**Planet-sized spoilers for the ending of Transformers: Prime Season One coming up!!!**
Plus, any excuse to trot out that tired little joke…
Unlike most of the rest of the Arms Micron releases, when Takara-Tomy announced AM-19 Gaia Unicron, there was no question whether or not I would be placing a pre-order. The announcement came well after Unicron had already appeared on Transformers Prime, discovered to be the freaking core of the planet Earth (seriously, props to the show’s writers, that’s one hell of an awesome, unexpected spin on an otherwise tired character), and been rocked gently back to sleep with a lullaby consisting of a matrix blast directly to the spark courtesy of Optimus Prime.
The timing meant two things. First, the toy is “Gaia” Unicron; Gaia being the personification of Earth in Greek Mythology and a somewhat common term used to reference planet Earth in Japanese fiction. This could have been a rather larger spoiler for the cartoon by itself, but the timing made that point moot. Second, the timing meant there was no chance whatsoever that Hasbro was going to be releasing this toy in the foreseeable future (read: Breakdown Syndrome).
This is Unicron, likewise, there was no chance I was passing this toy up; without ever seeing an actual picture, I ore-ordered him.
This picture is a perfect example of why he is an absolutely impeccable display piece, but all things considered a lousy action figure. First up, his Autobot-pummeling rock arms are actually only halves.
Second, much like The Fallen, he is a saddled with an oddity of a “space cruiser” for an alt mode because our Transformers toys simply must turn into something, despite in the cartoon being a rock creature formed from the Dark God’s essence bubbling up to the surface from the core of the planet.
However, those clever, clever designers even found a way around this. In the cartoon, a good portion of Unicron’s essence breaking the surface is depicted as a volcano from which Unicron even has glowing eyes and a mouth to address Megatron.
Stand that “spaceship” on it’s end and voila, it’s a Unicron-faced volcano.
The face part was actually a pleasant surprise, I guess I hadn’t paid close enough attention to the recent images of him to even know it was there until I pulled him out of the packaging. This face, of course, lead some, like Japanese blogger Alfes 2010, to balance this new Unicron face on the body of a previous Unicron release, and the effect isn’t actually that bad.
Unlike The Fallen, Unicron’s Decepticon symbols are stickers and therefore can be left off completely. This means it can also be left off Bogu, Unicron’s Rock Mole Tank Mini-con.
Bogu’s alt mode is actually Unicron’s cartoon accurate left arm.
This allows the two half arms Unicron normally sports to be combined into one that looks much more like the cartoon version as well.
One other interesting note is that alongside those Decepticon symbols on Unicron’s sticker sheet are two Unicron faction symbols.
On a much less interesting, downright ugly note, Unicron also has a “Gaia Armor” mode that basically has you pulling him to pieces and applying the pieces as armor to either Voyager Optimus Prime or Megatron. This mode is both notoriously frustrating to assemble as well as completely not worth the extraordinary effort needed to do so. So I didn’t.
In summary, if you have a Unicron display then you can not go wrong getting this for it. The textured orange chrome is worth it alone. However, if you’re impartial to Unicron and all his many manifestations, skip it.