Sunday, November 29, 2009

Big-O: A Hardwood President

Premiering on 11/29/09 (as far as I know), Adult Swim has made a new TV spot explaining the chronology of "Hardwood" presidents. There was James Madison and Abraham Lincoln, but as we can see, from 1865 till 3012, our favorite megadeus - the Big O - is now president. Brings a different perspective on the banner at the top of this blog. Enjoy these stills!

Big O Title Card - 2009 Season 2 Re-run

For preservation purposes, I have decided to take stills of the Big O title card which Adult Swim is currently using to replace the Big-O theme song. Enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Big-O Toys: A History

The Big-O has been one of those characters that was destined to be popular in toys. It is just a shame that it never came to be. From the very beginning it was meant that the Big-O be released as a figure with the anime just acting like a publicity vehicle. But it just never happened. There were fans, of course, but there wasn’t enough die hard fans like what you would see with Gundam or Godzilla to warrant a large selection of merchandise. So many, many figures that were to be produced ended up not being produced beyond a hard copy. So, without further to do, here is a history on toys based on the Big-O.

The first toy to be release on a large scale had to be by Bandai in their "Anime Collector’s Set" series. It was released twice in the series. The first was part of a two part series dedicated to the Big-O, in which the first figure in the line was Big-O accompanied with figures of Roger and Dorothy. The second figure in the line would be Big Duo with figures of Angel and Roger (in a different pose). Big-O would be re-issued in 2003 in a line of four "Anime Collector’s Sets" in a limited quantity. The Big-O figure, at seven inches in height, comes with 19 points of articulation. The two smaller figures, four inches tall each, have no articulation (except that Dorothy can move her head around). The figures have become a rarity and the most popular version of Big-O in a toy/model kit form as of date.

Little known to the rising fandom - due to the long time for the series to gain momentum in America - vintage toy company Bullmark made a Big-O sufubi AKA a large, Super deformed, soft vinyl figure around eight inches in height. The figure is taller than the "Anime Collector’s Set" figures and is made of a purple vinyl with glitter mixed in. There is little to no paint on the figure, except for the helmet which is painted silver with the two screws on top of Big-Os head painted red. The eyes were colored yellow.

In the time period between the first and second seasons, three model kits were produced. Bandai produced a model kit, a snap together kit made of black plastic and scaled approx. at a 1/100 scale. As an extra, it came with a figure of Roger. Once put together, the kit had many points of articulation and the ability to mode the upper neck piece to show the cockpit. Then Max Factory released in March of 2000 released a pre-painted model kit. Lastly, a company called Kotobukiya produced a "non-scale" kit made of white resin. It was released July,2000 As an extra, Big-O came with a figure of Dorothy with a clear base. The Big-O model was sculpted by Tetsuo Isudate with KAME while Dorothy was sculpted by Satoru Adachi.

More merchandise was produced when the second season was produced. Though no real hyper or gashapon figures were produced, Kotobukiya (who made a white resin kit) made some solid coin figures. About only three inches tall, figures of Big-O, Big-O using his guns, Dorothy 1, Big Duo, Norman/Dorothy, The Griffin, and Scharzwald were produced. Originally, the figures were sold in boxes and the figure you got was random. But later, they would be released in two box sets. A limited edition bronze variation of the figures would later be released.

But with the new season came a lot of promise for new merchandise. Bandai showcased at the 2003 Toy Fair - among other things - a whole line of Big-O toys. The line was going to consist of accouple of 6" figures, including re-releases of Big-O and Big Duo with altering paint jobs from the "Anime Collector’s Set" releases. Other figures included Archetype, Roger, Dorothy, and the Griffin. Sadly, some web sites actually give the description of these toys mixed those of the "Anime Collector’s Sets". Each of the 6" toys were to go for $9.99 plus tax. A 12" Big-O toy with electronic features (such as talking) was also showcased with a price tag of $29.99 a unit plus tax. Sadly, they were never released to the public for unknown reasons.

Time went by before another company decided to take a chance at making some Big-O merchandise was the Japanese company Max factory. In 2006, Max Factory announced that a re-release of their previous model kit of Big-O was coming up along with model kits of Big Duo and Big Fau under their Max Gokin line. The release date for the figures kept getting pushed back until 2008 when it was officially cancelled with the only proof of their existance laying in photos of the prototypes.

Then a miracle happened. Coinciding with the tenth anniversary of the iconic mecha, famous toy company Chogokin - owned by Bandai - released a Chogokin version of the Big-O. Many toy magazines published photos of the three main prototypes of the figure - one colored white, one colored grey, and the other colored silver (for metal effect, since Chogokin figures are made out of mostly metal and some parts PCV - I should know, I own a Chogokin figure). The prototype was officially exhibited early in March 2009 with tons of magazine coverage coming in at April. The figure would be officially released in September of 2009. The figure has become a highly talked about figure. To tie in with the figure’s release, a crystal with Big-O etched inside of it was released by Chogokin separate of the figure and the Tamashii Japanese Toy store released an expansion set with the toy, adding extra arms, fists, and everything one would want to re-enact any feature of the Big-O from the show except for the laser-based weapons, the final stage form, and the giant train which carries Big-O. The foot tall figure is - with all of the stops pulled out - around $275.

The Big-O has - toy wise - been cursed. It is filled with a good amount of merchandise that was never produced though hard copies exist. It is filled with model kits which are rare, toys which were not produced on a large scale, and other little things. Not to mention two SD figures which were made along with Big-O’s inclusion in accouple of the Super Robot Wars (Super Robot Taisen) games. But now with the release of the new Chogokin figure, hopefully all fans of the Big-O can achieve the dream to become a dominuse of a megadeus and be deemned "Ye Not Guilty".

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

First Steps

In my opinion [on getting a third season produced], it is all about the proffit/income/cash like buisness usualy is. Big-O is like an art house film - it will get lots of critical acclaim. That doesn't neccesarily mean it is going to make money. Ratings were high for the second series (Adult Swim said that the rattings were low but the fandom says the oppisite) but the DVD sales - like how Kim Manning mentioned that Jason DeMarco said - "were middling". This is not surprising since ratings in Japan were less than what they are in America. Also, lots of reports of bootleg sets were said to have been made - injuring profit reapings. The only way I can realistically see even consideration for a season three to come back is if sales on merchandise sky rocket.

I suggest that if you want a third season, buy the DVDs, get the new $200 chogokin figure, get the mangas, even import the "Paradigm Noise" novella. Plus - and I am going to start doing this - start watching Big-O when ever it comes on which as we see is comming on at 4:30. And hell, get the Big-O related forums on fire. Atleast we still got commercial apperances, like the Adult Swim spot refrencing that since Japan has the live sized Gundam and Tetsuijin-28 (Gigantor), we should make a 1:1 Big-O. That was humorous.

But there is a delima of people being unwilling to buy merchandise. Let me quote "EricDent" who posts on the Atari Godzilla forums and the Anime News Network forums, "there is a whole generation of so-called "fans" that have never bought a single DVD copy of any anime show, their mentality is that if they can see it free, then why buy." So alot of you who haven't bought the DVDs need to. It is nice that the episodes are on the official Adult Swim website and it is nice that every couple of months [AS] shows re-runs of season two, but you need to buy the DVDs. The economy is bad, but come on.

So, the question is what do we buy and where do we buy it? The DVDs are a big thing for people to buy. Do not buy off an auction site. Sure, they are good at low prices but bootlegs are omnipresent and companese such as Bandai do not look at the sales stats on auction sites (save the EbayStores sites). This is due to people auctioning off their items are not going to restock them with an order from the company that makes the item. Amazon is a good place to buy. DVDEmpire and other sites like those are good ideas. Another good item to buy is the new Chogokin Big-O that just came out. They are not going to be released until Christmas time comes around so pre-order numbers are important. Again, auction sites would be a frowned upon but if you must, atleast most of the people selling it on the auction sites are Store sites.

There is some other merchandise which some should consider buying - but not without some background information researched first. If you do not have a collection of memorabilia built up yet, you want to buy the stuff that is still being produced. Merchandise no longer being produced are not studdied upon by the companese that produce the items. Theres coin figures, mangas, soundtracks, and alot of other merchandise which some should get, but DVDs and current merchandise is what you should shoot for.

NOTE: These are just the hypothesis of the author. The author wishes you to do no such actions like said in the article above - but rather just advice in the goal to get a season three of the anime, "The Big-O".

Welcome To The Revolution

Welcome to the Revolution: the blog all about “The Big-O”. This blog is here because there are not that many sites dedicated to The Big-O that are not part of Adult Swim’s main site anymore and I want what happened in 2002/2003 to happen again: us fans (mainly us American fans) being the main drive to getting another season of one of our favorite shows made. Be expecting some interesting articles coming up, including a break down on how we can help to get a third season made and other interesting topics like the history of merchandise done for the megadeus. If you have anything to contribute, please do so. If you know how Adult Swim’s business affair system goes about, please say so. We need to be able to say “Showtime” for a season 3 and the rebirth of a fandom. If you can advertise the blog, please do. If you want a forum, please say so. Anything to please the fans (under reasonable conditions).

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Revolution 11.24.09

Waiting For The Revolution