Friday, June 28, 2019

Godbeast Wave 32 Saturnia Cerulestar Metamorphosis



Cerulestar Nemesis and Cerulestar Mushi in glow in the dark blue!
Saturnia Mushi and Saturnia Nemisis with wings!
Blanks of the colorways are available in limited numbers for you customizers!  


Thursday, June 27, 2019

65th Anniversary 1954 Godzilla Deluxe Vinyl Figure (2019 Convention Exclusive)

From Bandai the 65th Anniversary 1954 Godzilla Deluxe Vinyl Figure (2019 Convention Exclusive) is an authentic recreation of the iconic kaiju that introduced Godzilla to the world in the 1954 Toho film Godzilla.  This highly detailed 2019 Convention Exclusive Godzilla features accurate sculpting in a limited edition translucent flake vinyl with added paint treatments for enhanced realism.  The exclusive package is a displayable window box with premium sleeve.

  • 1954 Godzilla commemorating Godzilla’s 65th anniversary
  • 6.5” tall translucent flake vinyl Godzilla with exclusive enhanced deco
  • Displayable window box with premium sleeve
  • Officially licensed by Toho Co., Ltd.

Available at the Godzilla (Toho Co., Ltd./ Bandai America Inc.) booth!

Price: $30

Additional images after the break

Ridin' into the Crumplezone

 
I've been talking about Cybertron lately, and frankly that's a good thing. Cybertron and it's other Unicron Trilogy series were pretty great. They had solid toys with fun gimmicks and a great story line. It was a pretty great time to be a Transformers fan and pretty much the last of the old ways before the movies came along and everything seemingly changed forever (though, it does look like things are slowly reverting).

Crumplezone was always pared with his partner Ransack in the cartoon. They were the standard pair of bozos and Crumplezone was pretty much the typical big dumb guy. Though his toy was hardly typical, in fact it was really cool! Crumplezone's vehicle mode was some sort of rocket powered sci fi race car owing to his home planet of Velocitron (a planet based on race culture), or as noted on his Cyber Planet Key, The Speed Planet.

In robot mode, Crumplezone has a big upper body with long lanky arms. The rocket boosters from his vehicle mode flip over his shoulder with sound effects to fire missiles when activated by his Cyber Planet Key. I really wish he came with some sort of melee weapon and I can really see the brute clobbering somebody with something. With a mix of dark and light green colors, Crumplezone is a really good looking toy.

Remember how I just talked about his flip over the shoulder rocket launchers a minute ago? Well, here's the first part of why I chose to talk about this particular toy today. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, I'm thinking about Halloween. Crumplezone is something of a ghost story of mine. When the toy came out, I lived in an apartment that just always had something weird going on like it was cursed or something. Outlets shorted out, the ceiling leaked once, my PS2 literally died for no apparent reason one night and a week later it's replacement had to be returned after also dying. Really nice apartment, but there was just always something wrong.

My toy room at the time was decked out with various bookshelves that I'd store the bulk of my toys on. I had Crumplezone in a good spot so I could see him (he was new and I liked him!), I'd keep his missile launchers in the locked in position as over his shoulder would cause him to fall over. There was no extra storage for his key, I'd put it in it's port, but not enough to trigger the launchers. With those keys you really had to jam them in to hit the sweet spot, so it worked out usually. At random times, those damn launchers would just flip over and the deploying sound effect would BLARE. Like I said, I didn't have the key in far enough to trigger anything. The catch wasn't super strong obviously, but man when it happened out of nowhere...

When the time for a repaint came, by some magic, Crumplezone also got a hefty remold. Dark Crumplezone didn't just have new colors, but also new parts! Now more angular with attached fins that made the car look more menacing with a Frankenstein-ish looking robot mode! This might be the other Halloween inspired reason I felt like talking about him, he's a monster! This is without a doubt my favorite version of the toy as it's just gorgeous to look at. The colors and lightening/tribal decals make for one mean looking toy, not to mention the more sharp boxy parts are great! They took a good looking toy and made it 100% better.


The toy mold got one more use as a BotCon exclusive in 2006. Part of the "Dawn of Future's Past" box set, the original version of the mold was made into a Cybertronian version of Optimus Primal! With a new head and the classic Primal deco, I was surprised by how well this came out. Easily my favorite of the Fun Publications era of exclusives, the box set was themed as the Beast Wars characters right before the start of the show. It's not just my favorite of their work because of how much I love Beast Wars (maybe a little bit), but man they did a really great job! The toys looked amazing and were really imaginative uses of prior existing molds.

It's almost bittersweet though, just as I've said above that Cybertron was the last hurrah of the old ways before the movies. And even though this was only Fun Pub's second BotCon, it was the last one that felt like BotCon to me. While I don't bemoan the movies (I enjoy them, actually) or all the money and attention they brought to the brand. I do miss the older times before them and before everything changed. Not just scope, the overall vibe of Transformers and the Transformers fandom itself hasn't been the same since. Change is the nature of all things, even the theme of the brand, but sometimes you can't help but to wish some things stayed the same.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Godzilla Stomps into San Diego Comic-Con for the First Time!


The Famous Kaiju Is Celebrating the 65th Anniversary
of the First Film This Year

Who: Godzilla, King of the Monsters
What: Parent company TOHO will have the first dedicated Godzilla booth at SDCC with many exciting activities including:

· A fun green screen photo booth for unique social posts (#Godzilla65) 
· A live mural painting by famed Godzilla artist Shinji Nishikawa 
· The actual suit used in “Godzilla 2000” 
· Props from films throughout the franchise’s history 
· SDCC Exclusive Godzilla products 
· Giveaways, photo opportunities and much more gargantuan fun!

When: July 17 – 21

Where: San Diego Comic Con, Booth #3535          


About Toho
Toho Company, Limited, is a Japanese entertainment studio focused on the development, production, exhibition, and distribution of powerful content for motion pictures, television and theater. Founded in 1932, it remains a prominent force in bringing brands and original storytelling with versatile talents to audiences worldwide. Its subsidiaries include Toho Cinemas, the highest grossing exhibition company in Japan. 


Thanks to Toho and Rogers and Cowan for sharing this news with Zone Base 

Overhaulin Cybertron

In 2005, Transformers Cybertron graced toy shelves with some pretty neat toys. Overhaul was in the initial shipments of the scout class and was a fast favorite of the line for me. Going with the Cyber Planet Key gimmick of the line, you'll notice that he's representing the Jungle Planet. The Jungle Planet was home to beast based Transformers and even though a jeep/SUV style vehicle would fit in that environment, Overhaul was a bit of a beastly bot on his own with claws, sharp teeth, and some distinct styling. Overhaul was effectively modeled after Wolverine.


Though that's not all to his Jungle Planet life. Overhaul was changed into Leobreaker, a lion based bot whom fit in among the Jungle Planet even more. You may notice his names don't exactly translate into each other. That's because Overhaul was originally planned to be Trailbreaker. Leo-Breaker, get it?
If you guessed the toy mold got a repaint, then you've been paying attention to the franchise for the past 35 years. Not too much long after Overhaul was released, a new Decepticon character using the mold was released named Brushguard. Brushguard was not just a cool blue version of the toy, he was also a botanist! He spends his time researching things like poisonous plant based toxins and how to use them in battle! He's actually working for money to spend on science fiction, what a nerd! Not to mention, Brushguard is actually Overhaul's cousin. Talk about an awkward Thanksgiving!
Later when the movie came out in summer of 2007, Transformers fans were treated with a DELUGE of toys! Target featured an exclusive line of basic and scout repaints in movie packaging. While that might sound boring to some of you, it was actually a really neat little line all to itself. The toys would have unique colors and bios expanding the universe of the movie past the handful of bots seen on screen. This lead to a new character using a familiar name-Warpath!


In an attractive red and black with light blue highlights, Warpath is easily my favorite version of the toy. Many of these off screen character types would pop up in movie themed comics where the characters would get into even more adventures. I personally really liked these comics. They weren't just more fiction in the universe, but usually really good too! Part of the fun of the first few movies was all the off screen characters. A mix of new molds and repaints, the toy line was really fun (depending on where you keep sticks on your body). It was so fun that it was easy to overlook the actual movie and focus solely on all the additional product and fiction.

These days the Overhaul mold doesn't get much attention (though Leobreaker's mold got used a million times), and that's a shame. It was a fun little toy that got reused in fun little ways. While I certainly enjoy things like Siege, it's hard not to back at times when Transformers was a little more inventive with it's lines. Something as simple as a repaint got a life of it's own, even if it was just in a few blurbs on the toys package, it was a good few blurbs!





Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Universal Monsters X Super 7

GHOSTBUSTERS™ AND TRANSFORMERS FIRST EVER OPTIMUS PRIME COLLABORATIVE FIGURE TO DEBUT ON NTWRK

 
The mobile-first e-commerce content site will drop the first-ever exclusive TRANSFORMERS x Ghostbusters Mash-up MP-10G OPTIMUS PRIME ECTO-35 and tee on a one-day special programming

June 25, 2019 - NTWRK, the leading youth culture e-commerce and content platform, continues to bring the world’s best brands together with their latest celebration of TRANSFORMERS and Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary, and the release of the TRANSFORMERS x Ghostbusters Mash-up MP-10G OPTIMUS PRIME ECTO-35.

The platform that has brilliantly developed a new form of e-tail – selling products via bite-size video broadcasts and episodic content – will take viewers on a once in a lifetime tour of Ghostbusters Fan Fest before debuting the product for sale. Viewers will have an immersive experience meeting the cast and crew, speaking with the fans and reveling in the attractions of the event. The content culminates with a one-on-one interview with Ghostbusters original film actor, Ernie Hudson, and special appearances by Ghostbusters reboot Director, Paul Feig, and Dan Aykroyd, who co-wrote (with Harold Ramis) and starred in the original Ghostbusters films of the 1980s.

Worlds collide in this TRANSFORMERS-Ghostbusters mash-up pack as the iconic Ecto-1 deco from the 1984 Ghostbusters movie now dawns an iconic TRANSFORMERS robot – the MP-10G OPTIMUS PRIME ECTO-35 Edition! MP-10G OPTIMUS PRIME stands at 9.5 inches in robot mode and can convert to truck mode in 26 steps. The MP-10G OPTIMUS PRIME figure comes with a wearable PROTON PACK-inspired package. The Ecto-deco’d OPTIMUS PRIME trailer can also convert into an ECTO-BASE, including an ECTO MAINTENANCE DECK, ROLLER, GHOST TRAP and a SLIMER accessory.

The collaboration acts as the first ever partnership between TRANSFORMERS and Ghostbusters. NTWRK will be the first platform where viewers can buy the collaborative figure and exclusive NTWRK only tee to celebrate the 35th anniversary of both Ghostbusters and TRANSFORMERS. The episode will air Tuesday, June 25th at 6pm on all NTWRK platforms. Following the NTWRK debut, the figure will be available at the San Diego Comic-Con International.

Find full product information below:

Evangelion on Saturn


I'm having a slightly brain dead day. Despite having a lot of fun this past weekend at Rangerstop, I'm still just a little fried. Maybe it's from displacing my sleep schedule, I took a million naps Sunday. Or maybe I'm just tired in general. Fortunately I have a long holiday weekend coming soon and plan to burn off some of those dead brain cells and get some solid mental refreshment. So, while I'm planning to put out some much better posts throughout the week, in the meantime check this out. Thanks to Netflix, every bodies talking Evangelion and maybe we're all better for it. While I'm slowly working my way through the first batch of episodes, I'm certainly enjoying it again. Here's a set of Evangelion game commercials for the SEGA Saturn. I do love SEGA, don't I?

Clocker


A young speedster with nerves of steel and technique to spare. Quick-thinking, clever and courageous, his size prevents him from presenting a real challenge on the track. He races out of a sense of duty to his mentor Brakedown, and he knows every bit of road on the Speed Planet like the back of his hand. It's his knowledge of the Great Race that gives Hot Shot the edge he needs.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Blaster Master Zero 2


I'm a little surprised this one snuck past me without noticing a few months ago. I've always enjoyed the Blaster Master games and really liked the reboot/remake Blaster Master Zero that came out a few years ago. I wish I would have known about this sooner or I would have bought it day one. Not sure how it got past me without knowing until now, though admittedly sometimes these things happen (adult life). Totally getting this ASAP and see it being my July 4th holiday weekend gaming fix. My mind is just blown by how good this looks!


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Rangerstop Atlanta

Today I'll be at Rangerstop Atlanta 2019! I'll be adding a report of my day at the con later on this weekend (so check back here later), but be sure to check out my Instagram for more regular updates throughout the day!

Saturday: 

I had left work early to get some sleep for the show and man and I'm glad I did! It's Sunday morning at 4:45am as I'm just now waking from a sleep coma to finally talk about the great time I had at Rangerstop. We headed out around 11am and with a quick stop at Racetrak for gas and after a breakfast of gas station pizza and Java Monster I was ready for the day! The con was only 30 minutes away, so we got there in no time.

The ticket booth was a bit of a bottle neck as the metal detector was right in front of registration. Next year I'm definitely buying ahead of time as it took a little longer to pay at the booth as opposed to the ones who had pre-paid. Though simple enough as the nice con employee rang up my card and gave us our passes (more on him later). After bag check we entered the show.

There were a few panels going on, but the ones I wanted  weren't until 2pm, so we had some time to kill. There wasn't as many toy dealers as I expected, maybe just a handful as there was more artists and various neat stuff for sale. I wasn't bothered though and honestly found that pretty pleasant. One guy did have a decent assortment of older toys of Power Rangers and other tokusatsu toys whose booth I enjoyed. He had some great boxed Ultraman stuff from the 60's that I took some time marveling at.

He also had a bunch of the action figure style, non-transforming Megazords that I've taken a shine to in more recent weeks. I was tempted on a few, but ultimately decided to pass as they're usually available much cheaper at Toylanta (got one for $7 this year). I did get some great bootleg  robot minifigures from him that were too good to pass up. A original Megazord in red with gold paint, a Live Robo that I thought was Leopardon at first, and a red guy whom I'm currently blanking on. He did have a great Red Baron sofubi in a glittery translucent red in it's original baggie that was awesome, but I ultimately passed on as Red Baron is just something I like too casually to spend more than a few dollars on.

There were a lot of Funko Pops at the show, which I don't mind as I like them a lot already. Looking at the wall of Pops one dealer had while the wife went through the tons of Disney pins at the booth (one of her hobbies) was a good time. There's a great Altered Beast Pop I have to get that one day.  I got a great poster of the Toei Spider-Man from an artist I had a small conversation with. Cool guy, he also had some good Amazon Riders prints available.

A dealer I had been looking forward to since seeing him on Instagram had really cool Ranger clothing. Hats, shirts, patches based on the costumes and such that looked really sharp. Of course being a sasquatch, I'm hesitant on buying clothes somewhere I can't return them or try on first, so I passed on shirts but did get a great Dino Charge drawstring backpack. I've been wanting one for my random errands and such, and this one was perfect!

The hotel had a lunch service available booth available by the DJ . We got some chicken tenders and ate them in line for the first Ranger panel of the day. We stayed parked in that room for the next two hours as the JDF panel followed immediately. The panel was full of Ranger actors doing a mix of q&a and a silly game based on the dating game where they'd pick another panelist based on a question. Who screwed up a scene the most or who was more likely to be late type of thing. It was fun, though just a touch hard to hear. The panel was outright upstaged by an Alpha 5 cosplayer who ran around for a minute before leaving.

The JDF panel was lively, with him starting off telling about his various projects before opening for Q&A. A guy with questionable mental stability abruptly sat next to us wearing an ill fitted red ranger Halloween costume. Poor guy was absolutely soaked with sweat and having some sort of conversation with himself that turned into an argument after awhile. When JDF entered the room, he was holding up a picture he had taken with JDF's daughter on his phone. He then got in line to show him. His gloves were pink from the red bleeding while sweating. That guy man...

During the first panel, Karan Ashley and Nakia Burrise (the 2nd and 3rd yellow Rangers) whom were among the convention organizers took donations for a con staff member who needed medical treatment. He turned out to be the guy I talked about earlier that sold us our tickets. We gladly donated some cash, that guy was super nice. They were keeping it quiet as they wanted to surprise him with the money at one of the parties later in the night. We didn't stay long past 5, so I'm sure he got a nice amount to help out with his medical costs. There was something to be said for having someone you've watched on TV say 'God bless you' as you put cash into a Ranger helmet. One of those experiences you only get at a con.

Speaking of those experiences, Catherine Sutherland (2nd pink Ranger) accidentally almost barged into my wife in the bathroom. My wife found her apology very cute. These things happen and when it's a Power Ranger... well that's funny. We walked around the dealers room a little more before calling it a day and leaving around 5:30. The con ran all weekend, but I was happy to do a day pass and will likely do one again next year. We then stopped at at Target and Five Below before going home and getting some much needed rest... meaning I passed out around 11pm.

Friday, June 21, 2019

In Armada we Thrust

Transformers Armada was a neat line. You had the Mini-Cons adding an extra level of collect-ability and fun to the tried and true Transformers theme. Mini-Cons were available in a variety of colors and would in turn interact with the larger figures in a number of ways. They could plug on and add to the appearance or unlock an action like pop out guns. Sometimes they'd mirror prior gimmicks like Headmasters. The larger figures in Armada were something special themselves. While taking a step back from the hyper articulation of the prior lines, they brought back the chunkiness of G1 and G2 style toys while often being pretty imaginative in the process.

Despite being a Decepticon jet named Thrust, Thrust was one of those pretty imaginative toys. Feeling more like a member of the Predators than a G1 Seeker, Thrust was a neat toy. An F-35 Lightening II in alt mode, he had a cool black deco with silver and green highlights. In the backside of the jet was a loading bay of sorts where his Mini-Con partner Inferno could dock in vehicle mode. This filled out the back more and added a little extra firepower. In robot mode Inferno would empower a spinning blade attack made from the jet wings. As normal, Thrust got a repaint down the line in the 'Powerlinx' named redeco series.
This is where things get funky, you see Powerlinx Thrust was initially shown to be red, but was released in a brown deco despite being red on all art and pictures. This was done late in the planning stages and caused a bit of confusion at the time. Regardless, the brown jet does look good and introduces blue robot parts into the mix creating a unique looking toy. Funnily enough a red version did get released, first in Europe and then as a USA Edition in Japan.
In red Thrust looked more like his G1 namesake while adding white robot parts where the brown had blue with a few small detail differences. At OTFCC 2004 I had an opportunity to purchase one of these red versions. I was invited along with a group of friends to a private room sale where a few cases were available. I don't remember why I declined, but I kinda of regret that now. It sure would have been neat to have, especially during the time when it was perceived as more myth than reality.
Hasbro wasn't done with the mold just yet, later in Universe (another line I sing the praises of) around early 2004 Walmart had a feature Transformers aisle. While later the large overstock from this aisle became a headache for fans (and probably the employees), it did include a number of exclusive items. One just happened to use the Thrust mold in a rather neat set.


Sunstorm took the mold packaged with a forest green/black version of the Street Action team of Mini-Cons and Inferno. I was quick to jump on this set (as with the other exclusives from the aisle), though many could be found years later marked down on clearance. However this was the last version of the toy, though Thrust did get an homage in Unite Warriors (Takara's version of Combiner Wars).

While you either loved or hated the toy (I was in the loved crowd if you haven't guessed), it got quite a bit of mileage in use. Thrust was heavily featured on the cartoon and has made recent appearances in comics like the Kre-O and Legends manga series (not to mention being in the original Armada comic). Sunstorm appeared in various BotCon/OTFCC fiction as well. You wouldn't have guessed the lasting appeal of Thrust at the time, but that's one of the things that time can do with things.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Bootleg Robots from Parts Unknown

I'm mentally gearing up for Rangerstop this weekend. This morning before I went to sleep, I looked at various keshi and other mini figures and made a mental shopping list. Sure, I hope to score to score a SPD Megazord to make up for that one I never got around to buying or another few particular items, but smaller figures are a focal point for this show.

My first introduction to Rangers was late night viewings of Dynaman on USA. Here was this cool show that was like a combination of Voltron, Godzilla, and video games that was funny as hell. It didn't take me too long to notice the gumball machine toys I would get from the grocery store and other cheap rack toy robots and monsters looked familiar. I was a kid, I didn't know what a bootleg was, but I knew those cool figures in the gumball machines looked like some of these guys. Years later, Power Rangers started up and these guys looked like Dynaman! 

Around a year ago I talked about bootleg toys from gumball machines, thanks to those gumball machines and random cheap toy purchases I developed an affinity for smaller figures when it comes to Power Rangers. It wasn't until a little later when I started using the internet to get a full understanding of what these various toys were knock offs of. I had learned what Super Sentai was not long after Power Rangers came out thanks to an extremely informative TV Guide article (that's why they look like Dynaman!) already.

Unlike Transformers where I seemingly buy everything (with especial love for the little bots), I mainly buy smaller Power Ranger toys (outside of the occasional regular toy). That stems from my initial enjoyment of Power Rangers that came from little toys. Even when PR started up and other shows like it came around, I'd gear towards smaller toys of the characters. I'm literally chomping at the bit for the new Fisher Price Ranger toys and have the best time with Micro Morphers right now. Holy crap the level of anticipation for those blind bag Fisher Price Rangers I have is absolutely absurd. That absurdity is thanks to little toys of dubious legality in front of Kroger.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Devastating at Target

Whomever cleaned up this image at the TFWIKI is a hero
In Transformers, repaints are inevitable. You either deal with it or complain about it endlessly (and generally have your comments muted by everyone else in the thread). Another inevitability is a team of combining construction vehicles will be Devastator at some point. It's going to happen. Fortunately this isn't as boring as some make it out to be (unless a Hasbro rep is around). In the case of the Target exclusive Devastator, it actually resulted in a neat looking toy.


A repaint of the Build Team from Robots in Disguise/Car Robots, Devastator was available at Target in 2006 in two different boxes with two different team members in each. As with the Build Team, this version of the Constructions was a four member team and the three different limb components could be used in whatever configuration with the main body/head component staying the same. I normally used Hightower for the upper body/arms as I felt it made for a more bulky looking robot.


I had already been a fan of the Build Team, so buying this set was a no brainer back then. Not to mention the classic Devastator colors looked great on the toys. A few years earlier a yellow version had been released in a gift set exclusive to Walmart, which served as a G2 version for some fans. The toy hasn't been in any fiction unfortunately. Being the toy was sold in the Universe line, but clearly had the Robots in Disguise logo on the package lead to the 'Ask Vector Prime' page to describe the team as the Build Team from RID that had been reformatted into bad guys. For a short run series like the original RID, little story bits like that are really fun and neat.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

They call him the Streak

Some of the more cool toys that have come around in the history of Transformers are the non show characters. While this kind of character doesn't happen as much these days, there was a time when they were a good portion of a toy line. In Beast Machines there was some really good figures in the off camera character category. Maybe even better than the main cast folks. Spy Streak was one such toy.

A basic class Vehicon, Spy Streak was a sci fi jet that would look at home in a shoot 'em up video game or a tokusatsu production. Of course being that Vehicons were Cybertronian based vehicles in alt mode, this was a good fit for the theme. In robot mode he had a fun design that fit in with robot designs at the time, while having an alien looking appearance. Simply put, Spy Streak looked like he was from another planet.
The toy mold got used again in Robots in Disguise (the 2001 line) Nightcruz. Nightcruz was a great repaint with the jet parts being mostly black with white robot bits. Blue and yellow accents with dry brushing bringing out the jets tech detail made for a great looking toy. Released in a cool 3 pack with Scavenger and Mirage GT (also Beast Machines toy molds), the toy fit in with the look of the new molds of the line while helping to add more product to shelves.

The toy got used one more time a few years later in the original version of Transformers Universe as Fireflight. Now in an awesome white and blue-gray deco with red highlights, this is my favorite version of the toy. While I normally don't mind when a name gets reused, I do wish Fireflight had a more original name to make the figure more than just another repaint. Fireflight came packed with two Mini-Cons to put the toy in the deluxe price class making for a great little set of toys.

Fictionally non of these great toys got more than a background appearance in BotCon/OTFCC comics. During the 3H fan club, I submitted a bio for Fireflight to the magazine shortly before that clubs demise. At the time I had made him into a version of Randal from Clerks. Looking back now, that was terrible.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Godzilla Storms into Anime Matsuri this Weekend!


Godzilla Storms into Anime Matsuri this Weekend!

Anime Matsuri is an annual anime and Japanese culture convention based in Houston, Texas and will feature a ton of fun Godzilla activations for fans of all ages!

The events this weekend will include:
  • The 1st official pop-up of the Godzilla Store Tokyo, selling items normally not readily available in the US.  More info available here.
  • A Godzilla exhibition featuring the classic posters from every Godzilla movie and original artwork and story boards from the classic TOHO films
  • A Godzilla statue in the classic TOHO style
  • The Mechagodzilla suit use in the classic TOHO movies
  • EXCLUSIVE Godzilla Anime Matsuri T-Shirt
The Godzilla King of the Monsters Panel, Friday 8pm-9pm featuring motion capture actors from the film including:
o   TJ Storm (Godzilla)
o   Alan Maxson (King Ghidora - Right Head)
o   Jason Liles (King Ghidorah Center Head, Rodan)
o   Richard Dorton (King Ghidorah – Left Head)


Thanks to Rogers and Cowan for providing Zone Base with this news.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Microman Titan


Super Star Soldier

I'm going to be an emotional mess when I get my TurboGrafx-16 Mini.
It's just so wonderful.

Tiny Figures


Making the rounds earlier today (Wednesday to you probably) was news of new figures from the extremely cool 'World's Smallest' line of tiny replica classic toys. Coming seemingly out of left field are new Transformers, GIJOE, and Power Rangers figures. You read the site, you know me, you're not surprised that I'm all in for this.


I've already got the prior World's Smallest version of the classic 12" GIJOE and have been tempted by their really neat blind boxed toys. Little cool things like this are really fun and hard not to like, especially if you're a fan of little figures like me. I really like the tiny packaging inside the actual packaging. That's super cool I do wish the Transformers packaging was a little more G1 inspired since they're obviously aiming for the nostalgia crowd, but it's not too big of a deal.


My initial impressions (outside of pure joy) was that these would make excellent Diaclone Drivers for Transformers that fit pilots. However on a sharper inspection, I can see the legs are not articulated. Oh well, they'd still make for some neat humans to hang around bases that'd be in relative scale. They should be hitting stores in late summer, so just the perfect thing to stuff stockings with come Christmas.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

War for Cybertron fan vote!


Exciting news TRANSFORMERS fans! Today, Hasbro announced the 2020 TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTON Fan Vote, where you’ll have the opportunity to decide which soon-to-be-revealed DECEPTICON will become a War for Cybertron figure in 2020.
Fans were given the first official teaser image on the TRANSFORMERS Facebook page HERE. Four hidden DECEPTICONS are in the running for the Fan Vote and their identities will be revealed in a follow-up post on June 13 at 9AM EST.

Voting also begins at 9AM EST on June 13. To vote, fans must share the name of their favorite DECEPTICON in the post comment section. Voting will ONLY be open for 48 hours, and there is a one vote per user and one character name per vote limit.

The Fan Vote winner will be announced via social post on July 17.



Thanks to Rogers & Cowan for sharing this with Zone Base

Little Rad Robot Hood

I've noted before how certain things in the Transformers family tree show up from time to time again. Sometimes it's blatant and sometimes it's pretty low key. Today I realized one such instance that happened 14 years ago and I've never noticed until now... and it's really not that low key either (maybe a happy accident though).

The picture above is of  Microman Hoodman in various colors (as Microman toys were generally available in). The figure was pretty cool, you've got a Microman with a neat 'hood' space suit that just exemplifies that classic sci fi look the line pulled off with flair (woo!). The figure was later used in Micronauts as Galactic Defender (with some different parts). One again multiple colors and man what a great toy, right?  So what am I even talking about here? Well...
This is Jolt, a Mini-Con from Transformers Cybertron/Galaxy Force. The toy mold was released in multiple colors under multiple names as well. I'd say the apple doesn't fall to far from the tree, but I don't have too. It's more like one of those moments where you say 'it's a small world' about a person or when something was in front of your face without you realizing it until later. It never would have occurred to me until today. On Instagram I saw a Hoodman and thought it was Jolt at first as it was in the background. It's probably a neat coincidence at best... Just by chance, Jolt turns into a helicopter... wait



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

TurboGrafx 16 Mini!

I am officially in mini retro console heaven.

The Tower of POWER

To say I'm waiting for the Genesis Mini with high anticipation is an understatement. I already have a few different AT Games Sega models and they're readily available still, but as cool as those are this is an official Genesis by SEGA and I care about that sort of thing. While I'm not holding my breath... ok I am... but that's a term of speech... the Mega Drive Tower Mini add on kits for the Japanese version are the exact kind of amazing accessory I need in my life. The games are pre-loaded on the console like other mini systems and there's no upgrading going on here. This is a purely cosmetic thing that's silly and I want it. A mini cartridge, a mini SEGA CD, and a mini 32X can all connect to the mini console to give it the full appearance of a decked out Genesis/Mega Drive. That's so freaking awesome. I don't expect to see it at Target, but in my dreams I already have it.

Filmation's Ghostbusters... the one with the gorilla


Surprise, surprise... I've been thinking about Halloween. The Mrs. and I regularly watch various ghost and paranormal videos all weekend as is which often leads to random viewings of Halloween programing through the year. This weekend such a thing happened and after she fell asleep I found myself watching some episodes of a cartoon I've always loved... Ghostbusters! Not that one! Yes I love Ghostbusters as is, but the other Ghostbusters is also something I enjoy!

Confused?

Prior to the classic Ghostbusters with Slimer and the gang, there was a live action children's show called 'The Ghost Busters' (there's actually a few other Ghost Buster named things prior). This was before my time though and as the movie Ghostbusters became a hit the cartoon soon followed... with a gorilla... who the hell are these guys? Then there was another show called 'The Real Ghostbusters' and I knew those dudes. Those are the ghost dudes I know. Regardless, I watched the other Ghostbusters as well and loved it! Later as I got older I learned the whole story of both Ghostbusters and the various legal trivia involved. Basically, the producers of the film worked out a deal with the producers of the show, later both parties made their own cartoon as there was money in those spooky hills. It's strange and silly, but hell there's two different Ghostbusters cartoons and I like the crap outta both.

You might notice come Halloween.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

A mammoth of a big deal


When I was in college Japanese Beast Wars was one of the coolest things to me. Still is. At the time the world was so new to me still and thanks to the internet becoming more and more a thing, Transformers from around the planet suddenly started becoming a big deal. I already loved Beast Wars, but I've always preferred traditional animation. Suddenly there was more Beast Wars with traditional animation. It didn't hurt that it looked so amazing either.

Big Convoy and Magmatron were just so bad ass that they became a rather big deal to me. Chances are if you're a Transformers fan, you enjoy the look of Optimus Prime. He's always been a really good looking robot and the combination of that Optimus look and the mammoth elements was awesome. After all these years it's still one of the most impressive looking Transformers toys in my eyes.

Then you have Magmatron, we've established I like dinosaurs and dinosaur based robots. Well, what if we had a dinosaur based team of villains led by a pile of dinosaurs? I knew you'd understand. Magmatron just looks crazy and imposing. Crazy, imposing, and amazing. It was hard to imagine such a figure that was made of three different dinosaurs at the time. How did it even work? Well, pretty complicatedly, but ultimately rewarding when I transformed mine for the first time.

Friday, June 7, 2019

A Landmine on Cybertron

In 2005, the then new Cybertron toy line had a nifty deluxe named Landmine. Presumably the same character from Energon before it, Landmine was an Autobot who transformed into a front loader. Landmine was an instant standout in the line for me as the figure was really good in both modes and just resonated well. Cybertron's main gimmick was the Cyber Planet Keys, which would unlock play features on the figure as well as being available in a multitude of colors and shapes (depending on the planet/faction they represented).

While I didn't mind the keys completely, I was often annoyed in cases where the key would be in the way of the toy in use. This was another good thing about Landmine as his key was out of the way when plugged in activating saw blades in the vehicles wheels. This ultimately just made for a cool looking robot mode more so than a weapon, but it was out of the way for the most part. As a character, Landmine was a seasoned warrior who was used pretty often in the show. A little later in the line saw a Walmart exclusive set of Landmine packed with a Mini-Con with a neat story blurb putting the two in an adventure. The toy was the same however, though this started a trend of the mold used only in exclusives for the rest of it's use.

The following year, the Landmine mold was used as a pre-Earth version of Rhinox for the 2006 BotCon exclusive box set. A straight recolor of the toy with his Cyber Key now colored to resemble one of the Golden Disks. I was particularly happy for this toy as not long after the original toy was released I thought it would make a good Rhinox. I guess I wasn't the only one who had that idea and the toy looked great.
Within a year the 2007 Transformers movie came out and was a big hit. Stores couldn't keep Transformers toys on shelves despite the onslaught of toys being made! It was during this time that in 2008 Walmart got a unique and cool set of exclusives. A new character named Grindcore was made from the Landmine mold. In more traditionally Constructicon colors, Grindcore was an Autobot that was another neat use of a great toy mold. Grindcore was featured in the fun movie based comics that were being produced at the time and is one of those cases where the character's name might be more popular than anything else. Sadly though, this was the last use of the mold, though still pretty remarkable. Usually a toy's various recolors can occasionally get a little bland, the Cybertron Landmine toy's various versions were all pretty great on their own.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Godzilla Island theme


Rokkon and Stonedar

From the planet Geolon to battle on Eternia, the Rock People were a surprisingly cool addition to the Masters of the Universe. You have Stonedar the older wiser member of the duo and Rokkon the... he's basically Hot Rod. The two arrived on Eternia just as He-Man needed a good rock. I've talked about their comrades The Meteorbs here before, but man... I've really been needing to talk about these guys. Because they rock... I'm not going to apologize for that pun. You're just going to have to live with it.


Rokkon and Stonedar didn't make it in time to be on the daily Master of the Universe cartoon, but just like Hordak and his crew, they showed up on She-Ra. My main source of their adventures was in the mini-comics (and I swear the magazine) where they turned up occasionally after starting a village on Etheria. It's funny how something that turns into a rock can be as amazing as these guys (or The Rock Lords for that matter) are, but here I am talking about toy rocks in my 40's, because they were just that cool. Not just mere rock, they were comets that unfolded into metallic skinned aliens with ray guns hell bent on stopping the evil forces of living Halloween decorations that populated Eternia. I certainly cherished my set during their heyday and really wished I had that Matty Collector set.  Right now I hope they make an appearance in the excellent Mega Construx series or pray Super 7 comes through with the goods.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

More than Meets the Eye!

Today, Transformers continues its celebration of the 35th Anniversary brand campaign 'More than Meets the Eye' with an all-new video from one of the creative minds behind the franchise, Hasbro Senior Designer John Warden, as he discusses how he is 'More than Meets the Eye' with his involvement as a youth volunteer at a farm on weekends. You can catch a look at the video on Facebook and Instagram.

More than Meets the Eye has been the call to action at the core of the TRANSFORMERS brand for over 35 years and is reinforced across all elements of the franchise. What makes a person More than Meets the Eye could be a hidden talent, a charitable action or something that celebrates individuality. Anything that embodies the notion that individuals have the strength to become something MORE than what others expect.


Thanks to Rogers and Cowan for sharing this news with Zone Base.

Godzilla KOTM


Switch Online June 2019 games


An Energon Mirage


One of the more interesting toys from Energon was Mirage. A Decepticon, Mirage turned into a boat. His 'hyper mode' (one of the gimmicks from Energon was Hyper Mode, a sort of attack form for the Decepticons) was wings that extended in boat mode for a flight mode. Mirage was a pretty unique toy to say the least.


In fiction, Mirage had sort of a dual persona. According to the toy packaging he was an individual Decepticon, while on the cartoon he was a new form for Tidalwave. Common complaints for Mirage were the complex transformation and those who didn't like established names being reused. I liked a lot about Mirage. He looked like a holdover design for a Beast machines Vehicon, or maybe even a planned design for Transtech. He had this neat armored alien look and his boat bits always gave me the impression of a cape. I could easily imagine him as an higher ranking officer. Not to mention, I loved his colors.
As you could expect, Mirage's toy mold got reused later in the line as Dreadwing. Dreadwing was a straight repaint of the toy as a new character. Cast in lighter blues with some purple and yellow highlights, Dreadwing is a really nice looking figure. He shared the same complaints as Mirage, so really it was a subjective at best if you took issue. Some fans used him as a new Scourge toy, which paired with Energon Galavatron and BotCon 2002 Cyclonus worked pretty well. Dreadwing didn't show up in the cartoon, but did make an appearance in a Fun Publications story.


A few years went by and it seemed like the mold had been forgotten when it popped up as a BotCon exclusive in 2009. Serving as a new Banzai-Tron toy... it worked pretty well. Another straight repaint, in the colors it looked like Banzai-Tron so much one has to wonder if that was the character the toy was originally intended to be. Speculation aside, it was nice to see the mold get another use. I doubt they'll ever be any sort of homage to Mirage, which is a shame as it was such a neat and different looking toy.





Sunday, June 2, 2019

Godzilla King of the Monsters

As usual, due to my work schedule and honest time preference these days, my early tickets had been purchased for a peaceful Sunday morning showing. I won't mince words and I'm not going to spoil anything either. This was a love letter to Godzilla fans. An outright big budget kaiju throwdown by Hollywood that managed to be so authentic and fan serving that I'm almost concerned that I'm still asleep and won't be at the movie until later.

A straight shot of pure adrenaline is the bloodline in a movie full of monster madness with Monarch going full G-Force trying to keep up with all the madness. You had bad guys vs good guys and holy crap Ghidorah in his most threatening appearance maybe ever.

The monsters were on point with little things that went with each one making them more like living beings than special effects. Rodan felt so pure with his burning wings and slightly self serving behavior. Mothra is a giant breathe of wholesome and goodness. Godzilla seems like an old soldier who's going to keep fighting until there's nothing left to give. Ghidorah was a force of nature and omg each head had it's own personality. God(zilla), I loved that.

I want to send the movie crew a thank you letter for this movie. I loved it so very much and have been on cloud 9 since leaving the theater. Looking forward to Kong vs Godzilla next year, but getting a copy of this movie feels even further away. Pure exhilaration.