This is the kind of thing I wish we’d see more of.
Shortly after the tsunami hit Japan, Fansproject managed to raise over $10,000 in donations to the Red Cross in the course of a single weekend. Well, to be accurate, Fansproject themselves didn’t donate, but their fans did. What Fansproject did was offer an incentive to their fans – with proof of a minimum $15.00 donation to the Red Cross, Fansproject would send that most irresistible of items to each participant – an exclusive figure. The only catch was Fansproject only produced 1,500 of this exclusive figure, so fans had to act fast in order to get in on the offer.
The figure, called “Blesser,” is a repaint of 2010’s Sidearm, a Targetmaster. The colors were inverted, the face was painted blue, and his “gun” alt mode was re-purposed into a fire extinguisher-type device. In doing so, Blesser became that rarity in not only the Transformers canon, but in most realms of popular fanboy lore – an instrument of salvation and hope, as opposed to a weapon, heroic or otherwise. Given the reason and circumstances under which this figure came to exist in the first place, Blesser’s role in the Transformers universe is wholly appropriate.
The figure arrived in a small gold envelope and came with a card that gives the character’s stats in traditional Transformers fashion based on skill, strength, firepower, etc. What’s cool about this card is that a “human partner” is mentioned by name. That “human partner” is the name of the individual who made the donation to the Red Cross, which is something that makes this figure even more special. It involves the fan in the figure’s narrative that transcends the role of meer collector/consumer. It’s a reminder that through the efforts of both Fansproject and the fan, a truly good deed was done, and Blesser becomes a tangible symbol of that – the willingness of people to take part in something where the only goal is to try and help and do some good.
To unite a group as seemingly disparate as Transformers fans in response to a true tragedy is no small feat, so Fansproject deserves credit of the highest order for their efforts. Blesser will forever hold a special place on my Transformers shelves in remembrance of the good we are all capable of.