Friday, January 21, 2011
Folks, we still technically haven't "gone public" with the Unicron stand. Can you believe that!? We were planning on making an announcement on CollectionDX, along with a video review and comparison with a Unicron.com stand! But last Thursday, someone got wind of the noize over at TBDX ('cause I mean, no one reads this blog! :P ), and posted it on Seibertron.com...and it was all over from there!
And so, here's the deal: as of last night--in a mere seven days--we are all sold out of Unicron stands!!
I'm fucking spent! ...And my post office thinks I'm smuggling WMDs! HAHAHA!!
Nah, for real, though, THANK YOU to all the heads who've ordered a stand (or two, in a few cases). If you've just paid in the last couple days, I've got some more to ship tomorrow and hand-deliver later this month, but that's it. Everyone else, if you've paid, your stands are in the mail!
And we've already got some happy customers! Check it:
[By all means, keep sending me pics like this! I love 'em!]
Now, here's the deal: I'm getting more from my distributor. I don't know if these'll end up popping up on eBay someday, but I figure I'll nip this in the bud right now: do not pay flipper prices for these stands...ever. I can make more at any time...just be patient. No need to feed eBay scalpers...
So if you want a stand, you have a couple options right now: 1) you can contact me and pay for a stand now, which would *guarantee* one from the next wave, and it would be shipped immediately upon receiving them from our distributor (in a month or so), or 2) you can simply watch the blog for my announcement of the next wave's arrival, and just place your order then. Either way is fine me, so go with whatever makes sense for you. Or, y'know, you could go on the TF boards, curse me out, and say I'm worse than Hitler... ;)
ANYWAY...let's get down to business. Yeah, real news. Saucer Animal Gin Gin.
The second wave of the Yojimbo figures are being produced as we speak, and I expect them to arrive soon. A couple are already reserved, so I think that leaves about three left. Some heads already have theirs, and their response has been fantastic! And of course, one of the greatest honors...the Chairman with his Yojimbo:
As for the final painted Gin Gins, we're having ONE more prototype made. Yeah, another delay? No shit! Haha...sucks being a perfectionist. But then again, this is my motherfucking baby...and he's paving the way for many more toys like this in the future!
This time around, we're developing some extra hardware to compensate for some mold problems we saw with the last prototype (the crystal clear one I posted pics of). I'm hoping to get that prototype, plus the hardware, early next week...then off to the metal casters. Another week or so, and we should hopefully have final metal. The paint is ready to be sprayed and stickers ready to be applied. I'm gonna clean up the box art a little bit...and we'll be good to go (again, HOPEFULLY) in under a month!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
For folks not following the crew's misadventures on TBDX, this'll come as a big BWAH!?
But first, let's take it back a few months. I gotta tell ya, the Gin Gin hustling wears on a brotha. I needed a fun side-project. Something light. Something that wasn't gonna make me wanna pull my hair out...or demolish my bank account! Well, last year saw the re-release of an already amazing toy: the TakaTomy 2010 Universal Dominator Unicron, a G1-inspired recolor and minor remold of 2003's Armada/Micron Legends Unicron.
Hmm...how do I summarize Unicron for newbies in a nutshell? Okay, I'm an 80's child (well, born in '78). I was at the "perfect" age for the early G1 Transformers, whose culmination was arguably the '86 animated movie, "Transformers: The Movie" (creative title, no?). The movie was obviously a vehicle for toys sales, but at least it featured dope hand-drawn animation, hilarious 80's hair-metal, and a passable Hero's Journey plot.
Well...Unicron wasn't so much the main antagonist--more like the omni-present "oh crap" looming in the background. He was kinda like an anti-god (not unlike Marvel's Galactus), incarnated in the form of a giant metal planet that ate other planets...and ultimately transformed, itself, into a titanic humanoid robot. WOW. 8-year-old mind=blown.
For years, America's collective youth dreamed of getting Unicron toys for Diwali, Chanukah, Christmas, Atheist-day, whatever...who really needed a reason!? But alas, it was never to be. The toy gods can be fickle.
We got older. Toys gave way to chicks and drugs...and Unicron slipped from our consciousness. Then came the internets. And we found our nerd again. Pics of G1- (and even Beast Wars-)era Unicron prototypes surfaced. Still nothing in stores.
Then suddenly in 2003, we were given a Japanese-made cartoon that actually involved Unicron!! The bad news? Well, the show sucked. Good news? We finally got a toy! Yeah, it didn't look perfect...but who cared? It was *plenty* good enough. And all was well.
I mean, who the hell was gonna argue at this point?? We'd been waiting for a Unicron toy for over a decade and a half! Any shortcomings were easily dismissed. That said, there was one common gripe...with a theoretically simple solution. See, planet-mode is kinda THE mode for this guy...and THE iconic image of Unicron is him floating "ahead" through space, with the glowing mouthy bits pointed forward and the orbital ring vertical.
But with the orbital ring in the way, you can't "stand up" the planet to face straight ahead. The intended solution was actually to leave him on his back. This facilitated the toy's use as something of a playset, featuring interaction with minicons and other various gimmicks. Yeah, aiight...clever workaround that I'm sure lots of kids and minicon collectors enjoyed...but still a workaround.
Fortunately, we live in the era of unlicensed (heh) "upgrades" for Transformers toys. Dozens of small companies--really, clumps of enterprising fans, rather than businessmen interested in actual profit--producing dope add-ons and accessories to make the play experience better. Jerks like me.
Well, along came aptly-named Unicron.com. They produced an alleged stand for Unicron's planet mode to allow him to be displayed "properly" (in other words, the way an 80's nerd would). Again, theoretically simple solution to a common gripe. Solid concept. But, oh, how the execution went so very wrong. Awful...like, 'what the hell were you thinking?' Well, rather than dwell further on the negative, I'll link you to this young lad's amusing youtube rant. :)
^^By the way, points for the creative cutouts on the base...but my camera wasn't tilted when I took the side-shot--the damn thing just leans that far forward, ever-threatening to snap like a twig. The toy is just too heavy for that narrow post; it just wobbles up there precariously. And yes, there's been a couple shelf dives. FAIL. Well, whatever. I just resigned to display the toy in robot mode...
Anyway, to make this long story longer, TakaTomy dropped the movie-inspired 2010 version of Unicron a few months ago, and I gotta say, this version is TIGHT. I mean, it looks killer. The molds for a lot of the reused bits are clearly tired, resulting in some fitment issues, and other minor glitches here and there...but this is clearly the 80's nerd version for me. There was much rejoicing.
In that discussion, you'll note my displeasure with the subpar effectiveness of the Unicron.com stand. But the new 2010 Unicron was just too good to let it slide. As a result--and to take my mind off the ever-secretive Gin Gin drama for a bit--I decided to make my own. A completely "open" project, I posted my ideas in real-time on the board to elicit feedback.
The result is what I have to offer today: the Throne of Chaos
The Unicron.com piece of crap retailed for $15. Mine unfortunately goes for over twice that...and it can't be shipped flat. :/ But it has advantages. Chiefly, it it does not suck. Not only does it get the job done...but as far as display stands go, ya kinda can't ask for much better.
The 3/16" thick acrylic base and cradle (all fabricated in the USA by good people) are crystal-clear and have a brilliant polish on the edges...so the last thing you wanna do is scratch it up. The first thing ya gotta do is attach the bumpons. Do this first--I made the mistake of putting the unprotected bottom surface of the prototype stand on a slightly dirty work table...and it scratched the hell outta the bottom!
Next, just throw on the cradle. It takes a little finagling to get it on because of the awkward shape, but you'll understand once you have it in hand. Just flex the acrylic of the base a little bit to make some clearance--don't worry, it won't break!
And you're done! No tools or adhesives required. Just toss that badass beachball up there, and you're ready to rock out to some Spectre General!
With the toy on top, there are NO worries of this thing taking a tumble. It's pretty much earthquake-proof. The size and angles of the cradle are perfect. The notch in the front matches the orbital ring pylon very closely, so even though toy's plastic is slippery against the top surface of the cradle, it's not going anywhere. You can even pick up the whole rig by the base and "fly" him around your room looking for tennis balls to gorge on [though I don't recommend this...'cause I know some clumsy jackass out there's gonna try it, drop their toy, and blame me].
The bumpons obviously protect the bottom, but they also provide slip-free stability. So go on...toss this guy high up on top of a detolf or your favorite display case. Go nuts!
Now, I can just hear y'all screaming over the internet, "WHERE DO I BUY ONE???" As it turns out,
But by all means, if y'all have feedback--positive or negative--keep sending it my way. You can hit me up here or at the "**Contact Brownnoize**" link over on the right. And if you send me pics of how you have your Unicron and other TFs displayed, I'd LOVE to post them on the blog!
Edit: Whaddup, folks? Just a quick update for Summer 2014. The stands are BACK for a limited time! They're no longer being carried by BBTS, but big homie, Matt "Dead Presidents" Walker, has taken up the mantle. You can now pick up a stand from the Monster Kolor website. Like I said, I'm not sure how long these will last, so if you're planning on getting one, please try to order as soon as possible. Any questions, as always, just hit me up! ;)
Friday, January 7, 2011
The first wave of the Yojimbo's are completely sold out...so THANK YOU to everyone! Honestly, pleased to have made the sales, but I'm really just happy to be putting actual product into people's hands.
I've got a few more of these coming, so hit me up if you're interested!
In the meantime, I've been having some fun with these dudes outside...
Honestly, in that last shot, I just dropped one in the snow while trying to get my South Asian ass someplace warm...and thought it looked kinda funny. Hey, maybe there's no snow on Gorman's planet--so why wouldn't he wanna make snow angels...in his colossal battle robot!? :P
Anyway, it hasn't been all fun & games. Been assembling the packaging for these guys for the past few nights. And, YES, I've been making y'all wait enough for this shit! Now, the Yojimbo boxes are slightly different from the final packaging meant for the painted figures...final product may vary...yadda, yaddda, yadda.
Some of these'll be mailed out shortly...some, I'll have the honor of hand-delivering to my fellow Massholes! Thanks again, everyone...and stay tuned, 'cause there'll be some interesting updates--and even some brand-new shit--dropping soon!