"Generations" Autobot Cosmos with Payload Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: 2013-14
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Amazon, Target etc.)
Accessories: Payload figure/weapon

*Images above with asterisks are from Toys R Us Canada. The text below in italics is from Amazon.com:
You may never meet a pair that is more eager to please than Autobot Cosmos and Payload. They're both proud of their ability to fly into space, and eager to use it to benefit the Autobot cause. It's a lonely life in orbit, but they both make up for it by performing some of the most awesome daredevil space stunts anyone has ever heard of. It's just too bad there's no one else up there to see them. Pop into some "outer-space" Transformers action with these special Payload and Autobot Cosmos figures! Your Autobot Cosmos figure converts from robot mode to UFO mode when he wants to take the battle to the skies. But your Payload figure is a 3-in-1 menace! He can convert from robot to space shuttle mode, and when the battle calls for it he converts to blaster mode! Will the Decepticons be able to handle your "high-flying" Payload and Autobot Cosmos figures? Only you can decide! Transformers and all related terms are trademarks of Hasbro.

In 2013, it was revealed that Hasbro had planned a continuation of its Legends Class of figures (that included 2013's Megatron with Chop Shop) with a character who hasn't received a lot of attention lately: Cosmos. However, as the year ended and 2014 began, this wave seemed to have disappeared off the radar until reports of it showing up in Asia, and later Canada surfaced. The truth was revealed when BWTF interviewed Hasbro at Toy Fair 2014 and learned they do intend a mass release of these characters in the U.S. some time in the summer of 2014. This news was rapidly followed by BWTF sponsor Bigbadtoystore putting up preorders for the figures about a week after Toy Fair 2014. In the meantime, intrepid fans who are eager to get these pieces could get them via contacts in Canada or Asia, which is what I did. Special thanks to fellow fan Walter Mueller for helping me get these figures ahead of their U.S. release.

Payload Review

Payload may be a new sculpt, but he's not a new character. In the Generation One era, he was known as "Blast Master" and served as a part of the six-member "Astro Squad", a group of six "Micromaster Combiner" characters who could each transform into half of a vehicle. Connecting them in different combinations would create unique vehicles (such as one with the front end of a truck but the rear of a space shuttle). "Blast Master" was the rear half of a space shuttle in his vehicle form, but this time out he's a complete vehicle, forming a space shuttle and a robot with some features inspired directly by his G1 predecessor.

Robot Mode:
With his different name and alternate form, one may wonder just how you can tell this guy was intended to be "Blast Master" in a new form. The answer is in some of his sculpted detail. First, he shares a very similar head design to his G1 predecessor. Both feature a thin crest ridge on the top of the "helmet" section. The face is a more human face with two eyes, a nose and mouth showing. The other give away is his torso design, which is also inspired by Blast Master. The design elements both iterations share include chest sections with two line designs sculpted into the middle. However, instead of being somewhat straight like the G1 version, these are angled. The center of the torso also resembles the original, complete with a triangular detail in the middle. Finally, the section right above the hips features line designs similar to those on Blast Master's sculpt.

Much of the figure's remaining design elements are unique to this incarnation of Blast Master/Payload. This includes having the front of the space shuttle mode forming a bit of a "helmet" around the top of the head to the shoulders. The leg designs are also new since the original figure didn't really have much leg detail to speak of. He does have some nice, intricate sculpting going on in the arms, showing that even small sculpts can have nice detail. In particular, I like the way his wings wind up on his back and the angled stabilizer fins on his legs. They add a level of sleekness to the robot that he would not have otherwise.

As you'd expect, Payload is mostly cast in white plastic. The center of the torso has a yellow section that forms the peg used to hold him in weapon mode. Paint details are done in red, gunmetal grey, blue and black. Black is found on the front of the shuttle form, which winds up over his head here. Red and blue are used for his "helmet" and face respectively. Gunmetal is perhaps the most heavily used color, making up a large portion of his torso on the sides and the thrusters (which wind up at the back of his lower legs in this form). A red Autobot symbols shows on one of his wings, offering some faction identity to the deco. Overall I think it looks great. He's bright with some dark contrast and the yellow adds a nice touch of unexpected color.

Payload has two points of articulation: the arms. They can move up and down and that's about it. This shouldn't come as a shock to anyone since he's basially an advanced accessory. Personally I think he looks great and having the arm articulation is fine by me.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the robot arms.
  2. Swing the wing section down.

Vehicle Mode:
Payload's space shuttle mode is a sleeker, more futuristic looking version of a space shuttle design that people have been familiar with for over forty years. There's the oval shaped front end, the rounded off section in the middle and curved wing designs that are familiar to anyone who has seen a photo of the real life space shuttle. All that said, the general design of this vehicle makes it a lot flatter than the real life shuttle, and adding in his angled stabilizer fins enhances the appearance of an advanced model of space shuttle. There are nice small details too including ridges around the thrusters, raised lines running along the main body of the shuttle and ridges along the edges of the wings.

There are no color surprises in this form. Most of the shuttle is white. The front end and windows are painted black while the thrusters are gunmetal grey. The left wing has a red Autobot symbol on it, carrying over the detail from the robot mode. It looks good, nothing particularly outstanding though I do appreciate the use of gunmetal on the thrusters as it gives it a semi-realistic and metallic appearance.

Transformation to Weapon Mode (from Vehicle Mode):

  1. Swing the wings up and back.
  2. Push the lower leg pieces up, sliding them up to the waist area.
  3. Swing down the yellow peg on the torso area.

Weapon Mode:
Payload's weapon mode looks like someone took a basic weapon and then added a bunch of design flourishes on it that serve no real practical purpose but look cool. The two boosters from the vehicle mode wind up being the main barrels of the weapon. However, he also has a third barrel found towards the rear of the weapon in the middle. This detail was hidden in vehicle mode but the rectangular base and tube shaped barrel is unmistakable in this form. You could also argue it's a targeting scope - I'm good either way! The aforementioned design flourishes come into play with the wings stretching out to the sides and the stabilizers that are angled outward towards the front. It gives the weapon mode a real "scifi" feel which is quite appropriate for an alient robot disguised as a space shuttle!

In this form most of the white plastic shows with the ends of each barrel painted gunmetal grey. It's rather plain but then again this form just represents a weapon so expecting a rainbow of colors is a bit much. If it were black or silver the lack of color would be less noticeable.

Payload can attach to any part of a Transformer with 5mm ports thanks to his 5mm peg. With Cosmos he fits in either hand.

Cosmos Review

This version of Cosmos is not the first to be a "Legends" Class figure, however the previous version was made for a Legends Class that was simpler and featured less complexity and no accessories. This time out "Legends" means he's slightly bigger and includes more articulation and Payload as his partner! This makes for a much more complete play experience all in one package.

Robot Mode:
In both his animated and toy forms, Cosmos was no exactly the most dangerous looking Autobot. In general he was very rounded and kind of tubby looking. His toy had skinny legs and huge feet which the animation model tried to mitigate by making everything on him kind of puffy. At the end of the day he was a product of his time (and I love my G1 Cosmos) but in this "Generations" incarnation Cosmos manages to look a bit less round and more sleek in parts. Sure there's still plenty of rounded parts including his torso and head, both of which pay homage to his G1 incarnation with circular shapes and angled details on the chest. His arms come up at points on the top, like his G1 counterpart but the ends are fists instead of three fingers/thrusters at the end. His legs still feature big feet, but the wide parts of his flying saucer mode are set vertically, creating more proportional legs to the rest of his body. His head sculpt is a direct callback to his G1 head design complete with a helmet section featuring a flat top and visor eyes with a mouthplate. To add a bit of punch, Cosmos sports blasters near his knees, giving him some firepower even if he's not holding Payload in weapon mode. One of my favorite details are the thrusters on his back. I appreciate carrying over the detail from the vehicle mode and having it serve as a "rocket pack" for him in this form.

Cosmos is cast in green and yellow plastic, the two key colors of his G1 predecessor. Green makes up most of the figure, with yellow reserved for the elbows, shoulder joints, waist and thighs. Paint colors include yellow, red, blue, gunmetal and silver. The yellow is the most heavily used color. You'll find it on his upper arms, face, chest and mid-body area. It's even used to paint the thrusters on his back. Blue is used on details that overlap the yellow on his chest and mid-body as well as the eyes. Silver is used on the chest. On the legs gunmetal is used to color his blasters. Red is used on the "helmet" section of his head and for an Autobot symbol on the right shoulder. Overall Cosmos looks great and full of detail.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes three points on each arm and leg and even head articulation. Several of these points are ball joints including the elbows and hips, giving him a good range of articulation. While technically not a point of articulation, his chest can turn since he has to do so to transform. His (rather large) fists sport 5mm ports, allowing him to hold 5mm peg weapons including Payload.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach Payload if attached and set him aside.
  2. Push the robot head down into the chest.
  3. Swing up the panel with the thrusters on his back.
  4. Rotate the chest section around.
  5. Push each forearm up against the upper arms.
  6. Rotate the arms and swing them back.
  7. Swing down the thruster panel to connect the arm pieces together.
  8. Push the lower leg sections into the knee sections.
  9. Rotate the lower leg sections around and swing them back, connecting them in the middle so the blaster barrels point forward.

Vehicle Mode:
Cosmos has one of the more unusual vehicle modes among the Autobots: a flying saucer. In the original series, his form was rathre simple. Basically it was a bowl shaped section with a disk on top and a smaller disk on top of that (I'm simplifying it a bit here but you get the idea). This time out, he's much flatter but still retains the shapes from the G1 version with a large disk on the bottom, a smaller one on top of that ane ending in a small bump that is really the top of the robot head. A vertical fin rests on the back of the vehicle, flanked by the two thrusters from the robot mode. There are small protrusions on the sides of the vehicle and towards the back. There are some nice, smaller details such as vents, wiring and raised circular shapes. The design does suffer a tad from having slight gaps between the parts that make up the lower part of the saucer, but none or so bad that I would hold it against the figure.

Cosmos offers no real color surprises in this form. He's mostly green with yellow, blue, silver and red detailing - most of which you could see in robot mode. The one newly revealed detail is a pair of arrow like designs running along the front of the vehicle. These appear to be pointing to something - and they are!

From a functionality standpoint, Cosmos can't use Payload as a weapon in this mode, but Payload can attach to Cosmos via his thrusters connecting with the blaster barrel ends in the front. This makes it look like Payload is "docking" at Cosmos, making the former Mini-Bot look a bit more like a space station of some kind in this form rather than just a small flying saucer. It's this section that the aforementioned "arrows" appear to be pointing toward. Whatever story you go with, I like the idea of the two figures interacting in both modes and in such an unusual way.

Final Thoughts:
Cosmos has always been a character I liked and felt was neglected. This version gives him a fantastic update that exceeds the previous attempt (and I liked that one!). Payload was a great choice for a partner since both characters are thematically linked, both being "space" vehicles. My only quibble are the gaps that show in vehicle mode, but they're not horrible. Recommended!

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