"Generations" Titans Returns Megatron Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Titans Return, Triple Changer, Voyager

Generations
Titans Return

Megatron General Information:
Release Date: February 2017
Price Point: $24.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Doomshot Titan Master figure, Cannon, Seat/Weapon

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

Very early on in the life of the Transformers line the toy line began to move away from the sole gimmick of transformation. Once figures like Combiners were introduced it became clear Transformers could be more than just a robot that changed from one form to another. In 1987 Hasbro and Takara took a bold step into a new play pattern by introducing Headmasters. Headmasters were Transformers whose heads detached and became smaller figures that could then pilot or ride the Transformers in beast and vehicle forms (or in a couple cases, their battle station or city forms!). Now almost thirty years after they were originally introduced the Headmaster gimmick has returned in a new form: Titan Masters!

Titan Masters focuses on the return of small robots to Cybertron that can unlock incredible power, and it is up to the Transformers to merge with them and harness those abilities and strengths. In some ways the story resembles "Armada" which had a similar conceit for the Mini-Cons. In true "Generations" fashion, Titans Return gives us characters from the G1 era of Transformers in new forms that incorporate this gimmick.

Megatron is considered one of the central characters that is featured in almost every Transformers toy line in some form. He received the Leader Class treatment during "Combiner Wars" and now he is a Voyager Class Triple-Changer in "Titans Return"! It is no big secret that this figure is a "pretool" destined to become Blitzwing (which has already starting hitting shelves in Asia as I write this) so that is important to keep in mind while looking at this figure.

Packaging:
The Voyager Class packaging for "Titans Return" is very similar to the "Combiner Wars" packaging. The background of the box is black and the right side of the box (if you are facing the box) has the vertical Transformers logo on it with the "Generations" logo above that. The figure is packaged in robot mode in the center and off to the side you can see the Tech Specs card. The lower left side has a bit of Optimus Prime's artwork with the "Titans Return" logo under it. On the upper left hand corner you'll see a symbol with a robot, jet and car indicating the figure is a triple changer.

The side of the box features a more extensive look at the artwork. The back features all three of Optimus Prime's modes with Sovereign in both modes. The right side of the back features the "eco system" for the Titan Master system, illustrating that the Titan Masters can work with various size classes. Megatron's cosells are Fangry, Triggerhappy, Voyager Class Optimus Prime and Six Shot.

Titans Return figures come with a collector card, similar to last year's "Combiner Wars" series. However these cards are shaped differently, with corners cut out on two sides. The front features the character's artwork, giving you a better look at the full body. The back features something fans have wanted since last year: tech specs! These are not traditional specs with a full motto and so on, but instead there are four qualities reflected here (via icons). The four icons are: A robot flexing arms (strength), a character running (speed), a brain (intelligence) and a missile (firepower). These are laid out on the X axis of a bar chart with lines going across from a scale of one through twenty. Traditional tech specs only go from one to ten, but these tech specs take into account the Titan Master being combined with the Transformer. This extends the line into the zone past the number ten. I'm really glad these were added in as I think it was a missed opportunity not to do so last year. I also appreciate the bright and colorful icons and lines used on the back of the cards.

Accessories:
Megatron includes two weapons. One is based on his classic Fusion Cannon weapon, which itself was originally a weapon scope meant to be attached to the top of a gun. There is a thick barrel which narrows in the middle, then it widens again in the back. Unlike the G1 version of this weapon, there are some really nice line details sculpted into this section. This weapon is cast in silver plastic, but most of it is painted a shiny black paint. The two handles on the sides are left unpainted to prevent issues with paint scraping off. The top of the weapon towards the back has a 5mm port, allowing you to attach an additional weapon.

The second weapon is actually the back of Megatron's Fusion Cannon, but it is shaped differently than its G1 counterpart. The front has a small barrel but the back has an angled section that serves as a seat for a Titan Master figure. The barrel in the front actually reminds me a bit of G1 Megatron's weapon mode's barrel. However there are also tabs on the bottom and a handle that make it look a bit like a sniper rifle. This weapon has a tab on the bottom that is 5mm, allowing Megatron to hold it. There is an additional 5mm peg on the back of the weapon. This piece is cast in silver with no paint applications.

The two weapons combine by placing the front over the back and pressing it down. They connect in the middle and hold together nice and tight. Interestingly the two weapons can connect the other way, with the silver weapon attached to the top of the cannon's front end. The handle on the silver weapon connects to the 5mm port on top and the two tabs on the bottom connect to corresponding openings on top of the cannon barrel.

Doomshot

Head Mode:
Doomshot forms Megatron's head, but which head you may wonder? Over the years different artists have interpreted Megatron's head in different ways. This design appears to be largely based on the design for the current IDW PUblishing design. It has some of the iconic Megatron elements including a helmet with a flat top leading to a face that includes sharp angles on the cheeks and thin eyes. Like the IDW Publishing design the helmet section this one has two horizontal notches on both sides of the helmet towards the top. The parts of the helmet that wind up flanking his mouth area have two small indentations on the front leading to the inside of the helmet. It is a really nice, intricate sculpt and it is immediately recognizable as Megatron.

The head is cast in silver and red plastic. Most of it is silver, but the red can be seen if you look at it from the top. Sticking with tradition, the eyes are painted red. There are no other paint applications in this mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Holding the front of the head, unfold the back half to reveal the robot mode.

Robot Mode:
If you keep in mind that this figure is a "pretool" for Blitzwing, the design of Doomshot's robot mode makes perfect sense. Essentially he looks like a mini-Blitzwing! The details in this form that call back to G1 Blitzwing include:

  • The head features large visor eyes.
  • The chest features a raised, curved section that is flanked by sections with rows of horizontal lines.
  • There are details on the arms and shoulders that form an "L" shaped section similar to the same area on G1 Blitzwing.
  • The thighs are broken up into smaller segments in the sculpt that actually narrow as you get towards the knees.

Doomshot is mostly cast in light grey and red plastic. The difference is subtle, but the head, arms and lower legs are not the same color as Megatron's face plate. Megatron's face plate is actually slightly darker than the light grey. There are no paint applications in this mode.

There are five points of articulation in this mode. The hip and knee joints cause both legs to move together. All the joints are nice and tight.

Megatron

Robot Mode:
Given that this sculpt is really intended to be Blitzwing, it is rather impressive to see how much detail actually comes from various Megatron designs throughout the years. There is some definite G1 influence, most notably on there torso. There the chest plate is rectangular with three notches on either side at the bottom. There are also two small triangles near the edges of the panel. These details are all borrowed from G1 Megatron. The section under the chest panel has a square center panel with machinery including a circle. This is flanked by two sections with vent-like designs. This is influenced by G1 Megatron's design in the same area. However the extra angles and additional detailing comes from the IDW Publishing comic books.

When looking at any figure and comparing it to its IDW counterpart, it can be a bit tricky since different artists sometimes draw the same character very differently. In the case of this Megatron, the parts that appear to be influenced from the comic books appear to be the rocket launchers that pop up on either side of the head and the arms. These may seem like odd things to notice but each of these sections recalls design elements of Megatron's current comic book incarnation. The "launchers" that flank the head appear to be inspired by a similar design that forms a "collar" of sorts around Megatron's head in the comic book. The arms each have distinct shapes on the sides of the shoulder area formed (in part) by the tank treads of one of his alt-modes. His Fusion Cannon is also more detailed than the traditional G1 cannon thanks to some of the intricate details in the middle and back of the weapon.

The legs are perhaps the least "Megatron-ish" parts of the sculpt. They look rather generic and do not resemble the ones in the comic books or any of the G1 iterations of the character. That said, the character does have the bulk and visual presence that a Megatron figure deserves. It manages to look cool and imposing at the same time.

Megatron is cast in two shades of silver, red and black plastic. These are iconic Megatron colors so they fit perfectly. The lighter shade of silver makes up most of the figure including his chest, part of the head, the arms, thighs and feet. Black is used on other sections like the waist area. The red plastic is used for smaller parts such as the elbow joints. The same shiny black paint used on the Fusion Cannon is used here on parts like the fists and lower legs. The mid-body area has red paint with orange in the middle. The vent like panels are painted grey. There is some additional red on his knees. The finishing touches are not paint applications but rather stickers. In the past few years there have been more and more Transformers figures using stickers. Here the stickers echo G1 Megatron's action figure. In the center of the chest is a silver and purple Decepticon symbol (which was applied slightly skewed to one side). Flanking the symbol are silver stickers with black patterns that echo the look of stickers from the G1 figure's chest.

This robot mode looks great. There is a ton of sculpted detail in the front and back. There are not a ton of colors sure, but Megatron is not exactly the most colorful character. Look at his comic book interpretation and he is mostly grey/silver with some colors here and there. When I look at this robot mode, I see Megatron, not Blitzwing and that is a good mark of success.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. This includes four on each arm and leg and of course, the head. If you are not a fan of the "rocket launchers" that flank the head, you can push them down to lock them in place. If you want them to pop back up, swing the chest panel down, press the red button the center and they pop back up. There are four 5mm ports on the arms. Each fist has one and the sides of the forearms have them as well. The forearms in particular let you mount the weapon onto the figure to give Megatron a more traditional look with his cannon attache dto his arm.

Transformation to Jet Mode:

  1. Detach the Fusion Cannon, separate the halves and set them aside for now.
  2. Detach Doomshot and transform him into robot mode.
  3. Push the "rocket launcher" parts down.
  4. Swing the panels on the back of the lower legs out.
  5. Swing each foot back into the lower legs.
  6. Swing the lower legs up over the thighs, then connect them together in the middle.
  7. Swing each of the rear stabilizer pieces up.
  8. On each arm, swing the panel on the back of the forearms forward.
  9. On each arm, swing the tread piece on the upper arms forward.
  10. Rotate the entire section forward and back, connecting the tab on the shoulder section of the arms to the corresponding slot near the stabilizers.
  11. Push the upper part of the arms up against the sides where there is a tab that connects to a slot on the arms.
  12. Swing the lower arms back against the upper arm panels.
  13. On each side swing the wings and the horizontal stabilizers down.
  14. Swing the chest panel down so it lines up with the knee armor section.
  15. Swing the tank turret down.
  16. Swing the front part of the vehicle forward, revealing the jet nosecone and cockpit.
  17. Push the tank turret up against the bottom of the vehicle.
  18. Swing the top of the cockpit section up.
  19. Swing out the nosecone and then swing it shut.
  20. The silver weapon attaches to the top of the vehicle.
  21. The front part of the cannon can attach to the front of the turret.
  22. Doomshot can sit inside the cockpit. Just lift the top of the cockpit section up and sit the figure inside, then close it.

There have been some stories about the panels on the back of the legs popping out, so be careful with those sections. Also, the wings have a tendency to pop off during transformation. They pop back on easily enough, but I wish they had used metal rods to keep them in place.

Jet Mode:
We are long past the time when Megatron having an aerial mode is strange or odd. For instance, in the "Energon" toy line he transformed into a spaceship. More recently Megatron transformed into a stealth bomber in the "Generations" line. However, this particular aerial mode looks more like the classic G1 Seeker jets such as Starscream and Skywarp. Key features that recall those characters include having both horizontal and vertical stabilizers in the back, wings that sweep back and have points on the ends. The cockpit section is also flanked by two air intakes. In what may be coincidence, this mode is a bit of a meta reference to a proposed Megatron action figure that was never made. Back in the days of Generation One, concept art was drawn up for a triple changing Transformer that would transform from Megatron, to Skywarp to Skywarp's vehicle mode. You can see the concept on the TFWiki.

Most of the jet based design elements on this mode can be seen on the top and sides. The jet details such as the wings and the cockpit are really sharp. Ther eare also a lot of nice, intricate details such as lines that look like armor panels. The wings even have a clearly sculpted separation between the main parts of the wings and the flaps on the back. Even the bottom of the cockpit section has some nice, angled details. I was really impressed by how much eye candy there was in this sculpt.

Of course, being a Triple Changer there is a lot of mass to account for on this figure. Most of it winds up on the bottom of the jet mode. Some fans will be annoyed by this, especially with bits like the treads sticking out a bit on the sides and a big tank turret on the bottom but if one is going to be realistic, the parts have to go somewhere. I suspect there are ways the designers could have made the jet look different and "cleaner". However I'm sure that would have raised the price considerably as well.

This mode reveals a lot of new parts including the front of the jet and the wings. Most of these parts are grey, but some of the silver from the robot mode shows in the middle thanks to the chest plate. The cockpit cover is cast in translucent orange plastic. The wings have beautiful metallic red stickers on them with silver edges. The red and black paint from the robot mode's lower legs also appear on the top of the vehicle, adding a nice splash of color.

This mode can carry four Titan Masters. One can sit in the cockpit, another in the silver weapon on top of the jet. On the front end there are two Titan Master pegs, allowing two Titan Masters to stand there (though that seems to be a terribly uncomfortable place to be while a jet is flying). The tank turret does double duty as landing gear (thanks to non-rolling wheels sculpted onto it) as well as a weapon.

Transformation to Tank Mode (from Robot Mode)

  1. Detach the Fusion Cannon, separate the halves and set them aside for now.
  2. Detach Doomshot and transform him into robot mode.
  3. Swing the panels on the back of the lower legs out.
  4. Swing each foot back into the lower legs.
  5. Swing the lower legs up over the thighs, then connect them together in the middle.
  6. Swing the stabilizer sections forward.
  7. Swing the tread pieces on the upper arms forward.
  8. Rotate the forearms to line up the tread pieces.
  9. Swing the piece on the back of the forearms forward.
  10. Swing the arms down. The peg on the piece with the stabilizers on it fits into the robot fists to keep it in place.
  11. Fold the wings down over the sides of the tank.
  12. Swing the turret forward and turn it around.
  13. Attach the front of the Fusion Cannon to the front of the turret.

You may find that after forming the tank, the panels from the lower legs have a tendency to pop up. The best thing to do is revert the legs back to their robot form, then start again and make sure each part is folded in properly. There is little to no "wiggle room" for these parts, they have to be lined up perfectly to get the tank mode right.

Tank Mode:
Megatron turning into a tank was once considered a bold and interesting move for the character who was traditionally a gun in his alternate form. Of course, that was in the early 90's! Since then various Megatrons have taken on tank forms including the Generation 2 Megatron, "Robotmasters" Reverse Convoy, "Armada" Megatron and more recently "Combiner Wars" Megatron.

In many ways, the tank mode succeeds more than the jet mode by virtue of what it is: a boxy, thick vehicle with a turret on top. Quite simply the tank mode is much more forgiving of a figure with bulk than a jet. Indeed, as a tank mode goes, this one is pretty sleek looking. This is partly thanks to the wings that fold over the sides towards the back. The side panels from the middle to the front do a nice upward slant from the treads to the front and there are some really nice, intricate details that look like everything from armor plates to vents to storage compartments. Having the front of the Fusion Cannon as the cannon for the tank is not only appropriate for Megatron, but it looks awesome and convoys power. Sure some jet mode details carry over (such as the thrusters in the front and wheels on the turret) but to me they are easily dismissed as a necessity of the Triple Changer gimmick.

This mode shows off a nice combination of the various colors seen in the other modes. You get some of the metallic silver, some darker grey, some lighter grey and translucent orange plastic on the turret. This mode also reveals additional details towards the front. On each side there is a red stripe in an "L" shape with a Decepticon sticker on top. The wing stickers add a splash of color towards the back.

While Megatron has sculpted treads, he actually rolls on four wheels on the bottom of the tank. The turret can actually turn in a full circle, which is very unusual when compared to most Transformers tanks. It can also angle upward (a bi-product of the transformation) which gives Megatron a lot of options for blasting his enemies! The tank mode can accommodate three Titan Masters, one in the turret and two standing on the pegs in the back. If you want to use his other weapon, you can attach them to the top of the Fusion Cannon. This actually allows you to seat an additional Titan Master. On the sides towards the front are 5mm ports, allowing you to attach additional weapons. If you use the weapons from other Titan Master figures, you can then seat even more Titan Masters!

Final Thoughts:
I went into this review with a bit of trepidation. Triple Changers can be tricky figures, especially when they have to form semi-realistic vehicles. In Megatron's case I actually wound up liking this figure much more than I anticipated. The transformations are very intuitive and fun. While the figure could have definitely used more deco, I cannot say it looks bad at all. If you are looking for a Voyager Class Megatron then this would be a nice addition to your collection. That said, other fans may just want to wait for Blitzwing if your Megatron quota is already overflowing.

Pros:

  • Very detailed sculpt.
  • "Megatron" details including the chest, face and arms all look great.
  • Finally a Fusion Cannon that can be detached and reattached in various ways!
  • Fun and intuitive transformations.

Cons:

  • There have been reports of stickers peeling very easily (mine have not done this).
  • Wings have a tendency to pop off during transformation.
  • Jet Mode may be too "thick" for some fans.
  • You have to make sure everything is lined up just right in tank mode or the leg panels pop up.