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HasLab's First Transformers Project: Unicron - Devourer Of Your Money


ExVee

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4 minutes ago, BaCon said:

I agree about the prototype element. Hopefully, it is not required, but the that large mass of plastic on the back is not vertically over the legs and has nothing to hold it up other than the stand that appears to insert into the bottom.  

 

SDCC 2019 - HasLab's Giant Unicron Prototype On Display At The Hasbro Booth (2)__scaled_800.jpg

This is a prototype. They're notorious for having horrible joints. I would not be shocked that this thing could stand up on its own. Especially in a pose. Since Unicron can't possibly stand on anything in space, having a stand would be the most necessary accessory

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11 minutes ago, TMan978 said:

This is a prototype. They're notorious for having horrible joints. I would not be shocked that this thing could stand up on its own. Especially in a pose. Since Unicron can't possibly stand on anything in space, having a stand would be the most necessary accessory

I am not entirely sure that is a prototype because there are two of them and the plastic on the rings looks to be cast in yellow plastic to my eyes. But we will know soon enough from Hasbro themselves. Yesssss.

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6 hours ago, RAC said:

TakaraTomy announced today via Twitter that the HasLab Unicron currently up for preorder/crowdfunding will be made available in Japan through TakaraTomy Mall! It's unknown how TakaraTomy's release of Unicron will affect the preorder threshold of 8,000 units, but it's great news that there will be another avenue of availability for the Destroyer of WalletsWorlds.

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transformers-war-for-cybertron-unicron-o

The one thing to note is that the TT Mall listing isn't linked to there and I'd be inclined to put money on it not showing up until after the August 31 deadline. I'd also be inclinded to put money on there being 2 price-points for this figure on TT Mall - one for if the crowdfunding goal is met and the other for if it winds up being a Worldwide TT Mall exclusive.

The other thing to bear in mind here is that as a general rule, TT Mall releases typically wind up being Hasbro Asia releases, so chances are, we're not missing out on this figure one way or the other.

3 hours ago, BaCon said:

I agree about the prototype element. Hopefully, it is not required, but the that large mass of plastic on the back is not vertically positioned over the legs and has nothing to hold it up other than the stand that appears to insert into the bottom.  I also don't see any extensions for the back of the feet like the Armada one needed to stand in robot mode. But they could be folded under to allow the stand.

SDCC 2019 - HasLab's Giant Unicron Prototype On Display At The Hasbro Booth (2)__scaled_800.jpg

The one thing which would really make this a perfect figure would be if this took a page out of MP BW Megatron's book, and the planet kibble could actually be removed to display it looking fully animation accurate.

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The TakaraTomy Mall campaign launch is supposed to coincide with the start of Summer Wonderfest, which is July 28th. So basically there's just enough time for the prototypes to be shown off during SDCC, then get express shipped to Tokyo to go on display at Wonderfest to promote that leg of the funding drive, before probably going back to Rhode Island to be stored away until it's time to go to New York in a couple of months.

 

5 hours ago, BaCon said:

I am not entirely sure that is a prototype because there are two of them and the plastic on the rings looks to be cast in yellow plastic to my eyes. But we will know soon enough from Hasbro themselves. Yesssss.

The beauty of using 3D printing is that they can run off as many as they need as long as they've got the time and material to sink in it. Even whatever resin parts there are in this could be coming out of limited-lifespan silicone molds, allowing them to replicate those parts at least a few times. Especially with these needing to be passed back and forth between Hasbro and Takara, I'm sure they want a backup solution in case one gets damaged or even lost along the way.

How you lose an entire planet, I don't know, but I still wouldn't want to be caught without my secondary backup just in case.

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1 hour ago, ExVee said:

The beauty of using 3D printing is that they can run off as many as they need as long as they've got the time and material to sink in it. Even whatever resin parts there are in this could be coming out of limited-lifespan silicone molds, allowing them to replicate those parts at least a few times. Especially with these needing to be passed back and forth between Hasbro and Takara, I'm sure they want a backup solution in case one gets damaged or even lost along the way.

Exactly. The fact that they still need to crowdfund $4.6M for this to go ahead means that the moulds for this haven't even been tooled yet. What is interesting is where this leads to in terms of the future of prototyping.

Even if you allow $20k for an industrial 3d printer, which is a drop in the ocean for Hasbro, they and 3d scanners do mean that it's incredibly easy these days for Hasbro to produce full colour protos or protos of any colour. Add in some creative accounting for the R&D budget on a line and suddenly it's not only the reason you have offerings like this even being considered, but also the reason they're so fully fleshed out as finished products, before funding has even been secured.

In fact I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't one piece of resin in either proto and that they're so far along that they could effectively be considered product samples, rather than prototypes, in terms of what we're traditionally used to. This R&D process has to be costing Hasbro significantly less than the traditional R&D process - enough that this gamble potentially failing is still cheap enough to work as a PR exercise at worse. I highly doubt this would even have been attempted prior to 3-D printers.

The great part about all this too, is that if the protos ever go astray, as long as the digital files haven't been lost, it's realistically only costing them whatever they pay for 9kg of extrudable plastic to produce another.

In the end, we're the real winners, because it minimises risk, allowing designers to be more adventurous with ideas and if something doesn't work for the time, the design can easily be reproduced down the track as a proto when it has a better shot.

There are definitely some interesting times ahead.

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The material costs are probably relatively low, but you have to keep in mind there's a ton of labor-hours also sunk in the various design stages this already went through to get to what seems effectively to be an engineering sample. Like, it may not be durable like a production toy, but for what they're showing us, I'd assume damn near everything on there does actually work. So there's already been a lot happening on this between Hasbro and Takara. I'd bet the printing is actually the cheapest part of the process so far.

You can see that they've walked this a long way through already just based on the time table they have. Funding to be secured by the end of August, and delivery in early 2021. They're allowing for just a bit over a year from a process known to take as much as 24 months. And doing something this massive for the first time, I don't doubt they'd end up using an entire two years when it's all tallied up.

They may not have laid out the hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more, maybe) to have the molds cut, but if the campaign fails, they are still looking at some decent loss on this. I hope it does succeed, for all the people who want to have one of these. But I can't help coming back with a skeptical feeling every time I step back and take an objective look. Hopefully opening the campaign up in Japan will give it a healthy boost toward the goal.

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9 hours ago, ExVee said:

The material costs are probably relatively low, but you have to keep in mind there's a ton of labor-hours also sunk in the various design stages this already went through to get to what seems effectively to be an engineering sample.

That's just it though, I reckon the process of using cad and 3d printing over the traditional approach of initial engineering sketches, sculpting et al, is significantly cheaper, even from a man hours perspective - especially when you consider that edits and revisions can be done to the existing model with relative speed and ease, while previous design revisions can be saved if there is a misstep at any point along the process. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if this cut the costs on labour down by anywhere between 33%-50%.

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Just in from the evening press event, we have a look at the Transformers War For Cybertron Unicron Prototype, Rainmakers exclusive three-pack and the Autobots Vs Decepticons Battle Masters boxed set. Check out the images in the gallery below with more updates coming soon from SDCC 2019.

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sdcc-2010-unicron-prototype-and-rainmake

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Shortly before Summer Wonderfest happens, TakaraTomy Mall has added their page for HasLab's Unicron. A lot of the details aren't completely clear, thanks to the uncertain nature of machine translation. What we can tell for sure is that the TTM orders will be cancelled if the required number of preorders aren't met "worldwide".

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transformers-war-for-cybertron-unicron-o

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  • 2 weeks later...

The official Transformers PR has sent us a new video showing the full conversion for their Unicron crowdfunding project. See Takara's very own lead desginer, Takashi Kunihiro, of the Unicron and many other Transformers toys walk us through the transformation from Planet to Robot mode in the video below.

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TRANSFORMING%20UNICRONTakara%20Takashi%2

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