Review by JoshB
Its tough for me to review Unicron, because all the Transformer fan sites have already been there, done that. I'm not going to get into the history or character here. I'm just going to tell you what I think.
Unicron is an impressive toy. In robot mode, Unicron stands around 16" tall, and about 10" wide. If you spread his wings out, you will get a few more inches of width. He's pretty solid and heavy, in addition to looking cool.
There are so many neat things about Unicron, it's hard to think of a logical way to present them. I'm just going to run down some of the cool features in random order.
- Unicron's eyes light up when you press down on the head.
- His hands are fully articulated, with several joints on each finger. The right hand is clear, and glows when you press it in.
- Almost every joint is ratcheted (detented). Unicron has over 30 points of articulation.
- There are pegs on the shoulders to attach minicons.
- The chest houses an enormous missile that is activated by putting a minicon onto a peg onto his back. he doors pop open, and with a shrill noise a 3 pronged missile fires out of a telescoping cannon.This one will scare the cats, for sure.
- Just under the missile bay is a compartment to store more minicons.
- 2 secret doors in the legs open up to store minicons.
- Each leg has a tri-missile launcher, activated by a minicon. Attach the minicon to a peg, and press forward - all three missiles shoot at once.
- Giant spider-like wings.
- Transformation into planet mode.
Transformation into planet mode is difficult and not at all intuitive. I forget how to do it each time, and I probably got it wrong in the photographs. Pieces don't fit together well. You have to shimmy and adjust areas as you go along. Once into planet mode, it's not actually round. I think the designers could have done a little better and gone the extra mile to make it planet shaped. Unicron's wings form the ring around the planet on which you can add a whopping 26 minicons. Probably the coolest thing about the planet mode is the chomping jaws activated by squeezing the big claws together.
Unicron comes with one minicon, Dead End, a small black robot that turns into a planet. Dead End can attach to a small area on top of Unicron in planet mode. He's a fun little robot; sturdy, and more intuitive to transform.
Although Unicron is very impressive and loaded with gimmicks, he tends to annoy the hell out of me. Here's why:
- The wing mechanism is flimsy and infuriating! Trying to get the wings to stay in ANY position is nearly impossible. There is a small gray tab that is supposed to snap into the back of Unicron's shoulders, but doesn't due to the large claws. You have to move the claws to get it to work, and then it just looks wrong.
- Unicron is very top-heavy. I've seen worse, but he's taken his share of falls.
- The whole minicon gimmick. This is more of a gripe about Transformers in general, but I hate to need another toy to make my toy work. If you don't have the minicon - you can't use the gimmicks.
- The packaging. Although the window box is cool, I think this toy holds the world record for the amount of twist ties on a single toy. I don't care about the environment, bring back styrofoam trays.
- Transformation is just too complicated. I transformed this a few times, and finally just left it in robot mode. I actually gave the black version of Unicron to my nephew as a gift, and he had no idea what to do with it. I'm guessing all the pieces are now lost, and Unicron is stuck in robot mode at the bottom of his toybox. He's 8, the target age for this, and it was too intricate for him.
- The price. At $49.99, Unicron was kind of expensive, but it's intricacy justifies it. I paid full price for mine, but shortly after his release he was put on clearance. I saw him as low as $14.99 at Target at times. People were actually buying several of these at Target, and then driving across the street to Toys R Us and returning them there for full price. It seemed like Unicron was practically given away. I wish I had paid the $14.99 instead of $49.99.
This color version of Unicron, from Transformers Armada, was actually released in both Armada and Energon boxes. later there was a proper black and green version released in its energon box. I don't think the Energon version went on mass-clearance like the original did.
Overall, The cool fun features of unicron balance out the annoying parts. He's a pretty good toy, and impressive to look at. He could have been better if he was a bit more thought out, but if you can snag one on clearance, you won't be sorry.
|Posted 18 December, 2004 - 21:32 by JoshB|