Last time on Transformers Thursday, I slagged Cybertron Soundwave something fierce. I don’t like picking on Transformers, so this week I thought I’d feature one that is among the favorites in my collection. Energon was a very hit-or-miss collection of figures and nothing shows that off better than the leaders of the Autobots and Decepticons themselves. Energon Prime was probably one of the most questionable toy versions of Prime to ever come out, while his rival, Megatron is 100% bad-ass wrapped in awesome. Now, I personally don’t hate Energon Prime as much as most people, but that’s a feature for another day. Today is Megsy’s turn.
Megatron’s alt mode is a glorious gunship that looks like it would be just as much at home cruising through space as it would be hovering over a Fleshling city and laying waste to it. This is arguably one of my favorite original alt mode designs to come out of Transformers in quite some time. Granted, I do believe that when he’s not a gun, Megs usually works best as a tank, but Hasbro decided to roll the dice on creativity here and I think they won big.
I get a bit of a Klingon Bird of Prey vibe off this ship, probably because of the crooked wings and the forward extended bridge, but it’s still a wonderfully original design. He’s got two massive engine pylons slung under the wings and guns all over the place. The base plastic is a mix of grey and pearlescent grey and I really dig the large sculpted and painted Decepticon insignia on the wings. The deco is rounded out with some black, blue and gold, and a lot of translucent teal plastic. The Gunship can rest proudly on three rather large sets of landing gear. I love the look of this toy so much, even if this thing wasn’t a transformer, I’d still want this beauty in my collection.
You also get an extra attack mode which is executed simply by lifting the top plates of the wings up. It’s an auto-transform that extends the wing guns out a little more and reveals additional front and aft guns on each wing.
Megatron also comes with a tank drone, which can attach to the back of the gunship mode. I like the idea, but the execution is only so-so. I think it would have been much cooler to have the tank attach to the bottom so he could deploy it like a drop ship, but I can’t deny that it ups the ante on Megatron’s wow factor when mounted on his back, not to mention adding a big ass cannon to his armaments.
The tank itself is designed to look like Armada Megatron’s alt mode and it’s a nicely sculpted piece. Neither the turret or the gun can move, but it does roll along on wheels, features a flip up targeting screen and can fire a missile from the cannon. And considering it’s about the size of a Deluxe Transformer, it’s a rather nice bonus.
Considering how great Megatron’s alt mode is, his transformation is extremely simple and when you’re done you get an equally impressive robot mode. This guy is like a love letter to the G1 days. He’s big and boxy and while he has a good amount of articulation on paper, in reality he’s at his best when he’s just standing there looking impressive. The two giant cannons that raise up from his shoulders can be angled forward to blast at his enemies, and you can do a lot of adjustments to the wings to make them to your liking. They can fold all the way back to give him a cleaner front profile, you can deploy the wing weapons if you want, heck you can even rotate the entire wing assembly 180 degrees if it suits your fancy. Some may argue that his lower legs are too bulky, but I think that’s just part of his retro charm for me.
The head sculpt on this guy is pure love, but if you’re thinking it looks like someone other than Megatron, you’d be right. From the portrait to the design of the chest and even the legs, this is clearly intended to be Galvatron and was subsequently repainted in purple and released as such. The coloring here is designed to match the G1 Galvatron toy, while the repaint matches the animated version of the character.
The biggest issue with Megatron’s articulation is that all of his joints are strong ratchets, so they will lock at certain intervals and don’t provide any subtlety in their movement. Nonetheless, his arms will still rotate at the shoulders and bend at the elbows. His legs have universal movement at the hips and his knees will also bend. There’s no torso articulation, but Megatron can turn his head.
Megatron’s tank drone can clip to his arm to form a sort of fusion cannon. It’s a nice idea, it definitely adds play value to the toy, but aesthetically, I don’t think it works too well at all. I should note that he also came with a sword that could attach to the drone, but it wasn’t in the drawer with my other Cybertron toys, so I’m not sure where it’s gotten to.
If you can spot any dust on this figure in the pictures, it’s because he is always on display. While the bulk of my Transformers collection have been cleaned and put away into my carefully sorted filing cabinets, you will always find this figure on one of my shelves, somewhere. Sometimes he’s in Gunship mode, sometimes he’s in robot mode, but he’ll never get put away because I do indeed love him that much. He’s also far too great looking a rival for Energon Prime, so I will usually pair him up with the powered up Cybertron version of Optimus Prime. One of my biggest regrets of my last Great Toy Purge was selling off the Galvatron repaint of this guy. While still awesome as Megatron, he was obviously designed with Galvatron in mind and he looks fantastic in the purple. I think at the time, I was keeping originals and selling off repaints, which would explain the lunacy of that decision. Either way, this toy is a must-have mold for any modern Transformers collector, or if space is a concern for you, he was also available in a smaller Deluxe Class 2-pack with a similarly scaled down Optimus Prime.