Cliffbee.com: Transmetal Megatron Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Predacon Commander
Alternate Mode: Metallic Tyrannosaurus Rex



T-REX MODE
Height: 15cm Length: 23cm Width: 7.5cm

   A metallic copper coloured robotic T-Rex with with metallic bronze forelimbs, a bronze tail and chromed purple head, hips and hindclaws, Megatron's colours are certainly distinctive. The bronze and copper colours are very close to each other and contrast sharply with the purple, giving Megatron a unique look, and while it's unusual it's not garish. His eyes are red and there are a few silver chrome details, rounding out a well thought out colour scheme.

   This is the corrected anatomy T-Rex - ie Megatron's designer wants him to walk with his tail in the air - however there's no neckjoint and the head is moulded in such a way that the line of his body slopes back about 30. The forelimbs are very robotic with two claws each while the hindlegs are also robotic but with three more organic looking claws each. The head is also somewhat organic looking, mainly thanks to smooth, rounded panels rather than any skin textures - closer inspection will reveal that it is smooth and metallic, not smooth and organic.

   The purple hips are actually fans, and they'll actually turn (if not spin). When flush against his body they look like ventilation fans, but they can lift up for his flight mode. At the same time his feet flip up to reveal bronze roller skates, not for take-off and landing (the fans give him a VTOL capacity), but for zooming along the ground. Granted, the skates have false wheels but then this thing is now so top-heavy that if you pushed it, it'd topple anyway. I suppose horizontal fans give Megatron a lot of manoeuvrability, but the skates give him a lower power method of fast travel. At any rate, both work together to give Megatron a fun "vehicle" mode, which looks pretty nifty and gives some extra play value to this mode.

   The poseability itself is pretty good compared to most dinosaur Transformers. The forelimbs are on restricted ball joints that function as rotators, the lower jaw opens and closes (revealing teeth) and the hips are hinged and below the hinges are rotators, allowing the legs to turn around to the sides. The tail has six segments, with five freely turning joints and a up-and-down final joint near the tip, which can open and close as a claw (which is really for the robot mode). Adding the vehicle mode, you end up with a very playable mega.

   Transmetals tend to be very well sculpted and Megatron is no exception. As mentioned, he has teeth, the neck is covered in mech details and the body itself covered in mechanical detailing (mainly panelling). The tailclaw comes together in a series of zigzagging teeth and there are small spines down the length of his spine and tail. To the left of the spine in purple lettering Megatron bears his name.

   There aren't really any shortcomings here, other than the predisposition for chrome to flake on Transmetals in general, although I'm happy to report my Megatron has no flaking to speak of. The poseability and play value make this a fun toy, the colours work very well, the flight mode is fun and there's a lot of detail. It's clear a lot of thought went into this robotic T-Rex.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   You're meant to remove the tail, but it's possible to leave it attached. At any rate swing the tail's attachment point (with tail or not) under the body between his legs, swing up the hip panels. Fold the head down slightly to unlock the front of the dinosaur, which folds out as two panels that swing to the front. This will reveal his chest and head. Swing out the arms from within his back, then stow the dino head in the resulting cavity. Swing the forelimbs forward to form shoulder-cannons, fold down the forearms. Rotate the waist so his legs face forward them rotate the tail-stem around to one side (either will do). Position the toy, swing out the handle inside the tail's base, place the tail in his hand as a weapon. Of course, you can leave it attached to its stem and it'll happily sit off one hip.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 7cm

   The copper is still quite prevalent here on his big shoulderpads, forearms and lower legs. The purple is really limited to his feet (the beast feet), and the bronze restricted to his shoulderpad cannons, small sections of his shins and his weapon. Megatron's head, torso, upper arms are thighs are a dark brown that wasn't visible in beast mode. Unlike his other colours, it's a flat plastic without a metallic appearance, and it's covered in reptilian skin sculpting. His face is painted a dark purple, which is also sprayed on his chest. His eyes are red along with a set of faux-beast eyes on his chest, while Megatron's mouth is open, revealing his white teeth - why not, after all this mode is meant to look organic! This is a much darker colour scheme than his beast mode has, thanks to the dark brown and loss of most of the shiny purple. The entire torso is dark save for the eyes and teeth, giving Megatron a very sinister look, which is appropriate for the character. Personally I prefer the beast mode colour scheme, but that's mainly because I dig the shiny purple bits (c8

   The head is an organic take on the traditional buckethead shape, which is a nice compromise. The shoulder-cannons give Megatron some ranged weaponry, and if you've left the tail on his hip, some weaponry period. The heelspurs are rounded since they're moulded wheels from the skates, so he'll tend to rock back if the tail is left attached - it's clear the designer meant the considerable weight of the tail to be at the front of this toy, in one hand or the other. While the rocking back could count as a flaw, the hip-holster for his tail is more an accident of design than a deliberate feature, so I'm not going to hold the stability against Megatron.

   Poseability here is great - as you'd except of a Transmetal (especially a mega). The head doesn't turn, but then with the shoulderpads and cannons on either side, there's no point. The shoulderpads give his actual shoulders plenty of clearance, and the shoulders are ball jointed with swivels just below them allowing the hinge elbows to act like ball joints. The hips are double joints and might as well be ball jointed, the knees are hinges with swivels right above them, his ankles can swing forward and the waist swivels. The shoulder cannons can aim out to the sides and the hand weapon has the six segments, opening claw and a hinge at the base of its handle. The pincers of the claw can actually open independently although I can't see why you'd want to open just one. The shoulderpads stop him from lifting his arms above horizontal, which is really my only complaint about the poseability. Head movement would be nice, but as I said with this toy they'd be no real point.

   There's a lot of play value here, the tail-weapon was used as a claw and a laser-gun in the cartoon, which also used the shoulder cannons, so he's well armed. The poseability is great despite a couple of shortcomings. The colours are again well done while the eyes on his chest, shoulderpads and detailed sculpt make this a visually attractive robot mode. Again a lot of effort has gone into designing this mode.

VARIATIONS

   There was a rare "pink" version, which had a lighter, pinkish, chrome in place of the regular purple. Predacon of the Armada line is a repaint and slight remould of Megatron (attachment points added for his randomly included Minicons).

OVERALL

   A good toy with two good modes, lots of attention to detail and clever colours. Megatron's T-Rex mode is probably slightly better, simply because there are some poseability restrictions in robot mode. It's difficult for me to fault the dinosaur mode, actually, and I can't fault the effort put into designing this toy. Definitely recommended to Beast Wars fans - 8/10

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