In what might be the coolest thing any of my friends have ever done, Alen Yen recently became the person my 12 year old self is most jealous of and the hero of my current 35 year old self.
He secured the license for Voltron, and produced a Voltron toy with a built in USB stick. It's seriously one of the awesomest things any of my friends have ever done. It's Voltron. It's a USB stick. It's got an LED and a sword. It comes MIB. Really, what else do you want?
A little back story: If you asked me who my my top 10 internet heros were, I'd have to think about it for a while, probably over a coffee or seven. After many hours arguing with myself to compile the list, I can tell you with all certainty that it would include Alen Yen. I stumbled across his website, ToyboxDX sometime back in the mid 90's, in a kinder, gentler internet era when we all surfed the information super highway and before anyone used the term "blog." It was a small but vibrant community of nerds who were obsessed with obscure Japanese toys, things like "Gokin," "Machinder" and "Sofubi." I just knew the robots looked a lot like the long lost Shogun Warriors that I grew up with and had been trying to buy back recently on some new auction site called eBay.
This is an insane idea to even suggest today, but back then it was normal for the people who didn't know what they were talking about to keep their mouths shut. That's exactly what I did, and exactly why it was so flattering when, a few years later, 98 or so, Alen invited me to write a review of a giant sized Getta One vinyl robot I'd recently scored. Holy crap, had I actually learned something? Maybe so, and that became the first article I ever wrote for the web. So in a way, everything I've written since then is his fault.
The mascot for his site is a robot called Nekosaur, a robot that he designed, a robot modeled after his cat. Now, many people who have successful businesses take the cash and put it into long term investments, or decide to become angel investors, or open up savings accounts for their kids. Knowing how terribly boring those options were, Alen said "F that" and started a toy company just so he could turn years and years of Nekosaur sketches into physical realities.
OK, I don't know if that was actually his thought process but I have to assume it was something like that. And that kind of dream chasing isn't something you see every day, and is always something to be respected if you ask me.
So anyway, he launches Incubot and puts out a few versions of Nekosaur and then busted into the offices of World
Events Productions and slapped those toys down on their desks and said "Listen up bitches! I want the Voltron license NOW!" Again, I wasn't there so that might not have been *Exactly* how it played out, but it's how I envision it so it's as good as fact as far as I'm concerned.
Anyway, I know this piece is kind of sappy but I can't hope to accurately describe how great I think all this is. Very few people have the dedication to their dreams that Alen does and I'm psyched to see this actually happen.
And a little birdie (who for conversation purposes we'll just call "Alen") told me that talks about doing Tetsujin-28 next have ended positively. More on that later I'm sure.
In the meantime, if you want a Voltron go here - Nerd stocking stuffer sized!