Transformers Siege: Megatron by Hasbro

I’m hanging on by a thread this week and I really didn’t think I was going to make it here today. But talking toys is like a soothing balm for all that ails me and so here I am, not at my best, but here nonetheless! Because the show must go on! Anywho… It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been back to look at the Transformers Siege line, and that just won’t do! So let’s go ahead and wrap up this week by opening Voyager Class Megatron! I think this is going to be an interesting ride!

I’ve said my piece about this packaging when I looked at Optimus Prime, so I won’t go on about it all again now. Suffice it to say, I dig it a lot. It’s evolved quite nicely since this style was introduced way back when for The Last Knight figures. Megatron comes in a collector friendly window box with some absolutely bitchin’ character art on the angled side panel, so what’s not to like? The imperious leader of the Decepticons comes packaged in his robot mode, but we’re going to start with his alt mode!

It’s probably not a surprise to anyone that the alt mode is a futuristic tank. Let me go off the rails for a moment and say that while the G1 version of Megatron’s robot mode will likely always be my favorite, I’ve never been a fan of the gun mode. Even as a kid, I thought it made for a crummy toy, and as for the cartoon, it always seemed a little emasculating for the mighty Decepticon leader to shrink down and be wielded by his subordinates like a common implement. The idea of Megs turning into a tank just works better on so many levels. So naturally, one of my favorite things Hasbro has ever done was find a way to make the G1 Megs robot mode work with a tank mode. And that’s probably why the Combiner Wars Leader Class Megatron (along with the help of DX9) remains my favorite version of the character to this day. Of course, I was happy to see them trying it again, this time at the more versatile Voyager Class size. OK, enough of that, on to the tank!

The Transformers designers sure love their H-type tank designs and this alt mode continues to prove that. As a result this tank looks like a bit like a cousin of Hardhead’s alt mode. This mobile gun platform is propelled by four sets of treaded pylons with wheels concealed beneath them to help it roll into the heat of battle. The body of the tank itself is pretty small, taking up slightly less volume than the copula, which is bisected by the massive cannon barrel. The gun itself cannot elevate, but the copula is capable of rotating left and right, adding a little bit of play and display value.

But make no mistake, this is not a sexy tank. It’s not even a photogenic tank. It is an ugly machine of war and that fits Megatron just fine. The surfaces are littered with seams and joints and hinges. There are some panel lines and sculpted hatches, vents, and compartments, but to me it all gets lost in a sort of jumbled mess, and surprisingly I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. As for the deco, it’s mostly comprised of gray and black plastic, with a little red, silver and yellow here and there. The cannon itself is easily the best aspect of this mode. It’s intricately detailed with silver and red paint hits to make it stand out. And surprisingly, the business end of the gun itself is not formed by Megs’ familiar fusion blaster, which makes for a nice surprise and a more distinctive design. Instead, it’s a combination of the fusion cannon in the back and a weird sword-gun weapon in the front, which is detached for transformation. All in all, this mode isn’t going to win any awards for aesthetics or ingenuity of design, but it works as a purely functional killing machine. And that’s a totally appropriate alt mode for Megatron. So how about that robot mode?

Well, there’s no doubt about it, this is G1 Megatron! Hasbro clearly designed this figure with the robot mode as a priority and then worked backwards. Sure, there are some bits of telltale kibble, and I’ll get to that in a bit, but so much of the homage is preserved that I’m fine overlooking the compromises that had to be made. Indeed, there are actually two pieces on the tops of his shoulders designed to fold back solely to mimic the hammer kibble from the original toy’s Walther PPK alt mode. Particular attention has been spent in designing the torso to resemble the Sunbow animation model and I absolutely love it. It’s basically the original toy torso, only boxier, beefier, and better proportioned. A few nitpicks? I wish the forearms filled in and the wrists would pivot, but those are some pretty small quibbles.

From the back, he looks nothing like Megatron, and that’s all because of his tank treads. Two of them fold up onto his back to form a fairly neat and tidy, albeit large, backpack. The lower legs, which aren’t too dissimilar from the G1 design when viewed from the front, really break down when viewed from the back, and those heel spurs don’t help either. So, yeah, the nearly pitch perfect homage does fall apart when the figure isn’t viewed from the front. And none of that really bothers me. What does bother me a lot is the choice to leave so much of the figure as just bare gray plastic. I thought it looked terrible when I first saw it, and while it’s growing on me a little, I still think it’s the deco, or lack thereof, is the figure’s biggest drawback. I can’t help but think how good this guy would have looked with the same sumptuous silver paint that Hasbro gave Combiner Wars Megatron. I also think that there’s a criminal lack of paint on his lower torso. It just looks terribly unfinished.

While the homage breaks down from the back, and the coloring is a sticking point with me, the portrait wins back plenty of points. I have to say, old bucket head never looked better. The “helmet” is perfect, the scowl on his face and red down-turned narrow eyes make him look tougher than a week-old Energon Cube. The face is painted silver, making it look superb in contrast to all that dull gray plastic. Megsy has a smattering of silver paint weathering splashed across his chest and arms, and a Decepticon logo printed on his chest.

Also winning back a lot of points is the nearly perfect fusion cannon. So many modern Megatron figures can’t seem to get this right, and yet I consider it crucial to any G1 homage. It was one of those “close, but no cigar” failings of the Combiner Wars Megatron that had to be fixed by a third-party company, and even that wasn’t a perfect fix. This one looks great and it’s positioned on the outer arm, to allow for really good poses and aiming. Hell, you can even peg it onto either arm, but we all know that the right arm is where it belongs, eh?

Megatron also comes with the previously mentioned combination rifle-sword weapon, which forms the front half of the tank mode’s main cannon. This piece can be discarded after transformation, or it can be retained as a weapon. I honestly didn’t think I’d have any use for it, as it’s not really something that I would expect Megatron to carry around. It is, however, surprisingly fun and versatile. I doubt I’ll display Megatron with it in robot mode, but it may wind up going to one of my other Decepticons.

In the end, this review has been quite the roller-coaster of opinion. I want to love this figure more than I do, and when I really dig deep, I realize that the only real sticking point for me is the coloring. I don’t mind the slab of tank kibble on his back, and I love just about everything else about the way the robot mode looks. This figure just feels like a great design with a piss-poor paint job. If Hasbro or Takara released this figure with a premium paint job like Combiner Wars Megsy had, I’d happily fork over the money to buy him again. As it is, the previous Leader Class Megatron with DX9 enhancements will remain my favorite. Nonetheless, I can’t deny this Megatron has everything else going for him, and the Siege versions of Megatron and Optimus Prime are easily the best pairing of these two mortal foes that we’ve had in a long time, if not ever.

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Transformers Classics: Megatron by Hasbro

It’s Thursday and around these parts that means Transformers! As much as I’ve enjoyed my tour of the Generations Legends Class line for the past month and a half, I’ve sadly run out of figures. I am, however, still on the hunt, so I’ll be circling back around to it eventually. For the time being, I’ll be turning my optical receptors back to some unfinished business in the Classics and Universe 2.0 lineup. I was surprised to find that the figure I’m looking at today has escaped my feature spotlight these last four years and now that I’m doing it, I think that might have been an intentional oversight. Nonetheless, I’d say it’s long past time to dust off Classics Megatron and give him his due. Naturally, the packaging for this guy is long gone, so we’re going to jump straight in and look at his alt mode.

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At the time, I don’t think anyone could have predicted that Megsy would be appearing in the Classics line as a gun and yet here he is. Sort of. He’s definitely a pistol, but Hasbro had to use their creative license to give us a design far from anything realistic. And so we wound up with what is often the bane of most nerds and fanboys… the dreaded compromise! Yes, Megatron is a gun again, and no he’s not a Walther P38 or even anything resembling any kind of real world firearm. Instead, what we got is something that resembles, more than anything else, some kind of Nerf blaster. Now, I can appreciate going for a sci-fi style weapon and I think the concept could have worked, if only the end result looked better than what we got.

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About the only thing here vaguely reminiscent of Megsy’s old gun mode is the scope and the trigger. There’s a chamber, which vaguely resembles some kind of revolver and I’ll never understand the ridiculousness of having to put an orange plug on the end of a barrel of a toy gun with a design like this. Thank god for that plug in the barrel or kids would be holding up 7-11’s with old Megatron left and right. Yeah, it only adds to everything else that is unfortunate and wrong about this gun mode. I’ll also throw in the fact that the handle grip is way too small, not only for an adult hand but to look proportionally correct with the rest of the gun. It’s perhaps worth noting that you can pull the trigger and it clicks and you can actually look through the scope, but none of those “features” help to sell this alt mode to me. In fact, Classics Megatron would have to have one hell of an amazing robot mode to make up for this.

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And sadly that he does not. What he does have is a fascinating transformation that at least has me respecting and admiring what Hasbro tried to do here. I’ll even go so far as to say that there are a number of things that I do like about this robot mode. The contours of the legs are nice and while only one of them form the grip for the gun, they are symmetrical to look like they might have split apart during transformation like the G1 toy. The way the scope becomes his fusion cannon is also spot on fabulous, even if it does have a hideous orange plug on the end. Wait… why does the toy need an orange plug on the end of the SCOPE?

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The head sculpt is also pretty damn good. The shape of the helmet is very reminiscent of the G1 Sunbow look and while Hasbro has taken some liberties here with the face, I still like it a lot. The lightpiping effect in the eyes is also excellent, even if green was a strange choice to go with.

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Unfortunately, just about everything else about this guy feels wrong to me. There’s nothing in the chest that nods back to the old days. Remember, this is the Classics line, Hasbro, give me something else to work with here. Also the asymmetry of the shoulders really bugs me, especially since the left one displays that ugly orange plug. And I’ve obviously saved the biggest gripe for last because those giant wings that form the two half shells of the gun mode are just a shame.

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The coloring here is also really inappropriate. I’m normally a big fan of purple in my Decepticon decos, but when you mix it with the neon green and orange, it just doesn’t work for a Classics style Megatron. The coloring on the Japanese Henkei version goes a long way to save this toy and I’d dare say that had Hasbro used that deco I would have been a lot more forgiving about the rest of this figure. For a while I considered picking up that version, but then I didn’t really want to invest more money in this mold.

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And so I’m left with a real love-hate relationship toward this figure. I appreciate what Hasbro tried to do here and I understand that they had some unreasonable limitations working against them vis-a-vis the alt mode. Plus, I can’t deny that I’m able to pick up this figure and have some fun with him. He can still strike some pretty cool poses. On the other hand, there are just so many unfortunate design elements here that make him fail as a Classics style Megatron. And the fact that it is a character as important as Megatron makes that fail all the more epic. Ever since this guy was released, I’ve been on the hunt for another version of the character to stand in for my Classics Megatron, and the search still goes on. My War For Cybertron Megsy comes close, but then he doesn’t scale with Classics Prime. I’m anxious to see how Hasbro’s upcoming Generations Megatron turns out. Even if he isn’t a gun, I think the robot mode on that big guy has a lot of potential. Of course, I’ll still have that scale problem.

Transformers Energon: Megatron by Hasbro

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Transformers Generations: Megatron (IDW Comic Pack) by Hasbro

The IDW comic packs have arrived and I am a happy camper! If you’ve been kicking around FFZ for the past three years you may know that I absolutely adore the idea of packaging action figures with comics. The presentation can’t be beat and hey… free comic! I got the first wave of these in last week and I thought I’d start things rolling with Megatron. He’s the one figure in this assortment that I was probably least excited for, mainly because War for Cybertron Megs is still my go-to Megs for my TF display. I didn’t think there was much chance of this one knocking him out of the spotlight, but let’s find out if I was wrong…

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Yup… That’s what I call awesome packaging! Megs comes carded in his robot form with an issue of the IDW comic behind him sporting an exclusive cover. Honestly, I’m not terribly keen on the cover. The art is nice, but the coloring is rather bland. I think it would have worked better had they left it alone, but I can understand why they wanted something more focused on Megatron. The card points out that this is one of Hasbro’s “Thrilling Thirty” as part of the 30th Anniversary line. As usual, I’m going to start out with Megs’ alt mode, but first let’s look at the comic!

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I did not come back to Transformers comics until the debut of More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise, so this ish is a new one by me. This was a great issue to include with the figure because it involves Megatron returning to lead the Decepticons in his new stealth bomber alt mode. It’s a good stand-alone read and it focuses on the familiar Megatron and Starscream trope in what plays out like some kind of bizarre sado-masochistic passion play.

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Ok, so as mentioned, Megatron is a stealth bomber, and a mighty nice looking one at that. He pegs together very well and he’s sized about right for a Deluxe. There aren’t a lot of paint apps going on here. He’s molded in black plastic and has a little red for the windows and some grey accents. I would have loved to see purple panel lining from Len O’Grady’s coloring, but I can understand why it didn’t cost out for the figure. If you flip him over you’ll see a lot of purple as well as a good portion of his robot mode peeking out at you.  Megatron has a single landing gear near the nose that folds down. It’s a nice touch, especially since it’s not really needed for the aircraft to balance on a surface. Apart from looking good, Megatron’s alt mode has no play features or gimmicks or anything like that. He does have a pair of ports on his back, which can be used to mount weapons from just about any recent Deluxe Transformer. I suspect the weapons from Fall of Cybertron Skywarp would look rather bitchin on him.

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I found transforming Megatron into jet mode was rather fidgety at first, but I was eventually able to do it without instructions. Getting him into robot mode, on the other hand, is pretty simple and intuitive. The only unusual thing is that you have to pull off his wings to form his fusion cannon, but more on that in a bit. When you’re done you get a robot that is a pretty damn fine approximation of the artwork in the comic. It’s not perfect, but it’s an extremely respectable attempt on Hasbro’s part. He’s very well proportioned and I really dig the triangular torso with the engine intakes on his shoulders. The head sculpt is spot-on, and while I tend to prefer the more angular and robotic faces of old, the organic Nick Roche style really shines through quite nicely on this figure.

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In robot mode, Megatron’s deco gets a little more interesting. Sure, there’s still plenty of black from the bomber mode, but now you’ve got two shades of purple, as well as the bits of grey and red. It’s a very Skywarpy look, and that compounds my main issue with this figure: It just doesn’t feel like Megatron to me.

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As mentioned, the wing tips pull off and get pegged together and then placed on either of his arms to form his fusion cannon. It’s not very traditional, but it does have a certain alien energy weapon look to it, and it does fit the artwork. You can pull out the front of it to reveal some translucent purple, which looks fantastic.

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By every account, this is an excellent figure. Hasbro took the comic book art, worked out the engineering and did so brilliantly. He’s not really my Megatron, but if you’re a fan of this comic run, chances are you’ll really dig this guy. But even if this guy isn’t going to replace FoC Megatron on my display shelf, I can still appreciate him as a great Transformer and a cool stand-alone figure in my collection.

Transformers Prime: Megatron by Hasbro

Just like with Optimus Prime, it’s hard to have a good Transformers series without a good Megatron. And if anything, Megsy can be the bigger risk, since there really isn’t any standard rule for what the Megster should turn into. We’ve seen everything from gun to tank to truck to misshapen Cybertronian crab thing. A good Megatron is important to me, so I was really happy to see that the Transformers Prime figure really nailed him… at least most of him.

There’s Megsy in package. I don’t have a lot more to say about the Voyager window boxes. They look good, they are collector friendly, and there’s a butt load of little strings tying the figure into his tray. Megatron actually has two extra weapons mounted beside him in his tray. One is his Mech Tech Fusion Cannon and the other is some kind of battle spike thing. We’ll get to those in a little bit, but first let’s get him out of the package and look at his alt mode.

I’ve been converting Transformers ever since I got Thundercracker and Prowl back in 1984. I’m pretty good at it. I don’t usually need to look at instructions, and a big part of the fun for me is trying to figure them out on my own. That having been said transforming Megatron was a real pain in the ass. Part of the problem is that his alt mode is a completely abstract Cybertron vehicle and even with the picture in front of me, it was hard to figure out where everything was supposed to wind up. The other problem is that there are some real fidgety maneuvers that need to be just right, particularly with the arms and shoulders. Is it all worth it? Let’s look at his alt mode.

So, it’s some kind of Cybertronian space cruiser. It looks ok. At least it doesn’t look like the unholy offspring of a horseshoe crab and an erector set like Revenge of the Fallen Megatron did. Point is, I’ve seen worse. And hey, a big part of the alt mode makes good use of Megatron’s Mech Tech-style Fusion Cannon weapon, which is more than I could say for Prime and Starscream. You actually combine his two weapons and plug it onto the top of the vehicle. They’re more part of the vehicles actual design than something just stuck onto it, and I appreciate that. If you transform him properly, this mode holds together pretty well. The bottom line, though is that I didn’t find it fun to transform him, and the space cruiser still feels like a token alt mode, so I doubt I’ll be doing it a lot.

Megatron’s robot mode, on the other hand, is pure love. He’s the spitting image of his on screen model and I absolutely adore him. Like Optimus, there’s a little bit of Bayformer mixed in with is design, particularly the head sculpt, but I think the end result is a really cool compromise. There’s not a lot of paintwork on this figure, but the grey and purple deco looks perfect. While I could take or leave the translucent plastic used on Prime, I think it really works well on Megatron. The way the way his armor wraps around it makes it appear more like part of his inner workings rather than Hasbro just using translucent plastic for the sake of it. The curvy designs in his torso look great, and his flared up shoulders look appropriately menacing. The plastic used for his chest even has a slight texturing to simulate that brushed steel look of the TV show model. The proportions on this figure are also really good. His forearms are bulky, but not too much, and his lower legs really give me an animated G1 Megatron kind of vibe.

There’s one thing I cannot compromise on where Megatron is concerned, and that’s his Fusion Cannon. Alas, while Megatron’s Fusion Cannon works well on his alt mode, it doesn’t fare so well when used with his robot mode. Part of the problem is the Mech Tech feature, which converts it into a battle blade. It feels completely unnecessary and the light up gimmick doesn’t really work. But worst of all, in order to accommodate the conversion, the Fusion Cannon only pegs in at one spot and not very well. The result is it’s always falling off. I’ve crammed a little blue tack into the hole, which seems to have helped, but I resent having to do that. As for the cannon itself, it just doesn’t look all that good. I’m thankful that it’s there, but here’s one instance where if a third-party were to make a better looking replacement, I would jump on it.

As much as I still prefer my boxy, animated G1 Megsy, there is a certain appeal to this version’s rounded edges and perfect proportions. There’s a ton of different influences at work in this figure, but they’re all collected from Megatron designs through the ages and so the end result really works incredibly well. I’ve actually gone so far as to move him onto my desk, just so I can glance over at him while I’m working and smile admiringly at his sheer awesomeness. I could complain about the messy transformation and the ho-hum alt mode, but alas, I’ve come to expect very little out of my Megatron alt modes. Honestly, I’d rather just have a great looking robot mode, and that is exactly what we got here. He’s a near perfect looking figure, only marred by his unfortunate Fusion Cannon.

Kre-O Transformers: Megatron by Hasbro, Part 2

Last time, after a brief interlude to gush over Ninja Turtles, we checked out the Megatron Kre-O set in his vehicle mode. It turned out to be a pretty amazing set, so surely Megsy’s robot mode can’t be any good, can it? Well, I’m here to tell you it ain’t too shabby. Let’s have a looksy…

Once again, keep in mind that these sets do not transform. You basically build either the vehicle or the robot and then tear it all apart and build the other. Some may take issue with this approach, but I rather like it a lot. Hasbro’s last experiments with transforming building sets (see Built to Rule… on second thought, don’t) were pretty shitty. Besides, who hasn’t finished building a Lego set and lamented that it was all done? With Kre-O’s it really is like getting two sets in one, and I found building Megatron’s robot mode, just as fun and challenging as building his truck cab mode. The only downside was ripping apart the cab. I’ve built my fair share of Lego sets, but apart from taking a few parts off of the finished toys for storage, I’ve never broken one down completely until I had to do so with this Kre-O set. It was handy to have a razorblade handy to separate some of the more stubborn bricks. It was also handy to have the briefcase style box so that when pieces went flying, they usually wound up trapped in the box and not somewhere under the desk.
And there’s Megatron’s robot mode. First off, he’s huge, measuring in at about ten inches tall. Secondly, I really like the way the designers made him look like he could transform, even though he doesn’t. His obvious truck parts are positioned in a pretty logical manner. I will point out that some of his car parts weren’t included in the building instructions, so rather than leave them off, which felt like a cheat, I incorporated as many of them as I could into the robot, and I think it worked out rather well. There are, however, a few rather conspicuous pieces that I couldn’t find a good place for, like the windshields.
From a design standpoint, Megatron is a somewhat fresh take on the character. He definitely sports some of Dark of the Moon’s characteristics, but at the same time, he has a more G1 feel to me as well. I really like the head sculpt, the way the gas tanks sit on top of his backpack. and the way the front bumper sits on his chest. He also wears the prison from his cab mode as a backpack so he can still carry around prisoners. Megatron features a shoulder mounted missile launcher, with clips on his back to hold the spare missile. The missiles are the pieces used for the exhaust pipes in the truck mode and they flick-fire just like in Lego sets. The only thing I’m really missing here is the lack of some kind of arm cannon. To me, Megs just isn’t Megs without a giant fusion cannon on his right arm. I like to compensate by taking the missile launcher off his shoulder and attaching it to his right arm. I don’t tend to stray far from the instructions when building my Lego sets, but I’ve had a lot of fun tinkering with customizing this Kre-O set.
As an action figure, Megatron is fairly solid, although fiddle about with him enough and bits are bound to fall off. He has excellent articulation, with ball joints in the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. He also swivels at the wrists and each of his eight fingers are articulated at the base. He stands very well and can hold a lot of poses, although if you give him too wide a stance, his hip joints tend to buckle under the weight and he’ll wind up doing the splits. Still, all in all he’s fun to play around with and he works really well if you want to have him fighting the Earth Defense Forces from Lego’s Alien Conquest series or attacking one of the many buildings from Lego City. I’m actually tempted to start collecting a lot more Lego City sets just to give my Kre-O Transformers a place to fight with collateral damage.
So, let’s talk value. The Megatron set comes with four Kreon minifigs, 310 pieces, and I got him at regular retail price at Walmart for $29.99. To compare, the last Lego set I featured here, UFO Abduction from the Alien Conquest series, was also $29.99 but only had 225 pieces. That makes Megatron a pretty good value considering you’re getting almost 100 more bricks and one extra minifig. And that’s not even considering the fact that this set gives you two toys to build. The quality is just as good as Lego and whle the instructions may frustrate every now and then, it makes for a good challenge. I’m so sold on these Kre-O’s I’ve already ordered two more sets, so expect to see more featured here in the next week or so.

Transformers Armada: Megatron with Leader-1 by Hasbro

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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]

Transformers Generations: Cybertronian Megatron by Hasbro

The War For Cybertron figures have been an awesome part of the new Generations line. I’ve already looked at Optimus Prime and Bumblebee and now it’s time to see how the other half lives with the first Decepticon in this sub-line of figures, Megatron! I’ve got to say it’s pretty bizarre having a Megatron figure as a Deluxe. I know it’s been done before, but it’s certainly a rarety. Still, he fits in fine with WFCOptimus Prime and while that Prime figure felt like a Voyager shrunk down to a Deluxe sized figure, Megatron here is way too simple to have been a Voyager. Is that a bad thing? Let’s find out…

Megsy comes packaged on the now typical Generations style card. As with the other War For Cybertron inspired figures, he is packaged in his robot form. The card is attractive and serviceable enough, but nothing special. It’s also a damn liar, because it says the figure’s difficulty is Level 3 Intermediate, whereas it should be Level -1 Too Easy. The back panel shows off photos of the toy in both modes and has a little bio blurb on the Decepticon leader himself.

Despite the way he was packaged, I’m going to start out with Megsy’s alternate form, because going the other way just feels wrong. Also, because the alt mode here is definitely the weaker this figure’s two modes. Megatron’s alt mode is a Cybertronian tank with a tracked mode and a hover mode, although the hover mode is the same as the tracked mode, only with the treads folded up underneith. The fact is you can barely tell the difference since the sculpted treads are so puny and insubstantial to begin with.

Make no mistake, Megatron’s alt mode is pretty faithful to the one depicted in the video game, but that doesn’t mean it’s a great design. I can appreciate that we’re dealing with completely fictional “vehicles” here, but the fact is that Prime and Bumblebee in their Cybertron alt modes still featured a strong foreshadowing of their Earth alt modes and so Prime basically looked like a futuristic truck and Bumblebee like a futuristic car. Megatron doesn’t so much look like a tank as he does just a giant cannon on a platform. It’s not a terrible mode by any means, but it’s not all that creative either, and I’d have to say it’s one of the weakest alt modes Megatron has ever had.

Transforming this figure is ridiculously simple, but the good news is that despite the simple conversion, it’s the robot mode where this figure really shines. He reminds me a lot of the Transformers Animated Cybertron Megs, but either way he’s readily recognizeable as Megatron. In fact, the only thing I don’t like about his robot mode is that thing hanging off the top of his left shoulder. Considering his alt mode is entirely fictional, you’d think they could have designed him without that annoying piece of alt mode kibble. The headsculpt is particularly worthy of the Megatron and I really like what Hasbro did with the color scheme, as the black and grey and red is all faithful to his G1 original.

I absolutely love the way Hasbro handled his fusion cannon on this figure. It’s positioned on his arm just like his G1 counterpart and it’s also removable, which is really cool. The sculpted detail on it is impressive and it also fires off a missile. It really doesn’t impair Megs’ articulation either, so you can get some great poses of him blasting Autobot fools with it.

Speaking of articulation, Megatron is a highly poseable figure. He has a ball jointed neck. His arms rotate at the shoulders and have some lateral movement as well. His elbows are hinged and also swivel. His legs rotate at the hips and have lateral movement in those joints, just like his shoulders. He has hinged knees and hinged ankles.

Even with the weak alt mode, I absolutely love this figure. His robot mode looks awesome and really does the character proud. He’s also a really solid figure, without any of the popping ball joints and flippy pieces that we’ve seen in some of the modern figures. But above all, he’s just fun to play around with and pose and he looks fantastic on the shelf.