Protocultural Artifacts: Sterling Family Reunion

Clockwise from top: Matchbox Dana Sterling action figure (1986), Playmates Exo-Squad Robotech Veritech Hover Tank (1995), Yamato GNU-Dou VF-1A Max Type TV Ver. (2009), Toynami Robotech Masterpiece Collection Maia Sterling's Shadow Fighter (2010).

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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.