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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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numbat's review of: G1 D-62-S Galvatron (reissue, anime colours)

Name: D-62-S Galvatron (reissue in anime colours)
Allegiance: Destron (Decepticon)
Function: City Commander

"My power is everything; defeat is absurd!"

Galvatron is a cold-hearted robotic villain. Determined to lead the Decepticons. Possesses enough strength to pulverize an Autobot into scrap metal. Unconquerable. Arrogant and compassionless. Plots against his allies, thus weakening his position. In robot mode, he carries a laser that emits chemically-produced, direct-current electricity.

All hail Galvatron! Galvatron!

Ah, yes… Galvatron is without a doubt one of the greatest of the G1 characters. His mental instability resulted in what was probably the most complex characterization in the original cartoon. Ever since I came out the cinema after watching Transformers: The Movie I wanted this guy. But, thank God I never got him! The original rendition, in my opinion, is one of the worst Transformers ever – thanks only to his horrendous colour scheme! Now, I’m sure there are those who like him (just like there are those, like me, who love Costco Energon Overload), but I could never get my head round him after seeing a friend’s figure when I was five. The bottom line is, that toy did not do this amazing Transformer justice.

Roll on 2005 and we have yet another superb re-issue from Takara – Galvatron. Only, this time, they’ve recoloured the mold to match the anime, and they’ve even resculpted his face to look less impassive, and more manically evil! And, just for the Hell of it, they threw in a die cast Autobot Matrix of Leadership which can be worn round the figure’s neck on a chain – just like in the movie…

So, technically not a re-issue in the strictest sense – but you could always get the E-Hobby release (Takara and E-Hobby have swapped roles for a change), in the original colours (along with a green Matrix), if you’re really daft crazy.

Enough of that though! Does this superb G1 homage sound good? Then read on!

Alternate Mode:
Galvatron’s alternate mode is, unsurprisingly, a futuristic tracked cannon. It’s rather large, measuring in at 12” (30.5cm) from tip to tail.

The front half is almost uniquely purple, with nice flashes of chrome, as well as dark and light grey details, while the rear is a combination of dark and light grey, with metallic red detailing. Most of the very few stickers are visible in this mode, adding nice touches of metallic red, as well as the Destron insignia.

Of course, the most eye-catching part of the whole affair is the transparent orange cannon-barrel. Gold glitter has been used sparingly to just add to the laser / electron cannon effect.

Three rollers allow the cannon to move, while the electrics produce a blast sound, while lighting up the cannon with a red glow, which hits off the glitter nicely. The sound itself is a little, erm, weird, but, hey, what else about this guy couldn’t be described that way?

Although none of the robot mode is visible in this mode, I do feel that the area where the legs join with the waist could have been achieved a little neater – but this is my only niggle – and it is a petty one.

Overall, this mode is superb, and very anime faithful.

Now, this wouldn’t be a complete review without mentioning that there is a second alternate mode in the G1 Galvatron toy, never seen in the cartoon. This is as a hand-held laser-pistol. The transformation in simple, and the end result is OK – but it is obviously an afterthought used as an interactive / role-play marketing gimmick. You may have guessed by now – I’m not a fan.

Robot Mode:
Slide that switch on Galvatron’s back, and activate the classic transformation sound effect!

Now we’re ready…

Galvatron’s transformation is very satisfying. First pull that cannon off, then tou twist his waits round, pull out his legs, slide them apart, flip his feet out, and fold a lot of parts around on his torso and arms. Finally, his upper body slides down, revealing his head, and you snap the cannon on his arm, via a holder piece. He does come with a gun for his other hand as well, but I just don’t feel it suits him. After all, he already has that huge cannon! What does he need a poncy hand-gun for?

For a G1 figure, Galvatron is superb. Standing at 10" (25.5cm), he is also huge. The repaint truly shows what difference the right colour scheme makes to a toy! All the colours are in the right places! There’s even a new sticker to add those little red lines at the top of his central crest! And, there’s even a printed Destron symbol on his chest!

The whole affair is perfect. Now I know there’s that Energon Galvatron (Megatron re-paint) that is a loving homage to the original, but this IS the original, painted perfectly. There’s no contest on the shelf. This guy wins hands down.

Now, proportions-wise, Galvatron is spot-on – really unusual for a G1 mold! The only slightly poor point is the crotch, where the legs just seem to protrude, and you can just see the metal bar underneath, if you look from the wrong angle. The legs in general are a little blocky, compared to the rest of the figure, but they are great for a G1 (or even G2) figure, and those metallic red knees look great! The four glowing red squares on his stomach – matching Unicron’s design, and giving testimony to his origins – are amazing! A huge leap from the silver eyesores of the original.

Articulation is not the best ever, but for a G1 figure, and certainly compared with his poor nemesis, Rodimus Prime (a God-awful figure, but great paintjob – opposite of the orginal Galvatron!) he comes up trumps. All his joints are ratcheted, so he holds his poses, and he can move in multiple planes at his shoulders and elbows, and also moves at the knees and waist (and toes, which can be useful for some poses actually). There are actually a few good dynamic poses in the fellow, even given these limitations.

Now, we get to his head. The original looked extremely passive, but the resculpt here has brought out the character of the original Galvatron. Now, that said, for some reason, he looks to me more like the cartoon Galvatron than the one in the movie – but I think that’s because of seeing a very similar expression in one episode. He certainly does look like a more unstable and dangerous incarnation of Megatron – which is exactly what this guy is.

Press that button again for effect! Let that classic sound ring true!

The electronics light up his eyes in red flashes in this mode. Unfortunately, this also lights up a red bulb visible from above on the top of his head, but that’s just a minor point. Slide the selector switch again, and he spurts force a variety of randomly selected Japanese Galvatron quotes, which are quite cool.

Finally, for that finishing touch, that coupe de grace, we hand the Matrix round his neck. Hanging down to his chest, he looks the cold, calculating conqueror that Galvatron always was!

All in all, this is a perfect homage. Of course, it does seem the season for such things, with the Energon Galvatron, and Cybertron Supreme Starscream. This is a definite jewel in my collection, though, and should certainly come before the Energon Galvatron and Supreme Starscream. Standing on the shelf, he’s very much complimentary to Unicron. Of course, you Starscream fans may find an alternative arrangement with Supreme Starscream donning his crown, glaring down at the smaller Destron leader more to your taste. Either way – you have to admire this figure.

Transformation: 7 – The transformation is satisfying, and quite complex for a G1 figure, and, indeed, compared with many newer figures – but it’s hardly on a par with an Alternator or a Masterpiece.
Durability: 10 – This guy is solid. I can’t see anything breaking, and he feels very safe. The ratchet joints should preserve his stability for years to come!
Fun:10 – He not only looks just like his anime counterpart, makes the transformation noise (among others), but wears a die cast Matrix round his neck on a chain – what could be more fun?!?!
Price: 2 – Alas, he does not come cheap. Although he is a large Transformer, the average price of £50 - £60 ($90 - $105) (with postage) is more than a little steep. I got mine for £40 ($70), and that’s about as high as I would go, despite loving the toy.
Overall: 7 – He would be a 10 here if it weren’t for the price issues. If you can find one at a good price, or a price you’re happy to pay, you have to go for it. If not, it seems daft to break the bank.
 
 
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