Yes, folks, the short hiatus for Transformers Thursday is over and I should be able to keep things going again for another month or so. Today we’re looking at a release that I have been super excited to get. Ah, Megatron! The original big bad of the Transformers Universe. He’s been reworked and redesigned a dozen times over since his G1 days, far more so than his nemesis Optimus Prime. But that’s what you get when you’re alt mode was a gun and is now taboo for the toy aisles. I think there have been some excellent versions of Megatron over the years, but all of them have left me all the more wanting for a solid Generation One version again. Even Takara’s so-called Masterpiece Megatron was a miserable disappointment. Now, after all these years, Hasbro has stepped up to give me what I want: A Megatron that is faithful to his G1 robot mode. Yes, folks, this is likely as close as we’re ever going to get to a G1 Megatron in a Hasbro package, so let’s see how they did.
And there he is in all his packaged glory. Despite not being an actual combiner (and thank Primus for that!), Megatron is still part of the Combiner Wars branding. “Transformers” runs up the right side of the front panel and a window box shows you the glorious figure inside. And man, does he look glorious. Even if I hadn’t gone down the whole toy collecting road some fifteen or so years ago, seeing this figure in the aisle at Target or Walmart would have stopped me dead in my tracks. The front of the box also features some great character art. The back of the package has pictures of the figure in both robot and alt modes and a little bio blurb that follows the IDW narrative. Megatron has been many things over the decades, but I don’t think there’s any mode that suits him more than the mode he first adopted as part of Generation 2: A battle tank! Yes, I think this form suits him even more than his original gun persona. It’s something that’s been difficult for me to reconcile since his animated G1 design is still my favorite of all of Megatron’s many robot forms, but making that work as a tank seemed rather unlikely. At least until now. I honestly cannot wait to get this guy out of the box, so give me a few moments with a box cutter and then we’re going to take a look at his alt mode.
As far as tank modes go, this one is a thing of beauty! It’s a fairly realistic style modern day tank made only conspicuous by its unusual color. The bulk of the tank’s skin is a brilliant silver, which may be unrealistic, but makes up for it by being absolutely gorgeous and also serving the dual purpose of giving us a G1 colored Megatron in robot mode. I can’t believe how great the paint looks on this toy! Toss in some black for the guns and treads and a little exposed red here and there and this vehicle gives off a very familiar and pleasing deco even before he gets into robot mode. The bright purple Decepticon logo on the front is the perfect final touch!
The sculpted detail goes above and beyond what we’ve been seeing in Hasbro Transformers lately. From the panel lines to all the tiny plates of armor, compartments, and vents. There’s barely any part of the tank’s surface that isn’t adorned with some kind of little creative touch. And what’s that? Real rubber treads! Be still my heart! That was one of my favorite things about the Revenge of the Fallen Bludgeon figure and it’s nice to see Hasbro doing it again. The turret can rotate and the main cannon fires off a red missile. There are also two smaller guns that can peg in to the top of the turret separately, or they can be combined to form a bigger weapon. Oh yeah, he also sports some Mini-Con ports, which are no doubt tied to the other version of this toy, but are none the less welcome here as well. I love Mini-Con ports!!!
Transforming Megatron into his robot mode goes fairly quickly. The box claims it takes 15 steps, and while I didn’t count that sounds about right. Everything is quite intuitive and while some might argue the process is a little simple for a Leader Class toy, it’s hard for me to argue when the resulting robot looks like this…
Hot Freaking Damn! Is this G1 Megatron? Not quite, but it’s ooooh, so close and the way Hasbro managed to make this robot mode look this close to G1 from a tank alt mode impresses me to no end. And yes, I realize this figure is based on the IDW design, but it’s clear what that design was based on. I’d say that the head and the chest are the figure’s two best features in terms of Sunbow G1 goodness. In fact, I think that both are pretty much perfect. The portrait has all the personality that I’ve come to know and love from the Megsy of my youth. I can practically hear Frank Welker’s voice coming out of his mouth. There’s some excellent light piping in his eyes, although I found it tough to trigger because of the backpack. As for the chest, the only thing it’s really missing is the scrollwork designs from his gun mode. Fantastic!
The proportions on the figure are also excellent. Yes, I think the lower legs could have been a little bulkier, especially since Megatron is packing some serious guns, and I’m not talking about his guns. His arms are substantial and I like the way they’re designed to pull away from the torso at the shoulders to give him a better range of motion. The red on the inside of his arms is also a great nod back to the G1 Megatron toy. I also really dig how despite the treads on his lower legs, they still manage to maintain the overall shape of the pistol grip legs of the original Megatron toy. About the only other thing that makes this design stand out as not my traiditonal Megatron is the tank tread backpack, and even that is very neatly packed away. The fusion cannon is mounted on a hinge so that it can be positioned on the front of his arm for firing, or angled to the side to allow him full arm articulation.
My two biggest gripes with Combiner Wars Megatron don’t really involve the figure as it is, but rather what it could have been. I really wanted the fusion cannon on his arm to match the G1 design more closely. All it’s really missing is a more flared out front end, rather than the narrower tank cannon muzzle. Secondly, he’s so close to being in scale with Masterpiece Optimus Prime (MP-10) that it’s almost a crime that he doesn’t quite make it. If you really want to make it work, you probably can, but I can’t have my G1 Mesgy be even a smidge shorter than Optimus. It just doesn’t work. Again, both issues are personal gripes and happily, both issues should be fixed when I get my Upgrade Kit from DX-9. At least for the time being, he does scale quite well with Masterpiece Soundwave and Laserbeak!
I have nothing but accolades for Hasbro and the fantastic job they did on this figure. Megatron set me back just a bit under fifty bucks and he was worth every damn penny. Hell, even with the additional forty bucks I’m going to pay for the Third-Party Upgrade Kit, I still feel he’s totally worth the money. Then again I have become used to paying a lot of money for 3P Change-A-Bots, so that may have colored my sense of value. And speaking of 3P Transformers, I’d stack this toy up against most of the ones I’ve been getting from those other companies. This figure really feels like Hasbro has been paying attention and learning from their unofficial competition and I dare say this is one of my favorite releases of their’s in a very long time. In fact, here we are only in April and I feel as if this figure will be a strong contender for one of my favorites of the year. Am I picking up the Armada variant? Probably not. It actually looks like a great figure, but I think this version of the mold does it for me. Besides, I still have and love my Armada Megatron and I’m not looking to replace him. As for this guy… DX-9’s Kit is supposed to arrive sometime next month, so we’ll be revisiting Megsy here when I get it in.