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Seto Kaiba

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About Seto Kaiba

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  • Location
    Auburn Hills
  • Interests
    Anime (duh), Antique Firearms, Cryptography, Mechanical Design

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  1. Seto Kaiba

    No Love for Southern Cross?

    Their manufacturing is all done in China, but they seem to be understandably close-lipped about where precisely MAAS Toys itself is based for obvious reasons. The one Kickstarter of theirs that I could find gives a location of Louisville, KY. One of their previous collaborators has a YouTube video posted on their site wherein he gives his location as Maryland. It's a little hard to tell through the mask he's wearing, but his accent sounds either standard midwestern or New England. The prices in their site store and on their Kickstarters are all in US Dollars as well. They would appear to be Americans, though possibly based in different locations and collaborating over the internet (since the modeling is all they do and that's all digital anyway). If it were a simple matter of taking off for a holiday like the Chinese New Year, you'd expect them to mention it at some point... or do a social media post for the holiday, not just randomly go silent for five weeks and counting starting almost three weeks before the holiday.
  2. Seto Kaiba

    No Love for Southern Cross?

    Granted, but as long as they're not actively hurting the market for an existing product (e.g. bootlegging) they're still technically grey market rather than black. (Mind you, when you put it like that it's not terribly surprising that MAAS Toys might find a kindred spirit with Harmony Gold's Robotech brand, trademark squatter and copyright infringer extraordinaire.) That's why I posed the possibility of MAAS Toys having made itself a target for Hasbro by partnering with Harmony Gold USA. MAAS Toys has, as its bread and butter, a business in designing and manufacturing unlicensed Transformers toys. Becoming a licensee of a company that has sent no small number of legal threats and absurd demands for restitution to the owners of the Transformers brand may have officially promoted them to "worth the expense of suing". Or, if it isn't that, there's always the possibility that they're facing unrelated pressure from the industry's recent push to shut down internet counterfeit and grey market operations that Bandai started by going after all the different makers of counterfeit gunpla. As I'd remarked in the thread about the Spartas, my suspicion as to MAAS's motives was that they were seeking legitimacy. Namely, that MAAS Toys wanted to graduate from doing dubious business in unlicensed Transformers toys to being a legitimate toy design firm, and possibly saw the dirt cheap Southern Cross license as their ticket to greater things since it was within their means and so underexploited that they could distinguish themselves simply by making something for it regardless of quality. Since they planned to crowdfund it, it would have been a plan with near-zero risk since Robotech fans will generally buy anything regardless of quality and they could get the license for a song.
  3. Seto Kaiba

    No Love for Southern Cross?

    Well, at the very least we can promote "HG took issue with the crowdfunding" to a highly probable suspicion. Several of the little indie outfits that HG has sold licenses to since the Palladium Books Kickstarter fiasco have openly stated that one of the terms of the license was a ban on the use of crowdfunding for products produced under that license. I wouldn't ordinarily credit a business with the level of idiocy necessary to sign a contract without reading it, but MAAS Toys is kind of a fly-by-night grey market outfit after all. How an indie outfit that lives and dies by the Kickstarter ended up signing a licensing agreement with a company that's death on the whole idea of crowdfunding after two major Kickstarter fiascos is a mystery. Perhaps the silence is MAAS Toys doing what Palladium Books was frantically doing right before the end... frantically running around trying to find someone, anyone, willing to cut the company a loan big enough to move forward with production without funds from a Kickstarter. EDIT: I suppose it would, at least, be oddly appropriate for the first company to take a whack at licensing Southern Cross to live and die by the same sort of over-the-top poor judgement that dogged the creation of the series itself from its inception to its cancellation.
  4. Seto Kaiba

    No Love for Southern Cross?

    MAAS Toys inexplicably went silent after January 15th. They just suddenly stopped responding to Facebook posts, and haven't posted anything new to their social media pages or the group's official website since then. There is no clear reason for the sudden silence that has apparently gone unbroken for five weeks now. They removed all references to the planned Kickstarter campaign to fund production of the toys from the news posts, and the target date (February 1st) came and went without a word. Annoyingly, instead of there being no fodder for theorizing about why, there is instead far too many possible reasons. Did their previous financial difficulties from their attempt to go solo from crowdfunding sites wound the company too deeply? Did Harmony Gold yank their license over their announced plans to crowdfund the toy? Did partnering with Harmony Gold paint a target on them for Hasbro and Takara-Tomy, whose IP they were making unlicensed merch of? Did they fall victim to a voodoo shark? Who can say?
  5. Seto Kaiba

    No Love for Southern Cross?

    Their entire business model is crowdfunding-based... it seems likely they were informed by HG that crowdfunding was prohibited for their license. lol
  6. Seto Kaiba

    The Nintendo Switch

    Outside of maybe Mobile Fighter G Gundam or Iron-Blooded Orphans, Mobile suits tend to be the slow, plodding sort on the ground. In flight in space, they tend to be prone to lots of sudden, aggressive turns and stops because they're relying on redirected momentum for control. The Arsenal just feels weirdly weightless. The game involves a lot of flying, but there isn't really any visual or control feeling that makes it feel like there's a mech there. It's more like the flames are cosmetic and you're just sort of gliding on an invisible platform, like the Fly cheat in Quake or those stupid helicopter stages in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Even the mecha stages in Sonic Adventure were better executed than this in terms of a feeling of controlling a robot with mass to it. The overall aesthetic is very similar to Armored Core... so I can't rule out that that may have colored my expectations somewhat. As mecha go, Daemon ex Machina's Arsenals definitely have the visual stylings of a slow, ground-pounding robot. They're a little more rounded than those usually are, but with that huge over-the-shoulder launcher, the three-toed feet, and so on, it really does look like something that should have a fair amount of heft to it. The only other thing it really reminds me of is the military LFOs from Psalm of Planets Eureka Seven, which were slow, plodding robots when they weren't using their ref boards.
  7. Seto Kaiba

    The Nintendo Switch

    Gave it a whirl this morning since I'm stuck home sick, and found it pretty unremarkable. It kind of reminds me of the 3DS remake of Ace Combat 2, in that it doesn't really feel like there's any weight or inertia what you're piloting. If you're controlling a big chunky robot you'd expect there be a little heft to it. The grind I kind of expected, because that's par for the course with games like this.
  8. The Price of Smiles really is the biggest disappointment of the season. A new, original mecha anime from Tatsunoko Production as part of an anniversary event for the studio? What mecha fan could have said no to that? Sadly, the writing's terrible, the art's pretty derivative, and animation quality took a dive after four episodes.
  9. Seto Kaiba

    The Nintendo Switch

    There were a few good side-scrolling shooters in that SEGA classics collection that came out for the Switch a while back... though it's mostly old-school "Nintendo Hard" stuff like Kid Chameleon and Bio-Hazard Battle/Crying: Aseimi Sentou.
  10. Nothing official as of yet. Japanese-produced English-subtitled releases were something that was experimented with in one or two of the Frontier movie sets, and didn't graduate to a standard feature until the home video release of Macross Delta's TV series. It is our earnest hope that future re-releases of Macross features will include English subs as standard.
  11. Seto Kaiba

    Super Macross Mecha Fun Time Discussion Thread!

    Frustratingly, the YF-30's exact relationship to the YF-24 lineage varies a bit from publication to publication. Some say it's primarily a derivative of the YF-24. Others say it's based more on the YF-29. A few say it's equal parts of both.
  12. It really does grow on you. I used to love shonen stuff as a kid (I'm sure you can guess which show was hot when I was like 13), but I'd kind of cooled on it as I got older. My Hero Academia has a certain heartwarming charm and ananarchic sense of humor which I found tremendously endearing. I do enjoy the subversion that Midoriya isn't really getting more powerful in the standard shounen manga style as he is finding unexpected new utility in the power he already has... turning a one-trick pony into a swiss army superpower. (I also rather enjoyed the unusual focus on the lack of required secondary powers, like how Midoriya has his super strength but has to learn how to tune it down so as to not wreck his own body using it, or how Uraraka can turn off gravity but can't turn off the effect a lack of gravity has on her inner ear.) In a few ways, it kind of reminds me of Adam Warren's Empowered with its world-half-empty view of a world where superheroism has become a business with a naive, idealistic main character who'd be a better fit for a world of pro bono super-vigilantism like in typical superhero comics.
  13. More or less. The only real excitement for a good while in the story is this fight with the disaster-grade demon Charybdis, which started in episode 19... and even then it's pretty dull, since the "fight" is mostly Charybdis no-selling everything thrown at it for the better part of a day. I suspect they intend to end it there this season, since the defeat of Charybdis is what sets up Rimiru taking off to another country to be a teacher. Watamote can be... tedious. It's cringe comedy distilled down to its purest form. Normally shows like that (e.g. Haganai) try to soften the blow a little by depicting the socially awkward otaku cast in a somewhat sympathetic light or throwing in a softer subplot like a little romance or some non-cringe-inducing humor, or at least make the protagonist an unapologetically horrible human being the audience won't feel bad for when their horribleness causes life to sh*t all over them (e.g. Fawlty Towers). Watamote is having precisely none of that sh*t. Tomoko Kuroki is here to SUFFER for your entertainment. That she's actually dimly aware of how screwed up her life is and wants little more than to become a socially functional person counts for exactly nothing, so naturally all the comedy comes from her desperate (and desperately misguided) attempts to gain even the tiniest iota of social acceptance. She's the girl who can do no right, so she's perpetually digging a deeper hole for herself. I stopped reading the manga after a few dozen chapters because the one-note humor stopped being funny rather quickly and that just left the cruelty. Haganai, incidentally, I would recommend if you're in the mood for that kind of thing because it's a lot less cruel even if the cast are every bit as weird as Tomoko Kuroki is.
  14. Seto Kaiba

    The Nintendo Switch

    I have really high hopes for the new Fire Emblem game, but I have to admit the CG character models bug me a bit... something to do with the lack of facial expression beyond that thousand-yard stare. Is SEGA still doing Shining games? I'd love to see a remastered version of the original Shining Force.