Friday, June 29, 2007

It's not you, Botcon, it's me. OR: It's just that while I love Peter Cullen, I'm not IN love with Peter Cullen.

I'm sorry Botcon, but we need to talk. After seeing the hundreds of guys in line waiting to be with you yesterday, I realized that I needed my space (preferably on the other side of the country from where you're being held). You've always been like a brother to me-a brother that invites me to his house hundreds of miles away and then charges me rent and makes me eat out every night and buy him strippers for four days. We used to have so much fun together but lately I feel like we're not compatible anymore. You like me to give you thousands of dollars and I like to eat food and not live with my mom. So Botcon, I'm sorry but the reason I'm not there right now is that I just remembered I'm married and I have a kid. Plus honestly I've been going to other conventions over the last few years that you didn't know about. I would still like to be friends, mostly because if I ever get divorced you're an easy way to score on slutty girls who like toy robots. I really wish you the best, and by the best I mean I hope your roof caves in and destroys everything in the dealer room so that my collection of not broken Dinobots will be that much more awesome.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I MUST BE STRONG! OR: Down and greedy in Rapid City

Pepsi Prime-the reason I've poisoned my body with Mountain Dew-is being sold exclusively at Botcon as we speak. It's also supposed to be up at in limited quantities, but there's no listing as of yet. This really kind of pisses me off but I think I'm going to still try winning one instead. There's just something magical about being a contest winner and getting something in the mail. I don't care what temptations those Hasbro bastardos use, I'm still not buying a plane ticket to Rhode Island this weekend just to get Pepsi Prime at Botcon.

Speaking of winning, I won the Comedy4cast Podcast Transformer DVD drawing. So now I'll be getting a copy of the Sony 2 disc set of the animated movie from '86 on DVD. I bought one when they came out last year but I took it to Antarctica with me and lent it to a friend who never gave it back. He's still down there now and he paid me for it so everything's cool, but it's nice how everything worked out in a way. What kind of sucks is that the Comedy4cast guys also had a press kit for the upcoming Michael Bay Transformers Movie and I didn't win that. That also kind of pisses me off because those press kits are pretty awesome.

I guess I seem really greedy because I'm complaining about missing out on a convention this weekend and not winning contests. There are people in Iraq whose idea of a good weekend would be just living long enough to see Monday. I am a terrible person with nothing to complain about. Still, I feel a marathon coming!


My son is two months old now and occasionally when he's crying nothing consoles him like a nice rubbery pacifier. It makes no sense to me because otherwise he's fine but at those times he'll cry unless he's got his pacifier. I realize that this pacifier is his equivalent of my toy robot hobby. It keeps me happy when the horrible reality of life and the pointlessness of existence gets to me. But then what happens when his pacifier becomes the source of his upsettedness, as drowning in toy robots has become for me? I figured I should intervene before my son's hobby becomes a source of depression like mine has. I will do what has helped me lately with my extra toy robots and I will take his pacifier and put it up on ebay.

I'm still feeling a little down about missing out on Botcon although it's the most sane thing to do from a financial and mental perspective. I wonder if there is a baby equivalent of Botcon where a bunch of babies get together and suck pacifiers together. I wonder if at Babycon the babies would buy and trade pacifiers and write stories about them and invite people from the pacifier companies to speak about what new pacifiers are coming out next year. I wonder if a Japanese baby sold rare Japanese pacifiers at Babycon, would he make a lot of money? But of course babies do not partake in these pacifier related distractions, which makes them infinitely more mature and sane than I am.

I guess that's why I miss being at the shared participatory fan experience that is Botcon. We all sucked our pacifiers together. This weekend I'll be missing the feeling of validation I got from hanging around people who were just as crazy into toy robots as me. People who knew what I was talking about when I said I'm looking for a "Big Daddy". Even though I knew it wasn't normal to be buying toy robots well into my thirties, at Botcon I felt better being around people older than me with gigantic collections. Compared to them, I was nothing in terms of fandom or fanaticism. I guess I liked being both understood and at the same time being a small fish in a big pond. There's some whales there at Botcon.

Years ago I used to feel real bad when I missed out on concerts because I had to be working that night or some other schedule conflict prevented me from going. When the time came around that the concert was happening and I was stuck at work I really obsessed about what may be happening and it got me down. But concerts were only three hours long and I was able to recover from concert depression by the next day. Hell, Botcon is five days! I'm feeling every minute of it, but being with my son helps a lot. He's just a baby and there's really nothing going on in his head, but whenever he looks at me and smiles I feel like he's telling me everything's going to be alright. He has become my refuge from the storm of toy robot induced insanity. It's the greatest feeling ever just being around him. Unfortunately when his mom comes home she wants to be all holding him too and I have to give my pacifier up for a little while.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I sure do miss being at Botcon, but not as much as I like having money and a big TV

Welcome to a special "Holy crap I'm not at Botcon" edition of PSMR. Going to the big Transformers convention every year had become the norm for me but everytime I'd go all I thought about was how much money I'm blowing and it detracted from the fun. I neevr thought I'd get tired of seeing Simon Furman or Peter Cullen, but I did. Socializing with the other fans became my last real reason to keep going, but seeing how I pretty much regret every interaction I have ever had with other robot fans I decided to pass this year. It's nothing they did. It's just that I feel like I made a dork out of myself pretty much everytime I ever talked to anyone at Botcon. Plus I spent so much money just getting to and staying at the convention that I never bought anything good while I was there. So I will sit this one out in solitude and spend the weekend creating scholarships at local colleges with the money I would have spent on Botcon registration, plane tickets, hotel accommodations, food, parking and hookers recreation.

Speaking of hookers, I bought the movie game for PS3 yesterday and it looks like there are a total of five unlockable G1 characters. What you do is enter the codes supplied by Target when you get to this screen. Then you choose the G1 characters menu and five blank slots with question marks will pop up. The question marks fill in with what you've unlocked after you enter the code two screens earlier. The Target codes only unlock three of the five-G1 Jazz, Robovision Prime and G1 Starscream. I've only used the Jazz so far in the game and it's just a skin they apply over the movie car model. I don't know where or if the G1 Prime model is in here but I suspect that the last two unlock slots are probably G1 Megatron and Optimus. Here's hoping.

A second Jazz picture
A third Jazz picture

Overall I'm having fun with the game. From what I've read on the professional game sites I am not supposed to like it but luckily I'm not experienced enough or hardcore enough or smart enough to know if a game sucks. I don't really give a crap as long as there's nice explosions and lots of robots. In fact this game is better than a lot of games I consider good. One of the gripes I have with Need For Speed or other more serious vehicle simulators is that you can't run over pedestrians. That oversight is corrected here. Running over people and trees in a bright yellow '76 Camaro is awesome, plus if you hit certain geographic features right you can do some sweet jumps. It's brown trash heaven. This game may not as cool as seeing Stan Bush perform "The Touch" live at Botcon, but it's still pretty cool.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Archevillian Economics OR right now is a bad time to be buying blue robot dragons on eBay

iT'S A CONCEPT that goes back to caveman days-buy all of one thing so that you can artificially inflate the price of it on eBay, but up until this point I haven't actually seen it in practice. That was until I looked up how many Cryoteks eBay seller Playidia has up at their store. Cryotek is a blue dragon Transformer that was a Target exclusive sold at retail for about two months at the beginning of 2002 for $20. If you want a Cryotek now, you have to get it from Playidia if noobody else is auctioning one off and they're charging at least $119 for a loose one that's missing parts. And guess who is a winner of nearly every Cryotek auction not put up by Playidia? Playidia. Holy crap these Playidia guys are trying to drive up the market value of this toy by buying them all. What an evil little scheme they have going there. The only conclusion I can make is that Playidia is Doctor Archeville's eBay user name.

Playidia Cryotek market manipulation aside, I was wondering if there was any correlation between the secondary market value of an item and how many of said item exist. If I wanted to estimate, say, how many unopened Bumblejumpers still exist after all this time, could I infer a number using advanced mathematics based on the current market value of sealed Bumblejumpers? I do know that as of 1997 there were only around six known samples in existence. I saw one go at Botcon last year for $300. I wish I could come up with a formula so I can put some crazy flavor text in my upcoming ebay auctions like 2 SONIC ATTACK JETS MISB OMG VHTF ONLY 2 IN EXSiSTENCE! BIN $10,000! The problem with eBay is that a winning auction price only tells me how much the majority of people DIDN'T want to pay. So calculating the number of anything that exists based on how much one crazy guy wanted to pay on eBay would take math so complicated that even Doctor Archeville couldn't figure it out.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Talk about flame wars!

It looks like the Transformers Gay Podcasting Wars have begun. Up to this point there's been only one weekly Transformers podcast, TFWire, which I thought was already pretty gay because it's two guys giggling about toy tobots. But one disgruntled fan of TFWire podcast has gone off and started his own show called "Gay Transformers" because he felt his opinions and input were being suppressed because he was gay. So he launched his own show which will discuss Transformers news from a gay perspective. I really appreciate any toy robot talk I can find regardless of the sexual orientation of the podcaster involved. I just wish Ironhide1975 from Gay Transformers Podcast would lay off the personal attacks against the TFWire crew. As a listener I think all this drama is pretty goofy coming from grown men in their twenties and thirties who play with toy robots. It's already pretty embarrassing to be an adult Transformers fan whether you're gay or not.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

i think I know who's winning first at Botcon again

I met Shane of at last year's Botcon. He built a five foot tall Devastator out of Tonka trucks and took first place in the Botcon 2006 diorama contest with it. I realized two things after staying up till 3 a.m. in the hotel lobby talking with him about his ideas for future projects. The first was that my feeble attempts to win anything in the Botcon art contests would be futile unless I could build a life size transforming lawnmower. The second was that at my age I was a dinosaur, too old to be staying up till 3 a.m. in hotel lobbies talking to young guys about Transformers. Well, Shane has put teaser pictures up on his MySpace of his latest project, a seven foot tall Bruticus. If this is what he takes to Botcon I am relieved I am not there embarrasing myself with my usual robots made of grocery bags and toilet paper rolls.

OMG I just realized I'm a geewunner

G1 Fan: Finds a 20th anniversary movie edition Optimus Prime at Wal-Mart on clearance for $50 and buys it.

HArdcore G1 Fan: Finds a 20th anniversary movie edition Optimus Prime at Wal-Mart on clearance for $50 and deosn't buy it because their Japanese import version with the long smokestacks is more true to the character.

Geewunner: Finds a 20th anniversary movie edition Optimus Prime at Wal-Mart on clearance for $50 and thinks, "How is 20th anniversary movie edition Optimus Prime better than the original?"

I never bought a 20th anniversary Optimus Prime when they came out in 2004, mostly because I was living overseas in Turkey where they never hit the shelves. So having not seen one in person I was never tempted. I'll admit I was a little curious when Toyfare gave it the OMG GREATEST TOY EVAR award but with a retail price of 89.99 I still wasn't all that excited about it. Then last week I found one on clearance at the Rapid City Wal-Mart for $50. It was the DVD edition, which is the version released alongside last year's Sony DVD of the 1986 animated movie. It had the talking base where if you press a button, he-who-is-not-Cullen quotes lines from the movie in quite possibly the worst Optimus Prime impersonation I've ever heard.

I was intrigued at the thing because it's a gigantic awesome Optimus Prime. But unfortunately I knew enough about the lineage of the figure to spoil the fun of owning this particular version. I knew that the Takara version had long chrome smokestacks and for just $125 more I could get the super duper Takara version with the gigantic ass trailer. I put clearance Prime back and I went home and went to where I knew they were selling the super deluxe MP-04 Convoy with trailer for $175 bucks. But wait! Over the five days when I was mulling over whether or not I really wanted the most extravagantest Optimus Prime evar, TFSource increased the price of the damned thing to over $220 with shipping. I was like, damn. I'm not that hard up for super duper Optimus Prime.

This got me thinking about a lot of the TF related purchases I intended to make over the next few weeks. I was all set to blow upwards of $800 on Masterpiece Skywarps and MP-3 playing Soundwaves and all sorts of neo-G1 stuff that's all the rage with the kids these days. But then I realized that I don't have a lot of essential things I need in order to fulfill my ultimate vision of collection awesomeness, which is recreating the 1985 catalog in my laundry room. $800 would go a long way to procuring like two of every Deluxe Insecticon. So in the end I decided that this new stuff is not for me-and by new I mean everything after 1986.

American Motormaster sounds like a magazine old people subscribe to so they can read something as they circle Mount Rushmore repeatedly in their RVs

My disorganization depresses Sky Lynx
I'm looking at my robot room I call Fortress Messimus and I asked myself, do I really need three Bruticuses? And the answer was "Yes". Well not really, but I've got this vision where I'd like to display every Transformer from '84-'86 in all their modes. Ideally I'd have a setup similar to the old catalogs that used to have multiples of the same figure in order to show both the robot and the car (or jet or toilet or whatever) they turned into. This vision is easy enough to accomplish when we're talking about robots that only turn into one thing but then when you're talking triple changers or combiner teams it gets complicated. Thus I do see the value in having at least three sets of Combaticons, which under any other circumstances would be the sign that you're an OCD serial killer.

I have a problem though because I don't have as many duplicates as I need to pull this off with the other combiner teams. Now all of a sudden having two sets of Japanese Stunticons isn't enough. I have some extra Stunticons but not enough to complete a third team. At the very least I'll need another Motormaster, which presents a problem because I've always felt Japanese Motormasters were superior to the US releases because they had the little spring loaded launcher gimmick. Unfortunately, Japanese Motormasters are about as common as hot chicks at Botcon. I guess if it's just for display I'm not going to be all hoity toity about my third Motormaster being Japanese this time. I think I'll be able to live with myself if I own one American Motormaster.

I'm glad that toy robots is still fun for me, especially since over the last ten years I've seen a lot of collectors with very impressive collections just totally give up and sell everything off. My recent eBaying of items that don't fit within my collecting goals has helped me appreciate what I do have all that much more. Knowing what I want to accomplish in regards to my toy robots hobby really helps. Thanks to my newfound vision and focus I think I'll finally have the collection I wanted. Although the truth is I have no friends and I wasted my life making all the wrong choices, I still got ROBOTS, AND HELL I CAN BE GOOD AT ROBOTS.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

I did not survive automotive collision repair school for this! OR: ...and I thought G.I. Joe was dumb!

Holy crap I'm reading the Transformers movie adaptation by Alan Dean Foster and he totally fucks up a lot of the details about the military. Like how he's constantly referring to Air Force personnel as 'Soldiers' instead of Airmen. The biggest blunder of all so far is on page 89 when the Air Force Staff Sergent on Air Force One thinks, "I did not survive West Point for this." Please, someone tell Foster that West Point is an Army academy where they train people to be commissioned officers! The Air Force may have gotten super hardcore since I left, but fuck, I don't remember having to go to West Point when I became a staff. Boy did her recruiter lie to her! But what's really great is that now Army privates everywhere who are reading the Transformers movie novel will start saluting Air Force Staff Sergeants. Although enlisted people saluting enlisted people is totally retarded, I say RETURN THOSE SALUTES, YOU AIR FORCE SOLDIERS!

So while Bay is emphasizing "That's why the military involvement was very important, that we make it very real and credible", Foster is whacking off on the keyboard and seeing what splooge sticks as he writes the movie adaptation novel. Air Force Staff Sergeants going to West Point definitely trumps 1974 Camaros with wraparound rear windows as the biggest misinterpretation of reality involved with this movie so far. People who think this movie is military propaganda probably think Pirates of the Carribean is a historical documentary.

wELCOME TO HELL, you naughty little monkeys

Let me take this opportunity to welcome everyone who has found the Kingdom of Macrocrania by searching for "Megan Fox Nude Pics" or any variants thereof. You have made PSMR the number one google search result for "Megan Fox Anal Pics"! I guess I should be proud.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

validated by the evil gangsta Cosmos

I'm 33 years old but when I go to Target the first thing I do is head for the toy aisle but then not buy anything. Why?

I'm burnt out on Transformers but when I go to Wal-Mart I still head for the toy aisle and not buy anything. Why?

If I do buy toys for me it's almost exclusively online but I go to ShopKo and head for the toy aisle and not buy anything. Why?

I do this over and over and over. Why?

I'm like if Pavlov's dog realized his owner with the bell was jerking him around but he just decides, "Oh, fuck it, I'll go anyways even though it's embarrassing and demeaning to be jerked around like this". Do I continue with this odd fruitless redundancy out of nostalgia? Is this a case of my child self programming my adult self with the behavioral equivalent of male nipples, useless vestigal appendages that are evolutionary throwbacks to a bygone era? Why do I do this?


Hot damn I was looking for that thing for ages. They only had one at ShopKo but I would have bought ten of them. Thus I have met the monthly criteria for the minimum purchase required to bitch about toy collecting while maintaining a shred of credibility. Also, being 'old skool'.

Monday, June 18, 2007

IT'S 1A.M. and my wife hates me




DOn't be hate-en

Blingee is the bonb

tHANKS Hooper for the inspirations

Not For You, Joe Rucas!
Blingee kicks total ass

A post where being in Korea actually has something to do with the story, unlike the last post whereI wrote about Korea but it could have been anywhere

When I lived in Good Korea in '99 I would go to every little bookstore I could find, mostly looking for anything that had Star Wars related material on the cover. This was shortly before Episode I came out and the hype machines were in full swing worldwide. I wanted Korean magazines with Star Wars content as a sort of souvenir of my time there. I remember going into one little shop that was owned by a little old man and a little old lady. I should have realized from how he glared at me that he didn't like me. Was it because I was American? Probably, but I'll never know for sure because he wasn't exactly the Korean Ned Flanders and we weren't in danger of striking up a conversation anytime soon.

All I know is I was picking up some sort of a Korean comic book and all of a sudden he jumps up and says "That not for you!" Then I put it down and everytime I tried looking at something he'd repeat with, "That not for you!" That's when I figured he wasn't exactly the Korean Ricardo Montalban. I could tell his wife was a little disapproving of his attitude, her being a Korean Mother Teresa sort of person. So I was kind of ignoring him until I found a Korean magazine with Star Wars on it that I really wanted to get. "That not for you! That not for you!" Finally I knew I wasn't going to get out of there with the magazine unless I was the American Chan Ho Park and I told him, "Do you know who I am? I am George Lucas!" All he kept saying was, "No Joe Rucas! That not for you! That not for you!" Then I screamed like a little girl and ran out.

Purging the grapes PART 2: Mr. Kim probably realized he owned a toy robot that turned into a rabbit

I remember once when I was in Korea I was on a bus going from one army camp to another when an Army lieutenant sitting in front of me struck up a conversation with the other Army guy sitting next to him. The not-a-lieutenant Army guy was talking about a Korean businessman that suicided by jumping off a building in downtown Seoul for unknown reasons. Not-a-lieutenant was puzzled over how certain life events can trigger such drastic actions. Well it turns out the lieutenant was a psychiatrist and he whipped out what he called his 'theory of shit tolerance'. He said as humans we're all born with different levels of patience, restraint and adaptability. While some people can endure extreme physical and psychological tortures (like playing the Transformer Your Summer contest), others suffer severe psychotic breaks when subjected to even the most trivial crap that happens (like whenever someone says movie Bumblebee is a '74 Camaro and I kill all the Tusken Raiders in the village, even the younglings).

My latest feelings of self-stupid arise from my last round of ebaying. I totally screwed up all the shipping charges by estimating them too low. After I'm finished sending all these toy robots out, I will be around $60 in the hole. Apparently I set new post office records for how physically large a three pound box can be. So intimidated was the USPS by my three pound boxes that they charged me the 16 pound box rate after I already told my buyers I'd ship at the cheaper rate. That sucks but looking at how I ended up making over $800 on silly toy robots auctions I guess I can eat $60. I still feel dumb, though, because a lot of people got some really great deals on shipping on the toys they grossly overpaid me too much for. I guess that's where the concept of shit tolerance comes in. My problems may be stupid but they still make me feel really retarded.

I thought it would be a lot harder to say goodbye to these toys, especially the Botcon '06 attendee exclusives, but it really wasn't. I just kept thinking about my goal of making space and money for other toy robots that better express my 'materialist philosophy'. Energon Ultra Magnus and the Space Team minicons just weren't making the statement I wanted to make about licensed dysfunction. I must rebuild my shrine to anal retentiveness with new stronger collonades of Takara Music Label Soundwave and Masterpiece Convoys, lest I jump off of buildings in downtown Seoul because my collection of toy robots was not defining me well enough as a person.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The seeds of the future lie buried in my pants

When I was in grade school I used to crap my pants a lot. The whole thing about organizing my day around my bowel movements had me feeling like I was under extreme pressure. Oftentimes it would be too much pressure and I would crack. I hated to poop! I wanted to be in complete control of my digestive system and it frustrated me that I wasn't. I felt the concept of random pooping at various times throughout the day seemed like too much responsibility for humans to bear. So as a kid I felt I was waging a war against the poop.

Once when I was playing softball in first grade I went up to bat and after about the second strike I felt a little marble shaped object roll down the right leg of my pants. That's when I felt my poop anxiety had gone too far. I was clearly losing the battle against poopy. But right then and there I accepted the poo into my life as my savior. It was a part of me and I decided not to fight it anymore. Then I struck out. That was the last time I ever pooped myself accidentally. There have been other times when I lost control of the brown monsters, the last being as recently as '93 but I was in a hiking situation and fully accepted the consequences.

So when Rob from The Paunch Stevenson Show told me that Freud explained collecting as a consequence of being stuck in the anal phase of childhood development, I was totally all about that. Based on Rob's heads up, I went looking for more on the subject and I found this San Francisco Chronicle article about the psychology of collecting. It was a most excellent read. But I wonder now that I have begun selling some of my toy robots on ebay in an attempt to redefine myself as a more hardcore G1 collector, am I becoming more or less anal? I will be pondering this the next time I'm on the toilet, which is where I get all my blog ideas.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

megan fox naked anal pics

Welcome to Things Wassup About Transformers! I am breaking from my standard format of being emo about toy robots to supplement the news I usually get from the Thoroughly Informative Transformer Themed Internet Entertainment Sites. Sometimes they don't focus enough on what I think is interesting, so as a public service I am enhancing the T.I.T.T.I.E.S. with T.W.A.T.

Things Wassup About THE GAME

Target has released a pdf file with the codes to unlock G1 skins of Optimus Prime, Jazz and Starscream in the upcoming Transformers Movie video game. The .pdf on their site is not system specific. I'm guessing this is further proof for my theory that the only thing exclusive about the Target versions of the game is that they have packaging that reveals these codes. I seriously doubt that Activision/Traveller's Tales programmed in exclusive game content just for Target. Releasing these codes early sort of blows their Robovision wad in a big way because these codes were the biggest incentive to get the game at Target. It's also pretty dumb to release codes at this point because the game isn't even out yet. Check your Target ads this week for an outstanding sale on 1.21 Gigawatt Flux Capacitors!

And thanks to this Gamespot hands on review, it was revealed that G1 Megatron and Shockwave are also unlockable characters in the movie game. However, Shockwave is a triple changing tank/robot/helicopter without a big laser gun mode. I found that a little disappointing. I wonder if any of these other G1 'skins' will amount to just familiar paint jobs on Frankenstein character models like this 'Shockwave' is. In happy news, the review states four of the canon fodder enemies in the game will get toys. I'm guessing they're going to be the Swindle and Dreadwing molds each repainted once for a total of four toys. Four unique molds would be awesome but it hasn't been officially announced if we'll be getting toys of game characters like Payload yet. However, just about every other Transformer that's appeared in the IDW movie comics has gotten a toy and those cannon fodder guys are there, so I'd say chances are good.

Steve and Barry's We'll Pay You to go to Botcon Contest
has ended. Now you gotta wait by the phone or your computer this Saturday the 16th to find out if you won the trip.

I'm saving all my Mountain Dew codes for the Transformer Your Summer Ultimate Transformers Fan trip to Japan prize, which I'll probably not win now that I just told all of you about it and you'll be using your codes against me. Thanks a lot!

Comedy4cast podcast is giving away 2 copies of the 1986 Transformers the Movie DVD. The show is only about five minutes long so it won't kill you to listen to episode 113 for details on how to win. I've never listened to them before but that episode was pretty funny in an OMG ARE THOSE GUYS STONED? kind of way.

I still haven't gotten my poster from those Lunachables bastardos.

Things Wassup About MAGAZINES

The November issue of Hot Rod magazine has an article on the movie where it is revealed that the movie producers used three 1976 Camaros to portray Bumblebee, KIND OF LIKE WHAT I WAS SAYING.

There's also an article about the movie in the premier issue of Otaku USA, which I found on the shelves here at Ellsworth last week. The appeal of OtakuUsa is that I get to pay ten dollars every two months to read written content by podcasters that I usually listen to for free every week. But since I found the Transformers related opinions of Patrick Macias and Matt Alt to be rather scary fanboyish, I won't be buying that magazine again.

Things Wassup About COMICS
IDW's official movie adaptation is being released weekly over four issues. The first issue came out last week and here in Rapid City if you don't get your butt down to the comic store by Friday, you're totally screwed because they sell out fast.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

PURGING THE GRAPES or: I really don't want to tell you about this because you'll know my ebay ID and see my history of buying Japanese tentacle porns

So I was talking to a twentysomething guy in the toy aisle at Wal Mart yesterday and as we were looking at the movie Transformers he said, "You know, if you really think about it, this movie is actually based on the toyline from 20 years ago and that sucks." And I thought, No, what sucks is that my LIFE is based on the toyline from 20 years ago and yet I keep buying new stuff. The biggest problem with my collection is that it's got so much recently released robots-that is, robots you could get at Wal Mart over the past 10 years. Although I consider myself the most casual collector in the universe and a hardcore G1 fan, occasionally I do dumb stuff like buy whole cases of whatever the current Transformers toyline is. Screw that! I am tired of having a collection that appeals to 13 year old nerds. I want a collection that appeals to 33 year old nerds.

I don't hate my robots. I wouldn't have bought them if I hated them. I don't hate new stuff just because it's new. There's lots of new stuff coming out that I want like the MP3 Soundwave and the clear Binaltech Mirage. But there comes a point when space becomes an issue and looking at my collection I have to figure out just what exactly it is I'm trying to accomplish here. There are just a lot of toys I have that don't fit into my overall collecting vision, which I'm not clear on myself but I know I don't really want or need five Mega Octanes and three Beast Wars Silverbolts that I never opened. Somewhere along the way I kept buying crap just because it said Transformers and I forgot to have fun with it. Without getting into the psychology behind why a grown man buys toy robots, I think in a nutshell my problem is that I regret opening my toys when I was little but now that I'm older I don't open them and I wish I did.

What makes it all insane is how quickly some of this stuff appreciates on the secondary market. So if I don't get around to opening my Botcon 2006 convention exclusives, in a few months people start selling them for insane prices on eBay and I get paralyzed thinking about how I'm blowing $300 if I open my Darksyde Megatron. So I'm stuck wanting to get rid of it to exorcise the guilt of opening it if I should ever choose to. Mark over at the Transforming Seminarian made a great point when he wrote that If you're into collecting expecting to make money off of this stuff, you're not really much of a collector. A "speculator," perhaps, but that really is a different thing. I think there's room for a third classification of person to describe me. I'm not a speculator, I'm a collector who's weighed down by the burden of owning toy robots with ridiculous secondary market value. It's like if the fox in the sour grapes fable got the grapes but then couldn't eat them because he'd feel guilty about eating them. I am the fox who loved the grapes too much! I wish I never saw some of these grapes!

Consequently I'm trimming down my collection a bit and getting rid of some stuff I'd feel guilty for opening and other stuff I feel guilty for opening already. In the end the buyers are doing me a bigger favor than I am doing them. I'm not selling this stuff because I want others to have it, I'm getting rid of something I can't stand owning anymore and taking their money in the process.

Personally I prefer "brown trash", which is like "trailer trash" but the main difference being I eat a lot of tacos.

Occasionally I must recognize the contributions certain high profile public figures have made to the advancement of public awareness of Latino/ Hispanic/ Mexican/ whatever we're calling ourselves this week culture. And thus was born the Macrocranian Oustandingly Cool Orale award. I use the MOCO awards to give orales to famous people who are promoting mexican culture. You don't have to be mexican to get a MOCO, you just have to want a MOCO really bad and it will come to you. Past honorees include lifetime achievement winners Tito Sanatana and Rick Martel, who had big giant MOCOs. Their tag team Strike Force brought respect to mexican wrestling, which was previously looked down upon as a corrupt sport with outlandish characters playing out prearranged storylines in homoerotic costumes. Also that homeless lady who would sell me enchiladas outside the Bookman's used bookstore in Tucson. Those enchiladas were really good!

This week two outstanding individuals get giant MOCOs. Our first honoree is Peter Cullen, who was recently interviewed by Latino Review. Peter is making a fantastic contribution to Mexican culture by providing the voice for this summer's most famous illegal alien, Optimus Prime. Orale, Peter! Last but not least, el Spider-Man gets a MOCO for his cultural boundary-busting work promoting Old El Paso Soft Pink Taco Dinner Kits. Orale, you Asombroso Hombre AraƱa! You get a huge MOCO to wear proudly on your costume!

Friday, June 08, 2007

All this shitty hobby does is make me feel inadequate and want to go to all the time

So I was looking at the toy robots collection of a friend of mine and I started to cry because it made me feel so lame. Then I did what always makes me feel better and I went to MyDeathSpace so I could laugh at all the dead young people and take comfort in how although my life sucks at least I didn't get killed being a dumbass. I went to bed and I asked my wife, "Do you still love me even if I don't have an AFA graded production sample Targetmaster Cyclonus?" And she said, "whAT THE HELL IS A cRYONUS? What are you talking about?" I forgot she is 'neuro-typical'.

For some reason my hobbies always end up embarrasing me. Like when I used to collect Barley Legal magazine. Once when I was moving from one apartment to another, my new neighbors volunteered to help me unload the boxes from my U-Haul truck. I hate how people try to be all friendly just because you're living next to them. So me and the neighbor guy are 'team lifting' a particularly heavy and awkward cardboard box when he asks me what's in it. I told him it was just books. Then like a dumbass I dropped my end and the box broke and all the Barley Legals fell out. It was a huge mess and the wind was blowing them all away. He just backed away slowly. I said, "DON'T RUN AWAY YOU PUSSY. I REALLY NEED YOUR HELP RIGHT NOW!" I never saw that guy again.

A life of crime for Pepsi Prime OR: HE DID IT BECAUSES FOR THE CODEZ

Two convenience store clerks in Iowa beat some guy's ass for stealing a Mountain Dew. He says he did it because he was thirsty but I think we all know the truth. This is a clear cut case of Pepsi Prime claiming his first victim. WAS IT WORTH IT, MICHAEL L. COSPER? I'll bet the guy who invented the Transformer Your Summer contest just got a raise.

The guy also had dried blood around his mouth. I know that after eating the brains of my victims nothing washes down their bloody entrails like a nice cool Mountain Dew. Mountain Dew-the choice of cannibalistic serial killer toy robot collectors.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Transformer my Summer? More like Transformer my mouth into all cavities OR: Overrun by a Convoy of corporate shilling

Well May 28th was the big day for people who entered the USA Weekend Transformers movie preview contest. That was the day that USA Weekend would notify one lucky winner that they won a free advance screening of the Transformer movie in their hometown with tickets for 150 of their friends. I waited by the phone all day but got no call. Maybe it's for the better because I don't know if I could find 150 people willing to watch a Michael Bay movie even for free. I don't know who they think they're dealing with anyways because I'm a Transformer nerd. I don't even have three friends in the United States, much less 150 in the city I live in. In their next contest, USA Weekend will be giving away PS3s to blind quadraplegics.

But at least I know I didn't win that one. I've been waiting over a month now for the poster I 'won' from Lunchables in the contest where I lied about being a little kid so I could win. Why haven't they sent me my crap yet? It's not like they don't have assloads of posters to give away, who gives a crap if some not kids win? Do they have a problem with me saying I'm 13 and how the hell did they even find out? All I know is that I enterd their contest and even bought some of their horrible food because I felt bad about lying and now they're not even sending me my poster. Well played, Lunchables, well played.

At least all USA Weekend and Lunchables asked of me was that I give up my personal information and leave myself open to identity theft. Mountain Dew is really bending me over in their contest. I am at a really low place right now, having sacrificed my good health for a shot at winning Pepsi Prime from their Transformer Your Summer contest. Although this is a Mountain Dew contest, the only sodas at the stores around here that have the bottle caps with the codes are Diet Pepsi. I had a party at my house over the weekend so I bought a ton of Diet Pepsi but nobody wanted it because it tastes like ass so I've been drinking it all for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have drank so much Diet Pepsi that my teeth are throbbing with an odd pain that feels to me like multiple root canals are in my future. Plus my sister went dumpster diving at Star Wars Celebration 4 to find bottles caps for me. But who cares about my health or the dignity of my family? I have entered 24 codes!

I'm not gaining 20 pounds in a week just for a Pepsi Prime, though. I have also tried to win the "Ultimate Gaming Package" and the X-Box. But now that I think about it, the 42 inch plasma they're including in the prize package couldn't possibly have 1080p's. 42 inch plasmas with 1080p have barely hit the market-they're cutting edge consumer technology. The XBox isn't the Elite with the HDMI port for the best possible signal output to an HD set. These prizes are actually obsolete second rate home entertainment technology. The whole Pepsi Prime thing is not without its problems, either. Instead of ripping off an idea that's been done to death already I would have liked to see a Mountain Dew Prime. What really bothers me is Pepsi Prime has short smokestacks instead of long ones as shown on the back of the box. But who cares about half assed prizes sending me on a path to self destruction? I have entered 24 codes!

Fuck I wish Optimus Prime would shill for toothpaste or orange juice or milk. Only now do I realize that his whole saving the world schtick was just a farce building up to this day when he could use his influence to sell out generations of people (and their teeth) to the global corporate conglomerates. It's a pretty brilliant move. If he were a human being, Nacy Grace and Doctor Phil would be ripping Optimus a new a-hole right now. Where is the accountability? I don't even know if I've won anything from Moutain Dew. All I have by way of prize confirmation is thier winner's map which tells me there are four states left that have people with good teeth. Either that or it confirms my suspicion that people in Montana haven't figured out the internet yet.

Monday, June 04, 2007

In church during the wafer part I would pray that Optimus Prime would break through the walls like Kool Aid man and run over the nuns

When I was in Catholic school in seventh grade I had a religion teacher who tried to have a sort of enlightened, unified field theory style take on the origins of creation and the nature of existence. He incorporated the Bible with evolutionary theory so that he believed man indeed evolved from apes and once evolved, that first man was who was not ape was who God called Adam. So in other words he was totally batshit crazy.

In class one day he revealed that pretty much all religions were right because Catholic God was really in disguise as Bhudda and all those other main dudes. Essentially he said the deity stories were all the same across all religions about one super great guy that dies saving the world and then he comes back. And the kicker is that he appears differently to the different people of earth. Kind of like how Galactus appears differently depending on who's looking at him. The major difference being that God wasn't mad and hungry all the time and trying to eat the Zen Laas.

So at thirteen years old I became enlightened master of theology thanks to this insider information imparted to me by my crazy ass religion teacher. As he kept talking in class that day, my mind shut down and I started mulling over how God was really a shape changing being that appeared differently to all men and was like a happy Galactus, fighting for good and returning from the dead. So I wondered, who in my life was a shape changing being fighting for good that died and came back? Then it hit me-God was Optimus Prime. He met all the criteria plus the Transformers cartoon originally came out on Sunday morning.


Regardless, last Saturday was a holy day of obligation for Transformers fans because the first few waves of new movie toys got released officially. All the major retailers were breaking out the fancy new signage and loading up the shelves with movie merchandise. I pulled a Linus and I missed out because I didn't go to see the Great Pumpkin in the guise of plastic robots rise from the pumpkin patches of toy shelves like a devout Transformer worshipper should. I also missed the MTV movie awards where they had lots of clips from the movie. This is how I know toy robots is my religion. I dedicate as much effort to Transformers as I put into going to church every Sunday, which is none.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Autobots

"Optimus Prime's like, 'You motherfuckers know we're leaving but I still HAVE to TELL you Transform and Roll Out. I HAVE to tell you that.'"-Professor Bestestes

Starting at the 43:42 mark of Foreskin Radio episode 82, Dr. Lickalottapuss and Professor Bestestes get into a fascinating discussion about the leadership style of Optimus Prime and how that translates to management styles they've observed in their workplaces. Download the whole podcast and listen from that point on for about six minutes. It's awesome.

Please save me robots from all the terrible things

The Prince of Macrocrania is now six weeks old and the queen thought it would be a good idea if I took a "new daddy class" they were having yesterday over at the base hospital. I showed up with the prince and there were two young Air Force guys there ready to take the class, too. One was an Airman First Class who was really young. He couldn't have been more than 22 and the other was a Staff Sergeant who didn't look older than 25. They both reminded me of myself when I was active duty all those years ago. Ah, those horrible horrible times when my hair was so short it exposed my pyramid shaped head. It seems like only yesterday that I was learning how to tell military time. Wait, it was yesterday that I was learning military time. That's one of the reasons I'm not in Air Force anymore. I sucked at it.

I was the only guy there with a baby and the prince slept on my chest the whole time as we talked about all the awful things that happen to babies when you shake them. Stuff like the optic nerve detaching and baby bones breaking and brain damage. It sucked but the psychiatrist guy who was teaching the class answered my question about what am I teaching my son by having an assload of toy robots collection. He said that children will pick up on the important values their parents hold dear by observing how their parents treat other people, not by seeing how many toy robots they own. He said my son would see me as more than a toy robots obsessed guy if I do nice things like give money to beggars and tip waitresses good (both of which I need to start working on right now). Then in my most perfect moment of clarity it all clicked and I blurted, "I understand. My Optimus Primes do not define me as a person. I am not my toy robots collection. I am the all-singing all-dancing crap of the world." I don't think the Air Force guys were old enough to have seen Fight Club and it kind of went over their heads. But for me it was CHUCK PALAHNIUK MOMENT OF THE WEEK.

So the class ends and since I was the only guy who brought a baby the other guys were helping me with the stroller and opening doors for me. Me and the youngest Air Force guy were walking down the hall together on our way out when he said, "I wish I could see my daughter." When I asked him what he meant, he said that his wife left him when he was deployed and when he went to Tennessee to track them down, she wouldn't let him see his daughter. He didn't even know for sure how old she was, but she was born in the past month. I was stunned. He was so obviously torn up by it. What could I say to this young man? He obviously wanted to be a dad and he was taking the daddy classes. I didn't know what to tell him. I was speechless. Why do things turn out this way? It was heartbreaking. What the heck could I do or say that would make it better? Nothing. So I gave him that sort of hollow advice that older people always give because they don't have a freakin' clue what you're going through. I told him to hang in there. (Although I must admit that Mick Aloha's "I can't promise it'll get better, but it'll get better" did cross my mind.)

I went home and held my son REALLY REALLY HARD.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Attention Camaro Enthusiasts! New rare 1974 Camaro variant found!

Even though my mom's family were first generation Camaro owners and my high school friends had second and third generation Camaros and I would spend hours as a teenager going over Classic Camaro catalogs and I went to automotive collision repair school and I worked in body shops alongside other muscle car enthusiasts on 1970's Camaros, I am being totally schooled on Camaro knowledge by the various Thoroughly Informative Transformer Themed Internet Entertainment Sites! Apparently there exists a model of Camaro I never knew existed-the 1974 Camaro with the wraparound rear window!

In the new Transformers movie Bumblebee starts out as a second generation Camaro. Now people who think they know Camaros might say upon first glance that Bumblebee is a Camaro from the '75 to '77 model years because he has a wraparound rear window. Honestly, I always thought the 1974 Camaro was the last year that the rear window was rectangular. BUT WAIT! The Thoroughly Informative Transformer Themed Internet Entertainment Sites that are always well researched tell me that Bumblebee is in fact a 1974 model! Although my experience would say otherwise, I have learned not to question the Transformers Illuminati who run these sites. They are infallible.

I'm sure that if Bumblebee were not a 1974 Camaro with a wraparound rear windshield, the Thoroughly Informative Transformer Themed Internet Entertainment Sites would publish corrections or state that the official materials saying he's a 1974 model are wrong, but that is not the case! And I'm sure that if I sent them emails saying Bumblebee was in fact any Camaro built from 1975 to 1977 they would immediately refute me with their infinitely stronger Transformers kung fu. So the only possible conclusion is that there exists a 1974 Camaro with a wraparound rear window that neither I nor any other Camaro enthusiast knew about!

Those Thoroughly Informative Transformer Themed Internet Entertainment Sites are awesome! They are also run by people ignorant of anything requiring real life experience outside of a toystore. I don't expect everyone to know what the hell a 1974 Camaro looks like. And even if you weren't the guy who invented 1974 Camaro rear windshield glass, I'd expect a little research on the subject after many fans have tried to point this out. This is why I rank internet toy robot journalists slightly less credible than UFO abductees who claim they had sex with aliens that look like Wile E. Coyote.

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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.