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Cosmos & Payload

Transformers Generations
by yo go re

Hey, remember when Cosmos, the chubby little G1 flying saucer, was going to get a new Legends Class toy, but it was nearly impossible to find? Take it away, Shirley Bassey!

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.

Cosmos was released at the same time as Swerve, and is just as difficult to find: I had to get him online during the small window when it was available for SRP.

In the IDW Transformers comics, Cosmos uses the Universe 2.0 toy design [the one we linked to the first paragraph of this review --ed.], so this toy couldn't very well use that as a basis, could it? Instead, Hasbro turned to Emiliano Santalucia to design this figure (but unlike Mattel, they actually paid him for his ideas).

The idea for this design was to take the 1980s cartoon art and use it as inspiration for a decent toy. The strongest parallels are the arrow shapes on the front of his shoulders and the bent flaps over the top of his hips - well, those, and the head, but that's mainly got connections because of the colors (the shape is much more complex). Instead of a fat central body, he has a large chest and a rather narrow waist; wait, are we sure he's a "he?" Cosmos could be a femmebot! All his limbs are massive: each forearm is about the size of his torso, and the legs are even larger. He could crush his own head in a single hand! At 3¾" tall (counting the shoulders), Generations Cosmos is as much taller than Universe Cosmos as Universe Cosmos was than G1 Cosmos.

Naturally, Cosmos turns into a flying saucer. It's not quite the "flying doorbell" the original 1985 figure turned into, but has a wider, flatter body - so basically, it's a cross between the G1 and Universe 2.0 versions. You have to be careful when converting him: a lot of the pieces slip into place with notches, rather than just pushing together with pegs; so if you try to move parts normally, you might break something.

Cosmos, the loneliest little Autobot in the world, comes with a buddy he can hang out with in outer space. The tiny white and black space shuttle is Payload, and rather than being incredibly small, I like to pretend that he's full-sized, and thus that Cosmos is HUGE! The two guns under the front of the saucer can plug into the exhaust ports on the back of the shuttle, allowing them to dock. Just be aware, it does make the paint rub off, both on the guns and inside the jets.

There was no G1 character named Payload - at least, not in Transformers. The name comes from GI Joe, where he was the Defiant shuttle commander. Rather, this guy is based on a 1990 Micromaster named Blast Master. The head and chest in particular are direct updates of the original toy, though the way he converts (and thus the resultant kibble) are nothing alike. He's so small (just a hair over 2" tall), he only moves at the shoulders.

Payload could have more articulation, but he's really just a glorified accessory: the gimmick of this sub-line is that the little partners become guns for their big buddies to use. Amusingly, the instruction sheet has the steps to convert from robot to gun listed backwards, but it's simple to figure out. So simple, in fact, that it's quite clearly still just a space shuttle that's posing as a gun.

Considering that Cosmos' defining character trait is that he always feels left out, it's kind of appropriate that every time he gets a toy, it's incredibly difficult to get. This Generations release is better than the Universe 2.0 one, but only if you can get it for a good price.

-- 08/05/14

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