Cliffbee.com: Cybertron Unicron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Unicron
Series: Cybertron
Alternate Mode: Tank



TANK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 12.5cm

   A strange orange tank contraption with some grey extensions, the best way to describe this thing is to compare to Armada Unicron. This version looks like the planet chopped up and pasted back together so it resembles a tank. There are grey pincers on the front (his horns, basically), grey ring segments on the sides and a single cannon on top, to the right side in a similar fashion to that of Tankor. There's a set of jaws vaguely similar to those found on the planet, located on the centre of the top. While it's not much of a tank, Unicron's vehicle mode would fit right into the futuristic machine world of Terminator II, orange colour aside of course. The colour scheme isn't exactly threatening, but there's no reason why something this unusual couldn't be orange, and the colours combine with the post-planet bits to establish this vehicle as Unicron.

   So he was once an entire planet, now he's some small combat vehicle. It's a step down, to be certain, but at least the mould is offering something new. There's a red radar dish towards the back, on a raised section that resembles a turret. Unicron doesn't have a turret as such, just the large grey cannon. On the left side, opposing the cannon, Unicron sports a small grey gun. The radar dish lies between these two weapons, with the robot hard fairly obviously tacked onto the back (the horns give it away, not the face - thankfully).

   There are sculpted treads at the front and large mud-tyres at the back - making this a sort of a half-track rather than a true tank. There are small wheels underneath the treads allowing Unicron to roll, although the way this vehicle comes together it's difficult to get all four wheels on the table at once. The main cannon can lift about 30 up while it moves side to side about 5, which is spectacularly unimpressive. The smaller gun is on a limited ball joint, and has a greater range of motion. There's a single transparent red missile which can fire out of the main cannon, and will travel around two metres across the floor. Excuse me while I fish the missile from underneath the door.

   Considering this vehicle mode is essentially a blank slate with no preconceived (i.e. existing vehicle) shape, the lack of play value is disappointing. We get a Planet Key gimmick of course - plugging his orange Planet key (code: dgt3) in behind the robot head causes the jaws to open, revealing a transparent red tri-balled cannon - which is small and underwhelming. So while the realistic Downshift gets a claw mechanism built right through the length of a kickass car mode, Unicron gets a lame localised cannon on an ill-defined vehicle.

   I don't dislike this vehicle mode as such, but I can't really get excited about it, either. It's creative and manages to evoke a mooshed up Unicron, but there's no clear concept here. The play value really should have been better - it all feels tacked on, which doesn't really make sense for a toy like this. The missile launcher works well, but that's hardly going to set him apart from the seven hundred other Transformers with missile launchers.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the sides, which fold out to become legs. Unclip and rotate his waist. Fold the claw section back underneath the toy to form his shoulderblades and bring the claws into position as arms. Fold the front in to form a waist, fold up his head and rotate to reveal the face. Swing the arms up into position, deploy the fists and stow the claws. Fold out his feet and heelspurs. You'll need to reposition the ring pieces now on the outsides of his shins to allow Unicron to stand. Considering how abstract the vehicle mode is, Unicron has a surprisingly complex transformation

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 10cm

   Again orange with some grey highlights, although we're introduced to two shades of brown on his arms and legs. His head is orange with brown horns and red eyes while the feet and outer pads on his shins are orange along with the chest, but the brown on his limbs is just as prevalent as the orange now. This is a fairly dull colour scheme, and while the orange allows this figure to work as Unicron, the distinctive head really sets the tone.

   There's a shellformer in here - the sides of the vehicle more or less hang on the outside of his chins, although the torso is the centre of the vehicle and the treads are his forearms. The cannon sits on his right shoulder and the smaller grey gun on his left. While the weapon placement is rather lazy, it works quite well so I'll let it slide. The bodyshape has a couple of quirks - pointy feet and a protruding ridge on his chest, but he manages to get away with it.

   Unicron's play value is far from innovative - the pointless key gimmick can still be activated and the weapons on his shoulders can aim. The missile launcher is just as effective here, sadly this weapon can't detach and fit in his hand. The ring pieces on his legs can detach and fit in his hands as melee weapons, which is something. You can also fold away the fists and replace them with the claws, and while they don't reach as far as the ring weapons, they look more natural.

   While the gimmicks and weaponry aren't inspiring, Unicron's poseability is impressive. The shoulders, elbows and knees are swing in two directions whilst his hips are ball jointed. The waist and neck turn and his ankles and heelspurs are hinged. The poseable heelspurs give a wide range of poses, with a little work some dynamic poses are possible.

   Whilst there's nothing actually _bad_ here, I can't really get too excited. Unicron's a rather generic robot with a colour scheme that doesn't really inspire. The poseability and shoulder cannon are cool - but there a better toys with similar features.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   To be honest, there wasn't really anywhere else they could go with Unicron once the planet had been done. This is an unusual attempt to reinvent the character and while the unusual combat vehicle is something we've never seen before, there's nothing remarkable about this toy. The play value is slightly disappointing and the robot mode is poseable but forgettable. The transformation is quite complex for such an abstract toy, which lends itself to fan-made modes. Without being a bad toy, Unicron is hopelessly left-field - 6.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.