Yes, we finally have winners. And this is the first of three weeks of me posting them.
Third place prize of one of the recent non-Macross. Robotech novel omnibus editions, featuring appendix/continuity notes pages by Yours Truly, goes to Aaron David Cole and his merry band of Live Action Graphic Novelers (Novelists?). Enjoy their two-page contribution, "The Black Knight."
Sighted at the Shizuoka Hobby Show. Naturally, I need Lancer's lovely lavender locks in my Robotech forces, so this will be an immediate GET once they start popping up stateside. Dude's my fave New Gen character, and I've wanted a figure of him for-freakin'-ever; the fact that you get the slashing blade and the chest-mounted missile launchers on top of that, to me, is just a bonus.
Also: Macross Frontier VF-25's are tres sexy in Fighter mode. Not a fan of the Battroid mode, tho, which was on display, but methinks I'd rather end this on a positive note. Bandai's handling the toys, so they probably won't suck. Also: looked like they were going to be doing enemy toys or kits for Frontier, which is weird, but they only had grey prototypes up.
Render unto Big West the things that are Big West's ...
Blast It, Why Can't We Have Nice Things?
In the comments thread for the below post, Roger Harkavy, who knows stuff, ruins my fun by explaining that the release of the Takatoku/Bandai Valkryies release under Toynami is simply a case of Bandai's factories cranking out X amount of Valkyries for themeselves and then Y amount of Valkyries for Toynami, and it's just kind of like the way Bandai and Gakken would crank out product to be boxed up under the ROBOTECH label back in the 1980's.
One thing he pointed out that makes a lot of sense is the fact that Bandai is a major sponsor of Macross Frontier, and consequently I doubt that Big West would have any pull with them if they didn't like the fact that Bandai is taking Harmony Gold and/or Toynami's money. I doubt any of the smaller licensees with less pull would be doing something like this -- not even, say, Yamato.
I still think this whole Big West/Tatsunoko thing is going to have to find itself sorted out sometime in the near future, even if it's through a lot of little documents that each let a little air between the two sides of the Pacific. But alas, that's going to be another day.
Thought #1 that comes to mind looking at the preorder page at Robotech.com is that boy, $80 seems steep, especially when I'm pretty sure I bought a Super VF-1S rerelease about five or six years ago, the last time Bandai played this game (for the 20th anniversary of Macross), for about $60. But hey, these are still FANTASTIC toys, and are probably worth about, oh, say, $65 even without Fast packs and missile-firing armor pieces.
But what gets to me is the real big-time ramifications of this -- this is a Harmony Gold licensee releasing, worldwide, Big West-licensed merchandise.
Wrap your brain around that one for a minute. Let it soak in.
Bandai manufactured these Valkyries under license from Big West.
Toynami is distributing them under license from Harmony Gold.
I believe, in fact, a new day may be dawning, boys & girls. I can't help but think that between the ROBOTECH feature film in development at Warner Bros. and Big West and Satelight wanting some of that big international money for the obviously very expensive Macross Frontier, Big West and Tatsunoko (and, by proxy, Harmony Gold) are finally having to get their legal ducks in a row in order to finally begin the important business of making worldwide cash off of all that Macross material and merchandising that's been bottled up in Japan over the course of the last decade. This, my friends, would appear to be Step One.
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While I'm back in the office, so to speak, here's another ROBOTECH anime music video I made. Enjoy.
JONATHAN L. SWITZER has written an awful lot about the 1985 animated series ROBOTECH, its sequels and spin-offs. Some of this writing has appeared in THE ART OF ROBOTECH: THE SHADOW CHRONICLES (Stone Bridge Press); other examples appear in the Appendices to the most recent editions of the ROBOTECH MASTERS and NEW GENERATION novels (Del Rey). He draws girls and cartoon dogs at WWW.SCWONKEY.COM, and spends his days selling electronical goods at RadioShack and sleeping a lot less than he used to.