Interview > Phil Reed’s “Transforming Collections”

As reported earlier here, PGPoA Power Pal and all-around gentleman Phil Reed of Battlegrip.com is running a Kickstarter project for a book on third-party Transformers, Transforming Collections. The deadline for the project’s latest stretch goal is September 30. We sat down with Phil (by which I mean I sent him a few questions via email) to find out more about the project.

1.) Why did you decide to start this project?

I started this project so that I would have a book on my shelf the next time friends are over and starting asking questions about some of the toys in my collection. I have a large number on display in my living room, but every time I have a party it is the third party Transformers toys that attract the most attention.

I love books, and owning a book that acts as an introduction to the third party scene will make it easier the next time I’m asked: “Wait, where did THAT come from?” Instead of flailing my arms and talking rapidly and excitedly I can just say: “Here, flip through this.”

2.) No other toy franchise has developed this sort of thriving industry of fan-made, commercially sold products. What is it about the Transformers brand that inspires this entrepreneurship?

I think it’s the challenge of designing three dimensional puzzles. As a kid in the eighties I spent time drawing my own Transformers characters, trying to imagine ways in which the toys could transform between modes. I suspect I wasn’t the only one doing that, and with today’s CAD software really talented people are sitting down and doing more than creating rough drawings.

3.) What sort of goodies are you offering for the various backer levels?

Kickstarter backers can get their name listed on the site, a PDF, the physical book, and at some levels there’s a button and a few more planned goodies. But the book is the real star; already the stretch goals have increased the physical dimensions and added pages.

Kickstarter backers can get their name listed on the site, a PDF, the physical book, and at some levels there’s a button and a few more planned goodies. But the book is the real star; already the stretch goals have increased the physical dimensions and added pages.

The real prize to me, though, if if we get enough support to push the book over to a hardcover. Owning a hardcover book all about third party Transformers toys would make me insanely happy.

And I want to note that the plan for the book is to only offer it through the Kickstarter project. The PDF will be available to buy later, but I have no plans to get into selling and shipping books outside of this project.

To contribute to Transforming Collections, visit its Kickstarter page.

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