Most Recent Archive Updates

BotchTheCrab.com has been redesigned!

The last redesign was back in 2005, and a lot has changed in that time. Perhaps most significantly, while desktop screen size continues to increase, many people are using their smartphones and tablets for the majority of their internet browsing. This has led to something called responsive web design wherein pages are designed and coded to dynamically alter their flow and presentation based on the size of the screen. This site now employs this strategy so that you can have an excellent viewing experience whether on your iPhone, your laptop, or a huge panoramic screen like the one I'm using now.

I've also simplified the site stylistically, streamlining the browsing experience and removing clutter. I've removed a lot of peripheral sidebar information (because let's face it, only a small minority of this site's visitors care about my bands). I've moved the navigation off the main screen to instead fly in from the left when you click that top-left universal "menu" icon. I've added "Continue to the next year" links at the bottom of each of the box art year pages because that's how the majority of visitors browse the Archive. Perhaps most significantly, I'm finally using an in-screen modal for displaying images (rather than opening a new window). Stuff like that.

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» Posted 12.14.2014 18:08:13 ~ 2 comments (last comment by Ryan)

In case you haven't heard, the book is out: Transformers Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging, by Jim Sorenson and Bill Forster, an officially licensed hardcover release of pretty much all the G1 and G2 Transformers package art. If you're reading this, if you're on this site, you are likely a fan of said art. You may be wondering what I think of the book. Allow me to share!

EXHAUSTIVE
This book has a lot of art. If you can think of it, it's probably in there. From unused prototype art to promotional battle scenes, this volume is chock-full. Of course, the vast majority of fans (including myself) will focus on the first half of the book dealing with the earliest and most familiar Bots and Cons, but all the material is worth perusing. With the exception of Jetfire (no doubt omitted for legal, Robotech-related reasons), I cannot immediately discern any figure that's been excluded.

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» Posted 11.03.2014 1:52:54 ~ 5 comments (last comment by Nukéote)

I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I got a shit-ton of cool stuff, especially lots of great books. Transformers-wise, Dollface got me a set of unopened vintage Transformers View-Master reels. Of course, this leaves me with the quandary of whether or not to de-virginize and enjoy this set or leave it in its pristine state. (Hint: toys are made to be opened, no matter how long the wait.) I also got this awesome Decepticon-loving shirt:

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» Posted 12.28.2013 14:52:20 ~ 3 comments (last comment by Starriors1)

It's time to post scans from another "Find Your Fate" book! This time it's Battle Drive, which involves some plot by the Decepticons to starve America by destroying all its farmland. Or maybe that's just a ruse to draw out and kill some Autobots. Or maybe they're trying to capture Sparkplug Witwicky, who has somehow "discovered what he thinks is a fatal flaw in the Decepticon circuitry." Which is it? Well, that's the beauty of a choose-your-own-adventure book: it changes each time.

This book is fairly odd for the medium. There's an ending where the whole story is a dream that you, the reader, wake up from. There's a page that encourages you to actually write in the book in the hopes that Optimus Prime will see your warning before they're caught in a Decepticon trap.

Anyway, I've once again cut up my copy to better scan the pages. You can find them in the FIND YOUR FATE gallery, starting here. Enjoy!

» Posted 5.27.2013 19:27:35 ~ 2 comments (last comment by Tresob)

That's the poster I got recently. It's a near-complete print of the 1986 back-of-the-box battle scene, omitting only some of the landscape at the very bottom. It measures 20" x 17" and it is AWESOME. That photograph doesn't do it justice, mostly because photographing anything that's behind a reflective surface is a maddening struggle against glare and reflection.

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» Posted 4.28.2013 21:39:07 ~ 14 comments (last comment by Ryan)

I know, it's been forever since there's been an update to the Box Art Archive. What can I say? When there's no new images submitted, there's nothing for me to post. Or is there....?

Remember those "Find Your Fate" Transformers books from the '80s? You know, the "Choose Your Own Adventure" knock-offs that featured our favorite robots in disguise? Well, I have a complete set, and wouldn't you know that the penciled art heavily borrows from the Transformers box art, oftentimes reproducing the line art exactly. The Transformers art that isn't directly lifted from the box art is, like the box art itself, extremely faithful to the actual toys. I LOVE IT.

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Some months ago, Camson Tran brought to my attention a Japanese variant I was missing. It turns out that the art for Road King -- the Japanese release of the Autobot Powermaster Slapdash -- is different in the, um, chest area. (Hey! My eyes are up here!) Whereas Slapdash is wearing his "yellow engine" halter top, Road King has his Powermaster engine protecting his modesty. Those crazy Japanese. So I emailed heroic_decepticon, who forwarded along a scan from his friend ZFEAKYE (pronounced "huh?") of The Cave Collection, which I promptly passed along to Ginraii, who took time out of his busy schedule doing CGI for the Transformers movies to edit it. And NOW, FINALLY, BEHOLD! (Road King left, Slapdash right.) Thanks, everybody!

Are you wondering what else has been going on in Botch's Transformers-Filled Life...?

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» Posted 8.21.2012 22:30:03 ~ 7 comments (last comment by Tresob)

By now many of you who are interested in classic Transformers box art have probably heard that Jim Sorenson, who has released a couple of books of Transformers cartoon animation models, is planning on putting out a book of G1 box art. Some have asked me how I feel about the whole thing. So here's my thoughts!

First, Jim is an extremely nice guy and without question a big Transformers fan. He contributed more than a dozen pieces to this Archive back in 2005 and 2006, and I'm sure he would have contributed a lot more artwork since then had he not been trying since 2007 to get IDW to do this book. (Makes sense -- why put out on the web for mass consumption the exact thing you plan on trying to sell to people?)

When he first mentioned the book, my first concern was whether this would lead to the Archive getting shut down via a "cease and desist" letter from Hasbro. This site has always been for "educational and entertainment" purposes rather commercial gain, and so long as I'm not selling or otherwise making money off this site, Hasbro seemed content to occasionally use the artwork from here for official or promotional purposes. However, I always feared that if Hasbro decided to somehow monetize the artwork (through a book, for instance) that the Archive would be viewed as a competing resource and their lawyers would finally turn their formerly blind eye my way. Based on the feedback I get from fans, I think the loss off this Archive (which has been online for 14 years) would be very disappointing.

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» Posted 5.02.2012 21:13:19 ~ 10 comments (last comment by drmick)

Yet another piece of original TF box art has popped up on eBay! It's strange how years went by without any surfacing, and now this is the fourth one in as many months. The latest is Gutcruncher, one of the Decepticon Action Masters. The auction in question misidentifies him as Roadbuster, but hey, they tried. Unlike the other sellers who were listing obscure Micromaster character art at starting prices of $850 or $3000 -- hilarious! -- the seller of Gutcruncher's art has taken a more realistic tack by starting the auction at $0.99. I'm eager to see where it ends up! Shall we make guesses in the comments? I'm going to go with $65.

Gutcruncher actually cropped up a number of times in Transformers comic books over the last several years. Will this increase his popularity? Probably not.

» Posted 4.25.2012 21:45:31 ~ 4 comments (last comment by Mark Baker-Wright)

Ever with his digits on the pulse of Transformers box art for sale, Nukeote pointed me to two auctions on eBay for original Micromaster art that I might have otherwise missed: one for the little-loved Detour of the Decepticon Sports Car Patrol; and another for one of the more popular Micromasters, Fixit of the Autobot Rescue Patrol (who actually just made an appearance in the most recent issue of the excellent ongoing Transformers: Robots In Disguise comic book series). I've cleaned up the images from the auction photos and added them to the Archive. Thanks for the tip, Nukeote!

Perhaps you remember I recently told you about a seller that was trying to auction Skystalker's original robot art on eBay? Considering how relatively insignificant Skystalker is in the Transformers universe, my response to the seller's $850 asking price was "Good fucking luck with that!" Well, get ready, because the "Buy It Now" price for the Detour listing and Fixit listing is a whopping $2,999.99. Each. For Micromasters! Good fucking luck!

» Posted 4.21.2012 19:40:04 ~ 4 comments (last comment by Tresob)