Sep 8, 2010

[Transformers] Takara Welcome to 2010 Unicron

The true Transformer lover knows that were owe a lot to a Japanese toy company called Takara. Established in 1955, the company has been making novel toys over the years while keeping their company motto in mind - "Playing is culture." Sure, they weren't originally Transformers when they first came out - we have the US toy company Hasbro to thank for that.

While Hasbro has gone on to fame and fortune by waving around the Transformers banner, Takara remains to be the original creator and Hasbro is their their Transformers distributor. Well, among other things.

In recent years, Takara has been re-releasing some of the original Generation 1 Transformers as part of their Encore line. I've been able to acquire a few classics such as a re-release of Soundwave (together with Laserbeak) and the first Japanese release of Sky Lynx (and he still walks!) And I'm still lusting over the Encore Omega Supreme, mainly because I still feel bad that I lost mine as a kid.

But as much as I'm happy to own these, there's one new Transformer re-release that I'm dying to have.

Unicron 2010As part of its Welcome to 2010 campaign, which includes a number of re-releases tied to the classic Generation Line, Takara-Tomy has a majorly great toy coming out this month. This is none other than that big cosmic badass, Unicron!

Unicron PrototypeI've always wanted to have my own Unicron toy, as have many other Transformers fans I'm sure. We've all wanted one ever since the 1986 movie came out, but neither Takara nor Hasbro came out with an official release at the time. There was a prototype that appeared at a toy fair sometime after the movie, but even then it was a rather lousy toy that didn't even transform pretty well at the event. So the mixed history of a Unicron toy sort of meandered around in an on again, off again fashion.

Armada UnicronIt wasn't until the Transformer Armada line of toys that the world would finally see a Unicron toy. It was largely modeled after the Star Wars Transformers Darth Vader / Death Star toy (at least that's what it looks like to me) and was pretty kick ass in its own right. The styling was closer to how Unicron appeared in the Armada-Cybertron-Energon animated series It was pretty cool and I had managed to see a few of them on display when they came out. Sadly, my economic capabilities at the time prevented me from getting my own figure and now we I no longer see them in circulation, even amongst hobby shops. I've been on the look out for one for some time now that I can probably afford it, but I've yet to be so lucky.

Takara Unicron 2010 FistNow the new figure is technically a re-release of the Armada Unicron, with some differences. While they're retained the unusual Minicon element in the form of Bug / Dead-End, but now they've styled the whole unit too look more like the movie version of the planet-eating robot instead of the cartoon version. The differences are pretty subtle, I have to admit, but I'm pretty excited about it since they have gone the extra mile to make it more Generation 1 movie authentic, so to speak.

Of course it really depends if one of these manage to make their way here. So far it's exclusive to the Japan Toy Hobby Market for about 10,500 Yen, which is about PHP 5,500 locally. I'm keeping my fingers crossed since Encore Sky Lynx was originally a Japan Toy Hobby Market exclusive as well, but it still made its way here.

Any geeks out there willing to help me find one?

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