Toys From The Movie:
In my opinion, the toys from The Transformers: The Movie are the first true American Transformers toys, since
all previous toys to be released under Hasbro's Transformers label
were actually re-releases or re-tools of existing molds from the earlier
Microman or Diaclone toylines. (For a backstory on the early pre-Transformer toys, visit Toyline History.)
Below are reviews of the toys for the movie characters only. I have included info about new
toys based on the movie designs, such as the Armada Unicron, but have not reviewed any of
the toys which were from the Diaclone or Microman toylines, like Optimus Prime. (Well,
except for Ultra Magnus, for obvious reasons.)
A special thanks goes to Fred's Complete American Variants Page
for some info on Transformer toy variants.
- ROBOT MODE: Blurr's robot mode resembles his character design pretty well, but has some design flaws.
The pieces that fold around to the underside of his arms do not snap into place and tend to fall down when
standing the character up. A nice touch is that his lower legs are made of die-cast metal, which helps with the stability.
I like how the front of the vehicle mode detaches to become his "shield" in robot mode, though we never saw him use it in the movie or
- ALTERNATE MODE: Blurr transforms into a sleek land vehicle. I would not say it
is an "automobile" as it does not appear to be based on anything a human would design on Earth (even in the 'future').
It actually looks like it could be a Cybertronian vehicle, which is perhaps that is what the designers
intended. In the movie and TV series, he hovers in this mode rather than driving directly
on the ground, which is probably why he can travel so fast.
The toy does have small plastic wheels underneath which are not really visible from a top view.
- GIMMICKS: None; It would have been nice to have a "pull back and go" motor similar to the Powerdashers or Throttlebots,
but oh well...
- VARIANTS: There are two versions of the original toy, the only differences being the molding on the rifle and
the stickers on the side of arms.
In 1987 the Targetmaster version was released, this time with larger holes in his hands and a new hole on the top of the vehicle mode
to accomodate the peg used on the Targetmaster gun. His gun transformed into a small robot named Haywire.
The sheild is also a different color and its peg has been enlarged to accomodate the new holes.
- ROBOT MODE: The Hot Rod robot mode resembles his character design fairly well.
Unfortunately, there is not much posability, as the shoulders do not rotate and the legs and
knees do not bend. His head can be flipped around to make it look as if he is looking "inward."
- ALTERNATE MODE: Hot Rod turns into a futuristic and sporty automobile with flame designs on the hood and side (which are factory-applied stickers, unlike the rest of the decals). He has a large silver engine protruding from his hood, to which one of the two included rifles may be attached.
- GIMMICKS: None
- VARIANTS: The original version of the toy has metal feet and comes with two grey rifles of different designs.
Later releases, like the 1987 Targetmaster version, have black plastic feet, and the Targetmaster version has larger holes in his hands and engine to
accomodate the larger size of the peg used on the Targetmaster gun. His gun transformed into a small robot named Firebolt.
This toy was also re-released in the U.S. as a Toys-R-Us exclusive in 2003, but due to trademark issues the name was changed to "Rodimus Major".
The mold has been modified from the Targetmaster version of the toy to more closely resemble the original version,
though there are minor differences. This re-release thankfully has metal feet.
An all-black and transparent plastic version of this mold were also recently re-released in Japan,
and even more recently the Targetmaster version of the toy has been re-issued.
- COMMENTS: If you apply the stickers as the instruction sheet directs you to,
the decals on the upper thigh of the leg will rub off a little bit every time you transform
the toy. It is recommended that those stickers are not applied (as in this photo). To fix this,
the Targetmaster version had smaller stickers that fit into cut-out indents on the thigh,
though the re-releases still have the thigh indent but include the larger sticker.
The toy version of Hot Rod is about the same color red and orange plastic as the Rodimus Prime toy,
though the character was always a bit lighter in color - more on the pinkish-magenta side.
Some of the product catalogs showed a toy with brighter colored plastic, so it is possible
that his final toy color was changed just before production began for some reason.
This used to be one of the most valuable toys from the Movie, as Hot Rod is the "hero" of
the film and the original "metal feet / rubber tire" version is pretty scarce.
However, with the Takara and Hasbro re-releases, this toy is a little easier to
track down these days.
- ROBOT MODE: Kup's robot mode also resembles his character design fairly well.
Once again, we have limited posability, as the legs are all one piece and the head only moves up
and down about 20 degrees. At least his shoulders can rotate around 360 degrees (as Kup does in the movie after
he is reassembled by Hot Rod) and his elbows can turn (just not in the proper direction).
- ALTERNATE MODE: Kup turns into a futuristic pickup truck. (Hence the name Kup, as in picKUP.)
Despite the fact that he has no front bumper, he looks a lot like his character design in this mode.
The front of the vehicle is molded in die-cast metal.
- GIMMICKS: None
- VARIANTS: The original version of the toy had rubber and metal wheels, and came with one light blue rifle.
A later version of the toy switched the wheels to plastic only.
In 1987 the Targetmaster version was released, still with the plastic wheels, and with larger holes in his hands
and a new raised peghole added to the back of the vehicle to accomodate the Targetmaster gun.
His gun transformed into a small robot named Recoil.
- COMMENTS: I happen to like the Kup toy as he closely resembles his character and the 'bags'
under his eyes give the impression of age and wisdom. It would be neat, however, if one day we had a
re-release of this toy with some paint "aging" or modifications to the mold to make him look "older",
like the war-weary veteran he is.
- ROBOT MODE: Springer's robot mode looks vaguely similar to his cartoon character design, though
the proportions are WAY off. His character design always made him look rather stocky, and with an unusually
large head, but this toy has an unusually SMALL head. His posability is limited to his arm movements.
His helicopter blades fold into a sword that he can carry, and he includes a vacuum metalized painted silver rifle.
It almost appears as if the toy designers meant to hide how bad the robot mode looked by adding so many detailed
stickers to this mode. Without them, he looks pretty horrible...
- ALTERNATE MODES: Springer has TWO alternate modes, being a Triple Changer and all: a futuristic helicopter
and a futuristic land vehicle. (Truck? Car? What would you call it?) The land vehicle looks similar
to his character design's vehicle mode, but the parts that form the back/front of his arms should stick out in front of the main
'bumper', instead of being pushed toward the back, as the instructions tell you to do. His rear "fins" also do not
stick up as much as the character designs' fins do. The helicopter mode is also missing a lot of
details that the character design included. What is primarily missing are the pointy objects sticking out of his "arms" and the rear propeller (which
would control the steering in helicopter mode).
- GIMMICKS: None. The name "Springer," as well as the tech specs, imply that he had some
kind of 'springing' ability in his legs/feet. The toy does not include any such feature, though I
suspect that the original concept of the character was that he would have some kind of springing
leg ability, like perhaps the Jumpstarters. Or maybe I'm wrong. Just wish the robot mode did not suck so bad.
- VARIANTS: The original version of the toy had a yellow-painted metal chest. The later version had a plastic chest.
This toy was part of the Triple-Changer category, and was thus never reissued as a Targetmaster. (Though I always felt he SHOULD
- COMMENTS: Springer was one of three new molds released in 1986 as Autobot Triple Changers.
It is odd that his companion triple changers Broadside and Sandstorm were not movie characters, which
leads me to wonder if they were designed as characters before they were toys as well... (They too had
equally crappy robot modes.)
- ROBOT MODE: Ultra Magnus is originally based on the original Convoy (aka Optimus Prime) toy
from the Diaclone series. The mold was originally considered a "Powered-up" variant of the original
"Convoy" toy, so as such he comes with a white version of the Optimus Prime cab. This is a robot mode all
unto itself, but is never seen in the movie or TV series except while he is in vehicle mode. (A recent
Dreamwave-produced comic book shows Ultra Magnus shedding his outer shell, revealing a white Optimus Prime look-alike
The "actual" robot mode for this character then is the white cab with the car carrier attachment transformed
into a body armor shell, complete with its own arms, larger detachable fists, and 'legs'. However, in this mode his posability is extremely
limited. His legs are all part of one big piece of plastic and do not separate at all, and about the only thing
you can do is rotate his shoulders and elbows. Even his "head" is just a helmet that attaches to the original Convoy head.
- ALTERNATE MODE: Ultra Magnus changes into a car carrier capable of hauling damaged Autobots around.
Ultra Magnus also has three other "modes", such as
a mobile repair bay, an airplane launch platform, and, some kind of... um... battle mode?... (See photo.)
These additional modes are detailed in the Japanese instructions, but not in the original U.S. instructions.
Also, few people know that the "chest plate" can attach to the large robot head (face down via the rectangular forehead hole)
to make a flying craft for small Diaclone pilots with two large cannons on top.
- GIMMICKS: His shoulder cannons are supposed to launch the red rockets, but the original U.S.
release of the toy prohibited this ability. The 2002 Toys-R-Us exclusive re-release re-integrated this feature,
but made the missiles longer and blunter to conform to safety standards.
- VARIANTS: Since this toy mold dates back to the early 80's, there have been MANY variants --
far too many to mention here. (Visit Fred's Workshop
for detailed listings of each.) In the U.S. there were primarily two original versions -- one with metal feet and
rubber tires, and one with plastic feet and plastic tires. There were also versions without paint on the white Optimus
face and Magnus ear antenae, and some without a windshield on the cab.
The 2002 Toys-R-Us re-release had rubber tires and metal feet, all the proper paint, and a windshield, but the missiles
and launcher were modified for safety reasons. The smokestacks on the cab were shortened as well, as with all recent versions of the U.S.
Optimus Prime re-releases.
- COMMENTS: I never much cared for the Ultra Magnus toy as a kid, but knowing what I know of it now,
it isn't too bad a toy... IF you consider it for what it is: an alternate version of the original Convoy/Prime toy.
There are a lot of "hidden" features to this toy if you get a hold of the Japanese instructions, which only add to
the playability factor. But I was glad that they decided NOT to make Ultra Magnus the new leader of the Autobots, since
the robot mode of the toy was pretty crummy. (Though I do wish that the Rodimus Prime toy was on the same scale as Magnus.)
- ROBOT MODE: The Wheelie toy has a horribly designed robot mode, and only barely
resembles the character design. It would have been nice if he had actual hands and not just
a hand drawn into the mold on the inside of the arm. It would also have been cool for his
"visor" to retract into his forehead as on the character instead of just flipping up. His tiny
orange-red face does not resemble the character much either and has no painting on it.
- ALTERNATE MODE: Wheelie's vehicle mode is a small orange land vehicle with gray plastic tires.
He resembles his character design fairly well in this mode, and it is obvious the toy designers
started with a vehicle mode and concocted a robot mode afterwards.
- GIMMICKS: None
- VARIANTS: None that I am aware of
- COMMENTS: While the Wheelie toy is poorly designed, and the character is annoying to most people,
the Wheelie toy is cool because: 1) it is the only mini-bot toy released in 1986 that
was a completely original mold based upon a character design, and not based on some early Microman mold,
and 2) it was never re-released as any kind of variant or repaint. That makes this toy rather unique.
- ROBOT MODE: Wreck-Gar is one of the few movie toy designs which has a robot mode
that closely resembles his character design. He seems to be designed fairly closely to
spec to the original artwork by Production Designer Floro Dery, with the notable exceptions
of the additional pointy spikes and long beard and moustache on the face, which would have been
nearly impossible to reproduce in toy form in 1986. His eyes are red, which matches his character.
The red piece on his upper torso is the only piece made with metal.
His front wheel turns into a shield of some kind, and he also comes with an axe and a fairly large rifle.
The axe has a hole in the middle, which allows you to attach the front wheel to it.
When I first got my Wreck-Gar toy in 1986, the elbow joints were assembled backwards so
that they only bent 90 degrees in the opposite direction of a normal human elbow. Since the shoulders
are attached via a ball-and-socket joint (one of the first instances of such a joint in the Transformer
toy line, by the way), the elbow problem was easily fixed by swapping the arms around and switching the fists
back by unscrewing the front arm section and reassembling them. I am not sure how many Wreck-Gars were originally
assembled this way, but if yours is, I highly recommend fixing it as this can be done without damaging the toy.
Also a disappointment was the fact that the knees only bend forward (which is impossible for humans but is part of his transformation),
but do not bend backward, which limits leg posability. His knees do bend INWARD, however, and so a fun pose for the toy
is to make him sit in a cross-legged style, like a kid watching television on the floor.
- ALTERNATE MODE: Wreck-Gar's vehicle mode is a futuristic motorcycle, closely resembling his movie
design. Not sure if one Wreck-Gar can "ride" another one, as I only have one, but probably not. (We see the
Junkions doing this in the movie, which answers the question of why would there be a motorcycle the size of a car,
as they are not meant to be driven by humans.)
- GIMMICKS: None
- VARIANTS: None that I am aware of... if anybody knows more about the misassembled elbow issue, please let me know.
- COMMENTS: If this toy were made today, it would have been cool to have more detailed painting to
make him look "aged", as well as having rubbery-plastic 'spikes' and maybe even a beard and moustache.
It would also have been nice to have peg holes on his elbows, so you could attach the front wheel to the side
of the arm as the character frequently does.
I always found Wreck-Gar a unique toy, as his character was neither an Autobot nor a Decepticon, and yet
he was marketed as an Autobot. (Which was a bit of a movie spoiler, in a way...)
It was also sad that no other Junkion characters were made into toys. It would have been neat to have
three Junkion toys, all of which designed so that their parts were interchangeable. Oh well, maybe one day...
- ROBOT MODE: Galvatron is one of the biggest of the movie toys and is about the same height as the Ultra Magnus toy.
(Which is appropriate, since according to the toy packaging he is supposed to be Ultra Magnus's
nemesis, as both carry the name "City Commander.") Unfortunately that means he is much taller than
the Rodimus Prime toy.
His design uses many elements of the character design, though many of the proportions are way off. For
instance, his forearms are far too small when compared to the shoulders. His mid-torso has the
same design elements as the character such as the grid pattern on his stomach (which resemble abs),
but the whole region is shaped far too cyclindrical, and less "sleek" as the character. His legs
also lack the curvy-features of the character design, and are way too boxy.
The one big thing that throws this whole toy off, however, is the color scheme. In the movie, Galvatron
is mostly purple, with red and grey sections here and there. On the toy, it seems as if the gray and
purple were reversed completely. This makes him look more like Megatron than Galvatron, which may or may
not have been intentional...
From a posability standpoint, Galvatron is not too shabby. His arms and shoulders rotate and bend, as do his upper
legs and knees. His head does not turn, but since you can rotate the whole upper body 360 degrees, he can be posed
to appear to be looking at something other than the direction he is facing.
The head is far from perfect as well. The look on his face is a little too 'friendly' in my opinion,
and the whole head is far too cylindrical. His built-in "crown" also has four points instead of the three
we see on the character. Of course if this were changed to three it would make the cannon mode look
strange, so this is a minor complaint.
In addition to the orange shoulder-mounted cannon (which looks really spiffy with the glitter on the inside
of the transparent plastic -- something I have not seen much of since), Galvatron also comes with a big
black double-barrelled rifle gun, which we never saw in the movie or TV series.
- ALTERNATE MODE: Galvatron actually has TWO alternate modes: a mobile cannon
(as he is seen changing into in the movie), and a hand-held futuristic gun. (He is never
seen changing into a hand-held gun the movie or T.V. series, but this mode was probably
added to the toy to allude to the character's original pistol gun mode, as well as to add
more playability to the toy.) The mobile cannon mode does not look much like the character's
cannon mode, as he seems to point directly forward in this mode, instead of being angled upward.
How he could fire at anything that is not at his ground level is not known.
The orange piece from the shoulder-mounted cannon attaches to his head in mobile cannon or gun mode.
The purple piece that attaches to the arm has nowhere to go in this mode, and therefore is often lost.
(Good luck finding a Galvatron that has both the orange cannon pieces as well as this purple attachment...)
- GIMMICKS: One of the only movie toys to actually have gimmicks, Galvatron has
electronic lights and sounds, similar to the original Shockwave toy. There are three different
settings for the sound effects, set using a switch on his lower back. The lights and sounds
are triggered when you press either the big black button on his lower torso (?!) or the trigger
on his back (which becomes the trigger in 'gun mode'). The lights come from within his head,
which makes the orange gun turret light up in gun/cannon mode, and makes his cut-out eyes glow
orange in robot mode.
- VARIANTS: The only known variants on the Galvatron toy are the color of the stickers
used on the feet: some have orange colors where red should be.
- COMMENTS: While Galvatron is not the greatest toy that could be made of this character,
it is still one of the best of the movie toys in my opinion. The biggest complaint was always his
color scheme, which was the complete inverse of the character. (Perhaps one day we will get a recolored
re-release of this toy, as was recently done with Energon Megatron/Galvatron?? Let's hope.)
It would have been nice if his eyes glowed red instead of orange, an effect which could have
been accomplished with a piece of transparent red plastic where his eyes are. (I used a small piece
of red cellophane from a tech spec decoder to accomplish the same thing.)
Nevertheless, I always felt that this toy was far cooler than the original Megatron toy. It's bigger,
looks way better in robot mode, has three transformation modes, AND has electronics!
I feel compelled to mention the Energon (aka Superlink) Galvatron toy, which bears more than
a striking resemblance to the original Galvatron character design... in a way, this new toy
is probably MORE faithful to the character than the original toy was. See the photos on
Ben Yee's site to form your own opinion...
- ROBOT MODE: The robot mode for Cyclonus matches the original production design by Floro Dery
quite well, but unfortunately that is not the same design that was used in the movie. Someone in the
animation department at Toei must have re-designed the character during production, as the Floro Dery design
ended up being used as the basis for both the toy and all promotional art (including the movie poster) thereafter.
The final character design has the back wings pointing outward, has a completely
redesigned knee and lower leg section, and has a less "scary"-looking face, among other minor changes.
Aside from the differences to the final movie version of the character, the toy has a respectable amount of posability in
this mode. The shoulders rotate in 45 degree clicks, the elbows bend, the front of the arm rotates, the upper legs fold up,
and the knees can bend. Even the plastic pieces on the back of the leg which would normally prevent the knee from bending
can be flipped back, allowing for even more poses in the legs. Unfortunately, the head does not turn. The "hands" do not
really look much like hands, as they are essentially hollow. And the front nose of the craft has really nowhere to go in this
mode, and just dangles off the back of the head. (It would have been nice to have it removeable -- but then most kids would just
end up losing it anyway.)
- ALTERNATE MODE: Cyclonus transforms into a futuristic spacecraft. It matches Floro Dery's vehicle
design quite well, except for the lower legs which stick out the back of the craft a little too far. Also, the
front is not as pointy (as to be expected with toys), and the 'air intakes' on the nose of the craft
(which are used as torpedo launch bays in the movie) do not stick out very far, but are there.
There is a retractible landing gear beneath the craft (which is on his chest in robot mode).
- GIMMICKS: None
- VARIANTS: From what I know, the original version of Cyclonus
had blue painted ears and waist band, matching the box art. It also had die-cast
metal feet and upper torso, making him rather heavy. Later releases did not have
the blue paint, but were still made with metal. The 1987 Target Master re-release
was done in all plastic, and had slightly larger pegholes to accomodate the
Target Master gun and had an additional hole on top of the spacecraft for attaching the gun.
His Target Master gun changed into a robot named Nightstick.
There is also an oversized white bootleg of this toy. See Artifacts.
- COMMENTS: Even though this toy looks different than the movie and TV version of Cyclonus, it is still
one of my favorite movie toys for some reason. It was the first toy from the movie I remember playing with in person (though it
was not mine but my friend's toy) and it therefore got me hyped about the movie and the new toys coming out.
Although Cyclonus served mostly as Galvatron's personal bodyguard and transport in the movie and had no personality at all,
his character went on to be a major player in the 3rd season of the T.V. series as he attempts to keep the Decepticon forces
together despite their defeat on Cybertron and Galvatron's descent into insanity.
- ROBOT MODE: Scourge was always one of my least favorite movie toys for some reason. The character
design looks awesome and fierce, but the toy design always seemed... boring. His robot mode lacks the
almost bat-like "creature" features of the chracter like the pointy claws and sleek wings, and instead he
looks like a feeble old elder in robot mode (probably due to the moustache and beard and puny arms). The "wings"
are just the shell of his vehicle mode opened up, and have no flexibility or well-defined shape at all.
There is virtually no posability in the legs, but at least the shoulders and elbows bend.
- ALTERNATE MODE: Scourge changes into a hovercraft/spacecraft. It looks as if
his design was supposed to be a water-based vehicle, but in the movie him and his fellow "Sweeps"
hover around in the air and in space. From the top the toy looks a lot like the character's
vehicle mode, but the underside lacks the hover jets as seen in the movie and TV series.
In the movie, his robot head is capable of popping up to allow him to talk while in vehicle mode.
(Not sure why this is necessary...) But the toy is incabable of such a feat.
- GIMMICKS: None
- VARIANTS: There are several versions of this toy. The first version
had painted blue wings with a Decepticon symbol sticker on it (split in half of course),
but later versions (including the 1987 Target Master version) had blue stickers that
included the halves of the Decepticon symbols. Also, early versions of the toy had
a head gun that could be split into three different pieces. Later versions used the same
mold but were glued together at the factory. (Some were glued well, some not so well.)
The 1987 Target Master version, as usual, widened the peg holes on the hands to accomodate
the Target Master gun, who changed into a small robot called Fracas. Unfortunately, rather than
adding a hole to accomodate the gun in vehicle mode, they just widened the hole that normally
holds the head gun. This makes the head gun (which was NOT made thicker to match) not stay on very well,
and also gives you nowhere to place the headgun while the Target Master gun is mounted on top.
- COMMENTS: Once again, this, next to maybe Wheelie, is probably my least favorite movie toy.
I held out purchasing one until just recently for that very reason. It would have been nice to have
an alternate version of this toy with less "facial hair" to designate it as a generic "Sweep", but
Scourge is all we ever got.
- ROBOT MODE: Gnaw is one of the Sharkticons in the pit where Hot Rod and Kup are dropped to
be executed. In robot mode he matches Floro Dery's designs fairly well. Even though the toy is pudgy
and stout and looks dumb, so does the character design.
The legs are a bit too small, however, and the shark mode arms have nowhere to hide in this mode, so I usually
point them straight up like antennae.
The shark mode tail becomes a mace in this mode, and he also comes with a small gray pistol.
After many years, my toy has difficulty standing in robot mode without the legs collapsing back down.
It would have been nice to have them "click" into place or spread out more so this would not happen.
- ALTERNATE MODE: Gnaw's shark mode also resembles a Floro Dery-designed Sharkticon quite well, although
there are a lot less pointy edges, for obvious reasons. If this toy were made today they could have made the
teeth and fangs more sharp by using that soft plastic that was used on the Armada Unicron (See Below).
- GIMMICKS: None
- VARIANTS: One version of the Gnaw toy has an extra screw on the lower arms (or feet in
shark mode). This I would imagine makes the joint stay tighter. (I only have the screw-version,
not the tab-only version.) This toy was also sold in Japan via mail-order, in the same U.S. boxes
but with a Japanese sticker on it. (Same exact toy, just a rare box variant.)
- COMMENTS: Gnaw, like Wreck-Gar, is a toy based on a character that was never
explicitly considered an Autobot or a Decepticon. It was marketed as a Decepticon however.
It is also strange that the CHARACTER of Gnaw was never featured in anything other than the recently-
produced Dreamwave comics, where he is a dim-witted Decepticon prisoner who is freed by the Autobots
and who joins their side. In the movie, there are Sharkticons but none are named or stand out among
the rest. It would have been neat to have a toy of the other type of Sharkticons such as the aligator-style
ones, or the Quintesson guards. (Or the Quintessons themselves -- who are much more important characters.)
I always thought that Gnaw in robot mode bears a slight resemblance to Unicron in robot mode.... Look closely
at his chest and legs and head to see what I mean...
Hasbro and Takara attempted several times to build a prototype
for a Unicron figure to be released with the 1986 movie toy line,
but none of these designs ever made it to the production line.
One prototype (see right) was displayed at
BotCon '96 in (almost) robot form. Check out the black and white photos
to see how he is supposed to look in both robot mode and in planet mode.
Another 1986 (?) Unicron Prototype
Another prototype (possibly the same one, repainted, or a different one altogether)
can be seen here (right). This one appears to come with an electronic stand
and some kind of satellite moon.
Unicron 1999 Prototype (Planet)
Unicron 1999 Prototype (robot)
The attempt to make a Unicron toy was tried once again in 1999 by Takara. This toy was to be released with their Beast Wars II/Neo
line in Japan,
though once again this toy was scrapped due to production costs. It's a shame because
this toy, while not entirely movie-accurate, would have been a pretty neat toy.
, known for their statue busts of classic TF characters,
produced a Unicron full-body statue in 2003, initially for sale at around $150.
Sculpted by Jason Ray, the statue stands pproximately 14.5" inches tall. Being a
non-transformable sculpture, this is not exactly a "toy," but it was the first
time Transformer fans had access to a mass-produced Unicron figure.
Transfans were finally treated to the toy they always wanted in the summer of 2003, with the release of the
Transformers: Armada Unicron
toy. Toyfare Magazine declared this toy
"Toy of the Year" in 2003.
For a full review of the toy, visit: BWTF.com's review of the Armada Unicron toy
- ROBOT MODE: Armada Unicron resembles the movie character about as
well as many of the other movie toys do... which is about 75%. This one has
MANY points of articulation, however, giving him much more posability than
any of the 1986 toys. There are some key differences between this toy
and the movie character design, such as the forehead, protruding upper chest,
the large thorns on his shoulders (which become the main thorns in planet mode rather
than the horns on his head -- a concept first explored in the Beast Wars Neo toy design), and some of the color
scheme does not quite match.
Nevertheless, this toy comes much closer to the character design than
anyone could have expected or hoped, especially considering that the target
audience of the Armada toyline was not the G1 fans, but kids today, who likely
do not even know what Unicron is supposed to look like.
This was also the first Unicron toy design which managed to include the "rings/wings"
and spikes protroding from his arms (made with a rubber soft plastic, so as not
to create dangerous pointy edges).
- ALTERNATE MODE: Unicron, like his on-screen counterpart, turns into
a spherical planet with horns and a ring around it. This toy does not really
make a complete sphere, and is not even really a half-sphere. Only about 1/4th
of the toy is purely round, thanks to the two transparent planet cover pieces,
which separate and can attach to his back in robot mode (though he looks better
with them off completely). When you squeeze the two "horns" together, the
"mouth" closes too, so you can simulate him eating small planets. Being a part
of the Armada toyline, Unicron comes with a small Mini-Con toy which
resembles a small planet or moon, and which transforms into a tiny robot himself.
This Mini-Con was originally going to be called "Nebulon", but was changed to
Dead End just before it was released.
- GIMMICKS: Unicron's transluscent right hand blinks (with a red LED) when you
push it in. Unicron's eyes light up when you press a button on the back of his head.
Unicron also can launch a missle from his chest when you insert any "Mini-Con" to
a hole on his back, and his eyes will light up as well when this is activated.
The missle launchers on his legs will propel the small yellow missles using a
- VARIANTS: This toy was released in two forms: the original orange
one; and a black and green version for the Transformers: Energon toyline.
There are also plenty of orange versions which were packaged in the Energon packaging,
since there was some stock of this version left over when the Armada line was phased out.
- COMMENTS: Buy this toy. Now. That's all I can say. It will make you
feel like a kid again. Seriously. The only Transformer toy that comes close to
its level of coolness is the new 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime toy, which
costs a LOT more money than the Unicron toy.
Coming soon: my review of the 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime
(aka Masterpiece) toy...
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