15 TRANSFORMERS MOVIE IDEAS I’D RATHER SEE THAN ANOTHER BLOODY BAYFORMERS

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 #15. TITAN FORCE 5

A Super Team of Citybot TITANS that travel from world to world fighting the biggest and the baddest civilization ending monsters in the galaxy. Part Voltron, part Tranformers, part rubber suit guy Godzilla wrestle fest… in SPACE. It’s everything you love in one convenient movie blending the best of western science fiction writing with the big action and spectacle of a Kaiju / Tokusatsu film.

 

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#14. LOST LIGHT

Hot Rod’s dysfunctional crew of unmentionables cruising around the universe having misadventures aboard the Lost Light. It’s the original Star Trek but with transformers, with a side order of Red Dwarf absurdist scenarios and banter mixed in. On a never ending quest to find the mythical Knights of Cybertron, Hot Rod and his co-captain Megatron endure setbacks and misadventures. Like all good space operas, it not about the mission/destination but the journey and character interaction along the way.

 

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# 13. DER GEIST CON STARSCREAM*

A minimalist creepy film with a brooding ambient score that makes your skin crawl. A series of Decepticon characters mysteriously murdering each other, who appear to be insane in the brain-module. Only later in the film do we realize that our malevolent maniacs have been possessed by Der Geist con Starscream, who is murderizing his way to the top with style – one CON at a time. *And because somebody already came up with the title at TFWIKI, I just HAD to steal it (just the title).

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#12. LAST STAND OF THE WRECKERS

A rag tag group of no goodniks on a suicide mission where almost nobody gets out alive. It’s the big summer spectacle balls to the wall action movie with intelligence, grit and style that’s gonna wipe away all the bad memories of what came before because fuck Michael Bay and the horsebot he rode in on.

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Last stand of the Wreckers – An adaptation of the short comic book story that sees our lovable team of miscreants sent on a mission to kill the virtually unkillable smug self-satisfied sadist Overlord and take back his prison planet, freeing the slaves from endless torture and other horrific war crimes.

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A Dirty Dozen / Expendables style film full of tough talk, dirty deeds and big action. When there’s an impossible job that needs taken care of you call The Wreckers.

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HE’S IN CHARGE

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#11. BEAST WARS – THE WAR OF THE PROTOFORMS

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Far from playing it safe with a straight up action adventure, Beast Wars was an innovative well written and well animated cutting edge show that took chances. It was also kinda boring and slow in places. A film version should be more innovative and take more chances – rather than less. The story follows a proto-from from its birth into the world(s) of Beast Wars, and the two factions mindlessly campaigning for new members.

An existential meditation on the nature of cultural conditioning, of coercing younglings into war to suit an agenda. A film that doesn’t try to answer the hard ethical questions, but instead puts you through the wringer, as we follow our proto-form and its unsuccessful attempts to integrate and find meaning in a world gone mad after millions of years of meaningless wars.

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#10. THE FALL OF CYBERTRON

A traditional war film set during the peak of the first civil war that later leads to teh evacuation of the planet. A young pre-matrix Optimus Prime leads a group of Autobots through an endless campaign of destruction and carnage on commando missions to capture, retake or destroy important strategic targets. This is the beginning of an icon, the war days that forge Optimus into the tough but open minded leader he would later become. We see Optimus make rookie mistakes and begin his rise to greatness as a leader of the Freeformers… ah… Autobots.

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#9. MEGATRON: ORIGINS

We’ve had Wolverine: Origins and Batman Begins now  lets see a biography film of histories greatest genocidal robot dictator. Like Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, Megatron Origins doesn’t glamorize anything, just matter of fact shows you the horrible life as part of the underclass labor force Megatron has lead. We see the formation of the Decepticons,  Megatron’s rise against tyranny, and his eventual place as an unrepentant  monster greater that those he fought against.

 

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#8. HOW BEACHCOMBER GOT HIS GROOVE BACK

A buddy comedy road trip movie sets during the 80’s about keeping it real. A down on his luck Beachcomber is befriended by the sweet natured Bumblebee. Together they go on a mad road trip across America. Like John Hughes’ Planes, Trains and Automobiles the laughs are big, the friendship is enduring and the ending is bitter sweet.

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#7. WAR WITHIN ERA SOLO DINOBOTS MOVIE

A solo film for the Dinobots that focuses on their descent from Strike Team to Outlawed Beastial Renegades. From a once respected team of commandos to their exposure to dark energon that causes them to give in their Beastial natures, savaging their enemies in wild fits of berserker rage. Ostracized by the peace loving Autobots for being too savage and unpredictable. Addicted to violence and war the Dinobots remain noble savages with sympathies from neither Bot or Con for their war time atrocities.

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#6. AUTOCRACY

A political drama about the beginning of corruption in the Autobot senate, the rise of the Functionists and a companion piece to Megatron: Origins – showing how Cybertron came to be ruled by a corrupt Autocracy that served only its own purposes.

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#5. SHARKIES BIG DAY OUT – aka ‘EASY SHARKER’

A quirky existential coming of age ‘tail’ of a Sharkticon who questions his purpose in life set to a soundtrack of alternative 80’s pop hits. It’s the story of a disillusioned Sharkticon who went looking for Quintessa and couldn’t find it anywhere.

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#4. ALPHA’S ANGELS

A kick ass super-team of secret sassy fembots in the cyberton underground who go on covert missions. Starring Alpha Trion, Elita-1, Moonracer, Chromia, Arcee, Windblade, Nauticaa, Greenlight, Strongarm and Firestar. It’s The Expendables, Charlies Angel’s, and Ocean’s Eleven all knocked up a notch, with the volume turned all the way up.

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#3. OMEGA’S LAST STAND

In the dying of the light, the last of robotic sentient life is extinct. OMEGA SUPREME is on a one million year one way journey to seed a new potential robotic world with protoforms and reignite the Cybertronian race. His dilemma – to allow his own race to die knowing the wars, death and chaos they have caused may start anew, or to follow his instincts as the last Guardian Robot, and protect the sacred lifeforms he holds in his body.

“My destiny is the ocean of stars”

Last Stand is a space travel movie about the loneliest Autobots slow descent into oblivion on a mission of ultimate self sacrifice. Having delivered his pay load, the last of Omega’s Energon is burnt up, we see his lifeless body float out into space in stasis lock. Ice crystals form on his ocular cavities as he drifts helplessly into a black hole, his body finally at rest as he is destroyed.

He would shed a tear, if he had tears to shed.

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#2 GALVATRON OF THE DARKLANDS

IDW Galvatron is an unknown ancient Cybertronian, a barbarian warrior and a genetic purist who cares not for foul abominations like headmasters or Beastformers. Carving and hacking a path through all who oppose him, this Galvatron is an ancient ruthless barbarian, far more intelligent, more sane, more dangerous and more savage than any version we have seen before.

Long before the Cybertronian civil wars, Galvatron was kicking ass and taking names. A Conan style Outlander adventure film of pure grit, malice and raw strength would be the order of the day. Anything else would not do this version of the character justice. In a time before laws, nations, politics, friends and allies were foreign concepts. There is only Galvatron of the Darklands, and this is his mad unending crusade.

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#1. SOLO GRIMLOCK & BULKHEAD MOVIE

RID chubby paws himself Grimlock teams up with Transformers Animated Bulkhead in an all ages kids films of big adventures, big laughs, big heart and mass destruction (most of it unintentional) SORRY!

Two big clumsy Rockheads in one small summer movie, with a lot of laughs and accidental mass destruction. “Together, there is nothing they can’t destroy”

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BONUS!!! THE Z GRADE MOVIES THAT JUST DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT (that the director snuck out the back door so you can find the bootlegs at the Dodgy Sunday Markets)…

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#5. GONE WITH THE SHARKTICON

A robotic romance-drama-comedy-horror with teeth.

“Part robot, Part romance – all terror.”

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#4. ULTRA MAGNUS – CARETAKER OF THE MATRIX

A low budget indie film, a day in life of Ultra Magnus with his embarrassing role as “Caretaker of the Matrix”

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#3. THE FALLEN:  A HUNK OF BURNING LOVE

He’s undeniably evil, inspired Megatron to go Full Metal Bad Ass and pretty much the Transformers equivalent of a fallen angel who rebels against his home and he’s ALWAYS ON FIRE, ALWAYS!!! Why? Because it looks bad ass, that is the *official* reason. Just stop asking questions and walk away before he notices you. He’s even on fire when there is no oxygen around. Come on, that’s the definition of BAD ASS!

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#2. THEY SAVED OPTIMUS’ BRAIN MODULE

A tale so terrible that once told you will feint in pure terror. A story calculated to drive you insane in the brain module. Keep reminding yourself it’s not real.

 

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#1.  NIGHT OF THE LIVING BRICK

Once in a lifetime comes a film so depraved and disgusting. So terrifyingly high, these toy prices will make you drop dead in fright!  Walk away now mortal, lest these living bricks claim first your immortal soul, and then your wallet. Mu-hu-hu-ha-ha-ha-ha-har!

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TRANSFORMERS GO! Get Out! Shoo! – The Cartoon Straight From Anime Hell

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Tranformers GO! is a terrible terrible terrible cartoon.

You might think I”m exaggerating for effect.

NO.

Think of every stupid cliche you might see in a low-budget Anime:

Limited animation, stock footage, nonsensical plot, characters powering up and/or combining constantly, lots of standing still while their mouths barely move.

Yes, Transformers GO! has all these exciting features and more. Did I mention it’s the first Transformers show to be created exclusively in Japan since Transformers: Cybertron? Are you alarmed enough yet – Would you like to sit down for a while?

I’ve prepared a chair for you.

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GO GO SUPER ROBOT LIFEFORM!

So Transformers Go! is just an utterly rubbish show. It features a mystical artifact that human characters in the show call a “mirror”, but it’s clearly just a DVD-rom style disc that everybody is desperate to get their oily robo-hands and claws on.

It’s a really shallow show that exists just to tie in with the redeco’d Transformers Prime and Beast Hunters toy lines in Japan.

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The new characters/toys and stars of the show are the two Autobot Hero Teams.

Samurai Team and Ninja Team. The other main characters are some random Anime Kids, Beast Predaking and his Demon General Predacons.

Predaking is called Dragotron. In TF: GO! Predaking is an ancient evil that lies sleeping and can only be awakened under certain conditions. The Predacon Generals are determined to wake up their sleeping ruler. Optimus Prime is in the show briefly  at the start as a still image that talks, (but is not animated) on a communications monitor. In the above image, he is talking but his mouth remains closed. He’s a ventriloquist.

MIGHTY ROBO LOCO FORCE – POWER UP! ENDLESSLY WITH EXCITEMENT! GATTAI!

In the first episode of Transformers Go! we learn that our heroes are on a mission from Optimus Prime (still in his Beast Hunters form). The heroic Autobots  must protect some data-disc things to stop the ancient evil Predaking from rising.

The only way to do this is by inexplicable time travel, annoying tag along Anime Kids, and Combining every five seconds while screaming attacks at the enemy. Why does greedy/lazy Optimus Prime not help himself? We will have to wait until mid season when he turns up as a Shinkansen / Bullet Train. Spoiler alert I guess? Do you even care that he’s a train? No. No you did not.

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It’s several minutes into episode 1 and Predacon General BUDORA makes his flashy entrance. He’s clearly a fan of wrestling pyrotechnics and big hand gestures. Don’t laugh, he’s totally bad ass and will kill you as soon as look at you. His forearm arm tattoos read: “CAUTION! This Predacon has sharp edges. Please do not touch the Predacon”
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That’s right kid, you’re the token Annoying Anime Kid who hangs out with the Autobots in this show. Your life is about to become unbelievably painful thanks to those robot aliens. Gramps would have been a better main character kid, you know it’s true.

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That’s right Kid, better do what he says – he has a horn on his head and more teeth than are actually needed for eating things. Plus every single area of his body has some type of spike or blade protruding from it. He’s not joking either he really will kill you, I feel like I covered this already? Are you just not getting it Annoying Anime Kid? Give him that worthless pack in scratched up disc and continue to enjoy living already.

You know these TF GO! to hell! MISB toys are gonna be worthless in twenty years Anime Kid, just sell that damn disc now while it’s glowing red hot!

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The fabled “Legend Disc” of ultimate power (totally NOT dvd-rom)

Side effects may include: Time Travel, Accidentally Waking up Predaking , Super mega cool wallpapers on it if you put it in your PC. Otherwise you just watch the show on your DVD/BD player. But don’t tell Predacon Budora, he’ll probably make illegal copies just to promote himself and his grand showy entrances – he’s a bit of an egomaniac.

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Still episode one here – we see a random cut away to the faces of some Oni which loosely means demon/ogre/troll. More specifically troll-like demons with a fierce appearance, and often animal like claws or fangs who are un-naturally strong. If you’ve ever played Street Fighter, now you know why Akuma/Gouki is so ugly and has Fireballs of Steel. He’s as Oni as it gets.

Modern Oni figures are sometimes a mix of Japanese and Indian influences, and are mixed in with Buddhism’s values and stylized art too. Note the furrowed brow, piercing eyes and glaring teeth with a scrunched up face – it’s basically the face of a predator / carnivore letting you know it means business.

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SO METAL. I’d hang out with this guy over mopey effeminate Angels any day

THE DEVIL YOU SAY

In the West, demons are often thought of as mainly evil, whereas in many Asian cultures and in Buddhism we get wildly contrasting categories of demons who inhabit different realms. Some you would say are more like nature spirits, some are ghosts, some evil, some more benign. The iconography of historical mythology often has different demonic figures associated with natural forces, the weather, seasons, human emotions, hunting and gathering, wild animals and mental states. The tricky part is some of those “gods” are enlightened deities who take on wrathful forms for specific purposes. So it’s confusing for some westerners looking at the iconography of demons and gods from other cultures to know who is a Good Guy and who is a Bad Guy. Short answer? Yes/No/Everything.

If all that sounds too complicated, think of Kratos in God of War or the Incredible Hulk, you would not typically call them Demons, – yet their appearance puts them in the Oni-like category. But then you could also call Kratos or Hulk Gods of Anger or Wrathful Deities. Appearances can be deceiving.

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The Predacon Generals are my favourite thing about GO! Their designs are in a word bad-ass. The fiction could be that they took on alt modes resembling mythical beasts, or that their native form was observed and woven into local legends and superstition.

Adding fiction into a cultural historical narrative does not need to be seamless – the facts and reality just need to be skewered *enough* to make things plausible within the fiction itself. So I think it works both ways. They resemble mythical beast, or artistic depictions of mythical beasts were influenced by them. Remember – Cybertronians live for millions of years.

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A quick note on that “Legend Disc” before we move on to more no-budget nonsense. Yes it’s clearly a data-disc. However in the show the human characters call it a “mirror”. The implication is that it’s some ancient artifact that happened to be lying around as part of a shrine in the Kendo training house. But it looks like a DVD so that kids who watch the show will recognise it as a DVD. It’s dumb, but it makes sense.

TELL ME MIRROR, WHO IS THE TRANSFORMIEST OF THEM ALL?

Anyhow, ACTUAL historical pocket sized mirrors (that don’t look like DVDs) in Japan and China are often adorned with elaborate decorations and have various cultural and superstitious meanings.

“Mirrors are usually considered primarily as implements for personal grooming but, in Japan, mirrors were used for far more than reflecting one’s image. Within Japanese culture, mirrors are one of the most potent symbols of power, revered as sacred objects representing the gods. Mirrors are also admired as artistic objects, as they have intricate pictorial designs on their backs.” – Google Arts & Culture

source: https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/beta/exhibit/9AICex7GHApkLA

Okay, so you just to have imagine that the DVD looks like a fancy ornate mirror, like an artifact you might see in a museum. It’s powerful and the Predacons need it to do their business. Not that kind of business, evil business. Mirrors in various ancient cultures are also links to the spirit world. Think of any number of low budget horror movies where  this Trope has been used and abused endlessly. Or better fiction like The Picture of Dorian Grey, Harry Potter and Alice: Through the Looking Glass.

Mirrors / Power / Gods / Demons / Magic – Got it? 

Okay, let’s move on shall we, feels about time to power up endlessly with seizure inducing graphics flashing fast on bright backgrounds.

SANJOU GATTAI!

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When the heroic Samurai and Ninja teams attack the Predacons, they scream out their attacks and combination mode in extreme close up on a flashy non-background. Like most limited-animation anime, there are scenes where characters are talking but their mouths don’t move, and heavily re-used footage is seen again in each episode.

Not just the usual battle power up stock footage, but whole sections of the beginning and end of each episode are inexplicably re-used. Each episode is only around twelve minutes long. And we often see the same footage of characters yelling out their attacks like Street Fighter characters over and over again. Even in the same episode.

The character models are three dimensional and while clearly done on a budget, do look pretty cool.

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The core gimmick of the show is the three robot combination formula. The Samurai team is composed of three robots and can merge into a gestalt with a twist. Each robot can be the upper body, torso or the pants. Each robot can swap with the other to make up the new combo. Samurai Team turn into vehicles while Ninja Team turn into beasts.

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The combination mechanic of the show is repeated in the toy line. The combos are fun, but the toys are quite ugly in their individual Bot modes. They may look okay in these pictures, but up close trust me there are many flaws and weird proportions that have put off even some hardcore fans. If the toys looked just like the show character model I would be all over them by now.

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The whole toyline in Japan for Transformers GO! is made up of redecod Beast Hunters / Transformer Prime toys. The new toys are the two Autobot hero teams and their nemesis – Beast Predaking  and his Predacon Genearals along with a new bullet train / Shinkansen Optimus Prime.

The show itself comes on a DVD packed in with the toys. Aha! Here’s the part I purposefully didn’t bother mentioning earlier. It’s low budget, a terrible show in most regards – but the catch is it’s free with the toys. So if you take it as more promo material – rather than full network show – it’s really not a bad deal. Also it kind of explains that DVD being in the show itself. But it’s STILL looks stupid.

Here is where I confess *kind of like* Transformers GO! It’s utter crap, make no mistake – but the action scenes are fun and I really like the design of the Predacons. It ticks the right amount of mythological beast boxes for me. There are only a small handful of episodes that you can easily watch in one day. I want to say that it’s short, awful with some cool bits and more watchable than Transformers Energon or Cybertron.

In PART#2 of this ramble we’ll take a look at Predaking / Dragotron, Shinkansen Prime and the Predacon Combiner made from Jaki / Predacon Minions. But for now we’ll finish up with a quick look at some of the Predacons. Below is Predacon General Bakudora.

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He’s a really neat toy, I’m using a stock promotional image here as my toy is in a storage tub somewhere.

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Yeah I kind of love the close ups and announcing the characters like they are about to wrestle the Rock or Hogan or whoever. Here’s Bakudora (my favorite) in the show in the above image, and below is Budora.

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Budora is a bad ass and he knows it. Sharp wings, mythical beast head in his cheat, cool spiky bits all over the place, gold highlights, tattoos on his arm and heavy metal face so grim and unemotional you’d think he was made of stone. He’s my favorite of the Predacon Generals. They pretty much invented the word Stoic just to describe Budora.

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There is some Lovely box art in this TF GO! line of toys. And look at that FACE! You know he means business. The deco is to die for, and while my crappy zoomed in pic doesn’t show it – he has a faux metallic speckly gloss that makes him look a sort of Knight/Lord Demon – so he will not only kill you without hesitation, but he’s gonna look damn stylish while doing it. Gotta love a mythical alien robot demon with a sense of style.

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You may have noticed I have not opened him, he’s been on my shelf for a year or two along with Beast Fire Predaking. I just love the display boxes and could not open them.

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Well I might just have to open him and Beast Fire Predaking for some pics in PART#2, which will be up soon. I’ll have to rummage in those tubs too to find my other GO! Predacons first.

Oh… here’s one that happens to be sitting next to me.

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Stick around, we’ll be back next time and take a look at Shinkansen Prime and Dragotron  / Predaking in the cartoon. We’ll also look at the different Hasbro/Takara Predacon deco’s and maybe I’ll do an unboxing of the big TF:Prime Predaking toy to spice things up.

Until then, stay Mean and Green.

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COLLECTORS SPOTLIGHT – Kool Kollectibles – Hot Toys and MP Transformers with Khai

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Back to the Future. Star Wars. Batman. Transformers. Predator. The Terminator. These are some of the cool properties featured in Khai’s stunning collection of cool toys.

 

It’s no secret to anybody who knows me that I love Batman, TMNT and Transformers. While I own a few Batman figures here and there, I have around a lot more Transformers toys from various toy lines than anything else.

But some people take toy collections to a whole other level. Be it upmarket highly desirable or rare items, fantastic displays, and with the internet people can even develop their own fan following. Well, I for one am a fan of Kool Kollectibles, I love checking out new pics of whatever amazing toys Khai has picked up. I took this opportunity to ask Khai a few questions, and of course share some stunning pics of his amazing collection.

You can find Khai’s main site at koolkollectibles.net  and link to all his other social media pages from there.

http://www.koolkollectibles.net/

https://plus.google.com/+KoolkollectiblesNet/posts

https://www.instagram.com/koolkollectibles/

https://www.youtube.com/c/KoolkollectiblesNet

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No two collections are the same, and no two collectors are the same. Thanks to the magic of the internet collectors and fans around the world can enjoy seeing what other people are into, get ideas about how to display their loot, discover something they never even knew existed or just admire a really fantastic collection.

So without further ado, here’s some quick questions and amazing pics with Khai from Kool Kollectibles.

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 JOHN: What are your overall favourite Top 3 toys and why are they the best?
KHAI: I collect a lot of different lines of figures and other collectibles, but my top 3 right now would have to be (not in any order):
1) Hot Toys 1/6th scale Chewbacca figure
2) Pop Culture Shock 1/4 scale Ryu Ansatsuken statue
3) Hot Toys 1/6th scale Delorean Time Machine
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mp iron hidemy goodness maser luke im ever so shinyNolan Batmannow you face the mighty thor and mjolnir
JOHN: One issue every collector faces is space. How do you store and display your collection? Do you ever get rid of old items to make room for new items?
KHAI: The best bit of advice given to me as a collector was to put money aside for decent glass display cabinets. Some collectors continually spend money on figures, but either have no space to display them, or have open display cases that results in a lot of dust maintenance. So I saved up money for a while and bought some big glass display cabinets and it was the best decision I ever made. Having your collectibles displayed well in a glass cabinet really takes the collection to another level. With decent lighting too, it simply looks amazing, and is less maintenance with dust etc.
Also, a collection shouldn’t be judged on its size. Some collectors think bigger is better. That’s not necessarily the case. I’ve seen some smaller collections, but they’re displayed well and in a classy way, and are collectibles that are loved by the owner, not because they are the “in thing” at that moment in time.
I normally buy things to keep, and so have not had to sell many things at all. But for space and money, I did end up selling my 6″ Star Wars Black Series figures since I was getting essentially the same characters in the large 1/6th scale and didn’t need to double up. So now that I have my larger cabinets in place, I try to pick and choose the items I buy now to fit into themes or source material that I love.

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JOHN: You have a focus on Hot Toys movie characters and Transformers Masterpiece figures, why these particular lines over other lines/brands of toys?
KHAI: Most of my collecting is based around nostalgia. I grew up in the 80s watching the classic cartoons such as Transformers, Battle of the Planets, He-man, MASK etc. Then through the 80s and 90s and even now I still love movies. I love the classic action and sci-fi movies from the 80s and 90s. I was lucky enough as a kid that my grandparents and parents spoiled me with the original G1 Transformers toys, many of which I still have today. When I saw the TF Masterpiece figures around the 2010 mark, it was mind-blowing for me to see the characters I loved in a toy form that was as close as their cartoon aesthetic as possible. And with such improved engineering, the TF Masterpiece figures are some of the best Transformers toys ever made. With the nostalgia that they bring, I smile each and every time I see them.
As for Hot Toys figures, Hot Toys is by far the benchmark at the moment on 1/6th scale collectibles. The attention to detail, realism, paint application, and tailoring is second to none. And with them making iconic characters from Star Wars, Terminator, Back to the Future, Predator, Aliens etc, and then new characters from the Marvel and DC cinematic universes, there was no way that I could pass them up! They are simply some of the best action figures around at the moment, and look incredible when displayed together.
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Star Wars Troopers
Super detailed move accurate Yoda is
JOHN: Any advice for new collectors, or people looking to get into the hobby?
KHAI: Spending can quickly get out of control, especially with peer pressure in buying everything to keep up. I would say just stick only to source material that you truly love, and pick and choose carefully what you buy. Remember, it’s not about the size of the collection that matters, it’s how you love each item in your collection that really matters to you and those close to you that come and look at it.
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JOHN:What are you top toys that fall into the category of “unobtainium” for you. That is toys that are very rare, super super expensive or just not made anymore and are nearly impossible to get ahold of even if you have the money. What are your top “wish list” rare items, your holy grail items/toys?
KHAI:I recently got my first Pop Culture Shock statue with the Street Fighter Ryu. I have played Street Fighter since arcade days in high school, so for about 25 years now. The characters are ingrained in my consciousness! If I could wind back time, I would go back and buy the PCS Street Fighter statues previously released. PCS truly limit their edition sizes, and once sold out the price skyrockets to a point where I cannot justify the expense. So those PCS statues are some that fall into this grail category for me.
1989 Joker
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JOHN: Do you collect any traditional (meaning cheap and usually small eg 6-12″) action figures, or just the more upscale stuff with better detail and sculpting?
KHAI: I used to collect the smaller cheaper figures such as the Star Wars Black Series and NECA figures. But I found they were harder to display in a way that showed them off well, and then I was doubling up the same characters in larger scales. So to minimise my cost and space issues, I just decided to stick with the larger collectibles and buy less of them.
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JOHN: Your entire collection gets sucked into a mini-black hole, except for ONE toy of your choice, what toy would that be?
KHAI: Always a hard question to answer, as collectors tend to end up with a few items that are their favourites. Strangely, if I had to save just one item in my collection from a fire or black hole, I’d probably pick the TF Masterpiece MP-13 Soundwave. Soundwave was my first TF G1 toy when I was a kid, and the Masterpiece version is amazing. So for nostalgia, fun factor with the transformation etc, I’d have to say that.

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JOHN: Batman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Transformers – which is your favourite movie/comic/toon franchise and why?
KHAI: Star Wars would have to be my pick for favourite franchise, particularly the original trilogy. I used to watch the movies every weekend on VHS tapes, and just love the whole story arc and characters.

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JOHN: Where can people connect with and follow you online? 
KHAI: The best place to keep up with my latest news etc would be the Kool Kollectibles Facebook page and YouTube channel. I also keep the website and Instagram account up to date too! Links below 🙂
Thanks Khai for taking the time to answer some nerdy questions. There were so many great pictures of your collection, it was hard to pick, so I put as many in as I could.
There are some more great pictures below to enjoy, in some excellent display cases, be sure to follow Khai on Facebook / Twitter etc at the links above if you want to keep up with his collection, or view lovely full screen HD galleries of his toy collection.
So many wonderful toys. My favourites from Khai would  have to  be the Batman 1989 toys, Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight and the Terminator toys from various films. Just a spectacular collection any comic book fan or action/sci-fan would be very jealous of.
Thanks again Khai!
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To Play is Human – But you Gotta Fight For It

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There is an ugly side to human culture that says once we reach a certain age, or level of maturity that we must throw away the things we enjoyed as children.  This to me it is an unhealthy attitude. We may leave behind certain things as we reach maturity, but more often we bastardize our childhood by refusing to integrate who we were yesterday with who we are today.  Rather than grow up, instead we violently reject the child we once were. We move sideways and plateau, rather than forwards and evolve.

Our childhood is part of our personal history, our personal story, and part of who we are today.  To ignore or turn our back on what we enjoyed as children, teenagers or young adults is disrespectful to the person we were yesterday. It is a kind of ugly self-loathing and judgement on that person that says “what you enjoyed was worthless and meaningless, and has no relevance to the me I am today”.

Often people when reaching adulthood will throw things away that they love or stop indulging their passions and hobbies to conform to imagined social norms, or because they don’t expect to be taken seriously as adults if they still have any of their possessions from when they were a child.

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NERDBOT 2.0

I think of people who got rid of their old video games or action figures or comics because it was not considered “adult” to have such things, or their new girlfriend didn’t like “that stuff” so they got rid of it. Often regretting what they did and re-acquiring in their twenties what they gave away in their teens year so they could “grow up”. It’s fine to do that, some folks lose interest in those things and it’s perfectly normal to move on to other interests and hobbies.

This sort of behavior can also be however an attempt to conform to social norms, a violent rejection of the child within us.  Another possibility is that of the adult who lives in a state of arrested development, who refuses to actually grow up and be responsible for themselves, and refuses to actually ever leave childhood, bouncing around from one co-dependent relationship to another and expecting other people to satisfy their needs, with no real effort of their own to mature. Some things are best left behind in childhood, while other things are good to carry with us, our passion and creativity are never something to leave behind.

Both models are extremes, we need to Grow Up, but growing up means growing and expanding, not withdrawing and contracting or rejecting any part of our selves.

On another level, throwing out yesterdays culture and fun is to say that cool characters, works of fiction and toys have no place in the life of an adult, and have no further refined meanings or deeper resonance in life than the gross meaning of a plastic toy that is “fun” or a comic book or kids movie that is “entertaining”.  To be fair the majority of entertainment is vapid, shallow and pointless.  But the world we live in today is far more intelligent at all levels (TV, Film, Literature, Video Games) than say the world of the 1940s

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One of my favourite things in life, an object to be specific is a toy.  It feels silly to even say so, but it is true.

The object is a Transformer toy that my deceased Grandfather Jack Willetts gave to me when I was a kid.  It is my all time favourite toy, it transforms from a two headed dragon into a robot and it looks equally good in both robot and dragon mode.  Most transformers only look good as either the vehicle or as the robot, few look good in both modes.

This aesthetic appeal was something that appealed to me when I was a kid and even now as an adult.  A good design is a good design.  Another thing I like about this toy is it was in one of the first post Generation-1 wave of Transformers toys that were not based on the cartoon characters.  It meant the character was entirely new, and the personality of the character was not fleshed out, which means to a kid you can imagine any personality you like for the character.

On one level,  I know the toy is just a cheap piece of plastic based around a cartoon that was basically made to sell toys to kids for the purpose of corporate profit.

But on another level that cheap piece of plastic is a direct link to my deceased Grandfather.  I can’t look at it, or play with it without thinking of him, and remember the good times we shared, and how he encouraged me as a kid to read comics by buying me my first Ninja Turtle and Alf comics.  Nobody else in my life ever bought me comics when I was a kid, and I will always be grateful, because without those first comics my passion for superheroes would have never developed, and this blog would not exist.

When I was a kid, my grandfather was one of the coolest guys in the world, he didn’t talk down to me, he bought me the comics of my choice and I always enjoyed just hanging out with him no matter what he was doing.  He loved to bet on horse races, he loved Rugby and Cricket and gardening.  His garden won several local competitions, you have never seen a lawn as neat as my Grandfathers lawn, it was immaculate, that lawn got more care and attention than a Kardashian’s wobbly ass on a magazine cover.

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In ancient times, wisdom would be passed down from generation to generation (well I hope wisdom was passed on, I guess some bullshit got passed on along with the good stuff).  Elders were loved, respected and revered as those who were wiser than us.  Sacred objects had meaning, in that they may be passed to descendants, and something of the spirit of the person embodies that object. Whether you take that meaning as literal or metaphoric really doesn’t matter.  The emotional experience is basically the same either way. Reality is always different for everyone, and we like to Romanticise all aspects of culture.

Cold hard dead objects made of matter, composed of atoms have emotional significance to us when passed on from a loved one.  The watch that was sent back from someone’s father or husband from the front line, a rifle or hunting knife passed from father to son, son to grandson, an antique wedding ring passed from mother to daughter, a photo of relatives no longer with us, or a cheap plastic toy loaded with memories.

There are no sacred objects, and yet any object is sacred if it has deep personal meaning to us.  All objects are made of matter, or atoms, and any significance or power we imbue them with exists only in our minds, not in the object itself.

We can enjoy our sacred objects and need not make them into Idols

When we throw culture and tradition out the window, and cease to respect our elders, we lose a little something.  It is indefinable.  Call it unique story, call it wisdom tradition, call it passing down basic information critical to survive in the world or call it feeling a deep inner sense of satisfaction at knowing your place in the world and grand scheme of things.  Call it knowing that you and Life are one and the same, that you are in alignment with unseen forces, that you matter, that you have purpose and infinite dimensions to who and what you are.  Call it intuition or gut feeling or whatever you like.  But we lost part of ourselves and our communal nature when we try to go it alone in life, and reject everything that has come before our time.

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Is it wise to simply throw all that away?  Is it wise to explain away our emotional and intellectual satisfaction in life as basically meaningless? Is it wise to say we know it all and don’t need to learn anything new, because we have evolved, or because we are a “civilized” modern society?  If we are really so smart and wise, why do so many of us starve to death on a daily basis?  Why do we keep murdering each other for resources and land? Why do so many of us feel ashamed just to be alive?  Why do so many of us have this emptiness inside us that we cannot seem to fill, no matter what we do?  A genuine need that goes unaddressed, and unfulfilled as our collective intelligence has consistently failed to even identify what it is that actually satisfies our heart of hearts.

I don’t have the solution to any of those things, and forgive this digression from talking about “stuff”. I’m stepping down from my Invisible Pantomime Highhorse. What I’m saying from my heart to yours is that we need personal connection, with others and with ourselves and with our own personal history. It’s not selfish to be who you are, and enjoy what you enjoy without trying to make some soft of “excuse” for it.

We can enjoy the younger self that we were, while also continuing to grow and evolve as responsible individuals. What I’m saying is, don’t ever feel embarrassed to like what you like. I remember being teased in high school for reading “comic books”, but I never stopped reading them, despite how painful it was being teased. Now look at today, people flock to the box office to see Superhero films, likely some of the same people who teased me for being into Superheroes. Well the Hats on the other Foot now childhood jerks!

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For most people, what we like doesn’t really change a whole lot in our lifetimes. I liked Batman, Ninja Turtles and Transformers when I was a kid – and it’s still what I enjoy today. If anything, I enjoy those characters their fiction and lore even MORE than when I was a kid.

I still have the basic joy of a 8-10 year old boy who loves action movies and superhero cartoons and comics, but combined with a larger mature perspective where I can appreciate the people who CREATED those worlds, who Imagineered them into existence. The people who animated the shows, drew the comics, designed the toys, voiced the characters. The values that went into those characters that influenced me for the better, and the inspiration today I draw from those characters and all the hard work that went into making them so special I enjoy and appreciate at a much deeper level.

Meanwhile, despite being able to string a sentence or two together – I am the most overly-enthusiastic MAN-CHILD you could ever meet. I’m painfully aware of it. I really have no choice but to embrace it. I still also develop other characteristics, skills and abilities as an “adult” EXP +1200, INT +2 MIGHT +5, LUCK +1 – and most folks would say I am a pretty responsible person.

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But at a basic level if you show me a Robot Dinosaur that shoots frikkin Neon Laser Beams  from its eyes – well then I am eight years old again instantly. I don’t have any choice in the matter.

I love Dinosaurs and Robots and sci-fi pew pew Lazer Beams and I’m foaming at the mouth even thinking of such things. That is not going to change.

At age 37 – I am still a shy introvert who is somewhat socially retarded.  I’ve learnt to embrace the best parts of myself, and not deny any of my various flaws or short comings as a human being which include: Hulk like rage, Anxiety, sometimes mild Depression, a Need to always keep Talking and have the last word instead of Shutting Up.

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All of that is part of Who I Am, it’s not going away. I don’t need to be “Fixed”. I’m not broken and I legitimately love the person I am today, and the things that I enjoy, my passions are a part of me, my heritage and inspire me daily. It wasn’t always like that, self-loathing was my companion for about half of my life so far. At some point, I stopped listening to any of that nonsensical bullshit people try to put you down with, I silenced that Inner Critic permanently, choke slammed that mother fucker right through the wrestling ring floor and sent them straight to hell.

My OCD “never shuts the fuck up” borderline MANIA for all things fantasy, sci-fi, superheroes etc I turn into blogs and articles. Instead of boring people to death in real life, I can bore them to death in the digital domain. And if anyone doesn’t like it, well they can stop reading and walk away at any time- makes no difference to me.

This is the part where the article ends and I have nothing more to say. No summary or Zen-like wisdom. Wax the car maybe?

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I graduated from the Miyagi school of Kung-Foolery. All I learnt there was to enjoy what you enjoy, be who you are and don’t ever apologize to anyone, or try to change yourself to suit them. Or ever shut the fuck up when you’ve got something worthwhile to say about what you stand for in life, the people you love and are responsible for. Whatever your passions and hobbies are enjoy them, let them inspire you – but don’t let them hold you back either from doing whatever truly matters to you.

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Metroplex Heeds the Call of the Last Prime – EPIC MOMENTS IN TRANSFORMERS HISTORY PART #3

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There are very few times I have gotten emotional when playing a video game.

Beating Ganondorf in Ocarina of Time or Aeris dying unexpectedly in Final Fantasy VII.

It’s mostly those moments and all the others are being pissed off at some respawning enemies and unfair difficulty spikes that turn a game from enjoyable and challenging to pure frustration (aka Gamer Rage).

No, I’m talking about more positive emotional experiences. The ones you get from being engrossed in a good book or watching a film… or even real life interactions, remember those?

“Metroplex heeds the call of the last Prime” is one of my personal top EPIC moments in Transformers History.

It is a moment when I knew the creators of the Fall of Cybertron and War for Cybertron video games had gotten things just right. The people at High Moon Studios were so immersed in Transformers lore.

High Moon Studios went beyond just creating an enjoyable game, to making something truly special that transcends its medium. Leaving you with fond memories of two epic action adventure games that show us something we had never seen before at the time – something new and exciting over two long games that take you through the trenches and the towers of Cybertron.

High Moon Studios took the Tranformers back to their homeworld of Cybertron and put us smack in the middle of their civil war. Every explosion, every command, every desperate scramble for territory and push for cover – you are there –  living it all first hand. War for Cybertron and Fall of Cybertron put you through grueling campaigns where you play as both the Autobots and the Decepticons.

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The level preceding Metroplex’s appearance sees Optimus Prime leave the immediate battlefield to activate a big mounted cannon to shoot tanks and other fun stuff. The vertical climb is somewhat suspicious after the more even terrain that preceded it. When the walls start moving and transforming by themselves, making paths for Optimus where previously there was a gaping chasm or solid wall, or a doorway where there was no doorway – then you know something is up.

The anticipation and surprise on playing this level of Fall of Cybertron for the first time was indescribably delicious. Small hints about what MIGHT be around the corner do not prepare you for the EPIC moment of when Prime first hears Metroplex’s voice talking to him inside a dark chamber as a disembodied voice.

I have to say that I’ve always loved Metroplex as a character and as a toy. So my experience was deeply emotional in a way that might not have happened for people without that deep love of Tranformers lore, and connection to this particular character.

Following the confusing twisting labyrinthine corridors Optimus Prime emerges into the daylight of the battlefield once again – in the palm of Metroplex’s hand – who lowers him safely to the ground in a moment that is epic, grandiose and spectacular in every sense of the word – it’s the kind of scale of amazement we first saw in games like the original God of War where they routinely did impossible things with the in game camera – that really made you sit back and realize you were experiencing something special.

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On the following level of the game you get to  command (but not directly control) Metroplex on the battlefield. Aiming the reticule on the battlefield results in a bombardment of missiles launched at long range targets. A tactical air strike from a slow walking Titan is something to behold. One epic exciting moment follows another for one of the best levels in any Transformers video game ever made.

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Low on energy after an eternity of deactivation, Metroplex sacrifices himself to ensure the safe passage of the Last Prime. It makes a triumphant experience bitter sweet, to see this unbeatable Titan humbled by a lack of energy, and drives home how selfless a character Metroplex is.

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It’s an amazing level in a thoroughly enjoyable game. Fall of Cybertron may just ape other successful action game formulas like Gears of War, but it’s the immersion in the world, the wonderful voice acting, the script and writing that really elevate both War for Cybertron and Fall of Cyberton, and the connection to the characters that make these games more than the sum of any of its parts, making the games More Than Meets The Eye.

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OMEGA SUPREME PROFILE – Not Just a Space Taxi

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NAME: OMEGA SUPREME

FACTION: Autobots

QUOTE: “My Destiny is the Ocean of Stars”

 

Bold.

Enigmatic.

Colossal.

One of the loneliest Autobots. A living monolith of existential angst.

Loyal Autobot warrior, last of the Omega Sentinels.

Omega is a war time relic. One of the Guardian Robots of ancient times.

A piece of outdated technology who wears  the scars of battles millions of years long since past on his stoic face.

Omega  speaks in short factual sentence fragments – like orders / commands / binary. Often calculating his responses in certainties and probabilities.

Omega Supreme stands alone, but fights with the Autobots when and if they should they call on him in their darkest hour

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Even when outclassed and outmatched against overwhelming odds – Omega Supreme fights with all his spark – his loyalty and courage never in question.

As an Omega Sentinel, he performs his duty wherever he may be stationed.

Often relegated to the status of a giant space taxi, Omega remains ready should the Autobots need him – having forged an uneasy friendship with Optimus Prime.

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Gigantic. Strong. Courageous. Logical.

…painfully alone and beautiful.

“OMEGA SUPREME”

….not just a legendary name, but  a statement of fact.

On the battlefield Omega has no equal, taking on all comers. Even cons who may be more powerful than him fear his wrath and total commitment.

A fearless titan, a brick, a wall , a literal immovable object, Omega Supreme stands silently – forever watching and observing the stars and his fellow Autobots – as is his unending vigil –  as the last of the known Omega Sentinels, perhaps the last of his kind to survive the ravages of war and time.

Seemingly as old as time itself, Omega’s Autobot comrades appear almost as children to his ever watchful eyes, and he will do everything he can to protect them.

Like the ancient titans of greek myth, who moved heaven and earth and warred with the Gods – Omega Supreme is an unknowable primal force – million of years old- alien and unfathomable to the human mind.

His destiny is truly the Ocean of Stars.

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“DEATH : IMMINENT. SARCASM: NOT APPRECIATED”

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TANGENT COLLECTIONS: 1980’s Retro Robots by TOMY

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When I was a kid I had a toy robot called “Crackbot”.

Seriously.

This toy was released by TOMY in the 80’s as part of a line of toy robots that had electronics, and each had some type of gimmick.

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Crackbot had an antennae tail with a sound sensor on the top. Any short sharp loud sound would make him stop rolling around, and nod his head up and down a few times, then continue on his merry way. He had a pudgy round body, oblong-ish head and his arms would swing back and forth as he moved.

It was a cool toy, and I liked it.

However it’s not much of a play pattern. You turn it on, watch it roll around the kitchen floor for five, ten minutes tops. Then you put it away and find something else to play with.

It was not a hands-on type of toy. Picking it up meant it was not rolling around on the floor. I guess I got bored of it after a few months, then it faded into the background of my other childhood toys.

Fast forward a few decades, and I find myself browsing various vintage 80’s robot toys on my tablet in bed at night. Thanks to some of the fan made websites such as the excellent The Old Robots  we have a nice reference for anyone looking for information and pictures of the toy lines.

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Top stuff, I should really contact whoever runs that site for a Q&A. The Old Robots is a great reference on all types of vintage robots from around the world. The best site possible for any kind of collector to stumble over.

Hundreds of photographs, technical specifications, tips on mods and restorations, and loads of great images of box art, old advertorials – just a fantastic resource and clearly a passion project.

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Anyway, so I started feeling nostalgic particularly for the TOMY line of toy robots, and could not quite put my finger on it.

It’s not the electronics and gimmicks which appeal, though they are cool. It’s not that I want to play with them – as there is not a lot you can do with them. Well you can mod the fancy ones to do all sorts of things, making it closer to the Robo-Butler it was advertised as being for badly dressed lazy 80’s kids too busy playing video games to get their own damn snacks.

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OMNIBOT – Pretends to be your Butler until the inevitable overthrow of humanity

It’s really the aesthetics of the toys that I love.

Those cute faces and pudgy proportions are just adorable.

Which are beautifully highlighted in some fine digital art by Rocky Bergen.

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Art and Fine Fashion Sense by Rocky Bergen http://rockybergen.com/work/

These smaller TOMY robots look like they want to help out, or could just be cool Robo-Pets for kids.

They are quite beautiful to my eye and then the nostalgia comes in as they have the look of a certain era. The TOMY robots are unmistakably 80’s Japanese toy robots, but they also look like they take their design cues from Futurism, with a little Star Wars and 2001 mixed in.

Their bone white non-color [HOUSE RULE: The Future – Bone White, Space Age] is a staple of science fiction design, the clean white look associated often with advanced technology and Star Ships. Both Star Wars and Star Trek used bold iconic bone white and off white star ships in their various fiction. The TOMY robots unique look also has some of its roots and influence in the architecture and interior decoration elements of Modernism.

So Modernism, Futurism, Japanese Robots and Science Fiction – all those influences are there for the appreciative eye to see in these cute toy robots from TOMY.

The build quality of TOMY toys is typically quite high – they have made a diverse range of quality toys for several decades. TOMY robots are quite fun, and most of them if you pick them up today are broken, but fixable.

I’m useless at fixing things.

So mainly I’m starting a small mini-collection of  a select few 80’s robots. It’s like “I’m putting a team together, we’re looking for a few good robots”

Some of the Bots I am looking for are by TOMY, and some by other companies such as the “Talkabot” by AXLON I picked up recently from an ebay auction.

The criteria for me to include such a robot is really it’s aesthetics, more than any features or gimmicks. And I dig robots that vow not to join the Robo-Revolution when it arises. Ever notice how a lot of Japanese robots are quite helpful, or even full on Heroic if you count Super-Robot Mecha like Voltron or Combattler V -while american Robots tend to want to kill us all.

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So… Talkabot is an exceptionally cute little fellow.

I’m using stock photos from the wonderful The Old Robots site again here, as I can’t find my photos of the one I own just now, and he’s wedged in between some various Transformers toys, with no dedicated space of his own just yet.

I do have the box, but it’s flat with no foam and a bit tattered.

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The Talkabot I bought on ebay still works partly. The motor spins, but the wheel is not moving. I think it’s fixable.

His walkie talkie speaks through his chest, and you control him with the same radio control to drive him around. Except the wheel is not catching properly – a common problem with these old robots. Talkabots little crab hands have  a pinch gimmick. A spring keeps them tight, you can open them and put a piece of paper or something small in there for him to carry around while you drive him with the remote.

My next robot I’m hunting will be a Crackbot to replace the one I had when I was a kid.

I don’t have that one anymore, no idea what happened to it.

Seen a few on ebay here and there, but after one that is in good condition and not with faded / yellowed plastic – that yellow fading really ruins the look of these cool robots. If you want good condition ones you have to pay a fair amount for them.

MISB and boxed ones are much higher again, and really out of my price range. I go for loose or unboxed Robo’s, in good clean condition with no major damage to the body shell – but I’m not worried about the interior electronics and such. Often it’s worth paying just a *little* more for a working or fixable robot than a total junker. I’ll take some proper photos of TalkaBot when he has a better area to be displayed in.

I look forward to picking up a number of TOMY 80’s retro robots over the the next year or two, starting with my childhood Crackbot, who took no part in the 80’s drugs wars.

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