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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Osku's review of: Megatron

Name: Megatron
Allegiance: Predacon
Function: Predacon Commander
Sub-Group: NA
"The Earth is mine!"

The brilliant and evil leader of the Predacons, Megatron will destroy anything and anyone in order to get what he wants. And what he wants on Earth is the energy contained in the planet. But Megatron has no interest in sharing - he'll conquer the planet and take it all for himself. He has survived numerous battles and is an excellent fighter - making him a deadly enemy. His many victories have helped him gain the power of a six-step change skill.

Megatron is a rather unique mold among Transformers toys. When I first saw pictures of him, I was a bit surprised, because the character didn't look very "Transformer-like" to me. I can't quite remember why. Perhaps I wasn't used to the leaner design, as I wasn't familiar with smaller Beast Wars toys back then.

A little note before starting the review. Megatron was originally released in Japan as Gigatron, who transformed into six modes. Later a slightly remolded and recoloured version of the toy, called Devil Gigatron, was released. The changes to the mold allowed Devil Gigatron to transform into ten(!) different modes. As Hasbro imported the toys, it was decided to use Devil Gigatron's mold for both Megatron and later the Galvatron (Devil Gigatron) recolour. So, even if instructions don't show it, Megatron can actually transform into ten different modes. Just use Galvatron's instructions.

Alternate Mode:
Being a Predacon, there are hints of organics in his mold, but, despite Megatron having five animal alternate modes versus four vehicle modes, Megatron's appearance seems more mechanical than his Predacon underlings.

Gargoyle Mode:
The robot hands become the feet, the wings are opened, and the weapons placed on the back. The feet then rotate to the back, and the muzzle flips over the robot face. You now have Megatron's gargoyle mode, which isn't very good.

The biggest problem is that it looks mistransformed, as the gargoyle muzzle doesn't properly cover the robot head. I had no idea what it was supposed to be until I read the instructions. After that I could find the "claws" from the wings, and I realised how it was supposed to be posed. To be fair, it's not quite as bad as it looks in the picture, but I had trouble getting a good shot of this mode.

Dragon Mode:
Probably my favourite alt mode. The gargoyle sort of stands up, the robot feet are rotated forward to reveal two well detailed dragon heads, and the so far useless part placed on the back becomes a tail. The play value aspect of the gargoyle mode, flying & missile launchers, is still there. This modeís proportions are nice, and you can actually see what this mode is supposed to be: A mighty, two-headed dragon monster.

The colour scheme works again well, and I'm really satisfied with the details on the dragon heads. Kudos!

Jet Mode:
There's not much to say about the jet mode that you can't see from the picture. This mode is a futuristic, streamlined fighter plane, and, as usual, missile launchers add play value.

The detail heavy and bright parts are on the under side, and the black and purple colours are very dominating. Good looking mode, but the slightly visible "dragon teeth" look a bit silly.

Transport Mode:
While writing this review, I realised that Galaxy Force's Master Megatron isn't the first "Batmobile" Megatron. This is kind of a disappointment after two strong modes. I noticed it helps if you forget the stupid "transport" name for this mode, and think of it as a futuristic, fast land vehicle.

It's not a bad mode, but it isn't good either. The design is very streamlined and flashy, perhaps too flashy. The front of the "car" would look good otherwise, but itís too thin, and the long front spoils it. On the back, there's too much kibble that looks out of place, and the fact that the plastic wheels donít roll very well doesn't help either.

Claw Mode:
I think of this mode as a high tech battle glove, with lots of protective plates and built-in weaponry. The colours are, at the same time, chaotic and organized. Note: I like to close/fold the wings as, in my opinion, the claw looks better that way. I think the claw is supposed to be able to fly if the wings are opened. The only complaint I have is that the "thumb" is in the middle of "palm".

I have to admit to liking this mode a lot. It was something I didn't expect from the toy, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it looks. If I understand correctly, some people hate this mode with a passion, as it is "ridiculous". Not for everyone's taste, I guess.

Griffin Mode:
Griffin is the first mode not shown in Megatron's instructions, and there's not much to complain about with this one. The mode looks balanced and strong, and it's not impossible to think that it could actually be airborne. The colour scheme works, and the spear on the back fits the mode. The black head looks good, with eyes made of transparent red.

If I remember correct, the griffin is a mythical beast, a mix of lion and eagle. I have trouble seeing any sign of either of those animals. Pegasus would be a better name for this mold, but I guess they wanted to name it after a predator.

Flying Dragon Mode:
I don't have much to say that can't be seen from the picture. As an idea, the flying dragon mode is similar to gargoyle mode. The difference is that this looks simple and good from the front, but the back side is full of kibble. This was the mode that made me realise how much the detailed wings add to Megatron's appearance.

In short, simple and effective mode. Unfortunately, there's hardly any articulation in this mode.

Elephant Mode:
Elephant mode is propably another mode you either love or hate. I admit almost giggling while transforming Megatron into his most bizarre animal mode. When the transformation is complete, it is possible to see elephant shape; the wings become the ears, the weapons become tusks, and the head is easy to recognize.

However, the problems are numerous. The colour scheme is awful for this mode, the main body is pitifully small compared to the head, and the robot head is partly visible. The worst thing is that, for some reason, I'm reminded of Blot (G1 terrorcon), and that's a really bad sign when talking about toys.

On the plus side, you can launch the tusks/missiles easily.

Boat Mode:
It seems the designers wanted to give Megatron a vehicle mode for air, land and water. The jet is good, the transport, decent, but the boat seems forced.

I can sort of imagine this boat being able to float. With the thrusters, it's got a sort of speed boat look, but that's about it. There's just too much kibble, and the colours don't fit the mode. Probably the most useless mode.

Robot Mode:
My favourite mode, and probably the most balanced mode. The robot's humanoid proportions are good, but Megatron still looks clearly alien. The head turns freely, the hands and legs allow many different poses, and the wings on the back can be closed or opened. The weapons can be used as two swords or connected to make a battle staff.

There are different kinds of plastics used for the mold and lots of sculpted details. The chest, especially, looks impressive, with the chrome paint and the Predacon symbol. For once Hasbro also shows those details with good use of colours. I counted 11 different colours; there were 5 for the head alone, which is rather impressive in my opinion. The classic Decepticon/Predacon black and purple colour scheme, with a touch of red and copper(?), works well.

My only complaints are the chipping chrome paint, and the light purple parts that were left without paint details. Still, one of my favourites.

Transformation: 8 - Impossible without instructions, and I mean Galvatron's instructions. Hours of fun or frustration, depending on whether you happen to like complicated multichangers. Not for very young children, though.
Durability: 8 - Some of the chrome paint has chipped; otherwise, no problems.
Fun: 9 - In my opinion, one of the greatest molds. Transforming is the gimmick that keeps me interested in Transformers toys.
Price: 9 - This toy seems to be pretty common. You can find find boxed ones for 15-20 dollars, which is a fair price. Sometimes, loose ones go for dirt cheap.
Summary: 8 - Excellent toy, but the designers could have left some modes (elephant, transport, boat) out and concentrate more on the remaining ones. Chipping paint is a minus, as well. I'd recommend checking out the Galvatron colour scheme if you happen to like it more.

 
 
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