Cliffbee.com: eHobby Megaplex Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Megaplex
Series: e-Hobby exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Decoy
Alternate Mode: Walther P-38 handgun



GUN MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 18cm Width: 3cm

   A grey life-sized handgun with a black handle, Megaplex is essentially a reissue of the limited Japanese variant known as Goodbye Megatron. As a result he's remarkably similar to the iconic Decepticon leader. Mind you, this makes sense, since when the character of Megaplex was first conceived he was specifically written as a decoy for Megatron. At any rate, much of the gun is grey, there's a black attachment point on top of the gun, towards the rear. The front of the handle is grey, and the bottom of the handle is silver die-cast metal. The silver stickers and chrome on the body of Megatron''s gun mode are absent here - but otherwise Megaplex's gun mode is identical to his leader. It's quite realistic, too, other than the Decepticon symbols on the sides.

   As I said, it's life-sized - you can hold Megaplex in your hand. He even has a hammer moulded onto the back, a hammer locking mechanism on the left side just in front of the hammer and a sight on the top just in front of the hammer. There's also a safety on the left above the trigger. Of course, none of this is active, but the detail in the mould is good. As with all the recent Japanese versions of this mould, Megaplex can actually fire pellets - and while Megatron's are red, Megaplex comes with blue pellets - that way you know who shot you, I guess.

   There's play value here, though. The trigger, which is inside a trigger guard can be pulled back and clicks. The pellets will fire about 6 metres, there's a hole on top (above the trigger) into which these pellets can be inserted, one at a time. I should point out that Megaplex is not actually on a 1:1 scale, in fact he's 80% of actual size. Still, this gun mode fits naturally into the hand - so he's still effectively life sized. Thanks to henry for this info.

   The flaws in this mode are minor - and I'm not going to count the loss of chrome as a flaw since it was deliberate and helps make Megaplex different. The upside of the chrome loss is that it won't wear down (something that has happened to a lot of older Megatron toys). The attachment on top of the gun stops the sight from actually functioning since it's taller than the sight. Overall, though, the detail and the play value all make this a very good gun mode. And we're not finished yet - adding the stock gives you an extended gun mode, which I'll expand on now.

EXTENDED GUN MODE
Height: 14.5cm Length: 53cm Width: 3cm

   Formed by adding his fusion cannon to the attachment on the top of the gun, the stock to the back and a silencer over his barrel, the extended gun mode is more like a sniper's gun than a simple pistol. It's also the Megatron gun featured in the cartoon.

   The fusion cannon forms a sight - compete with a crosshairs if you look through it, the stock can actually sit against your shoulder (although it's a tad short, it still works) and the silencer adds a lot of length to the barrel. The shooting mechanism still works in this mode (in the versions that have the mechanism), thanks to a hollow silencer. The fact that this mode is half a metre long really makes Megatron look like a formidable weapon.

   The only real flaw this mode has (aside from those of the regular gun mode) is the fact that the added bits have various protrusions and holes, needed for the tripod-mounded weapon they can form for his robot mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Difficult if you don't know what you're doing. Remove the added bits (the fusion cannon can stay attached). Pull the handle's grip down to form the legs, lift the legs out and fold them forward over the trigger. Slide the die cast panels underneath the legs forward to form the feet. Flip the grey section below the hammer down (it's the robot head). Separate the rear into two halves, which fold down to either side. Lift up the middle section of the gun, fold down the barrel slightly and swing it right slightly. Rotate the middle section to form the chest, at the same time fold the barrel underneath it. Swing the arms so that they're "upright", then lift the arm-head assembly up and it'll click into his chest. Rotate the arms around, give him fusion cannon if you detached it. It's probably difficult to grasp all of that - you really need to see it to understand this rather involved transformation. My Megaplex seems to have notably tighter joints in the hips than my Reissue Megatron, but the arms are easier to extend - something I appreciate.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 10cm (without fusion cannon)

   The differences between Megaplex and his boss are more obvious now, although the resemblance is still strong. Mainly grey with black and a silver face and red eyes, he retains powerful and ruthless look of Megatron. The chest, arms and thighs are grey - the feet and thighs are die-case metal silver. His hands and the sides of his hips and legs are black, the insides of his arms and legs are blue - the only change in plastics on this toy. His shins, groin and head are grey. There's some stickered detail on his waist - which is basically the section revealed underneath the gun shell as it's lifted up.

   There are some proportion problems in this mode, it must be said. The legs, being handle halves, are quite narrow. The groin isn't solid, it's formed from the top section of the handle wrapped around the trigger, but doesn't actually clip on. The trigger is in a rather phallic spot, actually, it's a good thing it's inside the groin and not just sticking out. His arms stick up past his shoulders. Still, considering that this robot mode is formed from a realistic gun mode, I'm not complaining that much.

   What I like about this mode is that they've cleverly taken the gun's shape and made a robot out of it, without huge amounts of kibble. The front of the barrel is stowed on the right side of his torso, and that's really the only part that qualifies as kibble, and it's pretty well dealt with. On his cartoon & comic version, this barrel sits on his back. It can go on his back, but it's not really designed to, looking better on the side.

   The head is the basis for the now familiar "buckethead" design, but it's not actually that shape. It's curved on the back, with a lip, and this was the basis for marvel's buckethead, which is far less curved, and continues around the sides of the head (which are actually flat on this toy). The face is identical to Megatron's, sporting the red eyes of the reissue rather than yellow like the original Megatron.

   There's a fair bit of play value here. The only real poseability is the swinging shoulders, but he has that big-ass canon on his arm, and the attachment parts which can form two different gun emplacements - both able to fire blue pellets. The central piece of the stock can clip in behind the barrel, allowing Megaplex to shoot pellets from his hip. Megaplex comes with transparent yellow mace (recoloured from Megatron's purple) which can be attached to his hand (and is on a chain), ala the Sherman Dam scene in More Than Meets The Eye. Adding to his armoury are a big silver handgun and a silver sword. Not only is he mighty and powerful, he's armed to the teeth!

   Overall, while there's some proportion problems in this mode, it's a very good robot mode considering what they started with. There's a lot of attention to detail here, and his weaponry is quite impressive. The blue, grey and black is both close to Megatron and yet instantly different, which I appreciate. The colours work well themselves anyway, and while don't really give Megaplex a different feel about him, that's not really the point here.

VARIATIONS

   In effect Megaplex is a reissue of Goodbye Megatron, with all the extras introduced with reissue Megatron. No actual variants that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   In truth this toy is very similar to Megatron and shares most of its flaws and strengths with that toy. The loss of chrome makes Megaplex slightly worse value, but then it also means he'll age better. The blue rather than red plastic looks quite nice and if you missed the reissue Megatron, them Megaplex represents a good chance to get all the extras. Considering how similar he is to Megatron and how limited Megaplex actually is, I can't quite say I recommend him. While I'll leave it up to you to decide whether he's worth what you're likely to pay for him, Megaplex is a really nice toy - 8/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.