Cliffbee.com: Beast Machines Megatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Vehicon
Function: Predacon Vehicon Leader
Alternate Mode: Dragon



DRAGON MODE
Height: 18cm Depth:14 cm Width: 26cm (all are maximums, will depend on pose)

   A tall, skinny, ruby red western dragon with gold paint highlights, black claws and grey wings. While the body itself is slender, the wingspan is impressive. He has retractable burgundy claws on tope top edges of the wings, silver teeth and transparent orange horns sticking out from the back of his head, and his eyes are painted blue. The tail, which is forked, is also transparent orange plastic.

   While this is technically inferior and a fair bit smaller than the previous version, it's still a fairly impressive dragon mode in it's own way, thanks in large part to the wingspan. The catch is that this is really a deluxe with a wingspan too large to fit on a card, sold as a mega. And while it's nice, this toy isn't big enough for the mega pricepoint, although there have been worse value megas (Transquito springs to mind).

   The legs are fully poseable, although a lot os forward leaning poses will cause the wings to swing forward to a degree. The tail acts as a third leg, which is necessary since the centre of the toy's gravity is behind the feet (he has bent knees and small heelspurs). The elbows are hinged and the shoulders are on ball joints, and while these joints are part of his transformation, they do contribute to the dragon's articulation. The neck has two hinges and swivels at the top of the torso and the back of the head, but the actual poseability is limited by a system of springs. The idea is that if you pull his head back, it lunges forward at his opponent, and this works quite well. The gimmick is sound in theory, but it means his head tends to simply come to rest hunched over, since there's no catch-release mechanism to keep it posed. This is easy to fix - I removed the spring inside his neck not long after I got him - but it would have been better had they either abandoned this gimmick or added a catch.

   The wings have three hinges each, as well as the entire wing assembly being able to rock up and down a little, and the wing claws swing up or retract down (so they're flush with the wings). His tail not only lifts up and down, as mentioned, but can swivel from left to right. Both jaws move, allowing his mouth to open and close. All in all this beast mode has a staggering 26 points of articulation, which is fantastic for a mega, and just ridiculous for the deluxe that it actually is. As you can imagine, there's a fair amount of play value here, and I'm not finished.

   The main reason for the three hinges per wing is to allow the wings to wrap around his body. The wing assembly lifts out and slots back in at a lower level, in place to wrap around his body, but not the head. You'll have to retract the wing claws to make it work, but once you do, you can wrap the wings right around and they'll clip together on the front, encasing Megatron in a grey cloak with transparent orange plastic at the front, which has mech detailing. The bottom fringe at the front has slots designed for his toes (well, claws), and at the back there's a similar groove for his tail.

   There are flaws in this beast mode, including the silly lunging gimmick, the small size for a mega and some minor stability issues (the wings drooping, and reliance on the tail as a third leg), but despite all this it's still a good beast mode. The colours work quite well, the articulation is great and he looks imposing despite his size.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Complex, even for a mega, so I'm not going to explain very step since it's probably not worth reading unless you've got Megatron in front of you. The legs stay the legs, the chest rotates 90 and lies on it's side as the robot chest, the dragon head becomes the left arm and the tail the right arm - well, the arm actually swings out from inside the tail. The dragon arms actually fold in and become the waist, the head swings out from the chest and the wings become a cape. He has no detachable weaponry, but is far from weaponless.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: ~16cm (depends on cape span)

   Again largely ruby red with golden highlights, Megatron has a blue head with a silver mouth, that looks like it's a gas mask or breathing apparatus. He has transparent orange eyes, and there is a functioning lightpipe, although it'll only work if the light source is above and behind him in a sweet spot, since the cape gets in the way. The right hand and forearm is black with a huge transparent sheath (the tail), the left is red with silver teeth (c8

   This mode doesn't look quite as impressive as the dragon mode, partly because the robot head isn't really very Megatron like, partly because it's very short and small for a mega (moreso than the beast mode) and partly because the head's colour scheme doesn't really match the body.

   Like the beast mode, this mode is bigger than it would otherwise be thanks to the wingspan. It's really a deluxe sized robot with an impressive cape span, but it's not that much smaller than some megas (like Transquito and Scorponok).

   There are two main gimmicks in this mode, the main one being that spring loaded gimmick, which would now be in his left arm if I hadn't stripped it. The other is a blue rhombic panel on his chest which flips down to reveal a green spark crystal, which also works in the beast mode, albeit revealing a spark on it's side. Neither of these gimmicks are really that impressive in their own right, although they both work as well as you'd expect.

   The strongest point of this robot mode is poseability. The head turns, the legs are fully poseable, although without the tail to act as a third leg you have to fiddle to get him to stand. His centre of gravity is now above his feet, but he has a tendency to roll backwards on the balls of his feet, something that doesn't affect the beast mode because the legs are in a different position. The shoulders both have swivel and hinge joints, as do the elbows. The right arm has no actual hand, but the beast mouth can open and close so t has a grip, effectively. The left hand has a hole in it, although he doesn't come with anything to hold. You can fold the beast tail down over his forearm (it sort of sticks out and down to the side) to function as a slashing claw, and this works so well I suspect they planned it. The cape can open and close to a fair extent, although not as much as the beast mode, since the arms are in the way.

   This mode carries more flaws than the beast mode, the main one being the size. But the articulation is good, so it's a pretty good robot mode. I just wish the head was red and gold rather than blue and silver.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   This is one of the best beasts from the Beast Machines line, and has grown on me since I first got it. I should point out that I got this mega packaged deluxe for the price of a basic, but even for a mega it's not a bad toy - just small. In reality he's a very good deluxe with an excellent beast mode and a decent robot mode with some flaws. It's not as good as the Beast Wars dragon, but it's still a good toy. 8/10 as a deluxe, dropping to 7/10 as a mega

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