Cliffbee.com Megaempress Toy Review

Individual Review




Name: Megaempress
Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Destron
Alternate Mode: Fire Truck

Thanks to tha phantom for loaning me Megaempress for this review



FIRE TRUCK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 25cm Width: 6cm

   A silver fire truck, Megaempress is a repaint of Pyra Magma, herself a retool of Hot Spot (I will compare the mould changes to Hot Spot, as that's the "base" version of the mould). She's a somewhat generic fire truck... well aside from the fact she's _silver_. The ladder assembly is black with some outbursts of hot pink and purple at the front. The side windows and stripes are painted red, thankfully the front window are painted black. She has purple Destron logos stamped on either side, just behind the side windows. She has four black plastic tyres at the front and another four at the rear. While the silver may not make much sense for a fire truck, Megaempress is a Megatron inspired repaint from a Destron boxset with it's own backstory based around Megatron - and this colour scheme does heavily lean on Megatron's colours (pink and purple aside, obviously). It works well enough in that regard - and if you want a more realistic version of the mould, there's a couple to choose from - that were sold sold separately, to boot.

   The ladder assembly has a couple of retooled sections. Firstly, the front tip - rather than having Defensor's head folded up and being less conspicuous, has Megatronia's head sitting there fairly obtrusively - thankfully her face isn't visible. The panels on either side of the base are rounded and smaller - making for a new chestplate for the combined form, but not really any better or worse here. The robot hands are remoulded (also painted black) - they are quite visible at the back end, and this is a regression for me. There's a gappy section in the middle (behind the stroberack) where her head is visible, tucked inside. In truth the head is only really visible if you look.

   There's a decent amount of play value here. There are holes on either side of the nozzle assembly, base and truck itself which you can plug weapons into. The "standard" configuration is to plug Megatronia's feet into the base of the ladder, on either side. It's one of those, "here's somewhere you can use these accessories" affairs though - I'm not a fan of it. Her black and yellow handweapon can plug into a hole at the front of the ladder (back of the gestalt head) as a sort of battering ram or laser cannon - it's visually impressive, but also odd at the same time. It's a decent option given her weapon is the hilt of Megatonia's sword.

   There are hinges both at the base of the ladder AND the nozzle assembly. Both hinges are strong enough for you to lift the ladder and pose the nozzle. The base rotates through 360 degrees, the ladder doesn't extend. Probably the only downside of the jointing of the impressive ladder assembly is that the sides of the base aren't pegged in place, and if they swing down they're clearly chest plates - and covered in hot pink. They do behave and stay in place - if those joints loosen then it's a slightly different story.

   A good fire truck mode with more than enough play value for this size class. The colour scheme works well in the way intended, but loses realism. There are some downsides - the placement of the strobes is a little odd and her robot head peeks out if you know where to look. My main complaint here is the visible gestalt head, which stands out in a bad way.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the front, pivot the halves forward to form her boots, ensuring you clip the knee joints into place. She gains heelspurs Hot Spot doesn't have - flip those out. Unclip the cabin sections, rotate into place as feet. Rotate the boots. Split the rear, which unlocks the ladder base. Pivot the ladder section towards her feet, rotate the base, the ladder will be sticking out way past her feet. Rotate the ladder itself up and clip the chest plates into the holes on her nozzle assembly. Swing the sides of the rear down to form her arms, rotate the forearms into place. Fold down the chest plate, swing out and rotate the head, fold the chest plate back up. The chest plate stays in place during transformation, unlike that of Hot Spot.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: ~11cm (depending on pose)

   A largely silver robot with black on her groin, crest, feet and open hands. Megaempress has red on her knees, elbows, eyes and some detailing on the upper body. Some robot-only elements are actually painted silver - forearms, chest, shoulders and helmet (but not her face or thighs). There's a Destron logo on her left breast (she doesn't have "breasts as such though). Again the colours scheme - and the placement of the colours - evokes Megatron - it's a very strong tribute in fact. It's also a good looking colour scheme, and I'm glad they've downplayed elements like Hot Spot's stripes.

   The sculpt is nice and detailed, particularly the head, chest and shoulders. While it's nice to see they went to trouble of redoing the fists - and forearms - it does come withe the aforementioned kibble in truck mode, and I'm not sure the open hands are any better than Hot Spot's. The ladder assembly is a giant chuck of backpack, but it's not too obtrusive visually (and it's consistent with G1 Hotspot, for what it's worth). She's not really back heavy and stands just fine, in fact the backpack can act as a third leg.

   Poseability is good. The head is ball jointed while her waist is fixed. The shoulders lift out to the sides and rotate on ratchets. The elbows swing and rotate while her wrists are fixed. The hips rotate and lift out to the sides - both ratcheted to support the weight of Megatronia - while her knees have hinges and rotators. Her ankles are fixed and don't have that "standing apart" slope as is common nowadays. The limitations we see here are mostly a result of transformation - hard to do the ankled feet with the feet being the front of the vehicle. To be honest she's nice and poseable and the black and yellow weapon forms an imposing club-like weapon here.

   While there are some minor concessions in the poseability - Megaempess has to worry about being a torso - she has good play value, a solid colour scheme and a nifty Megatron-themed deco. The retool makes sure this no longer feels like Hot Spot. The mix of silver paint and plastic is kinda unusual, but it's surprisingly coherent, which is good.

VARIATIONS

   None as such. She was only sold as part of the Megatronia giftset.

   As mentioned she's a repaint of Pyra Magna, herself a retool of Hot Spot. Onslaught and Dolrailer are also (heavier) retools of the mould.

OVERALL

   A female Megatron themed Hot Spot retool... but somehow it works. While I'll freely admit this toy is not for me (mostly because I just prefer the Protectobot), the repaint is great in robot mode and _mostly_ good in vehicle mode - the overly visible gestalt head really rubs me the wrong way. It's a cleverly themed giftset as a whole, and Megaempress has the strongest theme of the set - 8.5/10

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