Dark of the Moon Cyberverse Commander Class Megatron Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Commander, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Decepticon, Movie (2007)

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: May 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

The "Cyberverse" of Transformers is partly made up of figures that are somewhere between the traditional Scout Class in size and complexity and the old Legends Class of figures. In general, Commander Class figures in the Cyberverse (not to be confused with Commander Class figures in the Power Core Combiners line) have weaponry that can be utilized by the smaller Legion Class figures. In concert with the Legion Class and playsets being released, the "Cyberverse" forms a complete world of play at a smaller price point.

What Transformers movie would be complete without Megatron running around somewhere causing trouble? In "Dark of the Moon", Megatron's role is a bit mysterious (as of the writing of this review) as the Decepticon Shockwave is the one being given a lot of advance buzz. Unlike the previous two Transformers movies where Megatron took the bold (yet very bad for disguise) Cybertronian modes, he finally adopts an Earth mode in this film and it is that version of the character that is represented in this figure.

Robot Mode:
In the past two Transformers live action films, Megatron has taken a prominent role, but many felt that his robot form was rather generic looking, with few distinguishing parts. Were the robot modes full of detail? Sure, but when a lot of that detail is jagged armor sticking out all over the place, things can get dull pretty quickly on a visual level. This new iteration of Megatron takes the Decepticon leader into a more traditional direction, giving him an Earth-based vehicle mode. The result is a robot mode that looks much more like a traditional Transformer than his previous forms while still retaining aspects of the designs from the previous films.

First let's look at the elements that have been retained from Megatron's previous forms. The head sculpt is the most noticable. For the most part, his head still looks like some demonic version of the Decepticon symbol, with the double tipped crest in the center and angled helmet sections on the sides. The helmet section covers most of the outer edges of his face, creating a very sharp look to that area. Megatron's forearms also look like design carry overs from his previous forms. Each one has jagged looking armor on it and ends in clawed hands rather than more conventional hands with angled fingers. Finally, his torso still looks very much like the one used in the previous films, with angled parts forming a semi-star shaped pattern on his chest. The waist piece comes down to a very severe point, looking almost like something from an animal than a robot. This may sound like a lot of detail carried over, but it's really not. For the most part, the other details balance ths out and I do think it is important to keep some elements from the previous form for continuity's sake.

Most of the new design elements on Megatron come from his truck mode. While his torso may still be the older design, the front section of the truck winds up on top of it, giving him a very traditional Transformers appearance. His shoulders and upper arms are each made up of the front wheel wells from the vehicle mode. His legs are made up of the rear half of the vehicle mode, creating very traditional, blocky looking legs complete with two wheels on either side. I can't help but think how ironic this form is for Megatron given that his greatest enemy has a very similar form. Still, it looks distinctive and powerful, which is what you want in general from a Megatron figure.

Megatron is cast in brown and grey plastic. On both colors he uses rather dark shades, giving him a rough and dangerous appearance, like a robot that has seen its fair share of action in recent times. Brown is the dominant color with grey used for smaller bits like the chest piece and the wheels. His paint colors are grey, silver and red. None of the paint colors are used a lot, but instead are placed rather strategically throught the figure. His claws and face are grey for instance while you'll find some silver on his forearms. The face is grey with red eyes painted in. Personally, I would have liked more paint detail on the robot mode. The legs wind up looking rather plain here and they have some nice sculpted detail that would have been enhanced with some paint applications.

Megatron would not be complete without some devastating weapon. His fusion cannon takes a new form in this figure. The trailer transforms into two weapons, each one with a complex looking barrel with intricate mechanical detail. Each weapon can be held in one of his hands or you can combine the two, creating a dual barreled weapon. This harkens back to the weapon he used in the first movie, formed by combining his arms together to form a single barreled weapon. The peg on these weapons is designed to allow Legion Class Transformers to hold them and they work well in that regard. I really like the way the designers retained the aspect of his weapons combining somehow to form a single "super" weapon. It offers another bit of continuity with Megatron's previous movie designs while putting its own spin on it.

There are ten points of articulation on this figure, three in each arm and two in each leg. Several points includint the hips and elbows are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Take each weapon and swing the barrels in, then combine the two to form the trailer/tank.
  2. Swing each forearm up and tuck it under the upper arm.
  3. Swing the truck grille section up over the robot head.
  4. Swing each arm up at the shoulder joints.
  5. Swing the legs forward.
  6. Swing the waist piece up.
  7. Fold the robot thighs up against the front section of the vehicle.
  8. Connect the lower legs together and straighten them out to form the rear of the vehicle.
  9. Swing the panels with the smokestacks on them up against the front half of the vehicle.
  10. Attach the trailer/tank to the back.

Vehicle Mode:
Unlike Optimus Prime, Megatron is a Mack truck, not a Peterbilt. His design is still similar in that he has an extended nose on the front section of the vehicle. Most of the features you would expect from a Mack truck are represented here including the smokestacks and distinct, curved hood section. My favorite touch is the "Mack" logo sculpted into the front grille of the truck, which looks bold and distinctive at the same time. What may strike some as odd is how short the rear section of the vehicle is. I think it is fair to say that the rear section is not a true representation of how the truck will look in the movie. Indeed, the Voyager Class Megatron toy revealed at Toy Fair 2011 had a much longer trailer section. This design just reflects what fits into the price point and schema for the "Cyberverse" line of figures.

Aside from the aforementioned "Mack" logo detail, there's quite a bit to look at here. The front end of the vehicle is very distinctive, with a cage attached to the front that includes claws at the bottom (a so called "cow catcher"), giving the vehicle an extra aggressive appearance. Three of the four windows are sculpted with a raised area, suggesting perhaps they are armored or offer extra protection in some way. On the sides of the front half of the vehicle are raised circles representing rivtes that give the vehicle an industrial look that I love. The smokestacks have a distinct pattern of circles going from the bottom near the top and even the tank on the back has some simple, yet effective line details.

It should be noted that in many ways, this iteration of Megatron is a very "clean" version of the character. The one to be featured in the movie will have all sorts of details not represented here including rusted patterns on the front, a net over the hood and a tarp over the back end. Much of this detail would have been difficult to pull off convincingly at this price point (though perhaps sculpting a net on the top of the hood could have been done with minimal fuss) so it's understandable that the more detailed version will probably be the Voyager Class figure.

There are no color surprises here. The biggest contrast is the use of silver paint ont he tank on the back. The windows are painted in black along with a Decepticon smbol on the left side. The smokestacks are painted grey, matching the wheels and front end. Again, I wish there was a bit more paint detail. The vehicle looks a bit too "clean" for my tastes.

Final Thoughts:
Megatron represents the Commander Class well. The figure itself is a cool sculpt and I dig his weaponry. I just wish the paint scheme was better. The figure winds up looking a bit plain in both modes, which is a bit of a shame since the sculpt is detailed. Recommended but it loses points for the paint scheme.