The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Acronyms and abbreviations are fun. That, or these lines don't deserve quite enough respect for full names.
Robots In Disguise, Armada, Energon, Cybertron - there, that's their names, happy now???

The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Dominic » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:39 am

At this point, I think that we can assume that there will be no official "UT 10th" line. "Beast Wars" got one. Granted, the BW 10th Anniversary involved a line of mediocre to bad recolours (each packaged with a part of a half-assed build-up figure), a couple of dubious comic series and a BotCon set that looked like it was designed and executed at somebody's mother's kitchen table. But, at least that was something.


Over-all, I really liked the UT line(s).

I tried to avoid "Armada". I really did. But, I picked up a few Minicon sets out of curiosity, and was hooked. The line was fun. Even maligned toys like HotShot had their charm. HotShot spent no small amount of time on my shelf with one of the bike Minicons stuck to the car's spoiler, looking not unlike a car being driven to a weekend retreat. (Then, I tried that with Demolishor, and it looked even funnier.) Eventually, I bought most (if not all) of the Deluxe and Voyager (whatever they were called at the time) moulds. I have only sold a few of them off over the years, and came to regret most of those sales. (Demolishor held my "favourite mould" spot until 2008, when the Sunstreaker/Sideswipe mould was released.) Similarly, I tried to avoid the comics. But, DW's run of "Armada", (even Furman's portion), were good. That book was worth reading. And, after having reread some of it, I can say that I still like it. The cartoon was sloppily edited and had all manner of problems that no professional product should be associated with. But, it had its moments. (Thrust is a character that still holds a place in my heart.)

As much as I was not a fan of "Energon", I still can find things to like about it. The comics were bad. And, many of the toys were plagued with intrusive and un-inspired gimmicks. But, there were some bright spots like Sharkticon and Slugslinger. The Scout/Basic price point was always worth a look. Besides a couple of Minicon sets (one of which involved all new moulding for old characters) this was the first time in years that the any TF line had so many dedicated army-builder figures. (The Vehicons in RiD always seemed like an after-thought at best and something that should have been done better, to say nothing of earlier in the line, at worst.)

"Cybertron", as mentioned in another recent thread, was all kinds of fun. The cartroon was standard for the UT era. It came across as a solid draft, but a grossly un-finished product. The comics, (published by Fun Publications), were abysmal to start and only got worse. But, the toyline was consistently fun. While the keys did not have anywhere near the fiddle value of the Minicons, "Cybertron" as a whole was more polished than "Armada" and "Energon". My skip rate for that line was much lower than I had planned, but much higher than I would have wanted. And, Hasbro actually experimented with telling a story using the character profiles, a practice that carries over to the movie line today.


And, the UT was the last time that TF as a franchise focused primarily on newer/non-movie characters. As much as I like being able to get a modern iteration of characters like Prowl, Jazz, Thundercracker or Mirage, there was something to be said for being able to pick up a comic or flip over a toy package and reading about a new character.


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-gonna fiddle with some UT moulds later tonight. :|
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Onslaught Six » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:44 am

Yeah, ArmEnerTron's preference for creating entirely new characters was a huge part of the reason I loved the lines. There were many figures I picked up simply because the bio for the character was something cool, new and interesting. Mudflap is still one of the few in-fiction "traitors" who wholly works.
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People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Gustavo » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:00 pm

Dominic wrote:At this point, I think that we can assume that there will be no official "UT 10th" line. "Beast Wars" got one. Granted, the BW 10th Anniversary involved a line of mediocre to bad recolours (each packaged with a part of a half-assed build-up figure),


I thought the changes to the paint jobs were generally better and more screen accurate. Deluxe Megatron was a far cry from the Cybertron Beast Megatron toy, but the rest were better. And the remolds/re-issues of Ultra Optimus Prime is fantastic (and Megatron was pretty good).

I tried to avoid "Armada". I really did. But, I picked up a few Minicon sets out of curiosity, and was hooked. The line was fun. Even maligned toys like HotShot had their charm. HotShot spent no small amount of time on my shelf with one of the bike Minicons stuck to the car's spoiler, looking not unlike a car being driven to a weekend retreat. (Then, I tried that with Demolishor, and it looked even funnier.) Eventually, I bought most (if not all) of the Deluxe and Voyager (whatever they were called at the time) moulds.


I really disliked the Armada toys at the time, and mostly bought them out of completism. Since then, I have grown to love them, with Hot Shot being one of my favorites. Complete change in the toys I like, shifting from a desire for high articulation and complexity, to something fun and straightforward.

Similarly, I tried to avoid the comics. But, DW's run of "Armada", (even Furman's portion), were good. That book was worth reading. And, after having reread some of it, I can say that I still like it. The cartoon was sloppily edited and had all manner of problems that no professional product should be associated with. But, it had its moments. (Thrust is a character that still holds a place in my heart.)


There were a couple of really interesting ideas in the cartoon, which they didn't really explore well enough. Neither the Autobots nor the Decepticons treated the Minicons well, and the writers pointed it out, but then didn't do anything with.

As much as I was not a fan of "Energon", I still can find things to like about it.


The cartoon was one of the worst things ever made. I hated it. Some of the toys were nice. Galvatron, Scorponok, Starscream... most of the Decepticons.

"Cybertron", as mentioned in another recent thread, was all kinds of fun.


The cartoon kind of bored me. It was way better than Energon, but kind of dull. But the toys... the toys were fantastic. Give or take the best that Transformers has done.
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Dominic » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:34 am

I thought the changes to the paint jobs were generally better and more screen accurate. Deluxe Megatron was a far cry from the Cybertron Beast Megatron toy, but the rest were better. And the remolds/re-issues of Ultra Optimus Prime is fantastic (and Megatron was pretty good).



I could not get behind the huge faction sigils. Those convinced me to skip the line altogether. And, all the paint in the world was not going to help moulding that was a decade out of date (and in some cases experimental when it was initially released).

I never saw the remoulded leaders at retail.


The cartoon was one of the worst things ever made. I hated it. Some of the toys were nice. Galvatron, Scorponok, Starscream... most of the Decepticons.



"Energon" marked the first (and I think only) time where you really could make predictions about a toy based on the character's faction, at least above the Scout price point.


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-needs to dig out "Armada" Red Alert.
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Tigermegatron » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:23 am

Personally,I felt the AEC toys were the GOLDEN AGES of the Transformers toy lines. the AEC toys were pure awesome because they were aimed at older kids. they had strong plastic. decent gimmicks. decent poseabilty. the AEC toy lines never play it safe,they kept pushing the bottons of creativity like those optimus trio combiners. the energon combiners. the two planet formers. most of all I really enjoyed the strong joints technology.
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Dominic » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:48 am

I definitely agree that toys from the UT era tended to be creative. Even "Energon" had its stand-out figures.

During "Armada", I actually started to look forward to reading the backs of packages again. During G2, it became a habit. But, after reading the (increasingly truncated) character profiles, there was little else of interest on the back of the package. But, with "Armada", there was always the question of "what crazy thing will this toy do" because the gimmicks varied from figure to figure. And, reading the instructions became an excercise in discovery, rather than a rote process. (Before, I did not get that since G1.)

"Armada" Red Alert is still great fun. I especially like the "no weapons" principle. Every piece that Red Alert came with was a medical or rescue tool. (But, it was always possible to attach a weaponized Minicon to any number of hard points, thus arming Red Alert while keeping his status as a medic ambiguously legal.)


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-still fiddle with "Armada" and "Cybertron" figures (or recolours of them).
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Mako Crab » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:12 pm

I really love the PS2 TF: Armada game. To this day I still consider it the best Transformers game every made in terms of gameplay.

The cartoons were a roller coaster in terms of quality, but each of them (even Energon) had their moments, when I really liked them. Actually, Energon was a mildly decent show for the first 26 episodes. Had it ended right then, it might be remembered a bit more fondly today as that show that wasn't really great, but wasn't too bad either.

The only toy I bought from Armada was Unicron, but he was a hell of an awesome toy. Recently sold him. Don't regret it, but it was cool having him for the time that I did.
With Energon, I wound up buying a lot more of the little guys than I figured I would. They were all cool, but mostly served to fill empty spots of G1 characters in my collection. Shockblast, Arcee, Ravage, all filled a void. I also got Mirage, who I thought was totally awesome, Sharkticon, and Divebomb, whose transformation I adore. And Megatron too. For as much as I disliked the show, I bought enough of the toys. The Decepticons were the real stars of this line, I thought.
And then Cybertron- my spending habits had drastically decreased by this point, but I still picked up Override and Thunderblast, just cuz I liked their characters so much. Cybertron was a lot of fun for me. I loved all the different planets and lost tribes and all that. It was nice to see the TF universe expanded so much.
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Dominic » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:15 pm

I bet I can tell you what the best part of that game was...... Not having piles of Minicons to sort through. Seriously. I am not even half-way though sorting keys, and I am ready to break. I do not even want to think about sorting Minicons (which has stopped me cold more than once).


Okay, back to that damned list.......
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Tigermegatron » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:13 am

Mako Crab wrote:I really love the PS2 TF: Armada game. To this day I still consider it the best Transformers game every made in terms of gameplay.

The cartoons were a roller coaster in terms of quality, but each of them (even Energon) had their moments, when I really liked them. Actually, Energon was a mildly decent show for the first 26 episodes. Had it ended right then, it might be remembered a bit more fondly today as that show that wasn't really great, but wasn't too bad either.

The only toy I bought from Armada was Unicron, but he was a hell of an awesome toy. Recently sold him. Don't regret it, but it was cool having him for the time that I did.
With Energon, I wound up buying a lot more of the little guys than I figured I would. They were all cool, but mostly served to fill empty spots of G1 characters in my collection. Shockblast, Arcee, Ravage, all filled a void. I also got Mirage, who I thought was totally awesome, Sharkticon, and Divebomb, whose transformation I adore. And Megatron too. For as much as I disliked the show, I bought enough of the toys. The Decepticons were the real stars of this line, I thought.
And then Cybertron- my spending habits had drastically decreased by this point, but I still picked up Override and Thunderblast, just cuz I liked their characters so much. Cybertron was a lot of fun for me. I loved all the different planets and lost tribes and all that. It was nice to see the TF universe expanded so much.


The Armada cartoon series,I felt the first 26 episodes were weak,aimed at lower kids & had too much of that "Captain planet" save the earth theme. The last 26 episodes when Tidalwave showed up & they had that Unicron arc,I felt was pure awesome,the violence was kicked up a few notches,the viewership kid age was hired,the stories/plots got better/more serious.

The Energon cartoon series,I felt was a awful train wreck from start to finish. I didn't like how they sugar coated the fighting scenes/violence. mocking the newer decepticon upraded bodies made no sense,as they made it seem like they were inferior to the armada bodies. having all of the extreme clown comedy was upsetting. kicker was annoying & useless in this series. I felt the series could have ended with episode 39. the last episodes felt like they were done to advertise the 5-in-1 combiners & the powerlinx repaints.

The Cybertron cartoon series,I felt was the best cartoon series of the AEC lot. I enjoyed the higher age kids viewership. I like the more serious nature in the fighting scenes/plots/arcs/personas & dialogue. I enjoyed the easter egg type mystery adventures that were focuses on trying to find all the cyber keys to save the universe. I love all the epic fights,especially when Primus fought in Robot mode.
The series I felt had a really great ending.

As far as the toys for Armada,I dis-liked how poor the toys were in limited articulation/Joints. I did like the thicker plastic on the toys. I love the sculpts in both modes. Armada Unicron,Tidalwave & The Starscream max-con mold,Are the only ones I like from this toy line.

As far as the toys for Energon goes,I felt,This was hands down THE BEST toy line of the entire AEC series. I loved the 5-in-1 combiners. I loved all the Decepticons toys. the 2-in-1 autobots voyagers,I felt were somewhat decent. the Universe duo-dinobots that were put in the energon toy line,I felt were decent despite their negatives.

As far as the Cybertron toy lines goes,I felt the line wasn't that great,It was barely better than the Armada toy line. The cyber key gimmickI felt ruined most of the toys as the toys weren't as poseable as the energon toys. Far too many gimmcks were molded on to the sculpts resulting in patch work designs. I dis-liked how the beast planet bots had less poseabilty than the Beastwars/BM beast-bots toys. My favorite Cybertron toys are Primus,Wingsabre,Leader sized Galvatron,50% of the voyagers.

The Dreamwave Armada-Energon comics,I didn't like. These comics felt like they were written/created for a much younger kids ages 6 thru 8 reading age. I dis-liked all the sunny bright back grounds. About the only arc,I enjoyed was the "multi universe" saga,where G-1 galvatron showed up in the DW Armada universe.
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Re: The Unicron Trilogy (looking back)

Postby Shockwave » Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:44 pm

Dominic wrote:I bet I can tell you what the best part of that game was...... Not having piles of Minicons to sort through. Seriously. I am not even half-way though sorting keys, and I am ready to break. I do not even want to think about sorting Minicons (which has stopped me cold more than once).


Okay, back to that damned list.......


Actually you find quite a few minicons throughout the game and many of them are usable to provide abilities during missions. Some augment each other while others negate each other. So in a way it's worse to sort through because you're not just sorting by faction/names, but by abilities as well.
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