The latest from the greatest Con
While I would love to talk about all the cool stuff at Comic-Con, I try to keep my focus pretty narrow here to keep myself from running completely off the tracks. So, before we dive in, I’ve thrown some photos up of lots of other cool things at Comic-Con. I wish I could discuss them all but the focus of this wrap-up is Robotech (since it’s a North American event). Well, it’s supposed to be Robotech, and all the stuff its licensees are showing off in San Diego but then Bandai dropped the mic on the Macross merchandise world by announcing a 1/48 VF-1 on their Tamashii website just as SDCC was opening its doors. So, the most exciting Macross or Robotech Macross Saga news from the last 4 days originated far away from San Diego.
Continuing with the theme what wasn’t at Comic-con before we dive into the fun stuff that was, Sentinel has not obtained a Robotech license for their Mospeada Ride Armor toys. So, not surprisingly, there was no evidence of Sentinel at the Toynami booth. I sent an inquiry into Sentinel and was told that, since they didn’t license their product with Harmony Gold, they don’t even speak about their Mospeada products outside of Japan. They added that they’re really excited to be heading to Wonderfest next week so if you’re a fan of their products, you should keep an eye out for coverage of their booth at that event.
Landing solidly in the gray zone is the Evolution Toys Legioss which made an appearance at the Toynami booth. If you were looking to catch a sneak peek at a very poorly displayed Zeta version of the Legioss, Toynami was eager to help you out with that. Oddly, you couldn’t buy it there and it seems like Toynami is distributing it without Harmony Gold licensing it. I do have one en route so expect a full review after it arrives. Though it wasn’t teased in San Diego like it has been in Japan, Evolution Toys is planning on doing a green version of the Legioss in October and a Shadow variant eventually as well.
Moving from goods not licensed outside of Japan to licensed goods from manufacturers who don’t make the trip, their was no KitzConcept or Kid’s Logic booths at SDCC this year. The folks at Harmony Gold did include some slides during their presentation though to tease their goods.
KitzConcept continues sell their super deformed VF-1 toys and, sometime soon, they’re hoping to add a fully transformable 1/72 VF-1 and super parts with light effects. It looks pretty slick. KitzConcept has teased lots of other projects in the pipeline so keep an eye out for news from the Hong Kong toy shows.
Kid’s Logic announced last year that they were going to make an incredible Rick Hunter custom 1/6 scale VF-1 cockpit sound system with LEDs and this year they began delivering it. Next up will be a Max Sterling version of the same. They also have some massive statues of the SDF-1 and a Cyclone figure in the works but no new news beyond that so I’m just recycling pictures from last year’s recap.
If you’re into Robotech table-top games, apparel, or plushies, there’s no shortage of goods in the pipeline to keep you happy. One company hitting both the apparel and toy front is Super7. They’ve got lots of cool shirts and some very quirky ‘toys’ that scratch the itch for the cheapest possible, super kid-friendly, Robotech product. You probably remember Muscle Men from the past and you can get them from Super7 in a few ways. They also offer their larger Reaction Figures. One more odd bit I couldn’t resist is an “x-ray” version of Optimus Prime which is another tribute to quirky 80s toys from Japan. I’ll make a video putting these products through their paces soon since all are already available for sale.
Another company that went from a slide on last year’s Robotech presentation to a finished product on the floor was Prime1 Studios who showed off their massive VF-1J Battloid statue. There is no debating that this thing is very large but I found just about every other aspect of the statue to be very debatable. What exactly is this thing flying above?
Out of left-field, BAIT hit the Con with a vinyl Robotech figure that is a bizarre mash-up in the same way that Robotech is a bizarre mash-up. It’s got a helmet that says Rick Hunter, on a Cyclone figure that mixes Scott and Yellow’s bikes, and adds a skull squadron logo and UN Spacy markings from the Macross Saga… and Rick Hunter now appears to be a skeleton. It was available in two colors, white or bronze and there was no announcement of future variants.
The biggest Robotech merchandise name continues to be Toynami. Sadly, last year’s big splash with the presentation of a 1/60 Alpha toy left a huge void as the Alpha made no appearance. Coupled with the lack of any preorder news, it seems that Toynami has decided to cede the Alpha/Legioss business to Evolution Toys… so that sucks. They’ve also gone into the apparel business, introducing a jacket which appears to be a Bayformers take on the VF-1 head. Beyond that, the 1/100 VF-1 toys with pilot figures they teased last year made it as final products to this year’s convention, though it seems Max & Miriya haven’t been released yet. The 1/100 Angelbirds was a fun addition to the line-up after years of focusing on non-canon ‘stealth’ variants. The other big news was the 1/18 scale action figures of Minmay, Rick, Roy, Max, & Miriya which were available in a special SDCC sleeve. At the Robotech Panel they said they also had event exclusive paint applications but Toynami only mentioned the packaging was different. I’ll have a full review at some point so we can figure out the truth there.
Sharing the Toynami booth was Calibre Wings. They had their very attractive Tomcats in the Hunter/Fokker versions we had seen previously, they also had the event exclusive Trainer 1D color and Max & Miriya variants as well. They also had their prototype 1/72 fighter-only diecast VF-1 model, which, in my opinion, won ‘best in show’ for SDCC’s Robotech merchandise. With KitzConcept doing a transformable VF-1 at 1/72, Arcadia doing transformable 1/60 VF-1 toys, and Bandai now doing a transformable 1/48 VF-1, it will be very interesting to see what kind of market reaction this model gets but the prototype definitely looks good. You can bet that, when all these things are released, I’ll have very thorough reviews here so stay tuned!