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January 12, 2011

2010 Unicron: The Most Metal Robot Ever (That’s Not Actually Made of Metal)

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Toy News — Jeremy @ 9:00 pm

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.

September 23, 2010


Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Daily Money Shots — Prometheum5 @ 11:41 pm

August 12, 2010

Cyborg Attack!

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Toy Love — Prometheum5 @ 11:22 am

I’m going to start this Brog off by saying upfront that Henshin Cyborg used to weird me out. The clear naked guys, the chrome inner heads, and the swappable parts just made no sense to me. I thought some of the costumes were neat, but had no idea what to make of the line in general. I read about the 8″ Muton line on Super7 Magazine, and specifically say the Red Baron (X-Akron) suit from that line, and started to look a little more seriously at Henshin Cyborg. The connection to Microman intrigued me, and the modern push of things like the Secret Base vinyl suits piqued my interest enough to pick some up. After grabbing a smattering of different things of YJA, and enough Obitsu bodies to wear all the costumes, I’m hooked and looking for more! Here’s some love shots of what I’ve got so far.






June 9, 2010

Power Charge Baratak

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Declarations,Toy Love — BillT @ 10:48 pm

This is one of those toys I never expected to get. I mean, I’ve certainly lusted after it, but the few complete ones I’ve seen sell have gone over a grand. There are very few toys I will break the four figure barrier for, and this just wasn’t one of them.

This guy showed up on ebay for a reasonable starting price. I figured I would poke the seller to see if he would do off ebay and save myself the hassle (and likely dissapointment) of butting heads with collectors in a straight up auction (sorry for those who were after it). He was willing to play ball, but was straight up and said there were no stickers or catalog, it was missing a couple of missiles, and the arm wasn’t working. I hesitated on that last one, but figured I would try and fix it. It wasn’t an ideal specimen, but the pieces were complete and the price was right for me. I figured, shit, these don’t exactly show up every month, so I bit.

It was lighter than I expected, but I chalk that up to being used to diecast toys to this point. It comes with a couple of different arms and attachments, but if all you want is a drill and claw arm, save yourself some cash and get the standard M11 Baratak.

This guy is all about THE ARM

When it arrived, sure enough, it wasn’t working when attached to the shoulder. I quickly figured out the problem with a battery and a couple of wires – that small pin next to the ball joint needs to be touching the metal ring in the shoulder socket. It was loose and would not stick out. So out came the screw driver. Turns out a spring that keeps the pin pushed up for contact had come off inside the casing. It was an easier fix than I expected, but a note to self – take a picture of the thing your taking appart, idiot! It took me a while to get those damn gears back in the right place.

Once that was settled, in went the batteries for a trial run. I’m actually glad this wasn’t a deadstock. Not just for the price premium I saved, but with the missiles already off the sprue’s, I could enjoy this guy to the fullest with no guilt/worry about value etc.

I was just going to show a shot of a missile coming out, but that wouldn’t do it justice…

…so I took some video of it in action. 2 missiles don’t fire and, well, I cant have that now. But that’s a fix for another day.

The cutter spins REALLY fast. If you attach a metal one you have a dremel, but that wouldn’t be too smart as you’ll see at the end

I tried both the gatling gun and cutter at the same time, but the weight and vibration just drags the arm down and it loses it’s electrical connection. But I certainly display it with both.

If you can stomach the price, or be lucky enough to spot a deal, I would certainly recommend it. It really is a fun toy. Now I just gotta get those last 2 missiles firing.

May 23, 2010

Takara Lovin’

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Daily Money Shots — BillT @ 3:22 pm

February 26, 2010

Takara: Tetsuwan Atom DX

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Stephan Halder,Toy Love,Toy News — chogoman @ 7:45 pm

Takara Tetsuwan Atom Mechablock DX

This is really a deluxe toy. You get a Plastic Atom Boy with a diecast endo-skeleton
in a beautiful box. Lots of  fantastic features. I’m totally flashed by this toy!
You all know this toy, but I thought it is time for some extra love…

Had to buy 2 to get one perfect specimen.  I don’t regret it, because now I could display one
and play with the other ;-)

Dismantle Atom Boy in order to put the endo-skeleton inside his body.
Some of the skeleton parts (arms, tank tracks) are made out of heavy diecast.

You could assemble the skeleton parts to a robot etc…Ark-style-play-feature.

Now you know where the guys from Pixar got the idea for the design of WALL•E.
A few detail shot of the endo-skeleton parts.

The greatest detail of Atom is his “chest part” with the moving gears under
a window. You really could “move ” these gears with one of the 2 “screwdrivers”.
Atom Box also comes with a very nice illustrated instruction sheet and a few stickers.

Thats it for today. More pictures in the BBS.

November 30, 2009

[Toy Love] Dougram!

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Toy Love — Prometheum5 @ 5:09 pm

This is why I can’t get anything done at school… I got to pick up some goodies I bought from Roger that were waiting for me at home over Turkey-week, and I cannot leave them alone. I can longer think of any reason why I was skeptical of the Takara 1/72 scale Dougram toys and so content with the Revoltechs but, suffice to say, that attitude has changed. Almost completely Die-cast internal skeletons combined with model-like detail and fantastic articulation and proportions make for some of my new favorite robot toys. As you can see, they have claimed my Evolution textbook for themselves, and that gives me an excuse not to be studying.

And, this right here is just about the last thing you want to see in the cockpit of a giant robot: a giant robot fist with your name on it.

August 17, 2009

The Cult of Takara Sci-Fi Land. Join us!

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Toy Love — mcfitch @ 10:34 am

Brother Mark is a solid dude.  Brother Mark knows of Takara Sci-Fi land, and he knows it well.  Listen well when he speaks and gaze in wonder when he presents.  Mark “machinesoldier” attended the 2009 East Coast Chogokin Summit with a box full of vintage Takara love for me to “test drive” before heading off to Yahoo Japan like a drunken blind idiot.  Unfortunately, hosting a 28 person cookout/swap meet left little one-on-one time so we weren’t able to go through the box like we wanted.


Mark, being the solid dude that he is, left the box at my house and let me have at it letting me ship them back to him.  So what did I do for hours yesterday?  You bet yout bippy I sat in the living room, Vintage Microman and Dicalone commercial DVD on loop, pouring over all of these toys and taking crappy photographs.  With the coffee table as my operating table I surgically cut through to the core of Takara Sci-Fi Land love, and learned a thing or two in the process.  I have solidified my desire for a few pieces I wanted (hello Death King).  I was even swayed by a few that I though were cool, but didn’t neccesarilly need to own, or plain just didn’t like. By the ned of the night there was nothing in the box that I didn’t want to have in my display cases.  Thanks again Mark.

Pics will be added to the discussion thread on the BBS.

August 15, 2009

Mason Bait – Takara Diaclone Waruderos

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Toy Love — thomas @ 4:34 am

Since Mason is on a little Diaclone trip, I figured I would bait him with my all-time favourite Diaclone toy: Waruderos.

Waruderos is one of the enemy mechs from Diaclone, and has a great vintage robot look to him. The head and indeed the entire robot is very reminiscent of old diecast wind-up toy robots, with the big globular eyes, horns, blocky proportions, claws (sadly missing on mine), and uni-leg:


June 26, 2009

Takara’s Iron Jeeg, Popeye style

Filed under: Co. TAKARA,Daily Money Shots,Mike Parisi,Toy News — Mike Parisi @ 12:49 pm

Just look at those magnificently overdeveloped forearms. When removed they reveal, of course, spring-loaded elbow missiles. All the rage, back in the day. Enjoy.


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