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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Unicron's Four Horsemen

Back in 2004 a little over a year after the Transformers: Armada toyline had debuted something very interesting happened; apparently the line was such a success Hasbro had underestimated the demand and needed a few extra toys in order to fill out the line before the next incarnation, Transformers: Energon, was released. As a solution they decided to re-paint five molds that were used for Beast Wars, remold them slightly and then release them under the Armada banner. As a result the transmetal incarnations of Cheetor, Rhinox, Airrazor, Terrorsaur and Megatron started showing up in stores with Mini-con partners. Now I don't usually talk about anything from the Unicron Trilogy because it is something that I have absolutely no love for, however I feel these five figures are a special case.

Not long after they were released a few fans came up with (what I feel) was an inherently ingenious idea that Cheetor, Rhinox, Airrazor and Terrorsaur were the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse riding their transmetal tyrannosaur steeds of the underword: Megatron. Eventually this idea gained such popularity that the then-current owners of the Transformers comic book tie-in license, Dreamwave, incorporated it into their story with the four figures being the Horsemen of Unicron (basically the Transformers version of the devil or ultimate evil). Unfortunately Megatron (he was re-named Predacon for his Armada release) was cut from the story. Personally I thought Predacon worked better as a 'horse' than the non-toy characters in the comic. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) the comic story was never finished because Dreamwave folded, but that is an entirely different story.

At any rate, I purchased these five figures back in 2004 and they have been part of my collection ever since. The odd thing is: their new color schemes seem to accurately reflect their new personalities. I mean Airrazor was released in an almost completely black color scheme that just screams 'Death'. Currently they are perched on the very top shelf in my room, casting their demonic gazes below to all the Transformer underlings. Even though they are minor characters in what some would consider a mediocre storyline (and I would probably tend to agree), I feel like they represent an important part of the mythos nonetheless. By establishing that Unicron's heralds are often harbingers of doom it speaks volumes to the creation of Galvatron, Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps 18 years earlier. Could they have been potential 'Horsemen' as well? Something to consider.




...and the Horse
After writing this post and pondering the matter more carefully, I feel like I need to go out and purchase three more Predacons in order to complete my Horsemen collection. And then maybe some saddles. Yes, definitely need saddles.


  1. I love these toys and their concept! Pointless repaints given an awesome role in fiction, hell yeah.

    And I used to have 2 Predacons but I sold my extra, not ever thinking about the Horse concept. But if you get saddles, you're gonna have to get stirrups as well, so be careful. Slippery slope and whatnot.

    1. I don't think I could find saddles without having to go into Michael's or Hobby Lobby which I absolutely refuse to do. If they ride, they're going to be riding bareback :)

  2. So Megatron/Predacon was portrayed as a horse for the Horsemen? How did I not know that?!

  3. In the comic the 'horse' was actually a black horned non-transformer, but I believe when the original fanon idea was generated, Predacon was serving as the horse. I always chose to believe it that way since it integrated all five characters instead of just using four.