Some Minor Updates, or The Big Three-Oh, Part 1.5 and Some Other Bits.

For a few days this past week I took a series of cracks at the first of those reviews I was planning and I just couldn’t break through the opening paragraph. I have a rough shape of the review in my head, but it’s been tricky, and not helped at all by the fact that I started to write this thing a couple of weeks ago and lost it. (I thought WordPress was auto-saving, since that’s a thing it used to do, but I guess the new post editor only saves drafts manually.) However, something happened this past week that I think gave me a better way in, so you should be seeing that next week.

I’m also still planning on doing that new episode of This Robotech Thing (I still have to shoot an intro, a news update, and an outro for it), but in the meantime I posted a series of photos of the second wave of Robotech 30th Anniversary product — the blind box figure assortment — to the Tumblr blog. Links to those posts follow. Continue reading

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The Big Three-Oh, Part 1.

This week ROBOTECH, that love-it-or-hate-it gestalt adaptation of 1982’s beloved classic SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS and two largely less beloved yet stylistically similar shows of a likewise similar vintage (1983’s GENESIS CLIMBER MOSPEADA and, my personal favorite, 1984’s SUPER DIMENSION CAVALRY SOUTHERN CROSS), officially turned thirty years old. Thirty is, the way I see it, the first nice round anniversary that’s celebrated mostly as a marketing thing. Ten feels like an accomplishment. When a series turns ten and you’ve got people excited to celebrate that anniversary it means that series has some kind of genuine staying power. Twenty is another decade and a whole fifth of a century — if we’re still talking about this show, then that staying power really isn’t ginned up. Then you celebrate twenty-five because that’s a QUARTER of a century. that REALLY feels like something, even though it’s just five more years. But five more years later? We made a big deal about this five years ago AND ten years ago. Maybe we can just cool it ’til fifty, if any of us are still in a mood to celebrate then. But no, in this particular case Harmony Gold completely failed to make a big deal during the twenty-fifth back in 2010, either rattled by the death of series visionary Carl Macek that same year or displaying the severe lack of planning ability that has characterized the current regime’s running of the franchise since around the release of their second major console video game, ROBOTECH: INVASION, so they seem rather intent on turning this into a thirtieth to remember to wash away the stench of that missed opportunity five years ago.

For their part, Toynami, ROBOTECH’s toy licensee for the past decade and a half, are likewise making up for missed opportunities with a full range of product, some of which I talked about right after the New York Toy Fair. Today we’ll be looking at what I believe to be the first product they’ve released with the cleverly designed ROBOTECH 30th Anniversary branding, a new production run of their venerable 1/100 scale VF-1 Valkyrie mold, released for the first time at mass retail under the ROBOTECH name. (While there was a convention exclusive “Stealth” redeco of the VF-1S bearing the ROBOTECH logo, previous mass retail releases have borne the Japanese SUPER DIMENSION FORTRESS MACROSS logo.) Continue reading

Emergency Cat Picture.

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Over on the This Robotech Thing blog I emptied out my “ask” box this weekend, answering questions about Robotech 3000Robotech Remastered, Harmony Gold’s new Deep Sea 7 show, and why Harmony Gold doesn’t actually hire a real company to help them make new Robotech. I also spent several hours that same night loading the blog up with Robotech comic book posts through February. The first of this new series, marching through the series’s timeline from beginning to end, goes up today.

I spent last night watching a fistful of anime premieres. I’ll probably write that up another night, maybe this week? Nothing I disliked. Check my twitter feed if you want to see some off-the-cuff remarks on ’em.

More later.

Robotech/Voltron #4 & 5 (Dynamite Comics)

“I was sent north to find this Kimba, which I was told could help us back to Earth. I wish I could say more, but I don’t think you’d believe a ghost story.”

Robotech/Voltron #4 is positively tragic. Like the mish-mashed worlds it showcases, it provides a window into a universe where this mini-series as a whole carried the spirit of its predecessors, the lively, pulpy Robotech comics co-writer Bill Spangler scripted back in the early-to-mid 1990s for publishers Malibu/Eternity and Academy. Reading it, I was both elated that the series was picking up steam and worried that there was no way it could be resolved satisfactorily in its concluding issue.

Sadly, I was so right. Robotech/Voltron is easily the worst issue of the run, and is a serious contender for the worst Robotech comic book of all time. Continue reading

Robotech/Voltron #3 (Dynamite Comics)

“I don’t understand. Do you think we’re connected to this SDF-1 somehow?”

“That’s what we’re trying to find out. All we know is that you’re part of this perfect storm of craziness.”

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Robotech/Voltron #3 brings us through the halfway point of Dynamite’s crossover between the two premiere Japanese robot anime imports of the 1980s, and while there is still a certain amount of setup going on, some pieces of this machine finally feel like they’re in motion. The crossover finally feels like it’s underway. Unfortunately, that means that we only have two more issues for the whole thing to resolve itself; pacing remains a problem, despite this issue feeling like the series finally coming into its own.

Continue reading