Cliffbee.com: Classics Megatron (Tank) Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Tank



TANK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 15cm Width: 5.5cm

   A green tank with grey treads and a single grey cannon on the front of his turret, this version of Megatron harks back to G2 Megatron, but uses a much more tasteful green. The front and rear of the main body are painted light grey while there's some bronze paint on the front as well as on top of the turret. There's a single Decepticon logo stamped right at the front of the tank, rounding out a fairly straightforward but effective colour scheme.

   While it's not really a feature of the Classics line overall, this toy has quite a detailed sculpt. The moulded treads are no surprise but there's a lot of detail on the topside, the cannon is very detailed as are the bronze areas. The Classics are some of the more thoughtful toys we've seen for a while in vehicle mode, with toys deliberately trying to recapture the feel of originals - in Megatron's case I think the designer wanted to steer clear of the bright colours of G2, hence the focus on the sculpt.

   The play value here is fairly good, although I'm slightly surprised we don't have a projectile weapon. There are four grey wheels underneath which roll well, and are ridged for that noisy "heavy machinery" feel. The turret rotates through 360 - something neither G2 Megatron or Combat Hero Megatron featured. The cannon can lift up to about 40, any higher you'll start to pull the turret apart. There's a transparent red button on the top left of the turret which is non-functional in tank mode and on the right side, just opposite, Megatron has a spot for his robot mode handgun to sit. Okay, so the play value is nothing on the G2 Megatron - but this is a much smaller tank and frankly the colours are about nine times better.

   I've heard & read comments that Megatron's turret doesn't lock together properly, but on mine at least (and the one other I've handled), there's no problem. It took me a minute or so to get it all assembled properly, but once I'd worked that out it all fits together solidly. My only real criticisms of this tank relate to the turret, however. The red button is quite prominent, and does detract somewhat. I don't so much mind the side as the colour - surely green or dark grey would have been better options. The turret does stay together well but there are some fairly obvious seams on top, you can pick fairly easily that it forms from the robot arms.

   For me the flaws here are fairly minor - and this is the most realistic tank mode Megatron has had. The colours and detailing are good, the play value is good if not spectacular and finally we have a Megatron tank with movable turret. Conceptually, this is a long way ahead of the Mega sized Classics Megatron - which I can only describe as a wannabe nerf gun. An enjoyable tank mode with some nice touches and great detailing.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the rear and underside down to form his groin and legs. Separate the boots and flip out his feet. Turn the turret backwards, spilt and fold down to the sides to form arms, lock the shoulders into place. The head, which was hidden inside the turret, is now visible. Rotate the arms into position. Detach the handgun from behind his left forearm, fold out and place in his left hand.

   I should point out that Megatron comes misassembled. The feet are on the wrong legs, and while he looks fine in package - the feet are no trouble in the robot mode we see on the shelves, they don't fold away properly in tank mode. It's a simple enough matter to swap them over, thankfully.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 11cm

   The green which dominated the tank mode is far less prominent here. Megatron's arms, kneecaps and much of his chest are green while the upper chest, boots and feet are light grey while the thighs, groin,outer shins and head are all dark grey. The head is naturally a buckethead, the face silver and the eyes transparent red with a rather poor lightpipe. There are again bronze elements, including those from the front of the tank (now his chest) and some detailing on his shoulders. The Decepticon logo is now central on his chest. The colour scheme is again pretty good, although a lighter grey on his head would have worked better. The red plastic on his eyes makes more sense that the same plastic on that button, even if the lightpipe doesn't work. The darker green and loss of that awful purple camo make this a far more tasteful robot mode than the G2 version, and there's no dayglo orange like on the other Classic Megatron.

   Again the detailing is good here, although much of that is a carry over from the vehicle mode. The head has a comic book feel to it, which I suppose makes sense for a character whose tank incarnation appeared in the Marvel comics. Overall Megatron's robot mode looks pretty good, although his feet are a little spindly. Megatron has no right hand, instead he has a compound weapon (which I'll come back to) - while this isn't quite a feature we expect of Megatron, it does allude to the fusion cannon.

   Megatron's poseability is pretty good. His head and waist both turn, the shoulders swing and lift outwards. Both elbows rotate although only the left elbows bends since the gimmick attached to that red button is in the way. The hips are ball jointed with rotators just below, the knees bend while the feet and heelspurs are hinged. While the left arm's poseability isn't so good, the leg poseability is great, and Megatron is easy to stand in action poses.

   The compound weapon is a combination of a green shield formed from the central strip of the turret and the turret's cannon. The whole assembly can actually detach from the forearm (probably to prevent it breaking), but there's no real hand on the stump. The shield has a claw-like end, and you can pose it as a slashing weapon or a hand-cannon. When you press the red button, the entire assembly spins, and since it sits on a hinge, it can spin with his arm out in front (like a chopper rotor) or out to the side allowing the claw to form a slashing weapon. While static both configurations look odd, but in motion they work quite well. It'll keep spinning as you keep depressing the button, making a fun gimmick. It's by no means the best gimmick we've seen, but at least it works. To be honest I would have preferred an actual hand, but this gimmick is still interesting.

   A good robot mode despite the odd gimmick and a poor lightpipe. The colours work, the tribute works and improves on the idea of Megatron as a green tank. The tank mode _is_ better than this robot mode visually, but the strong poseability makes this a more playable mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. This toy was sold exclusively with a deluxe Optimus Prime toy in a DVD pack. Universe Special Edition Megaton is a repaint of this toy.


OVERALL

   The better of the two toys in his DVD pack, Megatron improves on the tank concept he first tried in G2. G2 actually gave us three Megatron toys, but none quite nailed down the menace of the G1 toy. This sensibly coloured tank actually achieves that. Both modes are detailed, the play value is pretty good overall, even the unusual gimmick works, and I'm happy it doesn't get in the way of turret movement. Of course a tank suits Megatron better than a nerf gun, which makes this the better Classic Megatron in my opinion. Unfortunately he's weighed down by the rather mediocre Optimus Prime toy in the DVD pack, but on his own I give Megatron 7.5/10

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