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Men-In-Black's TransCon2

Date: Monday, May 5th 1997 12:01am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 452,501

Written by Dennis Barger


Do you remember the first time you saw a commercial for this really cool toy? Robots who changed into vehicles and back. There were the good guys, the Autobots, and the bad guys, the Decepticons, with the fate of the Earth rested in the outcome of their struggle. At least that's what you thought you said, but it was probably closer to "Omigosh that's so cool!"


Do you remember the joy you felt the first time you bought a Transformer? You just sat their, transforming it over and over, figuring out all the tricks, reading the tech spec over and over, until you knew it by heart.


Megatron? Thundercracker? Optimus Prime? And even Gears? It doesn't matter. You taped the show, collected the comic books, went and saw the movie the day it opened, and sat at the edge of your seat the whole way through!


It doesn't matter whether you managed to collect everything with the name Transformers on it or only had one special toy. Regardless, you are a Transformers fan and we have something for you.


The Men in Black, the people who brought you BOTCON '96, are inviting you to Chicago, IL this July 4th, 5th, and 6th for TransCon2, the Transcontinental Transformers Convention and "the best 'bot for your buck!"


For one pre-registration price of $35, you will receive an all access pass for the whole weekend, an exclusive convention toy, a convention T-shirt, and other exclusive convention merchandise. This includes the dealer room, 24 hour video room, fan art showcase and contests, panels and discussion groups by including special surprise guests. The Men-in-Black have secured two exclusive toys for this years show, one will only be available at TransCon2. Catch a special sneak preview of the convention toys on the Men-In-Black web site at http://www.htonline.com/Men_in_Black.


TransCon2 will be held in the Clarion Resort Rosemont, providing easy access to the City of Chicago during the July 4th weekend. The Rosemont Resort Clarion is offering a special rate of $69 per night for convention attendees. Only 200 rooms are available, so register early by calling 800-221-2222 or (847)297-1234 and tell them that you are registering for the Men-in-Black's TransCon2. The Clarion Resort Rosemont is just a free shuttle ride from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.


This is just minutes from the Chicago Comicon, one of the country's biggest comic book conventions, featuring every comic book imaginable, and then Men in Black are attempting to arrange free shuttle service between the two conventions. Always wanted that hard to find Transformers title? If you can't find it at the Chicago Comicon, you'll never find it.


Also, the 4th, 5th, and 6th is the world renowned Taste of Chicago weekend, a city wide food festival featuring food from Chicago's diverse cultural make up.


TransCon2 will also see the return of the Toys 4 Tots Charity Auction. Exclusive exclusive convention items, rare Transformers toys, and other Transformers items will be auctioned off at the end of the weekend, with proceeds going to the United Marine Corps Toys 4 Tots Charity, to purchase toys for the needy children of the Chicagoland area, "Because every kid deserves a little Christmas." The generosity of Transformers fans is already well known, as last years auction raised nearly $6,000.


TransCon2 will be the first major show of the year devoted to the Transformers, bringing together collectors and fans from around the world. All the hottest Transformers, and all the best trades will be taking place at TransCon2 first. Don't miss out on that last piece to your collection, or a favorite old memory from the past. Why wait for another convention when you can get it at TransCon2 first?


For more information, you can reach Men-In-Black via e-mail at MIB141@aol.com.


And remember, TransCon2: "better 'bot for your buck!"


This article originally published in TRANS-FORUM #6 (May 1997) by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Beast Wars Season 2 Is In Works

Date: Monday, April 7th 1997 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 463,551

Beast Wars will return for a tentative thirteen new episodes forĀ a fall 1997 second season. It is unknwon at this time which characters will be in the show.


What did everyone think of episode #21 titled "Possession" starring the Decepticon Starscream? I felt it was very well done and stayed true to Stascream's original character. I was a little disappointed that his old form wasn't featured (other than for a brief moment), but hey, Galvatron and Unicron were mentioned which further cemented the ties between the original Transformers and the Beast Wars.


How about the season finale two parter titled "Other Voices"? This is what the whole season has been boiling down to and I thought it was worth the wait!


The Unicron form which the Alien entity portrayed was awesome! The voice was even similiar to Orson Welles' Unicron voice from the Transformers: The Movie. I thought it was kind of cool that the Aliens found this "file" of Unicron is Optimus Primal's memory banks from the episode "Chain of Command". Unicron truly did make an everlasting presence upon the Transformers. I wonder what ever happened to Unicron's head after the Technobots were created by Grimlock prior to the Rebirth trilogy.


The Blackarchnia/Tarantulas situation is certainly original. I'm assuming that Tarantulas must have the more powerful mind of the two (reference to "Other Voices" Part 2). I can't wait to see how this is resolved next season.


And speaking of next season, how about that awesome cliffhanger at the end of "Other Voices" Part 2? I thought Megatron was going soft in the last few episodes, but he pulled off one of the coldest, most evil moves I've ever seen by trapping Optimus Primal in the stasis pod. Worse yet, he was mocking Optimus Primal during his final (?) moments. Let me hear your feedback on Optimus Primal's situation.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Machine Wars are HOT!!!

Date: Monday, April 7th 1997 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 479,049

Have you picked up all twelve of this year's Machine Wars Transformers assortment exclusively available at KayBee toy stores? All twelve are out including the delayed Optimus Prime.


Included with all four of the large Machine Wars Transformers (Optimus Prime, Starscream, Soundwave, and Sandstorm) have label sheets which have the original Autobot and Decepticon symbols.


Sandstorm is my favorite representation of the four large Machine Wars Transformers. He's the only one that seems "right". Starscream and Soundwave are injustly done in these new forms. By right, Soundwave should be a tape deck. Optimus Prime is awesome in truck mode and even sports the blue and white stripes with the Autobot symbol on both sides of the trailer. His robot mode, however, is a sad representation of an Optimus Prime, let alone any Transformer for that matter! His body is short and stocky and he has a face, mind you! Argh!


The small Machine Wars have very original molds, despite the fact that each mold is shared by two recolored characters.


Megatron was surely made to be a Megatron. The figure's head closely resembles the head of the cartoon Megatron from Generation One. I'm not sure how I feel about Megaplex. I guess his character reminds me of Faker from the He-Man toy line. In the case of Megatron and Megaplex, the clone is on the same side as the original. Skywarp and Thundercracker are very nice molds. Other than the color choices, I feel these are good representations since they were recolors in the original molds from 1984 (not to mention Thurst, Ramjet, and Dirge from 1985).


The Machine Wars appear to be selling very well. My local KayBee store has stated that the Machine Wars are one of the most popular lines at their location. Other local KayBee stores seem to be experiencing this as well.


Rumor has it that if sales continue to do well, the Machine Wars Transformers line may possibly expand to other stores with future assortments.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Two new garage kits to be released in 1997

Date: Monday, April 7th 1997 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 490,040

Two new garage model kits will be released by M.C. Axis in 1997 available exclusively in Japan.


Hot Rod, the Autobot Cavalier, is the neweset addition to these stunningly beautiful model kits.


At BotCon '96, the Arcee model kit, which was in low supply and in high demand (I can't image why), was priced anywhere from $75.00 to $100.00 depending on the dealer.


The molds are exquisitely designed and are highly detailed. Each model kit comes complete in a very nice packaged box, similar in design to the packaging year from which each character was originally created. Also included with the model kits is a one page mini-comic with directions on how to put the model kit together.


If you can possibly get your hands on one of these kits, do it!!! It will definitely be worth your money.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Transformers Entertainment News

Transformers News: Transformers Entertainment News
Date: Monday, April 7th 1997 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 508,144

At last! The moment all Transformers have been waiting for!!! The re-release of the Transformers: The Movie on home video!!! The Candian-exclusive movie was re-releasedon February 25th, 1997 and can be ordered through a company called Video Flicks out of Canada. It runs around $18.00 US after all costs have been figured. Again, this movie is available only through Canada at press time.


In addition to the movie's re-release, a Beast Wars Transformers CD-ROM video game is being developed by Hasbro Interactive, a division of Hasbro, Inc. It is being made for personal computers (IBM, Packard Bell, etc).


The Beast Wars Transformers game includes a one-on-one fighting sequence and has over 30 levels of play. This game utilizes the same graphics from the number one cartoon which is fully computer animated. The packaging is pictured below, and features the Beast Wars slogans: "Maximize! Terrorize! Destroy!"


The tentative release date for the Beast Wars Transformers game fall 1997. It will retail for approximately $30.00 US and will be available at all fine stores which carry computer games.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Starscream?!?

Date: Monday, December 9th 1996 12:00am CST
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 517,682

In a recent phone conversation we conducted, Beast Wars' producer John Goodwill shined some light on upcoming episodes. One of the episodes he discussed was "Possession" which features Starscream, which contributing writer Ben Yee referred to last issue. For those of you with severe lack of memory, Stascream was one of the original Decepticon Transformers, an ancestor or the Predacon Transformers. Yes, Starscream had charm and perhaps he "whined" a little but he was one of the most curel and vicious Decepticons that ever functioned!


And the best part? He's back!!


Do you remember the last time we saw Starscream in the cartoons? It was almost 10 years ago in an episode titled "Starscream's Ghost". In that episode, Starscream tries to regain his physical body by performing threee tasks for Unicron. Starscream's ghost receives a new body, but is destroyed moments later by Galvatron and the Decepticons as a blast hurls Starscream through Decepticon firepower. Starscream was last seen screaming endlessly through the black void of space.


This is where "Possession" begins, only it's three centurires in the future. 300 years later, Starscream's ghost is still floating through space until he reaches the mysterious planet the Beast Wars Transformers inhabit. Starscream soon finds a new host body (as he did with both Cyclonus and Scourge in the original episodes ten years ago). His victim this time? Waspinator!


"Possession", the third part of Starscream's Ghost, is scheduled to air on February 3rd, 1997.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Japanese Variations

Date: Tuesday, October 1st 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 533,624

While most people are aware that the Trasnformers were not only produced in the US, but throughout the world, there were some pretty drastic takes on our favorite robots in disguise in Japan!


In Japan, the history of the Transformers started in 1985, a year after it did here in the US. Not all of the Transformers were made in both the US and Japan. The 1986 series was titled "Transformers: 2010". Storyline variations continued after the "Rebirth" pilot premiered in 1987, debuting the Headmasters and Targetmasters. The japanese cartoons continued from where the American cartoons left off.


One fundamental difference between Japanese and American Transformers: the Autobots are called "Cybertrons" and the Decepticons are referred to as "Destrons". According to an article by Thomas Wheeler in Attic's Collectible Toys and Values Monthly, each warring faction originally resided on planets of the same names. According to the article, Hasbro did not follow this element of the story because of the similarity between the term "Destron" and G.I.Joe's "Destro".


Some of the Transformers toys were not original toys in Japan. A variety of the characters came from other popular toy lines produced by Takara. One of the lines was the Diaclone toy series. The Trainbots were the last Transformers to be released in Japan that originated from the Diaclone series. Ultra Magnus was the last in America.


Were you aware that the Battle Beasts by Hasbro were a part of Takara's Transformers line in Japan called "Beast Masters"? In the US, the little critters had rubsigns that displayed wood, fire, and water. In Japan, they had the traditional Autobot and Decepticon rubsigns instead. These Japanese Battle Beasts run about twenty dollars or so MIB. The American ones are difficult to find but aren't worth quite so much.


In 1988, a atruly fascinating version of Fortress Maximus was released in Japan. This version of Fort Max was recolored in dark blues and reds, comes with a sword, and has a Pretender shell for Cerebros. I am despereately trying to get my hands on one.


The Headmaster Nightbeat (1988) was the only gender variation form the US to Japan for Generation One. In Japn, Nightbeat was a female Transformers named Minerva. She is colored like an ambulance with a white body, red highlights, and an orange face.


The Autobot Targetmasters Kup Hot Rod and Blurr were never released in Japan. However, some other Autobots did become Targetmasters in Japan. Jazz and Inferno came with the Targetmaster guns of Scourge and Cyclonus.


According to Hasbro's PR spokesperson Holly Ingram, the Beast Wars are indeed being produced for not only America but for Japan and Europe.


Editor's Note (2003): Obviously some of the information in this article is inaccurate. I was just learning about the Japanese Transformers and had a few of my facts mixed up (as did Mr. Thomas Wheeler). The Battle Beasts were called Beast Formers and DID NOT have Autobot or Decepticon symbols. They were exactly the same as the American figures except they came packaged in Autobot or Decepticon styled packaging. Nightbeat was available as a mail order item in Japan. The "fascinating Fortress Maximus" repainted from 1988 is Grand Maximus, a separate character. It is also worthy of mentioning that Cyclonus and Scourge were NOT released in Japan either.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Arcee Mania!

Date: Tuesday, October 1st 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 536,701

Arcee appears to be one of the hottest Transformers characters there is! Devoted fans, keep an eye out for Arcee items. An Arcee model is available in Japan and made its first appearance at the Super Festival, one of Japan's largest toy conventions. Arcee sold out the first day of the convention and the next day, other dealers were selling it at a 65% markup.


The model is made by M.C.Axis. Under 1,000 models were actually made, and some have made their way into the US. Arcee is running for $75.00 - $100.00, depending on the condition of the box.


Several Hybrid Models (Rodimus Prime, Galvatron, and Arcee) have been seen throughout Japan and pictured on the Trnasformers 2010 laser disc set. They are basically articulated toys that can't transform (extremely large Action Masters). An Arcee was seen at Japan's Super Festival on June 16th, 1996 for $650.


Men-In-Black is considering to produce an Arcee Action Master figure for Transcon '97!


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


The Beast Wars UNFOLD!

Transformers News: The Beast Wars UNFOLD!
Date: Tuesday, October 1st 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 553,444

Sales of Transformers toys had been lagging over the past few years. Beast Wars is intended to be a relaunch of the Transformers line geared at the current creature/animal trend that has been so popular since Jurassic Park and the Power Rangers.


If one were to follow the continuity written up in the tech specs of the Beast Wars toys and the mini comic book included with the Optimus Primal/Megatron Beast Wars 2 pack, the Transformers have simply changed their bodies by adding on organics to enhance battle prowess. It seems that Optimus Primal and Megatron are the same characters from Generation 1 and 2 with new bodies. Their battles continue on Earth with this new, enhanced technology.


The cartoon series is a bit different. The series is set roughly 200 years after the original American series. The Maximals and Predacons are the descendants of the Autobost and Decepticons respectively.


The cartoon begins with the Predacons searching for Earth in space. Optimus Primal and his crew intercept the Predacons in space and try to stop them. In the process, both ships damage each other and crash on to a strange, alien world, rich in Energon. The Energon is so rich that the Energon fields on the planet can destory robotic forms in minutes.


To prevent their destruction, the Maximals and Predacons change their forms to adapt to local life forms by taking creature/animal alternate forms while integrating organic DNA into their make up. This becomes an integral part of the show because the Transformers can only remain in robot mode for short periods of time before they begin to short out from high Energon field build up.


What is interesting to note is that in this series, Optimus Primal and Megatron are not the original leadesr in new forms (according to Bob Forward, writer of the pilot series). They are separate Trnasformers altogether who have taken on the names of the old leaders in honor of them.


The first two episodes of the series were shown as a "sneak preview" in April and May of 1996. The show is completely CGI animated (computer animated) and is done by the same folks who brought the cartoon Reboot to life. The ten basic characters in the pilot episodes were: (The Maximals) Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Dinobot, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, (The Predacons) Megatron, Scorponok, Tarantuals, Waspinator, and Terrorsaur.


In the first episode, prior to the carash of the Maximal ship "The Axalon", several life pods were ejected. The pods carry semi-programmed Transformers in them. As these pods touch down onto the world the Beast Warriors are on, they will be given forms to adapt them to their environment. In addtion, it will depend on who finds these life pods to fully program these Transformers. If Maximals find them, then the robots will become Maximals. If Predacons find them, they will be Predacons.


Future plans for the television show include the introduction of at least three new characters including Polar Claw, Tigatron, and Blackarachnia. An episode tentatively titled "Possession" will include a cameo by Starscream from the first Transformers series, "Generation One". The season finale for Beast Wars is being written at the time this article is being typed up and series editor Larry DiTillio has stated that he intends for it to be a nail biter!


Beast Wars Transformers is slated to air twice a week as part of Claster Entertainment's "Power Block" animated shows. The other shows in this "Power Block" are Reboot, VR-Tech, and G.I.Joe Extreme. 26 episodes will be produced altogether for the first season of Beast Wars.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


Arcee, Starscream Hot Rod and others to arrive in Toy Stores!

Transformers News: Arcee, Starscream Hot Rod and others to arrive in Toy Stores!
Date: Tuesday, October 1st 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 563,951

A Kenner VIP announced at Botcon that Beast Wars will definitely continue through 1997 in addition to a second Transformers toy line. This second toy line will be new molds of the original Transformers we all had grown to love. These new versions of the classics will be similar to the Laser Rods and Beast Wars technology, allowing the characters to be fully poseable.


Many characters were mentioned with plans through 1998! Mentioned were Optimus Prime, Hot Rod, Megatron, Shockwave, Starscream, and yes, in 1998 for the first time ever, an Arcee toy!!!


Along with a second toy line of Transformers, there will be a second cartoon to accompany this set. Long live the Transformers!


According to the Kenner spokesman, the Beast Wars will expand through next year and will not take and sharp turns like the original Transformers did with the Headmasters and company. Hasbro/Kenner has indeed learned from their mistakes. Next year's Besat Wars will include playsets, which will be essential to the toys.


By the time this newsletter reaches your hands, the newest assortment of Beast Wars will have arrived at your toy stores. If you haven't purchased your Gorilla Optimus Primal or T-Rex Megatron, roll out to your nearest toy store!


Editor's Note (2003): Obviously not all of the points mentioned in this article came true. However, all of these points were mentioned at Botcon 1996. What Kenner mentioned most likely became the 1997 Machine Wars Transformers line which consisted of repainted UK figures and unproduced Generation 2 figures. This would not be the last time Kenner/Hasbro stated something at the conventions that never saw fruition.


This article was originally published in TRANS-FORUM by the owner of SEIBERTRON.com


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40,605 total news articles in this section, 10 per page.

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