[BT] BT-12 Override & Recolors--Ichikawa-san Commentary

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Doug Dlin

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Aug 28, 2005, 12:07:39 AM8/28/05
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Finally started hearing from Hirofumi Ichikawa again after all too long
a dry period. He's been VERY busy these last several months, it seems.

As we've plowed through some old business, he was nice enough to
volunteer some information and educated guesswork about the situation
with BT-12 Override and its multiple recolor projects. To wit:

------------------------------------------
It seems many doubts have arisen among the fans regarding the
specifications and development period of the Honda S2000 model. I have
a number of answers for these.

Q. Honda's logo isn't printed anywhere on BT Overdrive's packaging or
booklet. Is BT Overdrive an unlicensed product?

A. No, BT Overdrive is unmistakably an official product made with
licensing permission from Honda. The elimination of Honda's logo from
the packaging and booklet is due to a direct order from Honda Japan.
From what I hear, unlike the other auto manufacturers, Honda Japan's
policy is not to allow its logo mark to be included on the packaging and
such of licensed products. (The exact reason isn't certain, but I
think it's likely that it's so the licensed product isn't mistaken for
an actual Honda product.) This is not limited to just Binaltech; Choro
Q's products and such were treated the same way.

Q. The names Wildrider and Black Widow have both come up as recolors of
the S2000. Which character is actually going to be sold? Or will it be
both?

A. First, when it was decided to develop recolors of the S2000, Hasbro's
design draft (Decepticharge) got well away from BT's preference for
realism, so Takara planned to release it in a distinctive color scheme
as Wildrider. However, this draft met with trademark problems (The
"rider" part of the name apparently conflicted with Bandai's "Kamen
Rider" (Masked Rider) or some such), so it was halted at an early stage.
Info on this recolor leaked out when things were still in the
undecided stage, which only invited the confusion that resulted from
later info. (Having such twists occur right up to the point things are
officially decided is hardly a rare thing for BT, owing to its very nature.)

And so, Takara proposed Black Widow as a character in lieu of Wildrider.
At this stage, I received an order for material from Takara, and I
wrote up the character background and story for Black Widow. However,
upon subsequent consideration, her sale was postponed because
"Binaltechs are high-ticket items, so a rapid succession of recolor
releases would overwhelm the buying power of the fixed consumer base."
After that, it was decided she be included in a "separate line."

It was then decided to advance the original plans by one and release
Skids as BT-16, so I had to rewrite the story extensively. Since Black
Widow's story had been nullified, all the foreshadowing of her
appearance that I'd previously included Overdrive and Prowl's stories
was now meaningless. (In Prowl's story, I describe a failure in his GT
process, and I'd planned to use this as an opportunity to debut Black
Widow.) This is all very unfortunate, but I don't feel it's BAD per se,
as there was a danger that Black Widow's introduction would have
severely slowed the progress of the BT story.

So, to sum up the facts in a neat arrangement:
BT-16 Wildrider: Considered at one point, but now canceled.
BT-16 Black Widow: Settled upon at one point, but release postponed,
then changed to a release in a separate line.
BT-16 Skids: Officially set for release.

Honda Japan's intentions played no part in these postponements and
changes. And of course, there was never any occasion in which "Honda
expressed disapproval because Overdrive came with a gun barrel."
-------------------------------------------------
There will doubtless be follow-up questions (Hi, Nevermore :-) ), but
this should clear up most of the matter, I think.

Doug Dlin
apcog at hotmail.com

Nevermore

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Aug 28, 2005, 4:18:59 AM8/28/05
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Doug Dlin wrote:
> There will doubtless be follow-up questions (Hi, Nevermore :-) )

Yes, one question.

"Override"? ;-)

--
The ultimate Binaltech/Alternators resource page
http://www.binalternators.de/

Nevermore

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Aug 28, 2005, 4:45:37 AM8/28/05
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Oh and...

It wasn't just the lack of Honda's logo (on both Overdrive and Prowl's
packaging and booklet) that threw me off.

For example, Hound and Swindle have the extensive remark "Jeep(R) and
the Jeep(R) grille design are registered trademarks of DaimlerChrysler
Corporation. Jeep(R) Wrangler(R) and its trade dress are used under
license from DaimlerChrysler. (C) DaimlerChrysler Corporation 2004. (C)
TAKARA CO., Ltd. 2004."

Lambor and Dead End are a little less pompous: "(C) TAKARA CO., Ltd.
2003 [or 2004]. Dodge us a trademark of DaimlerChrysler Corporation
[Dead End only]. Dodge Viper and its trade dress are used under license
by Takara Co., Ltd. (C) DaimlerChrysler Corporation 2003 [or 2004]."

Less text for Tracks and Ravage: "Chevrolet, Corvette, Z06 and all
related Emblems and vehicle body designs are General Motors Trademarks
used under license to Takara, Co. LTD. (C) TAKARA CO., LTD. 2004 [or
2005]."

Grimlock and Wheeljack have "(C) TAKARA CO., Ltd. 2004 [or 2005]. Ford
Oval and Mustang are registered trademarks owned and licensed by Ford
Motor Company."

Meister and Laserwave have "(C) TAKARA CO., Ltd. 2004 [or 2005]. Mazda
RX-8 is manufactured under approval of Mazda Motor Corporation."

The least degree of "car manufacturer reference" is "(C) TAKARA CO.,
LTD. 2003. (C) SUBARU" on Smokescreen, Streak and Smokescreen GT's
booklets and character cards.

But Overdrive and Prowl? Simply "(C) TAKARA CO., LTD. 2005."

Nevermore

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Aug 28, 2005, 5:24:25 AM8/28/05
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Another one...

Doug Dlin wrote:
> A. First, when it was decided to develop recolors of the S2000, Hasbro's
> design draft (Decepticharge) got well away from BT's preference for
> realism, so Takara planned to release it in a distinctive color scheme
> as Wildrider.

Uhm... WHAT? Remove the fake sponsor logos, and you'll get this.

http://www.mugen-power.com/street/s2000_0503/index.html

Doug Dlin

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Aug 28, 2005, 12:21:35 PM8/28/05
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On Aug. 28, 2005, Nevermore wrote:

> Doug Dlin wrote:
>
>>There will doubtless be follow-up questions (Hi, Nevermore :-) )
>
>
> Yes, one question.
>
> "Override"? ;-)

Hey, I was so tired when I posted, I was lucky I got *my* name spelled
right...

Doug Dlin

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Aug 28, 2005, 12:23:01 PM8/28/05
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On Aug. 28, 2005, Nevermore wrote:

> Another one...
>
> Doug Dlin wrote:
>
>>A. First, when it was decided to develop recolors of the S2000, Hasbro's
>>design draft (Decepticharge) got well away from BT's preference for
>>realism, so Takara planned to release it in a distinctive color scheme
>>as Wildrider.
>
>
> Uhm... WHAT? Remove the fake sponsor logos, and you'll get this.
>
> http://www.mugen-power.com/street/s2000_0503/index.html

Y'got me. Maybe it WAS simply the fake sponsor logos, something taking
it a step TOO far away from realistic deco. Ichikawa-san didn't
elaborate on that point any more than you saw there.

Nevermore

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Aug 28, 2005, 3:09:30 PM8/28/05
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Doug Dlin wrote:
> Y'got me. Maybe it WAS simply the fake sponsor logos, something taking
> it a step TOO far away from realistic deco.

So coming up with an entirely new color scheme is easier than just
omitting the fake sponsor decals?

Hmmm.

M Sipher

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Aug 28, 2005, 3:22:19 PM8/28/05
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"Doug Dlin" <ap...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:dLmdnfCGOtp...@texas.net...

> It was then decided to advance the original plans by one and release
> Skids as BT-16, so I had to rewrite the story extensively. Since Black
> Widow's story had been nullified, all the foreshadowing of her
> appearance that I'd previously included Overdrive and Prowl's stories
> was now meaningless. (In Prowl's story, I describe a failure in his GT
> process, and I'd planned to use this as an opportunity to debut Black
> Widow.)

... it just struck me...

So Transmetal 2 Prowl IS G1 Prowl, from the BT story? And that connection
would somehow lead Blackarachnia to the BT timeline?


M "Ichikawa, I Love Ya Man, But Good Gods Is This This Getting
Convoluted..." Sipher
--
King Weasel Productions
Home of the productions of King Weasel!
Original stuff, Transformers, MegaMan/RockMan and more crap!
http://www.fortunecity.com/tatooine/simak/109/


Gustavo Wombat

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Aug 28, 2005, 3:48:32 PM8/28/05
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M Sipher wrote:
>
> ... it just struck me...
>
> So Transmetal 2 Prowl IS G1 Prowl, from the BT story? And that connection
> would somehow lead Blackarachnia to the BT timeline?

I've always liked that TM2 Prowl believed that he was a "great military
strategist in a former life", and that no other evidence was ever
offered for this.

Made him a bit of a loon.

Like BM Longhorn, who considers himself a vegetarian -- if he really
was a vegetarian, why would the tech spec use the weasel words
"considers himself", eh?

--Gustavo

Doug Dlin

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Aug 28, 2005, 5:21:14 PM8/28/05
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On Aug. 28, 2005, M Sipher wrote:

> "Doug Dlin" <ap...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:dLmdnfCGOtp...@texas.net...
>
>
>>It was then decided to advance the original plans by one and release
>>Skids as BT-16, so I had to rewrite the story extensively. Since Black
>>Widow's story had been nullified, all the foreshadowing of her
>>appearance that I'd previously included Overdrive and Prowl's stories
>>was now meaningless. (In Prowl's story, I describe a failure in his GT
>>process, and I'd planned to use this as an opportunity to debut Black
>>Widow.)
>
>
> ... it just struck me...
>
> So Transmetal 2 Prowl IS G1 Prowl, from the BT story? And that connection
> would somehow lead Blackarachnia to the BT timeline?

I guess. I haven't actually gotten to translating BT Prowl's material
yet. I don't know if he mentions TM2 Prowl at all.

> M "Ichikawa, I Love Ya Man, But Good Gods Is This This Getting
> Convoluted..." Sipher

Well, as he said, her debut might've slowed down the story progress
horrendously, so her loss to the line may be a blessing, in a sense.

Doug Dlin

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Aug 29, 2005, 9:45:04 PM8/29/05
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Got some responses from Ichikawa-san to some of the follow-up questions
in pleasantly short order:

First, responding to Nevermore, who is quoting me:

>> Y'got me. Maybe it WAS simply the fake sponsor logos, something
>> taking it a step TOO far away from realistic deco.
>
>So coming up with an entirely new color scheme is easier than just
>omitting the fake sponsor decals?

To be sure, the example I raised was limited to the matter of sponsor
logos. And I must admit that I squeezed a little too much explanation
out of this point. There are surely several other reasons in the
circumstances behind the character changes, but I only wrote about the
one on which I'd heard something definite. (Likely, such things as
color-use preferences and impact of character selection were taken into
consideration as some of these other reasons.)
-----------------------------
Next, clarifying a point straight from my initial post:

> And of course, there was never any occasion in which "Honda expressed
> disapproval because Overdrive came with a gun barrel."

The "Honda" I mention in this explanation refers, of course, to Honda
Japan. I cited this example because I'd seen posts making this kind of
conjecture on some other message boards, so I quoted it as a reminder.
Anyhow, what I wanted to say was "There was no sort of pressure for this."
------------------------------
And finally, in response to a post from Sipher:

> So Transmetal 2 Prowl IS G1 Prowl, from the BT story? And that
> connection would somehow lead Blackarachnia to the BT timeline?

Aah--no, TM2 Prowl has nothing to do with the BT story. There would
only have been an indirect connection between the disappearance of
Prowl's core and the creation of BT Black Widow. The details of Black
Widow's debut were exceedingly simple. (Well, by my standards. ;-) )
Regardless, all the material I wrote about Black Widow has been
canceled, so it will have no effect on any future stories.
-------------------------------

Hope that helps a bit.

Nevermore

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Sep 1, 2005, 3:52:19 PM9/1/05
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BTW...

Decepticharge without sponsor decals would have been an AWESOME G2
Wildrider homage.

http://shorterlink.com/?Q4FPKI

Would have been actually based on an existing "Wildrider" color scheme,
unlike Dead End who basically came in G1 Wildrider colors...

A shame we didn't get that. :-(

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