Wednesday, 7 March 2018

RoboTech KickStarter

   
Left to Right: Macross, Southern Cross, Genesis Climber Mospeada mecha.

I'm not going to cover the whole debacle of Harmony Gold, Palladium and or the fractious relationship Robotech from Harmony Gold had with BattleTech by FASA. You can read more about the recent furore about the Robotech KickStarter here on Sitzkrieg's site, which is well worth following if you're a mecha and Star Trek fan, and who isn't?

But, if you've been reading this blog for anytime, or have delved into the depths of my archive, you will know that I have  a thing about sizes of things.  Just check out my pieces comparing sizes of models here

So, I wanted to add some observations on the problems of pleasing a fanbase, and trying to square the circle, to run out a well used cliché.

Size matters. The above illustration is from here.

The Robotech TV series was divided into three parts: The Macross Saga; The Masters; and The New Generation. Alternative titles being the First, Second and Third Robotech Wars. Harmony Gold put their show together by adapting three separate Japanese anime series.

The first was The Super Dimension Fortress Macross, alternative title Hyper Dimensional Fortress Macross. Macross is a big deal in Japan, probably second only to Gundam.

The second show used was Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross, which was originally the third in the Super Dimension series. And by series think, theme.

The third show used to create Robotech was Genesis Climber MOSPEADA. My Japanese friends tell me that Mospeada was a Japlish portmanteau word, for most speed or more speed.

So the size of each shows mecha differed considerably, not only because of the choices made by Harmony Gold, but because the original Japanese creators didn't have in mind some unified 'verse for wargamers to move models of the mecha around, while making pew-pew noises.

For general information, the Japanese really didn't take into account the market outside of Japan back in the eighties. I'm not fully convinced they do now, but things have got better.

NB: Super Dimension Century Orguss, which was the second official thematic sequel to Super Dimension series, Harmony Gold was unable to use due to issues over rights, see here for more details.
  

3 comments:

  1. I didn't know that about the MOSPEADA title. Yeah, the three anime that formed the basis of Robotech definitely didn't try to mesh with each other as robot cartoons let alone a completely different medium like tabletop gaming. I used to roleplay in Robotech (without minis) so the size discrepancies weren't really apparent back then as they were just non-combat stats in the rulebook. It was only when talk of a minis game started back in 2012 that I realized how difficult it would be to put them all in the same game at the same scale. I appreciate the mention of my post as well. The more people that know about the Crisis of Robotreachery, the better! :)

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  2. Having mulled over the size issue for a while, I think – and 20:20 hindsight is a wonderful thing – Southern Cross mecha would work if they were around 25mm (give or take a bit), which would then have made the Mospeada big mecha round 50mm (same caveat), and the Macross mecha would run at around 100mm tall.

    Of course, all the BattleTech fans would have screamed. But, while the KickStarter would've raised less money, the end products might have been a whole lot more popular, given the complexity of the kits.

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  3. At least these were all shows in which the mecha were of consistent size. I've seen too many in which they're whatever size they need to be to look good in each shot…

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