Thursday, December 5, 2013

Transformers 3rd Party: Unique Toys - War Hawk

When newcomer to the 3rd party Transformers market, Unique Toys, announced they were making a new "Predaking" fans went crazy.  Then resin images were shown of their first 'bot, War Hawk, some of the fans that were clamoring before started to back off.  I was reserving my thoughts until I saw the final product and even though I never placed a pre-order for War Hawk, I was tempted.

Of course not that long after Unique Toys' announcement, Mastermind Creations also announced their plans for their own take on "Predaking".  I wonder how many canceled pre-orders BBTS had for War Hawk?

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I can appreciate what Unique Toys was trying to do here with the packaging, but look at all the wasted space!  Turns out this release was rushed through production and subsequent releases featured a large window showcasing the toy inside the box.  I like the box art and the gradient fade and grid lines harken back to the days of G1.

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I love how the box art of War Hawk wraps around the side of the box.  On the other end in comparison is an image of the actual toy.  Beneath the image is a gold War Lord logo of sorts.

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The back of the packaging just looks really drab and unexciting to me.  It doesn't help that the little bio doesn't make a lot of sense.  "No member of the War Hawk as struggled with a sense of identity quite like War Hawk".  Huh?  So is War Hawk a team name or the name of the individual character?

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Inside the box you'll find a clear plastic tray holding War Hawk along with his sword and a fist for the combined mode, War Lord.  You also get a combination instruction book / comic book and a tech spec card.

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Instructions are well laid out and the line art makes it easy to follow the transformation directions.

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I don't recall who the artist is that supplied the art for the comic portion of the instruction booklet, but it's nicely drawn.  It seems the inker however laid it on thick in some areas though.  By the worst part of the comic is the dialog.  If this isn't a good example of "Engrish" I don't know what is!  Nice attempt though and I would like to read all the parts to the comic to see how the story turns out.

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I love trading cards so I'm really enjoying that many of the 3rd party companies are including tech spec style trading cards such as these.  While some companies are producing thick plastic, credit card like, cards, these are just your standard thin cardboard.  The rounded corners give the card a playing card feel.

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To be honest I was surprised at how small War Hawk turned out to be and how "simple" he seems.  Many have described Unique Toys' version of the Predacons as G1 toys with more articulation.  I can see that now.  Color wise it looks good.  The orange and black look great, however the fists and feet are cast in a different shade of orange.  A lot of people early on also reported very sloppy paint applications to the chest and eye visor.  My sample seems to be worry free.

The wings each attach to the back via a small black peg.  This allows for a lot of articulation independent from the other wing.  Articulation for the rest of the figure is done quite well, but it still reminds me of a G1 figure so don't expect FansProject type articulation here.

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One aspect that I really applaud Unique Toys on is the individually articulated feathers on the wings.  Being able to spread each feather out a bit gives the toy a little more sense of realism.  War Hawk's only weapon is a sword and it looks great.  The black hilt and red stripe in the center of the blade puts the sword over the top.

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War Hawk's robot head is not contained inside the mouth of the eagle, but underneath it.  I kind of wish the designers would have made the eagle head to lie down flat behind the robot head.  As is I think it looks like he's wearing one of those old dunce hats.

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The robot head itself has a great sculpt, features red eyes and a yellow face just like his G1 counterpart.  Side by side with G1 Divebomb you can see how Unique Toys take on the Predacons are stylish, but simplistic upgrades.

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I often forgot to show off the scale of toys I review so I grabbed Henkei! Ironhide off the shelf so everyone could get a better idea of the size.  As you can tell War Hawk is basically deluxe size.  For this reason alone some people complained that the asking price was too high.  (and yes I realized I have his legs in the wrong position in this picture)

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Eagle mode is where I feel this toy really falls flat on it's face.  Granted G1 Divebomb was never my favorite Predacon, the eagle just looks so boring.  Transformation from robot to eagle is also very simple.  The eagle claws fold up inside the legs and during the transformation I noticed that one of the claws was the wrong one!

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I don't know if this was a wide spread issue or not, but this is just another example backing up the rumors of War Hawk being rushed through production.

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Top down back view

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More articulation in the wings and legs when compared to G1 Divebomb, but the eagle mode still fails to impress me.

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War Hawk's longer legs allow for "elbow" articulation in arm mode. That one small feature I'm sure goes a long way once the arm is combined with the rest of War Lord.

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The large hand for the combiner is no longer stuck in a fist.  The wrist and fingers are all on ball joints allowing for great poseability.  The thumb is on a hinge joint.  Each finger sports two points of articulation in the knuckles.  What I don't care for are the large spikes protruding from the top and bottom of the hand.  Also the little nubs on the back of the fingers along w/ the claw tips are pretty sharp so use caution when playing w/ this toy.

I really wanted to like this toy, but there are just too many things about it that disappointed me.  For that reason I'm glad my friend lent me his figure to review because I would have been severely disappointed if I had paid $75 for this toy.  I applaud Unique Toys' vision and it seems they have learned a few things with subsequent releases in this War Lord series.  However if you want a new "Predaking" to add to your Transformers collection, spend the extra money and go for MMC's Feralcons or even TFC's version that is now underway.


  1. Yeah, I re-sold this guy after getting him because I was very disappointed in the quality of the plastic, the slim detailing, and the size. I'm still undecided whether to get Feral Rex or Ares...

    1. From early on impressions w/ MMC's Bovis figure, it looks like their version will be really really nice. I also like TFC, but I'm just not feeling their take on Razorclaw.

  2. It looks decent but the box should of been so much better.

  3. I'm surprised by how small he is. I actually thought he'd be bigger. And the spikes on the fist are horrendous.

    1. Some collectors like UT's take on the Predacons and if we didn't have another company's version to compare these against I wonder if the (mostly) negative reaction would be the same?

  4. It looks pretty bad. I have MMC's bovis and its a much better toy and I think their version of divebomb will be much better.

    1. Yeah, I have Bovis too and the differences are night and day.