Review by NekroDave
The Manticore Megazord was released in 2006 and comes from the show "Power Rangers Mystic Force". I decided to take the plunge and pick one up when seeing on clearance at Toys R Us, marked down from $49.99, all the way to $10.98. I figured that at those savings it was worth a look. But unfortunately the reason it was on sale was simply that it's not a very good toy.
The Manticore Megazord is the result of the combination of a Phoenix Zord and a Lion Zord. Taken on their own, each Zord is really pretty boring and neither has much individual play value.
It is only when they are combined do they start to get even a little bit interesting. The Phoenix Zord is able to sort of "dock" with the Lion Zord and connect to it's back via three magnets.
Believe it or not, I actually prefer displaying the toy in this fashion instead of in Megazord mode. That does not bode well for any toy when it's main attraction is not shelf worthy.
Now, when you want to transform to Megazord mode, the toy features a battery operated "Auto-Morph Action". Basically, this means it transforms by itself. To do this, you have to turn the wings of the Phoenix Zord down so that it can stand upright, allowing the Lion Zord to roll along the ground until they connect. When they do, the tail of the Phoenix Zord will compress a small button on the Lion Zord, alerting it to stop rolling and start transforming.
One of the biggest problems with this feature is how difficult it actually is to get the two toys to line up properly. Bandai included a thin cardboard placemat that you can use a starting reference point, but even with it's help, the transformation does not always work. Of course, that doesn't stop the toy from continuing to roll along, knocking over the Phoenix Zord and running into it on the ground and basically being a pain in the neck.
So, it's difficult to do. But even when it works, the robot does not completely transform. You still have to rotate the Lion Zord's paws into order to reveal the robots fists. And then you have to remove the Phoenix Zord's tail and transform it into a weapon.
Of course, perhaps the most visually obvious downfall of this gimmick is how badly the Manticore Megazod ends up looking because of it. Everything beneath the waist is just one big lump of plastic, with no articulation or play value whatsoever. Frankly, it just looks AWFUL. So the main featured gimmick barely works, doesn't work completely and makes the toy look terrible. Great. Just great.
I know I would give up an action feature in favor of a nicer looking design and some poseability. The only thing on the Megazord that can be posed is the arms. They move up and down and side to side (a little).
The completed weapon is pretty stupid, too. The robot really can't even hold it. Instead, it holds a small handle that is connected to it and the bottom rests on his right foot, often falling out of the hole it's meant for anyway. The weapon does spin around when the Manticore Megazord rolls forward.
When finally completed, the Manticore Megazord has a big space in between it's head and chest. There is a small black panel that you can use to fill in this space, but when it's in place, you are unable to transform it back into the separate Zords. So I just leave it down. You barely notice the emptiness from the front anyway. The lion head can also be pulled out and placed onto the separately sold Titan Megazord to form the "Ultimate Titan Mode".
So, what exactly does this toy have going for it? Well, it's colors are sort of unique for a robot. And....uhhhmm... that's about it. Unless you are just a total Power Ranger or Sentai completist, I can't recommend that you buy this one. Even for the $11 I paid. $11 will get you a large cheese pizza in most places. And if I could swap this thing for a large cheese pizza right now, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
(Thanks to Eva_Unit 4A", for reminding me of a couple of features I forgot about!)
|Posted 14 June, 2008 - 09:29 by NekroDave