While browsing my twitter feed, I stumbled upon news of a newly released VOLTRON USB DRIVE??? A bit of further research revealed that not only does Incubot make Voltron drives, but they have their own awesome original robot shaped USB drives called Nekobots.
I must confess. I watch a episode of Voltron (AKA GoLion) almost every night before I go to bed. Something about it just puts me in a comfortable mood to sleep, knowing that Voltron, “Defender of the Universe” exists in some sort of parallel cartoon dimension, doing his thing. That thing consisting primarily of slicing giant robeasts in twain.
Upon receiving my Voltron drive in the mail, I was struck by how kick-ass it’s epic retro packaging is. After releasing the tiny giant robot and “forming” it’s Blazing Sword, I popped the drive into my laptop to watch the included Voltron episode. The chest piece lights up when you plug it in!
I caught up with Alen Yen for some questions about his Incubot and his inspirations:
What first got you interested in Japanese toys/robots?
I grew up spending my summers in Asia starting from when I was just a couple of months old. Japanese robots in particular have always been my connection to both an awesome childhood and that part of the world.
What are some of your favorite robots/robot designers?
My favorite robot creators are Go Nagai (Mazinger Z, Grandizer, Getter Robo) and Osamu Tezuka (Tetsuwan Atom, Tetsujin 28.) Everything we do is in homage to them.
Do the Incubot Nekobot designs draw from any robots in particular?
Our Series 1 colors, with the exception of the Stealth, definitely drew color inspiration from T28 and Getter Robo. The designs themselves are basically a exercise in reduction, splicing between the Super Robot typical structure and everything I like about LEGO figures.
What inspired the Voltron drive in particular?
The original Golion just kicks total ass. Even though the cartoon was repetitive and ridiculous, every time Voltron formed the blazing sword, you knew you were in for a spectacular death move. Voltron was also the last really successful crossover Super Robot prior to the Transformers, which kicked into a new kind of thing, and the Power Rangers, which kind of ruined things for awhile.
Any new projects in the work that you don’t mind talking about?
We’ve got Dairugger and Albegas on the design boards now, but need to see how well this first Voltron sells before we pull the trigger. Series 2 Nekobots are due soon, and we’re going to have a ton of guest designers throwing down. Finally, if it’s a robot from asia that you loved as a kid, chances are we’re talking to someone about doing it.
Any last thoughts?
Yeah, we just wanted to say “thanks” to everyone who’s thrown down for an incubot drive. We’re under a year old and definitely and doing the startup thing, and every time someone passes our URL around, retweets us, or buys one, it’s a huge help to us. Thank you!
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