"Optimus Prime, a lorry-cum-robot"
ahahaha i’m so sorry
The rest of the article is a genuinely fascinating look into the UK Transformers marketing of the time, though. No mention of The Transformers: The Movie or Rodimus Prime at all… but a vague allusion to the events of “Target: 2006,” where Optimus disappeared and both Ultra Magnus and Galvatron showed up.

"Optimus Prime, a lorry-cum-robot"

ahahaha i’m so sorry

The rest of the article is a genuinely fascinating look into the UK Transformers marketing of the time, though. No mention of The Transformers: The Movie or Rodimus Prime at all… but a vague allusion to the events of “Target: 2006,” where Optimus disappeared and both Ultra Magnus and Galvatron showed up.

A collection of contemporary reviews of The Transformers: The Movie.

Hey, everybody! It’s your favorite live-action Masters of the Universe movie character, Saurod!

You know, Saurod? Played by Pons Maar? Shot sparks out of his mouth as a toy…?

Yeah, me neither.

Art by William Stout. Scan from the Lost Worlds by William Stout trading card set. This is the last bit of Masters of the Universe art in the series, unless there’s a piece or two hidden on the backs of unrelated cards (like how He-Man had a Flesh Gordon poster on his). I’ll have to check them at some point… also, there are apparently more card sets devoted to Stout’s artwork, but I don’t own them.

Marvel Age cover and article about The Saga of Crystar, a property Marvel developed in-house with the intent of selling to toy companies (a similar situation to the later Brute Force miniseries). Unfortunately, the group that took Marvel’s bait was Remco, nobody’s favorite toymaker, and the franchise was dead after one wave of product (I think) and 11 comic issues. Though, check out that black and white art - how impressive is it that this medieval fantasy world developed the perm?

Cover art by Walt Simonson(!), character models by John Romita, Jr., interior artwork by Bret Blevins. The article about the creation of the Marvel handbooks was previously posted here.

Various toys from Takara’s Microman Micro Change series, among which are the pre-Transformers versions of Blaster (two of two), Cliffjumper (one of three), and Megatron (two of three). Pre-Cliffjumper, Bumblebee, and the toy now called Bumper were all originally available in three different colors - red, yellow, and blue - while the third pre-Megatron is what ended up as the Western Transformers toy.

The final figure in this post is “Scope Man,” who turns into a working pair of binoculars. He was never sold as a Transformer, but did have a mis-colored cameo in a Dreamwave comic.

Scans from the Japanese Transformers First Series Complete and The Official Guide to Takara SF Land guide books.

(There’s two different black pre-Megatron pics here because I wasn’t sure which one to put on the Transformers Wiki.)

William Stout concept art for Skeletor from the live-action Masters of the Universe movie. Scan from the Lost Worlds by William Stout trading card set.

William Stout concept art for He-Man from the live-action Masters of the Universe movie. How bizarre is it that Moebius worked on that film? Also, uh, I have no idea why the reverse of the card is a Flesh Gordon poster.

Scan from the Lost Worlds by William Stout trading card set.

I am not sure if I am capable of comprehending the existence of these Women of Robotech doll commercials.

A 1986 Transformers cup by Packer Plastics, featuring Ultra Magnus. On top of some of his parts colors being off - shins, chestplate, helmet - all his white parts are actually depicted as silver-grey, in contrast to the cup’s base white. Whether that change was due to printing on a cup or a genuine deco difference, I dunno.

A 1986 Transformers cup by Packer Plastics, featuring Ultra Magnus. On top of some of his parts colors being off - shins, chestplate, helmet - all his white parts are actually depicted as silver-grey, in contrast to the cup’s base white. Whether that change was due to printing on a cup or a genuine deco difference, I dunno.

The End of Osamu Tezuka

[Osamu] Tezuka once stated his intention to keep working into his eighties, but it was a hope more than anything else. He was a physician (and thus presumably capable of monitoring his health), and he seemed to have good genes; his father survived the war and lived to be eighty-six. Yet even Tezuka was unable to fend off the forces of nature. I did not see him the last year of his life, but in photographs in magazine and newspaper articles I noticed that he had lost a great deal of weight, and in the last notes he wrote me I was struck by the marked deterioration of his handwriting. For an artist who had always prided himself on his clean pen lines and - like the old Renaissance masters - on his ability to draw a nearly perfect circle freehand, it was shocking.

In Japan at the time, it was customary for medical authorities not to tell patients if they had fatal diseases such as cancer, for fear that it would cause them to give up all hope and die prematurely. Despite the fact that Tezuka was himself a physician, and certainly had a good idea of what was happening to him, he participated fully in this charade, always pretending to be suffering from stomach ulcers or something else, when in fact he was dying of stomach cancer. He had one operation in March of 1988, in which two thirds of his stomach was removed, but he was discharged in May and tried to resume his normal work. He gave an interview, published in September, to his fan club magazine, in which he described his surgery and struggle to recover in an almost horrific level of medical detail.

… [O]n November 29th, he gave another interview to his fan club magazine, in which he listed in great detail all the various projects he was still working on and his hopes for the coming year, but he mentioned that he might require more surgery. The magazine conducted the interview by tape recorder, with Tezuka in a hospital bed, and published it with the comment that he “was still burning with the drive to create, in the midst of a schedule to which it would be difficult to adhere even if he were in good health.” …

In December, Tezuka had the surgery he dreaded at Tokyo’s Hanzoumon hospital. While in his hospital bed, he worked on several serialized manga stories, including a semi-biographical work of Ludwig van Beethoven and his third adaption of Goethe’s Faust, which he titled Neo-Faust. …

Tezuka died on February 9, 1989, at the age of sixty, but up until the very end he kept his pens and paper by his bedside. His last words, according to his wife, Etsuko, were “Please, please let me continue to work…”

- Uh, wow. Protip: don’t have cancer in late 1980s Japan. Amended excerpt from author and translator Frederik L. Schodt’s The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution (pages 164-166).