Wednesday, October 3rd 2007 10:09pm CDT
Categories: Site Articles
, Site News
Posted by: i_amtrunks
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Seibertron's very own Double Agent has finished his second interview, this time with #1 Starscream Fan Sunstar
To the point and for the record, care to tell your fans your name (given), your screen name, and how you came to use that handle?
My given name is something I don't typically like to give out. Unless it's in a trade or special circumstances. Sunstar I came to use in the transformers fandom after using the name Morganna for about 15 years. Sunstar was actually a character in my fic Seeker of Vengeance, but after cries of "self insert" I changed the name in the fic to Sunburst and kept the name of Sunstar for myself. The funny thing was the alternate name I was thinking of using was Sunstorm. I was oblivious to the fact that Sunstorm was an actual character at the time.
Worries about internet security and people finding out who you are can be troubling in these fancy modern times, especially when you’re a girl. Thus, we encounter one of what will be the focuses of this interview: the perspective of the female (or as some might say ‘girl’) collector. Tell me; is it super-fun to be a minority in this male dominated fandom?
It is not so much security issues I am worried about, just it is fun to have a different name and take yourself away from the reality of the chaotic modern world.
I do not feel that I am exactly in the minority as I know so many female fans. Being a female in a "male dominated" area is not something which is new to me anyway. I have been a tomboy all my life and I do enjoy and quite often prefer the things that the guys do. I have been the only female in a number of my technical study classes in high school. It can be fun, to some degree and irritating to others. It depends on who I encounter. I enjoy being one of the "boys"
If you really knew what guys do with their free time, you might revise that statement. I should point out that cross-gender issues came up with my first interview with Fender Bender. Is there some kind of Eddie Izzard Club I should know about? What are some of your other hobbies? Do you have anyone to share your interests with?
I am unfamiliar with the term Eddie Izzard Club. My other interests and hobbies are cycling, I do enjoy riding around. I love to do artwork, although most of it is transformers related. But one of my hobbies that may actually be a close rival to transformers is Warhammer Fantasy battles. I paint the figures and occasionally play. It too, is a mostly male dominated area.
My husband is not too interested in Transformers. With Warhammer, I get into a few gaming groups and hangout at the Games-workshop store.
Miniature painting takes a steady hand and keen attention to detail. I’ve spent many hours painting battalions etc, so I can sympathize. You mentioned classes. Are you still a student or have you entered the big bad work force? How do you support your hobby?
I have been out of school for over 11 years, probably closer to 12 now.
I am currently not employed but I do try to make some money "fun money" though selling bits and peices on ebay. I am hoping to find some employment in a field that I enjoy and find relaxing.
You are a character specific collector correct? Who, why, and how does your collection stand now?
I am a character specific collector. I collect figures relating to Starscream and I have been since 2003. I do not have all the figures, by any stretch of the imagination. I would like to, but some are either far too elusive, or far too expensive. One day though, I hope to get even the hard to find and pricey ones.
Why Starscream? My collection stated out wanting to get a Generation One figure of him, I got the TRU reissue, then snared an E-hobby ghost and then the Mega SFC figure. I told my husband only Generation One Starscream and others wiggled their way into the picture. As for the actual why, Starscream has been a character that has fascinated me from my childhood. He, and the other Seekers really caught my attention. I like jets, I like sleek, fast machines that fly. Coupled with his rather cute drawing style of the old series and his fun personality and voice, Starscream won me over. I rather like the character type that Starscream is. Lord Chamberlain from the Movie The Dark Crystal is another favourite.
My collection is incomplete, but I am not finding a whole lot of figures and related articles that I am wanting right at this moment. I have 64 Starscream figures, (transforming, non transforming, knock off, and sundry) in my collection. As for how they stand, either on their feet or wheels. But Machine Wars Starscream, he stands on his head.
What’s your reaction to the collective love that Starscream gets as a character? His popularity with female collectors is well noted. Is this a bandwagon issue with ladies, or do you think there is really something there that draws their attention to him? Most male collectors are either put-off by the outpouring of attention that Starscream gets, or simply find it silly. How do you respond to these reactions from fellow collectors?
I am not sure what makes Starscream as popular as he is. I enjoyed him as a kid thinking I was the only nutcase that did. It was not until re-entering the fandom did I realize how much of a female following he actually had.
As for the bandwagon issue, I don't really think it is. I have often spoken to female fans and found they liked Starscream and it was him who got them interested in the fandom. What it is that attracts them to Starscream is an enigma. It remains an enigma to me why I even like him. Some sort of "magic" in his overall mystery.
The male collectors are probably quite baffled by this interest and I can't entirely blame them. Starscream is not what would be considered really good partner material.
Basically, the best way I can put it is this way: There are fangirls who squeal and drool over Prowl. I can't stand that character; I loathe Prowl with a passion. I cannot understand why anyone would even like Prowl. However; there are folk who do and have their own reasons for doing so and they are likely not hurting anyone.
For the most part, I will respond to people who ask as best I can. If it is curiosity, I am happy to give an answer. If it is more of a malicious question, then I have to ask them, why do they care?
Personally, I just think they’re jealous of Starscream. He steals the attention of a needy fandom away from many a lonely man. Have you had to contend with any guys giving you too much attention on account of your gender? Feel free to name names. Fender Bender did. Last gender question, do you find that you get more attention your way simply because you’re a girl and is it flattering or something you have to deal with so that people get to know you as a collector?
I have often felt it was perhaps jealousy and that they are lonely. Or I have wondered if they have the sort of, girls do girls things and boys do boys things and may the two never cross paths, mindset.
To be honest, I do not feel that I get any more or any less attention as the next person. I do not hide the fact I am female. The attention I get is usually related to my website, my art or my collection. I don't often get comments about my gender aside of the occasional "Cool, you're a girl who likes Transformers."
Tell us about your interest in Transformers aside from Starscream, are you old school, new school, somewhere between… What is your favorite toy line and show? Why are they the best? Why are other people’s opinions on your favorite things so incredibly wrong?
I am classified as old school. If I write anything I will usually go Generation One or something around those specific characters. But I have watched a number of the different series. Energon and Beastwars are the two I could not get interested in enough to watch more than a couple. My curiosity and interest in becoming a more rounded fan set me to download a number of episodes to watch. I don't have a TV which makes it difficult to watch these when they are on. I hope they do release dvd sets of energon and Cybertron, the latter was pretty good.
My favourite toy line would probably have to be the classics and the titanium lines oh yes, and masterpiece. The classics line is quite wonderful for simple but more or less show accurate characters with great articulation. Titanium, I just have the jets (Starscream Thundercracker and Sunstorm) are nice heavy feel-good figures. The War Within Style appeals to me.
My favourite show would have to be the Original Series and Cybertron. The original series was the launch pad for all future series and it was quite neat. Also the language used in Generation One, Negative, affirmative and some of the more adult words, appealed to me. My teacher was upset with me because these were the words I wanted to learn to spell. I did not get the feeling that they were talking down to me when I first watched them and that was part of the reason why I watched it.
Cybertron or Galaxy Force, I watched both. Had quite a few funny moments. The characters were interesting and a lot of fun. Energon had Ironhide and kicker and those two drove me through the loop. Starscream in Cybertron had the get up and go and was rather bad aft and the Japanese voice actor had a great voice, even though I could not understand it.
As for opinions, I was taught as a child that it was okay to agree to disagree because when an opinion was made, it was not likely to be changed and arguing about it was a pointless waste of energy and effort. If someone does not agree with me, that's fine, they don't have to. Just as long as they accept I think otherwise. Other than that... they are silly for not liking it too :p
So in a nutshell...heh, a big nut shell—coconut...I am somewhere in between. I will take, use or alter stuff from any universe if it catches my fancy.
How did you come to Seibertron? What has invested you in the site and caused you to stay? Am I your favorite poster on the forum, or just the most handsome? What do you want the site/community to know you for?
I went to Seibertron in 2004. I am not sure why I went there in the first place, but I am primarily there to watch the latest toys news and find out when their releases are, it is convenient. As for favourite poster, I don't have one. Unless you count my best friend, Pulsar as that.
What would I want the site and community to know me for... good question—a hard one. I want them to know me as a person who has a passion and drive for Transformers, the Decepticons and most specifically the Seekers and Starscream. I take this passion quite seriously. I would also want them to know me for a person who knows how to have fun and toss reality as well as logic to the side and jump in head first.
Since you didn't name me as your favorite poster, we're all going to understand that to mean that I'm the most handsome. Now, Michael Bay's Transformers and Starscream. Love him? Hate him? Did Michael Bay destroy your childhood or did he give you the most bad-ass Starscream to date?
:P I was never really sure if you were male or female.
If Fender Bender can be the Gender Bender and you can be a TomBoy, then......er....nope. I'm all man. (Everyone keep their hands to their selves, guys, girls, especially guys, I, am taken. :) )
So am I. for nearly ten years.
Movie Starscream. That's a touchy subject. He grew on me, but I do not "love" him like I did the other ones. In actual fact, he barely was in the movie for me to make more than a oh, that's Starscream. The book, Ghosts of Yesterday, Starscream was true to form. His personality in that book could never be more intact that I actually prefer that book over the movie. The CG transformers were quite interesting.
The destroy my childhood... that comment always made me laugh. How could anyone destroy a childhood that came and past over 20 years ago is beyond me. So my childhood is still very much intact. My second childhood was a little shaken, but not by Micheal Bay.
My honest response is I am still very neutral in my thought of the Movie Starscream. If the Personality was true to form, then that's a definite point in his favour. But as I said, it did not come across very clearly in the movie, so on that, I may have to reserve judgment until the next one comes out. I am just quite glad Starscream managed to survive to the end of it and he did not suffer the over done cliché of him getting slagged by Megatron. As for the most Bad assed Starscream, I would have to say the Cybertron version of him was quite bad to the bone.
Toy wise, I think the protoform toy has quite a few Generation One homage’s and the Movie Voyager Toy is a rather cool looking jet with a load of missiles I need to go looking for.
Ok, ready for some quick response questions?
I can try.
GeeWuner's are the only true fans, True or False
Generation One fans are just one of many fans.
So false. I hate the term GeeWun btw.
Starscream would have defeated the Autobots eons ago had he been in charge. True or False
Cybertron the toy line is the best overall toy line ever, True or False?
Neutral = not an answer, This is hardball sister....
I have no idea actually.
Cake or Death?
preferably cherry served with Icecream
You are bad at picking options when presented, True or False?
there is always another answer
Do you expect anything less from a fan of Starscream?
If Optimus Prime came to you and said, "Sunstar, I need you to kill a man." Would you hesitate? Would you doubt? Or would problems get solved the hard way?
It depends on who I am supposed to kill. Anyway, I probably wouldn't I don't take orders from Optimus Prime.
Care to have the last word?
Primus, it sounds like I am about to be executed...
You should have chose 'Cake', hunh?
looks like it.
I don't think I have any... last words...so, lets try to make this painless
Thank you so much for taking time with us.
I and everyone else appreciates the effort of the interviewees
My Starscream collection:
My Starscream collection with the jets:
Movie Starscream collection: (bad photo I know)
And perhaps this one... geekitis..
For Counterpunch's previous interview with Previous Interview with, Fender Bender
please click here
Sunday, September 2nd 2007 8:25am CDT
, Site Articles
, Toy News
Posted by: Tigertrack
An_de (video), wikipedia, youtube.com
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The purpose of this news blurb is to make awareness that locking brick Transformers is a popular idea, and a missed opportunity for the Transformers property.
There is a plethora of high quality fan made LEGO Transformers out there. The most recent version was shown yesterday (Movie Blackout
), and today with this video of a transforming Movie Concept Camaro LEGO Bumblebee
I believe that a large part of the collectible, and toy market is being missed because apparently there is no love for the merging of what seems like a match made in heaven...Transformers and LEGO blocks.
As a child I loved my LEGO sets almost as much as my GI Joes, Transformers, Star Wars, etc. Not true, I think I loved them more. They were a huge part of my childhood play. I used them in conjunction with and separately from all my other beloved toys. They are as much a part of my memory as those other beloved properties.
Fast forward to today, where we see a gap in the Transformers armor. Sure the movie has spawned so much TF merchandise, one would wonder just how there are any gaps at all. After all, there are bed sheets, lunchboxes, wrapping paper, toy lap tops, and so many versions of the characters in toy form that there should be no wanting for anything by any Transformers collector at all right? Wrong.
Why has the locking building blocks market been forsaken? Why are they skipping this style of play that was and is popular with children of many ages? I wish I knew. After all, you can see that many of the most popular movie franchises of late have made sure that they have their foot in that market: Spider-man and Marvel, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.
Perhaps because they are not sure how to go about doing it, especially with their first U.S. venture a few years back, Built To Rule Transformers. I can remember threads in the toy forum where all we did was come up with negative names that either rhymed with, or used the acronym, to create whatever negatives we could (many were quite vulgar). Doomed from the start some might say, because it was representing robots from the "as well loved" ARMADA television show, and not doing a very good job of it.
These Built To Rule
configurations seemed like a great idea to try to get into the locking blocks market. Instead, they failed miserably. However, it was not the idea of tranforming block made robots that was bad, it was the design and execution of these robots that made people say, "Uggg..." The robots were flat, lacking in articulation, fairly fragile. And oh yeah, you had to take them apart to turn them into the more superior alternate modes. Oh and the blocks were not able to be used with LEGO bricks, so one could not modify the robots, and improve on them, unless they used another BTR set, which there were not many of at the time.
The popularity of Transformers at the time was also very low. The T.V. show was bouncing around time slots, the aisles were clogged with toys, which were actually pretty decent, but that lacked in comparison to previous lines due to the new gimmick, minicons. The BTR line was quickly cancelled after a handful of releases, although a small portion of the next round based on some Energon designs did make it into a very small number of retail stores, creating an interesting collector rarity. It could not compete in a market where LEGO was creating Star Wars based sets, highly popular, and able to fit with many other brick sets for modification, and increased play value.
One could argue that there is no better time than now for the HASBRO Transformers creative team to try this again. I don't have to tell you how hot Transformers Movie toys are, and just how popular the brand is at this time. Dia Block, a block company in Japan, released a "G1 Transforming Convoy" that met with mixed results here. Not because it was poorly designed, on the contrary it is very cool, very large, very detailed, and has the "perfect" transformation (for you Macross folks), meaning you do not have to disassemble any pieces to get it into an alternate mode. The box is G1 in design, making it a great collector's toy. The main problem, it was way too expensive for most to import. The money could easily be justified to be spent elsewhere, thus many folks do not own a very cool toy that should be available here, if marketing were thinking.
The japanese have seen the importance of locking building blocks since all the way back in Generation One when they included some smaller Transformers with environments created from locking blocks.
So why forsake this creative niche? Are the powers that be assuming that another such venture would fail miserably? Do they feel that the transforming gimmick alone is going to sell toys (Armada, Energon, and Cybertron are proof that they obviously do not)? Have they tested the market recently and found that children would rather play video games, and have other creative outlets, and that this line of toys would tank as badly as BTR Armada?
I can't argue with what I don't know. All I do know is that there are a lot of creative children and adults out there that feel that Transformers should delve back into this medium. Take time to generate 'good' quality, representative, and detailed designs. Make sure they have the "perfect" transformation, and don't be afraid to share some profits with LEGO, so that customization and creativity can occur.
Just some thoughts based on a fan's desire. Comments welcome.