October 3, 2010 01:00 am
I've always had a fascination with the cosmic portion of the Transformers mythos. It's weird, because I'm not like that with, say, Marvel. When it comes to Marvel, I'm more about Spider-Man. I couldn't care less about Galactus and Thanos. I want to see the mundane. Same with DC, where I prefer the "street-level" Batman stuff to the grander scale stories.
This isn't to say that I don't care about the smaller Transformers stories. That's very far from the truth. The smaller stuff is easily the most important. But the weird part is that I care at all about the cosmic Transformers stuff. I like the "Original Thirteen" crap and the Covenant and anything pertaining to The Fallen. So, of course, I like Unicron.
Mind, for the first few years of Unicron's existence in my childhood, he was just that big planet guy the Transformers fought in the movie. He was big, he ate things, and he was created by a space monkey. The only thing that could destroy him was some doodad in Optimus Prime's chest. For no reason. There wasn't much to him. He was neat, I guess, but ultimately one-dimensional. It was Simon Furman, the Marvel UK writer, that made me super-interested in Unicron. He retconned Unicron as the ultimate enemy of the Transformers, the Satan to their Creator God, Primus. The Matrix was the only thing that could stop him because it contained a portion of Primus' life force. This was the context that made Unicron compelling to me.
Unicron continues to be compelling partly because, to me, he's the one thing that ties all Transformers stories together. There are so many different and crazy continuities out there. Transformers has been rebooted no fewer than a hojillion times. But whenever Unicron shows up, it's the same guy. There's only one Unicron, shared by an infinite number of universes. He makes me feel like the Transformers multiverse isn't so fragmented. There's something that holds it all together, that it's just one huge story with smaller parts. Parts that Unicron wants to eat.
And so that's why I would pay a lot of money to own a special Unicron.
Behold my special Unicron! Takara's been celebrating 2010 with toy releases that harken back to the third season of the original cartoon, and this gussied-up Unicron is one of its biggest attractions. It's largely the original Armada Unicron that I already have, but with many small differences.
The biggest of the small differences is the new head. The Mini-Con-symbol-foreheaded Armada head was actually pretty awesome in its own right, but it took a few liberties that are "corrected" here. Takara basically grabbed the 1986 animated movie's head and made it three-dee.
The rest of the differences are in the deco. 2010 Unicron is a much darker, saturated orange than the Armada version. His dark gray legs skew teal ever so very, very slightly, so you end up with a giant vibrant poster child for the "orange and teal" color treatment every single movie gets these days. He's amazingly pretty in person because of this. Almost all of him is paint-washed, as well, so his tiny sculpted detail all over his body pops out. But, thankfully, not so much that he looks dirty or muddy. Too much paint wash can just make things look small, rather than large.
2010 keeps all of his original electronics and gimmickry. The missile still fires out of his giant chest doors when you activate it with his Mini-Con. He still comes with his Mini-Con! His eyes and right fist still light up, too. Oh, and there's those Mini-Con activated missiles on his legs. And he comes in a gorgeous box.
If I have any complaint with him, it's this: I can't imagine how they budgeted for him to be covered in this much paint, with all this paint wash and attention to detail, yet they neglect to paint the gray on the outside of his helmet so that it wraps all the way around his head.
How does this happen? Seriously, what in the Hell? They even took the time to paint stuff on his back silver, even though that's going to be covered up with kibble 99% of the time and facing the wall. But not the sides of his face.
Other than that glaring oversight, he's absolutely great. I can sell my old Armada Unicron, now! Not that it'll go for much, as that version of him was released at least three times to retail, and can sell on eBay for about $20. But mine has Reprolabel upgrade stickers! That's got to be worth something, right?