Cliffbee.com: Animated Leader Megatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Helicopter

Thanks to Pulse for loaning me Megatron for this review (I have since acquired Megatron).



CHOPPER MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 35cm Width: 18cm (40cm maximum rotorspan)

   A large grey helicopter with a transparent red canopy along with red painted details here and there, Megatron has a black tail and a large black cannon underneath the cockpit. The colours are suitably Megatron, reminiscent of the G1 colours. The toy has a matte finish in most areas, which contrasts nicely with the blood red transparent plastic on the cockpit, giving this toy an evil feel. The paint job is fairly simple, but it's quite focused, with clever use of red as a highlight colour.

   Megatron's fuselage and cockpit are similar to an Apache gunship style helicopter, especially the angular cockpit and gunpods on the sides (which are folded up robot arms). He's quite stylised, as is the case with many Animated toys, but this one feels far more realistic than many of the alt modes in this line, which I appreciate. The sculpt is good, too, with subtle but complex details on the engines and mechanical details on the centre of the rotors. He has dual rotors, with sit on winglets attach to the top of the fuselage. The tail is a narrow affair without a tailfin or stabilising rotor, so I'm not sure this airframe would get off the ground. It looks nice enough, however.

   The rotors turn, and he's geared internally, so turning one rotor causes the other to turn in the opposite direction. They _can_ hit one another during revolutions, which really reduces the chances of this chopper mode flying successfully. Still, the gimmick is a nice idea and it works well enough. There are black plastic wheels underneath the cannon at the front and one on either side of the tail, towards the fuselage proper, all roll. The rear wheels can fold away, but they're not really meant to here - rather for his transformation - he can't stand flat without them. There is a second gimmick here, and it's predictably an electronic one. Pressing a red button underneath causes a short chopper take off sound, which is more focussed than most electronic gimmicks - certainly better than another mangled firing sound. There is of course the obligatory flashing LED, at the back of the cockpit. While it doesn't add much, this LED doesn't detract either, which I'm happy about. There's a single red missile which fires from within the cannon - it's well hidden, which I like.

   A surprisingly good helicopter mode, mainly because it feels fairly realistic. Sure, Megatron isn't getting off the ground with the tail he has here, and the rotors would hit one another if he managed to get airborne, but he passes for a gunship style chopper. The colours work very well and the sculpt does a decent job. I like the integrated cannon and the clever rotor gimmick, too. My only real complaint is that the pods under the winglets really do look like the robot arms folded up.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the rotors, fold up to become double-edged swords. Pull the covers of the tails out to the sides, rotate and pivot back to form boots. Split the tail to form his legs, open up the tailtip to form feet and heelspurs. Stand him up, push back the winglets. Unfold the pods to form his arm, open the forearm panels, flip out his hands, close the panels and rotate his forearms. Detach the cannon (and the plate it's attached to) from underneath the cockpit, which should set off a transformation sound (it's meant to set off going the other way, mind you). This reveals Megatron's head. Fold back the canopy, slide down onto his back. Plug the cannon onto either forearm and place the swords in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 22.5cm Width: 21cm

   Again the colours are very much Megatron - this time down to the layout. Much of this robot mode is grey while his hands, boots and groin are black. The feet, elbows and the sides of his waist are painted matte red along with some details on the shoulders. There's a transparent red Decepticon logo sculpted on his chest, along with some other transparent red elements. The face is painted silver with some black. His eyes are transparent red, without a lightpipe - I'll explain why in a moment. The black fusion cannon sits on either forearm while the silver swords in either hand (if used) match his face. I am very impressed by this colour scheme - it evokes the Megatron concept well and I'm glad the designer has kept it simple and avoided using bright colours for their own sake.

   There are quite a few features here which tribute G1 Megatron, even if the bodyshape itself is very different. The chest markings and the basic shape resemble those of G1, there's a sort of buckethead thing happening, although his sideburns are the most dominant feature in that area. Surprisingly, Megatron doesn't have a giant chin - I'm happy about this, too. The fusion cannon is an obvious G1 tribute, even if the shape of it is quite different to that of G1. The robot shape itself is very stylised, with a wide chest, a narrow groin and a very narrow waist which would put Barbie to shame. The boots slope inwards to his narrow thighs, which looks a little odd - he's knock-kneed, basically. For some reason Megatron stands leaning forward, which annoys me quite a bit. The proportions are unusual, although they're not as messed up as some Animated toys, and Megatron isn't ruined by stylised features trying too hard (as on Bumblebee, for example).

   There's only one real gimmick here - I'm not going to count the missile which fires from the fusion cannon. Pressing the red logo on his chest causes LEDs inside the chest and head to flash - this lights his eyes up along with the logo (hence no lightpipe), and one of three alternating sounds will be played. The first is an Evil Laugh, the second is Megatron asking, "Where is the AllSpark?" while the third is, "Crush the Autobots!". Megatron's accent sounds like an American take on Received Pronunciation (similar to Grapple in G1). As you hold down the logo-button, his mouth opens, and shuts again as you release - a really well designed feature which impresses me more than the electronics. The electronics are pretty good, really - all three sounds are distinct and the LEDs are well placed.

   Megatron's poseability is quite good, although the lean gives him some stability issues he could do without. His head rotates and can tip forward a little while the hips ratchet. The shoulders swing and the elbows hinge inwards and rotate, his wrists rotate. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees bend and rotate. There's not a lot of motion in the feet & ankles, so you'll find the effective range of leg poses limited - he's front heavy thanks to the leg shape.

   A good robot mode with a focussed gimmick and great colours, Megatron also serves as a good tribute to his G1 namesake. The lean was probably avoidable and the knock-knees are weird, but the shape is generally good. His upper body poseability and weaponry choices are impressive, although the legs have a lot of jointing without a wide range of stable poses. A nice display piece and good play piece, despite the instability.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   It seems that flagship Megatron toys don't quite live up to their status within their lines, so I'm very happy to report that this Megatron toy _is_ worthwhile for a toy at the top of the pile. The chopper mode has elements of realism, something sorely missing from many Animated toys - many of which end up looking cheesy. The robot mode pays a _lot_ of attention to G1 Megatron, has a great colour scheme and worthwhile electronics gimmick. The weaponry is clever, the robot mode proportions are much less of a stretch than some of the awkwardly-forced robot shapes in the Animated line. I'm still not a fan of the Animated concept, but Megatron is a great toy (compare with 2 Pack Megatron). Recommended unless you dislike Animated - 9/10

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