Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Retro Review...

I just took the plunge and bought Energon Galvatron (I know, I know! I'm like almost a year behind the times). Here's some random musings assembled into a half way coherent review.

Energon Galvatron

The Good...

When Energon Megatron was initially released, everybody commented on his aesthetic similarities to the classic Galvatron character. It wasn't long before Takara and Hasbro went and recolored him, releasing him in a brilliant purple color scheme and calling him Galvatron, the "powered-up version" of Megatron for that concept (this has become a recurrent thing they've done for the last four or so lines).
This mold has come out four times technically. Once as Megatron, once as Galvatron and also a smaller form that was Megatron in an exclusive two-pack and also General Galvatron in Japan (this toy I bought was the larger Galvatron incidentally).
In short, this toy is awesome. In robot form, he embodies G1 Galvatron in every way, far more then even the original Galvatron toy ever did. His shade of purple is brillant and also appropriate. His face mold is also nice looking--no more of that stupid grimace that so many of the Beast Wars era Megatron toys possessed. His twin shoulder cannons make him look heavily armed and dangerous. His ship mode is also quite asthetically pleasing. This is the ultimate Galvatron tribute toy and everybody should have him.

The Bad...

There's few bad things to say about Galvatron, but I have a few nitpicks. For some reason, the box calls Galvatron a "level four" transformation toy. This indicates that he is very advanced/difficult to transform and I did not find that to be the case at all. All you do is flip him over, fold his legs down and swing his head up. How is that worthy of level four designation? I had far more trouble with toys like G1 Hot Rod, BW II Galvatron or any Alternator in exsistence.
Perhaps my biggest peeve about this toy is the lack of a real hand weapon. Galvatron comes with a tank extension thingy that resembles Armada Megatron in its form. It doesn't transform or really look all that good. Basically, it seems to be there for him to hold as a ungainly hilt for his sword (he comes with an "energon" sword blade that fits into the tank's rear). The japanese release of General Galvatron, by contrast, came with a real energon sword, complete with hilt (apparently, the same sword as Cruellock had). I wish they'd tossed the weird cybersword idea and went for something like that with this mold as well.
Finally, the price. At $60 Cdn (Ben Yee's site had it at $40 Usd for Megatron), this toy is a bit on the high side despite it's size and features. The aforementioned tank addition has two sound effects (which I haven't tried yet) but is otherwise a worthless hunk of plastic that you're paying for. It doesn't transform (which would've been awesome) and doesn't really have much in the way of playability factor (although it can shoot a missile out of it's turret). I would've been happier if they'd ditched the tank component alltogether and given us a nice sword for Galvatron instead (all they'd needed to do was give the blade that comes with him a proper hilt). The sound effect stuff is traditionally lame anyway and they could've knocked about $10-15 off the price that way.

Still, all in all, this toy is awesome and easily the best of the Energon toys released. It's cool looking, a G1 hommage and well worth getting if you don't already own one and like the character or just appreciate a good TF toy. The sword is unfortunate but most of the previous Megs/Galvs had bad hand weapons too (G1 Galvatron's rifle, Armada Megatron's nothing) and this is easy to overlook.

- Thunder

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

New TransMasters Logos/Banners

I've cleaned up the logo that was used on the comic some and created some other banners for links with our new symbol, etc. Hope you like them:

Please, if you have any you want posted or ideas for new ones let me know. Thanks.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Galaxy Force Galvatron, Soundwave and much more...

Some new japanese TF stuff of note (pics, but still interesting)...

Click Here

This info courtesy Doug Dlin (who supplied the URL on ATT).

GF Galvatron, Soundwave and much more...

Some new japanese TF stuff of note (pics, but still interesting)...

This info courtesy Doug Dlin (who supplied the URL on ATT).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

I threatened to do this...

Ok, so I just couldn't ignore the obvious pun on the BotCon 2005's slogan:
"Changing Gears"
Let me know if you laughed.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Simon Furman released online Alignment

Go check out and click on the blue box to download a .pdf format version of a comic Simon Furman made up for the Transforce Convention. It's just a bit under 900Kb. I posted this before reading, so if it sucks sorry. It's supposed to be about how the Liege Maximo came to power. Hey, if it's free, it's for me.

Me and IM

I've finally decided to take the plunge into Instant Messaging with Yahoo's version. My user ID is: pierrimus. So send me you IDs or just add me on to yours if you use this. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

What's in a name?

Today on it was reported that the merger between Takara and Tomy will end up being called Tomy and the Takara name is to be "disolved". I for one think that this is a very sad move and only can hope that the new Tomy company will be as willing to work for the fans of Transformers. The only good thing I can think of here is that now we can shorten that line about copyrights down to just Hasbro/Tomy.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Jokes and Energon goodies

Ever wanted to know what the full line of Energon party goods were? I saw this once in my mom's catalogs and pulled the page out but the company hasn't carried them again, so just if you were curious:
Energon Party

Here's the reason no one sees cross generation parties:
Bumblebee Doesn't like Hot Shot

If you have ever owned a VW Beelte (I had both a '64 and '73 Super) you will get this:
Prime no happy with 'bee

I practically rebuilt my engine every year and finally got tired of it and got a Toyota.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

TransMasters Magazine: also Comic schedule


GOALS: To produce content exclusive for 6 months to the
TransMasters membership in a format that can be
posted in both online and print formats (so the material
can be viewed/purchased at conventions, etc.).
To inform the membership about club medias, functions,
changes, and to educate Transfans through links, forums,
web log (blog), etc.

CONTENT: Fan created art, stories (fanfics), articles, editorials,
reviews, fanmail, question and answers and other PG13
content. (Unless we should decide to split the club along
the lines of age, say 10 and under and call this BotMasters
for the Gobot and younger fans?)

· Creation Central –Birthdays of members
· Top Tens
· Toy Previews (ie. Fan2fan, eBay prototypes)/Reviews
· Video Game Reviews
· Book Reviews
· Cartoon Synopsis & Reviews
· Comic Synopsis & Reviews
· Puzzle Corner
· Alpha Trion’s Q & A –If a TransMaster can’t answer it we’re in trouble.
· Grim’s Tales: A short story section (Longer stories might need new publication?)
· ‘Former Humor –TF funnies, etc.
· Poet’s Phrase –TF poetry section
· TMUK Happenings –News from The UK Chapter
· Kitbash Pick – Info on a chosen kitbash
· Web Base – web site links, member emails, etc.
· The Vector Sigma Base – Transformers Universe or MTME type entries (Use official text, but with drawings by TransMasters. We might make up our own if Hasbro/Marvel/Dreamwave did not cover them.)
· The TM Underbase – TransMasters Profiles/Spechs
· Beastly Bonanza –Anything BW/BM/Universe/RID
· Takara/Japanese news
· Bootleg/Knockoff Watch (both because we’re cheap and because we don’t want someone to get ripped off by not knowing the differences.)
· Auto/Con – A place to discuss the differences between both sides. (Publicity/Propoganda/Full fledged arguments about ideas, I won’t publish personal attacks, so keep it friendly and fun. OR ELSE!!! I’ll have Hook, Line and Sinker from that alternate universe give you a visit straight to Unicron’s maw.)

FREQUENCY: I plan for both this and the TransMasters Comic to become quarterly productions. Should there be more demand and enough material we might increase that to bi-monthly (I don’t see myself having the time to try to do it monthly any time in the near future…so unless someone else is willing to help out on the work end, that’s how it’ll be.) I haven’t posted the schedules for the comic or this new fanzine, so here goes:

COMIC: All entries for the January 2006 issue 1 should be in/submitted by December 17, 2005. The deadline for submissions will be set to the Saturday that allows for two full weeks prior to the 1st of the month of publication in April, July, and October. (March 18, June 16, September 17 respectively.)

TM MAG: All entries for the Febuary 2006 issue 1 should be in/submitted by January 14, 2006. The deadline for submissions is similar to the above comic’s for publication in May, August, and November. (April 15, July 16, October 15 respectively.)

COST: Online format will be free to both members and non-members.
Printed format will depend upon the number of pages, whether it is in B/W or color, postage and packaging, taxes, and other expenses. I would love to do something that was full color, but the cost involved to print up just my 0 ½ TransMaster Comic probably outweighed what I tried to charge for it. I have found a new source for the photo inkjet paper I used for the front cover that will drop that down from nearly $ .35 cents a sheet to $ .125 cents a sheet (that is for just the paper). Basically this is just so we can showcase what we’ve been doing at conventions, etc. Unless enough of you decide they want it in this format, it might become a dead issue.

FILE FORMATS: For graphics: .jpg, .gif, .tif, .png, where .png and .jpg are the best for color while .tif and .gif are best for b/w files. For text: .txt, .rtf, .htm/.html files. (I will not open a .doc file attachment due to the whole macro virus affair and I will not send this format to you. My chosen types for this is usually .rtf for something I want to retain some formatting, but .txt is good if you just want to leave it to someone else to format the document.) If you have a mixture of the two it may be best to create an .htm/.html file send it with its related files in a .zip file. Or you may use a .pdf file, but they can sometimes be larger than full page .gif or .jpg files. I’d like to ask that the resolution be 300dpi or higher please.

If your files are large (2+ MB) you might attempt to post it online and just send me the link. (I am still on dial-up, but a friend has Comcast cable Internet and she allows me to use it, so I’d keep these links for then.) If you are into creating media that is TF related: like .mp3, .mov, .avi, .wmv, etc. then this is definitely the way to go to have it featured on just the online publication (Though we might try a screen capture to stick in the printed version with a web address and credits.)

You may also snail-mail me materials at: Peter Phelps, PO Box 386, Somerset CA 95684, USA. (If you need them back please send along a S.A.S.E.) Also, if you plan to create a fanzine, etc. of your own as Archivist it would be nice to have a copy in the files sent to the same address. This is also probably the fastest way to let me know there are new medias (begging for the membership to do their own stuff too) so we can advertise them both online and in any print materials.

NOTE: You do not have to be the best artist or writer to submit. Just take a look at the archive and you can see what I mean. Though, we would prefer that stories are at least spell checked and reviewed for grammar errors. (I don’t have time to ensure everything is right, but I may return materials with blatant errors for correction.)
Can’t think of anything to do? Here’s a few suggestions:

The War Without (Or some better name?) Project
Ever wonder what happened in the history before Dreamwave’s War Within comics? Who were the Decepticon leaders before Megatron? (In my opinion the Quintessons were not the TF creators, but Cybertron’s enslavers until the revolt—I believe they were created by Primacron in order to delay the evolution of the Transformer race created by Primus as a line of defense against Unicron, whom was only "created" by Primacron as far as an upgrade was concerned. Just my line of thought here.) How long did Alpha Trion hold onto the Matrix and why wasn’t he counted as a Matrix bearer? The war between the Autobots and Decepticons waged 4 million years, so how old is Cybertron anyway? What happened to all of those Consumer Goods and Military Hardware robots that were manufactured on Cybertron and sold throughout the universe? (How many might have evolved and revolted, either as an influence from their home world or because Vector Sigma gave them more than just a basic drone program?) I would like to see this become a collaborative projects all TransMasters can add to. I am sure many of us already have varying concepts as to how Sentinel Prime should look (either from Five Faces of Darkness where Rodimus is learning about the Quintessons and Autobot history as a fallen leader hands the Matrix to Alpha Trion, or from the Hardwired book).

The Lost Ages Project
Another cooperative project for all TransMasters to work on. Here we want to collect stories and images from times that have gaps unexplained by any of the official materials. Dreamwave seemed to step back into the cartoon continuity to explain their comic, but it heavily relied upon pieces of the story from the book trilogy. Thus, if we use the cartoon there’s a gap between their work and the Movie. Or you could go to the last show before the Movie and work from there? I suppose we’d have to set Daniel’s age to have any accurate guess at the length of time gap there. The Marvel comic series went all the way from 1984 to sometime well past the Movie with a different story line. There was an unknown gap here between the end of G1 and G2 beginning, though probably not significant. (Though I would have liked to know the hows and wherefores that rebuilt the Action Masters into functional TFs again. Then there are the voids of time between G2-RID, RID-Beast Wars, etc. This is pretty much up to you if you want to define your own timeline, or look up the UKs and try to find gaps in it. I am not a stickler for continuity and probably am guilty of contradicting myself in my own story universe from time to time. (Transformers Universe toy line allows me to create a multiverse in which anything can happen along parallel universes. I wrote a story based on these toys since Hasbro’s seemed lacking any real significance in the larger scale of things so far.)

The Quantum Files
What will the future of the universe of Transformers look like? Who will lead the Autobots/Decepticons/Maximals/Predacons? Will the technorganic Cybertron survive the future? (I would prefer it died off and returned to a purely cybertronic state, but it’s up to you. I just can’t see beings that are nearly immortal bonding together with matter that will eventually die past the lifetime. Can you imagine what Cybertron must smell like?) What will be the ultimate goal, purpose of the Transformer race?

What If…
I know, we’ve stolen this from Marvel for a long time. The color BotCon 2004 art contest winner was a picture of Fortress Maximus standing behind the Wolrd Trade Center towers with the title "What if…" If you don’t know what this is, where have you been and how young are you? Basically we take events in the original Transformers story: cartoon, comics, books, and yes even Fanfic/Fanzines. Then we try to come up with what might have occurred if some little item was changed. I know this is very much just like our multiverse created in the Transformers Universe line, but usually here we have a character like the Watcher telling us how things should have gone. Of course, we might need to use some TransMaster character to do this so Marvel won’t be upset.

The above are just some suggestions, you can do anything you like within decency boundaries. If you’re into smut, go look elsewhere.
I would suggest we keep away from crossover stories/etc. Those that belong to Hasbro, like GI Joe are probably safe since they’ve been done for a long time now. Also it would not be uncommon to see Death’s Head (I or II) in some crossover since he was prominently featured in the UK comics and would have been difficult to rip him out over there. The problem will occur when we begin to mix with intellectual property owners who have not given the club any permission to use their characters. I won’t forbid you from creating this type of material, but I will also not print any of it either online or in paper media. You can post them onto your personal web pages and link to them through the Yahoo email group to announce them. The TransMasters just can’t afford to be "officially" tied to such material.

Please don’t take offense if we place some little disclaimer line on the web page and printed materials, we’re only trying to protect the club:

All articles, images, comics, and editorials contained herein are the express opinions of their creators and are not the official position of the TransMasters club, unless otherwise noted. Transformers are Trademark Hasbro. Copyright 2006 Hasbro/Takara Tomy, all rights reserved.

--Peter "Pierrimus" Phelps
Transmasters President/Archivist

TransMasters International CDROM-web page debug

I know it's probably overkill to post this here and on the Yahoo groups, but here goes:
Wanted: Art, stories, comics, etc. to be used to create the first TransMasters International Archive CDROM. I figure this will become a once per year product if there is enough materials submitted. This is sort of a backwards look at where we have been and what we have done. Plus, it's an invaluable research source. You can email the materals to my new , or you can snail mail me at Peter Phelps, PO Box 386, Somerset CA 95684.

I've built a temporary test web site out of Earlwin's:
It is still in the debugging stage, but you should be able to use the online membership and Tech Spech forms (I still want to see if I can make it attach .jpg and .gif files to the sent email). Some of the links might not always work, be patient with me. Thanks.