Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The crunchy ripping of the 57th seal of the Roboplastic Apocalypse is the sound of miles of duct tape and velcro being unwound in living rooms all across America as cosplayers everywhere build armies of old school cardboard robot costumes! It's con season 2013 and now is the best time to talk with special guest Colin Betts of about what vintage robotical type convention experiences there are to be had! Thrill to our self conscious excitement as we look forward to feeling embarrassed while talking to ourselves into our little voice recorders at Botcon, TFCon and Florida Supercon. Listen in joyful horror as we discuss the best ways to have fun in the eye of the storm when all hell's breaking loose and your back's to the wall and you're at a toy robot convention talking to someone who may or may not have voiced a Dinobot. Is Herb Trimpe a figment of our imagination? Is it child abuse to have your kid cosplay as a robot from an old Japanese cartoon based on toys that can't be bought at the store anymore? Would I be in big trouble if Jason Mraz ran Child Protective Services? Find out all that plus a José Delbo update in this IS THAT A DAEDALUS ATTACK IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME? edition of the Podcastalypse!

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My latest vintage robot cosplay triumph is this Tranzor Z costume I made for my kid. The mask is taken from the '78 Ben Cooper Shogun Warriors Mazinga costume and the rest is various pieces of cardboard covered in different colors of duct tape. He put it on for the first time at a small local hotel convention called Hero Hype Con. All the other kids were dressed as comic characters that were over twenty years old and the emcee was Mr. Victor Von Doom, who is also a big fan of wearing armor. The kid costumes there were a couple Batmans, a Luigi, and a Ninja Turtle. The final display of costumed kids up on stage looked like an issue of Fantastic Four where Dr. Doom got a shrink ray.

Guess which one is my kid!


My favorite part of the show was when the very first photographer that asked to take a picture of my kid recognized the costume as Tranzor Z! He knew it by name! I figured if anyone knew what it was supposed to be they'd guess it was Mazinger. But this guy knew it as Tranzor Z, which blew my mind. My son has only seen the Tranzor Z cartoon so I tried to prepare him for people doing alternate name recognizations by explaining the whole Japanese origin of the character and all. But to have another person recognize the character as the English version and use the same terminology my son knew was really cool. Then there were the hotel staff and other photographers who thought my kid was dressed as Voltron or a Transformer. I guess all robots look the same to those people. Is it racist in a robot way to misidentify robot costumes? I'll bet those robocists think all super robots are Shogun Warriors and all gestalts are fusilateral quintrocombiners. Open your eyes, people!

But can he cut through alloy Z?
Ultimate 70s TV show teamup!


Then, as if dressing kids up in cardboard Tranzor Z costumes and talking about conventions we haven't been to yet isn't enough knuckle busting robotastic excitement for you, I go check my mail! And in it I find the 1977 Mattel Repro Art book, which is where stores got the line art for their Shogun Warriors ads. But instead of answering all my questions about 1977 Shogun Warrior newspaper ad line art, it leaves me with another mystery-where did all that 1977 Shogun Warriors line art come from?

Playworld 11/20/77
TrueValue 11/21/77
Playworld 11/27/77

The problem is that the '77 Mattel Repro art book doesn't include all of the Shogun Warrior line art that appeared in 1977 newspaper ads. It only has very basic art for the first three jumbos Mazinga, Dragun, and Raydeen along with their corresponding product descriptions. You can see in the True Value ad above an example of this version being used in a straight up cut and paste fashion. But what stumps me is the origin of the line art for the 5 inch line and another set of drawings done for the jumbos that's different from what was in the official repro art book. The two ads from Lionel Playworld above illustrate the drawings that were not supplied by Mattel's '77 repro art book. Could Playworld have generated this internally? Probably not, since this art appears in other stores' ads around the same time. I believe this is official Mattel art but where it came from is unknown to me. There must have been more than one line art book that year I guess.

RedandJonny: Shogun Warrior Raydeen Cosplay


aaron said...

Dude, your son is so freaking cute. Awesome costume! I hope when my son gets older he likes that stuff that I like too. :) Great episode as always!

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Thanks for still listening, Aaron.

After talking this over with my wife I feel less guilty for sharing a lot of my likes with my kid. There is always that feeling that I am forcing him to be into this stuff, but hell, he's only six. As parents we can't help but provide that first exposure to pop culture for our children. At some point he will make his own choices about what's cool so maybe I'm not brainwashing him as much as I think I am. I just hope he doesn't look back and wish I would have been heavy into Beyblade in his formative years.


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Evil King Macrocranios was voted king by the evil peoples of the Kingdom of Macrocrania. They listen to Iron Maiden all day and try to take pictures of ghosts with their webcams.