So it’s 1986 and you have a mullet. Don’t deny it. You are probably way too old to be at this movie theatre watching a damn cartoon movie. Your friends are watching Top Gun or Aliens or something, but you are here, with 30 children and their disinterested parents. You don’t have children, but you do have a Black Sabbath T-shirt on.
The theatre goes dark and after approximately 65 million trailers, the movie starts. What the hell is this weird ass spiky planet thing eating another planet? It’s like Satan making love to a beach ball!
“Throw up the horns! This movie is metal, literally AND figuratively!”
“Is this band Judas Priest?”
“No man, it’s the guy from The Scorpions moonlighting!”
“I’m telling you, that’s Rob Halford!”
“Shut up dude, just watch the movie!”
84 minutes later, you’ve seen the planet of the head bangers eat another planet and two moons, 75% of the characters from the original Transformers cartoon brutally murdered, and A PLANET TRANSFORM INTO A GIANT ROBOT THAT STOMPS CITIES AND EATS THE ENTIRE CAST.
The last shot of the movie is a severed head orbiting a planet! Metal!
Oh yeah, and did I mention the voice of this horned, fire breathing, death ball is Orson Welles, my favorite pompous alcoholic windbag/genius filmmaker? This dude could convince yokels that Martians were invading so of course he convinces you that a planet can eat another planet. The man could convince you to live off of peas and whiskey. AND HE DID. Don’t bother lying. I know that’s how you spent your freshman year of college.
So what do you get when you squeeze a dying and obese fading star into acid wash jeans and devil horns? YOU GET THE MOST METAL MOVIE OF ALL TIME. I don’t care if there’s another animated movie actually called Heavy Metal, Transformers: The Movie is way more metal. Yeah, that other movie has a naked chick riding a pterodactyl, but Transformers: The Movie has Orson Welles eating Mr. Spock. You tell me which is more metal.
So Hasbro and Takara are toy companies. They financed this movie to sell toys. Their money hired the screenwriters, it hired the Toei to animate the movie, and it paid for all 10 tracks of slamming guitars and bloopy synthesizers. Why would a toy company pay to rock people out of their threadbare Metallica T-shirts? BECAUSE TOYS. That’s why.
So they designed some toys of Unicron, the evil Satan-looking planet. Annnnd then they never released them. WHAATTTTTTT? I know I just made you spit out that mouthful of Thunderbird, but wait! There’s more!
After another aborted attempt in the late ’90s (also known as the period in your life where your dad refused to help with the car payments on your ’87 Toyota), Takara and Hasbro FINALLY put out a proper Unicron toy as part of their Armada toy line. What’s Armada? Who cares. It’s not metal, but the Unicron toy was pretty metal except for the totally weak colors. Why does Armada Unicron look like an evil grape? Evil is metal, but grapes are definitely not. Metal is like, eating red meat or Captain Crunch with beer instead of milk.
Then they made Unicron like, black and green with I don’t know, weird chocolate coating. Why? It looks like something I threw up outside of the Motörhead show when I was a teenager.
Anyway, after some dumb crap that doesn’t matter (Unicron transforms into a tank, Unicron fits in your pocket, highly limited spearmint flavored Unicron, Takara merging with Tomy) they finally put out what they should have put out in the ’80s. Welcome to 2010, Unicron!
(Skull not included.)
So I know you have some questions, like, “Why should I spend $100 dollars on a toy when I could spend it on overpriced remasters of The Last in Line and a bottle of Steel Reserve?” The answer, my most excellent friend, is in the details.
A. EVIL PLANET THAT TURNS INTO A ROBOT. Come on. That is so cool. I promise you that Ozzy Osbourne has one of these.
2. EVIL ROBOT WITH SWEET HORNS AND LIGHT UP EYES AND LIGHT UP FIST. Fists are important! My fist doesn’t glow, but I wish it did. Yeah, Unicron’s eyes were green in the movie, but red is more metal so I’ll allow it.
III. BEARD. Yes, the Armada Unicron had a beard, but they redesigned the head so it looks more like the movie (meaning MORE METAL), but now his beard has greater heaviosity. It’s not a ZZ Top beard, but it truly is a goatee of Iommian proportions.
FOUR. He fires a missile out of his chest. Yes. That’s right. HIS HEART IS A MISSILE AND HE WILL SHOOT IT AT YOU.
E. Also his legs fire missiles, too. I wish mine did. If your legs fired missiles, you would never have to wait in the queue in the unemployment line and you would never ever have to clean up the Taco Bell wrappers that Debbie totally left in the back of the Toyota.
EFF. Unicron has lots of pockets. And I don’t mean lots of pockets like your cousin Steve who has those cargo pants that have like 50 places to stash weed. I mean like you can hide all kinds of little robots inside Unicron’s many orifices. Okay, you can hide weed in them, too.
7. You see that little guy passed out in Unicron’s shin? Unicron comes with a sidekick named Bug. Now, Bug is a pretty stupid name, but you wouldn’t fuck with a moon that transformed into a robot and had a giant gun for a hand, would you? No.
Come on. This is awesome and you know it. Yeah, it is kind of expensive, but your landlord won’t kick you out of your apartment if you are like, one month late with the rent.
Okay, okay, whiners will complain that the planet mode is not round (neither are the tires on your car, man), it is not made of actual metal (just like the wedding ring you used to proposed to Lita Ford at that tractor pull, man!), and the toy is kind of floppy compared to the Armada release in 2003. Fair enough. Metal ain’t loose. It’s about precision, man! Precision!
If you are clever, you can make like the cover of Dehumanizer and cut open your robot’s chest and do some surgery. Basically you want to replace all the gray tabs that hold the planet shell together with black ones off of Armada Unicron and it will hold together better in planet mode. Then you can rock out with your… space rock out. I guess. Whatever. I’m done writing. This Jack Daniels ain’t going to drink itself.
Special thanks to Tim Riot for being my photographic slave.