Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 43, August 1988
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 78, September 13th 1986 / Issue 205, February 18th 1989
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986 / Episode 98 (Season 4 #3), November 11th 1987
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
AKA 'Maniaking' Manufacturer - Unique Toys
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the chest
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the top of the cannon
Galvatron. Basically Megatron on steroids, he has always been a favourite of mine. Looking like a robotic Jack Nicholson, this crazed despot's finest hour was standing defiantly, half his face missing, as a rift in space and time tore him into little pieces. It was a fitting end to a character who became more unhinged over time. Driven half-crazed by Unicron's relentless control, I have always loved Galvatron. It's a shame then that Hasbro have seen fit to honour one of the finest characters in Transformers history with an abhorrent figure. So, what to do about this. Well, so far, 3rd parties have been woefully silent on producing their own version of the big guy, so my only other recourse was to look at other lines, for any suitable Galvatron homage. Luckily for me, Takara produced a smaller version of a leader-class Megatron from the Energon series, in G1 Galvatron colours! So I got this, and no sooner than I did, at rather great expense, Unique Toys announced their intentions to make a 'proper' Galvatron! But would this relatively new 3rd party with a patchy track record be able to pull it off?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
Yes, this is a real figure and not a figment of your imagination, or a cruelly-believable CG mockup. This figure really does exist and can even be purchased at a reasonable (for 3rd parties) price. This figure could almost be lifted from the screen where it not for some stylistic divergences on Unique Toy's part. This is indisputably Galvatron, but his aesthetic leans slightly towards 'Fall of Cybertron' but it still works with G1-styled figures as well. The colour scheme has caused some controversy - not the purple which is pretty much bang-on, but the white areas, many feel should be grey. I don't care too much but I do see their point in terms of greater screen accuracy. The headsculpt is great, quite a neutral expression but the piercing eyes really evoke a sense of menace, framed and accentuated as they are by well-applied black 'eyeliner'. In fact the decent paint is repeated all over this figure - there are no iffy apps whatsoever. The plastic itself is not the best I have seen, but it does have a very cool sheen to it. The other achievement of this figure is that the alt mode kibble is pretty much invisible. I am really pleased with the knees on this figure, which evoke the vicious-looking pads seen in the comics, particularly when someone like Geoff Senior was drawing him. The forearms look slightly bowed, and I'm not entirely convinced by how the cannon attaches to the forearm, but overall this exceeds any expectations I would have had. He also scales reasonably well with my United Megatron, although I would have preferred Galvatron to be about a centimeter taller.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
It's a cannon! Hurrah! Finally, Galvatron has an authentic alternate mode. My only gripe is that there is no gun mode, although I'm sure you could approximate one if you really wanted to, with a bit of imagination. This is the biggest achievement of this figure - making 2 modes which were designed with animation in mind and not the practicalities of the real world and making them work together. There is almost zero kibble on display, with the notable exception of a head hanging from the underbelly of the gun. This is a shame and is really the only thing stopping me giving this cannon a 10. Again, we have some decent paint apps and an overall coherence which is impressive. this could have been a areal mess, but Unique Toys have pulled it off.
Ooh, this is fun. Firstly, the crotch plate has to be moved up and away from the groin area, and the upper leg joiunts are folded to a 'sitting' position. The feet are folded back over in an ankle-breaking move and flipped out of the way. Then the legs split open at the shin, with the halves folded back. The lower leg then pulls out from the knee, allowing it to swivel and be positioned back over the upper leg. The various panels then click back together to form the large cylindrical section. The front of the arm cannon is removed and connected to the cylinder, forming the barrel. Then the whole torso is folded back on itself, with the head and chest plate rotating and stowing underneath the cannon. The shoulder sections rotate outwards and become the 'legs' for the gun platform, and the 'feet' are unfolded from these pieces. Finally the strange shape of the forearms is revealed, as they split and form the rear of the cannon, once they are joined together. The back leg is unfolded and finally the front of the arm cannon is slotted into place on top of the newly-configured arms. It is scary the first time, but afterwards, it really becomes enjoyable.
This figure has come in for some criticism in this respect, and I agree to an extent. In terms of articulation, there is a ball-jointed head, and a swivelled waist. Onto the shoulders and hips which both offer lateral and side-to-side movement. The upper legs can not be moved backwards though, because there is plastic blocking them. If you move the legs up to 90 degrees, then the crotch plate has to be moved out of the way which looks odd. There are hip 'guards' which move outwards if the hips are splayed. There is bicep and thigh swivel respectively, as well as decent knee and elbow joints. Onto the major issue with this figure which is firstly the orientation of the wrist and secondly the lack of any wrist joint. Basically Galvatron looks like his is curling weights constantly which is a very unusual placement but seemingly necessary for the transformation. His hands can open and close. Also he has some articulation in his feet. He can balance and pose well otherwise, with the aforementioned limitations excepted.
As I said, all of the paint is wonderful and the plastic has a lovely sheen to it, but it does feel a bit flimsier than some other offerings I have seen. My major issue though is the head, which has extremely delicate spikes on the crown. Usually that would be ok, of the head was stored somewhere in either mode, but it is not. It hangs right down in cannon mode, and is also relatively exposed in robot mode. My fear being that the spikes will snag on something and break off. I guess I really wish that the head was protected better in alternate mode. Although the box this guy comes with is very high quality and the foam inserts protect him well enough. It's just a bit impractical for how I store my figures.
Overall - 40/50
I finally own a Galvatron that I do not despise with every fiber of my being, and in addition I actually really like! Someone had to do this figure justice and respect to Unique Toys for putting their heads above the parapet. Despite the minor issues I have with the articulation and plastic quality, it is by far the best option available. If you have any affection for this maniacal, despotic Decepticon then I implore you to buy this figure now!