Cliffbee.com: Beast Wars Megatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




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



T-REX MODE
Height: 19cm Length: 27.5cm Width: 9cm

   A lilac T-rex with green paint along his back and tail, fading to bare lilac plastic on the sides. Megatron has white teeth and white claws on his larger hindlegs. Unlike G1 Grimlock, Megatron isn't a tail-dragger, using his tail as a counterbalance. He has small red eyes and a yellow underbelly, but the paint job is quite simple. This still works, mind you, since the reptilian skin is well sculpted, and the major aspects like the teeth haven't been neglected. We'll never know what colour T-rex was, so I'll give Megatron the benefit of the doubt and say that he's realistic enough.

   A tribute to G1 in name only, but this is a beast mode that's worthy of a tribute. The anatomy is largely correct and the detail good - aspects I've already touched on. There are very few smooth surfaces - everything has some sort of detail, from skin folds to tiny spines along the back. The front limbs are vestigial, as they should be, with small claws that don't look too useful (nor should they be).

   The poseability is as good as one could realistically expect it to be - the forelimbs are on restricted ball joints while the hips and knees move on the rear legs. The leg posing is limited since he has to balance on two legs, but walking poses can be achieved. The mouth opens, although the upper jaw moves rather than the lower (at least most of the head goes with it, giving a fairly realistic effect). The red tongue is actually a water bladder - if you've filled it he'll shoot water when you open the mouth. I like this gimmick, since it provides some play value without forcing itself on you, and without asking the Dinosaur mode to make compromises.

   While this beast mode is a little simple for an ultra, it represents the first ever ultra sized toy (way back when Hasbro standardised the toy classes), and betters many BW mega toys. Megatron is a decent T-rex with enough play value to keep me happy. The detailed sculpt is probably the highlight here, and while by modern standards that's not too much to get excited about, at the time this was a leap for animal Transformers.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fairly complex and there are enough rotations that I'm not going to bother describing it. The legs become... legs, with heelspurs folding out. The main body of the dinosaur opens out to reveal the torso and head, while the tail reveals the left arm and the head becomes the right arm. The main body plates end up on his back. It's a satisfying transformation, and an unusual one, which is nice.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 19cm

   The lilac is still the main colour, although it's no longer the only thing happening. Megatron's chest and thighs are black while the face, left arm and groin are "Decepticon" purple. The boots, shoulders, right arm and left hand (well, what he has instead) are purple, with some of the green paint on the arms. Megatron has a silver buckethead (like that of his G1 namesake), with red eyes and an open mouth, revealing white teeth through his scowl. There's a black mutant head - and as in most cases, I'd ignore it. The colours pretty much anchor this figure as a bad guy - which makes sinse. They work quite well, despite being a little mixed.

   Megatron has more beast kibble than most BW toys, which is almost a defining feature of this toy. The right arm is the dinosaur head while the left arm ends in a claw formed form the tip of the tail. While these features are deliberate design choices, many are disappointed that Megatron has no hands. I'm one of them - and I don't see why the claw couldn't have detached from an actual fist. The boots are quite obviously the beast feet, and along with the arms contrast sharply with the robotic torso and head. The latter have rounded lines but are distinct from the T-rex skin. The panels on his back are probably the worst of Megatron's kibble since they sit there without contributing, unlike the arms.

   There are three different gimmicks here - so while Megatron lacks hands there's still things for him to do. The water squirter is now in his right arm, while the claw in his left arm has an extending mechanism - you can pull back on a black slider on his elbow to extend the claw (which also closes). It doesn't have enough strength to grasp say a rubber ducky, but looks good. A friend of mine actually bought a rubber ducky for his Megatron, by the way. The third gimmick, and in my opinion the best, relates to the beast hipplates which sit on the outsides of his thighs. They're actually missile launchers, with black grappling-hook style projectiles. The launchers are quite powerful, which is good but can get annoying since the triggers are on the outsides of the plates (and easy to accidentally access - leaving you to retrieve a missile). As an aside, it's actually possible to remove the tongue as a standalone water-shooter, although this is intended to make the water bladder easier to fill.

   Megatron's poseability is pretty good, even if the arms are somewhat limited by their unusual nature. The head and hips are ball jointed while the shoulders and hipplates rotate. The beast head-arm can twist, while both elbows are hinged. The knees are hinge with rotators, allowing good leg articulation. The heelspurs give Megatron stability, while his large footprints allow for some reasonably dynamic poses. The arms are a little limited by their defining features, but are poseable enough to make sure their gimmicks are useful.

   While the gimmicks are quite novel, the unusual arms tend to dominate Megatron's robot mode - so if you don't like them, or resent his lack of fists, this robot mode will be limited. The poseability was great for the time - and is still better than many Ultras since, which is a plus. I appreciate the gimmicks but really wish Megatron has at least one hand. It's still a fairly good robot mode, but far from a great one.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although T-Wrecks from Beast Machines is a repaint of Megatron.

OVERALL

   An inventive toy, Megatron has some great aspects and at the time represented an advance in the standard of Transformers. The robot mode is held back by some unusual design choices, the beast mode is simple yet still quite good. His transformation is novel, rounding out a worthwhile toy. While he's by no means fantastic, Megatron is a decent toy and being so central to the Beast Wars storyline, is a must for BW fans regardless - 6.5/10

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