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20 minutes ago, Einherjar said:

The Internet owes me the last couple of months back for the overblown piece of news this year was all about. <_<

Sorry, linear time has a strict No Refunds policy.

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24 minutes ago, Einherjar said:

How is that license renewal announcement working out for everyone?

Well, things are definitely still getting worse for Robotech... at approximately the same pace as before the license renewal announcement.

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1 hour ago, Einherjar said:

How is that license renewal announcement working out for everyone?

Just sitting back and watching the rt doomsday clock edging closer and closer to midnight..2A44EDC2-E1DE-4B1B-80ED-6C185510B523.gif.e3b386ad9cb599479fe86d4a4fb91ae6.gif

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I can imagine that shortly after the heat death of the universe, Robotech finally kicks the bucket. In fact, its' prolonged survival probably will suck the heat right out of the universe in a bid to prolong it's tortuous suffering. In that light, perhaps the Zentraedi Armada being sent to earth was not so much to find the lost gunship/ fortress, but to find Harmony Gold and blow them to smithereens before the universe perishes. I think that in itself would be an epic tale, worthy of at least a half-brained anime series (told from the Zentraedi point-of-view), that didn't take itself very seriously.

Episode 1: "It's Cold in Space and Getting Colder".

Episode 2: "Dammit Global, Stop FIRING at Us!!"

Episode 3: "They Did WHAT??!! Now We Gotta Chase Them To PLUTO?!! SON-OF-A--"

Episode 4: "If That @#$%^ Miclone Hikaru Ichijo Tries To Launch Me Out Into Space Again..."

Episode 5: "EEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!! THEY'RE KISSING!!! EYEBLEACH!! EYEBLEACH!!! ARRRGGHHH!"

Episode 6: "Exsedol, Where Did I Leave My Keys?"

Episode 7:" At LAST, We Found (Harmony) Gold!"

Episode 8: "What's A 'License'?"

Episode 9: "I've Had ENOUGH of 'Robotech Fans', GLASS THE WHOLE BLASTED PLANET!!"

Edited by pengbuzz
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To be honest, it has almost been a year since the big announcement and I was not expecting this era of the franchise to be so... self destructive.  Granted, the only frame of reference I’m going by is the comic books, but what else is there to gauge it?  It is by far the the most f’ed up thing someone has ever done to Robotech.  And the crazy part is that it happened before the global pandemic.

Edited by Einherjar
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The Kitz Concept Robotech product line seems to be doing well.  At least the Macross World Members that have purchased their products are generally happy.  That being said, it is largely Macross based.  We'll see how this Hong Kong based Robotech Toy era develops.

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Now that I think about it, under normal times the Robotech convention tour would be making the rounds or when really important news would be dropped on the public. Unfortunately, a lot of comic book and anime conventions in the US have been cancelled or moved online for safety reasons.  Anyone hear anything?

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4 hours ago, Einherjar said:

To be honest, it has almost been a year since the big announcement and I was not expecting this era of the franchise to be so... self destructive.  Granted, the only frame of reference I’m going by is the comic books, but what else is there to gauge it?

There's not a lot, really... though the absence of various types of development is one way to gauge things.

Robotech is functionally dead as an animated property.  The last serious effort to continue the Robotech animated series - Tommy Yune's "Shadow Saga" OVA - ended in cancellation after just one episode when it was poorly received by fans and ignored by most everyone else.  That failure caused Harmony Gold to cease funding future development of Robotech's animated series, and seven years later fans refused to foot the bill for the Robotech Academy pilot on Kickstarter.  All development halted after the campaign there failed.

Robotech is a nonexistent property as a live-action film franchise.  There has been no indication of any progress made towards the start of development, never mind production, in the thirteen years and counting since the license was announced.

Robotech is functionally dead as a comic book property.  Titan Comics' Robotech Remix appears to have been cancelled early this year after just four issues, with the publisher refusing to answer any questions about its status.  The only forthcoming titles are an assortment of trade paperback reprints of old Comico comics.  It is not immediately clear why Titan abandoned Remix, since their sales were poor but certainly no worse than those of many long-running niche comics, but the distributor is not expecting any new issues and has cancelled all outstanding orders.

Robotech's gaming side is in a pretty pathetic state.  There are no forthcoming video games for any console.  Palladium Books, the franchise's oldest licensee, had its license revoked by Harmony Gold two years ago over fiscal improprieties related to a Robotech-branded tabletop miniatures game that Palladium was developing via Kickstarter.  The "traditional game" licenses passed to indie outfits like Strange Machine Games who produced a few cheap and forgettable cardstock boardgames that sold only to die-hard fans and only in very limited quantities, the first installment new RPG that most Robotech fans found obnoxiously half-assed, and some so-so miniatures that are at least better than the mess Palladium came up with (which is "damned by faint praise").

Robotech's toy side is also in a pretty pathetic state.  Toynami is making some knockoff Funko Pop-type collectibles, Caliber Wings did an F-14 redeco and non-transforming VF-1 of passable quality, and the rest is low volume indie stuff from Hong Kong that has met with very mixed receptions or incredibly overpriced limited edition statues that double as bluetooth speakers.  By in large, the real licensees seem to have given up the ship in the face of competition from Japan's Macross franchise and everything the rest make these days is dual-branded in the hopes of attracting Macross fans to buy it.  At least two of their licensees were actual toy bootleggers, one of which went out of business due to mismanagement of its own finances.

Robotech's online community is kind of a joke.  The official website's discussion boards are populated more or less exclusively by bots, and the Facebook groups are mostly devoted to taking the piss out of Robotech.

 

3 hours ago, Bolt said:

I was thinking the same. The robosick toys seem to be doing well..

For ultra-low-volume borderline bootleg stuff, yeah.

 

1 hour ago, Einherjar said:

Now that I think about it, under normal times the Robotech convention tour would be making the rounds or when really important news would be dropped on the public. Unfortunately, a lot of comic book and anime conventions in the US have been cancelled or moved online for safety reasons.  Anyone hear anything?

Nope.

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On 6/13/2020 at 11:44 AM, Einherjar said:

Now that I think about it, under normal times the Robotech convention tour would be making the rounds or when really important news would be dropped on the public. Unfortunately, a lot of comic book and anime conventions in the US have been cancelled or moved online for safety reasons.  Anyone hear anything?

Frankly, it doesn't stop them from doing press releases. Any chance of a in-person convention this year is a pipe-dream. Unless you want to get sick.

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2 hours ago, azrael said:

Frankly, it doesn't stop them from doing press releases. Any chance of a in-person convention this year is a pipe-dream. Unless you want to get sick.

Besides toys, models and figurines, (since companies will be making those kinds of products regardless of what happens to Robotech), any press release involving anything with a plot, or a story that hasn’t been relegated to secondary canon recently?  

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9 hours ago, azrael said:

Frankly, it doesn't stop them from doing press releases. Any chance of a in-person convention this year is a pipe-dream. Unless you want to get sick.

True... it's the fact that their VP of Marketing has no idea how to put together an online press release that stops them from doing press releases.

No joke.  The whole reason that the annual Robotech convention tour exists is because McKeever and co. seriously believe that that's the most effective way to promote the brand.  It's not just their show that's decades behind the times.

 

7 hours ago, Einherjar said:

Besides toys, models and figurines, (since companies will be making those kinds of products regardless of what happens to Robotech), any press release involving anything with a plot, or a story that hasn’t been relegated to secondary canon recently?  

Nothing whatsoever.

As I noted in my last post, Harmony Gold effectively defunded new Robotech development back in '07 when Shadow Chronicles flopped and seem to have abandoned the field entirely after Robotech Academy bombed on Kickstarter in '14.

Last I recall hearing, Harmony Gold was still halfheartedly trying to do that thing they do where they pretend their most recently cancelled project is just "on hiatus" and might still get made one day... though the studio that made the Robotech Academy trailer indicated quite clearly that it was definitely cancelled.

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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27 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

The whole reason that the annual Robotech convention tour exists is because McKeever and co. seriously believe that that's the most effective way to promote the brand.  It's not just their show that's decades behind the times.

Effective for maybe the RT business model. But with a crowd of what...20-30 people per convention visit, and probably the same 20-30 people, I question the effectiveness.  Like I said, with the convention circuit effectively dead this year, they might as well start doing press releases. But since it's radio silence, I'll just assume there's nothing to talk about.

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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

True... it's the fact that their VP of Marketing has no idea how to put together an online press release that stops them from doing press releases.

No joke.  The whole reason that the annual Robotech convention tour exists is because McKeever and co. seriously believe that that's the most effective way to promote the brand.  It's not just their show that's decades behind the times.

 

Nothing whatsoever.

As I noted in my last post, Harmony Gold effectively defunded new Robotech development back in '07 when Shadow Chronicles flopped and seem to have abandoned the field entirely after Robotech Academy bombed on Kickstarter in '14.

Last I recall hearing, Harmony Gold was still halfheartedly trying to do that thing they do where they pretend their most recently cancelled project is just "on hiatus" and might still get made one day... though the studio that made the Robotech Academy trailer indicated quite clearly that it was definitely cancelled.

Yeah: Den of Geek was saying in 2018 that it wasn't "completely dead", and Tommy Yune was still trying to keep hope alive for it.

Frankly: anything associated with RT and HG at this point is the anime equivallent of being able to kill an artifical houseplant. These folks could find a way to screw up a Chia-Pet.

(Not to mention it absolutely reeks of "Space Academy" and "Jason of Star Command" from the 1970's)

Edited by pengbuzz
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With movie studios needing to make movies to renew their hold on to their IP like Spiderman and the like, would that still apply for Robotech or am I just dreaming? Surely with nothing to add for so long would it be a little while before they're considered IP squatting? Or is the Tatsukono renewal overrides this? I suspect the latter... :(

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It actually depends entirely on the licensing deal. 
 

movie studios agreements sometimes involve rights to a property for X years, sometimes with a clause for “abandonment” which is to say if they don’t do anything with it in a period of X years, movie rights default back to whoever.

they are not always like that, though it’s very common now. Doesn’t mean this licensing deal was anything like it though. 

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6 hours ago, azrael said:

Effective for maybe the RT business model. But with a crowd of what...20-30 people per convention visit, and probably the same 20-30 people, I question the effectiveness.  Like I said, with the convention circuit effectively dead this year, they might as well start doing press releases. But since it's radio silence, I'll just assume there's nothing to talk about.

I would argue that there were some years when they really had nothing to talk about but still did the tour anyway.  For instance, there were those years were they were trying to convince everyone that Shadow Rising was still being worked on, or the years when another name was dropped for someone considered to work on the live action movie.

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45 minutes ago, Einherjar said:

I would argue that there were some years when they really had nothing to talk about but still did the tour anyway.  For instance, there were those years were they were trying to convince everyone that Shadow Rising was still being worked on, or the years when another name was dropped for someone considered to work on the live action movie.

100% true... I always go to the SDCC panel and I feel that this sums up pretty much every presentation I've seen from them over the last 10 years. They act as if the fact people are making Robotech products is somehow because of the current team's success rather than a byproduct of popularity from 30 years ago, they act like they're involved in the development of new products though they're not, they act as if there's progress on the live action movie front though it's no where near production, they act like something big is coming but the BIG thing is usually just that Robotech is available on another service... I wouldn't be surprised if they staggered the release of Robotech on Crackle one year, Netflix another, and then Youtube so they could claim a HUGE victory each year. 

 

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What surprises me is the fact that there's no real forums in operation now and it's filled with bots and spammers. It's funny how those old RT trolls that used to reside here and their belief in RT no longer have a place anywhere. The delusion was real. Their fanbase is clearly on the wane for many years now. The forums are symbolic of their decline- empty and with little substance of value. 

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3 hours ago, Falcon said:

What surprises me is the fact that there's no real forums in operation now and it's filled with bots and spammers. It's funny how those old RT trolls that used to reside here and their belief in RT no longer have a place anywhere. The delusion was real. Their fanbase is clearly on the wane for many years now. The forums are symbolic of their decline- empty and with little substance of value. 

I thought a lot of them just moved on to Facebook or Twitter and got much worse, especially after last year.

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The Robotech.com forum was NEVER a good idea. When your entire enterprise is a licensing card house, regulating the conversation on a forum is just a bad idea. The HG staff is 3 people... did they really need to have one of them spend their time being the forum police and have another one be responsible for maintaining the forums? They should have partnered with an independent fan group and let them run the forum. Someone would have been happy to do it, I'm sure, and all the HG staff would have to do is put a link on the Robotech site that said something like "Talk about Robotech on our preferred forums!" Robotech.com should always have just been a blog, a museum, and store. 

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On 6/15/2020 at 3:36 AM, azrael said:

Effective for maybe the RT business model. But with a crowd of what...20-30 people per convention visit, and probably the same 20-30 people, I question the effectiveness.  Like I said, with the convention circuit effectively dead this year, they might as well start doing press releases. But since it's radio silence, I'll just assume there's nothing to talk about.

Oh, anyone with an ounce of sense would obviously point out that making an annual convention tour the full extent of the brand's marketing of new products itself is a spectacularly bad idea... but because they put all of the brand's marketing in the hands of a man who doesn't really understand how to promote a product, that's all they ever do.  Harmony Gold's VP of Marketing doesn't have the first bloody clue how to put together a press release.  They rely on the convention tour to promote anything they're doing themselves and product releases from licensees are promoted by the licensees themselves or not at all.

As they say, "You get what you pay for"... and Harmony Gold put the Robotech franchise staff together on the cheap.

 

On 6/15/2020 at 4:51 AM, pengbuzz said:

Frankly: anything associated with RT and HG at this point is the anime equivallent of being able to kill an artifical houseplant. These folks could find a way to screw up a Chia-Pet.

Have you ever seen someone screw up a Chia Pet?  It's HORRIFYING.  I saw someone mess up a Bob Ross chia head and it looked like something out of a horror movie.

 

On 6/15/2020 at 8:36 AM, Falcon said:

With movie studios needing to make movies to renew their hold on to their IP like Spiderman and the like, would that still apply for Robotech or am I just dreaming? Surely with nothing to add for so long would it be a little while before they're considered IP squatting? Or is the Tatsukono renewal overrides this? I suspect the latter... :(

It's not that movie studios NEED to make a movie to retain their license to an IP... it's that an exclusive license to a major property like Spider-Man is so expensive that the studio can't cost-justify retaining the rights without using them.  An exclusive license to a do-nothing, borderline nonentity property like Robotech is a petty cash transaction by the standards of a AAA studio, so they can afford to buy up the rights to dozens of properties like that on a whim and sit on them until the licenses expire even if it's just to deny them to rival studios.

Harmony Gold hangs onto its license agreement with Tatsunoko Production as hard as they do not because the rights to Robotech are worth anything... but because the rights to the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross and the trademarks they hold on it are worth quite a bit more to any party that wants to try to bring the rest of Macross to the US.  They're hoping Macross becomes enough of a phenomenon that they can either strongarm Big West into licensing the rest of Macross to them by threatening trademark infringement suits over the other shows or at least collect a tidy sum in royalties from distribution without having to do any actual work themselves.  For their part, Tatsunoko Production doesn't care because they were able to goad Harmony Gold into dropping a lawsuit against them and cancelling a debt owed from a prior arbitration in exchange for renewing a license to one show that has a successful franchise they're not a part of and two shows from their back catalog that practically nobody remembers or cares about.

If Tatsunoko were to revoke or not renew Harmony Gold's license, Harmony Gold wouldn't be able to "squat" on the IP because they don't own any of it.  The Robotech franchise has all the structural integrity of cotton candy.

 

On 6/15/2020 at 10:39 AM, Einherjar said:

I would argue that there were some years when they really had nothing to talk about but still did the tour anyway.  For instance, there were those years were they were trying to convince everyone that Shadow Rising was still being worked on, or the years when another name was dropped for someone considered to work on the live action movie.

There was, for a long time, a recurring joke that McKeever only updated the slideshow once every five years or so for precisely that reason.

Apart from whatever sad effort they were making in CafePress apparel (Robotech socks, really?) there wasn't anything new to talk about... so they just repeated the same old points even when people who worked on the cancelled projects like Richard Epcar or the studio behind Robotech Academy were saying loudly and clearly that it was cancelled.

 

9 hours ago, Falcon said:

What surprises me is the fact that there's no real forums in operation now and it's filled with bots and spammers. It's funny how those old RT trolls that used to reside here and their belief in RT no longer have a place anywhere. The delusion was real. Their fanbase is clearly on the wane for many years now. The forums are symbolic of their decline- empty and with little substance of value. 

5 hours ago, jenius said:

The Robotech.com forum was NEVER a good idea. When your entire enterprise is a licensing card house, regulating the conversation on a forum is just a bad idea. The HG staff is 3 people... did they really need to have one of them spend their time being the forum police and have another one be responsible for maintaining the forums? They should have partnered with an independent fan group and let them run the forum. Someone would have been happy to do it, I'm sure, and all the HG staff would have to do is put a link on the Robotech site that said something like "Talk about Robotech on our preferred forums!" Robotech.com should always have just been a blog, a museum, and store. 

Back when the site was new, the Robotech.com forums were one of the few unambiguously good ideas that the newly reconstituted Robotech franchise staff had.

Prior to that, the Robotech fanbase's primary means of interaction was various UseNet groups.  Those early communities were largely unregulated and incredibly toxic thanks to fans endlessly rehashing the same old arguments about which of the competing versions of Robotech was the "true" one.  A lot of major franchises were creating their own official online presences with built-in communities as a way of marketing directly to fans, and Harmony Gold quite sensibly jumped on the bandwagon.  For Robotech, including forums in the new official website they were making was a way to not only maintain a captive audience they could market directly to with the site's web storefront.  It was also a way for Harmony Gold to have control over the fanbase's dialogue about the series.  It enabled them to almost totally abolish the rampant toxicity that had driven so many fans away from the franchise in the late 90's.  When combined with the official "Infopedia", it enabled them to gently steer the fandom away from the old material and towards the newly established official setting they established with their reboot and relaunch of Robotech that they envisioned as the framework for reinventing Robotech as a viable modern anime property.

In that capacity, the Robotech.com forums were the only part of Robotech's attempted "comeback" that was an unqualified success which significantly improved Robotech's prospects for long-term success.

As is so often the case, the weak link in the system was the people in charge.

To be precise, it was abuse of authority by two of the volunteer moderators who had been recruited to police the forums.  Harmony Gold picked the volunteer moderators from the heavily active long-time fans who'd been invited to beta-test the new website, and while most of them were fairly level-headed there were a few hardcore sycophants mixed in with them.  They'd been sucking up to members of the Robotech franchise staff in the hopes of being the next Robotech superfans to gain paying positions at Harmony Gold.  They were still actually halfway passable moderators as long as the fandom's outlook on Robotech was rosy, but they were totally and completely unprepared to deal with the overwhelmingly negative reception that Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles got.  Almost nobody had anything nice to say about Shadow Chronicles, and their reaction to that negativity was to ban all the fans whose criticisms crossed lines in the site's Terms of Use.  When that failed to stifle criticism of the OVA and steer the discussion towards unbridled positivity, they started to concoct increasingly flimsy pretexts to ban people who spoke critically of the OVA... which was basically everyone.  When the dust settled, there were only a dozen or so regulars on the forums and everyone else had either been banned or left for better communities elsewhere.

The actions of those two suckup "superfans" did almost as much damage to Robotech as the failure of Robotech: the Shadow Chronicles itself did.

Then the hacker attacks started.

Harmony Gold's management had basically neglected the maintenance of the official website except for the web storefront, so the badly outdated content management system the site ran on was compromised a bunch of times in quick succession until HG took the whole damn thing down.  This was what ultimately killed what remained of the community that they had built... they (sensibly) temporarily shut it down because they couldn't secure the software it ran on, but then never bothered to build a replacement until a full decade later.  Even though the new community section was open to previously banned users, the entire community had long since moved on and nobody really gave a toss about it anymore.  So now the only activity it sees is spambots.  Everyone had either moved on from the franchise entirely or moved to fan-run groups on social media... most of which are also populated mainly by bot accounts.

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@Azazel I just think it would be underwhelming if HG, for once in a very long time, just kept quiet about the franchise just because they can’t rely on conventions for publicity.   After spending so much time milking the license renewal announcement for all it’s worth you would think they would have actual news to follow up on it.  Granted, the stuff that happened afterwards was not really as groundbreaking.  It’s not like they’re too busy to stream something.  You can’t even tell what they actually do outside of the panels.  It makes you wonder if their jobs can survive a quarantine.

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11 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Back when the site was new, the Robotech.com forums were one of the few unambiguously good ideas that the newly reconstituted Robotech franchise staff had.

Prior to that, the Robotech fanbase's primary means of interaction was various UseNet groups.  Those early communities were largely unregulated and incredibly toxic thanks to fans endlessly rehashing the same old arguments about which of the competing versions of Robotech was the "true" one.  A lot of major franchises were creating their own official online presences with built-in communities as a way of marketing directly to fans, and Harmony Gold quite sensibly jumped on the bandwagon.  For Robotech, including forums in the new official website they were making was a way to not only maintain a captive audience they could market directly to with the site's web storefront.  It was also a way for Harmony Gold to have control over the fanbase's dialogue about the series.  It enabled them to almost totally abolish the rampant toxicity that had driven so many fans away from the franchise in the late 90's.  When combined with the official "Infopedia", it enabled them to gently steer the fandom away from the old material and towards the newly established official setting they established with their reboot and relaunch of Robotech that they envisioned as the framework for reinventing Robotech as a viable modern anime property.

In that capacity, the Robotech.com forums were the only part of Robotech's attempted "comeback" that was an unqualified success which significantly improved Robotech's prospects for long-term success.

 

Agreed. When the site first came online I participated there pretty heavily. I do have some fond memories of some of the crazy arguments there, not to mention it was the first place I was introduced to @jenius's anymoon.com reviews.

 

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