Cliffbee.com: Superlink Megazarak Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Megazarak
Series: Superlink (Energon)
Allegiance: Destron
Alternate Modes: Construction Vehicle, Jet



CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE MODE
Height: 17cm Length: 25cm Width: 22cm
(exact dimensions will depend on tail and claws, might be more or less depending on pose)

   A twotone green construction vehicle with extensive gold highlights, some blue and bronze here and there and black treads, "mouthparts" and hook. Everything except the black has a metallic sheen to it, and the greens, blue and gold interplay quite nicely, with the bronze and black barely noticeable in the overall visual impact. There are some pale transparent yellow pieces, which fit into the colour scheme quite seamlessly. All told this is a well thought out colour scheme, easily better than the Anglophone version, Scorponok, which has red instead of gold and dark brown instead of the darker green.

   This vehicle is clearly designed to resemble a scorpion - it's immediately obvious from the shape. Both Megazarak and Scorponok are named after G1 Scorponok (with the Japanese name applied to the Superlink version I have). As I've already alluded to, there are mouthparts, black curved protrusions on either side of the grille. There's also an overhanging tail (with the hook instead of stinger), the claws are digger buckets and there are transparent yellow claws hanging off the back of the treads while gold buckets sit on the front. The main body is still very much construction vehicle, with the treads, a cabin, grille and some blue pistons on either side of the engineblock for decoration. The fusion of the vehicle and scorpion themes is so well done that Megazarak manages to effortlessly be both in one glance.

   There's a lot of detail here, with an awful lot of mechanical detail all over this guy, far too much to really go through. The highlights are moulded Decepticon logo on the roof, which faces backwards and has raised relief painted purple, teeth on the various buckets and a lot of pistons/pneumatic arms here and there.

   The outer claws (gold buckets) can lift out to reveal transparent yellow missile launchers which will fire black missiles about half a metre. The black inner claws will open as the outer claws are opened, which is a nice touch. The arms themselves have shoulders that rotate on two axes similar to those of G1 Scorponok. The mouthparts can lift up, there are blue cannon blocks on the sides at the back and there are two bronze wheels underneath each tread allowing Megazarak to roll. The tail is hinged at the base and midway, while the hook can fold up to form a tip. There's a blue pointed cockpit-like slider on top of the tail, sliding it back will fold out twin transparent yellow cannons, which look rather cool.

   If you've got the batteries active (I've left the tab in - I'm not really a fan of sound gimmicks as regular readers will know), the slider will also activate a machine gun sound. As the tail moves mechanical sounds activate, while two buttons underneath the tail activate more mechanical sounds. The lower part of the tail contains a battery box and speakers (and a small white tab hangs out on the right side of mine, that I intend to leave there). While I can't attest to the quality of the sounds, I do know that the tail movement sound gets annoying, since it just keeps activating whenever you move the tail.

   Sounds aside, this is a very good vehicular mode for what it is. Thematically Megazarak's very unusual yet he pulls of the scorpionesque earthmover thing awfully well. The attention to detail is top notch here and the colours are great. The play value is nice, even if you don't care for the sounds (you can always remove the batteries if you do remove the tab). They've tried something different here and in these colours it really works, although I'll admit Energon Scorponok still doesn't really appeal to me.

JET MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 33cm Width: 25cm

   An impressively large jet compared to the more compact land based vehicle mode, this jet blurs the line between an intermediate mode and a true third mode. I say that because there's very little in Megazarak's engineering that exists solely to make this very different mode possible. It's certainly different from the land vehicle though - the engine block splits and repositions on either side of the cabin, the tail swings underneath and becomes the long nose of the jet. The treads become the back and the underside buckets swing out the side as tailwings (there are probably the only joints that is specifically for this mode, a few connections go into it, though). The cockpit on the scorpion tail is joined by another further back, and the cabin of the land mode (which has a transparent window, incidentally), is still present towards the rear. The claws have rotated back and there are transparent yellow spines that stick out as wingtips.

   Despite not really asking much in terms of engineering, this is still a worthwhile mode. In reality this _is_ an intermediate mode, but it's a very strong one. The sheer number of design elements here that relate to the scorpion or construction themes tell you that this was thought up as a rearrangement of the earthmover mode. The sound gimmicks all still function here and there are six wheels underneath which Megazarak has solely for this jet mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   From the earthmover mode, unfold the treads out to the back to form his legs, lift up the buckets to form feet and lift out the heelspurs. Open the halves of the engineblock out to 45, lift up the cabin roof, flip out his head and close the roof again. Rotate the claws down to form his arms. You're meant to leave the tail sort of hanging on his back and lift it up for "attack mode", but you might as well just lift it up over his head now rather a-la Beast Wars Scorponok rather than having this tail sort of sit there awkwardly, trying to drag him over backwards.

   There are some minor finishing touches, such as rotating the blue cannons now on his hips forwards, sliding out the cannons on his tailtip and folding down the claws on his knees. You have the option of detaching the transparent yellow guns on the sides of the cabin for use as handguns, and you can also leave the kneeclaws out for extra kick-in-the-crotch goodness.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 29cm Width: 22cm

   The dimensions I quote are assuming you have the tail deployed rather than hanging in the no-mans-land on his back. Megazarak is again mainly twotone green and gold, with black shins in the form of the treads and blue head with yellow and red eyes. I really like the way the head has a transparent yellow visor with antennae - it makes the already strong G1 Scorponok semblance ridiculously obvious (not that I mind at all). The interplay between the greens, blue and gold again works well here, unlike the green, red and black on Energon Scorponok (which isn't bad in itself in this mode - it's just not as nice as Takara's effort).

   The homage is one of the strongest in the Energon/Superlink line, only Downshift is stronger (but this time Hasbro didn't f--k the name up!). The tail, head, overall leg shape, claw-arms, fold down chestplate and of course tail on his back are all elements this toy shares with it's G1 namesake. The sounds are an addition of course, and all operate as in the other two modes. The missile launchers are again useful, and sport hardpoints allowing you to attach Minicons to Megazarak's arms.

   With the launchers, handguns and tail cannons Megazarak has a total of six barrels, less than his G1 namesake but more than the Beast Wars toy. The poseability is somewhere in between, with two joints in the tail, a head that turns and an eyevisor that lifts up. The shoulders have two rotators, the elbows bend in and out (and combined with the shoulder rotators, this provides enough elbow movement to keep me happy). The hips turn, the knees bend and twist while the feet can lift up and down. The tail can tip Megazarak over in some poses, but it's flexible enough that it's not a major problem, and the heelspurs are useful (without them, he can't stand at all mind you).

   Between the poseability, weaponry options and sound gimmicks there's quite a lot happening here, and the holes in his claws are of course able to hold other Energon weapons. For a Transformer with a vehicular alt mode (two in fact), Megazarak is quite playable. And with the bulky claws and towering tail, he also looks imposing. This is a robot mode that's both playable and displayable, two aspects that aren't always combined in one toy.

VARIATIONS

   As I've already discussed the Superlink and Energon versions of this toy have different colour schemes. Megazarak is closer to the cartoon portrayal while Scorponok's colours are a better match for the G1 toy (although far from perfect). Dark Scorponok is a retool and repaint, representing the same character.

OVERALL

   A very well thought out toy, with lots of attention to detail, Megazarak is imposing in all three modes with one of the strongest G1 homages in a line full of them. The colours on this version work a lot better than Hasbro's version and really make the difference for me - the heavy use of metallic sparkle plastics seems to really fit. The play value is surprisingly good for such a mechanical toy and while the sound gimmicks don't add much to me, Megazarak is still good without them - 8/10

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