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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Kamen's review: Battle Unicorn

Name: Battle Unicorn
Fuction: Warrior
Subgroup: Beast Machines Basic Beasts

"What the enemy does not see can definitely hurt them!"

At first, Vehicons thought Battle Unicorn would be an easy targetĖbut then they had to fight him. Underneath his striking armored facade is an extremely powerful warrior. Hooves are silent on any terrain but stomping causes seismic disturbances that scramble Vehicon receptors. Armored horn can penetrate most metals and alloys with destructive results. Skill with battle ax in robot mode causes Vehicons to scatter the second he converts. In both modes, special armor plating makes Battle Unicorn invisible to Vehicon radar. Uniquely able to teleport with 500 foot radius. Certain Vehicon Generals still doubt he really exists.


Very few fantasy animals have appeared during the run of Beast Wars and Beast Machines, among them several dragons, a tanuki, and a griffin of sorts(Silverbolt). All these creatures are either powerful beings, prominent in tales of heroism, or mischievous tricksters. In either case, they are associated with masculine traits and deeds. Battle Unicorn, as his name suggests, transforms into a unicorn, which are often associated with femininity, particularly young girls, and healing. I really like that his bio ironically plays off this fact, though I think the former could have been amusing as well.

However, having a good bio and amusing back history does not a good figure make, and Battle Unicorn actually has a bit of hype to live up to. As one of the last figures released in the Beast Machines line, he saw a very low production run. The mould was redecoed and released in 2004 as Magna Stampede, but the original remains one of the rarer Beast Machines figures out there. As weíve seen with the current (2007) shortage of Concept Camaro Bumblebees, rarity often breeds hype. While the Bumblbee figure mostly lived up to its hype, does Battle Unicorn? Letís find out.

Alternate Mode:

I originally thought that this mould would be a remould of the Beast Wars Neo figure Machkick, and was pleased to discover that it was a entirely new mould, though I was disappointed that it was a basic rather than a deluxe.

As a unicorn, Battle Unicron has the general shape of a horse with a large horn sticking out of his forehead. His legs are thick, and look very powerful. For a basic figure, the mold is covered in plenty of fine detail, though curiously, Battle Unicron seems to be entirely mechanical rather than techno-organic like the other figures in the line. Even so, he has mechanical muscles sculpted into each of his legs, his chest, and on his sides. He has a glorious mane and a serious expression on his face. In short, Battle Unicorn is an armoured beast intended for combat.

Translucent blue plastic makes up most of the chest and rear legs, and looks great in front of a light source. Light grey works with a darker grey to bring out the excellent detail on the figure without making him look too busy. Orange and red plastics fill out the tips of his limbs and his horn, and dark yellow is used for his eyes.

Battle Unicron is part of the "Battle for the Spark" line, and as such has an Action feature built into the spark crystal that appears on his front left shoulder. Twist the piece with the crystal up, and Battle Unicorn ducks his head as if heís getting ready to charge. I suppose its appropriate and I honestly could have gone without it, but it doesnít interfere with anything else on the figure, so Iíll accept it.

Ten points of articulation grace Battle Unicronís figure, though not all of his points are in the most useful of places. He can hold a rearing pose, but other natural horse poses are much more difficult to squeeze out.

Robot Mode:

Like his beast mode, Battle Unicornís robot mode is obviously suited for combat. Most of his armor appears to be based on occidental armor, sabatons on his feet, large pauldrons for his shoulders, gauntlets on his hands, and a Unicorn themed barbute. Yet, for that heís decked out in MC Hammer pants. But hey, who am I to criticize the fashion sense of a guy with a ginormous ax?

Although much of the figureís detail is borrowed from his alternate mode, he does have a few new details. In particular, his robot face is a great piece of work. Peering out from his helm, which is itself wrought in several layers, his robot face has a nose, cheeks, and lips sculpted, and Battle Unicorn has quite the grim expression.

No new colours appear in this mode.

Battle Unicorn loses his action feature in robot mode, but gains a much more effective weapon: a giant honkiní battle ax. Not including the chain at the end, the weapon is only a head shorter than the figure himself! Sadly, he can only hold it in one hand at a time, and his articulation is not set in such a way that he can maneuver the weapon well. In fact, he actually loses a few points of articulation, though he does gain a ball joint for his neck.

One major problem Battle Unicorn has is keeping the two halves of his body together. Any pressure placed on his torso while moving his limbs must be carefully distributed or his body will split in half. He snaps right back to together, but it is a major annoyance. There is also a slight bit of beast mode kibble on his arms.

Even so, Battle Unicron looks very impressive.

Transformation: Fairly ingenious for a basic sized figure. However, there is a bit of beast kibble and getting the two halves of his body to connect can be a pain. 5
Durability: While the figure is pretty sturdy and ball-jointed at all the right places, he has a few parts that insist on popping off, namely his shoulder pads. They do snap back on, but the pegs that secure them are on axles, so it can take a few minutes to get the piece back on. 7
Fun: I love the idea behind Battle Unicorn, but the problem with his shoulders and torso, along with his mediocre articulation, really threatens to overwhelm him. 6
Price: The going price for him on most online retailers is around 10 USD. I think itís a fair price. 5
Overall: Battle Unicorn is a great idea that falls a little short. Personally, I think this figure would have been a lot better as a Deluxe. Still, he is an excellent shelf piece, but I would not recommend him for play. 7/10

 
 
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