Fifteen Years of ASM – A Look Back


July 12, 1999 — that graphic you see above was revealed to online Transformers fandom for the first time, heralding a new online magazine about those toys that could alter their states from robot to vehicles and beasts, an internet-only fanzine that promised debate about a wide variety of subjects that would take a new look at the Transformers mythos:

“I can sum up Altered States Magazine‘s focus: OPINIONS. This very well be my fanzine, but I want it to be a forum for your ideas, your essays, your opinions….

“Future issues of Altered States Magazine may deal with themes like heroism, morality, and religion. A lot will depend on how you interact with us.”

Boy, was I deluded or what? The magazine never really took off.  My idea for bimonthly issues quickly unraveled, and for a while we only did Toy Fair coverage.  Hardly an ongoing magazine dealing with weighty issues.

But we soldiered on, introducing reviews, Q&As, feature articles.  Toy Fair coverage soon had Transformers as only a small portion of the toys covered (and I still stand by our 15 years of coverage as some of the best a small site with no budget could do).  We introduced reviews of TV shows, and we shortened our name to ASM because I was sick of the full name (although we still get called “Altered States Magazine” frequently).

Some years ago I realized that I couldn’t hand-code the site anymore and I introduced the “Geekly Rewind” blog.  I thought it would complement the larger articles; instead, WordPress made it easy to just do everything there.  ”Geekly Rewind” never took off as a concept, so the site once again becamse just ASM.

ASM has always been a labor of love.  We took advertising very sparingly (and got burned on one deal).  We’ve made lots of friends and met lots of great people.  Over the course of these fifteen years, we’ve had lots of people work on and for the site, and I certainly hope I don’t miss any of them in this list:

Rogue Z, Daniel, Amy, Doug, Matt G., Ant, Matt K., Chris K., Gary, Greg, Joe — without you, we wouldn’t have had content on the site.  Thank you so much for putting words onto screen and taking pictures and doing everything you’ve done.

Thank you to our industry friends, especially those at Hasbro; Justin, Joe and the crew at Hunter PR (that includes Danny, former member of the Hunter Bearded Triumverate); Aub and the folks at Dark Horse; Rosalind and those at IDW; Allison and the people at Funko; Hunter and the group at Valiant Comics; Jerry at WizardWorld; Lance at ReedPop; and all those from the former Palisades Toys.  And to those whom we see at Toy Fair every year?  You rock, too!

Finally, a sincere thanks to you, the reader.  The ride here has been bumpy at times, or stalled, or fast and furious.  But we kept moving on, and I and the staff thank you for being there.

As I look towards the past, I can’t help but look towards the future.  Fifteen years ago, I was a single guy with a growing collection, lots of free time and money, and a whole lot of ideas.  Now, I’m married with a kid, and that takes up most of my time.  But I still have lots of ideas, and I hope that I’ll be able to put some of them in place in the future.  I don’t know what the coming months or years will bring, but I hope that I will still be here, with my own little corner of the Internet, writing about the things that interest me and you.

So, tomorrow is ASM’s 15th Birthday.  Thanks to everyone out there who’s read, contributed, shared, liked, tweeted, and visited.  You’re the reason I do it.  Thanks.

Wizard World Presents ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Panel Featuring Sir Patrick Stewart, Moderated By William Shatner, August 24 During Chicago Comic Con

Below is the press release announcing a special “Star Trek: The Next Generation” panel at Wizard World Chicago.  Six TNG members will be in attendance, and the panel will be moderated by William Shatner himself.  The reason for this panel?  It’s been twenty years since the finale, “All Good Things” aired.

Twenty years?  Good Lord, I’m old.  See the press release below and hit the jump for more.

Wizard World Presents ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Panel Featuring Sir Patrick Stewart, Moderated By William Shatner, August 24 During Chicago Comic Con

Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes, Levar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden Reunite For Special Celebration Of 20th Anniversary Of Final Episode At Rosemont Theater

Fans of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” the highly successful 1987-1994 follow up to the original “Star Trek” television series, are in for a special treat as six of its stars reunite for a unique celebration of the 20th anniversary of the program’s final episode on Sunday, August 24 from 5-6:45 p.m. “Captain Kirk” from the original, William Shatner, hosts as the “TNG” bridge crew of Sir Patrick Stewart (“Captain Jean-Luc Picard”) Jonathan Frakes(“Commander William T. Riker”), Levar Burton (“Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge”),Michael Dorn (“Lieutenant Worf”), Marina Sirtis (“Counselor Deanna Troi”), Brent Spiner(“Lt. Commander Data”), and Gates McFadden (“Dr. Beverly Crusher”) relive the memories of the program’s seven-year run. Read more

Hikari Friday at Funko Offers Transformers, Creature from the Black Lagoon

It’s Hikari Friday at Funko again!  They’re giving away three different Hikary Sofubi figures this week.  Hit them up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram at @OriginalFunko to enter.  What can you win?

Apocalypse Creature Hikari Sofubi Figure


Hikari Premium Sofubi Figures have a highly extensive paint application process.
Hikari Premium Sofubi Figures have over 75 paint applications to create an extremely detailed figure.

Battle Ready Optimus Prime and Bumblebee are available exclusively through Entertainment Earth.
Both figures are limited to 1000pcs, and you can pre-order now -
Battle Ready Optimus Prime Hikari Premium Sofubi Figure
Battle Ready Bumblebee Hikari Premium Sofubi Figure

If you aren’t the lucky winner of Hikari Friday, visit a Funko Retailer in September for Apocalypse Creature and for the Transformers Hikari Premium Sofubi Figures!

Boreanaz, Reedus, Smith, Gillan Headline Wizard World Chicago Comic Con Celebrity Roster

David Boreanaz, Norman Reedus, Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Katie Cassidy, Stan Lee Headline Celebrity Guests At Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 21-24

Five WWE® Standouts Including Superstar John Cena®, Five ‘The Walking Dead’ Stars, Anthony Mackie, Evan Peters, Top Comics Creators Also Among Top Stars At Pop Culture Festival At Donald E. Stephens Convention Center

ROSEMONT, Ill., June 25, 2014 – David Boreanaz (“Bones,” “Angel”), Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead,” Boondock Saints), Matt Smith and Karen Gillan (“Doctor Who,”), Katie Cassidy (“Arrow”), William Shatner (“Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker”) and comics legend Stan Lee are among the celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Chicago Comic Con, August 21-24 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. It is largest and longest-running of the 16 events in the 2014 series produced by Wizard World, Inc. (OTCBB: WIZD) and will also feature a top-drawer collection of well-known comics artists and writers and a variety of activities, exhibitors and special attractions.

Reedus and Cassidy are scheduled to appear on Saturday and Sunday, August 23-24; Boreanaz and Shatner will attend on Friday and Saturday, August 22-23; Smith and Gillan are set for Saturday only; and Lee will be on site Friday through Sunday.

Popular celebrities on the Wizard World Chicago Comic Con roster include a host of “The Walking Dead” cast members, including Reedus, Danai Gurira, Scott Wilson, Sarah Wayne Callies and Michael Rooker. Read more

BotCon 2014 – Hasbro Preview – Age of Extinction Generations

Hasbro just finished their presentation at BotCon 2014, and now we have pictures courtesy Hasbro/Hunter PR.   In the Deluxe category we have Hot Shot (original mold was Crosshairs) and in the Leader category we have a two-pack of Grimlock and Optimus Prime.  Pics are below.

TF4 Gen Deluxe Hot Shot bot TF4 Gen Deluxe Hot Shot car Read more

BotCon 2014 – Hasbro Preview – 1-Step Changers Waves 3 and 4

Hasbro just finished their presentation at BotCon 2014, and now we have pictures courtesy Hasbro/Hunter PR.  Continuing the new mantra of having easy transforming toys for the youngsters, Hasbro has two new waves of 1-Step changers.  Wave 3 includes Bumblebee, Drift (helicopter), Galvatron, Slug and Steeljaw.

Following that, in Wave 4, we have Megatron, Prowl (looking very G1), Rollbar and Strafe.

BotCon 2014 – Hasbro Preview – Generations Voyager 2014/2015

Hasbro just finished their presentation at BotCon 2014, and now we have pictures courtesy Hasbro/Hunter PR.  Coming this year is a new friggin’ Headmaster Brainstorm with Arcana (hooray for Headmasters! and next year is an IDW-inspired Optimus Prime.  That truck form is… interesting.  Anyway, check out the pics!

Gen Voyager Brainstorm jet Read more

BotCon 2014 – Hasbro Preview – Generations Legends 2015

Hasbro just finished their presentation at BotCon 2014, and now we have pictures courtesy Hasbro/Hunter PR.  Coming next year we have Legends Bombshell (yay for name reclaim!), Powerglide, Thundercracker and Windcharger.  My Metroplex will have new friends. Check out the pics!

Gen Legends Bombshell bot Read more

BotCon 2014 – Hasbro Preview – Generations Legends 2014

Hasbro just finished their presentation at BotCon 2014, and now we have pictures courtesy Hasbro/Hunter PR.  Coming later this year we have Legends Cliffjumper with Suppressor and Nemesis Prime with Spinister. Sweet. Check out the pics!
Legends Cliffjumper car Read more

BotCon 2014 – Hasbro Preview – Generations Leader 2015

Hasbro just finished their presentation at BotCon 2014, and now we have pictures courtesy Hasbro/Hunter PR.  Coming in 2015 we have two Leader Megatrons, one a remold of the other. Both are tanks, but only one is freakin’ Armada Megatron! Nice!

Gen Leader Megatron bot

Gen Leader Megatron tank

Gen Leader Armada Megatron bot

Gen Leader Armada Megatron tank