Electro Girl's Review: Generations Voyager Class G2 Megatron
Leader of the Decepticons
Power is all that matters to Megatron. It is his means, his motive, and his goal. His every thought is only of how the might of his armies can bring ever more power into his hands.
Before this review starts I feel it is only fair to you, dear reader, that I confess a slightly incredible bias. I don't care for gun Megatron in the slightest. Ever since I was a little boy his alt mode did not sit right with me at all and as such I wholeheartedly believe that Megatron is better of as a tank. Because of this every Megatron toy that I own is green and also a tank (except the one that is a purple dinosaur and the one that is grey and a spaceship).
That brings me to why I bought this version of Megs. He fulfilled my arbitrary checklist of being both green and a tank, he made use of the very nice Bludgeon mold I already owned so I knew I'd enjoy it and because he is based on his Generation 2 incarnation his colouring is beautifully bright and garish. Now Gen 2 has seen something of a revival over the last few years but mostly as Botcon or Collectors Club exclusives and as such this toy was pretty much the only way I could get in on that quirky, incongruously coloured action at a reasonable price. You might remember that this toy was also an exclusive, at first in Asia and later to Toys R Us stores in the United States but he was going relatively cheap at £25 on Kapow Toys, especially when you consider that the usual price of a voyager figure in the UK is around the £22 mark.
Megs transforms into a Japanese type 90 tank and this is a fairly popular form to take, this mold having being used originally on ROTF Bludgeon as well as HftD Banzaitron, Cloud Megatron and Timelines Gigatron.
The first thing you notice is the super bright G2 colour scheme of vivid lime green and a gorgeous purple. There is a big black Decepticon logo transferred on but personally I'd prefer the zany camo of old or for the Con logo to be G2 style.
This mode is pretty darn spiffy as it packs in lots and lots of detail. The whole body of the tank is covered in machine guns, grates, bits of spare track, hatches and even equipment like hammers. A few extra paint apps could've really made these details sing but they do sort of get lost in that wonderful bright green. In a way this represents the overall feel of this figure as the realistic nature of the movie era toy is kind of at odds with the far out G2 styling that would perhaps better suit a chunkier or more cartoonish figure.
The tracks are nicely detailed too as they're also an important part of the look of his robot mode and as such are not your usual block of tank tread shaped plastic that awkwardly splits in half like you see on a lot of treaded Transformers. The treads have four small wheels that allow it to roll but its nothing special. The turret turns with a sturdy and satisfying click presumably to stop it from turning when it forms the robot backpack/scabbard.
This toy does a splendid job of minimising any robot mode kibble and unless you count the purple section at the front that becomes his arms there is none! Everything is nicely tucked away underneath the main body of the tank.
If one thing does let this mode down though it has to be the gun barrel, the soft plastic is misshapen causing it to droop or veer off but more on that later. Also one of the wheels has a little nubbin of plastic sticking out that stops the toy from rolling too well but I suspect that is just a problem with mine and it can be easily fixed with a file.
Overall the tank mode is very satisfying but the necessities of the robot mode mean it is stripped of all but the most basic of play features, a firing missile would've been nice but I accept that's not possible and its not exactly worse off for it I mean its a tank, it rolls and the turret swivels round what more do you really need? If anything that is a whole heap more than you'd get from your average car or jet Transformer.
The transformation is simple for the most part with everything pleasantly coming into place including some minor but well executed mech tech gimicks. there is some hindrance though as in order to get his head to pop up out of his chest you do need to apply a fair amount of force. For me this takes a lot of fun out of the figure as I don't like being rough with my toys, especially when they're fresh out the box as I tend to be quite delicate when transforming a toy for the first time. Fortunately I could anticipate this issue since I own Bludgeon so I wasn't so worried about causing any damage.
First impression of him in robot mode is that he looks super cool. Whoever designed this toy did a fantastic job of integrating the tank parts into the samurai armour, the turret becomes a sort of banner or standard, the rubber parts of the treads are put to great use as they hang off the shoulders and hips and even the robot parts have been styled to look tankish. I'm a tad unsure on the purple in this mode, its still the same gorgeous deep purple but it fails to stand out against the black and dark grey used for the torso, a brighter purple would've been a much better choice here. However the best looking part of the robot mode by far is that sexy, sexy head sculpt. His bucket helmet has great shape to it, his face is painted with a fantastic metallic purple and my goodness, that pout will make you weak at the knees. His face really is top notch with such handsome lips and cheekbones.
The main play feature of his robot mode is his swords, not just that he has swords but more in the way they are stored and deployed. Again this is another example of just how well the vehicle parts become robo-samurai parts. In a simple but very clever design choice his largest sword is stored in the gun barrel of his tank turret (hence no missile) with the muzzle end becoming the sword handle. The main mech tech gimmick grants access to his smaller sword housed in his banner/standard. The tank turret splits in half and a few gears pop out a little scabbard. Both the swords are kept on his hip and a small holder rises from his hip armour as a kind of automorph feature. The larger sword can even be gripped by both hands a feature not often seen in Transformers until fairly recently.
While the swords contribute some of the toys best bits they are also something of a double edged sword (Haha!) in that they also contribute to my main gripes about this toy and its mostly down to the type of soft plastic used. Sword problems start right off the bat as he comes packaged in robot mode and the swords are haphazardly slung into the packaging so that the way they are held in means that they come out the box pretty badly warped. This isn't so bad with the short sword but it is very noticeable on the longer one and is the reason that the gun barrel droops in tank mode. You can do your best to bend it back into shape yourself and keeping it stored down the barrel helps, not that its easy to get it in when its all bendy (snigger) so at the end of the day it will always be kinda bent. It can also be a bit awkward to get the big sword in his hands without getting the handle all scratched.
Despite those flaws this is overall a very good toy and not a bad choice for a Megatron re-deco. The Bludgeon toy he is based on was one of a few of the movie era toys that would fit seamlessly into your classics/generations collection, however because Bludgeon is overtly supposed to be skeletal samurai some of that is lost in translation to a Megatron toy. As much as this choice suits Megs it can sometimes feel that this is just Bludgeon with Megatron's head on his shoulders but I guess that speaks more of just how well the toy captured Bludgeons essence the first time around and considering there are not many voyager tank Transformers out there I think this mold was the best option available. The upcoming Combiner Wars figure would suit G2 Megatron to a T.
Marks out of ten for the following:
5- Simple enough both ways. Only let down by rigidity in some parts.
7- Very solid in vehicle mode but be delicate with soft plastic parts when transformed, they are his main fault.
8- He's a cool samurai robot with swords and is also a tank. Makes up for lack of vehicle features with robot ones.
8- I realise the bright G2 colours are not for everyone but I really enjoy their ridiculousness. His head also looks amazing. Just missing a G2 logo. Loses a point for looking a lot like Bludgeon.
8- Very little stops Megs from striking a variety of interesting poses, the dual handed sword grip is also a plus however some of his samurai armour can get in the way.
7- I got mine for a smidge over standard UK voyager price but this may vary depending on where you buy him so take my score with a pinch of salt.
8- He looks nice, he plays nice, has some interesting features and no huge flaws. You won't find anything extra if you already own another version of the mold but if you're looking for a more affordable G2 style contemporary figure he is worth it. If you're indifferent to that era he might not be worth owning 2.