Cliffbee.com: BW 10th Anniversary Megatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Predacon Leader
Alternate Mode: Tyrannosaurus rex



DINOSAUR MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 23cm Width: 6.5cm

   A light purple T-rex with some metallic kiwi green along his back and on the claws of his hindlegs, Megatron has some "Decepticon" purple around his neck and belly. His teeth are white and his eyes red while there's a silver and purple stamped Predacon symbol on his left hip. The colours are obviously copied from original BW Megatron, with some minor changes.

   While this is a Beast Wars toy, the design is clearly not from the same era as the original BW toys. Megatron's skin is a mixture of reptilian skin and robotic sculpt, with stuff such as hoses, wires and the like on his body. While he doesn't look like a Transmetal, the style of this beast fits in with the Cybertron line beasts of his era. His head is quite robotic, the sculpt is quite similar to Transmetal Megatron's.

   In keeping with the anatomical detail of Beast Wars, Megatron is a modern take on the T-rex, with his tail hanging out the back as a balance rather than dragging on the ground, and the forelimbs are vestigial rather than functional. I should point out that he stands on his tiptoes with the claws on the floor, rather than using heelspurs (which Hasbro's pictures suggest). As a result Megatron has small footprints, and while he's not difficult to stand, you do have to get the balance right.

   The poseability here is good if not spectacular. The head can lift up and down, while the neck rotates, giving Megatron a great range of vision. The upper jaw lifts to open the mouth, revealing a red tongue (but no water squirter this time). The hips swing, the knees are hinged and there are two hinges per ankle, giving Megatron a range of stable walking poses.

   As with his contemporaries from the Cybertron line, Megatron comes with a green Planet Key. It's a generic key with no code on the back, which plugs into the underside of his tail, painting a slightly disturbing picture. As the key plugs in, his tail lifts up to reveal a backwards pointing missile launcher. There's a single black missile, which can be fired by a small button on the right side. I appreciate the fact that the missile is launched by a button rather than by the key, even if the firing missile is another dubious image. Okay, so maybe the buttplug and projectile are unusual, but taking the connotations out, it's a successful gimmick.

   While I wouldn't really say this beast is any better or worse than the original, it does represent a different take on the original idea. I'm glad we get a brand new mould - I certainly wouldn't have bought a rehashed Ultra, but a new deluxe with new gimmicks worth considering. Ok, so the imagery of his gimmick is somewhat risqué, but the gimmick _works_ and the poseability is pretty good.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Broadly similar to the original, but the engineering is all new. The side panels unclip and lift up (taking the forelimbs with them). The tail unclips and swings underneath, between the legs, while the front of the back folds up, releasing the head. The robot torso, buried inside his chest, rotates into place with the robot head concealed inside his chest. The beast head becomes his right hand, with the neck straightening to become his arm, while the tails becomes his left arm. The ankles fold down and heelspurs fold out, giving Megatron much bigger footprints in robot mode than beast mode. Lastly, the beast mode hipplates swing down slightly, sitting on the outside of his thighs.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 11cm

   The lilac is now joined by more purple and some black, with Megatron's boots, forearms and groin lilac, his upper arms and thighs are black while his chest, head and shoulders are purple. There's some light metallic blue on his head and chest, along with the silver "teeth" that featured on the original. He has the standard buckethead, while his face is black with red eyes. The overall colour scheme is similar to that of the original, even if much of the purple and black has moved around. The head is markedly different, with the black buckethead and black face in stark contrast to the silver buckethead and purple face of the original. Despite the changes we see here, this is still a decent colour scheme, and the robot mode is instantly recognisable as the same character.

   The layout here is mostly the same as last time, with one major difference. The extendable claw that was the beast tail is gone, with the same tail piece now a removable weapon, giving Megatron a left hand. Actually, it's a tripartite claw, with silver nails, but at least he has digits - unlike the original. I prefer the missile launcher to the claw anyway - it looks more menacing and proportionally it's big, making it look impressive. The dinosaur head on his right arm is essentially the same as the 1995 version, although without the water squirter. I don't miss the water squirter - it's one less piece to lose.

   The sculpt here follows the style of the beast mode, with a mix of organic and robotic sculpt. The feet are quite big, thanks to the ankle folding during transformation, but the panels on his back are far less obtrusive than on the original. The thighpads are quite noticeable, although they stay out of his way for the most part. They're imitating the hip launchers of the original, which wouldn't have worked on this scale (and were kind of annoying anyway).

   The poseability here is varied. His head is on a ball joint but doesn't move much, since there's a plate behind it (which doesn't get in the way visually, at least). The arms have some poseability, but the nature of the forearms means that only certain poses feel right - they're both actually quite poseable but you'll favour a few positions. The hips are ball jointed while his knees are hinged. The legs end up fairly poseable even if there aren't many ball joints, since the large footprints and heelspurs mean the poses you can achieve are poseable.

   The now removable missile launcher makes a pretty cool handheld weapon, and the functionality is the same as in beast mode, without the questionable anatomy. The missile can now fire forward, making this gimmick even more effective in robot mode.

   Other than large feet, there aren't any real flaws here - although the arm articulation isn't ideal. The basic layout is similar to the original, and much of the poseability here is dictated by that original bodyplan. The addition of a hand and a missile launcher are improvements, and while this is a simpler robot mode in some ways that's to be expected. As a deluxe, this is a decent robot mode, and the colour scheme is quite nice.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. G2 Cindersaur is a repaint of Megatron.

OVERALL

   While this is sold as a Beast Wars toy, Megatron is basically a Cybertron tribute to Beast Wars - he's styled like a Cybertron toy, but copying a BW toy. Both modes are good, the character is unmistakable and the poseability fairly good, making this a good toy. The key gimmick works well and as an aside, finally gives Megatron a hand. While this isn't really a standout toy in the Cybertron era, Megatron is a pretty good tribute toy, and should please Beast Wars fans - 7/10

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