Unicron is almost ready for what we call tool start.
Tool start is when we begin the process of manufacturing the tools, or molds, that will be used to create each piece of this massive figure. However, before tool start, we need a tool layout. A tool layout is the plan that organizes all the pieces that make up the figure into different tools. One tool might make five small pieces, while another tool might make one big one. The number of pieces in a tool vary based on the material, color and size.
To plan this out we used what's called a tooling model, a grown physical model of the figure. We took the Unicron tooling model apart, laying out approximately 372 pieces, so that we could plan which pieces go into which tools. It was sort of like when Rodimus Prime blew up Unicron at the end of the 1986 film. Pieces of him, everywhere.
We can only run one type of material in a tool at a time, so we had to figure out which parts of Unicron would call for the same material. We also had to consider the strength and durability of certain plastics. Unicron will be made of a total of 6 different types of plastic. If you watch our update video, you might catch big bold letters like ABS, PP or PA on the tool layout sheets. We didn't get the alphabet mixed up; those identify the different types of plastic.
Beyond material, we also needed to consider the color of the pieces and which combination of pieces best fit into one tool. Ultimately it came out to 59 different tools, which include tools for the to-scale shuttle ship, Galvatron, and Hot Rod slug figures. That's double the number of tools used in the average Titan Class figure!
So, that's where we're at. After a trip to Hong Kong, two very long days, coffee, about 50 people all working and planning together, and coffee, we have a tool layout. That tool layout will be used to create the tools into which we'll inject various types of melted plastics. Once they cool, what we'll pull out will be the individual pieces that will make up a Unicron figure. Then, those pieces will all be hand-painted and assembled into the insatiable Planet Eater!

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