After exhausting planet Earth, humanity has moved out to live “on the stars.”
With your closest neighbor light-years away, the “on the stars” lifestyle guarantees a level of privacy unmatched in human history. But even ultimate privacy doesn’t need to come at a cost when modern technology can instantly whisk you back to civilization.
But when that modern technology unexpectedly fails, three private vessels find themselves completely unprepared for the isolation that follows. The three crews have very different strategies to cope with a radical change to the status quo.
Will they have the wherewithal to survive the weeks and months that it will take to get back to civilization?
Severed was written while sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is both therapy for and a reaction to the author\’s experiences during the onset of the virus and explores how regular people react during a crisis.
The Infinitesimal Collection: Bureaucracy, Stuffed Bears and Alien Duels
Four short stories by Daniel J. Lyons
A collection of first-person stories written starting in 1989 while the author was in High School and college.
These works have been left as originally written with only minor tweaks.
About “A Visit to the Licensing Department”
“A Visit to the Licensing Department”
A science fiction story about what life might be like if human lives were cheapened to the point where they could be taken legally as long as you have the correct permit.
About “The Busiest Workday”
“The Busiest Workday”
A speculative fiction story told by a mid-level angel that attempts to answer the question will bureaucracy ever end? by documenting the heavenly aftermath of the apocalypse.
About “Come Around Here Often?”
“Come Around Here Often?”
A science fiction story told by Captain Wilson Banski who, after an enemy attack destroys his ship, deals with misadventure and cultural misunderstandings after his escape pod lands on an alien planet.
About “Best Friend Bears”
“Best Friend Bears”
A fiction piece told by Sarah about growing up with her best friend Ann and their special pair of stuffed bears.
The first of the second-string Seekers has arrived at Junkion HQ in the form of Aerospace Engineer Amy (aka G1 Sunstorm)!
The box is the now-standard G1 grid pattern
Inside the box you get a the standard Stormtrooper instructions, Spacebridge stand instructions, a warning sheet about not rotating the stand post, a set of pointing hands, a set of open hands, 2x shoulder cannons, 2x wing bombs, Agamenmnon in pistol mode, 2x blue gradient thrust effects, 2x pink gradient blast effects and the Spacebridge stand segment.
One nice thing about the figure is the use of multiple yellows with some parts being more mustard an others closer to canary, all accented in bright white.
The face has a huge lopsided and rather creepy smile.
The wings have a subtle gradient between the two yellows on the top side.
I didn’t think I’d like the flame details at first, but in hand they work well.
The coronation translucent version of Lucifer has arrived at Junkion HQ.
The box is the standard blue grid package used for all of the translucent editions in the Legendary Heroes line.
Inside the box you get the standard instructions, 2x null cannons, 2x wing bombs, a clear version of Agamenmnon in pistol mode, a set of pointing hands, a set of open hands and coronation gear for the initial Lucifer release.
Ironically, the one thing that is not included (in my copy at least) are instructions for the coronation gear – those are printed on the Spacebridge stand instruction sheet.
The biggest change from the standard Lucifer is the fact that the feet are plastic instead of die-cast. Unfortunately this makes the figure more top-heavy and harder to pose since it doesn’t have that extra weight.
The Coronation Gear
Now for the real reason to purchase this release.
Although the gear looks good, it makes the figure extremely top-heavy and difficult to pose.
This will probably be my last translucent figure from the Legendary Heroes line. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, but there are so many other releases that it’s getting hard to justify them.
The box is a nice color-coordinated G1 grid with Chinese text similar to Martini Manero‘s.
Inside the box, you get the standard vannette instructions, a pair of pointing hands in grey, a pair of open hands in grey, black rifle, black version of McCoy‘s nitrogen hand, and black version of Miller’s laser scalpel.
No changes here except for the color scheme.
Like their other releases, the best parts are the tiny details that they manage to fit into these small figures.
Tata is a nice addition to my, poorly lit, non-TF Legendary Heroes display.
New Age has finally returned to the mini-bots with their two-pack of Hogan (aka G1 Brawn) and William Bonney (aka G1 Outback)!
The box is about what you expect from the Legendary Heroes line but with red details.
Inside the box you get both figures in robot mode, a combined set of instructions covering all three releases of the mold, a large cannon, a pistol, 2x gas tanks in matching colors, a die-cast drill and the die-cast Initial Premium set which includes a drill for Agamenmnon and a claw for Lucifer.
I found it impossible to transform the arms into vehicle mode as shown in the instructions. There are post on the forearms that have to slot into the folding piece that fits between them and, if the arms are in the final position, there is not enough clearance to slide everything into position. I have to rotate the forearms out (as seen below) so that the posts clear the bottom of the center piece then use the fists to fold the arms into the final position.
The Gas Tank
The gas cans fold out into odd-looking blasters.
They also fit into the back of the vehicle mode very tightly. So tightly that I had trouble getting them back off. They’ll probably end up in my New Age parts bin.
Each figure gets an unique head and chest so that they maintain the unique look of each character.
And a close-up of his face – Hogan is apparently very unhappy.
In vehicle mode the only difference between the two figures is the bottom of the grill, for Hogan, there is a hole for the drill attachment.
The different head and chest really helps the two figures stand apart.
Since the spare tire on the roof is identical to the regular tires, including the mounting rivet, it is not possible to mount the cannon in the middle of the roof like on the G1 toy. You’ll have to pick a preferred side and use that fist to mount it.
After the recent releases it is a bit of a shock going back to such small figures but the quality and poseability certainly don’t suffer.
* “That One Episode” – the obligatory accessory that the character used once in the cartoon.
For those who pre-ordered all three of New Age Toys’ Stormtroopers (aka G1 Seekers) the arrival of Leviathan includes replacement parts for Agamenmnon in the form of new hips and legs that resolve the unnatural hip joint in the original design.
At a very quick glance you might not even notice the difference:
But the closer you look, the more obvious the changes become. A side view emphasizes the new, longer, side skirts.
From the back, the new hip is even more obvious, and looks more “gappy” than the original.
The pistol mode is even more similar at first glance.
A close-up of the original pistol handle.
And a close-up of the new pistol handle showing the new joints.
There are no instructions on how to install the part included in the box (at least there weren’t with mine) so I’ve detailed the steps I took below:
Separate the figure by pushing the hips backwards to slide the mushroom cap out of the torso. This will require a firm hand since the cap is held tightly in place.
Remove the toes from each leg by pushing them in from the outside of the leg to slide the mushroom cap out of the calves. Just like the waist, the cap is tight and will require a bit of pressure to release.
Get a PH01 screwdriver to remove the leg panels (be careful not to strip the screws!). I removed the outer panels first since they’re bulkier but the order doesn’t appear to be important. When removing the leg panels, make sure to keep the correct screw with the correct panel – the inner panel has a shorter screw.
To install the new part, reverse the previous steps:
Attach the toes to each leg: line up the mushroom cap with the slot then push them out from the inside of the leg until the cap snaps into place.
Use your PH01 screwdriver to attach the leg panels to the new part.
Reattach the bottom half of the figure by lining up the mushroom cap at the top of the hips with the slot on the torso then pushing them forward until the cap snaps into place.
The new transformation is more complicated than the original.
Here’s the original design where the hips simply folded down:
The new transformation starts with folding the legs down, similar to how the original hips worked.
Then fold in the flaps at either side of the front hip skirt panel. Here is a view of one of these panels opened in pistol mode:
And a view of the cap that it is meant to cover:
You may also notice that there is another hinge behind this one. That is the connector for the new side skirts which fold flat into the pistol grip. Here it is during the transformation:
And as viewed from the back:
The Hip Joint
The best part of this upgrade is the relocation of the hip joint.
Here’s the original design:
And the new one:
The biggest flaw with the new part is the sliding hip panel which does not lock into place. In many poses it drops down leaving a gap at the waist:
Of course, in the alternate position it gives Agamemnon visible underpants:
Turns out that the “visible underpants” look is how it is supposed to be. You need to fold in both sides of the front hip skirt then fold up the tips of each side skirt to cover the resulting gap. This will hold the hip assembly in the correct location.
Here’s a comparison with the hips properly transformed:
I’m not sure that this upgrade was completely necessary but it is just as solid as the original. Each has one large flaw so you can choose your poison. Personally, I’ll keep my original version on display and save the upgraded version for any time that I need a pose that would highlight the hip joint.
According to New Age Toys, the replacement parts for the other repaints might be made available for purchase “at cost price” due to people not wanting to buy another figure just to get the part.
New Age’s conehead Stormtroopers have arrived at Junkion HQ!
I was surprised at how large the box was when it arrived, even though I have no idea how it could have been smaller. It’s features a Multiverse-style artwork cover with the coneheads attacking Unicron‘s head.
Inside the box are two separate trays, one that contains the figures and accessories (see the sections for each character below for the contents), and one holding the 3x Spacebridge stands, 6x blue gradient jet blast effects and 6x red gradient medium blast effects. Packed in separate baggies are the Initial Premium (yellow blast effects, no sticker on the bag this time) and 6x wing bomb shells. The instructions sheet covers all three figures and is huge – the photo below shows only 1/3 of it.
The Initial Premium contains: 3x long yellow blasts and one short yellow blast.
If you ordered in time to get the Initial Premium, this set will add a total of sixteen effects to your collection:
6x jet engine effects – blue to clear gradient
6x medium blasts – clear to red gradient
3x long blasts – yellow
1 short blast – yellow
The new wing bombs are a bit odd – they’re shells that snap onto the standard Stormtrooper blasters:
I don’t understand why they didn’t make the bombs a complete piece. It doesn’t seem like they saved all that much material going with this plan since they now require internal reinforcements to lock onto the original blaster. If amount of materials was a concern, couldn’t it have been hollow with a post?
To make use of the hollow calves, New Age has added a flip-out heel spur.
An unfortunate side-effect of these new spurs are the posts they lock into which really stand out in jet mode.
I never had any problems posing Lucifer so I’m not sure that the heel spurs are worth the posts’ negative impact on the jet mode.
The coneheads all get bulkier and fully-painted knee pads.
The heads in jet mode are awkward at best – they point down and the top of the cone folds backwards.
Unfortunately the head it too large to rotate 180 degrees so that the cone points forward and like the end of a fuel tank or something similar.
Something that I should have noted with my Lucifer review: When transforming the arms, always start with the left – it has a post that locks into the right arm (see below). If you try to start with the right it’s much harder to get it started.
Beelzebul, aka G1 Ramjet, comes packed in jet mode and includes the same Stormtrooper blasters from Lucifer, 2x bomb shells, a set of pointing hands and a set of open hands.
The robot mode, like the rest of the Legendary Heroes line, looks like it just stepped out of the cartoon.
It’s hard to see in-hand but each conehead has an unique face.
With the exception of the already mentioned head, the jet mode is very nice.
Mammon, aka G1 Thrust, includes 2x blasters, 2x bomb shells, a set of pointing hands and a set of open hands.
Another great robot mode, clearly I prefer the original Stormtrooper blasters for this one.
Mammon’ sneering face is the most unique, and visible, of the three.
The only thing I don’t like about the jet mode is the second set of tail-fins that they’ve added.
Here is a close-up of the o”fin”ding additions.
Like Beelzebul, the back panel hinges do not match the color of the rest of the top of the jet, but here they really stick out as something that shouldn’t be there.
Thrust was the only Decepticon jet that I had “back in the day” so I’m very attached to the toy interpretation. I’m holding out hope that there will be an EX-style version of Thrust with shoulder wings although I don’t really expect it to happen. If it were a simple parts swap that would be one thing, but I’m not sure that the potential Nacelle repaint would be enough to justify the remolding cost.
Mephisto, aka G1 Dirge, includes 2x blasters, 2x bomb shells, a set of pointing hands and a set of open hands all in matching grey.
Probably the weakest of the robot modes – the “winglets” do not lock into place so they’re very easy to knock askew. I presume that’s why all of the photos on the box show them pushed to the side instead of pointing up like in the instructions.
Mephisto’s face is very similar to Beelzebul’s with the main difference being the detail of the chin.
Just like G1, the big differences are the head and wing arrangement.
Here are the new knees beside the original, both are snap-on pieces and not part of the calf.
Here’s Beelzebul next to Lucifer in Jet mode.
Mammon, as expected, is far closer to the standard Stormtroopers but still decidedly unique so here he is again.
While there are a few things that I would change (if I had the power to do so) this is still a great set and a nice addition to the line!
Included with New Age’s Stormtrooper (not-Seekers), the Spacebridge stand is an impressive accessory!
One of the most impressive features is the fact that all of the pieces of the stand store in the back of the Spacebridge stand segment.
The second most impressive feature is the fact that the Spacebridge stand segment is coated with metal. The metallic paint makes the stand feel like it is die-cast. So much so that I found myself looking for a seam between the metal and the plastic.
The stand includes two attachment points; a short post compatible with New Age’s Stormtroopers, a and a claw for other figures.
The set also includes a side mount so that you can use a single stand to support multiple Stormtroopers.
UPDATE: Here are some examples of the stand being used to hold three Stormtroopers.
Update #2: I had set up my New Age display with two of these planning to have one seeker and one conehead flying at the back of the display. When my Coneheads arrived I tried to attach Mammon and discovered that the mounting points on the Coneheads’ backs are larger than on the original Stormtroopers. I swapped out with one of the stands that came with the set and realized that the posts at the end of the mounting arm are also larger. The new stands do work with the original Stormtroopers and hold them fine just not vice-versa.
The final pieces are snap-on connectors that allow you to construct the complete Spacebridge out of twelve segments.
Mixing the stand with the effect parts can result in some very dynamic displays.
New Age Toys’ Air Commander Lucifer (aka G1 Starscream) has arrived at Junkion HQ!
The box is another Diaclone homage, this time to the F-15 Jetrobo.
Inside the box you’ll find two sets of instructions; a generic “Stormtrooper” set for the figure and one for the Spacebridge stand (which is covered in a separate post). For accessories you’ll find the stand, 2x cannons, open hands, pointed hands, 2x small blast effects, 2x engine blast effects, 2x bombs and Agamenmnon in pistol mode.
Lucifer’s robot mode is an impressive rendition of Starscream from the original cartoon.
Even the back is nice and clean!
You can also use the front landing gear as a wrist communicator.
Jet mode is equally impressive!
The effect parts in this release are two-tone. The jet blasts start as blue at the base and move to clear at the tips.
One thing to be aware of is that, due to the transformation joints in the tail fins, it is very easy to knock them out of alignment when handling the jet.
The robot chest inverts out of the underside of the cockpit…
…then flip out to form the chest…
…then everything folds up into the robot torso.
The outer edge of the robot legs pivots around…
…which positions the tail fins on the inside of the calf…
…so that they can be folded completely into the leg.
Lucifer is a head shorter than Agamenmnon.
Lucifer is also twice the height of Flipper.
Another impressive and fun addition to the Legendary Heroes line!