This photo chronicles the exact moment I backed slooooooooooooowly away from the Transformers fandom.
Which is too bad, because I need that Ravage pillow.
(Now, find me a Hot Shot love pillow and we’ll talk.)
Them muppet dealers..
I’m sure Starscream is so proud of being immortalized as dakimakura pillows for lovesick fleshlings.
And to think, you wouldn’t sell us Amber pillows!
Not quite getting WHY this is Muppets, but I’m not complaining.
Also, this is like my favorite Shortpacked in forever. Muppets <3<3
Loved this stuff as a kid. It taught me the wonders of strangers approaching to open their trenchcoats!
Thanks for that link — that makes it all clear. XD
It has been decades since this piece was on the air. Thanks for the link. Disclaimer: I have not seen the show since 1998.
Same here. As a kid, I didn’t realize just how sleazy- looking that guy was!
I own exactly six Transformers toys. Five are tiny (like the toaster), and one is a third-party version of the multi-tentacled jailer-thing from the Movie.
Wow, Lefty from Sesame Street, what an obscure reference.
Starscream dakimakura pillows? CAN’T UNSEE!
I know. He’s from the days when Elmo was just a background character. I’m not sure if he’s even featured anymore.
Did you google it?
I kinda want one now. I’ll keep it in my living room. It will be a conversation piece.
I think I’ve seen a worse one that that actually (iirc was a discussion about merchandise that could give nightmares).
Just can’t seem to find the picture online no more.
Reverse side has Starscream looking over his shoulder in a rather coy manner, while trying to show off his hindquarters.
Whereas the front was the usual half lifted leg sorta thing, that seems to be a fairly common pose.
And I finally found it at another site:
Lefty: “Do you wanna buy an ‘O’? It only costs a nickel!”
Ernie: “A NICKEL?”
Ernie: “A nickel?”
Wait a minute…
Due to licensing issues, wouldn’t Takara Tomy be at fault for allowing those or were they really produced in the US?
I don’t think it works that way. Unlicensed is unlicensed. The people “at fault” are the ones producing and selling unlicensed products.
Those do fall under the category of artistic rendering, I’d think. Done by hand and if the maker has a few non-Transformers pieces on hand it’s pretty easy to make the case that the pillow and original art is the actual commodity and the image is just the chosen subject for the medium.
Exactly that’s why you got Lefty being all hush hush about where Ethan can get some Transformers contraband. Takara would probably crack down on them harder if they didn’t want to risk alienating the fans and failing to shut anything down permanently. As it is a merchant will have a hard time turning a profit selling this stuff to a few buyers in a secret location at convention venues. I think all involved can live with that.
…just out of curiosity, how much were those pillows running?
Zooming in on the pic, looks like the big ones are $50 and the cassettes $25.
$50 isn’t much to pay for a lifetime of intimacy with Starscream, now is it? :3
Normally I have to pay more then that to spoon with the one I love.
Ha! My reaction was similar. Eeek. Then wait is that a RAVAGE PILLOW!
You don’t see a Laserbeak pillow there because I bought it! It’s awesome!
I think Amber’s just surprised that Ethan and Ken are/have interacting
I love the look of the Prime Starscream on his pillow, for some reason…
I wonder if Ethan has any Optimus Prime or Batman dakimakura pillows.
I want a cassette former pillow now!
Hey Puppet Pal Clem.
Hey Puppet Pal Mitch.
Where do people keep their money?
I do not know Puppet Pal Mitch. Where do people keep their money?
In the First National BONK!
(Turns to audience, takes bow, accepts roses and undergarments flung by screaming fans)
i love both of you.
I READ IT ALL IN THEIR VOICES
The nineties were awesome for cartoons.
*Bwahahahahaha* Ah, otaku, is there anything they won’t turn into dakimakura and “interact” with?
Wait, I probably don’t want to know what that would be if the answer is “yes”!
Jersey Girls, maybe? Not much overlap in those demographics, I’d guess.
You’d be surprised and disappointed at the same time.
Ethan makes a surprisingly good Muppet.
You could say he’s a Muppet of a man. or a very manly Muppet.
Mildly Manly Muppet.
He’s made his decision, dammit! He had a song about it and everything!
STARSCREAM LOVE PILLOW
Comes in G1 and Prime varieties
I would buy a Armada Starscream one for myself XD
Armada Starscream is my favorite Starscream. Prime Starscream is the one they rendered with extremely girly legs though >.< The pillow seems… oddly appropriate.
I’m surprised nobody’s made an inappropriate Alexis comment with this mention of Armada Starscream.
Pardon me while I go curl into the fetal position and weep silently in the corner.
At last! The Golden An shall be mine!
This surprises you?
Those cassette throw pillows are all kinds of awesome though.
Ryu looks like he’s just messed his pants at the thought of a Starscream Dakimakura pillow.
So… is Warbot Defender actually any good? Disregarding it being a 3rd party figure, I’ve been in need of a Springer for a good while.
He’s great, but Hasbro hinted during their panel that they still intend to make an official one at some point in the future.
I’ve heard it gets floppy real fast.
Yeah, no good if your Springer goes floppy.
I understand you can get a pill for that these days.
Okay, those tape pillows are pretty neat!
But the other ones… is the character in the center pillow handcuffed?
Centre pillow? I only see two character pillows. (And no, neither of the Screamers is cuffed. The big bit on Prime Starscream is his wrist.)
Wait…is that a Joel Watson muppet in the 3rd panel, or is my insanity actibg up again?
The guy holding the child? I believe that’s Hasbro’s Aaron Archer, VP of IP development and big boss of Transformers. Walky always draws him with sort of half-closed hooded eyes.
The tags also show who the other background people are.
To be fair he draws him like that because he actually look’s like that. I swear I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Interview where his eyes are competely open.
Okay, I don’t really know anything about those transformer thingamajiggies. But that is pretty much my favorite Sesame Street segments ever, so I approve heartily.
Though I’d always imagined Ethan as a little more Bert than Ernie.
You know, while Defendor wouldn’t be hard to ban, I imagine there would be some fun arguments over certain minor league toys. Like the Change-Bot toys. Are they fake transformers just because they are robots that transform? Or are they legitimate branded toys for another franchise?
If they’re not based directly on TF IP, then it’s free game. Transformers wasn’t the first/only transforming-robot franchise, after all. There’s Robotech, Voltron, GoBots… Anyone can sell transforming robots, it’s just the problem of making transforming Transformers, you see. You can sell toys of generic superheroes (so long as you don’t use the term “superhero”), but you can’t sell your own Batman action figure.
Okay. What about transformers that were based on previous IP?
In the early days a lot of that stuff was very confused.
Jetfire was a short nosed version of the Macross VF1-S Super Valkyrie with fast pack Type 1.
Shockwave started out as the Astro Magnum. Megatron was a Microman Change Gun Robo. Well, I’m not sure if they were part of the Microman line then or not. But there was a Walther P.38 and a .357 magnum highway patrol revolver.
Some of the cassettes were from the Microman Change line proper.
Revell were selling several anime robot model kits as “Robotech” for a while before the actual Robotech show was on the air. (Orguss, Macross, Dougram) and afew of those could “sort of” transform.
Then there was the helicopter and “jeep” thing from Special Armored Battalion Dorvack used as “deluxe” transformers.
The weird Beetras insect robots from Bandai were turned into deluxe Insecticons.
So can these things be sold or are they off limits as Transformers IP and do they have to be “legit” to their own line?
Isn’t Microman wholly owned by TakaraTomy – Hasbro’s partner in Transformers? I believe they also own the mold and the rights to the design for Astro Magnum/Shockwave these days, too.
The other stuff was licensed to Hasbro by the manufacturers and IP owners of the time, and because they were official Transformers merchandise, vintage pieces can of course still be traded at BotCon, if that’s what you’re wondering.
I believe Hasbro said they were cool with BotCon dealers selling official, legitimate toys and merchandise from other (rival) manufacturers and franchises. It’s just knock offs and toys from “third party” groups that knock off Hasbro/TakaraTomy’s Transformers IP that is a problem for them. If these third party groups decide to knock off say, a Macross VF-1S, then that’s a problem for Bandai and Big West to handle.
If you value your sainty, seriously DO NOT ASK about anything branded robotech or based on macross IP.. Just don’t.
Can i ask about Battletech?
Oh, I understand in theory. My point is you have things like Defender that try to half-claim they aren’t Transformers IP, and ChangeBots admits to being inspired/homaging. For me it’s a question of how much similarity Hasbro would allow before going for the throat, given that for them the fiction would be a relative unknown.
I believe that Changebots falls under parody and isn’t exactly mooching off Transformers and Hasbro.
However, “third party” Transformers-based toys, for the most part, largely depend upon their resemblance to official Transformers designs and characters to appeal to their customer base. After all, who cares about Expensive Random McRobot From Nobody? These third party toys tend to be very clearly based upon Transformers designs. In fact, these days these companies seem to have dropped all pretense of trying to make the toys look a bit different from the Transformers IP they’re based upon and are just making Transformers.
I imagine that from a lost sales perspective, Hasbro isn’t too concerned (much of their toy business is still selling stuff to retailers, who sell most of them to the traditional parents & children market). Hasbro is most likely concerned about how unofficial parties siphoning off of their brand will weaken the franchise and any legal position they have on more serious cases (“Why didn’t you stop people selling X unofficial toys at your *OFFICIAL* convention?”).
I wouldn’t care if they were making Beast Wars toys… but they’re releasing toys of characters Hasbro is CURRENTLY RELEASING TOYS OF.
It’s a clear case of competing with official product.
Also– damnit! Where are my Cyberraptor and show-accurate Tripredicus Council toys?!
In most cases, they’re actually not. Third Parties, with the exception of Igear, seem to stick to the realm of “stuff hasbro’s not likely to do”. Sometimes Hasbro follows up after the fact, sometimes Hasbro surprises people, but generally I don’t see a lot of overlap.
Hey, I’m not going to judge. The pillow in themselves aren’t sick & disgusting, you can use an elongated pillow for laying on your side. Or for a few Physical Therapy exercises.
It’s the dry humping aspect of the pillow that’s bothersome, but I’m willing to pretend that doesn’t happen. I mean, the fandom can’t be that messed up, right?
Admittedly, the non G1 Starscream or seeker thing is a bit disturbing in that pose. But I’m trying not to think about it.
It was a group of girls who made the pillows, so that makes it okay, right?
I mean those Pillow Pet things aren’t creating an entire generation of perverts, are they?
They’re not, right?
No, just enabling them, I think.
Yeah, I think access to the internet is doing more to create them than the presence of pillows. But it’s not helping.
Well they wraps up in pet mode, which makes them perfect for inserting a silicone…
Why did I even begin this sentence? Just because it’s true do I have to SAY it?
“I mean, the fandom can’t be that messed up, right?”
Warning: There isn’t enough mind bleach in the world.
I’m in denial over here & that link isn’t helping. I have no intention of visiting it either, I’ll be over here LaLaLa not Listening.
I don’t get what the big deal is. This is something that turns people on. While I personally don’t feel that way, and while the prospect makes me a bit sick, who am I to begrudge someone else the ability to get turned on by this and buy things to aid in their masturbation? What makes these people sick in everyone’s eyes? Are they hurting anyone?
Look, you want to jerk off on a full-body Starscream pillow? Fine. Just so long as I don’t have to watch. Or hear about it.
Hahaha! I bought that Ravage pillow on Saturday, and I mean the exact one in the photo. It was the last one they had for sale and it’s mine! muahahaha.
If there are muppets at Botcon I’m so going to Botcon, screw the transformers I’m watching muppets.
Young person: What’s that?
Old creaky person: “It’s a pillow depicting a robot cat toy that turned into a replica of a piece of audio media, namely a mini-cassette, that is no longer widely in use, and hasn’t been for oh…fifteen years or more. ”
Young person: “Back off crazy! I have pepper spray! “
What’s funny is that the younger generations are a lot more disturbing than the older generations.
Crazy is in the eye of the beholder.
I don’t see what so disturbing about that kind of pillows. I mean, remember the strip where we were introduced to the once hot, now disturbing because of what Faz do with it with his….mate, Amber pillow. Remember how many people wanted it, same thing can be applied with the Starscream pillow. I’m just saying that it may be disturbing but at least it’s not the Kiss Players pillows.
People wanting the Amber pillow did not make it disturbing.
I just have this weird feeling that Ethan and Ken are telling this story using puppets.
Reimagine this comic with those Cuddle Uppit things, and you’ve got the trifecta of disturbing imagery.
I have a really long (bigger than king size) fluffy pillow. It just has a normal pillow case though.
I suppose that someone who saw it might assume that it has a naughty pillow case for special occasions.
But I have back problems and every night must construct a new customized pillow fort to lie on to deal with it well enough to get a good night’s sleep. If I screw it up someone sneaks into my room and beats me with a bat. I’ve never actually caught the person with the bat but they must exist because of how I feel the next morning. I have four smaller pillows, one of those round supportive neck pillows, and a small mini-quilt that I fold up to vary heights by less than one pillow thickness.
It’s quite sad.
Not having suggestive pics of cartoon characters printed on it makes all the difference in the world.
Wouldn’t it be better to get a custom mattress to deal with that?
My doctor recommended that and it didn’t work very well. And it was a viscoelastic mattress pad rather than a whole mattress. It put out some really amazing fumes the first six days I had it too. I rolled it up and stuck it in the closet to let it finish breathing and then took it out and while it helped the pillows do a better job due to their modularity and adjustability. On the other hand doing the bed linens is a bit of a pain. Well… it’s four pillow cases more than normal which is not that big of a deal, but I enjoy complaining.
The Japanese pervert-pillow doesn’t even register to me when you place it next to those AWESOME cassette pillows. I would totally have bought one. Though I’d prefer the Autobot Rewind. I’d settle for Laserbeak or Buzzsaw though. If they go up for sale on the web I need a link.
The Cassette pillows are cool, because then you can pretend to be Soundwave (or Blaster, if there are Autobot cassette pillows), hold them up to your chest, and toss them like they’re being ejected!
Yes, it’s an extremely nerdy thing to do, but if you can’t acknowledge your inner nerdiness and revel in it, then you’ve got issues.
I sold an “O” to your mom. For a nickel.
This reminds me of Magic th Gathering the Musical (see kickstarter for more info). Every nerdy subculture should have a muppet incarnation.
Man, now I regret not buying a cassette pillow.
Even though I never would have been able to fit it into my luggage with all my other stuff.
Also, is that supposed to be a Muppet version of Aaron Archer in the 3rd panel? He seems to resemble how you normally draw him.
I’m sure there are other cameos, but I can’t make them out.
From now on, every time I remember any past event I’ll picture all the people as muppets. this made my day.
Is that a muppet Faz in the background of panel 2? It has the same eyes. Or is it a muppet version of one of Amber’s many other relatives…
According to the tags, that’s Simon Furman.
Even though it’s not the sketch Willis is referencing, this is still my favorite Lefty sketch:
The love pillows are gross, but those Tape Pillows are baller. I want all of them!
Was trying to explain the…merchandise to our trivia group last night, but “dakimakura” is too obscure, so I called them “those anime sex pillows.”
I really wish there was one for movie starscream, the bane of fangirls, just for how ridiculous it would look.
Why is there not a Soundwave dakimakura to go with those cassette pillows?
And now I’ll have the Lefty “sneaky music” theme stuck in my head all day.
….Hot Shot, eh? We’ll add that to our stock list.
Three pages together! Is anyone not shipping Ethan and Ken?
Why would anybody not do that? I don’t understand..
Yay Muppet humor! We need more of that!
Good god, those dakimakura pillows creep me the fuck out. Though the cassette pillows look cool.
Instead of a pillow, found some Batman socks with attached capes http://www.80stees.com/products/Batman-Caped-Knee-High-Socks.asp
I knew they looked all muppety, but my initial thought was that this was an Avenue Q reference of some sort.
It’s funny; I haven’t watched Sesame Street in ages. I barely remember anything save for bits and peices, like an “N” song, or the pinball machine counting thing (1 2 3 4-5, 6 7 8 9-10 11 12!). Still, you know something is lodged in the back of your brain when you see something like this for the first time since you were a kid and you know exactly how he should sound!
Those pillows look okay if you didn’t know what they were intended for.
I didn’t run into this myself at BotCon, but there were quite a few shifty looking dealers there.
Oh come on Willis you know that’s bullshit. You’ve been in an unhealthy codependency with this fandom since Kiss Players.
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