Monday, January 07, 2008

Los Transformers DVDs en español-Mucho, más mucho que yo quiero pagar!

Back in August of '07 a company named SelectaVisión began releasing spanish dubs of the G1 cartoon on DVD. I was pretty excited but they're based in Spain so the discs are region 2 PAL and they wanted like 9 euros for each DVD. I wouldn't have minded paying that except each DVD only has 4 episodes. They also sell 2 DVD bundles but at no additional cost savings. That breaks down to around 36 bucks just for the novelty of having eight episodes in spanish. Although the spanish dubs are dear to me because that's the first way I experienced the G1 cartoon, those SelectaVisión bastardos ain't getting my money.

It's going to take them up through August of this year to release the entire G1 series and so far they're up to their eighth 2 disc set. The cover art they're using is pretty unique and I've never seen this Transformers art anywhere before. You can check out the covers to all of the 2 disc sets released so far at It's sort of a mix between the style used by Rhino for the inner packaging of their US Transformers DVD boxsets with elements of the Dreamwave era Transformers comics.

What's most interesting to me is the Transformers website that SelectaVisión has made to promote the DVDs. Aside from giving basic info on the DVD releases, there's a section called "CONTENIDOS DVD" (DVD contents) that's devoted to explaining the history of the franchise. I was stunned by how in depth it went. Among the different aspects discussed is one paragraph devoted to "LOS CREADORES" (the creators). It names the people most directly involved with developing the brand, including Jay Bacal of Sunbow who came up with the name "Transformers" and Jim Shooter, Dennis O'Neil and Bob Budiansky at Marvel who created the characters' personalities and backstories. They even name the japanese designer of most of the initial Transformers toy cartoon robots, Shohei Shohara. I didn't even know that name before. I really like all the research done here. It's some of the most comprehensive information I've ever seen released by an official licensee in any language. As the cool spanish kids say, M NKANTA TU WEBSITE, DUDES.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing paragraphs in the DVD contents section is the section titled EL CASO SKYFIRE (The case of Skyfire). It's an account of the situation where the Jetfire toy was renamed Skyfire and not released in Japan. There's nothing here I didn't already know or suspect, but I've never seen this story related by any official source before and that makes it a first. Here's the original spanish and my translation:

Aunque en un principo Hasbro sólo aquirió los derechos de los diseños de Diaclon y Microchange, más tarde acabó haciéndose con otros como el de la Valkiria VF-1S de la mítica serie Macross -también conocida como Robotech-para dar vida a uno de las Transformers mejor diseñados y más recordados: Jetfire. Posteriormente, problemas de derechos con Bandai, hicieron que el jugete de Jetfire no viera la luz en Japón, que tuviera que ser rediseñado para la serie de animación y que incluso se cambiara su nombre por el de Skyfire para convertirio en un personaje completamente diferente.

Although initially Hasbro only acquired the rights to the Diaclone and Microchange designs, later on they ended up with others like the VF-1S from the legendary series Macross -also known as Robotech- to give life to one of the best designed and well remembered Transformers: Jetfire. Afterwards, rights problems with Bandai kept the Jetfire toy from seeing the light of day in Japan and it even had to be redesigned for the cartoon with its name changed to Skyfire for conversion to a completely different character.

There's some other stuff on the site like numbers to call if you're in Spain and you want ringtones or cellphone wallpaper. You can also download a poster of Optimus Prime crouching in space like he's taking a dump on the earth. But that DVD contents page is where I'll be spending my time. Unfortunately the whole thing is in flash so I have to write it all down the hard way if I want a transcript of their info. I wonder what the liner notes are like. I am this close to caving in and buying at least one 2 disc set, but at $36 for 8 episodes all I can think is-seriously, SelectaVisión, ¡Ay, caramba!


Anonymous said...

Yo quero Taco Bell.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yo quero to know more about Shohei Shohara. I'm looking everywhere on the internet and I can't find anything. Maybe he was made up by those sneaky Spainians.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe it would if I knew what you were talking about." - Ironhide

Weasel said...

Darn you multi-lingual people! I wish I knew what the hell you were saying!

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Turns out they misspelled the name of the animation designer. I found out it's not Shohei Sohara, it's Shohei Kohara. Now I feel dumb for being so impressed with Spainian TF knowledge.


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