Fanmode interview: Bryan Wilkinson (part 3)

Long-time Micronauts and Microman fan, Bryan “MicroBry” Wilkinson, is one of the select few who’ve made the transition from toy fan to toy designer. His website was one of the earliest to draw attention to Transformers’ (then) little-known origins, and he was given the opportunity to work on Palisades’ Micronauts revival in 2002. As Transformers celebrates its 25th. anniversary and Microman celebrates its 35th., we thought it only appropriate to ask him about Micronauts, Microman, Transformers, fandom, and making the transition from consumer to creator.

(Due to its length, the interview will be presented in several parts. Parts one and two were published earlier.)

How did you get involved with the Palisades Micronauts line?

Palisades originally picked up the Micronauts license partly because the person representing Abrams Gentile Entertainment (the rights holders then) at an industry event had implied that they had access to the original molds and tooling. Palisades believed that they’d be able to bring back any toys from the full series without having to worry about new sculpts and the like. This turned out not to be the case, and after looking at the breadth and complexity of the original toys, they had to scale back the project as everything needed to be built from scratch.

(Takara mysteriously had no involvement in the development at all, and stories differ from all sides on that matter. It’s a shame because a collaboration could obviously have proven mutually beneficial.)

When Ken Lilly, head of Palisades’ product development then, put out the word on one of the toy forums that he was looking for vintage samples for the line, I helped put him in touch with interested collectors willing to help out. Many in the community wanted to see this work and do what they personally could to help make the dream of bringing the Micronauts back a reality. As I was co-moderator of the Micropolis Embassy Yahoo! Group, I helped as a sort of liaison and then as a general fan consultant for the project. The group’s owner and main moderator, Ray Miller, also became heavily involved and gave a lot of additional quality control suggestions and feedback on the pre-production samples, and InnerSpace Online‘s Dave Waugh happened to live near Palisades and contributed a huge deal.
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