robotech30_1

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

Robotech, In Brief: Boobytrap

Cropped image from the original cover art to "Genesis," the 1st Robotech novelization. Art by David Schleinkofer.

The long wars begin. Art by David Schleinkofer.

Before we begin, a quick introduction.

“Robotech, In Brief” is the spiritual successor to a project I undertook in the summer of last year, “365 Days of Robotech, which was to be my “last word” on the Robotech franchise. With that in mind, given my long personal association with the series — both in terms of writing stuff about Robotech on the internet (I’ve been writing about it extensively on the ‘net since I was a teenager) and in print (I contributed some words to the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles artbook, wrote continuity notes on the last two novelization omnibus editions, and produced an article on the history of the franchise that appeared in a magazine once) — I drove myself crazy detailing every last little facet of every piece of Robotech television and comic book material I wrote up, went many sleepless nights doing so, and ultimately crashed under the pressure of my own ridiculously high standards.

I refuse to let that happen again. That’s why I put the words “In Brief” in the title of THIS project. Continue reading