Review by Gazbot
Sample provided by HobbyLink Japan.
From the Transformers universe, he is the first and best leader of the evil Decepticons. He is also one of the all-time great villainous leaders. He is strong and competent, smart and cunning, but also pragmatic. Not goofy and not weak, a formidable, almost admirable adversary that makes his foe Optimus Prime that much greater.
This is him in his original Generation 1, (G1), form.
His robot mode is based on his G1 cartoon/toy form as much as it can be since...his alt mode is a tank instead of a gun. I approve. I had the original toy, and you know what? I hated it. It was hard to transform, it was floppy and never stayed together correctly. I never turned it into a gun because it didn't shrink to allow a fellow Decepticon to use, and was therefore useless in play. The tank makes more sense in everyway. Megatron having an alt mode that no longer requires him to be used by someone else, is more in line with his character, and makes for a better toy. Throwing himself to be used by Starscream never felt right to me. If the character was designed from the ground up instead of being adapted from a pile of random Japanese toy imports it likely would have been a tank from the start.
This review is Specifically of the Takara Japanese release, and NOT the Hasbro US release.
Differences between this Takara (Japanese), and the Hasbro, (American), release include:
1. American release comes with a sticker sheet with Decepticon and Autobot insignias as well as G1 toy style deco for Megatron's chest and cannon.
2. The missile is red in the Hasbro version and grey in the Takara version.
3. The Hasbro release has orange and purple paint detailing on the chest that the Takara version does not. There is also more red paint on the mid-section, and a black fill on the midsection box, that was all left silver on the Takara release.
4.There is red plastic used on the upper chest joints/bar , as well as on the inner upper arm joint connector on the Hasbro release, these are grey on the Takara release.
5. there is red on the inside of the forearms on the Hasbro release which is silver on the Takara version.
6. The crotch joint is red plastic on the Hasbro and grey on the Takara version.
7. The Takara version does have more red on his sides (ribcase area) where it is still silver on the Hasbro version.
8. The Hasbro version also comes with a Trading card, which the Takara does not.
8 1/2. I have seen online, some people comment that one version or the other is more metallic or shiny than the other, I don't own the Hasbro version, and cannot tell from pictures I have seen, if someone knows for sure feel free to add the info in the comments section below :)
Overall Hasbro = more red. More surprisingly Hasbro = more paint detail. Which is usually just the reverse. However in this case less paint means the figure is more accurate to the original G1 cartoon/anime look.
While the Hasbro version is going more for the retro G1 figure look, but it skips the red on the insides of the legs and adds red other places the vintage figure didn't have it.
OK so enough comparison, lets look at the version we have in front of us today.
My favorite part of the box is the little chibi transformers playing with Transformers toys.
Megatron comes in a tray and has a neat red target box insert, that could be used for an inexpensive display.
Figure comes with instructions, a Japanese paper (maybe an offer useless in the US) and a tech spec with a comic on the back!
Minimal accessories, but really more than is even needed for this character, include: one firing missile and a two part gun.
Let's do a turnaround of Megatron right out of the box.
His articulation is good for a Transformer, on par with most larger modern releases. Of course much of a transformers articulation can be aided or hampered by the mechanics needed to convert into it's alt mode, however in Megatron's case it's more help than hinder.
Sitting is not really his strong suit...
He has ratcheted shoulder joints that also extend out. His elbow bends and swivels. his hands rotate as well. Also worth noting, is that the upper arm area has subtle molding to look like a gun's hammer.
The treads/backpack can be moved down for a more cartoon accurate look, or you can move them up to achieve a full 360 spin at the waist.
His Cannon is permanently attached so no losing it, but also no removing it either. One cool thing, is that it's on a swing out hinge so you can still bend that arm normally when you want. The not great part, and really only a mild complaint is that the barrel is too long in robot mode, it collapses, but I wish it collapsed one more time. Maybe they could not allow it to collapse that far and still retain the missile firing ability, if so, it must have been a difficult choice.
The legs rotate forward and back out to the side, (once the hip flap is raised), and swivel above the knee. The knee bends back fairly well back, not much forward. Similarly the feet bend completely into the leg, but not at all back the other way.
His head is on a ball joint that can rotate 360 degrees.
As I said earlier he has less paint than the US version, but what he has is crisp and clean.
His arm cannon can also be spun around and/or extended to be longer and allow the missile to be fired while in robot mode. When I do this, I sometimes like to slide the fore arm guard up and lock it on the arm like he is partially transforming just his arm to be a better cannon .These "modes" look less Anime accurate, but add extra play-ability for sure.
But of course most people, myself included will display him with the "fusion cannon" side facing out.
In addition to his main cannon, Megatron comes with a rifle that splits into two pistols, or two pistols that merge into one rifle. They can be held in his hands, or slot onto his arms with standard size pegs. However you describe them. they are mainly redundant with that monster cannon attached to his arm.
One last thing to mention before we discuss the transformation is that he has those translucent eyes that we've seen on several transformers lately. They can glow under overhead light. The effect is nice, if not always present depending on your display area.
So on to the transformation. I love it! it's not too complex, and I was able to do it almost completely without looking at the instructions. There are lots of tabs and slots to let you know you are moving things into the correct place and then holding them firmly. Also, the alt mode of his tank is generally good looking and functional.
First, you slide his fore arm guards up over his hands.
Then flip his feet all the way up onto the shins.
Rotate his head to his back, flip his chest up, and split open his "backpack" to reveal treads.
Oh and just to be clear these are "real" treads with a soft rubbery feel and they really rotate over the gears in tank mode.
Back on the front side rotate the arms in with the cannon between them to form the tank turret.
Flip the top treads out and click them to the sides and front of the tank, I tried to spin Megatron's head back around so you didn't see the face and accidentally popped it off. It easily reattached however.
Almost there, front and top done just need to finish the legs/back.
Legs slid into place easy, but I had to check the instructions as I missed flipping out the front crotch plate.
And finally tank mode! It looks pretty good, rolls well, and stays together when handled.It has simple color, but works for Megatron.
Here we see the hand gun/rifle weapon used to greater effect as the top guns for the tank.
I like to swivel Megatrons head so his face is not showing on the bottom.
However that does make the front view a little less perfect.
Similarly, I like to cheat the front crotch plate up to become the back of the turret. But, when formed like that It cannot rotate. I also like to use the extra weapon as the longer rifle mode on top.
When correctly transformed the turret can rotate a full 360 degrees, which is great. Not so great, is that the barrel cannot tilt up and is on a fixed horizontal plane. Hopefully he will not be fighting the Aerial-bots in this mode!
And as mentioned earlier the missile is spring loaded to fire, and does a decent job of it, especially by modem standards which are sometimes weak. Just press the button on top.
If you have any train set style trees and bushes lying around they can be fun with the tank mode.
At this point I turned him back into his robot mode with no instructions and timed myself. It took almost a minute exactly, I didn't rush or anything, it's just an easy, clicky, stable transformation. That means a lot to me. I have a few newer transformers I literally never bothered trying their alt mode because it was too complicated to get there and quit halfway through. I have many others that I did transform once, but probably never will again. This figure's engineering captures that balance of fun and sophistication to make it no too hard, but still good looking in both modes.
Here is my attempt to mimic the box pose.
He stands about 9 inches tall as you can see, and so is not quite tall enough to be in scale with the MP-10 Optimus Prime.
Speaking of Masterpiece series Transformers, here he is next to my MP-05 Megatron, which, while impressive, suffers from some of the floppiness the G1 figure did. He is also a figure I only transformed once.
They both have good things going for them, I wish I could combine the two to get the perfect Megatron figure. However when it comes to face sculpt, the newer Model is the clear winner.
With the way they have been scaling down the MP line, this Megatron also looks closer to correct scale next to his fellow Decepticons; Starscream and Soundwave in their MP versions.
Here he is in a more well rounded height line up.
I love this figure, it is well engineered, and in my opinion superior to the Hasbro US version. Possibly the best Megatron figure ever made, at least in G1 form. Not a gun like the MP version, but more anime accurate and more fun to transform.
A must buy for a G1 transformers fan, if you can get over the tank alt mode.
Most cartoon accurate G1 robot mode I've seen.
Simple fun transformation.
Both modes work well.
Reasonably poseable for a transformer.
Tank alt mode instead of gun (subjective con)
Tank barrel is too long in robot mode.
Tank barrel cannot angle up.
Cost is higher for the Japanese version.
"Peace Through Tyranny!"
Get yours at HobbyLink Japan.