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Starscream?!?

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

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Views: 524,264

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: 540,416

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: 543,561

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: 560,615

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: 571,230

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


A Prime Mistake

Date: Saturday, August 24th 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 585,923

The Transformers were at their ulitmate peak during 1986. Popular enough to have had a full length animated motion picture produced which hit the big screen in August '86. The Transformers may have been riding the wave of stardom, but they were soon about to fall head first over the edge, plummeting to their demise in 1990.


Could this have been avoided? I believe it could have been changed by one thing. Hasbro should have never approved a script which offed the two biggest and most popular names associated with the Transformers. Optimus Prime should never had died and Megatron should never have been reformed into Galvatron by Unicron.


What was Hasbro thinking when they gave Sunbow and Marvel the right to axe the Autobot and Decepticon icons known to most children of the 80s? This thoughtless act did give way to someo of the coolest Transformers known to fans.


Could the Transformers popularity have continued much longer had Prime and Megatron lived on in the toys, comics, and cartoons? We will never know, but heed this thought. It appears Hasbro has learned from their mistake from my observations. Since the return of the Transformers in American in 1992 - 1993, there have been a total of six Optimus primes and five Megatrons, far outnumbering their totals from the original Transformers series.


What do you think? Could the Transformers have been saved by altering this act? Or were the Transformers a fad doomed to falter in popularity? Nevertheless, Hasbro/Kenner seems to have the right combination with the Beast Wars. Let's just hope they learned from all of their mistakes!


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


New Beasts begin shipping in November!

Date: Saturday, August 24th 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 605,340

According to Kenner, the Beast Wars line will expand to approximately 40 figures by the end of this year and the beginning of the next. Of all these new toys, four will be female characters. Proposed new forms for Beast Wars toys include a falcon, a crab, a praying mantis, and possibly more dinosaur forms. It was also mentioned that the Besat Wars Transformers are one of the three best selling Boys toys alongside Power Rangers and Star Wars!


Special thanks to Anthony Gaud of Kenner and Andrius Schmid for this information: there are plans for at least 2 Beast Wars combiner giant toys. The designs for these giants has been so successful that there are ideas being tossed around Kenner for a Super Combiner.


There are no plans at this time for any Beast Wars cities but the idea has crossed the minds of the Beast Wars toy team.


Multi-formers (such as Triplechangers and Sixchangers) are being considered but none have been created yet. Any such characters would be introduced in season two of Beast Wars (which has not been given a go ahead yet as of August 24th, 1996. One proposed form is a triple changing ant.


Basic Beasts: New additions enter the ferocious Beast Wars, fought between the Maximals and the Predacons, robot warriors disguised as wild animals! Each figure feature quick-attack conversion and hidden robot weapons as well as an "Energon Chip" decal that reveals a robot's allegiance when rubbed. (Editor's note: YES! We have symbols finally!!!) Scheduled for this release are up to four new figures - Falcon, Crab, Squid, and Elephant Bug - as well as the previously released Insecticon, Armordillo, Razorbeast, Iguanus, Rattrap, Snapper, and Terrorsaur.


Deluxe Beasts: These genetically-engineered Transformers begin a new breed of battles! Designed with eciting detail and secret working weapons, these figures feature hidden missile launchers that really shoot and an "Energon Chip" decal that reveals a robot's allegiance when rubbed! Scheduled for this release are up to five new figures - Shark, Dragonfly, Bison, Praying Mantis, and Velociraptor - as well as the previously released Wolfang, Tigatron, Cheetor, Dinobot, Tarantulas, Rhinox, Waspinator, Blackarachnia, and Buzzsaw!


Mega Beasts: These mega Beasts are truly horric, as you can tell by checking out the evil Inferno fire ant, which converts to a battle ready robot! Inferno features air attack and humanoid modes, with a hidden launcher that fires detachable leg missiles and a tail that splits into four sections with mechanized spinning action! With all the figures, rubbing the "Energon Chip" reveals the robot's allegiance - Maximal or evil Predacon. Scheduled for this release are three new figures - Fire Ant, Baboon, and Mosquito - as well as the previously released Polar Claw and Scorponok.


Microverse Beast Wars Playsets: The evil Predacons and the heroic Maximals do battle - in miniature! Scheduled for this release are: Predacon Arachnid, in which a spider converts to the evil Predacon Command Base; and Maximal Oranoch, in which a killer whale converts to a heroic Maximal Command Base!


The future of the Transformers will revolve around Beast Wars and an additional line called "Machine Wars". Both lines are planned to coincide with each other in 1997.


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


Dave's World

Date: Friday, July 5th 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 619,988

Until recently, I felt there was no where in Michigan that held any interest in the Transformers or their universe.


Last year, at Michigan's largest comic book convention (the Motor City Comicon), I found a dealer who sold Japanese Transformers cartoons. After purchasing a few of the tapes (which I recommend to anyone who can get their hands on some) my pursuit of a Michigan Transformers following began. Eventually, it brought me to a comic shop I had been visiting for the last eight years (Time Traveler's in Berkely, MI off 12 Mile). This store carries everything under the sun as far as action figures and comic books are concerned. Most importantly, this store had Transformers.


One of the employees I met, Dave Mamer, was very helpful with my Transformers purchases.


Laster, I discovered that he had a business out of his home. It is called "The Empire". He sells a variety of toys from his home. Some of the collectible toys he sells range from the X-Men toys to the Super Power to Mego to G.I.Joe. His second largest focus after Transformers are the Star Wars toys. I soon discovered that the majority of his sales and collections are (of course) the Transformers.


His basement is covered with Transformers. He has everything I could have imagined. From boxed Transformers to loose Transformers, the cards, to collector's cases - Dave's "Empire" has it all.


Dave originally started out by selling the Star Wars toys, with a little of everything on the side. As he began buying more and more collections, he became less picky, and soon started taking whatever was with the collections he looked over.


As for Star Wars, Dave has basically gone as far as he wants to currently. He has most of the figures, and feels there is little room for growth with his Star Wars collection.


"I found the Transformers more interesting that anything else," Dave stated candidly in an interview with Trans-Forum. "The Transformers are cooler!"


Dave can be found travelling around the country as both a dealer and a collector; visitingĀ a variety of shows from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Illinois, all the way to Colorado. The next upcoming show Dave will be dealing at will be Botcon July 12th - 14th, 1996, in Chicago.


As for what Dave sells, he has a large variety of both loose and boxed. The majority of what he sells is loose, however he does have some highly desired boxed characters such as Fortress Maximus and Megatron. He occassionally sells Transformers accessories he may have, but only if they are extras.


Only Time Will Tell

Transformers News: Only Time Will Tell
Date: Friday, July 5th 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 636,360

I guess now is as good a time as any to spill my Beast Wars Transformers theories. I myself have two. One I heard through the grapevines. The other is my own that I prefer.


The theory I heard goes something like this: This is a different timeline, one where the Ark's computer system awoke long before the 4 million years it took in both the comics and cartoons. Instead of the Ark/Teletran1 discovering "mechanical" life, all it discovered was animals. Teletran then proceeded with a new Transformers technology, combining carbon-based life (animals) with that of Transformer life.


The second theory is as follows: remember in the comic how the Nebulans poisoned their atmosphere with a chemical that slowly killed Transformers in an effort to rid their planet of the Transformers? Well, the humans on Earth recently devised and released a similar poison forcing the Transformers back to their home planet of Cybertron. Megatron and his Decepticons needed Earth's vast resources so he created a way to combine carbon-based life with that of the Transformers. He then creates the Predacons led by another Megatron, which is really the cloned mind of the original Megatron.


Once the Autobots hear of the Predacons on Earth, Optimus Prime follows suit and sends his version of the Predacons to Earth - the heroic Maximals. The Maximals are lead by Optimus Primal, who has the cloned mind of Prime.


Megatron and Prime both run into a problem with their clones. The wild animal side of their clones beings altering the typical behaviors of an Optimus Prime or Megatron. Eventually, the Maximals and Predacons take on their own separate lives from the original Transformers.


Well, that's my [theory]! Anyone else like to take a shot at the Beast Wars / Generation One connection?


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


Botcon '96 Takes Over The Windy City

Date: Friday, July 5th 1996 12:00am CDT
Category: Site Articles
Posted by: Seibertron

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Views: 651,823

The 3rd annual Transformers Convention has been set. Men In Black Collectibles have brought Botcon to Chicago, Illinois this year. So get ready to transform and roll out on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday July 12th - 14th, 1996.


Planned for the convention: Kenner will be present to talk about the current line. Kenner will bring along a few unique "one-of-a-kind" items for fans to be in awe over.


As usual, there will be a dealer room to buy all your Transformers merchandise. A free showing of Transformers: The Movie on Friday for pre-registrants only. A video room for screening of your favorite Transformers episodes. A panel room for discussions and panels on Transformers. A display room will hold a collection of Transformers items to be admired.


This year's convention will be held at the Clarion Resort in Rosemont, Illinois. Conveniently located near O'Hare Airport, the Clarion has shuttles from the airport every 15 minutes. Negotiated with the hotel, the rate per room will be the same as last year; $67.00 a night. So this year you get a great rate and the big city of Chicago to go out and have fun in.


The Clarion Hotel is lcoated off I-90 on the Mannheim Road North exit. Reservations can be made by calling (800)221-2222 or their local number is (847)297-8464. The 800 number does not have the $67.00 rate so you will have to call the local number to get the special BOTCON rate. Clarion may be reached by writing to Clarion Resort, 6810 N Mannheim Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018. Make sure to mention you are registering for BOTCON.


Dealers can set up Friday afternoon from 6:00pm to 9:00pm and some attendees will be able to attend the Friday set-up to get the first chance on good toys. This "dealer day" first chance pass is available only through preregistration. The "Dealer Day" first chance pass will allows guests in the dealer room Friday between 7:00pm and 9:00pm and at 8:00am-9:00am on Saturday.


Non-registrants costs will be $7.00 for a one-day pass, and $10 for the weekend pass. No walk-ins are available for Friday's showing of Transformers: The Movie.


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


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42,440 total news articles in this section, 10 per page.

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