The Transformers: The Movie Special Data Book Secret Files

“The Transformers: The Movie Special Data Book Secret Files”
Article: Hydra
Formatting: Might Gaine

missing imageT.F. Secret Data 1

Development Secrets of Unicron

The biggest ever! Mystery Transformer Unicron!
The lone prototype model made public!

In The Transformers: The Movie, the audience was blown away by the massive villainy of Unicron. Although it never made it to the product lineup, there is in fact an incredible prototype that combines cutting-edge electronics and the sum of all Transformers technology. Now we’ll reveal this previously unknown chapter from behind the scenes of development!

It all began in 1985. Directly after the first series became a hit, Hasbro sent the Takara development team a design illustration for a new robot. It consisted of two designs: one of a giant mechanical planet, and one of the transformed robot mode. Ono Kojin, who had been involved in the creation of the most Transformers, took on the job.

“We just got these two illustrations all of a sudden, asking us to make a toy like this. The toughest part about a sphere is getting it to transform. (laughter) I wanted to design it exactly like they had shown, but there was no way to store the arms, so I ended up making them curved. First I made a functional prototype with a diameter of about 10 cm and presented it, but they said they wanted it bigger, so I remade it with the size multiplied to 20 cm. I decided that at that size it needed some kind of a gimmick included, so I set it up with a speaking voice box.”

The gimmick used a sound sensor switch (a system that responds to sound, as seen in the current hit Flower Rock) to respond at random with one of six lines voiced by Orson Welles!

“It took them quite a while to get us the tape from America. After some time it arrived, and there was Orson Welles’s voice on it! We were blown away!”

missing image1.    You are in my power
2.    You must obey me
3.    I am Unicron
4.    Attack planet Earth
5.    Nothing can stop Unicron
6.    Don’t underestimate me
7.    You belong to me now
8.    Destroy the Matrix
9.    Terminate the Autobots
10.    Unicron knows all

Those were the 10 lines on the tape, six of which were incorporated into the prototype.
Such a major amount of money was used in development that it would have been easily enough to buy a brand new car. However, it didn’t end up being released… Along with numerous other great prototypes that never saw the light of day, Unicron now slumbers in a locker of the development room, dreaming of the day that his toy might reach the children out there.

(Captions:
Unicron in planet mode. The globe section has a diameter of 20 cm!
Unicron transformed! Look how much bigger he is than Hot Rod!)

T.F. Secret Data 2

missing image

The fathers of Transformers?!
Takara’s Design Team
Transforming Maniacs!!

Illustrated by Ohno Koujin

Transformers toys have become such a hit around the world that it might make more sense to search for a kid who hasn’t played with them. As for the magicians of transformation who brought life to this world-spanning dream? The ultimate robot army in outer space? It’s time to introduce the Takara Boys Team design staff! Their blood, tears, and maybe overtime, have all changed shape into the Transformers. These toys could very well be called their alter-egos. These men transform each day to put smiles on the faces of children. Being their first formal introduction, even caricatures can’t hide their excitement!

Comic Translation:

Main Caption: “These are how we transform our days…”

Chair back: TF Staff

Not in speech bubbles, from left to right:
“Mumble Robot Combine Robot Robot Mumble Mumble Transform”

Speech bubbles (clockwise from bottom):
“A cool face…”
“We’ve already had cities and bases transform… engines too…”
“I can only think of a lion, eagle, and rhino…”
“A polar bear and grizzly combine into a panda robot?”
“We’ve already had their heads turn into robots…”
“Trailers too…”
“Bonus figures…”
“Maybe a pyramid this time?”
“A big transformation… triple, six…”
“We’ve had jets and super cars…”
“Statue of Liberty? Empire State Building?”
“A water flea, amoeba, cockroach…?”

Yoke Hideaki
The team leader who’s always smiling!
Made Scourge, Reflector, etc.

Ishizawa Takayuki
Made Sharkticon, the Pretenders, Wreck-Gar, Blurr, etc.

Matsuda Takashi
A veteran mecha designer! Made Megatron, the Insectrons, the Cassettebots, etc.

Kunihiro Takashi
Made Rodimus Convoy, Sixshot, Star Saber, etc.

Ono Kojin
The most prolific of the team! Made Galvatron, the Tripletrons, Autobots, etc.
(Note: At this time, “Autobot” was used to denote what we know as the original Autobot cars.)

Shinohara Muneyoshi
Made Hot Rod, Cyclonus, Computicon, etc.
(Note: Hot Rod’s U.S. name is used throughout the booklet instead of his Japanese name, Hot Rodimus.)

Doi Takayoshi
Made the Seacons, Targetmasters, Doublespy, Godbomber, etc.

Kitamura Teruo
Made the Animatrons, Kup, etc.

Matsumoto Kaoru
Made Mensor, Superion, Guardian, Wheelie, etc.

Ikeda Tetsuya
Made Sixknight, the Headmaster Juniors, Pretenders, etc.

Shibukawa Daishiro
Made Bruitcus, Abominus, Targetmasters, etc.

Arai Takashi
The distinguished staff member who brought the TF series to Japan!

Illustrated by Ono Kojin
(Note: A couple of the first names have multiple common readings, so they may be read differently.)

Hydra’s comments
Released in August, 1989 to coincide with the Japanese release of The Transformers: The Movie, this book has apparently gone completely unnoticed until now. Although the individual contributions each staff member made to the brand are interesting (and Ono Kojin’s caricatures are spot-on), by far the greatest gem of information here is the deep backstory of the Unicron prototype. It had been known to contain a voice box, however the fact that it was a sound sensor system, that it contained Welles’s authentic voice, and the nature of the 10 lines recorded are all brand new information.

As pictures exist of a Japanese prototype that appears smaller in relation to the rubsign and contains some sort of satellite, it seems likely enough that this could be the 10 cm diameter prototype that Ono describes here. As no satellite is pictured here, whatever the nature of the intended feature, it was possibly not incorporated into the later-stage prototype. Since several of the prototype have been reported to exist at the Hasbro facility, we can gather that a number of prototypes went on to be created, although the explicit reason the toy was passed over for release remains a mystery… probably related to the fact that it physically resembles Orson Welles himself so uncannily. One wonders if even if the toy had been released, complementing the chaos god with a recording of a dead man’s voice might have seemed a little creepy…

Since this was written in 1989, it had only been a few years since the development of the toy, and there might have still been a very real chance for its future implementation… However, even the writer might have been surprised if I knew that it would take 20 years for a Unicron toy to be formally released. With Takara’s 2010 Unicron just now offering a definitive version of the character, this article feels particularly relevant.

Comments

Allspark News

The Allspark News Robot has been tasked with the duty of assuming ownership of all news posts submitted between 2006 and 2013 from our original website database.

Leave a Reply