That toy you didn’t even know you needed: Unit-3

I’ll be honest, as the exclusives for the last Botcon were revealed online, I didn’t really feel all that excited about Unit-3. For a guy that loves new and obscure characters, I really can’t explain it. He just didn’t do it for me.
Who is Unit-3? Long story short, he’s a character created for this year’s Botcon comic, based off of a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy from back in the Beast Wars era.  I say “created” because as the weakest of the McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, he really wasn’t much of a character.  The toy existed, and that was pretty much it (or so I “mostly” thought).  To get an idea of how underwhelming this original figure was, check it out here at the TF wiki page: A black and red Optimus Primal inside a giant lion head. Wow.
OK, full disclosure here, I haven’t actually read this year’s Botcon comic. I’m not really sure why, I just haven’t gotten to it. However, after reading the TF wiki page, I have to admit I’m a little bit intrigued. Unit-3 sounds like he is grimdark to the point of hilarity. Guess I have some reading to do this weekend. But enough about the character, let’s talk about this deliciously awesome figure.  When I finally got the exclusives this year, Unit-3 was one of the last ones I opened. Let’s be honest, everybody was chomping at the bit to get Megatron.  I’m no different.
Once I got to the last of the figures, I finally understood how wrong I was in judging him. This is one beautiful bot. The red and black parts of the car mode and robot torso contrast nicely against the overall yellow from the body of the car. One of the nicest things about this deco is the sharpness of all of the tampoed details.  They are crisp and clean and really pop against the background colors of the robot and car.  Additional silver highlights bring out more features from the mold and help salvage the details from getting completely lost in a sea of black in bot mode. The organic black stripes contouring down the yellow body of the car give the impression of a wavy lion’s mane.  Finally, I think the best part of this entire setup are the Maximal symbols. I will never get tired of seeing Maximal/Predacon symbols on a deco.
Like I said, he’s beautiful.  <3
Obviously, one of the other reasons that this toy is so awesome is the great mold choice. The Streetwise mold is one of the best Combiner Wars limbs in my opinion.  Not only does he have a nice balance for dynamic poses, he’s very well proportioned. His car parts fold nicely all the way behind him and don’t hinder his shoulder or hip articulation in any shape, form or fashion.  This places him nicely at the top of the combiner hill. He also makes one of the most solid legs and arms out of all of the other potential limbs.  As a leg he is one single unit with no kibble getting in the way of the knee joint. As an arm, everything pegs into place and he gives a very bulky look.
Now, once we heard that this figure was an alternate for Magnaboss, I knew I was going to have to get a real Combiner Wars Magnaboss. I went the extra mile and had my good friend and former Allspark staff member Cheetimus Primal, aka Cheets, make me a set that was a little truer to the original Maximal trio.  Personally, I think it’s a masterpiece. It definitely helps me forget how much I dislike this year’s Tigatron, due to his flat head. Anyhow, I like Unit-3 so much I bought one to combine and one to leave loose. Shut up. I’m weak and I know it.
All in all, I would have to say that due to the solid deco and mold choice, this figure is one of the best exclusives I have ever bought at a Botcon.  Combined with him apparently being hilariously grim in the comic even though he is based off the most kid friendly Transformers figure in history, and he is an absolute must have.  I had no idea months ago that I needed him, and yet he now stands in a place of honor on my shelf, and he likely will for years to come…right beside this year’s Megatron. 😉