Reader mail: Any word on Toynami Cyclones?

Reader Danny Au asks:

i came across your site months ago where you mentioned toynami's ad for fully articulated cyclone figures. i came back to your site many times for further updates, but haven't seen anything as of late.

do you happen to know more about this?

Ah, right. The Toynami Cyclones promised here:

Well, here's the deal as I understand it.

In the wake of the success of the first ROBOTECH video game, Robotech: Battlecry, the ROBOTECH licensees mobilized with a pretty decent slate of tie-in stuff -- Toynami did those Super Veritech Super Poseable figures -- a retooling of the previous year's VF-1 Super Poseables with new leg joints, Super Veritech equipment, and the addition of the game's YF-1R head and color variant to the lineup -- Del Rey reoffered the Macross Saga three-in-one novels with new modern cover art, and DC/WildStorm started cranking out the shiny new comics (remember the Jack Archer cameo in issue #0 of the first mini-series?). This was all considered part of the Battlecry marketing push.

The plan for the wake of Robotech: Invasion, the New Generation-based Cyclone-riding first-person shooter, was supposed to be identical. The Invasion comic book series came out ahead of the game, but when the game was a hit it was supposed to be reissued in a trade paperback collection. Del Rey was going to put the New Generation novels in an omnibus edition for the first time (which is only now going to happen in late February). And Toynami was supposed to do their part by making with the Cyclone figures. The licensees were already in the middle of a big New Generation push (ADV's release of the New Generation episodes in Remastered editions coincided with the Invasion push, as did Toynami's release of the Masterpiece Collection Alpha Fighters), and Invasion's success was supposed to guide the licensees into a continued push through early 2005.

Unfortunately, Invasion met with a host of problems -- TDK's games division being bought out and the new owners de-prioritizing ROBOTECH, for starters. Oh, and the game was a poor man's Halo, released during a busy, crowded holiday game buying season. The thing is, gamers actually liked Battlecry as a game; it offered its own unique experience, flying a plane that turned into a robot, and did it rather well -- not perfectly, but well enough for a first shot -- and got some good word of mouth going. Invasion was a less than ideal follow-up, a knockoff of something gamers knew, right down to the green armor (never mind that New Generation/Mospeada had the green armor first) and even casual gamers stayed away, even as the price dropped like a rock within mere months.

The point is, with all those marks against it, Invasion didn't do anywhere near as well as Battlecry, so the host of tie-ins never materialized. DC didn't put out their trade paperback of the Invasion comic series and stopped doing ROBOTECH comics until the buildup to Shadow Chronicles (it didn't help that the Invasion comic series didn't really do all that well). Del Rey didn't make with the omnibus of the New Gen novels until Shadow Chronicles.

And what of the Cyclone super-poseable figures? Nobody's ever even seen a prototype. We've got a picture of a piece of cardboard promising the figures that someone snapped a picture of a few years ago. I would think that we'd at least get a couple of figures out of them post-Shadow Chronicles DVD release, but I guess we'll see.

There is some buzz that we'll be seeing high-dollar transformable Masterpiece Cyclones in the future -- possibly even the near future, as part of the Shadow Chronicles marketing cycle -- but personally, at this point I'd be more interested in the cheaper, non-transforming figure. A mecha as intricate as the Cyclone would require some very strong, solid plastic parts, and I've not been impressed with the resilience of the plastic Toynami uses for their "Masterpiece" line. But hey, your mileage may vary.

Hope that answers your question, Danny!


Post a Comment

<< Home