MegatronHeight: 18cm to top of head, 20.5cm to top of wings.
Articulation: 17 points total: Universal joint shoulders, pre-elbow swivel, ratcheted elbows, universal joint hips, thigh swivel, hinged knee, ball joint neck.
Colors: Molded grey, purple, clear green, black, fluorescent orange; Painted purple, black, grey, gold, Decepticon Purple, silver.
Release Data: Released October 2006 at a suggested retail price of $19.99. This item is still widely available as of this review.
Gallery: 18 images.
Will wonders never cease? Megatron has not transformed into a gun since 1984, and while Japan saw that toy reissued no fewer than three separate times, Hasbro never could manage to get that toy to pass safety regulations in North America. It had been long believed that no sort of gun form would be feasible for a modern Megatron, since many kinds of gun toys seem so undesireable these days by all those anti-child-endangerment types. The solution to this was simple and clever: Make Megatron not a realistic gun, but something more akin to Nerf (also owned by Hasbro, as I recall). Add a few flashy colors and the obligatory orange barrel cap, and you have a recipe for success!
This certainly could not be mistaken for anybody but Megatron. On the other hand, many of the details that make it seem familiar as Megatron are also not consistant with Megatron's original appearance. While still essentially just a big square block, his chest shape is very different, not to mention having more surface detailing. This Megatron has no red on the body, instead using large areas of purple in the torso, arms and legs. The helmet is shaped correctly, but the face doesn't really look right, plus the eyes are green rather than yellow. And yet, everything still works together in a perfectly Megatron kind of way so that you don't really see the changes so much as you see a properly represented Megatron. Besides, they basically built the toy to do the model sheet pose - shoulders back, crotch thrust slightly forward, and legs drawn slightly back. It's really the only simple stance it balances well in. Speaking of balancing, that's a slight issue. See, Megatron's Mister Fusion Cannon is large and heavy, and it kind of throws off the center of gravity, so that the figure tilts to its right most of the time. Further, the cannon is mounted to the back of Megatron's right arm. It's also permanently attached, so it can't be removed for improved balance, or to be reoriented for a more effective firing pose. As it is, the whole forearm has to be turned upside down to do the correct firing pose. Were the cannon able to detach and connect to a different point on the arm, this could have been easly avoided. Megatron's wings are of course just the shell of the gun mode. The interior surface is all clear green, with techy details molded in, but they're pretty hard to see. A good paint wash would have really helped bring them out. It was a good compromise to avoid the gun mode destroying the appearance and stability of the robot mode. Plus it looks like some screwdriver surgery could get rid of them if they really bug you that much.
The transformation between gun and robot in either direction is a matter of extreme contortionism, where almost no part remains in the same relative position. It's difficult the first couple times to do based on intuition, so unless you're really into managing all by yourself, consultation with the instructions is really recommended until you get the sequence down.
Anyhow, Megatron is almost everything I've ever wanted in a toy gun: Just the right level of fake to look futurey, but not enough to be glaringly a toy, aside from the orange safety caps, of course. He's not electronic, the only moving part is a clicker mechanism in the trigger, and just the right amount of mass to be able to leave a mark in the back of somebody's head. The only drawback here is an expected one, and very minimal. Namely, it's just a hair too small for an adult hand. This isn't to say that an adult can't hold it just fine, in fact I think Hasbro probably tried to make it this way where it's just possible to hold comfortably. But this is certainly made for a hand a bit smaller than my own. The grip doesn't quite make it all the way out of my hand, nor can the clicker reset after each pull of the trigger. Like I said, this is an exceedingly minor complaint, and really the only thing that's wrong with the gun mode.
I'm actually quite impressed with this. For one thing, almost every robot mode joint is hidden, save for a single elbow joint visible above the hammer, but even that really doesn't stand out. In fact, if not for the visible Decepticon emblems, a person might not immediately recognize that this would transform in the first place. At least not until they go to club somebody with it and pop the shell/wings open. Setting that aside, the gun mode is an impressive engineering job which basically involves one arm and one leg each going to one end of the gun. Between that and the shell, the shape gets simply properly filled in, and nothing more. No extraneous pieces left anywhere because they had no place to go. It's all very elegant and natural.
You've gotta hand it to Hasbro, they really have a talent for pulling stuff out of left field. Now me, I'd have been just fine with a Classics Megatron based on the G2 tank, sort of what the two pack version is. The gun mode is totally gravy. This is a solid toy, perhaps wasted on the pathetic loser that is G1 Megatron, but then, he's the only Megatron dumb enough to turn into something that requires another Transformer to be of any use. Anyhow, character links aside, this toy is surprisingly good, given the history I've seen of things that transform into guns. It easily deserves its rating of Excellent.
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