Of course, the problem with this idea is that the "REAL Battlemechs that have helped the game over 20 years" are ones that are off limits because FASA decided it wasn't worth the trouble and cost to fight Harmony Gold over licensing issues in court.
Those would be battlemechs like the Locust, Stinger, Battlemaster, Warhammer, etc...
And the "reimaginings" that were done to officially reintroduce those battlemechs into Classic Battletech were pretty awful, imo.
I agree that many of their reworks of the classics leave much to be desired, but I simply meant BattleMechs that were seen in the Many MechWarrior games, in general, and not the abominations, and plethora of vehicles and infantry found in "Dark Age."
FASA licensed some stuff from Japan for use in their game - basically a number of mecha designs that appeared in Macross and a few other anime shows (at least one from Crusher Joe, a few from Dougram, and some other shows as well). A few years back, Harmony Gold finally got around to realizing how all encompassing their licensing agreement for Macross might be (they claim that they were busy with other stuff and didn't notice Macross Plus until it was too late, but the more popular opinion is that they just hadn't realized how much their license might let them get away with).
Harmony Gold acquired the American rights to several Mecha series from the Tadaka studios, when Tadaka was having financial problems.
In an attempt to raise money for what later became Robotech, they sold the rights to several designs to Fasa, which became BattleDroids, which after LucasArts complained about the "Droids" part, became BattleTech.
They also sold several designs to the makers of "The Transformers."
Tadaka studio's parent company, Big West (I believe that's their name), sued both Tadaka and Harmony Gold for the illegal release of those designs/series in America.
(Which is why they had to stop sales of the toys, and Robotech's second season was never completed, only 3 or 4 episodes were made.)
Harmony Gold thought they'd play it smart, and had toys made in China.
Big West sued them, and won, and the Robotech market has been reduced to ebay auctions of old stuff.
Nothing new has been made for Robotech in the last couple years, according to a Robotech fan/friend of mine.
(Which may, or may not, be true.)
There IS a company in Japan that still makes Macross stuff, and it occassionally shows up on ebay.
As a line up:
Crusher Joe provided the: Locust, Leopard Dropship, most of the Aerospace fighters.
Dougram provided the: Shadowhawk, Thunderbolt, Battlemaster, Scorpion, Goliath, and several ground vehicles.
Macross provided the: Rifleman, Stinger, Wasp, Phoenix Hawk, Crusader, Warhammer, Blackjack, and Archer.
Macross also provided the original Behemoth, which was only seen in the BattleDroids set.
(It had 4 huge barrels on top of the mech.)
Many of the original Fasa Battlemechs, Panther, Spider, Vindicator, Javelin, and others, were inspired by the above series.
Of the original BattleMechs, the Atlas is about the only Fasa design that was their own original design, and that has stood the test of time with fans.
Mechs like the Firestarter, and Grasshopper, didn't fare as well.
As a side note...
The founders of Fasa sold out, sorta, to Microsoft.
Jordon Weisman, and his brother/partner?, who's name I've forgotten, sold Fasa to Microsoft, who in turn produced MechCommander 2, and the MechWarrior 3 & 4 series of games.
(They had started work on MechWarrior 5, but cancelled it in the middle of 2004, in favor of their Xbox series of the MechWarrior games.)
Jordon either retained, or purchased the rights to board games of the BattleTech universe, and released the "MechWarrior: Dark Ages" miniature collectible game.
(He recently sold Wizkids to TOPPS, so that should be that, for now.)
I'm not clear on who has the rights to Classic BattleTech, right now, but I seem to recall reading about an affiliation with a German company.
Ral Partha, who made the miniatures for classic BattleTech, and was eventually owned by Fasa, has been replaced by a company called something "Ironworks."
I became interested in "Mech" games back in 1982, when a friend introduced me to "Dougram: The Battle of Stanrey."
Instead of the familiar cardboard cutouts of mechs, it had lead figures, plastic trees, and a periscope to help determine "Line-of-Sight."
It later became the foundation for BattleDroids, and eventually BattleTech.
I could kick myself in the butt for not buying BattleDroids, but at the time, I thought that it was some Star Wars' B.S.
Except for BattleDroids, I've got just about everything there is for BattleTech.
All of the computer games, all of the board games (Except for the short-lived AquaTech, and of course BattleDroids), most of the TRO's (Pre & Post law-suit versions), all of the maps, many of the scenarios, etcetera.
(AquaTech rules were in the "MechWarrior 2 Ghost Bear's Legacy" game, in the single underwater scenario.)
Likewise, I'm a collector of Wing Commander stuff, although my collection there started with Privateer.
(I don't have WC I/II/Armada.)