Superlink Toy Reviews: Galvatron G(eneral)

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Superlink

Transformers Superlink

General Information:
Release Year: October 2004
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $50 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Tank, Missile x 1

Images:

Sounds:

Tech Specs:*
Emperor of Destruction--Galvatron G(eneral)
"I shall rule the entire universe...that is the future!!"
Galvatron has acquired enormous power from an ancient force known as super energon. The Destron emperor will achieve his goal by any means, and his might has struck terror even among his own forces, not to mention the Cybertrons. Now the time has come for him to bring the eons-long war with the Cybertrons to an end so that he can become the true ruler of the universe.

Strength: 10+ Intelligence: 10+ Speed: 10 Endurance: 10+
Rank: 10 Courage: 10 Firepower: 10 Skill: 10+


*Tech Specs Translated by Doug Dlin.

For the past few years, whenever a Transformers toy line has offered up a Megatron, a redeco named Galvatron was sure to follow. Superlink follows this pattern with a redeco of the Megatron mold named Galvatron. In this case however, Takara used their version of the Megatron toy to redeco, which was a smaller version of the same toy we received in the US. While the one the US received could almost qualify as a supreme sized Transformers toy, the Takara one is roughly an ultra sized toy. Since the sculpt is the same, I recommend reading Energon Megatron's review to familiarize yourself with the toy design this one was based on.

Vehicle Mode:
Galvatron's vehicle mode is the same one that originated with Energon Megatron, a sleek looking, futuristic aerial fighter. Of course, in the world of Transformers, that also makes him a spacecraft, so there's quite a bit you can imagine with this vehicle mode.

The wonderful thing about this vehicle mode is that it has bulkiness and sleekness at the same time. The engines under the wings and the back portion are rather large, but then the wings are fairly thin and the neck to cockpit section is fluid and smooth. It's quite an achievement in my opinion. Very few Transformers are able to carry a bulk, but still look sleek. The designers managed to pull this one off very well.

In terms of sculpt, this is a detailed toy. On either side of the cockpit, you'll find guns. The guns on and under the wings are sculpted with several layers of detail. Vents abound everywhere from the main neck of the vehicle to the boosters on the sides. Nicely enough, the hexagons that normally form the robot legs become rear boosters here. The wings have a lot of nice line details giving form to the metal "plates" that make up the wings. On top of that, there are tech details towards the middle as well.

The most important and interesting aspect of this version of the Energon Megatron sculpt are the colors. It was obvious that Megatron was a homage to the G1 Galvatron design. However, this is the first toy to be released with a color scheme to go with the sculpt homage. Appropriately, Galvatron's primary color is purple. Purple has long since been one of those "definitive" colors for Decepticons/Destrons in the Transformers universe since the original Decepticon symbols were that color. Using that as the primary color for Galvatron in G1 just solidified the association. Other colors abound as well. Black, silver, red and translucent yellow all make appreances. The wings and tank/weapon are mostly purple, but the wings have black and silver parts, while the neck and cockpit are silver with red on the sides. Red is also used on the front and back of the engines under the wings. What's nice is that the red is on a backdrop of black parts, giving a glowing appearance that works nicely.

There was one missed opportunity here however. The tank/weapon accessory is mostly purple. Black, light blue and translucent yellow are all present to give it a bit of color. However, this piece has so much more detail that it's sad to see none of it was taken advantage of. In this toy's prior release as Megatron, all the scarred and open circuit panel details were given some paint to highlight them, emphasizing the damaged state. Here, some metallic red would have looked really nice on those parts, making it look like they were glowing with energy. The tank/weapon winds up looking really plain here.

Functionally, little is lost here. The tank/weapon still fires a missile when you press the button (in this case activating a sound). Pull the ends of the wings out and the wings open up into an "X" position. There are four Mini-Con pegs on the back of the vehicle, which the tank/weapon attaches to. Now, the smaller size of this toy makes it a bit harder to cram multiple Mini-Cons there (it was already hard on the larger version of this sculpt). Each wing also has Mini-Con pegs, and of course you can attach a Mini-Con to the top of the tank. These pegs also accomodate Energon weapons as well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the tank if you have it attached.
  2. Fold in the landing gear if you have it deployed.
  3. Swing the wings up so they detach from the boosters.
  4. Rotate the entire wing piece around.
  5. Flip the cockpit back.
  6. Swing the boosters out to the sides, flipping up the rear boosters as you do so.
  7. Slide the rear booster ends down and the robot feet will move out and flip open.
  8. Straighten out the robot legs.
  9. The robot arms are visible now, pull them out to the sides.
  10. Swing the robot head back.
  11. Pull the ends of the wings out to put them into "X" configuration, this is optional.
  12. The tank may be attached to the arms by flipping out the clips on the bottom and snapping them onto either lower arm.

Robot Mode:
Galvatron's robot mode is where the homage to G1 Galvatron comes together. The following portion of this review is covered in the Energon Megatron review, but it's worth repeating:

  • The head design is based on the Generation One Galvatron's cartoon head design, which was different than the G1 Galvatron toy's head design. Basically it was designed to make him look like he was wearing a crown, note the ridges on the side "horns", carry overs from Megatron's Armada form.
  • The cannons on Galvatron's shoulders are sculpted to resemble G1 Galvatron's cannon, which was more curved than G1 Megatron's, and had a curved line running through it like these do.
  • The chest piece is a barrel-like shape with four squares representing what would be abs on a human. These design features are very much influenced by the G1 Galvatron's cartoon appearance.
  • In the middle, between the upper body and waist, is a small design that resembles a belt buckle, this is a visual reference to a similar "belt buckle" feature on the G1 Galvatron toy.
  • On the waist, you'll find what seems to be a superfluous detail, a trapezoid type shape with a circle in the middle. This, in fact, is a visual homage to a similar detail on the G1 Galvatron toy which was actually a button used to activate his electronics.
  • Another detail can be found on the waist, specifically the hips. This one is a bit subtle. There you'll find a small rectangle with an indentation with ridged lines inside. This appears to be a visual reference to similar "saddle bags" that G1 Galvatron had on his hips.
  • G1 Galvatron's legs had circles at the knees which led to an arrow like pattern on his legs. Galvatron has a very similar pattern, and the triangles near the ankles are actually the landing gear in vehicle mode!

While all these details were also present on Megatron, the color scheme is what brings this screaming into ultra cool homage territory. Galvatron's robot mode is a wonderful balance between purple, black, silver and light blue. Red and translucent yellow play a role as well. The main body (and wings on the back) are mostly purple. The chest utilizes red and silver for detailing, which comes out strong against the purple. the arms and legs are both black on the upper parts, and silver on the lower parts. However, black runs down the center of the legs from the kneecaps to the area right before the feet begin. One thing I would have done differently involves the translucent yellow pieces. Following the G1 Galvatron deco, I would have made all those parts orange, but yellow works as a good secondary color, it's just not as accurate to the original.

The only color I find odd in this combo is the light blue. It seems a bit out of place. If it didn't appear on so many parts of the toy, it would just be downright strange. It feels quite a bit shoehorned into the design.

Galvatron has fifteen points of articulation in this mode, the only major one lost due to the transformation being his waist. But that hardly makes him unposable. Galvatron is able strike quite a few cool poses, thanks in part to having good leg articulation and lower arms that can rotate. Also, I didn't count the ability for his shoulder cannons to move as a points of articulation, so those are two more if you want to add them in. Trust me, there are plenty of cool poses with this toy.

One of the cool things about this redeco is that Takara tried to make it a little more worth your money by adding in an additional Energon Weapon. This one is a purple version of Cruellock's sword in purple. Also included is an Energon Star in the same color. This was the perfect color to go with Galvatron, and the perfect weapon. Although Galvatron's tank/weapon can act as a sword, it's nice for him to have one that fits right into his fists.

Galvatron's sound effects are both embedded in the tank/weapon. Move the sword a bit, and it makes a sound as if the sword is striking something. Press the trigger to launch the missile and it makes a firing sound. I find it fantastic that they didn't just recycle Megatron's sound effects, but rather they used new ones.
Very cool.

Final Thoughts:
This is an absolutely gorgeous redeco of a toy that was already a cool homage. Don't let the smaller size fool you, he's every bit as fun as his larger counterpart. The colors are fantastic homage colors, and the extra Energon weapon is icing on the cake. Highly recommended.