Hi-Res Scan Figure King No. 241 Transformers
This month's Figure King's cover a whole story Convoy history.
From the very beginning of 1st G1 Convoy/Optimus Prime to the Power of The Primes series.
Also there's line up of Japanese Studio Series and the interview regarding the new Convoy Project. Will it be the MP Convoy 3.0?
Greeting next years 35th anniversary by taking a look at the various Convoys from Transformers’ history.
For the planned conclusion at the end of the special, we will hear from the founder, Takara Tomy, according to volunteers from the Transformers Team Development Staff.
Kunihiro Takashi: Joined the company in 1984. He is the only senior member that was involved in the product development since the series’ early days.
Hasui Shōgo: Joined the company in 1999. He is mainly responsible for projects with Hasbro. During the start of the movies he proposed concepts.
Kobayashi Hironori: Joined the company in 1999. He joined the series from “Car Robots” onwards. He has been involved in Masterpiece and Binaltech.
Memories of Convoy.
–First everyone, let’s hear about your impression from the time you came in contact with the first Convoy.
Kunihiro: I was a student at that time. He wasn’t a “Transformer” yet, just Battle Convoy from “Diaclone”. I looked at him feeling: “This looks like such a good product~”. But then he went to America and the name changed to “Transformers”. Then afterwards he returned to Japan. In Japan he was also sold as a “Transformer”, which was surprising.
Hasui: That was also my first impression of “Diaclone”. Because Battle Convoy appeared in that way as a “Transformer”, it was at first something that was a little hard to accept. Although he was a favourite character from “Diaclone”…(laugh). Actually, my attention turned towards “Transformers” when there were new products that weren’t from the “Diaclone”-era… Such as Scramble [City] combiners from that point on with those kind of new products. I think what I understood about Convoy at that time was, “Didn’t he used to be Battle Convoy?”
Kobayashi: I was also a child that grew up with “Diaclone” and “Microman”. Because of that, when I also suddenly saw Convoy, who had returned as a “Transformer”, my first impression was, “Heh, don’t I know this guy?” (laugh).
Kunihiro: Around what time was that?
Kobayashi: Around the upper grades of elementary school. It was the time when I was slowly growing too old for toys… but, “Transformers” had a story and setting that were totally cool. Therefore, because of that reunion, my feelings turned back to the world of toys. I remember getting the impression that “Diaclone” and “Microman” had returned customised for us.
Hasui: That’s right. Convoy, for being the main character or chosen as the key character, had amazing conviction. He felt sufficiently able to stand up to being the presence that gathers the car robots together. The product’s gimmick and design matched this as well.
Let’s Make The Ultimate Convoy.
–When the first Masterpiece was released, it made an impact.
Kobayashi: Because it’s “Commander Convoy”, the symbol of the Transformers, the idea that we wanted to make a monumental item was born. It was a challenge to attempt to make something that completely fixated on a transformation mechanism, because the Masterpiece was an independent project without restrictions, and a chance to use a design that followed the anime more closely.
Hasui: Wanting to release another Convoy with MP-10 was a plan that started through chance, made by the release of Rodimus Convoy. A story came up that when Rodimus Convoy was lined up with MP-1 that there was an uneasy feeling due to the size.
Kobayashi: From the start, the Masterpiece itself was a planned project that was to end after one figure. Afterwards, when I realised that it wouldn’t be continued, MP-1 was a little on the large side. It had the image of a 12 inch figure.
Hasui: If we were to make it new anyway, not just Rodimus, but also the following car robots needed to be thought about while being developed. That is why after that item all are unified to a sense of scale. The appeal of Transformers, I think, is that when you line up Convoy and his subordinates together, they look better.
Kunihiro: Anyway, it was the trend to try and give them the responsibility, because the two that joined the company said they liked Transformers.
–In that regard, does the newest “Power of the Primes” version Optimus have the impression of following MP-10’s design?
Kunihiro: In the preceding year we had Power Master, and because this was to be another leader class Convoy it was necessary to use a completely different approach. That’s why, although we did not have the concept of Orion Pax combining back then, we thought about the challenge of “Can an ‘Ultimate Convoy’ be made?” Therefore, after thinking whether MP-10 was the most Convoy-like Convoy, we realised he was. With the successful appropriation of the digital data, the head with MP-10 serving as the base, was refined. Because the transformation is different we were able to balance the windows of the chest more skilfully than the MP. We had the strong realisation that… it didn’t seem very Power Master-y; on the contrary, didn’t it seem to settle into a shape that looked more like a stoic Convoy?
Did you ever think you'd see the Transformers characters as characters in a live-action/CGI movie?
No. Not really — especially after the 1986 [animated] movie because I was killed off. Frankly I didn't pay much attention to the show after that. I may have checked out a few [episodes] while I was doing it, but I had a family of my own. And my kids — my son — was not interested in cartoons and animation. He was a motocross and jet ski guy. He was not a sit-at-home-and-watch-TV kid. So I didn't get any feedback for years!
Your animation nemesis — voice actor Frank Welker — isn't in this latest Transformers iteration, but playing against his Megatron for so many years must have created a special bond.
A great bond. There's something about voiceover actors ... they're really underestimated and taken for granted. When I'm in a room with these talented guys ... they're really talented people and humble people. They're just marvelous people. Judd Nelson, who did Rodimus Prime or Hotrod in the newest series, what a great guy. Sensational human being and great talent. A great intellectual approach to a lot of his characters. And Frank — that's a bond that has lasted decades. It's such a privilege to be in a room with those people.
A lot of voiceover now is done, as you said, on a microphone in someone's home nowadays. Most would imagine that performing in-studio with other actors adds a different tone as opposed to being strictly digital.
The way I would express it would be like if you played on a football team and you weren't in the main locker room getting ready for a game around all the other players. You were just put in a room with your uniform and told to meet up on the field. You're missing 98% of the whole thing. You're missing the team, the camaraderie , the energy, the spirits, the willingness to combine efforts together and produce something good. When you're with a full group, you're inspired. And not only that, but the amount of laughter that ensued was just — you can't describe it. If it was school, we'd all be staying in detention.
Because it is so recognizable, have you ever thought of your voice as a liability in terms of getting other roles?
No. I never use Optimus Prime's voice for anything else. I studied voice, so I know I can get down and [lowers his voice] add the timber. It's just something I was capable of doing and I've never looked back.The voice is an instrument like any other. It's just about how you play it.
“Transformers: Titans Return” will feature the voice talents of Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime — the role he originated for the original 1980s animated TV show – along with Wil Wheaton, Judd Nelson, Michael Dorn and Jason David Frank in the digital series from Warner Bros.’ Machinima and toy giant Hasbro.
The series is the second installment in the Transformers “Prime Wars” trilogy. “Titans Return” will premiere in November exclusively on Verizon’s Go90 video service worldwide, except in China where it will be available on Sohu.com. The series comprises 10 episodes, each about 11 minutes long. Hasbro last year rolled out the Titans Return toy line in the Transformers Generations series.
The first chapter of the trilogy, “Transformers: Combiner Wars,” has generated more than 125 million views since debuting in August 2016, exclusively on Go90 in the U.S., according to Machinima.
In “Titans Return,” Nelson reprises his roles of Rodimus Prime and Hot Rod from the 1986 animated “Transformers” movie. The show also features Wheaton as Perceptor; Dorn as Fortress Maximus; North as Metroplex; and Frank as Emissary.
Those new cast members join returning talent from “Combiner Wars,” including Abby Trott (voice of Windblade), Jason Marnocha (Megatron), Frank Todaro (Starscream), Lana McKissack (Mistress of Flame), and DashieGames (Menasor).
In addition, Machinima and Hasbro have added other YouTube influencers to the cast, in a bid to lure the digital stars’ fans to “Titans Return,” including MatPat, creator of the YouTube channels Game Theorist, Film Theorist, GT Live and MatPat’s Game Lab; Rob Dyke, a YouTube influencer best known for “Seriously Strange”; and Tay Zonday, best known for his viral “Chocolate Rain” video.
“Titans Return” picks up where the destruction of “Combiner Wars” left off. In the series, the gigantic Transformers called Titans are awakened and cause massive problems. Trypticon, a gigantic lizard-like Transformer, rises to wreak havoc on Cybertron, while Windblade and a ragtag team of Transformers must resurrect an ancient ally. The conflict will transform beloved heroes forever — while some Transformers will be blown to oblivion.
“Titans Return” is being overseen by Executive Producer and showrunner FJ DeSanto. Here’s a look at the new cast members:
Peter Cullen (OPTIMUS PRIME): The original Optimus Prime from the Transformers animated television series.
Judd Nelson (RODIMUS PRIME / HOT ROD): The famed actor from The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire reprising roles from the 1986 animated Transformers movie.
Michael Dorn (FORTRESS MAXIMUS): Starred in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Wil Wheaton (PERCEPTOR): Star of Big Bang Theory and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Jason David Frank (EMISSARY): Original Green Ranger from the Power Rangers TV series.
Nolan North (METROPLEX): Iconic voice actor featured in Uncharted, Halo, and Assassins Creed video games.
Dick quietly passed away tonight
AdamPrime wrote:Hi guys and gals,
I'm the editor of Toy Meets World magazine. Recently we had the great honor of chatting with IDW writer supremo James Roberts. He's a proper gent, so I thought I'd treat you all to the full interview.
TMW issue #1 is undergoing a 'trial launch' right now, and is available at selected retailers in the south west. We're listening to feedback, and will tweak the mag slightly for the proper nationwide rollout in a few weeks' time. If anyone would like an issue, and there is plenty to read about (such as interviews with Simon Furman, Stan Bush and My Little Pony's Nicole Oliver; reviews of all the coolest toys and books; and tonnes of retro fun with TF, He-Man, Sega, Power Rangers and much more!) then please contact me and I can send one out in the post.
Anyway, on the the interview:
When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer? Was it always going to be in comics, or was that something you pursued later in your career?
I’ve always wanted to write fiction for a living, but not comics necessarily. And that’s strange, I guess, because as a child I read comics to the exclusion of pretty much all else: Whizzer & Chips and Buster, then Marvel UK titles (including Transformers, of course), then 2000AD and what little Marvel US and DC stuff found its way to the Channel Islands. I was a member of an unofficial Transformers fan club – a group of pen pals, really – and even then, for most of the time at least, I contributed prose fiction rather than comic scripts. In my late teens I discovered authors like John Updike, Martin Amis, Graham Greene, George Orwell and Julian Barnes.
It's fair to say that the best TF writing has come from the Brits; previously, Simon Furman was considered the godfather of Transformers - were those big shoes to step into? Did he officially pass the torch?
Oh, I dunno – Nick Roche, John Barber and Mairghread Scott all write a mean TF story, and none of them are British. But thank you anyway! I was and am a huge Simon Furman fan – I’d hold him up alongside my more traditional literary heroes as being a formative influence – and I have him to thank for being a Transformers fan. More than the toys, more than the cartoon, more than the Marvel US material… if it wasn’t for Simon’s work on the British TF comic, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I got his autograph back in 1991, just after #75 of the American Transformers comic came out; he signed the comic for me. I got him to sign it again 10 years later, when I was promoting an unofficial TF novel I’d written; and 10 years after that, in 2011, I had him sign it a third time – and by then I was writing TF stories professionally, and he asked me (tongue in cheek, but still…) to sign something for him.
Simon’s my TF dad, really. There was no “official” passing of the torch – I’m not sure how that would even work…! – but he did give me a copy of the script to the last Marvel US issue with a lovely note that essentially invited me to carry on what he started.
When you're writing a script, how do you keep to the page count for each issue? Do you supply the script that you feel is complete, and the artist squeezes it in to 20 pages?
No, it’s more complicated – and time-consuming – than that. It’s my job to break each issue down not only into pages, but panels. I have to work out the pacing and structure of each issue, how the story unfolds, how many panels I’ll need to do a scene justice. It’s a case of ‘Page 1, Panel 1’, then a description, for the artist, of what needs to go in the panel, and then the dialog that will go inside that panel. MTMTE is a dense comic – both in terms of plot and dialog – and a huge amount of my time is spent working out how best to tell the story over 20 pages. It’s all planned down to the last detail.
Your stories are characterised by an incredible amount of world-building and backstory. You have also introduced concepts relating to Transformer anatomy and beliefs such as Rossum's trinity, the Guiding Hand and so on. Does Hasbro or IDW ever try and reign you in? Or are you allowed to add as much depth as you like to the characters and universe?
I’m encouraged to world-build – it’s almost part of the job description. IDW, Hasbro and readers (I hope) want to see the Transformers Universe expanded and enriched. I’d only be reined in – and it hasn’t really happened yet, touch wood – if I wanted to introduce a concept that was fundamentally at odds with what Hasbro felt Transformers was about, or if my editor thought, frankly, that it was a rubbish idea, or if anyone responsible for singing off my scripts feel that what I wanted to do was too… well, I was going to say “adult”, but that’s not what I mean. MTMTE has always operated on an adult level in terms of not talking down to its audience, and in terms of exploring mature themes.
MTMTE has an intriguing stance on politics, governments and social injustice. It makes for fascinating reading. Have you ever considered a place in Parliament?
I’m a political nerd and I do have strongly held beliefs about how society should be organized and how we could bring about a better quality of life for everybody. Maybe one day I’ll take the plunge and put my money where my mouth is.
MTMTE threw out the concepts of 'goodies' and 'baddies'. The Autobots and Decepticons are revealed to just be people - whether it's Rodimus' crew, the Scavengers or Deathsaurus - under the badge they're all basically the same. We're dreading the day when the war starts again - will the peace (and MTMTE as a comic) last?
You’re giving me too much credit. The decision to end the Autobot/Decepticon war was made by IDW’s editorial team back in 2010, and John Barber and I had a year in which to prepare two ongoings – John’s Robots in Disguise (now simply titled The Transformers) and MTMTE – which would explore postwar life in more detail. Neither John nor I knew how long the peace (and that’s a relative concept; there’s still lots of conflict in the Transformers Universe) would last. We didn’t know whether fans would demand a return to war, or whether we’d find it difficult to set stories in peacetime for too long. But here we are, in Year Five of each of the ongoings, and the war is still officially over.
It’s true that putting the war to bed has opened up a huge number of new storytelling avenues, most of them predicated on the idea that, once (overt) hostilities cease, and the red and purple badges are put to one side, you’re forced to see each Autobot and Decepticon as a Cybertronian – as a character defined by something other than who they used to take orders from. As I say, it’s opened up lots of new story possibilities. All that said, if the war started again – and it well might – that would mean MTMTE had to end. It would just create some interesting new tensions…
Have you petitioned Hasbro for a toy of Rung? We can imagine the packaging now - "Tranforms from ROBOT to ORNAMENT and back again!"
Ha! I’ve never petitioned Hasbro for anything. They do their thing and, from time to time, I learn that, for example, there’s to be a Minimus Ambus figure, or that another of the Lost Light crew – Brainstorm, Whirl, Chromedome, whoever – is being re-released as a toy. I would LOVE Rung to have a toy, but I damaged the chances of that ever happening when I decided, early on, that he should turn into something which happened to have a very limited play value. You see the sacrifices I make for the greater storytelling good?
With MTMTE, you've taken a few obscure characters, and a few prominent characters, and really made them your own. Characters such as Rewind, Whirl and Ultra Magnus will never be the same. Did you set out to do this from the beginning? Did you think to yourself "Now's the time for Brainstorm to shine!!"
Kind of, I guess. I deliberately selected lesser-known G1 characters, but characters I was fond of, to accompany the Big Four (Rodimus, Magnus, Ratchet and Drift) that were at the center of MTMTE Season 1. Autobots like Tailgate, Skids, Swerve, Brainstorm, Chromedome and Rewind were attractive to me principally because they hadn’t been explored in the past. They were recognizable (to more dedicated TF fans, admittedly), but they were almost blank canvasses. I knew that MTMTE – certainly in the early days – was all about secrets and hidden histories, and I couldn’t tell those type of stories with A List characters who had appeared in IDW comics for the last few years, or with characters who had very well-established personalities. I’m immensely proud of the fact that, through MTMTE, these D-listers have become well-loved and well-recognised characters in their own right.
This may sound silly, but do you take voices into consideration when writing a character? Most people would claim to "hear" the voices in their head when they read. Do you ever give it much thought?
It’s not a silly question and I do give it some thought, mainly because so many readers ask me “Who do you think X sounds like?” And I have to give a very dull – but truthful – response and say, “S/he has a British accent and sounds a bit like me.” I have an imagination deficit in this regard, because I really don’t ‘hear’ their literal voices. I do, of course, know their voices in terms of their character – what they would and wouldn’t do, what they’d say, how they’d say it, the rhythms of their speech and so on, but I don’t, say, write a line for Nautica and hear a certain actress’s voice. But I know that many fans DO, and that’s great!
Do you think that MTMTE, with its tales of space-faring derring do, has a wider appeal than regular Transformer comics? If something like Star Trek can have such universal appeal, there must be hope for Transformers. Could we see a TV version of MTMTE in the future, and would you want to be a part of it? Conversely, do you think its nature makes it LESS appealing to some Transformer fans?
MTMTE is an easy sell in terms of concept: a group of misfit Transformers head off into space in search of their mythical ancestors. It’s a traditional quest story and, as you say, very much in the Star Trek tradition. That might give it a better chance with the casual reader – the non-Transformers fan - than other Transformers comics, but I don’t know. Casual comic readers whose Transformers knowledge is informed by growing up in the 80s – people who think Transformers should be about Autobots versus Decepticons on Earth – may prefer something more in keeping with their childhood memories. I don’t know. I think many people have a preconceived idea of what Transformers is about and sometimes that dissuades them from giving IDW’s titles a chance; and unsurprisingly I wish more people would put such notions aside and pick up MTMTE or John’s Transformers, because they’d be pleasantly surprised.
Can I see MTMTE transferring to TV? I don’t know if I can see it happening, but I’d like it to. MTMTE almost reads as a TV show adapted for comics, with most of the stories being structured as if they were a 45-minute episode. And each story arc – the MTMTE fandom even calls them “seasons” – lasts about 22 issues.
If MTMTE ever transferred to the small screen I would love to be part of it. Even if I ended up hanging about making tea for the animators and actors.
TMW thanks Mr. Roberts very much for his time.
BotCon wrote:We are thrilled to offer the BotCon 2016 Judd Nelson VIP PASS. This package upgrade allows you access to our very special BotCon 2016 guest, Judd Nelson. This is the voice of Hot Rod’s ONLY TRANSFORMERS appearance ever! The VIP PASS is $129 and is in addition to the cost of your Primus, Golden Ticket Primus, Minicon or Protoform package.
The Judd Nelson VIP PASS includes:
• One (1) autograph signed in person by Judd Nelson
• One (1) professional 5x7 photograph with Judd Nelson (Saturday afternoon)
• Exclusive Hot Rod art print
• Exclusive Hot Rod Cloisonné Pin
• First seating at the Judd Nelson Panel
Please note that there will be no photography permitted during the autograph session.
Your autograph slot will be on Friday afternoon 3:30-6:00 pm and your photo slot will be Saturday afternoon (time TBD). This autograph package for registered attendees is limited to 200 slots.
To sign up:
If you have already purchased your Golden Ticket Primus, Primus, Minicon or Protoform package, log in to the registration system and start a new Attending Registration. If you need more than one, you should put the number needed in the “how many are your registering?” box. On the next page insert each person’s name, age and relationship to you. On the Package selection page select “2016 Attendee Bypass” (do this for each person you are registering). This will get you past this page as you already have an attending package. When you get to the Daily Events page you can choose the Judd Nelson VIP PASS for each person.
If you have not registered for your attendee package, you can now do all of this in one pass. Just start a new registration and follow the screens.
See you in Louisville!
It looks like The Complete AllSpark Almanac is just three short weeks away, with an ETA of February 18th at fine comic book stores everywhere. (Probably hitting Amazon shortly thereafter, available for preorder now.) Here's Marcelo Matere's beautiful cover for the book, with excellent Josh Perez colors. (Josh also lent his talents to some of the new bonus material inside the book.)
For those of you who missed our Radio Free Cybertron interview, this is going to be a massive, 472 page tome that combines The AllSpark Almanac, The AllSpark Almanac II, The AllSpark Almanac Addenda we put together for the Transformers Collectors' Club, and ten-ish pages of new content teasing more of what Season 3.5 might look like. We worked closely with Derrick Wyatt to ensure that the book was as close to 100% canon as possible, with all new material carefully vetted (and a bit of old material tweaked or recontextualized.) I hope that you all get a big kick out of this one. V1 and V2 are insanely hard to find and fetch ridiculous prices on the secondary market, so it's very nice to get this material back in print where everyone can get a copy.
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