Here we are at the final feature and I’m sure someone was wondering if I was going to get to Optimus Prime or Megatron in this week of Armada indulgences. Well, I purposely excluded Prime because one day I plan on doing a whole week dedicated to the Big Guy. I don’t have any such festivities planned for Megatron. It’s not that I have anything against the guy, I just don’t think he has the same cohesive line running through his various toys that would make for an interesting themed week. Nonetheless, Armada saw Megatron return as his most logical possible form: A tank. And unlike his G2 mode, this time, it’s a Cybertronian tank. And unlike his more recent Bayformer tank mode, this one actually looks like something other than a pile of razorblades.
Yes, Armada Megatron is a tank, and while he’s without a doubt a sci-fi inspired Cyberton war machine, he still conforms to all the characteristics I come to expect from a tank. In other words, he’s a tracked vehicle with a big ass cannon. Works for me. So what if he has beetle pincers on the front as well? Why not? The turret spins around and fires off a missile and he has an additional dual missile launcher on top of that as well. Megatron features electronic lights and sounds and a terribly annoying and decidedly un-Megatrony voice chip that proclaims, “Decepticons, Attack!” Mmm’kay. Other gimmicks include a fold out launching ramp, which works well for little jet Minicons, and a hatch or prison to capture other Minicons. The green and neon orange color scheme doesn’t really scream Megsy to me, but it works really well for this toy.
Transforming Megatron is laughably easy. You basically just straighten out his legs, fold out his arms, reveal the head and do a couple other tweaks. There’s no great secret as to how his conversion process works, and yet this is one of those figures where the lack of complexity in the transformation doesn’t bother me, because I like both forms so very much. In robot form, Megatron is really well proportioned and beautifully sculpted. Some may take issue with the way the pincer claw become what are essentially robo-antlers, but I think he looks majestically bad ass and I really dig his face sculpt. My only real gripe here is that I would have rather the cannon detach and re-attach to his arm, rather than peek out between his arm and torso like it does. Do what you will to Megatron, Hasbro, but you should always keep the arm cannon. Megsy also has this odd little gimmick where attaching a Minicon to his left arm and sliding it forward pushes a hidden dagger into his hand.
Megatron also has a horribly shitty “Attack Mode” which consists of bringing the tank turret to his front. It serves no purpose other than to look ridiculous and give you an excuse to misfire the sound effects a couple hundred times. He will also combine with parts of Tidal Wave, but this gimmick looks even worse and I really don’t want to take the time to humiliate my Tidal Wave figure for no good reason.
Megatron’s Minicon with the Go-Bot name is Leader-1 and he ranks up there with my favorites because he’s very simple and yet works wonderfully in both his attack vehicle and robot modes. Hell, in robot mode, this little guy has better articulation than most Armada toys. But the best thing about him his the way he can easily convert to a gun. Afterall, the idea of the Minicons is the bigger Transformers get more powerful by attaching Minicons to themselves. But I’m not all that convinced that sticking a bunch of cars and jets on their bodies is all that useful, unless their just using them as batteries. Leader-1, however, actually adds firepower by becoming a set of guns, and you can play around with all sorts of different permutations.
As expected, Megatron was repainted and re-released, only not as Powerlinx Megatron, but as… yep, you guessed it… Galvatron. While I really like both toys, I do like Galvatron’s color scheme better and tend to refer to him as Megatron, mainly because I usually can’t remember which is which anyway.
[And that’s a wrap for Armada Week Extended. This weekend I’m going to hit a couple of Lego sets I built over the past couple of weeks. Not sure yet what to do with next week. I’ve got a few more themed weeks I’d like to try, but I suspect next week I’ll just be playing it by ear. So, until tomorrow… I’ve got a Tron Legacy Blu-Ray that needs watching. -FF]