Member Spotlight: Sledge
Monday, December 1st, 2008 8:04PM CSTCategories: People News, Interviews
Posted by: Stormrider Views: 13,072
Stormrider: Top to the morning to you governor. So Sledge, what has it been like collecting Transformers in the U.K.?
Sledge: I think the expression is something like “it’s often been a headache, but it’s never been a bore.” ....
Don't miss out. Read the rest of the interview here.
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Posted by Sledge on December 1st, 2008 @ 9:07pm CST
I should apologise here. Stormrider did send me some follow up questions that I've taken far too long over after coming down with a a sodding cold. In case anyone cares, here are the missing Q&As, in context:[quote]
Stormrider: Are you a member of the Disgruntled Brits? (What happened to that group anyway?)
Sledge: Well, I post in the ODB thread a fair bit. Don’t know if that makes me a member, or if they exist as any sort of group outside that thread. If there’s a secret handshake, they haven’t told me about it yet.
Stormrider: You are obviously not disgruntled enough.[/quote]
Stormrider: You need to be more disgruntled to learn the handshake.
Sledge: I’ll have to work on it. A couple more “ZOMG!!! Hasblo are teh evil for making repaints!!!” threads oughta do it.
[quote]Stormrider: The Hasbro Toy Shop pre-order seems like a no brainer to make a profit: cut out the middle man; raise the retail price because it is labeled as “Special Edition”; and then have less overhead and risks because an exact number of figures will be produced and shipped based on the pre-order numbers. I think this would make a great question for our next round of questions to Hasbro. …Sledge, are you taking notes?[/quote]
Sledge: From the responses I’ve had to a couple of emails, I think they just don’t care that much. I’m not sure if it’s that Transformers doesn’t represent a big enough market in the UK, or they’re just miserable gits, but the impression I get is the Transformers line isn’t a priority for them. I also haven’t seen much in the way of advertising for any TF line since... er... G1. So I guess TFs aren’t that important to them.
[quote]Stormrider: So what got you into Transformers? Describe your first toy experience.
Sledge: When I was about five, my parents bought me Mirage. G1 Mirage, as this was back in 1984. Sadly, Mirage had to go back to the shop as his rifle was missing, and I ended up with Sideswipe instead. Still got him, albeit with both arms broken off. I loved that toy, who wouldn’t? A red sports car that turns into a warrior robot, and that storyline and bio on the back of the box. I was sold. Then the cartoon happened and that was it. I know bashing the G1 cartoon has become quite popular in recent years, but it stands head and shoulders over what a lot of other shows were doing at the time. Watch a couple of episodes of GoBots on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean.[/quote]
Stormrider: Any regrets about Mirage?
Sledge: For some time, yes. I did finally pick up a weaponless one at a car boot sale, so that scratched that itch. I always liked the character for his independent attitude (couple of times in the cartoon he saves the day without being told what to do), so I was really happy when he turned up in Classics, especially as he got one of the best figures in the line.
Stormrider: Your favorite Transformers toy?
Sledge: That is a tough one. MP Prime probably. I was so blown away when I opened that thing, I was practically on my knees praying to it for the first couple of hours.
[quote]Stormrider: Have there been any periods that you have lost interest?
Sledge: I lost interest during Beast Wars/Machines. The organic thing just didn’t work for me. I think there are only three toys from that time that I own: Polar Claw, some sort of squid thing and Tankor. Tankor was on clearance, the squid thing was me thinking, “I guess I should at least try the new stuff,” and Polar Claw is awesome. A polar bear who fires his leg as a bat. How do you get better than that? Mind, I have just bought the original bat Optimus Primal. He’s the goddamn Bat Prime.
Stormrider: And I thought you said ‘no’ to drugs…?[/quote]
Sledge: I have a strange sense of humour. I love trying to imagine the “It’s 3am, we’ve got to have an idea ready when the boss arrives in a couple of hours” mentality that leads someone to think “Of course! A polar bear would have a bat as a companion! And it should turn into his leg!” It helps that Polar Claw has two faces, so I can imagine him as a superhero with a secret identity.
Thought processes like this are why my Revoltech Megatron is wearing a hat. I really need to start making a photo comic.
[quote]Stormrider: Maybe Ali G can be the next guest star for TF Animated?[/quote]
Sledge: Something like that would be great. I heard we nearly got Eric Idle again for Wreck-Gar, so maybe get some Pythons in there? “Primus isn’t the messiah, he’s a very naughty mechanoid!”
Stormrider: What does this movie need to do in order for it be more successful than the first movie? Plots? Questions that need to be answered? Characters that need to return or be killed? Give us details.
I know it’s a cliche, everyone bashes him, etc, but I really think someone other than Michael Bay needs to be doing the film. Don’t get me wrong, the guy is good at doing eye-candy, popcorn films. The Bad Boys films are pretty watchable if you can filter out Martin Lawrence. But recent comic book films like Iron Man and Chris Nolan’s Batman films have shown you can do something intelligent with heart and soul without losing the audience.
As for what we need to see... I’m not the first to say that the Transformers themselves need more screentime. I can understand them staying in alt mode if that cuts down on the budget, but the TFs are the guys we're paying to see, so let's have some character development for them.
I'd like to see Jazz return, if only to justify how unbothered the Autobots seemed to be by his "death" in the first film. Megatron remaining dead would be a nice touch. And some explanation as to how a race that can travel through deep space can be affected by a cold temperature on Earth would be nice.
Okie dokie, I think that was everything. A pleasure to converse with Stormrider, a surprise to find anyone would care what I'd think and... er... any questions? Comments? Hate mail?
Posted by Burn on December 2nd, 2008 @ 1:41am CST
Sledge wrote:As for why Aussies don’t have the same problems, I really don’t know. Something to do with being closer to China and Japan, maybe? Or just that the rest of the world hasn’t forgiven us for that whole British Empire thing.
A few years back there was a great guy working for Hasbro AU and the TAAU and OzFormer (the two major forums for Australian fans) enjoyed a great relationship with him and he made sure to get as much into the country as possible.
As far as I know he's moved on but he's made sure his replacement works just as hard. From what i've heard you UK folk have not been able to enjoy such a relationship despite your best efforts.
Posted by Sledge on December 2nd, 2008 @ 3:23am CST
Posted by Burn on December 2nd, 2008 @ 5:14am CST
Which just adds even more to the confusion of why we get better distribution than you guys.
Posted by Counterpunch on December 2nd, 2008 @ 7:40am CST
Remember when Posh Spice was insanely hot? Talentless, yes, but really hot. Now I just think she needs to eat some potatoes or something. Drink a milkshake lady...sheesh.
Now, my question: Movie intricate designs or Animated's lack of kibble. Which has been the better design aspect over the past two years?
Posted by Sledge on December 2nd, 2008 @ 7:52am CST
Counterpunch: Cheers, dude. Gotta admit, I was a bit surprised when Stormrider asked if I wanted to be interviewed for a Spotlight. "Me? The sarky Brit? Some mistake, surely?"
[quote]Remember when Posh Spice was insanely hot? [/quote]Not really. When we were all doing the "what order would you shag the Spice Girls in" question back in the day, I never settled on a definitive order, but I did insist on being able to leave Posh out and do one of the others twice.
[quote]Movie intricate designs or Animated's lack of kibble. Which has been the better design aspect over the past two years?[/quote]
Now that is a good question. I'm not sure I've got a definitive answer, so I'll ramble and see where it goes. I enjoy the Animated toys a lot more than the Movie toys. Transforming them is fun, as opposed to the "goddamn it, where or how is this supposed to go?"I had with so many Movie toys. On the other hand, Animated Leader Megatron is almost stupidly simple for something of that size and price point, whereas Movie Leader Prime had the sort of intricate transformation I want on a figure that size. So... er... both. And neither. Overall, I'd probably take Animated because everything up to and including Voyager size has been great fun. The Movie design only really shone for me with the Leader class.
Oh, except I really liked Movie Voyager Prime. And Deluxe Landmine was pretty damn cool.
Posted by Dead Metal on December 2nd, 2008 @ 8:44am CST
Posted by It Is Him on December 2nd, 2008 @ 9:43am CST
Sledge wrote:Revenge of the Fallen will do very well. It’ll have plenty of explosions, not much characterisation and will divide the fandom again. It’ll probably set up for a sequel, because Hollywood thinks in terms of trilogies these days. The toys will continue the look of the first movie. I will complain about this, but end up buying them anyway. Damn you, Hasbro!
I don't think this could be more true a statement.
Posted by kirbenvost on December 2nd, 2008 @ 11:45am CST
Well good read for sure, nice to see a British take on things. We complain a lot in Canada too (well at least I do) but it's hard to imagine it being more difficult to get stuff.
Revoltech Megatron with a hat, nice. Got pics of that? The word associations are always hilarious too.
Posted by Counterpunch on December 2nd, 2008 @ 2:29pm CST
kirbenvost wrote:I guess you're no longer the captain of the Federation Starship USS Interview, eh CP? ("Sledge, in my ready room...")
Stormrider and I started trading off months for doing interviews. Next month is mine and you were at the top of the list.
Posted by kirbenvost on December 2nd, 2008 @ 2:42pm CST
Posted by Sledge on December 2nd, 2008 @ 6:02pm CST
kirbenvost wrote:Well good read for sure, nice to see a British take on things. We complain a lot in Canada too (well at least I do) but it's hard to imagine it being more difficult to get stuff.What can I say? We get treated like crap.
[quote]Revoltech Megatron with a hat, nice. Got pics of that?[/quote]Actually, yes. Haven't taken any new pics of my collection yet (don't want to snot on the camera), but I've had a trawl through my Photobucket account. Excuse the Revoltech Valkyrie and Ingram, but they're so damn cool, they've ended up in most of my newer photos. Links underneath each photo, 'cos the forum will chop the edge off.
Posted by Stormrider on December 2nd, 2008 @ 6:05pm CST
Good job with the questions Sledge; and you did it with a nasty head cold. I am interested in your story about Prime and Megatron vacationing together. Do you have that story still? I would like to have a read.
Posted by Sledge on December 2nd, 2008 @ 6:14pm CST
Posted by Windsweeper on December 2nd, 2008 @ 6:21pm CST
Personally, I prefer the movie aesthetic, at least they try for realism. Nothing wrong with kibble. I know I found Actionmaster Kick Off and Axer more interesting than Banzai-tron or Mainframe.
I still like Posh, it was Baby Spice I wouldn't touch.
Posted by Supercollider on December 2nd, 2008 @ 6:25pm CST
Posted by Sledge on December 2nd, 2008 @ 6:35pm CST
Windsweeper wrote:In Ireland, we have poor distribution AND no convention. Even worse, when you consider that one of the main TF artists is Irish.So do you guys come under the same branch of Hasbro as us, or do you get a whole new set of problems?
[quote]Personally, I prefer the movie aesthetic, at least they try for realism.[/quote]See, I'm not sure on that. There's a sort of fake realism. Where would the driver sit in Bumblebee's alt mode? How big would Starscream be if he actually did turn from an F-22 into a robot? Shouldn't he tower over Prime? I kinda see what you're saying, but when you look at a line like Alternators that showed you really can make cars into robots and still have somewhere for the driver to sit, I found the Movie toys "realism"... lacking.
Posted by Dead Metal on December 3rd, 2008 @ 10:50am CST
Sledge wrote:Windsweeper wrote:In Ireland, we have poor distribution AND no convention. Even worse, when you consider that one of the main TF artists is Irish.So do you guys come under the same branch of Hasbro as us, or do you get a whole new set of problems?
What I've heard is they import stuff from Hasbro UK.
[quote]Personally, I prefer the movie aesthetic, at least they try for realism.[/quote]See, I'm not sure on that. There's a sort of fake realism. Where would the driver sit in Bumblebee's alt mode? How big would Starscream be if he actually did turn from an F-22 into a robot? Shouldn't he tower over Prime? I kinda see what you're saying, but when you look at a line like Alternators that showed you really can make cars into robots and still have somewhere for the driver to sit, I found the Movie toys "realism"... lacking.[/quote]
See that's what I was thinking all along!
Posted by Electron on December 4th, 2008 @ 11:21am CST
can't wait, hope it comes with 3D glasses like the current spotlight 3D Op
i'm guessing theres gonna be a batman cameo?
Posted by Sledge on December 4th, 2008 @ 11:33am CST