Until recently, Cosmos has been one of my biggest frustrations in the franchise. His G1 toy was one of my favourites as a kid. There was something about that potbellied, cylinder-headed little dude that I liked a lot.
His tech spec begins with,
“Lonely in outer space…”
*siiiiiiiiiigh* Poor Cosmos. Of course, it then follows it by declaring him a prankster,
“relieves boredom by scaring humans by hovering over their backyards at night or zig-zagging through metor showers.”
Yay! I like fun bios. Also, fun alt modes. Cosmos’ alt mode is a UFO straight out of a 50’s movie in a toyline full of cars, trucks, vans, and other terrestrial vehicles.
Come to think of it, Cosmos may actually be my first experience with the oddities, the outliers of the franchise to which I am instantly drawn. His alt mode is based on the “Adamski type” UFO, the old-fashioned flying-saucer style “discovered” by nut-job George Adamski back in 1940’s and 1950’s.
I would assume that fact combined with the popularity in Japan of the Adamski UFO style is why Cosmos’ name in Takara markets was “Adams “(アダムス). Where he actually scanned this mode is anyone’s guess, maybe a passing extraterrestrial looking for humans to probe? Whatever the answer, his choice of alternate mode made him a target of one of my favourite comics of the now defunct Shortpacked webcomic by David Willis.
From these humble beginnings, Cosmos would go on to suffer probably one of the highest rates of near misses as far as toy release go, finally culminating in that travesty of all travesties; a limited, end-of-the-line release.
First up, imagine you’re at BotCon 2006, an image is shown for concept art of Cosmos as a rather intricate, deluxe scale toy in the then “Classics” toy line.
Now imagine, sadly, that it never comes to fruition. By “imagine” I mean, well… it never came to fruition. The head honchos declare Cosmos “boring”. Booooooo. This is why no one likes head honchos.
The following year, tauntingly, the art would be seen again in the trade paperback release of the Stormbringer miniseries. Luckily designers and whatnot are not prone to taking the words of the head honchos to heart. They weren’t about to let it rest.
The Titanium Series was a rather misbegotten toyline. Poor distribution was the biggest issue that lead rather quickly to the premature demise of the entire concept.
Based on the previous Classics design, this time Cosmos had made it all the way to the resin hardcopy stage when the rug was pulled out from under him and us. It would be two year later when Cosmos would be attempted again. This time, would finally be successful.
Or maybe not, depending on how you define “success”. Released at the tail end of the 2008 Universe line, I never saw a single one of his wave at retail; consisting of him, Wheelie, Rodimus, and Warpath. He’s always been “on the list” to pick up eventually, but I’ve never really encountered him for a reasonable price. I may still pick him up, if nothing else, for the fact that he has “Cosmos” in Cybertronian written across his alt mode.
Patience (or maybe just procrastination…) would eventually pay off, though it would take nearly 4 years. The newly invigorated Generations line and specifically the “Thrilling 30” anniversary campaign bestowed upon us a far superior version of Cosmos.
Borrowing from the previous year’s Cyberverse series, this new version of the Legends class figures were larger, with wonderful articulation.
They also added a triple-changing Micromaster/Mini-con/Targetmaster partner. In Comos’ case, he is partnered with Payload is clearly an update of the G1 Micromaster Combiner, Blast Master. For his size, he has really great paint applications.
His shuttle alt mode fits right in with Cosmos.
Of course, there’s also the aforementioned weapon mode.
So finally, after all that mess, we finally have a truly worthy, easily attained release of our lonely, cosmic buddy and a pretty sharp update to a G1 Micromaster while they were at it.
This is due, I’m sure, in no small part to his current role in IDW’s on-going comics. Even with his oddly inconsistent size and design issues, he’s actually become one of my favourite additions to the IDW universe.
Pretty much, at this point, my greatest regret is just that we didn’t get more of Cosmos’ Animated incarnation. He’s freaking adorable.