How I made the Cybcon 2005 exclusive Minibot Jazzes
For Cybcon 2004 myself and fellow co-conspirators Greg Gaub and Richard Mistron uleashed upon the world the first Transformers related unique mold fan convention exclusive. In other words, we made and distributed a bunch of homemade Bumblebee toys to the unsuspecting attendees of Cybcon 2004. Since I was the one doing the majority of the construction, fan reaction to the Bumblebees was important to me. They were a lot of work and I loved making them despite having all those nagging self doubts that come with producing something for other people to enjoy. I was intensely monitoring fan reaction to my work. If everyone thought the Bumblebees were totally lame I was hoping to enter the FBI's witness protection program and never go to Washington. It turned out enough people liked them that when Greg and Richard asked me back I said sure. So in late 2004 we began scheming and plotting anew about what we'd unleash on the attendees of Cybcon 2005.
At that point there were mainly five of us involved, and the plan was for fellow organizer Dave "Zobovor" Edwards to do the brunt of the product development for the Cybcon 2005 unique mold toys. Our original idea was that after the group reached consensus on what the exclusive would be, Zob would sculpt the prototype and then send it to me for mold making and mass production. I was a little wary of engineering another transforming toy from scratch because 2004's Bumblebee was a lot more work than I originally imagined, so I was going to leave the design work to Zob. We all agreed on creating a quintesson toy because of the significance of the year 2005, which was the setting for The Transformers: The Movie where the Quintessons first appeared. At least that was our plan in late 2004!
Well it turned out that Zob had to take a leave of absence from the project and he made that announcement to us on the first day of 2005. With Zob gone there'd be nobody to sculpt the Quintesson. I understood the enormity of the task and there was no way I wanted to undertake it. I guess I'm lazy like that! We were at the starting point all over again. So Greg's like, "Allright so what do we do now?" and Richard's like, "Uh, I don't know. What do you think?" and I'm all, "Uh, I don't know. What do you guys think?"
We abandoned the Quintesson idea and started throwing out new ones. We thought really long and hard about it and came up with a few other ideas. I thought about doing a non-transforming Sharkticon figure with light up eyes, but ultimately we decided not to go in a Transformers:The Movie related direction. That was partly because we figured many other fans would be making Sharkticon and Quintesson kitbashes, saturating the fandom with these kinds of ideas. We wanted to go in a unique and different direction that wasn't being mirrored in the consiousnesses of other creative types in the fandom. Sure enough, Quintesson kitbashes started popping up like mad over the next few months and with every one that did, Richard kept repeating how he was feeling good about not going in that direction.
I had privately been kicking around the idea of making original Choro-Q style minibots like the 1984 Transformer mincars but with different vehicle modes. I bought a few Choro-Qs-a Firebird, a Fairlady Z, a Lambo Diablo, and even a Fiero. I kitbashed one of them just to prove to myself I could take their outer bodies and transplant them onto a Transformer chassis and make a new transforming minicar. It worked well. Then I figured, why not come up with something along these lines for the 2005 Cybcon toy?
Richard is a huge Jazz fan and has amassed possibly the world's most complete Jazz related memorabilia collection. His Jazz mania is legend among people who know him. I personally like teh Jazz too! It was almost unfair to suggest a Jazz related idea to Richard. I kinda felt guilty about exploiting his weakness like that, but who cares? So what if the world thinks we're a bunch of Jazz obsessed wankers? We are! So I pitched an idea where we'd do a minibot of Jazz, but instead of a Porsche we'd do his Cybertronian mode from the first episode. Of course Richard loved it and with the rough idea figured out we began developing the concept further...
Picture Gallery 1-Developing the Idea-Here's the wacky behind the scenes look at how I originally envisioned the Jazzes and how that developed into the prototype from which the molds were made.
Picture Gallery 2-Production-Resin casting, dyeing, parts fitting, priming, painting, and decal applying in style!
Picture Gallery 3-Finished!-A look at the finished products and the variations thereof.