This Robotech Thing Tumblr Week In Review, February 10-14

In case you somehow missed it, since October last year I’ve been running a Tumblr blog of ROBOTECH stuff including essays, pics and such that I’ve stumbled across on-line, things I’ve bought, and cool ROBOTECH media I’d love to give whatever signal boost I can to. Since January 16, I’ve been back to five-day-a-week posting there, each one going up at 6 a.m. Central, as is my custom. (That’s when ROBOTECH aired in syndication in my area back in the 1980s.) Given that, I figured it might possibly be worthwhile to, at the end of the week, provide a look back at the week that was on the blog, offering a few extra words on each post, since I’ve noticed that words don’t get quite the attention on Tumblr that pics do.

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On Monday I posted up the Robotech Visions team’s first video offering, which I originally mistakenly said depicted the funeral of General Rolf Emerson. Well, actually, it does, but only at the end; the bulk of it is the state funeral for Supreme Commander Anatole Leonard, which also serves as a memorial for all who passed during the Second Robotech War. (Tom Bateman corrected me on this Thursday night. Thanks, Tom!) As I’ve already said, if you enjoy the Robotech Masters era of the series at all you owe it to yourself to check it out, and I’m not just saying that because I’m internet pals with most of the folks responsible for it. I’m saying that because it really is that well done.

Y’know how all across the internet you find these gone-in-a-day pop culture mashup t-shirt sites that do funny stuff with, like, Star Wars and Harry Potter and Sherlock and Doctor Who and so on and so forth? Have you ever noticed that you never find ROBOTECH mashed up with anything? Well, on Tuesday I reblogged a pic that represents a prolific Star Wars shirt designer seeking to remedy that situation with a mash-up of Boba Fett and a Valkyrie. Remarkable how well Boba Fett’s visor fits on the VF-1S head. There’s a link to upvote it at one of those shirt sites at the blog if you dig it the way I do.

I don’t know how long you’ve been following me around the internet, but if you’ve been following me long enough you probably know that when I was growing up my first video game console was the TurboGrafx-16, NEC’s ill-fated entry into the U.S. console wars of the late 80s/early 90s. I remember for a couple of years reading in gaming magazines that NEC’s successor company, Turbo Technologies, Inc., was planning to release the TG-16’s Japanese counterpart’s Macross side-scrolling shooter, Macross 2036, in the U.S. I never knew how much stock to place in those claims, especially since it never really panned out. (I eventually bought the Japanese game on eBay when I was in college, about ten years ago now. It’s a pretty fun, technically accomplished shooter with a reasonable learning curve and, of course, lots of voice acted cut scenes. The plot also features Breetai in a major role, as our young heroes’ commanding officer, and has a resurrected Khyron returning with a creepy cyborg eye.) Thanks to the material I acquired and posted up on Wednesday, I have a slightly better idea of how much stock to put in those claims — TTI was absolutely, positively planning on releasing the game, and moreover, calling it Robotech: The Macross Saga. Two questions hover around this discovery: First, why didn’t it happen? And second, as pal SDF1Lisa remarked when she reblogged it, how did they plan on adapting that to the ROBOTECH story? (Bear in mind, using the timeline from the novels, 2036 is one year after the Invid Regis leaves Earth. Ignore Breetai’s death in Sentinels, and either rewrite Maria’s parentage or move the timeline ten years further out and make her Aurora, and it just about works as an Expeditionary Force Vs. deep space Zentraedi remnants story, at least well enough as an excuse for a video game. Why are they using modified/upgraded Valkyries in the post-Third Robotech War era? Because unlike later Robotech mecha they’re scaled right for fighting Zentraedi, duh.)

When I saw the bootleg toy I posted on Thursday up for sale on eBay, I knew I had to grab the seller’s pics and share it with the world. Heaven knows I wasn’t going to buy it. Toynami’s original toys felt cheap enough; one assumes that if they stared hard enough at a knockoff of those toys it would immediately shatter into a million shards. I do like how brazen the manufacturer is, actually calling it a “ROBOTECH Super Veritech” and advertising a three-form transformation that this particular toy doesn’t do. My favorite thing, though, is the fact that half of the toy is in Skull One colors and half of it is in Miriya colors. I assume somewhere out there is a knockoff that’s Miriya’s Veritech in the front and Skull One in the back. It only makes sense, right?

And finally, in honor of Valentine’s day I offered up a recently acquired piece from my production art collection featuring one of ROBOTECH’s most dysfunctional couples in action, a rough from the production of the Sentinels animation of the Invid Regess giving the Regent a piece of her mind. I got this a week or two ago along with an animation cel from the same sequence. Of the two pieces of production art, I thought this was the more interesting; I kind of like the Regess’s more inhuman look in the rough. I think it actually works better given that her appearance in Sentinels probably shouldn’t have matched her appearance at the end of The New Generation considering her obsession with evolution throughout the original series.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The next This Robotech Thing video is probably going to be recorded this week. I also, as I think I mentioned last month, will be shooting something special for the anniversary of ROBOTECH’s premiere during the first week of March. Stay tuned!

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2 thoughts on “This Robotech Thing Tumblr Week In Review, February 10-14

  1. I absolutely enjoyed this past week’s posts, especially the Regess/Regent bit, and I await your next video!

    Regarding the video game, I actually spent a dumb amount of time trying to reason it out myself this week, though without the benefit of ever having played it (so definitely advantage: you). What I came up with was that Komilia (which is who Great Scholar Wikipedia tells me is the main character), being greenishly-haired, might be redubbed Miriya, that they’d drop/rewrite the 2036, and position it as a pre-Sentinels incursion of rogue Zentraedi. With the added info about Khyron, maybe it would be a Khyron clone or such (didn’t they have tissue samples, according at least to McKinney in Zentraedi Rebellion–even though that’s an anachronism of a couple of years or so in publication terms?). It seems like there would have been a way to bang it out, anyhow. (And for that matter, I remember playing ROMs of the Famicom side-scroller and the Super Famicom DYRL game and often wondered why those were never released here–especially the one that would have been on the NES. It’s dead simple and would have been easy to re-work, I suspect. (Although, now that I think about it, a looping MIDI version of the Little White Dragon theme was bad enough…looping MIDI Stagefright might have driven me over the edge entirely…)

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