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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Reflector's review of: Powerlinx Optimus Prime vs. Megatron

Optimus Prime is back! Again! And so is Megatron! ...Again! The eternal nemeses have made their second toy appearance in Energon as of August '04, this time as ports of the Superlink Grand Convoy and Galvatron. They're leaner, meaner, and a whole lot cheaper! Get 'em while they're hot!

Name: Optimus Prime
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Commander
Sub-Group: NA
" Those who threaten peace will fall in pieces."

Optimus Prime is the powerful and courageous leader of the Autobots. Along with his incredible strength, he possesses great wisdom and believes that freedom is the right of all sentient beings. He has vowed to fight against the evil Decepticons in their quest to plunder Earth of its vast energon resources. Always in favor of peace, Optimus Prime will not hesitate to use his great powers and vast arsenal of weapons to stop Megatron and the Decepticons from threatening the universe.

Vehicle Mode:
First off, I'd like to note that this is not just a miniature of the full-size Prime. Far from, this is in fact a new mold based somewhat vaguely on the big fella. Now… Prime's truck mode is easily recognized as based on the previous one, but the vehicle itself is a good bit different. It measures in at just 5" long at 2.4" high. The colors are similar, though a bit darker - this variation tends to show off a little more blue and dark gray than the white dominating the regular Prime. The grill design has been slightly altered and now comes in neat chrome rather than flat silver. Nice if you like chrome, though it doesn't mesh very well with the silver used for the wheels and fuel tanks. The windshield panes have also been changed from sparkly gray to a very dark transparent blue. Neat. There's a peg on the back for hauling the trailer, I think, though I haven't tested this yet. The gun fits nearby like on the bigger version. There are also two Minicon posts near the back and two energon chip pegs (I think?) on the fuel tanks in addition to the shoulder peg ported from the big version. The downsides are that the extra helmet doesn't hide too well since it's all one piece and that the whole thing just looks a little rickety from any angle but the front. There's a large gap in the center, and the way the arms and head come together is not as seamless as the regular. So-so.

Robot Mode:
After a transformation that is based on but not quite like his big brother, Prime's robot mode is… well, I guess it depends on who you are. The first thing that may strike you is - gasp! - he has a faceplate! And the colors are so much more like the original Optimus! Yes, this mode showcases a well-orchestrated orchestra of colorful colors. The figure is largely dark gray, navy, bright red, and white, white chrome, silver, and yellow highlights. I personally prefer the colors on the big version, but your wallet will probably like this a lot more than 20th Anniversary Optimus if you're the sort looking for G1 toys in new bodies… The head is clearly based on the original Prime, and looks a good bit angrier than the toy after which it's crafted. The proportions are a bit better than on the former edition, but not an awful lot. I feel the head and lower legs are far too small, almost unacceptably so. The wrists are also oddly set up: rather than retracting into the forearms, they can rotate to reveal guns or something. The Minicon pegs sticking out of the wrists make it look very awkward, and that a gun-wielding hand will sometimes move just enough to pop the barrels from the arm makes it look like Oppy fell off his bike and needs to get to ER. Still, this is compensated by some nice articulation (13 to 17 points, depending on how you count them) which is somewhat restricted by the overwhelming bulkiness of his torso. A so-so toy so far, but I think it's enhanced by the fact that it can Powerlinx to other deluxe Autobots. This really enhances the options, and with a solid helmet this time around, it doesn't look really terrible. There's also a good amount of tech detail on the toy, improving the look just a bit. It's not quite Armada's bendy Prime, but it's not too bad either.

Name: Megatron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Decepticon Commander
Sub-Group: NA
"Join me, and I will send you to battle. Defy me, and I will send you to oblivion."

Megatron has been reborn. Totally reformatted by Unicron, he now possesses an intense arsenal of weapons that will make him an unstoppable force during the battle for energon. In robot mode, Megatron fights his enemies with a remote triple-change tank module. In Gunship mode, he can use his hyper-power wings and rotating cannons to rain terror from above. Megatron's look has changed, but his goal of universal conquest remains the same. Beware, Megatron is back!

Alternate Mode:
Again, a first off: this one IS just a downsize and repaint of the formerly released edition, and that is awesome. There is very little on this toy that isn't perfect. The jet mode is still that same Thunderwing-esque bomber thing it was last time around. All of the same features are there, and this is pretty much the same as the larger version of the toy. The first difference is the size, naturally. He measures 8.5"x11"x5", which I feel is still respectable and far less cumbersome than the former incarnation. Think Sixshot instead of Stalker. The other change is in the colors, which is one of my two complaints. The shades of blue have been swapped, making the wings and noseguns (the ship's secondary color, I'm afraid) baby blue. Naturally, this rather detracts from the imposing nature of the machine, and it's not helped much by the dark transparent green Energon parts being toned down to lime. The other complaint remains from the big guy… the tank. Had the coloring team just taken a few minutes to paint it gray and blue or anything else that would make it fit the color scheme, it would probably look less like a tank slapped on the back of a jet. Still, anyone who may have felt that Megatron can't be anything but a gun or tank may have to reconsider thanks to this one.

Robot Mode:
Really, I don't know why this guy's transformation gets all the criticism. Megatron's robot mode is, much like his jet mode, almost wholly unchanged from the previous release. This time, he stands at a hair under 10", which I far prefer to the big guy. He's just about the same size as Armada Megatron, and I think this size does much more to contributing to the relative uniformity of sizes we've seen so far in Armada and Energon (save the Minicons). The other change, again, is the color. I don't see this as quite as much of a problem in this form, as the light blue on the wings is largely hidden, though it is still exposed in prominent spots like his horns and abdomen. Regardless, this is easily compensated by the Energon parts - the sword is green! The tank still doesn't work as a sword hilt (who wears his sword half an armlength from his wrist, anyway?), but the fact that the sword itself isn't colorless makes it look so much better. Atop this, all of the features of the former Megatron are here: firing missile, light and sounds, great proportions, and 9 to 17 articulation points depending on how you count them. The weight balance allows him to get into some really awesome poses, which makes him twice as much fun. Even if the gimmicks (whatever they are) were eliminated, this would very nearly be the perfect Transformer.

Transformation: 6/7 - Prime's is a smidge frustrating, but Megatron's is fun while simple.
Durability: 8/8 - One of Megatron's horns popped off on me just now. I can't see much else breaking.
Fun: 7/10 - Prime's not bad, but Megatron may contend for best Transformer ever.
Price: $25 off sale. Considering toy sizes, it should be $40. It's insane.
Summary: 9 - Great price for one good toy and one astounding. You can't lose.

 
 
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