Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Car, Cybertronian Jet
Thanks to Pulse for donating Megatron for this review
Height: 10cm Length: 33cm Width: 24.5cm
A dark grey dragster like vehicle with light grey front fenders, soft purple plastic on the nose and fenders amongst other areas, Megatron also sports some menthol green, amber and metallic pink here and there. The colours are a bit of an eclectic mix, but for the most part the dark grey dominates, with everything else being detail. There are black plastic tyres with silver painted hubcaps while the windshield, two turbines at the back on either side of the engineblock and two missiles sticking out from the front of the engineblock are composed of a very pale blue transparent plastic. There's a large Decepticon logo just behind the windshield (on the roof), painted purple with white relief. I've heard this described as a bad colour scheme, and while I wouldn't say the combination is a clever choice, the proliferation of grey means it's not garish. Nothing clashes against the grey backdrop, but I do feel that some better colour choices could have made this a great colour scheme (maybe some reds and blues).
While I've described this as a dragster, there's clear inspiration from the Batmobile here. The curved front fenders, the pointed airdam and the huge back tyres all point to this. The colours aren't too Batmobile like - other than the basic dark grey - which does allow Megatron to be Megatron. The cockpit is small and slopes forward, with that engineblock behind it. On either side of the engineblock are two dark grey winglets, which I guess you would call a spoiler, collectively. There are soft purple plastic panels which hang below these winglets, which float without being able to clip or click into place. While they're not prominent, I would have liked to see some effort put into securing what is effectively robot mode kibble. Other than parts of the front fenders, all of the purple pieces are composed of a soft plastic, which is useful since most of the purple pieces are slender and pointed - the soft plastic makes Megatron more durable.
There's not all that much play value here, certainly not for a leader class figure. The wheels roll fairly well, the cockpit does not open. There's only one Planet Key gimmick, which is a slight disappointment. The key plugs into a slot behind the roof - which is built into a metallic blue engine-sculpted block. Doing so causes the turbines to spring up and out about an inch. The amber fans at the front of the turbines will spin rapidly as the turbines lift, which is a really quite impressive. If you have installed two AAA batteries, a fairly generic sound is also produced. The missiles are fired via two green triggers on top of the engineblock, and will fire across the room without any trouble. They're not secured as well as I'd like - they sometimes randomly fire on their own. Which is annoying when they can fire so far. Incidentally, Megatron's transparent blue Planet Key (code: ld7d) is unique, with a gunmetal frame, a raised Decepticon logo which is painted purple and small gunmetal winglets on either side. It's quite nicely done, although the logo ends up facing backwards, right next to a forward-facing logo, when in the slot on the car, which is a little muddled.
While this is a fairly simple car for the size, Megatron does look fairly good. The colours could be better, but the dominance of the dark grey saves the day here, the Batmobile stylings work quite well and the layout is quite focused, other than those hidden panels floating underneath his spoiler. While I would have liked more play value, the Planet Key gimmick we do have here is impressive and the missiles fire well.
TRANSFORMATION TO JET MODE
Fold up the purple points on the outside of the front fenders. Split the airdam and unclip the fenders, swinging the airdam halves, fenders and front tyres back, clipping the fenders into the centre holes on the rear wheels. Fold down the panels on either side of the cockpit. A contender for the Intermediate Mode Hall Of Fame (if there was one), this is a really simple transformation for a leader class toy. To be fair, the end result is pretty good. Excuse me while I fetch that missile...
Height: 10cm Length: 30cm Width: 28.5cm
The colours are the same, and much of this is the car. The nose is a soft purple cone which was previously tucked away behind the airdam, while there's an amber section behind this, and behind that cockpit. The wings are simply the fenders swung back, but the airdam halves work really well as wingtips. The spoiler winglets work as tailwings and there are two grey fins on the engineblock which are the tainfins.
The play value is essentially the same as in car mode - with the turbine gimmick and the missile launchers again being prominent. There are small transparent wheels underneath the amber section at the front, but the car tyres are actually fixed now, so the rear half will slide on the table. There are two more key slots exposed now - on what was the insides of the front fenders - but the gimmicks are really for robot mode.
While this is very much an intermediate mode, it works quite well. This jet looks as much like a jet as the dragster looks like a dragster. The design of the wings is quite clever and the cockpit looks like a cockpit. As much as this is a half-mode, it's a well conceived one, and is just as valid as the other modes.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Unclip the wings, unclip the rear fenders and swing back - you're actually swinging the robot groin down. Split the nose, slide in the canopy. Fold down the front to form his chest, flipping out the head as you go. Flip up his horns, rotate the arms down into position. Fold back the soft purple nosecone halves to reveal his fists. Swing the legs down into position, clip the purple panels onto the wheels, forming shinplates - which will also bring the feet into position. Swing the wings/front fenders down onto his back. There are a few positions you can use, although they don't actually clip into place. The Hasbro pictures (which I have used above) suggest you fold them down with the top of fenders facing back, but forward can also be done.
Height: 26.5cm Width: 16cm (ignoring the backpack, which can be repositioned)
Megatron's grey is still prominent, if not dominant. His chest and thighs are grey while the arms are orange with some menthol green. His shins are purple and grey, the feet black. His head is grey6 with a white face, purple horns and transparent pale blue eyes with exceptional lightpiping. The Decepticon logo is now on his chest, and looks really good there. The comments I've heard about Megatron having a bad colour scheme are a little more justified now. There's not as much grey, and while he's still not garish, the colour scheme here is anything but unified. This robot mode really needed to lose two colours. The upside is that the detailing is great, with a detailed face and lots of moulded detailing on his chest, shins and shoulders, with very well sculpted fingers.
Megatron's bodyshape is generally pretty good, but there are some caveats. The arms, torso and head are well formed while the way the shinplates cover the big rear wheels is quite clever. I'm not really happy with the big, flat feet, although he manages to more or less get away with those. The fenders hanging off his back are pure kibble, and while they are hidden, they do hang somewhat crudely. The purple nosecone halves on the back of his wrists are also kibble, although they do integrate a lot better.
There are three slots for the key now - and all are on his back. The turbines _do_ work, but there's no real point now - and the missile launchers merely fire straight up. The fender slots come into play now. The left side fender releases a purple weapon - which a serrated handheld club that's not very impressive. The right side opens to reveal a handheld chaingun - the front of which is actually the wheel. It unfolds and fits into either hand, and turning the handle causes the wheel to spin. While it's not as cool as Rhinox's, it's still a pretty nice weapon, and is very creative. For a toy of this size, I am not especially happy with the weaponry. Yes, the chain-gun is cool, but the other weapon is very lazy, and really feels like an afterthought. The other reason I'm disappointed is that the missile launcher - which could easily have been detachable as a handheld weapon, just sits on his back now.
Megatron's articulation is pretty good, although there are some issues. His head turns about 10° each way, while the waist moves a little more before it hits the electronics block (which is well integrated otherwise). His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows have two hinges each and are supported by rotators just below the shoulderpads. His wrists also rotate. The hips swing and lift out to the sides, although you won't be able to swing the legs back - again the electronics block is in the way. The knees have hinges and rotators while the ankles are hinged in _two_ directions, which is impressive. I find that I need to click his feet forward to allow his ankles to remain in place (and the toy to stand). This also allows the ankles to pose, although some poses are out. The fenders on the back don't really get in the way - the electronics block is the main limitation. Despite the restrictions, this is still a poseable robot mode.
A decent robot mode, although the colours are a little too busy. The chain-gun and poseability provide some nice play value, even if the missile launcher is now pointless and the other Planet Key liberated weapon is a non-event. The detail on his face and the excellent lightpipe really help make this a good display piece - the chain gun helps, as well as helping play value. With better colours this could have been a fantastic display piece. Megatron's robot mode is still pretty good, but held back by the colours and electronics.
None that I'm aware of, although Galvatron is a black and silver repaint - with a more focused colour scheme.
A nice toy, but Megatron falls short of what I would hope out of a leader toy. Sure, the robot mode looks good and the Batmobile car mode is nice, but the electronics are pointless, as is the bladed club weapon. The chain gun, lightpipe and poseability are all worthwhile features on a good robot mode, but the poseability has some annoying issues. The jet mode is pretty good - and quite focused - for what is essentially an intermediate mode, and this is possibly the saving grace for an otherwise simple leader sized toy. I certainly don't dislike Megatron, but in terms of complexity and cleverness, he's at the level I would expect of an Ultra - 6/10