AX '06 Roboswag
While we may not have news of a distributor or release date yet, we do have the snazzy official Shadow Chronicles mug (coffee not included). At least that's a half-step up from the cheapo Shadow Chronicles pins they keep handing out -- I swear, the one I got last year has nearly fallen apart at least twenty times now. The mug, given that you actually had to pay cash money for it, seems a little sturdier than that. As early artifacts go, items cranked out before the real "merchandising cycle" starts, I'd say this is a nice one. Very eye-catching.
And then there's the production release of the card game.
I didn't get a chance to play the game, though they had volunteers at the ready to walk interested fans through it. It's another fifty-card deck, twenty-five RDF versus twenty-five Zentraedi cards. What you see above is the case the production deck comes in next to the previously released beta deck. Unlike the beta deck cards, the production deck cards are on more playing card-like stock, with rounded corners. The text is much more readable due to a change to white text in some cases, while other sections of the card simply have better contrast. Comparing the production deck with the beta is interesting, because in some cases you get cards that are very close to identical:
In other cases, major tweaks have been made, such as a switch to a much better shot of the mecha, though for all intents and purposes the two cards are supposed to be the same:
Then you've got the two totally different Rick Hunter cards -- the beta deck had him as a corporal, and the production deck had him as a lieutenant, with boosted stats and additional abilities. I wonder if, when the booster packs become available, we'll see other variations, holographic crap and the like. Not everything from the one set appears again in the other -- there are no Destroids in the production deck I have, and there's a wide variety of slightly different Valkyries. Roy Fokker and the generic palette-swapped Skull Squadron pilot do not appear in the new production deck; instead you get a very gray-colored almost sickly-looking Max Sterling, and the Ben Dixon that appears on the Robotech CCG home page. Hopefully sometime this weekend I'll make the time to really figure the game out and see what's what.
I was told at one point during the convention that the rules sheet is barely worth the paper it's printed on. If anyone can help out in that department, putting things a bit more clearly, I'm all ears.
The only other noteworthy thing at the ROBOTECH booth was the bargains that could be had. I loaned Darkwater a twenty to help him snag one of Harmony Gold's reboxed AnimEigo Macross DVD sets for forty bucks -- I guess he just hadn't budgeted for it. Y'know, I clearly recall paying at least four times that when I picked that set up many moons ago. Similar deals could be had on a wide variety of other merchandise from the past few years. Also got to take a look up close and personal at the Yamato Megazone 23 Garland, which is a really sweet-looking toy. I am totally going to have to find a way to work that into my budget somehow ...