Monday, December 31, 2007

The last five of my top ten (or eleven) best toy robots of 2007

Number five:BT-18 Rijie
When this was first solicited for pre-order I knew it would be one of the hottest Transformers ever. I knew they'd be going for over $200 only a few weeks after release. I knew I could afford a case of them. I knew I could have made an easy $500 or more selling that case because they would be horribly underproduced. I also knew doing that would make me feel like a total douchebag. $80 at Image Anime

Number four: SDCC Alternators Rodimus
Holy crap the same mold makes it on my list twice! This shows how insanely grateful I am that I was able to get this final robot in the Alternators line at retail from It was nothing short of a miracle after the online fiasco that happened last year. I ended up spending $60 for the 2006 San Diego Comic Con exclusive Alternators Nemesis Prime and I swore that wouldn't happen again. But yeah it's a great mold and I was even considering putting Alternators Mirage in here because it's so sexy exciting. $24.99 at

Number three: MP-05 Megatron
Coming in at number three is Disasterpiece Megatron. A toy robot should not have me questioning the limits of my physical abilities. Is there a parallel between being able to transform this thing and having musical talent? Must I be the Yngwie Malmsteen of toy robots fans to be able to enjoy any robot from this series? Is it at all reasonable to expect to be able to transform this thing without incurring damage to myself and my immediate surroundings? And why the horse face? Despite all the problems, MP-05 Megatron is truly beautiful to behold as long as I never touch it and I put a paper bag over its head. $109.95 at

Number two: Music Label Soundwave
They made a working MP-3 player that turns into a fantastic looking Soundwave. Let me write that again because I still can't believe it. They made a working MP-3 player that turns into a fantastic looking Soundwave. That's enough for me, but some people bemoan the limited functionality of the MP-3 player and its use of mini SD cards for memory. To which I repeat, they made a working MP-3 player that turns into a fantastic looking Soundwave. $79.95 at

Number one: Yamato's 1/60 VF-0S with QF-2200D-B Ghost Booster
That nine of the eleven robots in my top ten are Transformers is a testament to the acute severity of my Roboplastico-monofranchise-tosis. Yet even I in all my narrowmindedness must acknowledge the greatness that is Yamato's 1/60 VF-0S with Ghost Booster from Macross Zero. Even if I forget the mind meltingly awesome scene in the show where this plane went into furious battle at full boost, boosting fully while battling furiously, this toy is incredibly sexy on its own merits. It's toy of the year in my book. Although I still can't believe they made a working MP-3 player that turns into a fantastic looking Soundwave.$170 at HobbyLinkJapan

My top ten (or eleven) best toy robots of 2007, but only the first five (or six)

2007 was the year that I looked back on my plastic robots collecting hobby and wondered WTF was I thinking. I questioned not why I was doing it, but why I was doing it so badly. My robot room was thematically disjointed and looked like a random robots junkyard. Not only was it messy, but there really wasn't anything special about what I had. Instead of it being a tribute to the greatest toy robots ever made, my collection looked more like a tribute to the last 20 years of the Wal-Mart toy aisle. So I decided to get rid of a lot of crap and really focus on building the kind of collection someone with an extreme case of Roboplastico-Monofranchise-tosis should have.

I technically consider myself retired from robot collecting and I thought that nothing good would be coming out in 2007 anyways so there'd be no danger of wanting to spend money on new stuff. Instead, 2007 ended up being one of the most fantastic robot years ever for me and I blew a lot of money on new stuff. It was new stuff with an old school feel, though. In the case of toys like Masterpiece Megatron, it was new stuff based on old stuff. 2007 ended up being the year of toy robots that should have come out 20 years ago but that I'm kind of glad they didn't. Saying I wish toys like Masterpiece Megatron came out 20 years ago is like saying I wish I was having sex when I was ten. It would have been mind-blowing but I wouldn't have been ready for it and I wouldn't have been good enough to know what I was doing anyways.

This then is my list of the top ten best robots of 2007. Or more accurately, the ten best toy robots I acquired in 2007 that also came out in 2007. There were tons of other robots out there but I didn't buy those so I can't judge stuff I didn't feel compelled enough to own in the first place. I did get around to buying some really nice other robots like MP-04 Convoy but those were released in 2006. This is just my list of the ten best robots from 2007 that came out in 2007 and it ended up having 11 robots in it.

Number ten-Movie Bumblebees
The biggest Transformers related event of the past 20 years was the live action movie this summer but I'm not really a fan of the character designs so I ended up only buying a two-pack of Bumblebees. The Target exclusive "Evolution of a Hero" set comes in at number ten in my best robots of 2007 because transforming robot Camaros have long been a masturbation fantasy of mine. Actually I think they're pretty horrible toys but it was about time they combined my brown trash dream car with my favorite crazy yellow robot. I give them bonus points for the "custom faded" paint jobs. $19.99 at Target

Number nine-Pepsi Prime
I will never forget all the horrible diet Pepsi I had to drink and all the dumpster diving my sister did so I could win this from Mountain Dew's "Transform Your Summer" contest. 2007 Pepsi whore Optimus Prime comes in at number nine because of the fond memories I'll have and the shame I'll feel after totally selling myself out and falling for a cheap advertising campaign. $24.99 at or free for dedicated mindless consumer zombies

Number eight-The Fallen
Speaking of falling for cheap marketing ploys, Hasbro made a toy that looks nothing at all like the comic book character it's supposed to represent and I bought it anyway. Number eight in my list of best robots of 2007 is The Fallen from Hasbro's Transformers Titanium line. The Fallen's body actually looks more like Megatron from the recent Megatron Origin comic painted black with orange flames. It really bears very little resemblance to the Fallen character. I say this should have been Megatron but I'm enough of a fan of the comics to fall for anything. $14.99 at Target

Number seven-Totally clear, totally bootleg G1 Mirage
Normally I ignore all the bootleg Transformers stuff because I already have the originals but holy hetrodyne this year they came out with a friggin' clear plastic Mirage. This is one of those that I halfheartedly wish came out officially 20 years ago. On one hand it would have been a fantastic variant but on the other, I would have probably broke it all to hell like I did the rest of my childhood toy robots.$74.95 from Doufaceb's Hobby Store

Number six-WalMart Masterpiece Starscream
This isn't a toy, it's a torture device meant to sever the communicative link between my brain and my hands. It's so hard to find and it falls apart so much during transformation that I think this is the Hasbro equivalent of an improvised explosive device. I swear it is impossible to get everything to fit together correctly and I even put a dent in the head trying to push the jet mode all in place. Shoji Kawamori has transcended the boundaries of toy robot design by making a Transformer that doesn't transform and I am too stupid to understand his brilliance. But it's a really pretty robot and also OMGVHTFSUPERRAREIWANTITEXCLUSIVE so it comes in at number six.$48.88 at Wal-Mart

Friday, December 28, 2007

Kuat Drive Yard Blues

AT-ATs stomped my life today
they came right to my door
not from a galaxy far away
but from some online store

first they stomped my spending cash
then they stomped my food
then they stomped my bill money
AT-ATs are very rude

They were stomping and I tried to drive away
but I didn't get very far
because AT-ATs stomped my car payment
so now I have no car

AT-ATs stomped my mortgage money
my wife was not impressed
because AT-ATs stomped all the money
we were going to invest

AT-ATs can stomp all sorts of craft
like snowspeeders and x-wings and skiffs
but AT-ATs stomped my most important ride
they stomped my relation-ship

AT-ATs stomped my house and wife
I'm an AT-AT attack survivor
I know there were four-that's all I could afford
my wife ran off with the AT-AT driver

AT-ATs stomped my life today
my life was never bleaker
I have no home, I'm all alone
I should have bought snowspeeders

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Another Powerball Wednesday went by, taking with it a) my dreams of becoming dirty rotten filthy stinking rich and b) my three dollars. So far this year I've blown $30 on Powerball which is pretty bad because I could have wasted that money on other equally pointless paper things like robot comic books. Even though I never win, the time I spend daydreaming about how I would have my own toy robots convention with special guests Iron Maiden and Helloween is priceless. When I think about it, lottery and toy robots are probably my two favorite brown trash hobbies. I do like how with lottery tickets I get to find out I'm a loser within a few days. With buying hundred dollar toy robots that realization takes a little longer to sink in.

I'm going to stop with lotterying not because I lose so much, but because once I win there is no chance to ever get rich and well known off of my own hard work. Any sense of satisfaction I'd have from being my generation's George Lucas/William Shatner hybrid creative powerhouse would be erased. I would always be that guy who got famous from the lottery. So I am going to start working on my webcomic autobiography with the totally original title "Every toy robot is the end of the world for me" and then once that's finished I'll go back to lotterying. Then once I win the lottery you can expect me to finance a movie based on my story, except I'll change the name to "Please Save Me Robots: the Movie" because Jeffrey Brown would probably kick my ass.

Lately I've been keeping every losing lotto ticket because I hope that having these physical reminders in plain sight will keep me from wasting my money the same way again. I don't know how I got that idea because I've tried the same approach with my toy robots collection and I know it doesn't work. Reminding myself I'm wasting money by amassing large piles of stuff is not an effective deterrent because it appeals to my collect-osis genetic defect. Actually maybe collecting losing lotto tickets would be preferable to collecting hundred dollar toy robots. The big advantage is that lottery tickets take up less space reminding me of how much money and how little common sense I used to have.

I guess this is goodbye lotto for now. I need to knock out this one last idea so I can say I was working on it before I was rich. Then maybe I'll give up all my other brown trash hillbilly hobbies like heavy metal, Burger King and shopping at Wal-Mart. Or maybe I'll write a sequel to PSMR the movie that documents the creation of my successful chain of MetalBurgerMart restaurants, the official sponsor of IronRoboHellacon.

High Definition Frog Phones from 2059 can't get here fast enough

Macross Frontier is the latest animated toy robot airplane show from Japan. The first episode came out December 23 and fansubs have already hit the internet. Storywise it's like a blend of 1 part Battlestar Galactica and 99 parts Macross. The first episode reminded me a little of Battlestar Galactica and a lot of the original Macross cartoon, which is what eventually became the first chunk of Robotech. It's about a colony of Japanese people in the future floating around in spaceships and there's a bunch of angry aliens who want to war them. That may be good enough for western audiences, but this is a Japanese cartoon so Macross:F cranks it up a notch with the addition of hot chicks with purple hair and transforming airplane robots. Fukc yeah!

Kids at Macross High complain about how the classes are hard and long.

Macross: Frontier is set in 2059 in the same continuity as the old Macross and it's updated with all new CGI designs for the spaceships and robots and aliens. The new ships and robots are great, but what really sucks me in-what really makes this Macross-are the futuristic designs of every last little detail of human civilization Japanese school girl life aboard the floating spaceship colony. The high school looks like the friggin' Macross! Plus Macross:Frontier introduces us to future waves of Japanese school girl consumer appliances. I knew I wasn't watching any ordinary mindless space colony massacre show when the little girl pulled out her frog cell phone. Why hasn't anyone invented a frog phone yet? I suspect this technology already exists but the Japanese use cartoons to gradually introduce it to the rest of the world so we won't be freaked out when we see it for the first time.


A lot of the same story elements and character archetypes from the original Macross are here. It almost felt like I was watching a retelling of the old story but with new visuals. Right now my initial impression is that I've seen this all before but maybe they'll take it in different direction. Macross Plus and Macross Zero are two really tough acts to follow. Those were great shows. Frontier is directed by Shoji Kawamori so I'm sure I'll like the story but the robots don't look exciting enough for me to plop down over $100 if Yamato does 1/48 scale toy versions. I'll have to do some research but don't think Kawamori had a hand in designing these. I wonder if that's why Macross:Frontier is the first show where I've wanted toys or models based on the high school instead of the robot airplanes. (And I really want a frog phone, too.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

My life is (Jet)fire and ice

Today I woke up to a South Dakotan snowstorm. I waited until we had about 1/4 mile visibility before going out to check the mail because I wanted to feel like I was back in Antarctica again, if even just for a moment. But holy crap the blowing snow and hellacious wind here was more intense than ten Antarcticas. The forty meters between my house and the mailbox were so hellaciously windy and cold that all my thermal underwear and jackets didn't even make a difference. I may as well have been out there in my bathrobe. Plus I was having post traumatic stress flashbacks of my time on the ice when I got chased by penguins. In Antarctica, not all the ice is stable so when you're walking on it you have to stay between the bamboo flagposts that have been setup or else you'll fall into crevasses and die. I had become so accustomed to the Antarctic way of using flags to guide me that I got disoriented. Crazy thoughts entered my head and for half a second it seemed totally possible that I may be the first guy in South Dakota to fall into a crevasse on the way to check his mail. I disregarded this notion as ridiculous, but I could not totally eliminate the possibility of a Wampa attack.

JC Penney 14 December 1984
I don't think people take me seriously when I tell them that Dakota del Sur can be just as bad or even worse than Antarctica. It's just one of those things that I know from experience and can't expect anyone else to understand. It's funny how people are so sold on their own preconceived notions of what the truth must be that it's pointless trying to change their minds. It's exactly like how I know for a fact that the Transformers Jetfire and Shockwave came out in 1984, but the toy robots historians on the Wikipedia will tell you those toys came out in '85. Although there's tons of evidence beyond just old newspaper ads, nobody's quite put two and two together. I feel like I am the sole keeper of this one arcane truth about toy robots. This is the Transformers Roswell and I am its Fox Mulder, except a selfish Fox Mulder that doesn't want anyone to know what he found out so he kind of keeps that X-File way in the back, like in the Z's.

Should I even try to edit Wikipedia with the knowledge of 1984 Jetfires? Hell no. Excuse me for being an ignorant old man but I think it is important to safeguard this information from the computers because it may very well all that's keeping Wikipedia from achieving full blown sentience. Beyond Wikipedia, is it worth trying to correct every other Thoroughly Informative Transformers Themed Internet Entertainment Site out there? Hell no again. I can't imagine how much of a struggle it would be trying to do battle with the Transfan Illuminati who run those sites. I say the internet deserves whatever version of the past it sloppily writes for itself and I can live knowing I'm right. Screw the modern open source history that's written not by those who know the truth, but by those with the most HTML skills and highest Google page rank.

So when I finally got to the mailbox in the snow I was thinking that my relationship with the wiki Transformers historians mirrors the time when Luke Skywalker was telling R2-D2 that Dagobah existed but R2 didn't believe him. Luke is all, "Yes, Artoo, I know the Dagobah system doesn't appear on any of our navigational charts. But don't worry. It's there." You'd think the droid would have instant access to all the most up to date information in the galaxy, much like Wikipedia. But even a droid doesn't have all the Star Charts and that's where I'll be, right at the limits of R2-D2's knowledge, dancing on the tip of that vibrator looking thing that he's constantly sticking into the Millenium Falcon. And the day may come when I will need Wikipedia to hold my lightsaber for me as I attack the Jabba Sail Barge with my knowledge of 20 year old newspaper ads, but until then Wikipedia can just serve the internet drinks with that stupid looking tray on its head as the C-3P0 wiki article contributors bump into him awkwardly. If you know what I mean.

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Playststion 3 firmware update 2.10 adds DIVX compatibility. While I am overjoyed, buttmunches on the internet are bitching because there's a limitation-it's only for file sizes below 2 gigs. Consequently that's not enough to load all three hours of Super Milfy College Coed Chimpmunk Fuckers 5 in high def, but I don't give a crap. I finally get to watch Macross Zero and Samurai Pizza Cats on my TV. What the haters don't realize is that DIVX isn't just for hetero chipmunk porn, it's also for airplane robot porn, cartoon ninja cat porn and all sorts of other illegal downloads.

The whole galaxy will soon be his anyway, but first he needs to get some groceries

Black Convoy lives about two streets down from me. I run into him sometimes when I go buy groceries at the commissary. I guess he's deciding to take it easy and live the domestic life before he commences destroying the earth.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Jeffrey Brown-Incredible guy

Remember how I wrote about those other guys who posted pictures of their Incredible Change-Bots fanclub art? Well today I got my Incredible Change-Bots fan club membership packet and it is awesome-or should I say, INCREDIBLY COOL. I also sent my ICB book along with my fan club registration and Jeffrey signed it for me and drew a sketch of Shootertron by the dedication. I love the Shootertron design. That was an incredible coincidence because I was going to ask for a sketch of Shootertron as part of my membership packet, but I asked for Bushwacky instead. Being from Texas I've always had a soft spot for cowboy robots that turn into big black trucks and wear ten gallon stetsons.

The next piece of robot related Jeffrey Brown I want to track down is the print he did as part of a fund raiser for ROM creator Bill Mantlo. Floating World Comics in Portland did a Mantlo tribute December 6th and tons of artists donated work which was put on display. Jeffrey did a pretty cool piece and the original is up on ebay right now along with many of the other works, but as I write this, Brown's original is up to an incredible $108. I'd settle for a $7 print if I could find one.


Devastator's tech spec describes him as "Slow, awkward, not too bright" and also "Pure brutality-Sole purpose is to crush all in his path." Both of those I think describe my son perfectly and that's why I call him "The Devastator". He can't crawl yet but the sheer amount of destruction he leaves in his wake is awesome and terrifying. The only time he isn't destroying things is when he's asleep, and I was looking at him sleep the other day when something clicked in my head. Seeing him at this age must have been what it was like for my dad when I was an 8 month old Constructicon death machine.

Although I don't have memories of that time, seeing my son gives me an understanding of what I must have been like when I was a baby. You know that scene in Superman Returns where he's looking at his son sleeping and he goes "You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son." I never understood what the hell that "father becomes the son" part meant and I felt really stupid because it sounds so profound. Finally it all clicked. It was as if I remembered being my father's baby again just by looking at my own baby. My first reaction upon enlightenment was, 'I totally get that Superman line about father and son now! I need to tell my best friend, the internet!'

It was nice to have my relationship with my son mirror one of the more positive cinematic father and son experiences. Up to this point we had more in common with the Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker relationship model which involves lots of fighting, lots of things in the house breaking, and lots of playing with ATATs.

Monday, December 17, 2007

This side of the '85 sun

If I had bothered to record the minutiae of my life
every fleeting sense of wonder and delight
the prime of my content would require twenty years descent
because nothing impresses me much this side of '85

So I made myself a time machine by trying to save traces
I mummified my childhood in bubbles and boxes and cases

I've bought and sold fortunes and compiled enormous collections
of awesome alien Volkswagens from various other dimensions
But I'd really rather go back again to one year after I turned ten
When all I had was four robot toys and a lot of imagination

All my sense of wonder lost, all the time I wish undone
I wish they made a time machine so I could see the '85 sun

I am pointlessly preserving these childhood fascinations
But all this retroactive consumption does not resurrect my inspiration
I have more than I ever had, but I still have less than then
Despite countless Rubbermaid totes of nostalgic overcompensation

All my meat is robot meat, my blood is robot blood
I belong in a time machine orbiting an '85 sun

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I saw this over at and I immediately thought-Hey, these dudes totally ripped off my favorite talking robot car cartoon.

This ain't about origami unicorns, it's about being immune to the insatiable allure of origami unicorns

Being afflicted with roboplastico-collecto-monofranchise-tosis since I was little means I missed out on a lot of movies and fads. I've never seen cinematic milestones like the Godfather trilogy or the Indiana Jones movies after the first one or anything starring Jonathan Brandis. While it may seem like I'm a pop culture cripple, it also renders me immune to the allure of many movie marketing campaigns. Movies have a way of indoctrinating you into their universe and then making you want to buy bizarre things from within that context. It's called marketing. If you've never seen the Lion King, would you want a beach towel with those doofy looking cartoon lions on it? Nope. So in a way, monofranchise-tosis saves me a lot of money-money that eventually gets wasted on beach towels with Optimus Prime on them.

For a long time movies have existed not as epic storytelling experiences, but as feature length commercials for Harrison Ford action figures. When you go to the latest family friendly animated cuddly animals movie you are expected to not only develop a sympathetic connection to the characters so that the story entertains you, but you are expected to develop that connection so you will buy backpacks and Lego sets and first person shooter video games featuring those characters at Toys R Us. Most movies nowadays accomplish this easily and the merchandise tie-ins featuring packages with pictures of the super cuddly homicidal alien robots are usually items we would have bought anyways like cereal, toys and anal lube. But the mark of a truly great movie is its ability to get you to buy craptifacts-artifacts or other bizarre crap from within the context of the movie that has absolutely no purpose in real life other than assisting people into deluding themselves for even the briefest of moments that they actually live in a world where things like homicidal alien robots exist. At first it may seem insane for anyone to want to experience a reality where all of humanity lives in constant danger of eradication by angry space robots, but believe me, I PRAY FOR IT EVERYDAY.

Like I said before, I missed out on a lot of stuff as a kid because I had toy robot tunnel vision. Consequently I've never seen Blade Runner, which is a movie everybody likes that I think has Harrison Ford playing some sort of badass laserbeam detective. I have decided that although I have never seen it, Blade Runner must be the most fantastic story ever because next week's five disc super deluxe collector's edition DVD comes with an origami unicorn. In light of how much of the world's plastic has already been used on Harrison Ford action figures, anybody who wanted an action figure of Harrison Ford in laser beam detective disguise is a total asshole. Pre-folded craptifact origami unicorn is the greatest DVD bonus ever. For me the real question is not 'Should I buy a 5 disc edition of a movie I've never seen?', it's more like 'Do I want a pre-folded origami unicorn on its own merits right now?' And of course the answer is no, but any movie that would make me want a pre-folded origami unicorn I didn't make myself has got to be insanely good, so then the answer must be yes.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dr. Geektarded saves the day

Just when I was feeling all down about the problems with my own vintage toy ads postings, Doctor Geektarded comes through with TWO REALLY GREAT posts full of old toy ads. I will be commentarying over there once I go through all of them.

This interruption in my website is brought to you by I am a friggin' idiot about computers and the internet is smarter than me

This was the day that I was seamlessly going to drop my old domain ( and unveil the sexy exciting new one. But this internet stuff is complicated stuff and I'm really confused about the complexities of web hostings and how to do domain name transfers and all that crap. Consequently the Vintage Space Toaster Palace has disappeared from internet and I'm getting really pissed off trying to figure out how to get DNSes and name servers and USB ports to all work together in harmony and it sucks. It sucks because the VSTP was starting to get recognized by the one demographic of internet people that I cherish the most-Chinese toy robot nerd message boards.

It just really bothers me that I don't know how to do this stuff or at least figure it out without having to call tech support. I have certain expectations of myself as a somewhat functional human in today's society. Based on how old I am I should be competent enough to figure out how to do things. Like as a baby I expected myself to figure out how to do potty training and as a teenager I expected to know how to drive a car. I don't know why I expect to accomplish these self imposed milestones of achievement-I guess it's what I figure normal people have figured out by those times. All this goal setting only leads to disappointment because even at 6 years old I was still crapping my pants and I totaled my first car within hours of getting my permit.

Then there's stuff I didn't even know I should know but I felt like I should have known it once it came up. Like when the pilot light on my water heater went out last week and I didn't know why there was no hot water so I called the housing maintenance guy over to turn it back on. What an idiot! At 33 years old, after owning and living in multiple houses I should know how to light the water heater instead of taking cold showers until the cavalry arrived. If it were just me I could deal with paying for being stupid but it's especially frustrating because my incompetence now affects not just me but my wife, who probably also expects me to know this crap. Thankfully, me being stupid at internet won't cause her any additional bodily harm beyond the mental anguish incurred from having to listen to me drone on and on about how I'm letting Chinese toy robot message board nerds down.

I know the disappearance of the VSTP was on all the major news networks and CNN broke into their coverage of the latest dead body car crash alien abductions police chases because of it so I figured I'd let everybody know what was up. One day if I ever figure this crap out, this blog and the VSTP will be located at Right now though, I'm so friggin mad at internet I'm going to stab myself repeatedly with rubber nosecone 1984 Starscream, hoping I'll puncture my lungs and die ashamed of my internet stupidity or at least give myself red marks that resemble my previous outbreak of Teenage Mutant Ninja herpes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Collecto-monofranchise-tosis is like aspergers but without the cool mutant powers

It seems like this is a fantastic year for so many entertainment franchises. It's the year Transformers got a live action movie, Star Wars and G.I. Joe are celebrating major anniversaries and G4 is constantly calling this the biggest year ever in video gaming. There's plenty of opportunity for me join in these consumptive pop culture celebrations thanks to the multiple retail outlets here in Rapid City that stock all the latest popular materialisms in sufficient quantities for the legions of 30 year old hardcore fans (and the children they're meant for) to buy them. And so, as it is the obligation of anyone born in the seventies to give thanks and praise to the fictional characters that have artificially prolonged our childhoods and stunted our ability to function in society as mature adults, I have gleefully joined in the consumpty trinket orgies. Or have I?

It's not my Vault! It's not my Vault!
I know this is the thirtieth anniversary of Star Wars and I should be Star Warsing hard, but I haven't really Star Warsed at all. I have looked through the awesome Making of Star Wars book and equally impressive Star Wars Vault at the local Borders bookstore but I haven't bought either of them. Hell even Marvel Comics released a Vault format book. These Vaults are awesome but each time I go I just look through them like a vault looker. I should be eating this stuff up! If it were the Transformers Vault, I'd own the hardback, the paperback and the super deluxe edition with a lock of Peter Cullen's pubic hair. What is wrong with me?

I like to fool myself into thinking that I'm some sort of videogamer just because I bought a Playstations3 back in May, but in reality I only bought it because of the Transformers game and Need For Speed Carbon (which I wanted because the cars look like Transformers). Here's a confession-video games really do nothing for me. When I was a kid I never really got into video games. I am the last generation where toys were cooler than video games. NES and Atari 2600 graphics really couldn't compete with toy robots cartoons when I was little. I never had an NES and honestly I only bought a Super NES, Turbografx-16, Gameboy, N-64, Gamecube and PS3 to try to fit in with the normal people. But it was all a lie. All those fighting games with scantily clad muscley guys fighting sexy monsters was a bit too homoerotic for me (except if those sexy monsters were sexy robots). Again, is something wrong with me?

Fighting game? I thought it was a robot/caveman buttsex simulator!

The answer is no. In my young impressionable years I chose robots over Star Wars and video games and it kind of stuck, defining my likes for the rest of my life. I have only a finite amount of attention to pay and sentimentality to attach to things. Once chosen, my likes became hardwired into my DNA. The best way I can explain it is it's analogous to the way chestbursters from the ALIEN movies take the physical characteristics of their host organisms. I had one period in my life where I was susceptible to the influences of one pop culture franchise and I chestbursted out of Transformers. And it pisses me off because the Speilbergs and Nintendos and Stan Lees of the world want all my "like". What I'm trying to say is, damn it, there's only so much "like" to spread around here, George Lucas.

This is the Roboplastico-Collecto-monofranchise-tosis gene molecule magnified 10 times

Maybe I'm the exception and other people have the ability to adopt multiple intense leisurely devotions, but I am blind to the allure of plastic Princess Leias and virtual video game guitars. I just cannot attach on a sentimental level to robotless fictions. If I had to give it a name, I'd call it Collecto-monofranchise-tosis, the condition of being devoted to one specific pop culture franchise to the exclusion of all others. I guess I would have a certain modified version of Collecto-monofranchise-tosis called Roboplastico-Collecto-monofranchise-tosis. I can only enjoy plastic robots.

However, I am at worst only a moderate case of RCMFT. In my collection there is an assload of Transformers but there's also a few droids, Spawns, Evangelions, and Care Bears and Lynn Minmei blow up dolls. So I'm not totally entirely consumed by Transformers. The key to diagnosing extreme cases of Roboplastico-Collecto-monofranchise-tosis would be assessing the overall ratio of robots to non-robots in a person's collection. RCMFT intensity is independent of how many robots you have. If after thirty years all your collection consists of is a 1984 Bumblebee and a 2007 movie Bumblebee, then that's chronic Roboplastico-Collecto-monofranchise-tosis. My recommendation is take two Ewoks and call me in the morning.

CMFT is a socially debilitating, virginity inducing epidemic that's a terrible thing unless you're George Lucas. It kinda works in his favor. Pop culture franchises need millions of people to be infected with their particular strain of CMFT in order to survive. CMFT is the geek disease and its embarrassing affects can be found in all walks of society. We need to be sensitive to those suffering with Collecto-monofranchise-tosis because it affects millions of nerds we know. Well, maybe not that many. Okay it just affects me. But at least now I have a name for why I write these retarded 900 word essays on toy robots.

Monday, December 10, 2007

I need to live forever like I need more toy robots, which is to say I wouldn't mind if it happened but I was hoping there was an end to all this

I wish I could find
a more normal hobby.
Like ninja scat porn or dancing La Bamba.
But taking a dump
or shaking my humps
Don't turn me on as much as toy robots.

For people with herpes
or a ho hooked on meth
there's support groups and remedies to be bought.
But this crack that I'm on
bites like a lion Voltron
and there just ain't no cure for Combaticons.

I'd much rather be
a butt-probed alien abductee.
I could at least shoot them chupacabras.
But my butt can't resist
the flying robot fists
of the roboplastic space invaders from Takara.

Why am I whining?
The Constructicons combining
is still fucking awesome the ten thousandth time.
They never get old,
countless recolors and remolds.
We all need two thousand Optimus Primes.

When I'm dead and at peace
will this robot hunt cease?
Or will I collect GoBot ghosts? Who can tell?
I know there's no God
but there's a GoBots Monster Zod.
And I think there's probably Botcon in hell.

Friday, December 07, 2007


Mike Judge's movie Idiocracy didn't get much support from its distributor upon release and subsequently it totally bombed. Some people think Idiocracy was probably too scathing of an indictment of consumer culture and conspiracy theories abound involving suppression of the movie by executives at 20th Century Fox. Others think the movie was just plain tarded.

Most movies would just fade into obscurity after bombing at the box office but Idiocracy just won't die that easy. I think someone is launching a viral marketing campaign for Idiocracy well after it has dissappeared from theaters. Now up at YouTube is a commercial for BRAWNDO, one of the fictional products from the movie. BRAWNDO may as well be the film's main antagonist seeing how it's the source of all mankind's problems in 2505. What's even more crazy is that it's actually being made and you can buy it at BRAWNDO.COM.

Why they'd be doing this is beyond me. Maybe Mike Judge is trying to get people interested in his movie again in the hopes that it'd get a wide release in theaters. Maybe he's trying to open our eyes to the pitfalls of an excessively consumption focused culture by birthing the soda antichrist. Is this BRAWNDO product launch really his idea? Is he trying to prevent the fall of America or give it a kickstart? If BRAWNDO catches on will it be because people are buying it ironically or because they really believe the advertising? Are smart people really richer than dumb people just because they're smart? Is the fame you earn in Rock Band playing fake instruments in front of a virtual audience any less real just because it's a video game? Is Spinal Tap really a band?

I don't give a crap. I just like the funny commercials.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Is this

a) a piece of aluminum foil trash my dog Scrounge found
b) a deleted scene starring Megatron from Michael Bay's Transformers movie
c) how Scrounge will spend Christmas if she chews my remote control again

Is this:

a) a toy diorama tribute to empire strikes back
b) how Darth Vader bank deals with late mortgage payments
c) my wife's friends coming over for holiday dinner

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I still have a chance to Incredible-Join

I got off my procrastinatey butt and sent away for my Incredible Change-Bots fan club membership after I saw what people were getting in their packages. I was going to ask for the character art of Balls but since I've already seen that now I've decided to ask for another change-bot. Plus Jeffrey Brown is being really accommodating and he's going to sign my book and send it back to me. I almost feel bad about how I wrote all those nice things about him then wrote bad things then wrote nice things again. Luckily he doesn't read my blog. Or maybe he does and this is all a trick and he's going to rip up my Change-Bots book and write FUCK YOU MACROCRANIOS on all the pages.

Eat it, Voltron geeks!

And thus they are defined. Scott Johnson's Flickr set of 56 geeks makes the important differentiation between being a fan of robots and being a fan of Transformers. Robot fandom is comprised of people with an interest in robotics and engineering that makes them valuable contributing members of society. Transformers fandom is comprised of people with an interest in twenty year old cartoon robots and plastic toys that makes them valuable contributing members to Botcon's bottom line.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007

He was even more awesome than robots


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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.