Transformers Prime Voyager Class Megatron Toy Review

in Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Prime, Robots in Disguise, Voyager

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: February 2012
Price Point: $22.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Blade weapon, Fusion Cannon/Blade weapon

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text in italics below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
MEGATRON began his life as a gladiator, built to fight in the brutal darkness of the Kaon pits. It was there that he learned that the strong survive and the weak perish, and there that he became determined to be the strongest of all. His conquest began there, and has since burned its way across the universe.,/i>

The AUTOBOT army’s worst fears are realized in this robot-to-spaceship figure! The villainous MEGATRON figure wields a battle claw and his fusion canon converts to a mighty sword. Keep switching him from robot mode to spaceship mode and back again, so he can handle whatever his opponents dish out!

Figure comes with accessory. Includes 2 button-cell batteries. Voyager Class Series 1: 002 MEGATRON Ages 5 and up.

MegatronFollowing the rather controversial run of the "First Edition" Transformers Prime action figures, the regular "Robots in Disguise" line begin in early 2012. Among the first figures released for this line was a Voyager Class Megatron figure. Previously, the only available "Transformers Prime" Megatron toy was a Deluxe scale version from the "Entertainment Pack" which only saw limited release outside of the United States. This makes the Voyager (aka "Powerizer") version of Megatron the first mass market iteration of the character for this series.

Robot Mode:
I think any discussion of Megatron's robot mode has to begin by addressing the proverbial elephant in the room: the amount of plastic and size of the figure compared to previous Voyager Class figures. The difficulty in making a true evaluation is that Voyager Class figures in themselves often varied in size from series to series. That said, if I were to put the size of this terms of previous series, I would say the Voyager Class now straddles a line between what the Voyager Class has been in lines like "Cybertron" and the old Beast Wars "Mega" class. Vector Prime for instance is bigger and bulkier than this figure, and if that is your sole deciding factor on whether to get this figure or not, then this review isn't for you.

Megatron's design has many influences including the G1 character, the Movie iteration of the character and the Decepticon symbol itself. The most obvious influence is the live action movie version of the character. Megatron looks like a robot with an inner layer of detail (which he does have) that is covered in curved armor with sharp angles and claw like designs all over it. Some of the most shining examples of this style are found on his shoulder armor, which has two curved pieces that look like the ends of a clawed hand. His chest armor flares out into these angles on the middle and that sides. This is very similar to the Movie Megatron, who also had an inner layer of detail overlaid by sharp looking armor pieces.

The G1 influence comes into play in three primary parts: the head, his legs and his Fusion Cannon. At first glance, you may just wonder where the G1 influence in the head is, but a closer look shows that the "helmet" portion of his head is designed to look a bit flat at the top, similar to the "bullet head" Megatron seen in some G1 advertisements and illustrations. His helmet then flares out to reveal a scary looking face and a wide chin, making its shape similar to G1 Megatron. The only oddity is his near lack of a nose. It's there but it's kind of squished into a groove in his face instead which looks kind of odd to me, but I've been slowly getting used to it as I follow the animated series.

The leg designs on this figure (and the CGI model) largely draw influence from G1 Megatron. Keep in mind that the original Megatron transformed into a gun (call it a blaster all you want, it was based on a real life weapon) so the handle of the gun had to wind up somewhere on the robot mode. In the case of G1 Megatron, the grips became his legs, resulting in panels with grooves on them from the weapon mode. History repeats itself here. Although "Prime" Megatron does not transform into a gun, he still has details on his legs that resemble the grips on a blaster weapon. It's a small, but cool detail to include in the figure that really shows some proper nods towards his predecessor.

Megatron's weapon is a large, tube shaped cannon mounted on his right arm. While its multi-layered design is more characteristic of the live action movie aesthetic, its influence has its roots in G1 Megatron's cannon, which also mounted on his right arm.

The rest of Megatron is not so mostl a homage to the Decepticon symbol and the live action movie Megatron. You'll see a lot of shapes on the figure flaring up at angles including the blade like designs on his shoulder armor, the angled designs on the mid-body area and his knee armor which resembles the top of the Decepticon symbol. Megatron's overall design involves layering of armor panels over major sections of his body. The most obvious example of this is his chest, which has a purple layer underneath covered by the silver panels that form his chest armor. The result is a nice mix of "old" and "new" in one form.

If there is a major weakness of this figure, it is the deco. Megatron is cast in solid purple, translucent purple, silver and metallic beige colors. While you can argue these colors are (for the most part) faithful to the animation model, the shade of the silver and beige colors really kill the overall effect. If you look at the Deluxe version of this figure, it uses silver, but darker shades that evoke the look of the character on the show. Here the silver is way too bright, to the point where it obscures the really beautifully rendered "brushed metal" details on his armor panels. The other colors such as the purple and translucent purple work very well, but it doesn't quite make up for the weakness of the silver.

Paint decos are done in silver, purple, and gold. The colors aren't used a lot. Mostly they fill in smaller details such as his knee armor, the "grips" on his legs and the purple seciton under his chest plates. His face is painted silver and a Decepticon symbol graces the center of his chest. To compensate for the silver, what I would have really liked to see would've been silver or gunmetal used on the "brushed metal" patterns (most notable on his chest and shoulder armor. This would've gone a long way to give him a more rich visual texture.

Megatorn has twenty one points of articulation in this mode. Since it really helps his arms move about, I'm including the articulation behind his shoulder armor which lets you move the armor out of the way to pose his arms. The head articulation is a bit limited since the base of Megatron's helmet is so wide. You can turn is head side to side, but not so he's looking over his shoulder. On each of Megatron's arms are two holes for Transformers weapons with 5mm pegs. The hole near his elbow has an extra slot to accomodate his Fusion Cannon on both arms. His hands are cast in an open position, but the way his thumb and pointer fingers curl allow you to put one more weapon there as well.

Like the "Dark of the Moon" Mech Tech weapons, Megatron's weapon can "transform". You do this by pushing the end and as you do so, two things happen. First, a red light shines and illuminates the translucent plastic in his forearm, giving a sense that he is charged up with power. At the same time, two blades swing out and connect together to form his arm's "sword". Technically you can pull the blades out without activating the weapon's transformation but the two halves don't really hold close to each other very well. This is a slight point of frustration for me. I love the idea of having the blade weapon swing out from the cannon and I like the light, but I don't like the fact you need to hold it in place. I had a similar complaint about the Mech Tech weapons.

Megatron also includes a blade weapon that attaches to his fist with a handle, and then connects to the hole on his forearms via peg. It's a pretty evil looking weapon with two blades in front and two on the sides. I can imagine Megatron doing quite a bit of damage with it! For storage, you can also attach this to his Fusion Cannon, which also has a peg hole on top of it near the cannon barrel opening. In terms of play value, Megatron is fun to pose and attach weapons to. He definitely looks menacing carrying his two weapons and his body design is quite imposing.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the two halves of his feet together.
  3. Swing the robot hands in.
  4. Lift the shoulder armor.
  5. Rotate the shoulder armor around.
  6. Swing the back piece up, this will also take the arms with it.
  7. Swing the silver chest armor pieces down.
  8. Swing the arms in.
  9. Rotate the forearms around so they can connect together.
  10. Swing the arms up and connect the holes on the upper arms to the pegs on the back panel.
  11. Rotate each leg inward.
  12. Swing the waist and legs up.
  13. Lift and swing out the outer panel on each leg, there is a hooked wing tip on each panel, swing that out as well.
  14. Opening up this panel reveals a purple tab on the inside of each leg, this connects to a slot on the back panel.
  15. Lift the wing panels (each is on a hinge) so you can also attach the silver tab on the back panel to slots on the inside of the leg/wing panel.
  16. This is a tricky part, the opening made by the area beind the robot knees winds up creating a gap for the shoulder armor. It all fits, but you have to fiddle with it quite a bit. Your aim is to get the angled shoulder armor "spikes" to point forward.
  17. Near the robot head is a translucent piece with a peg hole in it. Swing this back.
  18. Swing the sides of the back panel forward to cover the robot head.
  19. Swing the chest armor pieces forward.
  20. Attach the Fusion Cannon to the top of the vehicle using the hole in the translucent piece.

Vehicle Mode:
The design of Megatron's vehicle mode is largely based on his live action movie counterpart. The vehicle is decidedly alien looking, showing Megatron never bothered to take on an Earth based vehicle form. Like the movie Megatron, he has a small front section vaguely reminscent of a cockpit area with a wide section in the back with wings splaying out to the side with sharp looking details throughout the vehicle. Unlike the movie Megatron however, this vehicle mode has many more rounded and curved parts, giving it the appearance of a really mean looking flying saucer/U.F.O. It's an interesting balance because there are lots of really evil looking details such as the "hooks" at the ends of his wings, the front section that looks almost like a mouth with jagged teeth, but from certain angles the round shapes wind up softening the vehicle's appearance, making it look a bit more friendly than perhaps the leader of the Decepticons should in vehicle form.

Silver is still the dominant color in this form, but several purple parts (both plastic and painted) get to feature here as well. This includes the "neck" area connecting the front section to the back, which features both translucent and solid purple. Purple paint is emphasized more in this form on the wings and on the "collar" section around the armor that hides his robot head. A large Decepticon symbol appear son the left side of this "collar" section as well. Bits of silver and gold paint are used to provide additional detail. The silver is found on the vents near the wings and the gold can be seen towards the front. Aside from my previous comments about the silver color being too bright and needing refinement (or a darker shade), I really have no problems with this color scheme. It's consistent with what is seen on the television show (silver aside) and has a nice set of contrasting colors.

Functionally speaking most of your play value is in Megatron's weapon in this form. The weapon transformation/light up still works here and since it's on the center of the figure now, it's a bit easier to use the gimmick where you press the button to light up the cannon after its initial transformation. Megatron's forearms stick out the back a bit so you can use the peg holes on them to connect additional weaponry (which is always a plus in my book).

Final Thoughts on Arcee:
My "JaAm" rating on this guy is going to look awful high, but frankly I can't lie here and tell you, dear reader, that this is a bad sculpt. The sculpt itself is great. Megatron is show accurate and menacing. His cannon is big and imposing looking (something the Deluxe version lacked) and I do enjoy the blade weapon gimmick. However, the deco is simply not that great, and I'm still frustrated by the lack of ability to "lock" the weapon in place. If you're just looking to add this sculpt to your collection and don't want to break the bank, this is the one you want to go for. However, if history proves correct, a much more impressive deco will come out of Japan at some point - but you're going to pay a hefty price for it. Recommended, but with reservations.