Cliffbee.com: Classics Megatron (gun) Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Megatron
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Commander
Alternate Mode: Nerf Gun



GUN MODE
Height: 15cm Length: 19.5cm Width: 5cm

   A light grey scaled down nerf gun with a purple handle, black fusion cannon style scope on top with the obligatory orange tip (as required by US toy laws). There's a false six chamber revolver towards the front with transparent yellow windows, revealing some robot stuff inside. The colours are decent if not spectacular - mind you Hasbro had to include the fluorescent orange and have thankfully built a sedate colour scheme around that. The colour scheme is actually pretty close to that of an actual nerf gun - there's a comparison image floating around somewhere which reinforced the point.

   Okay, so Megatron does a good job of looking like a nerf gun - but that doesn't mean he has the same feel as the original Megatron. If anything, the entire idea of a nerf gun is bit of an insult to the G1 portrayal of this character. Granted, Hasbro USA simply couldn't produce an old school Megatron gun, but I don't see why they didn't instead focus on giving us a really nice Megatron tank, which would hark back to G2. I prefer the tank version, even if it's not quite as well executed and is smaller, simply because the basic idea is so much better.

   Having bagged the idea, I have to concede that this Megatron gun is quite well executed for what it is. He can't fire anything (another legal thing) but the trigger clicks when you pull it, you can look through the scope, which has a crosshairs on its yellow window. The gun itself holds together very well, and while there are a few robot mode hints here and there, none of them are glaringly bad. There are moulded Decepticon logos on either side of the stock, painted purple, which look pretty good. The handle is one of his legs, but looks like a handle, which is nice.

   While the idea is pretty daft, Megatron's gun mode is well executed, and I'm glad about that. The colours are about as good as we could hope for with the orange being a legal requirement, the play value is good and it fits together very well. I would have preferred something a little lessy cheesy, but I guess Hasbro wanted to make Megatron a gun, and to be fair this is about as good as they could have done in that respect.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Essentially the side panels of the gun open out to reveal one of the worst shellformers we've seen - and easily the worst conceived by Hasbro. This isn't a criticism as such, but it is cheating to an extent. Once you open the sides you expose most of the robot mode, which you then unfold and the shell halve send up on his back as wings. The whole affair reminds me of BW Dead End. One cool aspect of the transformation is that the scope doesn't detach and reattach - it stays attached to what becomes his right arm the entire time.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 22cm Width: 19.5cm

   A grey, purple and black robot with yellow wings behind the arms. The torso, upper arms, thighs and head are grey while the boots and forearms are purple. His groin, fists and the fusion cannon on his right arm are black. The tip of the fusion cannon is orange along with the gun tip itself, now on top of the left shoulder. His face is silver with a black brow, and the yellow eyes have a working lightpipe. It almost goes without saying that he sports the traditional buckethead - not difficult since the head tucks away in gun mode. The colour scheme is good - allowing for the fact there's going to be some of that awful orange. Even taking the orange into account he still looks pretty good. Rounding out a good colour scheme, Megatron has a Decepticon logo in the middle of his chest.

   As much as I dislike the idea of the gun mode, the robot mode I can't really fault, at least not conceptually. The buckethead and fusion cannon really nail this robot as Megatron, and the grey really helps things along. The purple isn't quite traditional, but it helps offset the transparent yellow and that orange. The wings are very prominent - you get this sort of thing with shellformers, but they sit back far enough that they don't crowd the robot mode itself. The bodyshape and character defining features are all done well - to be honest with this sort of shellformer the designer had plenty of room to get it right. The boots are a little longer than they should be, but this is a pretty minor thing, and is a by-product of one becoming the handle.

   The play value is pretty good. Unusually for a Classics toy, Megatron doesn't come with a handheld weapon - the fusion cannon doesn't detach. Still, there are holes in the fists and with a great weapon built in (which you can't misplace), who cares? The trigger is now tucked away on his back so we can't access that but there's no point anyway. The head is ball jointed while the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees all feature hinges and rotators, allowing for a wide range of motion. The wings on his back do rule out some poses - Megatron is somewhat backheavy - but you can get away with quite a few poses, and if the fusion cannon is out in front it acts as counterbalance. The heelspurs aren't as big as I'd like - more dynamic leg poses are pretty much out, which is my biggest complaint about this robot mode.

   The better of Megatron's two modes, mainly because it's not as controversial - paying respect better than the nerf gun mode can. The colours are better in this mode and the character defining details are all well done - the fusion cannon is a real highlight. The poseability is fairly good, and while it could have been a little better, it's enough to put Megatron in some cool poses. The shellformer nature of this robot mode will annoy some, but it did allow the designer to really get the robot mode right, visually.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Henkei Megatron is a more traditional version of this toy, released in Japan.

OVERALL

   I have mixed feelings about this toy. For what it is, the toy is really well designed with only a few flaws - the robot mode heels being the main annoyance. The choice of alt mode really rubs me the wrong way, and whilst I realise Hasbro's options for a gun were severely limited, I'd rather no gun at all than a play gun. Yes they've worked well within the confines of US gun toy restrictions - and the robot mode is great - but I can't help feeling that an equally focused mega sized Megatron tank could have been just as good and done the character justice in a way this figure never can. I'd still recommend this figure if you like Classics line, but don't feel completely satisfied - 7/10

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