Today is the 30th anniversary of the launch of the Voyager 2 spacecraft which is kind of a special day in the Transformers mythos. Some of you might be wondering how this bit of news made it into Seibertron.com's Transformers news section. The Voyager spacecrafts each carry a special "golden disk". According to Transformers lore, the disks were discovered in the future by Beast Wars Megatron.
The Voyager Golden Record is a phonograph record included in the two Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977. It contains sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. It is intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or far future humans, that may find it. The Voyager spacecraft will take about 40,000 years to come near another star, 'near' meaning in this case within around 1.7 light-years' distance; hence, if other beings do not come in the direction of the spacecraft to meet them, it will take at least that long for the Golden Record to be found.
In the Transformers series Beast Wars, the Golden Disk stolen by the Predacons was in fact the Voyager Record. This disk was prized by the Transformer race, as it alone told the location of Earth and thus a plentiful source of Energon. The disk also contained a secret message from the original Megatron. The record was destroyed by Dinobot to prevent the Predacon Megatron from having the ability to change the future. However, Megatron recovered a piece of the disk, so that the Decepticon-turned-Predacon Ravage would join his side after watching the message left by his former commander.
Here are some other interesting links pertaining to the Voyager spacecraft:
Seibertron.com members Lawson and ZenithF0RTE have alerted us to two listings on Amazon.com for two volumes of IDW paperbacks (most likely comic books) for the upcoming Transformers: Animated series. The covers of which feature Optimus Prime and a different version of Megatron, resembling more his "War Within" incarnation than the early form of "Animated" Megatron we saw at Comic-con, who shared a similar head design to the Transformers Movie 2007 incarnation of Megatron. The paperbacks are scheduled for release on January 15th 2008.
Chris Ryall, the editor-in-chief of IDW Publishing has posted an update on the IDW forums where he talks about his recent work at the Comic-Con and Chicago convention and his future plans for IDW, including new Spotlights and new comic series. He also talks about his impressions of the new Transformers Animated series.
But most interesting is the fact that he has revealed what the bonus feature on the Transformers Movie DVD will be. The rumoured "additional footage" that voice-actor Mark Ryan had mentioned awhile back is in fact an animated version of the IDW Movie Prequel comic series, with Peter Cullen again reprising his role as Optimus Prime. According to Chris Ryall, this bonus feature will only be available with the Wal-Mart excusive version of the Transformers Movie DVD, no official release date has been set as of yet, so stay tuned to Seibertron.com for more info.
Between Comic-Con, last weekend's Chicago con, and a trip to Hasbro, plus all kinds of general work overload, I know I haven't been around here much. But that doesn't mean I don't care...
In fact, in that time away from here, I've been making plans. Big plans. And then off to Hasbro to run these plans by the Powers-That-Be. And lo and behold, they loved them and are into said plans. Which means that 2008 is going to be BIG. I don't say this with any hyperbole, but next year's going to really rock your worlds.
These plans include movie-related comics, multiple Spotlights, another crossover, a new mini- (or maybe maxi-)series that will really wow you and answer some old questions, and the big SOMETHING ELSE. I'm pretty excited.
I also watched the new Transformers Animated Movie, the kick-off of the upcoming series, and it's a blast. I actually thought it might be a bit too "young" since it's aimed at the 5-9 crowd, but I shouldn't have questioned Sam Register and his crew--it's a lot of fun, and the characters and voices are great. As are the new toys, that looks just like the designs. I know people have taken shots at it based on the little bit they've seen online, but it's gonna win people over. Especially that first scene.
Oh, one other TF thing--I watched the DVD extra that's going to be included on the Wal-Mart only Movie DVD release. It's an animated version of the entire Movie Prequel miniseries, with voicework from Peter Cullen and others. Good sound effects, cool movement of panels and voices... it's pretty awesome to see our comic turned into something like that. And having Cullen speak our words is an insanely exciting thing, too.
Frank Welker returned as the voice of Megatron and Soundwave on last nights new episode of Robot Chicken. Soundwave finds out that being a cassette player in the 2000's isn't a very good disguise. He ends up in a very unlikely place that only Movie Optimus Prime or G1 Shockwave would think to look: Ebay!
As reported earlier here from the San Diego Comic-Con, the toys based on the upcoming Transformers Animated series were unveiled for the very first time to the general public of fans. Seibertron.com member Sephron1335 has alerted us to some clearer images of the slides shown in the presentation by the Hasbro panel, giving us a better look at the new figures which include fan-favourite characters like Grimlock, Soundwave and Black-Arachnia.
Another new video clip of the new Transformers TV Series "Transformers: Animated" has surfaced online. This video, according to the description given by the poster on Youtube, was looped during the autograph session at the San-Diego Comic-Con this past weekend.
The video (nearly 5 minutes long) showcases the Autobots in space working on a meteorite. The classics transformation sound can be heard, and we are also given our first glimpse at what appears to be the Matrix.
I received news from our friends at Madman Entertainment a couple weeks ago that they will be releasing boxed sets of Headmasters, Masterforce and Victory. I'm planning on providing Madman with photos of the figures from the Headmasters series to use in a special edition photogallery, much like I did with Madman's incredible Beast Wars DVD sets that they released last year. We'll be sure to keep you posted as Madman releases more news to us about these upcoming sets. Headmasters is scheduled to be released in November in Region 4 format. For more information about region-free DVD players, click here.
I want to help you guys watch Transformers DVDs no matter where in the world they are released. I see many of you who express their frustration about foreign releases of Transformers DVDs that we don't have available here in the States yet. Well, there's really no reason for it since there's an army of inexpensive DVD players available just down the street from you that can easily be modified to play DVDs from anywhere in the world. All it takes is a little research on the Internet to find out which DVD players can be modified that are currently available at Best Buy, Target, Walmart or whatever major retail store is near you.
Keep in mind that the cheaper the DVD player, the easier it is to "hack". Obviously, you don't want a complete piece of crap, but if you stick to some brands that you recognize such as Phillips, you should be all set. The higher end DVD players are far more difficult to hack (or altogether impossible) so I would stay away from the Pioneers, Sonys and Toshibas for example.
Australia's Region 4? Not a problem! UK's PAL format? Never worry about it again. UK's Region 2? Region what?!?! I've been enjoying DVDs from all over the world for the past 2 years. I own all of Metrodome's Headmaster, Masterforce, Victory and RiD sets, Metrodome's "Transformers Movie Reconstructed", as well as all of Madman's incredibly flawless Beast Wars sets, their very awesome G1 boxset and their version of the animated movie. For those of you who don't know, Metrodome is based out of the UK and Madman is based out of Australia.
I'm also able to play DVDs from China or Japan flawlessly. I'm able to easily just pop-in DVD extras that come with my Japanese Transformers right into my primary DVD player and watch whatever I want. Heck, I can even download videos from the Internet, burn them directly to a DVD-R as their native format (i.e. AVI, MPEG, etc) and watch the actual raw videos on my home TV without ever havign to convert the video to a DVD format.
Without further ado, here is a message I had posted on these forums before the big forum crash in January. I had the foresight to save this message on the Metrodome forums a while back so thanks to that, I'm able to repost my message here on Seibertron.com. One of our latest sponsors is none other than our friends at Madman. I promised I'd help share how you guys can watch these DVDs on your players at home regardless of where you live in the world. You should be just as exceited about a DVD set from Madman as you are from a company here in the States or whatever country you live in. Yeah, it's a little expensive to import the DVDs but it's most definitely worth it. It certainly beats the alternative of not owning sets like Headmasters (which Madman will be releasing later this year) or RiD.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I'll do my best to help you find a region free DVD player so that you can enjoy watching these Transformers DVDs from other countries while Sony figures out what they're doing with the license here in America.
Ryan in 2005 wrote:
Once Metrodome announced the upcoming Headmasters DVD set, I started doing some research into figuring out a standard way to play foreign DVDs. I've been anxiously awaiting a Headmasters DVD set that's not as expensive as the Japanese version for quite some time so I can assure all of you that I wasn't going to let a little thing like Region 2 or PAL video stop me from figuring out a way to play the Metrodome DVDs here in the States (NTSC video, Region 1). While it was great news that Metrodome was going to release the Movie and Headmasters as Region 0 (just like the Robots in Disguise RiD videos were released unbeknownst to many fans), but that would only allow most of us American fans the ability to watch the DVDs on our computer. I wanted to watch the DVDs on my television with my sound system dammit!
So I talked to a few of my friends at work who are from Poland. A few of them started pointing me toward the DVD player that is sold locally at Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City or Amazon.com. This DVD player can EASILY be hacked to play any region AND it automatically converts PAL formatted videos to NTSC. PLUS IT'S CHEAP and comes with tons of other features that have totally changed my DVD experience. I highly recommend this DVD player:
Philips DVP642 DivX-Certified Progressive-Scan DVD Player
1. Turn on the player.
2. Open the tray.
3. Press the following sequence on the remote: 7 8 9 OK 0
4. The number 0 will appear on the lower left side of your screen.
5. Your player is now region free! Put in a DVD and enjoy! :)
NOTE: The 0 in the sequence above represents the region code. 0 = region free. If you want to change your player to just a specific region code, replace the 0 with the region number you want.
The hack should be perfectly safe, but USE IT ON YOUR OWN RISK!
It plays my RiD DVDs from the UK perfectly as well as my various Takara DVDs that came with my Robot Masters figures and TFC-9 Starscream. I can't say enough great things about this DVD player.
And no, I do not work for Phillips. I'm just trying to spread some information about this DVD player out to the community so that you guys can get your DVD player before the Headmasters set is released.
Apparently the cheaper the DVD Player, the easier it is to region hack and to find a player that will convert from PAL to NTSC. I bought one that was a little more expensive with a brand that I recognized even though several of my friends recommended the Cyberhome DVD players. However, I read so many bad reviews about the Cyberhome DVD player that it didn't matter that it was only $40 or less ... I wanted a player that would last and look decent.
Hot on the heels of the San Diego Comic-Con's unveiling of new movie figures, Classics, and "Animated" series toys, is more news pertaining to the next series of Transformers. Shown at the Hasbro panel was a video clip showcasing the new "Transformers Animated", the clip includes transformation sequences, voice clips from the characters as well as a glimpse of many characters from the show, including Arcee and the Dinobots!