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Monday, June 09 2014 23:05

METAL + TRANSFORMERS? Yes, TRANSFORMERS: KNIGHTS OF UNICRON are coming!

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Imagine if you will that Cybertron was once a planet rich in music - and instead of spawning warring factions of Autobots and Decepticons, it gave birth to bands. In an alternate-reality spin-off for the 30th Anniversary of TRANSFORMERS, this has happened, and along with an elaborate backstory that spans 1975-2014 (I've read it, and it's good) the basic gist is that the band split in '84 and will reunite on July 26, 2014. Who are the KNIGHTS OF CYBERTON? It's OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON, SMOOTH JAZZ and SOUNDWAVE like you've never seen them before, and they're coming to SDCC this year as a limited-edition box set that rivals some of the best box sets out there. While the story borrows heavily from QUEEN, GUNS N' ROSES and even METALLICA, I'm seeing some serious nods to MOTLEY CRUE and IRON MAIDEN in the set... and look at Optimus Prime rockin' some of that David Lee Roth, VAN HALEN "1984" look...

KNIGHTS OF UNICRON

 

Excerpt from the TILL ALL ARE ONE 2014 Reunion Tour Program:

1984poster"1984 - KNIGHTS OF UNICRON™ regroups in epic fashion, unleashing the most ambitious tour in the history of music. Named after their fifth and once- thought final album, the CYBERTRONIAN DEMOCRACY™ Tour is unlike anything the planet has ever seen. Promising to turn the proverbial volume up to 11, the band plays each show on a stage inside the mouth of TRYPTICON™. While the impact on the audience is described as “seismic,” the set saps thousands of Energon credits from the band’s bud- get every hour, as the band was forced to hire a battalion of VEHICON™ roadies to manage the load.

As the tour limps to its final epic stop in Crystal City, tensions run high. Just as the band is about to go on stage, an argument over that night’s set list triggers an all-out backstage brawl. The VEHICON roadies immediately organize in defense of MEGATRON®, whom they feel is unfairly portrayed as the instigator of the attack, and walk out, effectively shutting down the tour. The band later attempts to bring in a new guitarist and continue with a different, more manageable theme, but the hastily organized Into the Mountain Tour crashes shortly after launch. The group never recovers..."

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tourposterTRANSFORMERS 30TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR EDITION Action Figure Collection
(Ages: 8 & up/ Approx. Retail Price: $184.99/ Available through HasbroToyShop.com or Booth #3329 at Comic-Con International in San Diego)

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the TRANSFORMERS brand, this Special Edition set presents your favorite TRANSFORMERS characters as you’ve never seen them before—as hard-rockin’ robots in the universe’s greatest band, the Knights of Unicron! The four Deluxe Scale rock god action figures—OPTIMUS PRIME, MEGATRON, SMOOTH JAZZ and SOUNDWAVE—each feature glam rock deco, metal band hair, and the titanic egos that once tore them apart.  Also joining the tour are LASERBEAK, who converts into a note-shredding electric guitar and RATBAT, who converts into the funkiest keytar this side of CYBERTRON.  The entire set is packaged in an amazing “roadie case,” including special edition posters, stickers, and tell-all history booklet depicting the hardest-rocking band in the history of CYBERTRON! Following the convention, a limited number will be available on HasbroToyShop.com.

Also of note, it appears that there might be a record in that box - and there most certainly IS a song, and I've read the lyrics. That tell-all booklet also contains notes by BUMBLEBEE... and guess what? He was in a band, too. And ARCEE? OPTIMUS PRIME's on-again/off-again girlfriend. This is one wacky collection.

But if you want some TRANSFORMERS-themed metal right now, there was once a band called SHOCKWAVE, and at bare minimum, metal-loving TRANSFORMERS fans need to own their 2004 album, THE ULTIMATE DOOM (available on Amazon or iTunes). Here's a preview:

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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