Wednesday, October 29th 2008 8:31am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Counterpunch
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Some members of our little online community do not need all that much of an introduction...
Without further ado...Seibertron Spotlight presents an interview with Burn.
1. Australian hunh? How’s that working out for you?
2. How did you get into the hobby of collecting Transformers and for how long have you been involved with them?
Grew up with the original G1. Held onto my figures from my childhood. Then a few years back when E-Bay was still young I found the Transformers section and said to myself "I always wanted a Grimlock and Rodimus Prime". It spiralled from there ...
Spiraled into what? How big of a collection do you have and what is it made up of?
Collection would be around the thousand mark. Haven't really made an effort to count as unfortunately 90% of it is in storage boxes due to lack of space.
As for what it's made up of, well pretty much all lines with the exception of non-transforming junk.
Really only need a few figures from each line for each line to be complete, G1 is probably the most but that's expected as some of the figures are harder to find.
I've got a fair sized Japanese collection. Back in the days when Takara were producing superior products. And they had the coolest of packaging, like the Microns with the Micron emblem molded into the plastic packaging. Thought that was a great touch.
3. What do you do for a living in order to support your hobby (and I suppose to put food on your table too)?
Up until June I worked for an Accountant. Data entry, compiling tax returns, client consultation, practically ran the office. But I changed jobs. Still in an office but i'm being trained up in a supervisory role with the long term plan (provided I stay there) to take over from the Admin boss when he retires in a few years, well at least that was the plan a few months back, they might be thinking different now that they've experienced me!
So you're a corporate suit eh? With this realization, is there any chance your street-cred has been damaged? Failing that, any advice for those seeking employment in this volatile economic period?
Definitely not a corporate suit. Especially when you live in a tropical climate. Plus I have to work with blokes who sell hardware and other blokes who manufacture machinery. It's definitely not a bright and sparkly place ... well actually it is but that's only because it's a brand new building.
As for those seeking employment in times like this, yeah ... good luck with that. You want a job? Become a lawyer, it's a booming business unfortunately. And with people losing money more and more they're going to want someone to help them sue.
4. Gundams are cool. Macross is even cooler. So, why Transformers and not other mecha?
Gundams are good for spare parts for Transformer kitbashes. Yeah, I said it. Gore backs me up, especially with his Gundam hips!
Macross/Robotech - Never had a problem with them. Saturday mornings was always a nice dose of Transformers and Robotech back to back on tv. It just didn't have the toy line like Transformers did/does. And even if it did it wasn't available in the small rural town I live/d in.
5. You’ve been around the Seibertron boards for a long while now. You’re essentially an elder statesman of this place. What are your thoughts on the community? on its evolving nature?
Evolving? I think the more things change the more they stay the same. Though it's interesting to see how the original G1 fans reacted to the younger Beast fans a few years back. Admittedly the Beast fans were like most teenagers, annoying little gits who liked to hide behind their monitors. But a few years down the track and those Beast fans have grown and matured, now we have to put up with even more annoying little gits because of Animated.
And i've always considered the biggest problem is that some people simply cannot let go of the past.
That being said, do you like the direction that Transformers is headed towards?
Given how Animated has turned out, it does worry me that Hasbro may opt for that style of animation more, which in turn gives birth to the more "curvy" look of the toys.
Add to that the dwindling attention span of children and Hasbro will have to integrate more and more "gimmicks" into the toy, and quite frankly, gimmicks have ruined MANY a good figure.
Vector Prime's a great example. He could have had great poseability but he HAD to have the force chip, which only made sounds. All that space wasted for a force chip gimmick and a speaker. ooooo.
Unfortunately however it's those lights and sounds gimmicks that has my 2 and a half year old nephew getting into Transformers.
Don't worry people, i've taught him how to play "Kick the Cane Toad" so he won't grow up to be easily amused by lights and sounds like Fender Bender.
6. What poster or member on the forums has had the most influence or insight for you over time here?
You? nah I don't know. Despite our differences and him always banning me and what not, I did respect Maximus Prime.
Banning gives you plenty of insight. Mostly in ways on how to piss people off in ways that don't get you banned!
7. Give us some insight into the world of Heavy Metal War.
- Create bot
- Deploy bot
- Check results
- Repeat until you have enough xp to upgrade bot
- Troll the forums
You left out your newsletter, the history and influence of factions, and the second coming...let's have it.
None of that is worth discussing I feel.
8. I understand you to be quite the fancy-pants artist type. Why can’t you just leave good enough alone and stop being all “creative” with custom toys and fan-fiction stories?
I definitely wouldn't call myself an artist as I think I do pretty shitty work, but like most, i'm my own biggest critic.
As far as fan-fics go, rarely write them these days. I can't be arsed to sit in front of the computer and type.
Kitbashing is getting the same way, I don't have the patience, the time, or in some cases, the skills to pull off the ideas I have.
But one thing I do pride myself on is that I come up with original characters. I do enjoy looking at repaints/kitbashes done by others, but I find the majority of them these days are canon characters. Boring. And I think it's a bit egotistical of some to say they can do a better job than Hasbro. Sorry, but creating a character, devising it's paint scheme, how it's going to look, then characterising it shows much more creativity than grabbing a Universe Powerglide and painting him red.
9. Transformers is primarily a US and Japanese merchandising arrangement. For the collector who resides outside those spheres of influence, how does this affect your collecting/enjoyment of the hobby?
Could it be the all-knowing Counterpunch isn't so all-knowing after all? For he should know that Transformers isn't primarily a US/Japan thing.
Contrary to what seems to be a popular belief, Transformers has had it's fair share of popularity in Australia (we did after all, get the 2007 movie before the US. Yeah that's right Fender Bender, I still saw the movie a few hours before you and your BotCon buddies did so ner!). Admittedly as a smaller population the fanbase isn't as large as even say, England's.
The hardest part for me has been my own location. I live in a rural part of Australia and the majority of Australian fans tend to live in Brisbane (3 hours by plane), Sydney (4 hours by plane) or Melbourne (5 hours by plane). So i'm essentially "on my own". But all things considered, I don't mind it. I've had a couple of people play with my Transformers and like all collectors experienced the "BE CAREFUL YOU BLOODY DINGBAT YOU'RE LIABLE TO BREAK IT AND THEN I'LL HAVE TO SIC MY DINGO ONTO YOU" moments. So even if there were other collectors around, I probably wouldn't want them near my collection anyway.
10. Is there such thing as “fairness” or “equality” in collecting? Should Hasbro or Takara be sensitive to this?
I spent over a decade working for an accountant so I can see things from Hasbro/TakaraTomy's perspective. They're out to make a profit, not appease the fans. And in all honesty I think they've done a pretty good job of trying to appease the fans. But at the end of the day they, and the retailers, are out to make a profit. And if they know a certain line won't sell, or a particular region has pretty poor sales figures, then obviously they're not going to not carry stuff just for the convenience of a handful of collectors.
Profits come first, and at the end of the day, Transformers is aimed at children. Hasbro/TakaraTomy have been pretty good to the fans but some fans need to remember that the neither company is geared towards making them happy.
Does any of that have anything to do with the question? Probably not. Blame Counterpunch people! He's the one who wanted to do these interviews through pm's and not over instant messaging programs!
Blame Burn for not making a trip to the good ole' US of A to do the interview in person. Speaking of which, you should come to BotCon next year for some weak beer and L o L s.
I had planned on it, but then I decided I should probably buy a new car (which i've yet to do anyway), and really, there's a few too many people i'd probably want to punch in the face anyway.
11. What is your best Transformers related story of personal experience? (Could be toy, show, comic, convention related, doesn’t matter)
Collection wise, would easily be the day I came across a G1 Optimus Prime under the wrong section on E-Bay. Boxed, (though the box was a bit tatty but still in one piece) little to no chrome wear, perfect insert, and had nearly all of his accessories. Those that were missing I already had. And the best part, a boxed near complete G1 Optimus Prime for $20AU and a few dollars for postage.
The other one would have been after I got back into collecting, I had a bit of catching up to do (one of the most enjoyable bits was getting Beast Wars lots and figuring out what part belonged to who) so i'd snap up all the big lots of Transformers out there. One lot included all four Combaticon limbs, with all their weapons. The day before they arrived via mail another lot of TF's i'd won arrived which included a complete Onslaught, so in the space of a day I had a complete set of the Combaticons.
The other stand out memory comes from last year when I won tickets to the advance screening of Bay's TF movie in Sydney. This was about three weeks before it's actual release date and a few days before it's BotCon preview. Add to that Michael Bay, Rachel Taylor and Megan Fox would all be attending. So I find out i've won these tickets Friday afternoon. Fortunately I was going on two weeks holidays and was contemplating a trip to Sydney to see a friend before she left for the UK. Friday night i'm booking tickets and arranging accommodation for the following Tuesday. It was a very rushed trip with me arriving in Sydney at about 1pm, I barely had time to watch Days of our Lives and have a quick snooze before SharkySparky (from Theyareamongus.com) called to say he'd be picking me up around 3:30 (I won two tickets so I gave him one with the simple request he'd pick me up and drop me back to the hotel). We turned up around 4pm, 3 hours before the movie was to start! Suffice to say it was a long wait, but I met up with a number of other collectors that i'd known from TAAU and OzFormers and then the mad rush was on to get into the either of the two theatres they had running. Bay even got up and said a few words before the movie started. Did I enjoy the movie? Hell yeah! Made even better by the fact that I, some bloke from a small rural town at the other end of the country was in the same theatre for a big fancy movie premiere complete with the Director, a couple of it's stars, and a bunch of other so-called Australian "celebrities" (I use that term loosely because I had no idea who 99% of them were)
You can always hold it over other people's heads that you were in a dark room with Rachel Taylor and Megan Fox...
Yeah, I heard you got stuck in a dark room with a couple of other blokes from this place!
12. What is your favorite Transformer? Favorite Series? Why are these special for you?
I'd call myself a fan of Ultra Magnus, well the G1 version at least. He was a truck, who combined with his frickin' trailer! How bloody cool was that!
Series ... you know, I grew up with G1 so it'll always have a special place for me, as dodgy as the cartoon/extended tv commercial was. Beast Wars was well written, and despite how it ended, Beast Machines was a good, different story. I will confess to having never watched all of Robots in Disguise, seen a few eps though.
13. Controversy! Give us the ‘Truth According to Burn’ on the following topics. Do not hold back at all… G1, Animated, 2007 Movie, BotCon, and Toy Exclusives
G1 - The classic stuff. Though it's time to let go and move forward.
Animated - ugh ... dear god. I despise the animation style. Story wise it's not so bad (but quite frankly i'd rather watch Armada, Energon or Cybertron). Toy wise ... well, with each figure I get the more I dislike them, and I really hope this isn't the future look of Transformers. I like my bricks!
2007 Movie - Enjoyed it! It wasn't perfect, but no movie is.
BotCon - meh, if anything, getting a little over-rated.
Toy Exclusives - I liked when the BotCon toys were new characters. I think that's all that needs to be said unless you WANT me to discuss the Thundercracker/Dirge/Thrust issue.
No, I actually agree with you that BotCon should return to the creation of all new characters etc.
It would certaintly cut down on the "Oh i'm a big fan of that character but I can't afford an exclusive! **** you Hasbro!" whines.
14. You seem like a savvy inter-web-guy… What are your thoughts on Internet Culture? Are you absorbed in the depths of /b/? Or do you abstain from less reputable circles? What does the phenomenom of internet culture mean for our hobby and collecting in general?
Like life, I tend to not get too involved in groups. I love my lolcats with Cheezburgers. I don't download that much in the way of music, I do however download a lot of tv shows because I have no faith in Australian networks. Oh and I download porn on Sundays.
15. What 3 people on Seibs would you most want to drink with? If you don’t drink, what 3 people would you most be willing to be the designated driver for?
Well first and foremost, i'd have to say Whisper and War Hammer. Whisper will no doubt be serving the drinks to War Hammer so when he's eventually passed out that'll leave time for Whisper and myself to take incriminating photos of War Hammer and beer bottles. More incriminating than anything Sharpwing could come up with!
Third person? Dunno. I think most people suck really. But i'll go with steve2275 for the simple fact I want to know if he really is capable of conversation in the "real world" or if his one word posts really do reflect the man himself.
Hell, there's probably people reading this who have never frequented the HMW forums and going "who the hell is steve2275?" Don't worry, you're not missing much!
(It's always good to get in a jab at stephanie)
Monday, October 13th 2008 2:02pm CDT
Categories: Site News
, Toy News
Posted by: Tigertrack
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Ever since HASBRO shared with us that our community would be able to submit 5 questions for them to look at and answer, we have really been generating some awesome ideas and questions. We had too many great ones, so the staff and I had to go through and pick the most timely questions, those that we thought would receive response, and those that hopefully were not being asked by other sites, so we could get the most information presented to the whole fandom.
has returned the answers to our questions that were submitted last week. I am quite thankful that they took the time to answer all of the questions asked.
Here are the questions we submitted and their HASBRO
Seibertron.com’s HASBRO Round 1 Q/A:
1.) Will there be toys based on characters presented in any of the IDW comic book series? We know the new character DRIFT is supposed to get the toy treatment, but what about favorites like Sentinel Prime (Megatron: Origins), Nova Prime (-tion series and Spotlights), Thunderwing (Stormbringer). An answer in response to the general question, not the specific characters would be much appreciated (unless you want to mention specific characters...)!
2.) Will we see the Alternators line return soon? BinalTech has returned to Takara Tomy, and Takara Tomy is also adding the new Alternity line. The Alternators line was supposed to make a comeback after the first movie, but we are getting close to the second and no mention of any Alternators revival.
When we can we love to fold into the product line any new or popular
character from any outside source Comic or Video game. We have done
things like the Fallen in the past, and we look for more down the road.
3.) Are you considering releasing any other re-issues of Generation 1 toys like 25th Anniversary Optimus Prime at this time? He’ll be pretty lonely on his own shelf.
There are no current plans for Alternators in 2009. There are just so
many exciting things happening in 2009 that we had to make choices. The
team likes the Alternators concept, but unfortunately it's just not the
right time for a re-launch.
4.) There are a lot of issues with HASBRO brand product quality control lately. We know you care about the brand and toy because of your desire to protect collectors from lesser quality Knock Offs, but can you tell us what you have been doing to address issues with HASBRO Quality Control problems such as loose pieces that fall off out of the package, poor paint application quality, missing paint applications, and as the case may be with Universe Prowl- tacky, sticky paint.
We have a few G1 molds that we would like to see come out in Fall 2009,
but not yet ready to announce as they will likely be retailer exclusives.
5.) Transformers fans love the fact that you are now putting us on a more equal footing with GI JOE and STAR WARS collectors by doing this Q/A, responding to the fandom more, and offering more nods to popular fan characters. Any plans for the ‘fan favorite’ idea to be put to use with Transformers? A poll could be taken in the same manner as has been done for GI JOE and STAR WARS. That way, you could see if there was a large demand for characters without us flooding HASBRO’s regular e-mail address, or filling forums with, "Will Hasbro ever make 'X' threads?”
You are correct in stating that a quality product is at the forefront
of our minds. First point, as conversion of Transformers has become more
complicated, it is critical for peices to pop off more easily. This is
meant to stop breakage and stress points. It some of the pieces didn't pop
off, they might end up snapping off or at the very least stressing the
plastic. However, we have heard some complaints about Animated products
and are currently investigating. If you have specific issues please
contact our consumer affairs department.
The fan choice would be a lot of fun to do! Transformers are a little
harder to pull off than Joe or Star Wars because of the complex tooling
(costs a lot more due to size and complexity). But that doesn't mean we
won't do it - it just won't be in 2009...unless of course you vote for the
Bay-former since we already have Michael Bay's head sculpted - HA! (those
of you that saw the Easter Eggs on the movie DVD will know what I'm
Thanks to HASBRO
again for giving us this opportunity to do this, and thank you, the community for your well thought out questions. ROUND 2 is scheduled for December 1st submission date, so look for a thread soon asking for your NEW questions that you want answered by HASBRO
Sunday, August 24th 2008 7:19am CDT
, Toy News
Posted by: Tigertrack
prowl13f, Yahoo! Japan, and eBay
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Anyone got a few thousand dollars lying around wondering what to spend it on?
found the elusive dino-cassettes on eBay and shared the auction with our community, but now, now some even more hard to come by items have made there way to auction sites.
Yahoo! Japan has a Chrome Colored G1 Soundwave
for auction, at a fairly reasonable price at this point. One might even hazard to call this the ultimate 'pimped' Soundwave.
And now for the high rollers, an unproduced Lucky Draw Black G1 Rodimus Prime
...starting bid, a whopping $2,999.99. A few holidays worth of gifts there.
What's cool is that we get to actually see these, and some lucky collector(s) could own them. Should we start a pool of money here at Seibertron, buy the toy, and share it, each of us can have it in our toy room for a week? Just a thought.
Enjoy the images while the auctions are live, you may never get a chance to see these rarities again.