Transformers Universe Megazarak & Caliburn Review

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Armada, Decepticon, OTFCC Exclusive, Transformers Universe

Transformers Universe

General Information:
Price Point/Size: $50 (Ultra)
Retailers: OTFCC 2004 Exclusive
Release Date: July 2004
Transformation Difficulty Level: 4 (Advanced)
Accessories: Missiles x 3, Caliburn Micromaster/Mini-Con figure

Images:

When Armada Megatron was first released for Armada, some fans felt he was somewhat of a homage to the G1 character Scorponok. What really drove this "homage" home was his color scheme (which was heavy on green, a color Scorponok also had in spades) and the horns on the side of Megatron's head, which looked like the antennae/horns on Scorponok's head. Add to that a theme of "claws" on Megatron's head, his left hand and two in his vehicle mode, and the mental associations was solidified.

In Japan, G1 Scorponok was named Mega Zarak, and in what one can see as sort of a cosmic fan convergence of ideas, Armada Megatron has been given a new deco and identity for the OTFCC 2004 Transformers Universe exclusive toy: Megazarak. This review will focus on the changes made to this toy for this release. For more detailed reviews of the toy itself, please read the Armada Megatron and Armada Galvatron reviews.

Packaging:
As with all OTFCC exclusives, the packaging for this toy was made especially for it alone. The packaging is a beautiful window box with original artwork of the character on the front, with a "Universe-esque" orange explosion behind it. The 20th Anniversary logo for Transformers is proudly displayed on the corner, making this truly a milestone exclusive.

Artwork for both Megazarak and Caliburn is on the top and back of the packaging. While I would expect Megazarak artwork, I was pleasanty surprised to find Caliburn artwork on the back. It's also interesting to note that Megazarak has artwork of his vehicle mode as well on the back.

The tech specs use a visual play on the current use of "cog" symbols in Energon by using a cog/gear like symbol for Megazarak's various power point ratings. Overall, this is a fantastic packaging job, one of the best yet.

Caliburn

Caliburn is a redeco of the Leader-1 sculpt. Although technically the toy is a Mini-Con, the storyline identifies him as a Micromaster who can serve as a weapon for Megazarak. However, his sculpt still has the Mini-Con symbol intact, so perhaps he comes from a universe where Mini-Cons and Micromasters are interchangeable
terms.

Anyhow, this is a rather dark version of this toy. His primary colors are dark gray and dark metallic flake blue. The weapon barrels are electric blue, matching the color used for Megazarak's missiles. The wheels in vehicle mode are silver, and the windows are metallic silver.

Caliburn's robot mode continues the dark theme, with some gold paint tossed in for details such as the Mini-Con symbol on his chest. His eyes are painted white and it is in this mode you can really see a lot of the dark metallic blue used on the arms and upper legs. While simple, the color scheme is enhanced quite a bit by the metallic flake used in the plastic. A very nice job.

Megazarak

The first thing to note about Megazarak is that all the electronics have been removed from the toy for this release. Some have cited cost, others have cited lack of "voice chips". Whatever the reason, this toy does not have the sounds or light that Armada Megatron and Armada Galvatron came with.

Since the electronics have been removed, this does take away several features. When you push the missile in on the tank turret to launch it, it doesn't make noise. Connect a Mini-Con to the circular Mini-Con port on the turret and nothing happens if you turn it. However, keeping in mind that this was a limited item, and that costs were an issue, it is not a huge loss, but it is one worth noting for anyone who is interested in this toy.

Vehicle Mode:
Megazarak's primary color is black, but not just a flat back. The black parts on the toy use metallic flake, giving it a nice shine, keeping it from being dull. Silver is used for a lot of detailing, which is fantastic as it helps give the mechanical bits a much more "tech" look against the black plastic. Among my favorite points with silver is the dual missile launcher on the turret. There, a tube (but not what's around it) is colored silver, looking really nice. The side of that same piece is also silver, enhancing and bringing out the mechanical details present in the mold.

As Armada Megatron/Galvatron owners know, there is a special section on the left side of the tank's forward section. Press the tab on that section and these three pieces flip out, allowing three Mini-Cons to attach to this section. These tabs are now dark metallic flake blue, the same that you'll find on Caliburn. Underneath however is a ton of tech detail now painted gold, which offers a great contrast to the black. Gold is also found on the front headlights (but the headlights themselves are orange).

A rather unexpected color that is found on this toy is electric blue. This shade of light blue is used for the missiles and for the right side "launching ramp" in tank mode. This color is also used in smaller quantities on the side of the tank on on the barrel. It may seem like a rather loud color to use on a toy that is mostly black, but the result is a color that looks like glowing energy against the black.

Another color used for detailing is red, however it only shows up a little bit in vehicle mode. It is used on the tank turret and on the edges of the claws that become Megazarak's "ears" in robot mode.

One other detail I'm glad they kept can be found on the treads. The treads themselves are silver, but each piece of the treads has a darker silver piece on it, which gives them a worn look that adds a level of detail to the toy. This was present on the previous two incarnations of this toy, so it's nice to see it here as well.

Robot Mode:
The robot mode is where Megazarak really explodes with color. Most of the colors that we only had hints of in the vehicle mode are in full force here. Red is found on his shoulders, waist, hands and upper legs. Silver is on his mid body and upper body, as well as his face. It's really nice to see the tech details on his legs painted silver. It brings out the intricately sculpted parts of the toy a lot. The large, sculpted Decepticon symbols on his shoulders are painted a really dark purple, which looks nice against the light grey background they rest on.

The head has been molded in dark grey metallic flake plastic - a fantastic choice. The metallic flake works here because it doesn't jump out at you, it's nice and subtle to the point where you have to really take a good look to see that it is there.

Functionally, nothing has changed with the toy (outside of its electronics). All its articulation points are solid, and the missile launcher works fine in this mode. You can even do the alternate mode with the turret in the front of the robot mode and it
will turn just fine.

Final Thoughts:
I really like Megazarak. He's a cool toy to begin with, but knowing the history of his name and how the toy relates to it adds a level to it. However, without the electronics, this truly does become more of a collector's item than something you just buy for your kid to toss around. At $50 a pop at the convention, this is one of those pieces you need to give serious consideration to before purchasing. I like it a lot, but I'm a hard core collector. Less serious fans may just want to go with one of this toys' previous incarnations.