Transformers Review: Universe Unicron (Rewind)

Intro:
In my previous review of Cybertron Primus, I’ve made several references to Unicron. Well, for most part of it, I tried to justify myself for missing out on Unicron with the owning of a Primus figure. When Unicron first appeared in the 1986 Transformers the Movie, we were in awe of Unicron. Here we have a huge gigantic robot transforming into a friggin planet. He was all powerful and massive, and only to be beaten by (ironically) a small Autobot Matrix of Leadership. However, his history remain vague, and the animated series tried to do just that by stating the Unicron was a creation of a primate-like creature who calls himself Primacon. Truth be told, it was the silliest story ever told, and it certainly did not do the legendary character any justice. The comics however, recreate the entire lore and history of this massive character. He is an evil God – a Chaos Bringer who seeks to destroy everything. He was there when the previous universe collapsed, and he was also there when our current universe was born. It was when the sentient core of the universe, called “The One” realized how much of a threat posed by the Chaos Bringer, did Primus was created. In other words, the ancient God Primus is much, much younger than Unicron.
Although both are Gods, Unicron were physically more powerful than his younger sibling. Knowing that he could never equal Unicron’s brute strength and seemingly limitless power, Primus has only his cunning wits as an advantage, shifted their battle to the astral plane, and then back, and caused Unicron to be trapped within a planet’s core, thus encapsulating him. However, the power of Unicron can never be subdue, Unicron managed to manipulate the planet into metal and making it his own body, thus becoming the Unicron that we know today – the Devourer of Planets. Think of him as the Transformers’ version of Galactus. And just like Galactus, Unicron too has a herald, in the form of Galvatron. Although this was so, it doesn’t mean Galvatron was a willing candidate, and he was not even his chosen champion cum loyal servant, that title however is reserved to one of the first thirteen transformers, now only known simply as The Fallen, whose real name has been lost in the web of time even to the owner himself. The Fallen, along with Vector Prime and eleven others were created by Primus to oversee certain aspect of existence. Vector, for example were chosen as the Keeper of Space & Time, and his job is too observe & repair any ripples in the timeline cause by Unicron and other entities. The Fallen on the other hand was in charge of entropy – meaning he was to oversee the cycle of rebirth & destruction of the Universe. As time passes, The Fallen became more and more obsessed with destruction, and eventually succumbed to Unicron’s malice. The Fallen, being the most powerful of the first 13, the unholy alliance of Unicron & The Fallen proved to be formidable. Though eventually both were defeated and The Fallen ended up trapped in limbo, Unicron proved to be too powerful to be totally destroyed and defeated, as over time, he would repeatedly return and wreak havoc in all reality.
Anyways, Unicron was a figure that took almost two decades to be made possible. Though the designs of the modern Unicron are based on the Armada version rather than the original G1 version, the differences are quite minimal, and most of us collectors tend to assume this guy as the original Unicron. As you may have noticed, I am really excited about this, and I really can’t help feeling this way. I have not had this sort of excitement towards a figure since I gotten myself 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime, G1 Megatron, Masterpiece Megatron, Primus & Voltron, so you can only imagine how ecstatic I was when I saw Unicron on that shelf!!!
You see, the Unicron figures under the Universe line is actually the forth release of the mold so far, and since I have missed out on the first three releases, there was no way am I gonna miss the forth release, which could probably also be the last. The first release was sometime around 2004, under the Armada line, and was Armada-show accurate, which were black and luminous green in color. The 2nd release, still under the Armada line was more G1 accurate. The 3rd release was under the Energon line, and was too G1 accurate. As far as I was concerned, I couldn’t find any of those 3 releases anywhere in Malaysia. Then again even if I did find them, it wouldn’t have made any difference since I couldn’t have afforded them then anyway. Then when Galaxy Force/ Cybertron series rolled by, Unicron was released again, albeit in a Bludgeon-esque tank form, which I purchased, half succumbing to the fact that I was never ever gonna get the giant Unicron.
Then late last year, Hasbro announced that they were gonna release the figure in the Universe line, and instantly I knew, this was going to be my last chance. I kept track on the figure, and I constantly checked with my supplier (Teencom) regarding the status of the figure, who told me that they have no arrival info of the figure at all.
I was worried.
So, I even went as far as meeting up with a new Bandai toy store (who would later import some Transformers figures as well) owner in Dataran Pahlawan and asked him to check out of the figure. He too had no info.
By now, I was anxious.
So I went to KL last month to scan through some of the major toy stores and shopping complexes there such as XL, One Utama, Cineleisure, KLCC, Times Square, and none of them had any info either!!!
By now, I almost gave up.
A month later, while sending my sister to Putrajaya for an interview, I decided to drop by Alamanda, this time looking for Masterpiece Grimlock figure instead. Honestly, since I’ve given up hope in ever finding Unicron, he had never crossed my mind. Then as I browsed through the Transformers section, something at the bottom shelves caught my attention. There were four humongous boxes, each where much, much bigger than Primus’s. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I rubbed my eyes a few times more, and then took another glance. There he was, Unicron, in all his glory. I can’t believe it!!! After all these years, finally he was within touching distance. This was my first ever encounter with a live specimen, and there was no way I was gonna miss out on this opportunity. A glance at the box reveals the reasons why most toy stores did not have any info on him – he is a Toy R Us exclusive, though that still doesn’t explain why Parkson Alamanda was selling them. But hey, I shouldn’t be worrying about that, should I?
It’s just worth noting that Unicron is part of my wish list for this year, which also includes Masterpiece Grimlock & Movie Devastator/ Constructicons, and is obviously one of the most significant purchases this year. Last year they were Voltron, Masterpiece Megatron & 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime; and Primus being the significant buy for the year before last. So for now, 1 down and 2 more to go.
Okay, that’s enough about the background and history of the character; let’s go to the main dish, shall we? 
Robot Mode:
For a time I considered sparing your wretched little planet Cybertron, but now you shall witness its dismemberment.
As I slowly trying to extract him out of the web of wires that he was in, I couldn’t help it but to echo Unicron’s most famous quote from the 1986 movie. It took me about 15 minutes just to extract him out of the box without damaging the box itself, and the fact that Unicron tips the scale at almost 1.2kg didn’t help the cause much.
After finally attaching all available accessories onto the figure itself, i.e. the wings, spirals, bullets, and cannons, I couldn’t help it but placing him and Primus side-by-side. Almost instantly, Primus began to show signs of inferiority. Prior to getting Unicron, Primus was the biggest in my “Family”. Though Cybertron Metroplex was much taller, Primus had all the bulks to earn himself the title of the largest in the “Family”. His supremacy went totally unchallenged.
Then came Unicron, who was way taller, way heavier and way bigger. His head alone was almost 2 times the size of Primus’s. After all is said and done, Unicron has single-handedly managed to snatch away the title from Primus, and made the latter look soooooo diminutive.
Unicron was unstoppable.
As mentioned earlier, Unicron’s designs are based on the Armada designs, sans the color. So if you expect him to be totally G1 accurate, then tough luck. But who cares! He still looks unmistakably G1 Unicron. One of the obvious differences noticeable is the horns that poke out from the shoulders. In the original G1 Movie, there were no shoulder horns; instead there were a collar-like thingy surrounding the neck. The colors are predominantly orange, with purple & grey around the calf areas, translucent plastics at the chest, groin and wings, and grey spikes. The six-pack waist looks spot on, and looks exactly as depicted in 1986 where Galvatron stood. 
 
Articulations are amazing especially the hands. In my Primus review, I have mentioned that Primus’s hands were one of the best ever. Well, in Unicron, it’s even better. The fists are huge, and they can hold smaller transformers even better than Primus ever could. Both of Unicron’s hands are colored differently – with the right being translucent and the left off-white. The head is as big as the severed Unicron’s head that came with my Primus figure, but with slightly different designs and color schemes. There is also a tiny red dot on his forehead that kinda reminds me of Goddess of Mercy, Kuan Yin. 
My one gripe with this figure is the wings and spikes. The spikes can’t stand straight. You would have to support them by having the wings leaning against the back of the robot itself. And also, before I forgot, the front flaps near the groin area tend to detach easily especially when you are transforming the big guy. Articulation-wise, Unicron is wonderful. The head turns; shoulders turn 360˚; above elbow turns; elbow; wrists; individual finger articulations (each finger have 2 joints except for thumb, which only have 1 point); waist; hips; knee; below knee for turning; ankle & foot. Thus, articulation-wise, it is slightly better than Primus since the latter do not have any wrist articulation. 
The figure is also loaded with gimmicks, which I will discuss it later in the Gimmicks section.
Overall, the robot mode is as perfect as it can ever be.
Planet Mode:
Thankfully, unlike Primus, Unicron do not have any afterthought-of-a-third-mode. The Primus battle station is an absolute joke! For Unicron, there is only 1 mode, and that’s the planet mode.
In planet mode, Unicron doesn’t actually resemble a planet. First of all, there are kibbles everywhere. You can clearly see the legs at the back and the head at the bottom of the figure. Though it somewhat recognizable from its 1986 movie depiction of the planet mode, though very loosely thanks to the chomping mouth and fangs (or horns if you like), it doesn’t actually look like any planet, be it conventional or otherwise. Yes, the carvings on the surface maybe detailed, but it’s doesn’t mean anything, and it’s probably because Unicron, in planet mode, is not inhabited by anyone at all, thus no recognizable cities or anything. The most distinct feature of this planet mode, apart from the jaws, are the Uranus-like orbits encircling the planet. If you have enough Minicons at your disposal (or at the most 26 plus Dead End), then you could attach them at various attach points along the orbits, as if they are moons orbiting Unicron. 
As far as the Planet mode goes, though unique, it clearly pales in comparison with Primus’s Cybertron mode. Plus, the planet isn’t exactly a perfect circle, rather a slight oval shape, and it just doesn’t look realistic enough to be a planet. But then again, who cares much about the planet, right? People buy Unicron for the robot mode. 
Gimmicks:
Gimmick-wise, Unicron pales in comparisons to Primus. Unicron comes packed with a Minicon partner, Dead End, who supposed to be an orbiting moon with a cannon sticking out of it. As far as the moon goes, it looks somewhat plausible, but the little guy’s robot mode is off. Plus, I don’t know, I just don’t buy the Minicon-partner concept thingy for Unicron. I mean, how the heck does a guy like Unicron can have a Minicon partner?! Hell, even if he does have a partner, it couldn’t possibly be a Minicon, right? If you really put it into scale, Dead End would’ve been way bigger than even Fortress Maximus or Metroplex!!! He’s a MOON for crying out loud!!!
In robot mode, Unicron’s gimmicks include hidden Minicons jails or traps –there’s one on each legs; one in the abs; and one Minicon attach point on top of each shoulder. There is also one more attach point at the back, where it would activate the chest cannons. The chest would literally open up and fire a huge projectile.
On the head, there is a button that you could press, which could activate the lights in the eyes. The same concept also applies to the right translucent hands, whereby pressing the hands would activate the LED light. On each side of the legs, there are 3 yellow projectiles.
In planet mode, the tiny yellow projectiles still work. The orbit, as mentioned earlier, may hold up to 27 Minicons at a time. One of the best gimmicks in Planet mode is obviously the movable jaw… chomp, chomp… hehe…
Well, that’s about it for the gimmicks, not as much of them as in Primus, and no sound-effects at all, which is quite surprising for a guy his size. 
Overall:
Despite some of the flaws in Planet modes, Unicron is still one of the best figures ever made. I’ve read somewhere before that Unicron is the 2nd biggest transformer figure ever made, with the 1st being Fortress Maximus (I may need some public verification here). With Unicron being a Chaos Bringer (which is a God-like entity), and having a planet as an alternate mode, it is inevitable to compare him to his direct opposite, Primus, in terms of quality and physical characteristics. Unicron is much bigger and way meaner than Primus will ever be, and it makes you wonder some times whether Primus will ever survive if there is an actual fist fight between the two.
This was a figure that took 20 friggin years for Has-Tak to get it right, and it took me 5 years to hunt down, and at RM 269, he is worth all the wait and effort. He is so huge and massive that it would most likely towers over anything that you might have, and he definitely wouldn’t have to look up to anyone, unless of course if you have Fortress Maximus. Even the God of Light himself has to look up to him, literally. If you are a massive G1 fan and a professed Transfanatic, you have got to get him, in fact Unicron would be one of the most vital pieces in your collection after Optimus and Megatron themselves. You should not miss out on him, and if you did, shame on you.
Final verdict: 10/10. One of the best (and biggest) figures ever made. Superbly and highly recommended. 

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