In 1985, an alien starship crashed to Earth, and mankind used the technology to upgrade their own. They successfully used what they called "Robotech" to fight off three alien invasions. Heroic pilots, transforming mechas, vast alien armadas, and tons of other sci-fi mainstays were the order of the day.
We're of course referring to the anime classic Robotech, which was what really came to us in 1985. The show fused three unrelated Japanese series together (those shows made between 1982 and 1984), and was created by Carl Macek, who sadly passed away in 2010. It ran for 85 episodes, and is still very much present in the anime-loving hearts of fans today, as well as being equally present (at this moment) on Netflix, as well as a continuation from Titan Comics.
Several attempts have been made over the years to revisit the world of the show — new series, animated films, and live-action remakes have all been in the works at one time or another, but have always fallen through. As we found out, that is likely no longer the case.
While Robotech remains a huge inspiration (not just in the world of animation, but in the world of science fiction in general), The Robotech panel at New York Comic Con 2018, as a part of NYCC Anime Fest, made it abundantly clear that the passion (and tech) runs just as strong as it ever did
Kevin McKeever of Harmony Gold led the panel, which also included Darius Hambleton and Jeffrey Mechlinksi of Strange Machine Games. The strength of Robotech in our current pop culture landscape is evidenced by the sheer amount of merchandising alone — Loot Crate has some surprises coming, there will be some new '80s tees, as well as tons of new hoodies and flight jackets. There are plenty of art books in the pipeline, and of course, the action figures are booming. Not only that, there’s also a “Dancing Minmei” figure coming out which doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. She'll sing to any song you choose. If that wasn’t enough, Coleco (yes that Coleco) is in the process of creating new retro gaming panels that will really make you feel old.
Fans are proving to still be passionate as well, with an artist debuting an all-metal, super-scale VF-1 model at this past year’s Shanghai Comic Con. Does it actually transform? OF course it does. That same artist now intends to do a version in 1-1 scale, and we’re sure he’ll follow through.
When it comes to Robotech enthusiasm, though, few can compete with Hambleton and Mechlinski. They have several tabletop games in production, including Robotech: Ace Pilot (which follows The Macross Saga, and is a dice rolling game). The big game of theirs to get excited about, however, is Robotech: Attack on the SDF-1. It's a massive tabletop experience (the box alone is very heavy, which is good) and can be for 1 to 5 players. That's right, if you want to, you can play it alone. It's also a cooperative gaming experience, so it shouldn't cause any fighting amongst friends.
This strategy game will follow the storyline of the show, with the premise being that you're trying to survive the game. In this case, the sooner you end the game, the better. It comes with a full SDF model, and features an astoundingly large layout. The game is suitable whether you've seen the show or not, but is obviously more fun if you have.
Hambleton and Mechlinski also talked exclusively with SYFY WIRE, saying that the game is really a celebration of all sci-fi and space opera. One of the cards included may say something like, "It's a trap!" for instance. Even for the uninitiated, it's giant robots in space — as they told us, "What's not to like?"
Those who are more in the role-playing vein, they have you covered as well. A new RPG will be coming from them based on The Macross Saga, and will start with the first global civil war. It will feature a "drama system" that will involve things like love triangles (who doesn't love those?) and plenty of jet, mecha, and ground adventures as well. They are aiming to have it ready in June of 2019, and SYFY WIRE contributor Bryan Young is assisting them with writing the story scenario information.
But wait, there's more! Not only is Titan Comics reprinting the entire run of the comic series, but there's the little matter of a live-action movie finally looking like it will happen. Sony has acquired the rights, and Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton are attached to produce. Barbara Muschietti is on board as producer, and it is being written by Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman). Set to be direct is Andy Muschietti, of It: Chapter One fame. While that film's sequel finishes production, Fuchs will continue to work on the script. According to McKeever, they are both “very excited” to be working on Robotech.
With so much Robotech in the works, we got the feeling that we ain't seen nothing yet. Keever said it himself: “The best is yet to come.”
Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of NYCC 2018, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.