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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Kamen's review: Megatron (voyager)

Name: Megatron
Fuction: Decepticon Leader
Subgroup: Movie Voyager Figures

Megatron was made a monster. From the very day he first came online, his eye has been on a single goal-the domination of the universe. More than any of the other Transformers, he is a true robot-knowing no pain, pleasure, or passion except that which leads him toward his destiny. To him, other beings are simply tools to be used until they are broken. Those that serve him well and long may find themselves rewarded, but the moment they fail, they will be discarded. Lying frozen for centuries has left him only that much more determined. He will be victorious, and those in his way little more than stepping stones on his path to conquest.

Optimus Prime is one of the most recognizable characters in the world. Even most non-Transformers fans have heard of him. In every incarnation he is a paragon of virtue, wisdom and strength; a true HERO...but heroes cannot exist without foes to counter their every move. Thus a hero will always have many enemies, yet among these infamous persona only one will arise to become a true Nemesis, a dark mirror that appears so alike the hero himself that even the most stalwart are forced to think of what might have been had fate played a different hand. Such a foe is Megatron.

In the G1 cartoon and comics, Megatron was a unique villain of his era, portrayed as he was as manipulative, scheming, and intelligent. He was never characterized as being insane or mentally unbalanced, and despite his desire to conquer the universe, Megatron was shown to have a great deal of compassion and concern for his native planet of Cybertron. Indeed, for all the barrels of Energon he stole from human oil facilities, he shipped the majority of it back to Cybertron to give the planet life, only to have his plans balked by Optimus Prime and his Autobots (the cads! KD's note: Did they ever confirm he sent Energon back to Cybertron?). Since then, a version of Megatron has appeared in every incarnation of the Transformers Universe, including the Beast Era where another Transformer took his namesake (G1 Megatron himself had a cameo appearance in the third season). Thus when the 2007 film was announced, the inclusion of Megatron was inevitable.

Alternate Mode:

Megatron's jet mode keeps up the insectoid theme that the Decepticons in the movie have. The jet is roughly split into two main parts, a "head" section that contains a long dart-like mouth and mandibles, and a large abdominal section that houses the wings. Most of the sculpting in this mode appears on the rear section and takes form of panel detail that run the length of the fuselage, which also has two small turbines sculpted above the wings. Air intakes appear on either side of the nose of the jet. There is more tech detailing, however, I will note that the "ice" pieces cover up quite a bit of it. Overall, the jet looks very sleek and dangerous.

Ignoring the "ice," light grey plastic features most predominantly on the figure. A very nice light blue wash covers the back, mimicking the "ice" pieces. Black appears sporadically, and then mostly on the front of the jet. Gold is used sparingly on the mandibles and for the small turbine fans in the middle of the plane. The lower jaw of the plane is coloured silver. The paint scheme is nothing flashy, but it is appropriate for the character and looks great.

Megatron has seven points of articulation in this mode, quite high for a plane; however, they are all limited and one includes his action feature. His mandibles can swing in and out. The grey portion of his wings can be adjust up and down, and his "ice" wing tips can be swung forward, which is also part of this action feature. Once the grey portions are horizontal and the wing tips forward, pull the tab at the rear of the plane; this swing the wings forward in a pincer-type motion. Unusual for a plane, yes, but the jagged shape of the wing tips makes it look very dangerous. However, the ice tips are made from a soft plastic that will eventually warp under its own weight. The tips are somewhat jagged, but it would have been preferable if Hasbro had only made the very tips from the soft plastic rather that the whole piece. It's a shame too, as the plane looks much better with the wings fully extended. Finally, Megatron has landing gear upon which her rolls surprisingly well.

Included with Megatron is a missile cast from the same translucent plastic as his "ice." Insert it into the plane's "mouth" and pull back the lower silver jaw to fire. I really like this firing method, as it is difficult to accidentally set it off, thus losing the missile. Unfortunately, the firing mechanism is unreliable, and sometimes it takes several tries to launch the missile any distance, though this might be an isolated case. I'm also disappointed that the missile doesn't have any additional sculpting to it. Although I'm a fan of the energy blast type sculpting that was common in the Beast Machines line, even mechanical sculpting would have looked good.

On a final note, Megatron lets quite a bit of robot kibble hang out. His robot head is somewhat shielded by an "ice" piece, but it is clearly visible from any angle other than straight ahead or from the rear. His robot legs also stick out the rear of the plane. I'm not sure what they could have done about the head other than giving it some room so that it could be turned backward, at least hiding his face, but some additional thruster detailing on his feet would have made them mesh together better with the overall design.

Robot Mode:

Megatron has quite a bit more bulk in robot mode, especially in his legs, chest, and shoulders, and his insectoid appearance is almost completely subverted by the secondary bird characteristics. His feet are sculpted with mechanical details, but also have pointed toes and twin heels, like a bird's talon. Wiring and armor plating is sculpted on both inside and outside of his legs. His knees are protected by an arrangement of feather-like metal plates. Much of the rest of the detail on the body carries over from his jet form; however, his hands, the mandibles in jet mode, are revealed to be thin and talon-like, looking surprisingly wicked despite their apparent frailness. The robot face, a mess of fine details, looks much like a skull. This version of Megatron spots a large cannon on his left arm, a wonderful nod to G1 Megatron, even if the gun is on the wrong arm. The same "ice" pieces that on the jet appear here, with new pieces appearing on his shins. They look more like actual ice in this mode, with the exception of his wings that actually look a bit like feathers. I'm stretching for intent, but this does beg one to draw a parallel between Megatron's plummet to earth and another famous Fall.

In robot mode, Megatron has an impressive amount of articulation. His hips, shoulders, and knees are all on tight ratchet joints. However, the movement of this shoulder and hips to the sides is limited. Swivel joints at his knees and ball joints in his ankles give him excellent stability, despite the weight on his back. His arms swivel and bend at the elbow, and his hands can open and close. Megatron's head can move in a complete circle, and can look down a little bit, though not up. Most impressively, Megatron boasts waist articulation. It's not part of his transformation, but an actual extra joint, which is sweet. The action feature in his wings that was described above is intact(though impeded by his shoulders if used as a weapon), and once again he looks much more impressive with the wing fully extended. A shame the plastic is so weak.

While his action feature is fully activated, you can depress the gray portion between the wings to lock them in place. The piece doesn't itself lock into place, however, so even minor movement will pop it out of place. This feature also works in vehicle mode (and just as well).

Much less gray appears in this mode, replaced by copious amounts of light blue wash, especially on his feet, upper thighs, and the lower part of his jaw. Black works its way into his face, hips and chest, and breaks up some of the visible gray on his lower legs. Gold still appears sparingly, though more noticeably on his hips and toes. Translucent blue plastic fills out his head and eyes for a nice light-piping effect.

His cannon and missile are intact and work as well as they did in his alternate mode.

Megatron looks very impressive in this mode, and my only real complaint is the quality of the plastic of his wing tips. Otherwise, he is a very strong figure.

Transformation: I'm being generous here. Basically, you just unfold the arms, rotate the hips into place, and drop the back of the plane. But the automorph is fairly tight, so you have to push it kind of hard to get it to go. 4/10

Durability: The joints at the elbows feel a little iffy, not like they're going to fall off, but they don't feel like they'll take much excessive force. Be careful. Then there's the whole soft plastic problem, though that can be solved by keeping the wing tips in; I'm still knocking points off though. 7/10

Fun: He looks great in both modes with good articulation. 9/10

Price: $20 US. Definitely worth it; I might pay $30 for him but not terribly much more. 7/10

Overall: Voyager Megatron is worth picking up, especially if you don't want to put down the money for the Leader version, or even if you do! 8/10.

 
 
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