Cliffbee.com: Transmetal II Megatron Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




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



DRAGON MODE
Height: 25cm Length: 35cm Width: 32cm
Exact dimensions will vary according to pose

   A large red dragon with yellow on his chest and transparent orange wings with some purple. Megatron stands upright and for the most part this is what you'd call a European dragon. There is extensive red chrome on his head, neck, belly and the back of his wings. Megatron's tail is composed of a soft yellow plastic, along with the underside of the neck. This is an excellent colour scheme - the extensive chrome really makes Megatron look great. The size also helps, since it gives him room for all the chrome.

   While this is mostly a European dragon there are some Chinese elements here and there, such as tails hanging off his cheeks. The sculpt is detailed and asymmetrical as you'd expect of a Transmetal II. The wings are quite detailed, with hollow sections, hooks and barbs and a mix of scales and mechanical lines. The claws are mostly organic, save for those on his right foot. The front legs are vestigial (since he's bipedal) with black claws.

   There's something that just fits about a big red dragon being the leader of the Predacons - at least in the context of European dragons which have usually been portrayed as monsters that like to eat villagers, breathe fire and all that fun stuff. It's a new form for the character but feels appropriate.

   There are two missile launchers hidden in this dragon - the first is in his mouth and the second on the base of the tail. The tail one won't do much other than fire at his back in this mode, but if you open the mouth Megatron breathes a missile (if one is loaded). The jaws are geared to open together, which is nice. There's a slider on his back which allows the wings to contract or open - they're really meant to be out in dragon mode, but the slider will happily move back and forth for a flying effect. The wings can actually fold back, I guess you can position them where ever feels most natural. There's another slider at the base of his neck, which causes the segmented neck to straighten (Megatron hunches by default). This one's not as successful but the idea is nice. The forelimbs are on ball joints with hinged elbows while the legs themselves have two rotators per hip and some ankle movement.

   There's a somewhat half-baked dragster mode, which isn't much more than Megatron on his belly. The slider on his neck can lock, causing the head to stay looking forward rather than sagging on the table. The legs fold up while wheels fold out from within his heels. The missile launcher at the base of the tail can now be used, although it has to clear a lot of dragster before it'll hit anything.

   A great dragon mode, and even if much of the coolness comes down to chrome, the fact is that the dragon is quite detailed and poseable. The gimmicks work reasonably well - probably not as well as I'd want of a marquee toy like this, but the fact is that the bling factor is enough to make Megatron's dragon mode a great centrepiece of the line.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Kinda difficult to describe since the torso contorts on itself. The legs stay as legs, the head becomes one arm and the belly the other. The wings and tail end up as a backpack, along with the foreclaws. The transformation of the torso is actually quite clever although the legs are rather simple.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 23cm Width: 18cm

   Again predominantly red, with the solid red dominating his body, the chrome now on his arms and the wings which sit folded up on his back. Megatron's head is black with a white-toothed grimace and green eyes. The right arm has the belly of the beast mode (yes I know...) as a shield while the neck and head of the dragon form the left arm. There's a transparent orange helmet over his head, matching the wingtips as well as a dome on his chest. The profusion of red doesn't look as nice now, since the chrome is used sparingly.

   Megatron's arms are asymmetrical, but the rest of the asymmetry here is quite subtle - as is most of the sculpting actually, so you don't notice it unless you look. The jet boosters sit on the outsides of his knees, giving Megatron one of many distinctive features. The cape formed from his wings, dragon-head-arm and dome on his chest are all quite distinctive. The beast head is actually on the wrong side compared to the original version of this character - I guess it moved through his body as a Transmetal.

   To be honest the cape is kibble, but it looks very cool, so I'm not at all worried. The dragon tail hanging behind his head bothers me though, since it prevents his head from moving. I suppose we could classify the beast head as kibble but since the jaw's still able to open and close, it's a nice feature at the same time. If you look inside the little dome on his chest there's a driver's cabin which moves around to keep the driver upright. This is really for the dragster mode but is more prevalent here.

   Megatron's poseability is good, and it's not hampered by his backpack. The ankles and knees are hinged while the hips have two planes of rotation. The right arm has ball joints at the shoulder and elbows while the left shoulder has both a hinge and a swivel. The flexible neck of the dragon can still be moved around, although just as in beast mode, posing usually relies on you holding it in place. The missile launcher inside the mouth can be used, as can that at the base of his tail - which is now above his helmet.

   On the whole this robot mode disappoints me. The cape looks nice and the dragon head arm works okay (although it's not as versatile as I'd like). But there's something missing. The lack of chrome makes it a poor cousin of the beast mode in a way - and I get the feeling that the designer worried about that mode first and this one second. It's still a decent robot mode really, but it just feels like the poor cousin.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although RiD's Cryotek is a US Target exclusive repaint.

OVERALL

   A great dragon mode with oodles of chrome and the detailing you'd expect of a Transmetal II. While his transformation is quite clever the robot mode isn't as good as the dragon mode. While the robot mode is by no means bad, it's obvious where the designer placed emphasis. The chrome on mine (one wing specifically) is flaking, and this bothers me more than any other flaws. On the whole, this is a good toy - the dragon mode is fantastic, so I'd recommend Megatron to any BW fans - 8.5/10

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