"Generations" Combiner Wars Armada Megatron Toy Review
Release Date: March 2015
Price Point: $44.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2, Missile
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
For millions of years, Megatron has led fanatical legions of evil Decepticons on their war for conquest. A living weapon with dozens of modifications made in the name of increased power and destructive capability, his only weakness is his single-minded desire for the enslavement of the universe. The war between Autobot and Decepticon rages on, and with Armada Megatron leading the Decepticons, the action gets more intense all the time! This awesome Armada Megatron figure is a massive force for evil in robot mode with 2 arm-mounted blasters that will pummel any unsuspecting Autobot. But when it's time for some truly massive firepower, he converts to an enormous tank with a missile launcher! Get ready for a whole new generation of Transformers mayhem with this incredible Armada Megatron figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The "Generations" toy line has largely focused on creating new versions of characters from "Generation One". However, last year Hasbro and Takara Tomy released Armada Starscream, a new figure whose sculpt was based on Starscream's appearance in the "Armada" cartoon. For the most part, "Generations" continues to be a G1 dominated line, but in 2015 "Armada" received another nod in the form of Armada Megatron, a retool and redeco of Leader Class Megatron.
This review will focus on the changes made to this sculpt for this release. Check out my review of Leader Class Megatron for details on this sculpt. I also recommend checking out my original "Armada" Megatron review to familiarize yourself with the original iteration of this character.
Armada Megatron is packaged in a large window box. The figure is visible in the window in robot mode. His card art can be found on the bottom corner of the front and on the side. While he is not a Combiner or even appears in the comic book, this figure has been released under the "Combiner Wars" banner and that logo is printed right in the front. Inside the box is a collector card featuring the full artwork used on the packaging. The back shows off the figure in both modes along with his bio write up in several languages.
The Leader Class Megatron sculpt is heavily based on his Generation One appearance. There were obvious details like the chest panel with three vertical lines on either side and the small "control panel" in the middle of the torso featuring "buttons". Even parts like the legs incorporate elements from his G1 gun mode despite the figure transforming into a tank. This presented a particular challenge for the designers when turning this figure into Armada Megatron since that version of Megatron looked very different than his G1 namesake.
The first step the designers took was to create a whole new head sculpt for the figure. This head sculpt is based on the one from the "Armada" Megatron figure. It features a round helmet section that has a small layer of armor between the helmet and the face along with a pronounced chin piece. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the head are two large antlers on either side of the head. These are inspired by a similar detail on the first "Armada" Megatron who was supposed to use the antlers as a Mini-Con capture tool in vehicle mode (this feature was never fully implemented as originally planned). Here it serves a more ornamental function that really helps distinguish this figure from its predecessor. I'll also say that the antlers force the rest of the head to be smaller, which looks a bit more in proportion to the body than the first Leader Class Megatron. Some folks complained that the head on that figure was too large, but honestly I didn't really think it was that much of a big deal. Overall this head sculpt looks great. In concert with the new deco, it really helps sell this figure as the Megatron from the Unicron Trilogy.
It would be easy to dismiss this figure since the main "retool" is the head. However the designers really worked hard to have the deco reflect the look of the original "Unicron Trilogy" toy. If you look at some of the deco, and then look at the 2003 "Armada" Megatron toy you'll find a lot of color call backs. Here are some examples:
- The shoulders have black paint on vertical sections, a reference to the black treads on the "Armada" Megatron's shoulders.
- Each shoulder features a large purple Decepticon symbol against a silver background with purple around the silver. This reflects similar detailing on "Armada" Megatron's shoulders (though those Decepticon symbols were part of the sculpt).
- The forearms are painted silver and the fists are purple.
- The mid-body are has a section painted silver with some neon orange worked in.
- The thighs are purple plastic and the lower legs are green with some silver parts, just like "Armada" Megatron.
- The cannon mounted on the arm is now colored metallic blue with an orange launcher and missile. While the location of the cannon is different than the 2003 "Armada" Megatron figure the colors are the same.
Taken as a whole, the combination of purple, silver, green and orange really helps differentiate this figure from its mostly silver predecessor. It also calls back to 2003's "Armada" Megatron very well.
One of the defining play patterns on the 2003 "Armada" Megatron figure was his ability to link up with Mini-Cons. To that end, this Megatron figure actually features three pegs designed for Mini-Cons. Two of these are on his back and one is on the left shoulder area. In addition he has four 5mm ports that allow you to attach any weapons (or Mini-Cons) with 5mm pegs. There is one on each leg and one on each forearm. As you can see from my photos, this allows you to attach several Mini-Cons to the figure, adding to his play value while also paying homage to the original figure.
All the joints on this figure are nice and tight and the missile firing feature works just fine. He includes the same blaster weapons as the first version of this figure and they combine without a problem. The head can actually tilt up and down as well as moving side to side, which was a nice but unexpected touch.
For those curious, it is sort of possible to connect parts of "Armada" Tidal Wave to this figure, but they don't hold on very well and his joints aren't strong enough to hold them up. It wound up looking floppy enough that I didn't take any photos of it.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach his blaster weapons and split them up, then set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and the legs.
- Swing the panels on the sides of the forearms forward to cover the fists.
- Push the feet up against the front of the lower legs.
- Rotate the cannon around so the wider end is facing down.
- Swing the torso panel up.
- Swing the waist panel down.
- Bring the two arms together. The cannon has a tab sticking out the side that fits into a corresponding slot on the left arm.
- Swing the tread sections from the back of the robot mode up, then forward. They tab into the sides of the torso panel, forming the front of the tank.
- Swing each lower leg out to the sides then in. There are tabs on the sides of the lower legs that fit into slots on the mid-body of the robot mode.
- Attach the weapons to the 5mm peg holes on the top of the turret.
When it comes to this mode, one can argue that it's almost better suited to Armada Megatron than the "G1-esque" Megatron of the previous release since "Armada" Megatron started as a tank (while G1 Megatron did not). Unlike the original "Armada" Megatron however this is more of an Earth based tank that you might see in an Earth-based military rather than the more scifi looking "H tank" mode of the first "Armada" Megatron toy.
Like the robot mode, the designers worked hard to incorporate deco points on this mode to pay homage to details from the 2003 "Armada" Megatron figure. This starts with the base colors, which include green for most of the tank and metallic blue and orange on the tank barrel. These include:
- The edges of the vehicle's front end have silver on either side.
- There is a large Decepticon symbol in purple and silver tampographed on the right side of the turret while the left has a triangular yellow detail.
- There are orange and purple decos on the top of the turret that echo some of the coloring on "Armada" Megatron's turret.
- The silver from the robot legs winds up on the rear of the vehicle on the sides, echoing similar coloring on "Armada" Megatron.
- The small, rectangular armor panels on the sides of the turret and vehicle are painted metallic blue, matching up with the cannon and calling back to the blue used on several raised panels on "Armada" Megatron.
Overall, I'm really happy with this vehicle mode deco. He looks great and once again creates an immediate visual association with the original "Armada" Megatron.
All the functionality from the previous version of this figure is still present. More important, all three Mini-Con pegs are prominently displayed in this mode with two in the front and one on top of the turret! You can use the screw holes on the sides of the tank turret to attach weapons and Mini-Cons if the pegs are somewhat flexible. When I tried to put in some weapons with hard plastic pegs not all of them would fit properly so be warned.
After being out for several months it is kind of sad to say this figure became a bit of a shelf warmer. Most people wanted the "G1" Megatron on sight, but this one was a tougher sell and that's unfortunate. It's a fun toy and it's cool to see "Armada" getting some love. This is a fun sculpt with cool features and worth having in your collection if you were into "Armada". Recommended!