My Super 7 #15 came in the mail today.
Hey, I'm a nit-picker. This is what I do.
Love the nice big shot of the various-sized Mospeada Ride Armors together -- you really don't see a lot of acknowledgment of those nice-looking but non-transforming small Ride Armor figures, and in this particular image they look like things worth having. I would have liked it if the photos of the mecha in bike mode off to the side were a little bit bigger so you didn't have to squint at them, though.
The brief yet remarkably thorough article provides a clear overview of Southern Cross and Mospeada, their merchandising, and how their inclusion in ROBOTECH spawned further merchandising both for good (Invid!) and ill (crappy action figures!), though photography of the deformed Matchbox action figures is not provided.
I kind of wish there was some more pertinent trivia thrown around, like the fact that the pictured Bioroid Invid Fighter figure is actually of a Bioroid mecha that never appeared in the animation and, before Matchbox brought it into three-dimensional life, only had existed on model sheets. Given the two pages about model sheets of mecha that were never realized in animation that followed the main article, I would've thought that a nice bridging point. Also, while the custom painted Invid Scout on the second page betrays it, he also doesn't point out in his discussion of the Matchbox toys that the so-called Scout is merely a scaled-down Trooper in a non-canonical red color scheme.
In his bit about the model sheets, Roger shows off a black & white version of the piece he provided this blog as an exclusive here, explaining that it was designed while the show was on the air ("Ah, I see."), as well as a cool piece featuring a booster-equipped Legioss diving towards the Earth, a Ride Armor-as-hoverbike design that may predate the two-wheelers we know, and an Inbit mecha that looks like it eventually evolved into the reclamation forces' Condor mecha -- you know, the ones with the weird snout heads that appeared in the Invasion comics. The Southern Cross materials are consistent with some of the model sheets that appeared on the Elements of Robotechnology bonus discs that came with the Legacy Collection box sets and the Protoculture Collection Remastered box set, featuring fancy samurai-style armor from the show's pre-Super Dimension roots, as well as the mechanical horses that would later crop up in Robotech II: The Sentinels materials. Japanese text explains a "warring factions" backstory that would be ditched as the plethora of armor designs would get sci-fied up and their wearers would become united against alien invaders and would pilot giant robots. I think the earlier direction explains why the armor suits got model kits and the robots generally didn't ...
So, if that all sounds cool and interesting, here's the link to buy the issue. Also, on the topic of Southern Cross ... hey, you ever seen this page at Robert Morgenstern's Southern Cross site? Lots and lots of Southern Cross kits that never reached production. Drat.