Vlog: Twin Shadows

I shot the previous two videos with the iSight webcam built into my MacBook Air; this one was shot on my old Sony camcorder that was used to shoot all my stuff from ’07 thru ’09. If I plan on shooting anything else without the aid of the webcam methinks I need to buy a new camcorder. The battery died after about seven minutes of shooting, and the resolution is a little ropey (though the same could be said for the iSight; then again, it’s a webcam, so it’s not like expect much out of it).

I also discovered two things while producing this video. First, my old copy of iMovie on my Mac Mini steadfastly refuses to send anything directly to YouTube if it’s over ten minutes or a certain number of megabytes (150, IIRC), which meant I had to export the video to a movie file and upload it through YouTube’s website. Second, in doing so I found that my YouTube account has been upgraded to the point where I can upload video over fifteen minutes — meaning I didn’t have to end THIS video quite as abruptly as I did. I didn’t have time to say much more than, “Yeah, Maia’s Shadow Fighter is cool, bye!” before signing off — and clearly that wasn’t what I planned on saying over that footage of me tossing the sensor over my shoulder. Next week’s video — which I’m honestly thinking won’t be Robotech-related — will be a little better paced, methinks.

Maia's Shadow Fighter & an REF Shadow Drone have some company.

Skull Leader and her Shadow Drone wingman have some company.

The answer to the question the video raises, by the way, is: if you find the idea of having either of these mecha as toys appealing, and you can find either of these in the sixty to seventy dollar range shipped, I’d go for it. Clearly the Toynami figure is the sturdier toy — despite the breakage I suffered, it still feels more solid in-hand and its different modes hold together better — but if you can find a way to tighten the Shadow Drone’s joints, that would definitely narrow the gap between the two. And really, the fact that the two appear roughly to be in the same scale should, if you’re even HALF the Robotech nerd/toy fan I am, make nabbing both a tres tempting proposition, especially since they’re both unique items. The three New Generation/Mospeada main cast fighters and the Shadow/Dark Legioss were produced by both Toynami and CM’s, but for these two designs, each manufacturer is the only game in town. Yes, each has those quirks and irritants that I detail in the video, but that doesn’t take away from the fun of posing them, transforming them, and having them team up to take on my Matchbox Invid.

Mind you, you might want to make sure if you go after a Masterpiece Collection Maia Sterling’s Shadow Fighter that you’re going after one from the second production run. I’m not sure if everyone selling Masterpiece Maia’s mecha swapped their bum run for the second run. I can only say that Entertainment Earth, where I got mine (on sale!), did. I can vouch for them. Everywhere else, though? Ask questions, and buyer beware.

Tomorrow starts the second week of Robotech, In Brief, so stick around for that. Also, two more weeks until new episodes of Doctor Who start airing, and I’m plenty hyped up for the big two-part premiere. Loved Matt Smith & Steven Moffat’s first season (seriously, the opener, “The Eleventh Hour,” jumped straight onto my “I can watch this over and over again and not get sick of it” shortlist with the 1986 Transformers: The Movie and “Boobytrap” and “Countdown”), and this looks like its gonna be loads creepier and weirder. I’ll surely be offering up some thoughts on that when the time comes.

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2 thoughts on “Vlog: Twin Shadows

  1. The actual video quality is a bit better on the camcorder vs. the webcam. Though, I think the webcam is just fine so use whatever works best for the video, I say.

    I’ve now located all of my old Matchbox Robotech toys and I have the ones I can display on a shelf (the battlepods and the Veritech unfortunately are too big). I’ve got enough room left for one more item and I’d like to start collecting the “New Generation” masterpiece toys, so I’ll probably go for one of them. Just not sure which one.

    • The shame of it is that by all the accounts I’ve read the Shadow Chronicles Maia Sterling Masterpiece — at least the second, corrected version — is the most solid of the various toys to use the Masterpiece Alpha tooling, with the least number of production problems. I used to have the Scott Bernard Alpha, and that thing had me worried every time I handled it and transformed it. Getting it back into Fighter mode always seemed to be a struggle and a chore. Maia’s I’ve transformed back and forth several times with the only troubling problem being that blasted thruster between the Battloid’s legs, which is a pretty easy fix as long as you avoid touching it again (which isn’t really hard); none of the pegs, tabs, or joints has me walking on eggshells. Maybe it’s just that I know my way around it better now, but I don’t think so. I think it really is just that much better constructed. Which means that if you want a proper New Generation version of the mold, you’re going to need some rather good luck there, as there seems to be a fair chance you’ll wind up with a dud. (I’ve heard horror stories about the green Alpha, and that was the THIRD version of the toy; you’d think these things would have gotten better after the poor QC on the Scott Bernard — speaking from firsthand experience, the one I held onto until a year or two ago was the SECOND one I had, as the first had two of the same wing, making a proper transformation impossible!)

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