"Rowdy" Roddy Piper Reported Dead at 61
Physicist by day, LEGO builder by night, Ralph S. — who goes by MadPhysicist on his Flickr account (via BrickNerd) — is a hobbyist who builds complex LEGO models in his spare time. This time, he’s turned his attention to “Transformers,” constructing a transformable model of lead autobot Optimus Prime entirely out of LEGOs.
Though his models are impressive, he says in his profile that he builds them only for his love of the hobby: “I am sorry if it disappoints anybody, but I have no interest in selling any of my models… I don’t make instructions either. I’d rather spend my time building new things. I don’t work for LEGO. My LEGO building is strictly a hobby.”
Check out his Flickr for more photos and catch a picture of Optimus Prime in his transformed state below the cut.
Toys R Us has revealed a lineup of Comic-Con International exclusives that includes a Batman classic TV series Batgirl action figure, a Batman vs. Harley Quinn set, and a first look at a new addition to Star Wars: The Black Series.
The retail chain has also announced a “Collector Vector,” a new shop dedicated to collectibles for “the mature collectible community,” featuring more than 100 items from the likes of Bandai, Diamond Select, Mezco Toys, McFarlane Toys and NECA. The new hub can be found at Toysrus.com and in stores nationwide.
Legal | A judge has ordered Matthew Pocci to stand trial on charges of felony reckless driving for an incident at last year’s SDCC ZombieWalk: San Diego that left one woman seriously injured. In a preliminary hearing held Wednesday, the defense argued that Pocci, who is deaf, was scared for his and his family’s safety, and was just trying to drive through an opening in the crowd of spectators, but the prosecution countered that he had grown angry and impatient. [CBS 8 San Diego]
Comics | Michael Dooley looks at Marvel’s Daredevil through the years, with an emphasis on the art. [Print Magazine]
This amazing stop-motion short film by Harris Loureiro will send many nostalgic Transformers fans scurrying for their boxes of old action figures.
The result of six months of work, “Transformers Generation” is a blend of pure fun and impressive skills as the Autobots face the Decepticons in a 15-minute battle amid cardboard boxes — some for the toys themselves — gunfire and laser blasts. This isn’t rudimentary stop-motion, either; these robots in disguise transform as they leap through the air and race across the floor, and are sent flying against the wall by the force of an explosion.
Seeking to promote the republic’s history and values, officials in Chechnya reportedly plan to produce action figures to replace “unhealthy” Western imports like Spider-Man and the Transformers.
“They have a negative impact on the child’s psyche,” Chechnya’s children’s rights commissioner is quoted as saying. “We therefore proposed refusing Western toys.”
A Chinese farmer and his son have combined ingenuity, car parts and their country’s love for the “Transformers” franchise to create a $160,000-a-year business making robot sculptures.
It took three years for Yu Zhilin, who has a background in fine arts, to build that first replica in his spare time, utilizing a makeshift workshop, scrap metal and images downloaded from the Internet. Since then, however, he and son Lu Yingyun have refined the process, allowing them to create larger statues, apparently at a pretty steady pace.
Humble Bundle has rolled out the second Transformers bundle, with up to $155 worth of IDW Publishing’s comics starring the robots in disguise.
There’s a bit of a catch, however: The offer runs for just one week, ending Wednesday, March 11, at 11 a.m. PT.
After pitting Marvel against DC and the Empire against the heroes of both companies, Alex Luthor has turned his attention to another sci-fi franchise, using the Tesseract to draw in the Decepticons for a fan trailer that mashes together all of the mass destruction of Michael Bay’s Transformers series with all of the … mass destruction of superhero films.
When Megatron & Co. attack, it creates a threat so big that not even the combined powers of the Avengers, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Arrow and The Flash aren’t enough to stop them. That’s when Nick Fury calls in some help …
Last year we spotlighted a pretty stylish Dark Knight-inspired motorcycle helmet, but what if you prefer, say, The Punisher, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Wonder Woman to Batman? AirGraffix has you covered.
The Mattoon, Illinois-based company specializes in custom-painted helmets that can transform the rider into everyone from Goku and Deadpool to Iron Man and Spawn. It’s not all superheroes or comic books, either; there’s an assortment of Star Wars, Transformers and Power Rangers designs, for starters.
Actual automated Transformers are becoming a reality.
Well, maybe not the quickly transforming CGI-miracle robots from the films or animated series, but Project J-diete is certainly bringing the car-to-robot and back again toys into the modern era. The project — a collaboration between BRAVE ROBOTICS Inc., Asratec Corp. and Tomy Co. Ltd. — seeks to advance robotics research by building actual transforming vehicles with a multi-step program to get to a full-scale robot. The first prototype measure 1.3 meters (4.3 feet) in height (robot mode) and width (vehicle mode) weighing 35 kg. The small vehicle/robot boasts a maximum walking speed of 1 km/hour and maximum “driving” speed of 10 km/hour.
If the biggest surprise coming out of Comic-Con International on Friday was that, before last night, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez had never won an Eisner Award — seriously, how can that be? — a close second was undoubtedly the Star Trek/Planet of the Apes crossover from IDW Publishing and BOOM! Studios.
Yes, the two sci-fi franchises will finally meet in an alternate-future event that brings the original crew of the Enterprise together with Taylor, Nova and other characters from 1968’s Planet of the Apes as the Klingons secretly support a renegade gorilla general in a coup to seize control of Ape City. Writers Scott and David Tipton will be joined by artist Rachael Stott for the crossover, which marks the first time BOOM! has partnered with another publisher.
Other announcements of note:
• After being introduced into the Marvel Universe at the end of the Age of Ultron miniseries and discovering her past in Thor & Loki: The Tenth Realm, Neil Gaiman’s angelic warrior Angela will star in her own ongoing, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin, by Kieron Gillen and Marguerite Bennett and artists Phil Jimenez and Stephanie Hans.
Editor’s note: Each Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss the best in comics from the last seven days — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.
There were a lot of debut issues I was looking forward to this week. Grayson #1, because what can go wrong with the former Robin being a super-spy? Spider-Man 2099 #1, in which Peter David returns to writing my favorite future webslinger. While those comics were fine (with a slight nod to Grayson), I have to say my most satisfying read was once again about Giant Robots Who Transform Into Other Things. I’m talking about Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye #31.
Written by James Roberts, the issue kicks off with the crew abandoning the disintegrating Lost Light and scattered among several escape vessels. The story centers around the 20 robots stuck on the Rod Pod, a ridiculous contraption shaped to look like Rodimus’ head. Among the crew is new captain/new Autobot/former Decepticon Megatron, grizzled old doctor Ratchet, former antagonist Cyclonus and detective Nightbeat.
Publishing | Comics archivist and publisher Rachel Richey will launch a Kickstarter campaign in September to fund a collection of Johnny Canuck comics. Created by Leo Bachie and published from 1941 to 1946 by Dime Comics, the character was a super-patriotic hero who once fought Hitler mano-a-mano. Richey was behind last year’s successful Kickstarter to revive another uniquely Canadian character, Nelvana of the North. [Global News]
Digital comics | Todd Allen chats with the Madefire folks about branching out to Windows 8; they launched a free five-issue Transformers motion comics on Windows 8 just last week. Madefire is also available on iOS and via DeviantArt. [Publishers Weekly]
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, your weekly invitation into one fan’s life. Today’s collection comes from Blaine in Murfreesboro, Tennessee — a graphic designer, comic book collector and toy collector “for many years.” He shared his comics, toys, metal signs, Pez dispensers and more.
If you’d like to see your collection here on Robot 6, you can find submission details at the end of this post.
And now here is Blaine …
Transformers lore can be hopelessly convoluted. You think the DC Comics and Marvel universes are hard to keep track of? Try being a Transformers fan: There are various comic book universes, Michael Bay’s movie universe, the one from Japanese anime, the all-ages cartoon universe from Cartoon Network, the all-ages cartoon universe from the Hub, the original 1980s cartoon universe, and one where everyone’s an animal, which may or may not be the same universe as the 1980s cartoon.
Making it even more complicated, this canon multiverse is often acknowledged by the characters themselves, and its existence frequently becomes the basis of storylines. In March, the Transformers: Regeneration One series, which boasts a lineage to the very first Transformers comic, came to the end at Issue 100 with the Autobots untethering their universe from the rest of the multiverse. That made the Transformers mortal, ending the original comic book universe continuity permanently.
However, even if you’re not a Transformers fan, chances are you know the basics: Autobots, good; Decepticons, bad. Expanding on that: Optimus Prime is the hero, Megatron is the villain. It’s white hats versus black hats, except the cowboys in this situation can transform into vehicles, cassette tapes and guns.