
Tank Gobot
Whispering Willie Corps! figure (free!)
Large Ultraman sofubi
Stool Sample (3D printed stools in a biohazard baggie give  to me by an indie toy guy)
1 'Chewie' Rolo and assorted  buttons from one indie toy guys capsule machine
Gameboy cartridge, NES controller, and glow in the dark bear from another indie toy guys capsule machine.
'Summer reading club' Necronomicon from same indie toy guy as the video game toys and stool sample
Galaxy Megazord figure
Two translucent Godzilla minifigures in red and blue
A Soundwave holding Blaster ala 'Say Anything' sticker
Sheet of Toyhax symbol stickers gifted by Dusty,

Humble Bumble (bee) Cafe

Bumblebee Cafe opened today! Date: March 8, 2019 (Fri)-March 31, 2019 (Sun) Opening hours: 10:00 ~ 21:00 (last Order 20:30) Venue: Ikebukuro Parco honkan 6f Cafe Address ※ There is a case to limit the time of use when crowding. Please come and visit us.

"Bumblebee Cafe" opens today at ✨"Cafe address" at the Ikebukuro Parco Honkan 6f (Friday)-March 31 (Sunday), opening hours: 10:00-21:00 (Last order 20:30) … #バンブルビー

Wow dang I want to visit the Bumblebee Cafe. It's like going to a Transformers convention disguised as a restaurant. I really dig the signage throughout the cafe, it's pretty charming. I haven't noticed if there was any exclusive merchandise or not, wouldn't a Studio Series VW Bumblebee with a backdrop of the cafe be neat?

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Space Gundam V (1983)

I've been super busy, as I've noted here before. So what happens when Rob's really busy? That's right, more shady Korean robot cartoons of dubious legality! This is Space Gundam V, which despite the name does not feature any actual Gundam. Nope, instead what if a Valkyrie fought monsters?

That poor giant rat.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Gain Ground, cover tracks

I have a little story to tell. Last night (for me, for you it was yesterday) before bed, I played my portable Genesis player that I keep by my bed (as I usually do). I played Gain Ground for a while before getting sleepy. Ever play Gain Ground? It's an excellent game. Each round you have a level you have to clear with each of your assigned characters, either by reaching the exit or killing all the onscreen enemies. It's a mix of strategy and good old arcade shooting enemies and dodging the enemies fire. Just a great game that I'm surprised isn't more popular in today's world of mobile games.

So as I'm sleeping I have a dream, and in this dream I help a person escape prison. I don't know how I got involved, but I pulled it off. Perfectly too might I add, somehow I sneaked them off into a car and into busy traffic. Though later as I worried that the police my get me for helping the person escape, I decided to cover my tracks. That's when it became all to clear as to the only thing that would clue the police to my involvement. You guessed it.

If they knew I had been playing Gain Ground, they'd know it was me who helped the guy escape.

Switch Online March 2019 NES Games!


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Energon Charge Bumblebee

If it's one thing I love, it's Legend/Legion/Speed Class figures. Small, inexpensive, and usually available in a bazillion color variations making them fun to collect. The Bumblebee movie provided me with a whole new series of the tiny guys to hunt down and have a good time doing so. In Japan, TV Magazine is doing an exclusive version of the VW Bumblebee figure in translucent yellow. That's the kind of thing that drives me crazy as I'll likely never own one (there's also a red Optimus on the way). Adding to the overall neatness of the figure is a story line pitting the figure against the Red Megatron from another TV Magazine promotion from 2017. This is not a drill, this is awesome. Story pages and mini comics giving these little oddball toys a bit of fiction is something I'll forever embrace. Sure, you you it's just another use of a $5 toy with a different paint job. To me and others like me, it's something pretty dammed neat.

This clear yellow Bumblebee and his backstory are something pretty damned neat.

Transform Squadron Episode 7: Harold of Unicorn

This month Rob talks Beast Morphers and new Power Rangers blind bag toys. Speaking of blind bags, he also talks about Treasure X and Jurassic World blind bag toys. Not to mention Toylanta and Saber Rider talk. Mix in some Bumblebee movie and looks like you got the March 2019 edition of Transformer Squadron!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Beast Morphin Time

It's here!
After the long wait since it's reveal last year, Beast Morphers is finally on TV and soon on toy shelves. Zone Base readers know I've been really excited for this series and rest assured my DVR is set to record each episode. Currently my plan is to talk about the show on this months episode of Transform Squadron, but you know I'm all hyped up and just can't wait.

That's some sharp packaging
Images of the figures keep coming out and man they look great. Hasbro has really knocked it out of the park so far with these toys. They look awesome and I'm looking forward to see them hanging from the pegs at my local stores. I'm surprised to find the general foot solder for the bad guys, Tronic, to be whom I'm most interested in in the first wave.
It's hard not to love the way that looks. Those neat hand weapons, that sharp pink contrasting against the gray, and that fantastic silver mask. It's just a great look that translates well into an action figure. So far Beast Morphers is falling into the same mental category for me as a Konami arcade game in the early 90's. Just that same rad mix of colors and electricity in a crazy beat 'em up sci fi fantasy. It's so hard not to like this early going in, I can only hope a year from now it continues this trend. It's hard not to like a mojo like this.
If it's a tiny rubber toy in a blind box, you know I'm sold
I'm really antsy for the Micro Morphers and Playskool toys to come as that's likely the bulk of where my Ranger toy buying will be. The variety of Ranger characters and generations in what's one of my favorite type of toy to buy is impossible to resist. I can see a weekend where I just drop 20-30$ on Micro Morphers, come home, and open them while watching Rangers on Netflix or Tubi. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see these adventures take place most likely. Ultimately it's looking like a great time is on the horizon and a great time is something I always have the time for.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Megatron for Grad Night

I'd like to eat at the Bumblebee Cafe

 Transformers 35th Anniversary and Bumblebee Cafe decided! Transformers Official Site