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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's review of: Cybertron Galvatron

Name: Galvatron
Group: Decepticon

As has been the trend since Robots in Disguise, the Megatron toy of the line is systematically repainted and renamed "Galvatron". And, as is also the trend, the repaint is more visually pleasing than the initial offering. Unlike Cybertron Megatron, who's painted up like a rainbow sans all the happy colors, Galvatron uses the sure-sell color scheme of silver and black with touches of another color.

And it works! I picked the toy up on a whim after seeing it in the local store and being enchanted by the "it looks a lot better in person than it does in the pictures" spell. I'm quite happy with it, as it's a fun toy without being an eyesore.

Alternate modes:
Galvatron has two alternate modes: a jet, and the Batmobile. I usually stick to the Transformers that turn into real things (non-robotic animals, Alternators, etc), but I've taken a shine to Galvatron. Unlike other vintage character remade with "Cybertronian" modes, my principal affinity for Galvatron's alternate modes is due to them just being fun to play with. The car mode actually rolls well across the floor, and the jet mode is everything it should be: big, pointy, intimidating, and having missiles. That's the jewel of the alternate modes: even if they don't fire the imagination or justify themselves by being useful disguises, they're still fun to roll around the room.

Robot mode:
The meat of this toy is in the robot mode. After a much more complicated transformation than what one would assume, Galvatron becomes quite an impressive robot. Unlike all the other Leader/Super class toys, Galvatron does not have a trailer to combine with, nor is an up-scaled Ultra. Given that, Galvatron is the first of the $40 class Transformers of recent years to actually have a $40 robot mode. He's articulated, he's detailed, he has gimmicks, and he's big: about a head shorter than a Masterpiece Prime.

Of course, sheer size is not the only notable feature. He's very well articulated, and can muster some snazzy poses. The only problem with Galvatron as a body model is that his feet lack... conviction: the toy tends to wobble a bit, but as long as you've transformed the back correctly, that's all it will do (as opposed to being flat-out unbalanced).

The other things to mention are the weapons. Galvatron comes with two removable weapons, and a third fixated in his back for his vehicle modes. Unlike the typical, boring missle launcher/gun, Galvatron has a chain-gun with a spinning barrel (geared to a crank on the top). This little gun is a lot more fun to fiddle with than what the pictures hint at. If it had been made a little smaller, Rhinox would finally have his chain-gun "of doom", albeit retroactively and on a different toy.

The other adjustable weapon is a large, wrist-mounted claw. The back of the box says that it has something to do with Unicron, but I haven't watched a lick of the show to know what the reference means. But, I'm happy anyway: while it may not be the most practical of weapons to wield, it sure does look cool!

Also, there are the missile launchers mounted on Galvatron's back. I would have much preferred that these were detachable, hand-held weapons as per Galvatron's others, but they're part and parcel of the sound/light box gimmick built into the back, so they can't be easily removed. It would've been nifty to have a Decepticon leader with a surplus arsenal, but I suppose the chain-gun and Uni-claw are enough.

What I really like about this fellow is that he's not redundant. There's not a Megatron/Galvatron toy this large (excluding the ballooned Ultra toys from Energon), nor is there one that's this well detailed/articulated. It really is a new offering in a very stylish and fun package. He makes for a great centerpiece of a toy shelf, even for those of us who explicitly choose to display little.

A short note on the combining ability with Leo/Nemesis Breaker: Visually, it's certainly very interesting to have an otherwise symmetrical robot with a big cat arm, but Galvatron's ankles aren't ratchet joints, so the whole contraption is quite tricky to balance.

Transformation: 7. It's pretty complicated for such a simple transformation scheme, and that keeps it on par for a $40 action figure/puzzle. A few points off for feet without ratchets in them (which makes the whole thing a bit unsteady.)
Durability: 10. Nothing on this thing should break, bend, or be easily battered.
Fun: 9. I like the massive robot mode. The compatibility of both the car and jet modes really save them both: if Galvatron had only one alternate mode, the whole thing would feel a bit cheap. As it stands, he's pretty versatile.
Price: 7. $40 was hard for me to cough up for something that doesn't turn into anything realistic, but I've ultimately been happy with it.
Overall: 8. It's a great mold, and the color scheme really sends it leaps and bounds past the Megatron version. It's well articulated and has plenty of fun gimmicks and entertaining alternate modes, so he's everything a Transformer toy needs to be for both kids and collectors. However, he does take up space and costs a good chunk of change, so it's not going to be for everyone. In this instance though (unlike, say, Jetfire), getting the smaller Legends version is definitely not the same experience. Plot accordingly...
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