Cliffbee.com: BotCon 2006 Megatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Predacon
Alternate Mode: Armoured Missile Truck

Thanks to kup for loaning me Megatron, making this review possible.



MISSILE TRUCK MODE
Height: 11.5cm Length: 24cm Width: 7.5cm

   A light brown armoured truck with a giant charcoal missile on top, Megatron is a repaint of Cybertron Defence Red Alert, except with a proper name. Megatron is a hybrid of two concept rather than a true military vehicle, but the idea works well enough. He has eight charcoal plastic tyres and a charcoal stripes down the centre. The missile is mainly light brown with some purple detailing and a ring of transparent green in the middle. The colour scheme is fairly dark and simple, which suits the vehicle. The colours are those of Transmetal Megatron - unlike the rest of this series of BotCon repaints he's _not_ a tribute to the original cartoon version of the character. I can respect this decision since that would have made this toy mostly lilac, not really a missile truck kind of colour. The colours work fairly well, although I preferred this vehicle in the white of Red Alert.    The level of detail on this toy is pretty good, with rivets, ladders, slit windows, ration packs and such. There are two stamped Predacon logos on the roof (one more than Red Alert), with a twin-barrelled cannon on top. The missile is mounted on a charcoal base, which has a black access basket at the back, allowing a Minicon (well, one of the smaller ones) to work on the missile's propulsion system. There are hardpoints on either side of the truck itself, allowing you to attach two Minicons to the truck.

   As you might expect there's quite a lot of play value here. Like most larger BotCon toys, the electronics have been stripped out to keep costs down - and since most collectors will display rather than play, this doesn't count against Megatron for me - and it's not like Red Alert came with batteries anyway. Megatron comes with a gold Planet Key that plugs into the back of the missile's base. As with most later Cybertron toys, the missile will sit halfway or push right in and activate the gimmicks. The front half of the missile opens to reveal a transparent green shaft, incorporating a working missile launcher - the charcoal tip of the main missile is actually a missile, with a charcoal button now accessible on the green shaft. This launcher isn't all that powerful, but it's a nice touch. The (main) missile can slide off its base, which can lift around 80 and is able to support the weight of the missile. The twin grey cannon on his roof lifts up, rounding out the play value.

   On the whole this is a good missile truck, even if it is a bit of a hybrid vehicle (Fit For Natalie informs me that Megatron is a BTR-80 armoured personnel carrier with a missile grafted on top). The truck itself looks pretty good, the play value is impressive and the detailing is quite good. While it's solid without being spectacular, it's certainly imposing enough for Megatron and his superiority complex.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the rear side panels forward, covering the front tyres with the rear ones. Open the roof of the cabin, fold the sides of the front down to form the legs, lift out the feet and heelspurs. The centre of the front splits to form arms which fold back into position against the rear of the truck (the torso). Fold over the chestplate, which will also reveal the head. Slide the missile right so that it forms a shoulder-cannon and clears the head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 23cm Width: 14cm

   A light brown robot with charcoal thighs, head and arms, a purple chestplate silver highlights here and there. The missile on his right shoulder is mainly brown, with the charcoal, purple and green still around. The Predacon logos are now on his shins and he has a purple face with red eyes. There are some lime green elements visible now, which allude to the original BW Megatron.

   The head has been totally resculpted, and you may already have guessed that it's based on that of Transmetal Megatron. Admittedly, this head is in turn based on the original Megatron's, but there's no trace of the mutant head head and the colours line up to those of the Transmetal. The head is dead on for the character. I couldn't ask for much more, aside from maybe a rubber ducky!

   The central strip of the truck now sits on the outside of one forearm - when you split the arms it'll go with one or the other, while the missile forms a huge shoulder mounted feature, as mentioned. With the arm weapon and the huge missile, Megatron is one bad-ass mother. Which would no doubt please him immensely. The boots are chunky and this figure is generally boxy, giving him a colossal look.

   The arm-attachment is essentially his hand weapon, since Megatron doesn't gun with a handgun (he does have holes in his fists, however). There's a slot at the back end for his Planet Key, although you don't really need to use it - pull the brown top piece and it'll flip over, forming the barrel of a gun, and this works well as a handgun, despite it being stuck to the side of his arm. This piece can be detached if you prefer. Following on from the tools inside the shins of deluxe Ratchet, Megatron has tools inside the shins. The left shin houses a hammerhead, which incorporates a spring, so that as he hammers, the head itself collapses and rebounds. The right shin houses a charcoal claw, and both this claw and the hammerhead plug into the business end of his gun, forming either a long claw or of course, a hammer. The missile's gimmicks are available here, since it doesn't actually transform itself. Curiously, if you treat it as a shoulder-mounted missile launcher, Megatron has an enormous launcher and a single small, charcoal missile.

   Megatron is quite poseable for such a blocky toy. The shoulders swing while the elbows, hips and knees all have both hinges and rotators. The head, waist and wrists turn and the shoulder missile can lift up and down. The heelspurs allow for some leg posing, while the ratcheting joints in his hips make sure this top heavy toy doesn't collapse under its own weight. Despite his poseability, Red Alert lacks any ball joints.

   A good robot mode with lots of play value - and this figure is far more poseable than it looks. His bulk and impressive weapons suit the character, Megatron always was a megalomaniac with a penchant for power trips. The colours tribute the Transmetal well, although there's not quite as much purple here as I'd like. The subtle colours work to the advantage of this mould - the missile and arm-mounted weapon are allowed to come to the fore without dominant colours competing for attention. The weaponry options are fun, even if the electronics have been gutted.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Megatron was available exclusively at BotCon 2006 and as such, was likely limited to a single production run.

OVERALL

   A thoughtful repaint of a mould that just _suits_ the character. I appreciate the fact that the colours are taken from the Transmetal - even if there's no chrome on this figure. The chrome would have been nice to see, but redoing the mould to accommodate would have added to the cost substantially - and the head resculpt is enough (and more important) to anchor the toy as Beast Wars Megatron. It's a good mould and the colours have again been kept simple, allowing the missile to dominate the aesthetics of Megatron. Both modes are quite attractive and the play value is good in both modes, with two key gimmicks in robot mode and one in vehicle mode. The robot mode is more poseable than it looks, and the integrated tool/weapon on his arm works well. The electronics are stripped, but they were fairly mediocre anyway, and wouldn't justify even more cost on a toy which is destined to be displayed and not play with. Megatron is the largest (and dearest) of the 2006 BotCon toys, and while I wouldn't say he's the best of that group, he's certainly a nice toy if you can afford him - 7.5/10

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