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MicroBry's Workshop

Time Medic
http://www.shapeways.com/shops/MicroBry

Not many parts available just yet, but the workshop is open. Micro ankle replacement joints and Galactic Cruiser/Hydra missiles are a go! I'll try to offer some better price options for the missiles later if bought in sets, but if you are itching to try them out, you'll save a lot on the shipping if you use the site's Cyber Monday code today. :) Also at the shop is a not-for-sale sneak peek as one of many side projects in the works...
Time Medic
http://www.threeaonline.com/blog/?p=268 ThreeA reveals we are getting close to a first peek at "Microman: String Theory".

Custom contest - Fans' Choice

Time Medic
The Fan's Choice voting session is now over.  Thanks for voting!   Congratulations to Paul Wasson for winning the Fan's Choice category with his entry, Bug Base!

For the Fans' Choice, please send an email with the subject line being "Submission #" (where # is the number of your pick for favorite custom, so if your favorite is, say Jog Leader, then send a mail titled "Submission 1") to rockettubesnet@gmail.com --no message is needed.  

Submissions are listed by number here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/collections/72157629296628903/

I will keep the vote up until Wednesday February 22, 11:59 PM.    Happy voting!

Contest Submissions and winner!

Time Medic
Thanks for waiting!   First, let's go through the submissions.   

Submission #1: Jog Leader by Will Jones
SUBMISSION #1

Our first submission was the Jog Leader by community veteran Will Jones.  Customized from an Avatar AMP suit with newly added 5mm parts and a Microman-inspired color scheme, I knew the contest was off to a good start as this was exactly the kind of entry I had outlined in the rules.   I have seen a few other GI Joe customs using the AMP suit before and I have an unmodified one in my own collection and can attest it is a great, bargain robot toy well suited for customizing.  It had never occured to me though to give it a retro styling like Will did and I was really impressed with the result, which seems both evocative of Robotmachine Z's color scheme and Robotman (Biotron) with the silver hands and other details and a lighter blue (I might have liked the blue a little darker, but that really is my only "issue", if that).   The addition of the 5mm ports and demonstration of their functionality really helped seal this as a solid Micro custom. 


Submission #2: Black and White by Fred Yee
SUBMISSION #2

Our second submission came from Fred Yee, the Black and White bikes,  Fred started his 5mm Toyhacker blog Summer of last year, and much of his experiments perfectly embrace the kind of "toyjacking" I enjoy myself and wanted to encourage in this contest.  This submission is a great example of creating new vehicles out of found toy parts.  I felt that Jog Leader at this point was a stronger submission, but was quite pleased with Fred's work as usual. 


Submission #3: King Dovosatron by Lee Burbridge
SUBMISSION #3

Our third submission was King Dovosatron by Lee Burbridge.   I was hoping for some big surprises, and this was one of the biggest.  Lee not only submitted a number of great photos, but also included a word document that told a pictoral story behind King Dovosatron's origins.   I was really impressed by this one-of-a-kind approach and the equally unique custom, and am curious to know more about its construction.  Lee's work really gives a sense of something a stranded Microman (or Acroyear) might have built partly from scratch using their alien technology.  While the end result may not be as "micro-stylized" as some of the other entries, it really has its own strong style to it, with a lot of feeling in it and it really embraces the spirit of the toys, their history, and the purpose of this contest in a way that I never expected.

Submission #4: Body Banks by Will Jones
SUBMISSION #4

Our fourth submission was a second entry by Will Jones, the Body Banks.   When I first saw this entry, I don't know if I missed it or if he hadn't named it yet, so my initial impression of the custom was that it was some sort of interchangeable flying capsule vehicle or city component.   Again Will has added 5mm parts, paint to Micro-stylize the piece and has some connected Micronaut parts and figures to demonstrate how they work.  I could easily see adding some Micronaut robot arms to them and making them into a Micro-robot of sorts, too.  With the addition of the use of the name Body Banks from the comics, one can also imagine these as an actual marketed Mego tie-in product and a more sinister purpose for these capsules.  I really enjoyed this more abstract yet distinctly Microman/Micronaut-like entry.   By this point, though, I think the Jog Leader was still my favorite.

Submission #5: Giant Acroyear Acro-Cannon by Fred Yee
SUBMISSION #5

The fifth submission was also a second entry, this time from Fred Yee, with a new updated take on the Giant Acroyear Acro-Cannon.  Much of the same approach was taken as with his prior entry, but I felt this was much stronger, with a good cohesive look to the final toy configuration which still clearly paid homage to the original toy it was based on.   I particularly was happy to learn that the 1999 Microman Earth-Jetter missile tip fits and looks nicely in the vintage Giant Acroyear cannon.  This looks like a fun custom that others can build following the pictures and notes on his blog, with no painting or glue required (although some dis-assembly, drilling and such).

Submission #6: GeoTrax Rocket Trax by Gordon Peterson
SUBMISSION #6

The strongest hitters, though, came in at the very end of the contest period.   The sixth submission (and our only CG submission), the GeoTrax Rocket Trax was quickly put together surprisingly quickly by newer Facebook group member Gordon Peterson, who learned of the contest with only a half-month to spare.  Interestingly Gordon took the rules a little differently in meaning when coming up with this modification of the existing GeoTrax toyline to make this original Micro-take on the toy.   The results are really quite impressive and would definitely be something I'd love to own.   Unfortunately, it didn't quite make the top tier in my ranking though as the intent of the contest was to create toys that the figures could use and be in scale with, rather than create new figures.  But the execution and presentation is top notch all the same, and for a while I was quite torn between it and the next submission.

Submission #7: Bug Base by Paul Wasson (Laser Mego)
SUBMISSION #7

The seventh submission really knocked me out of my chair.   Paul "Laser Mego" Wasson, who also has been working on the Proto Cities project used his skills and equipment to create an entirely new construction toy set interchangeable with Micropolis sets but designed for the Micronaut aliens, the Bug Base.  While the parts look deceptively simple on their own at first, when assembled, the results are quite stunning and fully capture the Mego Micronauts spirit.   It is easy to imagine alien colonies invading Micropolis sets, and hopefully Paul will make these sets available to turn this into a reality for micro-fans.

It looked like Paul was set for a victory, but we had one last entrant finishing their work just a couple hours before the final deadline, which once I saw it would tie with Paul's in my head for a good while.  In the end, Paul took second place and will be receiving a newly-added runner-up prize, an unopened flesh-colored lady Material Force figure.  :)

Submission #8: Rescue Conga by Geoffrey Gayan
SUBMISSION #8

Our final submission, and winner of the contest (thus winning the Romando Bio-Suit kit) comes from Geoffrey Gayan (with some decal assistance by Jeff Anderson), the Rescue Conga. Frankly, I was completely blown away by this amazing work, which not only perfectly captures the Microman look, follows up and builds on an existing toy concept, but really creatively uses an old toy contemporary to the series and adds many new gimmicks and Microman-based functions to the toy.  Particularly ingenious was the use of empty party poppers to make functioning rescue winches, and repainted deodorant caps into radar dishes.   Between the presentation, interchangeability, authenticity of the look, the decals, and just the overall final product, I was completely sold.   I had a hard time deciding between it and the Bug Base, but in the end, I had to go with the custom toy that exemplified the kind of custom I created the contest to encourage the creation of.   The Bug Base exceeds that expectation in its own way, but its elegant simplicity lost in the end to the complexly Microman-authentic look of the Conga.   Congratulations to the winner and runner-up!

Exhibition Entry: Giant Acroyear Battlefleet by Gary Stelling
EXHIBITION ENTRY (non-competing)

We also have one entry for the "exhibition" category--in this case, Gary Stelling at Micropolis Embassy shared his Giant Acroyear Battle Fleet custom a mere two days after the contest ended.  While not eligible for the prizes, I was really impressed with this creation and asked his permission to share it as an honorable mention. 

Well, that's it for tonight.  Tomorrow for part 2, I will try to have ready the info for the Fans' Choice judging, where everyone can vote to pick a fan favorite to win the U-Borg prize (the current contest winner will be exempt from the prize, but can still be voted on).    

Contest submissions up at Flickr!

Time Medic
The contest submissions are now arranged on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/collections/72157629296628903/

I will be doing a blog post tomorrow night (if all goes well) which
will first discuss my own opinion and then lead to the announcement of
the winner and the info for participating in the Fans' Choice judging.

This is something of a preview that I've also shared on Facebook.
Feel free to guess which entry I picked and/or comment on the
customs.   You may make comments on Flickr or here, if you like.

Update: the post will be delayed until Tuesday night, thanks for your patience.  :)
Picking on Takoroyear
UPDATE: Contest is now officially over.  Stay tuned for an update with the entries, the Judge's pick, and info on participating in the Fan's pick, coming in the next few days!

The first RocketTubes.Net "New Micro-toys for a New Year" Contest!

The basic rules:
1. Submit a new original Micronaut* design which is not a figure but can be used by them--a vehicle, robot, or base.
*This includes Microman, but preferably something that still looks like a Micronaut too.

2. The design can be any medium (drawing, cg, blueprints, clay, wood, etc), but preferably an actual physical toy. But no reason to limit imagination if you have a great idea that you can't build yourself.

3. Use of existing toys/toy parts for kitbashing is okay (and even encouraged) as long as they are not mostly using a preexisting Micronaut toy (see rule 4) and are significantly modified so that they look more like a real Micronaut.

4. Existing Micronaut parts are allowed for use in the design, but should not make up more than one third of the full design, roughly. A lot of flexibility is allowed here, but the idea is to make a "new" Micronaut toy, not simply another Biotron/Phobos or Baron Karza/Force Commander head-swap sort of design.  For example the core of the toy is non-micronaut, but can have regular Micronaut/man parts (missile launchers, wings, etc.) attached.

5. No limit on the number of submissions or even submitting pre-existing customs if they fit these criteria.


Judging and prizes:

The RocketTubes.Net prize offered will be a mint in box (opened to check contents, box has some shelf wear and has been flattened a bit), unassembled Romando Microman Bio-Suit (BS-2 Dustproof Filter Reinforced Type -- tan and brown). http://microforever.com/Microman21/RealMicromanBiosuit.htm

I may yet offer other prizes if I have something appropriate handy, depending on circumstances.

Pieces judged by me for the RocketTubes.Net prize will be based on originality, authenticity, and other purely subjective standards.

More judges are welcome, as long as they can offer an appropriate prize. Judges will select their favorite design after the deadline, and send their prize to the selected winner.  Prize donations for Fans' Choice and other categories are also welcome!  Please contact me if you are interested in contributing!

We will also have a "Fans' Choice" winner.  Aftert the submissions are shown a poll will be set up determine the fans' favorites.  The judge's choice winner/s and fans' choice winner/s will only be eligible for one prize per entrant).  So far we have one prize for Fans' Choice, 3 Microman 1999 U-Borg weapon sets donated to the contest by Fred Yee (thanks, Fred!).

We will probably have a separate category and prize for conceptual designs (art, CG, blueprints, etc.), but this is still to be determined.  This post will be updated as time passes.

Deadline: Groundhog Day (February 2nd), 2012.

Submissions: send images of your creation to rockettubesnet@gmail.com  
You can share them publicly in the meantime at your own discretion--it might help encourage other entrants, but you can also keep it secret if you want to surprise people, that's up to the individual entrant to decide. This contest will be open to all fans, not just limited to the Facebook Micronauts/Microman fans page (where this was first proposed) or the Micropolis Embassy Yahoo Group, RocketTubes.Net LJ readers, etc.  Please feel free to spread word of this contest elsewhere.

Contest Start: The contest has now begun. I also of course reserve the right to cancel the contest for any reason at any time, though hopefully that won't be an issue. If any prizes are donated and the contest is canceled, the prizes will be returned appropriately.

Please note, at the time of this contest start, Rockettubes.Net itself is under maintanence, and the main site content is temporarily hosted at RocketTubes Livejournal http://rockettubes.livejournal.com/  With luck, the original site will be properly updated before the contest is over.  

Update: Exhibition category: If anyone wants to submit items which do not fit the rules, they are welcome to do so.  These items will be categorized as Exhibition entries and may get honorable mentions in this category, but no prizes are currently planned for this category.

----

Some links featuring customs, toyjacks, and scratchbuilds...not all these fully fit the rules (many of these feature completely or largely unaltered toys), mind you, but should still hopefully show how one can incorporate outside ideas into making "new" Micronauts!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2350989631/in/set-72157603753038822
http://archive.rockettubes.net/climbpanzer.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2351818576/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2351819126/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2839649040/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2838841893/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2350474773/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2351309882/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/3664210304/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www.flickr.com/photos/microbry/2350988687/in/set-72157603753038822
http://www30.tok2.com/home/sg3202677/gijoe02.html (bottom of page--repaint of Destro's Dominator by W-G)
http://theswca.com/images-speci/womansday/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rayearth/3808269262/in/photostream/ (Playmobil papercraft Macross fighter--but the same technique can be used to make Micro-vehicles!)
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/KANETAKA/?of=7 Kanetaka's incredible Starscream/Robotman custom!
http://d.hatena.ne.jp/KANETAKA/20060709 (more of Kanetaka's work!)

UPDATE:
One more update on the contest. The entries will be cross-posted on Facebook (if not already uploaded by the entrant) and to a Flickr set with appropriate attribution given to the creator for each image (or possibly hosted on Rockettubes.net instead if I get it in order). The fans' choice will be held on either Rockettubes.net or here on the Livejournal page, most likely.
Time Medic
While I've been quite active with the Micronauts/Microman Fans Facebook group and been updating my Flickr page on and off, I have been somewhat remiss on keeping up to date here and elsewhere in the Micronauts community.   I completely missed posting here about the big Micronauts splash made by the mysterious "Unit: E" comic Hasbro published at New York ComicCon, a likely sneak peek at what is to come for Micronauts and several other resurrected toy and game brands.  The comic prominently features a new Acroyear along with designs for Biotron, Space Glider, (Mari) Celeste, Red Falcon, Microtron, the Time Travelers and Baron Karza.   Fortunately, Ray Miller has the lowdown at the link above.
    
The Hasbro Investors' Meeting for 2011 didn't have quite as much mention of Micronauts as last year's other than to list it in the "2013 and beyond" category in the slideshow (and mention has gone around of the movie's screenplay to be penned by the creators of Zombieland).   At least we have confirmation now though that we should not expect a whole lot for another year (though hopefully we will at least see some more sneak peeks and special offerings similar to the Unit: E book).
Time Medic
Ashley Wood and ThreeA have made a licensing announcement.

Ashley Wood and Master Kim (ThreeA) are hereby proud to announce that we will be producing both Microman and Halo Toys for 2012. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

(via Micropolis Embassy)

Tags:

Is this thing still on?

Time Medic
Well, it's been a while.  Most of my posts of late have been to my flickr page and to the Facebook Micronauts/Microman (ミクロマン&マイクロノーツ) fans page for now while I decide how the new Rockettubes.Net will work out.  But it is still forthcoming.  :)  As I will be migrating to WordPress or another platform, I have opted not to renew the paid features of this LJ account, at least for now.   If the unpaid one is too broken I'll reinstate it, but just a heads up in case anyone is worried I'm abandoning things (which is an understandable concern given the state of some fansites of recent years and some of their owners sadly disappearing off the face of the net).  

Hopefully some new news to report soon.  I do have some projects going on in the background, albeit slowly for now.  In the meantime, please continue to check here, Flickr, Facebook, and the Micropolis Embassy for new Micro-goings-on.

 

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