Timelines: Botcon 2013 Megaplex Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Botcon, Decepticon, Machine Wars, Timelines, Voyager

Timelines

General Information:
Release Date: June 27, 2013
Price Point: $275 (In a boxed set with Hoist, Obsidian, Skywarp & Stryka)
Retailer: Botcon Exclusive
Accessories: Sword

Images:

MegaplexThe theme for 2013's Botcon exclusive boxed set is "Machine Wars". This was a relatively obscure line of "Transformers" figures released only in Kay Bee Toy Stores in 1997. This was a counterpoint to the main line, "Beast Wars" which focused on animals and creatures as the alternate forms for the "Transformers". "Machine Wars" focused on vehicles, mixing up previously unreleased sculpts with European exclusive sculpts given new decos, functionality and identities. Among the unreleased sculpts was Megaplex, who was a "Basic" class vehicle (roughly equivalent to a modern day Scout Class figure) that transformed using a spring-based system to quickly convert form one form to another. The conceit of this character was to be a "decoy" for Megatron since he two "Machine Wars" figures shared the same sculpt.

Using the "Machine Wars" version of the figure as inspiration, Fun Publications took the sculpt used for "Transformers Prime" Dreadwing and Skyquake figures and gave it a new deco to represent Megaplex in this set. Given that Megaplex is supposed to be a clone of Megatron in the story, the conceit of having the larger jet being the "leader" works and looks quite impressive in the set. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. Check out my "Transformers Prime" Dreadwing and Skyquake reviews for my previous reviews of this sculpt.

Vehicle Mode:
The original Megaplex was a silver jet with his primary details focused on his wings. Each has black stripe details on it and green symbols on the wings. Taking that basic design, the Dreadwing sculpt has been recast in colors that call back to the 1997 version of the character. These colors include a light silver, green, light blue and a milky translucent color. The light blue plastic are all soft plastic, forming some of the sharper shaped parts including the vertical stabilizers, horizontal stabilizers and nosecone. The green parts are really part of the robot mode, but like his 1997 counterpart those parts do show in this form so you get hins of his robot mode colors peeking out in this form. Silver is really the dominant color with the translucent parts used on the cockpit cover and the section behind it. Even without paint applications, it's pretty obvious from the get go just who this is meant to represent if you've seen the 1997 Megaplex.

Paint colors used on this figure include black, green and silver. The black is the most heavily used color. It forms bold black stripes running across the wings and rear, horizontal stabilizers. These are a direct homage to similar stripes on the wings of the 1997 Megaplex. Black is also used on the frame of the cockpit cover. Silver is used on small details at the back of the cockpit. green paint is used on the sides near the middle of the vehicle. These small accent details are really nice as they help fill out a lot of details that would have looked really plain otherwise. The finishing details are two large, black Decepticon symbols on the wings. The Decepticon symbols are set against green triangles, a callback to the triangular detail on the left wing of the original Megaplex.

Megaplex only includes the sword accessory from the Dreadwing/Skyquake release. He does not include the transformable cannon from either toy. My guess is the reason for it being excised was cost since that weapon had an electronic light up feature. Botcon releases traditionally take out any electronic features to keep the figure(s) at a reasonable price. The sword is cast in green plastic and can attach to the underside of either wing or the section behind the cockpit where there's a hole for 5mm peg weapons.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the sword weapon if attached and set it aside for now.
  2. On the sides of the figure, disconnect the rear horizontal stabilizers from the leg pieces.
  3. Swing the green waist pieces together on the underside of the vehicle.
  4. On each leg, swing the feet forward.
  5. Swing each wing up.
  6. On each wing, swing the rear panels up.
  7. On either side of the front section, pull the pieces with the horizontal stabilizers out to the sides.
  8. Swing the pieces that form the front landing gear out to the sides and slide them up.
  9. Swing the cockpit section up.
  10. Swing the robot head up (it's behind the cockpit section).
  11. Swing the nosecone back.
  12. Swing the translucent piece back.
  13. Swing the robot arms out.
  14. Swing the back section down.
  15. Connect the cockpit piece to the clips on the waist section.
  16. Swing the head section forward.
  17. Adjust the shoulder armor so it's tucked over the shoulders.
  18. Swing the wings down on the back.
  19. Swing the rear stabilizer section up.
  20. Attach the sword to either hand or forearm.

Robot Mode:
There have been no tooling changes made to this figure for this release. This pretty much means if you have any familiarity with "Transformers Prime", it's hard to look at this robot mode and not think Skyquake or Dreadwing just gave themselves a new paint job or that this is a third Seeker from that universe we simply hadn't met yet. To be fair, the Dreadwing head sculpt is rather distinctive, so it's difficult to really see it as anyone else. There's also the notable absence of the cannon. I almost wish it had been included sans electronics just because he feels a bit incomplete without it. Indeed, Dreadwing's cannon is even a good shape to be a faux version of Megatron's infamous Fusion Cannon. The comic book portrays Megaplex sliding away panels on his forearms to "fire" his cannon, but even with that imaginative dash of storytelling the toy doesn't feel quite "right".

All that said, Megaplex is a nice looking figure. In this form, the silver color makes up most of his armor with the green parts filling in smaller parts like the hands, upper arms and feet. The green is spread out nicely, offering visual breaks from silver part to silver part. Also used is light blue plastic, which you'll find on the shoulder armor, knee armor and the head. These colors work nicely as a callback to the 1997 Megaplex. If you're familiar with that line at all, the colors instantly take you back to that figure. There aren't a ton of paint details in this mode, but to be fair, there weren't a ton on the original Megaplex either. he does have white painted onto his face and the black outline on the cockpit section is quite prominent here. On either side of his chest are Decepticon symbols matching the design from the wings in vehicle mode.

Megaplex's joints are all nice and tight but on my copy of this figure the flap that is supposed to fold up on the left side wing won't stay up, so it keeps flopping back down. While a minor detail, it is unfortunate as his wings wind up looking as if he was damaged or somethingon the back of the figure. I haven't seen widespread reports of this so I'm not sure how common the issue is.

Final Thoughts:
Megaplex is a solid figure and looks cool in both modes. However, he's not one of the strongest figures in this set and I can't say rush out and go get him at any price. Rather, you have to really be a "Machine Wars" aficionado or love this sculpt that much to get it. Recommended, but for a very limited audience.