Release Date: February 2009
Price Point: $4.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Team up with AUTOBOT alliance and take on the DECEPTICON forces! This quick-conversion figure is ready for action and prepared for whatever adventure is in store! Battle even the mightiest opponents in robot mode and then convert the figure to UFO vehicle mode and prepare for battle!
Early on, the Transformers line focused on creating realistic vehicle modes. The idea was that you could imagine that car or plane you saw in your every day life becoming a robot in disguise. However, as the years rolled on, some fantasy type vehicle modes were introduced (until the point where they dominated the line). One of the first inklings of that was released in 1985, when the Autobot known as Cosmos was released. Cosmos became the rather unconventional form of a UFO, a disc like vehicle that was actually large enough to house another Autobot inside him (according to the G1 animated series anyhow). This made him unique at the time and to this day there is a certain fondness for this character. Indeed, when a mock up for a Classics version was shown, fans were thrown into a tizzy and wanted the figure produced badly. Sadly, it was not to be, but now we do have an update on the character via a Legends Class figure!
Looking at the G1 Cosmos figure is a reminder that once upon a time, things like posability and convincing modes took a back seat to the ability of a figure to transform from one mode to another in the Transformers line. G1 Cosmos' robot mode was a rather cutesy looking robot with a tube shaped head, round body and feet that were permantly stuck together since they were formed from the front of the flying saucer mode. While this sounds terrible, it was really standard practice at the time and G1 Cosmos was a fun little toy in his own right (I remember having plenty of adventures with him and the Mini-Bots over the years as a kid). However, Universe Cosmos represents what can be done with a seemingly silly character concept with modern day toy making techniques.
Universe Cosmos shares the same basic design as his G1 predecessor. The center of the UFO becomes his torso, his legs and feet estend down from the UFO mode and his head pops up in the center. It differs in some ways too however. The legs/feet are formed from the rear section of the UFO, and instead of being stuck together he has two distinct legs. The sides form his arms, but instead of using the underside of the UFO's sides to represent the arms, the arm detail is sculpted into the inner part of his arms. His waist/hip area is also a bit longer, giving him a less pudgy look and adding a touch of sleekness to the design.
Rather than using his G1 toy as the primary basis for the Universe Cosmos' design, the designers appeared to look towards the animated series. Several aspects of Universe Cosmos reflect this including:
- The head design is more based on the animated design, featuring small eyes with a mouthplate instead of large visor like eyes and a mouthplate.
- The chest design has vent like details on the sides with a lot of additional tech detail (not featured on the TV show). He does however feature an Autobot symbol in the center of his chest, something not on the original figure but used on the TV show.
- In a detail that was found on both the toy and animation model, his hips have rectangular sections with a series of indented lines on them. This section is much larger on G1 Cosmos than it is on Universe Cosmos, but it is still there.
- Cosmos features raised trapezoid sections around his knee area, similar to indented rectangles on the G1 toy.
Perhaps the biggest difference between G1 Cosmos and Universe Cosmos are his arms and legs. His arms are formed from the sides of the UFO mode, so they're big crescents with the arm detail sculpted inside. His legs are actually separate pieces, not stuck together, making them independent units. Both look cool, though it is a little weird to see his fists under his "arm armor". One can imagine perhaps the armor slides aside or something.
Cosmos is cast in yellow and green plastic. The green used on Cosmos is a darker shade than his G1 predecessor, keeping in tone with Hasbro's tendency towards darker, more "realistic" color schemes. Yellow, red, silver and black paint are used for detailing in this form. More "tech" parts like his chest detail and arms are colored yellow. Silver is used for details on his chest and arms. The details on the arms are interesting. They look like tech patterns, but to me they also resemble some type of alien writing. The rather curved details look almost like they were applied by marker or something. It definitely adds a bit to his look as an alien craft. There are some inset portions of his arms painted metallic blue. The head is painted red and yellow with black eyes. I'm not sure why the "blue eye" convention wasn't followed here, but the eyes are so darn tiny it barely matters. It's clear the colors are based on both the G1 toy and TV show model and they look great.
There are six points of articulation on this figure, four of which are ball joints (the arms and legs). His knee articulation is part of his transformation and very welcome in a Legends Class figure.
The only thing I miss in this form is some type of offensive weaponry. On the original his three fingers on each hand looked like blasters, and in the TV show he had fists and blasters in his wrists. Here he's fairly defenseless. Still, the sculpt is a nice looking one and far superior to his G1 prececessor.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the waist section back and the robot head will sink into the chest.
- Swing the arms up and connect them together in the front.
- Rotate the robot legs around and then swing in the green halves of the legs, connecting them to the robot arm pieces.
Just as Cosmos' robot mode is a more modern looking, sleeker version of his G1 form, so is his UFO mode. The G1 Cosmos was a two layer ship, looking much like a double layered cake with the top layer slightly smaller than the bottom. Universe Cosmos' vehicle form is basically much flatter, without a layer on the top. His robot head still sticks out a bit at the center, looking a bit like a command center complete with a small line indicating a viewport. A triangular rudder is attached to the back (made of soft plastic for safety reasons). It's a rather odd design since rudders aren't really needed in space, but from an aesthetic point of view it is kind of cute and gives the ship a definite front and back. While for the most part the UFO mode is flat, a small piece of the robot waist does stick out in the bottom, and in that respect it resembles the pop culture image of UFO's with parts on the bottom that are often where landing platforms or "beams" eminate from.
There are no new designs introduced here since so much of the vehicle mode is visible in robot mode. However, some of the designs do come together in an interesting way. The metallic blue details on the robot arms converge in the front and form, what essentially look like headlights in the front of the vehicle. I like this detail a lot, mostly because I didn't see it coming in robot mode!
Universe Cosmos is a fantastic update of the original Mini-Bot. It has superior sculpting and posability with some nice design touches all its own. I'm also happy to see it use the animated version of the character as its basis for design. Highly recommended!