Cliffbee.com: Ultra Energon Megatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 17cm Length: 21cm Width: 21.5cm

   An off white jet with overhanging wings at the back, Megatron has mid blue highlights here and there, transparent green wingtips and lasers on the air intakes and a detachable black tank on top (that deliberately resembles Armada Megatron). The inner wings and tank mount are blue and there is some metallic green paint on the wings and black paint here and there. The tank sports a second metallic green paint as well as a touch of bright pink, and there's some yellow paint while the intakes are grey. The overall effect works since white, blue, black and transparent green make up about 85% of the toy and the pink is limited to one patch at the back of the tank. The larger version of this toy has similar colours but the off white is replaced by a milky white, the blue is much darker and the transparent plastic is yellow instead of green - the overall impact is similar, but having seen both I prefer (and opted for) this one.

   Colours and size aside, there are only two other differences I could find when comparing my Megatron with Sofaman's larger one - the sounds (which I'll come to later) and missile tips on the midwing, which are more detailed on this version.

   The engines sit underneath the wings and have a slight tendency to unclip, which will in turn cause the fists to pop out from underneath the fuselage. There's a transparent green cockpit at the front of the plane itself, which is roughly wedge shaped, and taller at the back than front. The wings form an "M" shape with the inner wings sloping in and the outer wings sloping out, and the latter have moulded Deception logos with the raised parts painted purple. While it's far from being realistic, this jet works visually and works well for a Decepticon leader (there are shades of Thunderwing here).

   There's plenty of play value here, which you'd expect of a toy that's a fully functional scaling down of a larger toy. The tank not only detaches, but fires a blue missile from its barrel. While the turret is fixed there is still another gimmick. Pressing down on the trigger will cause a "woosh" sound, and the missile will only shoot if you press right down - the trigger has three distinct positions (and is less sensitive than that on the larger toy, far less likely to lose the missile and can easily activate the sound without firing if you want to).

   Megatron himself has a few tricks as well. If you lift up the white wingtip panels the transparent green cannons at the very tip extend (without lifting) and blue cannons fold out at both the front and rear of the wing - the entire assembly is geared so you can easily fold it away with the one reverse motion. The green cannons on either side of the nose can move up and down, ratcheting to 45 either way. There are three rolling wheels, one under the nose and one underneath each engine, and all three fold up. You do have to watch that you don't fold away the rear wheels when you stand the jet on the table, but once Megatron is standing, they'll stay out without any drama.

   This is not the nicest looking jet mode we've seen, but it's one befitting of a Decepticon leader and the colours work. The play value is for the most part fairly standard action features, but everything _works_ which makes a difference. The wingtip assemblies are well done and are the most unusual aspect of this jet mode. I do like the Thunderwing semblance, although I'm not sure it was intentional. A good jet mode overall - everything works how it should and nothing drags it down.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the piggybacking tank and set aside (if it's not already). Fold away all three wheels, unclip the engines from underneath the wings, swing them back and slide the wheel struts towards the front of the engines. Doing this will flip up his kneecaps, push out the feet and heelspurs _and_ deploy the feet and heelspurs (the auto deploy also auto stows the other way). Swing the now transformed boots into position. Rotate the wing plate on his back, fold the nose onto his back and fold up the wings. Pull down his shoulders, which will bring the arms down and out to his sides. Fold down his head and rotate the antennae and the robot mode is done.

   You have the option of folding down the cannons on his shoulders so they point forward - they look good in both positions. Clip the back of the tank into the top of his backpack (the butt of the nose), press the blue button on his back and pull the tank out - the tank will draw out with a 10cm transparent green blade attached! This blade can simply unclip and stow again for jet mode. Underneath the tank there are two clips which deploy and clip onto his forearm.

   While this is a pretty good ultra overall, the transformation is probably the most impressive aspect of Megatron. The way the blade is drawn and the auto transforming boots are terrific features in their own right, and make transforming this guy fun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20.5cm (25cm with shoulder cannons up) Width: 12.5cm (21cm for the wings on his back)

   Again mainly white, Megatron has less blue present in robot mode. The feet, shinpads and thighs are black while his shoulder struts, ankles and fists are a navy blue and his upper arms grey. There's a blue and black buckle on the waist, a tubular chest and a blue tripartite crown on his head, and all three of these are clearly taken from Galvatron - Megatron is an obvious and very deliberate homage to that G1 character (and why not - this _is_ a reborn Armada Megatron). The blade and shoulder cannons are about all we see in the way of transparent green - the rest is on his back now. This colour scheme is more unified, since it focuses more on the white, and offsets it with the navy, black and grey (which all work as one really). There are some red, orange and yellow paint applications which are all really minor details. There's a Decepticon logo moulded onto his chest with the raised elements painted purple while his face is painted a very light blue with red eyes.

   With the still impressive wingspan on his back, tank-sword on one arm and those giant shoulder cannons, Megatron looks quite imposing and well armed. The holes in his fists are standard sized, and while he doesn't have his own handheld gun he doesn't need one - so the option of giving him another Energon weapon is sufficient. You can attach the tank-sword to either arm although if you're going to do so with the blade forward his right arm is better suited (I'll explain why in a moment). I like that have we the option of both the missile launcher and sword here.

   The poseability is pretty good for a blocky toy with numerous gimmicks and autotransform elements (at ultra size anyway - the larger size could be considered a little immobile). The head turns, the shoulders rotate and the elbows bend. His hips rotate and his legs can lift out the sides while his knees bend. The feet and heelspurs can fold down (although they're springloaded and flip back). Megatron is far from the most poseable ultra out there, but for a vehicular toy with so many features, he's managed fairly well. The wings on his back can get heavy, but if he tips back you can easily fold them out to the sides - and they look good out there.

   There are again two main gimmicks here. The first is the launcher, which we've already covered and the second is the sword. When the blade is bumped from what was the left side of the tank, it presses an internal button that activates a fairly accurate swordfight sound (IE two swords clashing), and a red LED inside the tank activates - it's meant to illuminate the blade but the sculpting is too complex - even in the dark it's not very impressive. Because this gimmick only works from one direction, the right arm makes more sense since as he brings his arm down it'll strike and activate (the left side means he's lifting the blade, which generates a weaker slice since he's fighting gravity rather than using it).

   There are actually four Decepticon logos in this mode, by the way, but only one is immediately obvious. Megatron's Spark crystal is embedded on his left shoulder and is hard to see from the front (but obvious from the left) while the base of the blade has a moulded logo. The last one is on a transparent green panel on the front of the tank turret - it's also visible on the jet mode.

   The tank can of course be left to one side, either set aside or as a drone - you don't have to draw the blade if you don't want to. It can also be attached to his arm on its own as a missile launcher. I like the versatility here, and you even get a hardpoint on top of the turret to attach a Minicon (there's also a pair on the wingtips, actually).

   The Galvatron homage is the first thing you'll notice here, and I have to say it's quite well done despite colour differences - the fact that the colours diverge without ruining the tribute indicates how well it's down. The play value isn't quite as obvious but it's the strong point of this robot mode - which looks nice in it's own right. His tank-sword is fun and there's enough poseability here to keep me happy. While I found the larger version to be a little bare in this mode, for an ultra it works well.

VARIATIONS

   This smaller version was dreamt up by Takara, who didn't think the full sized version would sell. Hasbro then released it in a two pack with Takara's Deluxe Grand Convoy (Optimus Prime). I've not seen Takara's original version of this toy, but as I've mentioned it's an almost perfect scaling down of the original Energon Megatron with some colour adjustments. The two toys do have different sounds - the sword sound effect here is much better than the odd screech the original has. There are no variants of the Anglophone version of this smaller toy that I know of.

OVERALL

   The jet mode an unusual design, but the tank and wings give it enough play value to make it fun while the colours make sure it ends up looking nice. The robot mode simply screams G1 Galvatron, is well engineered and has a great weapon. Probably the most impressive part of this toy is how well he's been engineered - while it certain doesn't make him worthwhile on it's own certainly adds to Megatron's appeal. While the original is solid but not spectacular, there are some minor tweaks here, and the design works better as an ultra. The deluxe it comes packaged with is also a nice toy, so assuming they're available at a fair price (in Australia the set was the cost of two ultras - Sofaman and I split the pack on at 50% off), Megatron is recommended - 7.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.