Sunday, July 25, 2010

Transformers: SAYBERTRON 6 doujinshi

Finding decent Transformers doujinshi fan comics isn't so hard these days. That wasn't the case 12 years ago. I had known of a few doujinshi created by Transformers fans in Japan when I first took the trip over there. I had hopes of finding some of these and maybe get an idea of what the Japanese fan had envisioned Transformers as. Sadly, I looked and looked and found almost nothing over a 2 week stay. I say "almost nothing" cause while I found nothing in a story based format, I did find a great fan created art book.

I picked up a copy of "Saybertron 6" in a doujin shop in Akihabara. I don't know if this was the 6th in a series, or a six member team creating the art. Probably for legal reasons, details are sparse in the book about the creators. The one thing I did know then, as I do now, the art is amazing. All drawings are done in inked drawing style, sans computer assisted ease, this book shows a wide variety of Transformers from G1, Europe, Japan and even the Action Masters. Here is a very small sample of the art in the book:

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Transformers: Boss Original G1 Figures

A trend has been underway in Japan for the last six years, the inclusion of small gift items with the purchase of a beverage. Buy a 20oz. Pepsi, get a free Pepsi Man cap-figure, buy a Coke get Final Fantasy mini figure. A wide array of little toys and trinkets have been made available for years, but none that I wanted to collect as badly as the Boss Transformers collection.

Boss is the Suntory brand of coffees sold at markets and convenience shops. A beverage not likely linked to promoting a kids line of toys, these were more suited to the adult collector. And with that marketing direction, these fell into more limited venues of sale, cutting out toys shops, department stores and the like. The limited availability, and the fact that product not sold quickly would be disposed due to expiration has made these quite a bit more rare than other Transformers themed novelties.

The Boss line has three distinct varieties. One part was for two unique full size Mini-Con figures, another for three golden colored plastic G1 style sculpted figures. The third, and I feel the best, was a set of ten G1 animation styled figures in color with some limited articulation. Each of these figures came sealed in a baggy and stored in a small plastic capsule. The capsule doubled as a stand for the figure. A catalog was included with each figure and could be used as a backdrop image. The backdrops each had an Autobot and Decepticon choice, with a total of five different catalogs, making ten different scenes.

The figures ranging from 2 inches to just under 2.5 inches are not very tall, but they do hold a lot of personality in their sculpts. The list of characters is your typical run down of G1 favorites; Optimus, Megatron, Bumblebee, Jazz, Starscream, Soundwave, Ironhide, Wheeljack, Shockwave, and maybe the lesser popular, Astrotrain. Personally, I feel this is the best set of novelty figures made for Transformers since the decoys of the 80's.