Mechatron is one of the Beast Riders, vehicles meant for use as accessories with the Beast Machines Transformers figures. Each vehicle is specialized towards one character. Mechatron is specialized for the dragon Megatron. This is specialization is mainly focused on the appearance of the toy.
In vehicle mode, Mechatron is a stand alone vehicle designed after Megatron's dragon mode. The center of the vehicle is translucent red with yellow and black eyes. Along with mechanical details such as tubing, there are dragon "teeth" and scale details on the jaws. Inside the mouth is a red missile launcher which holds two black missiles. On each side are sections which contain the wheels underneath. Each side is black fading into blue with dark silver detailing. The ends of these sections look like the horns on Megatron's Transmetal 2 beast mode head.
Attached to these sections are arms with claws at the ends. The arms are primarily blue, with silver "scales" and black claws. There really are not any points of articulation to speak of. To activate Mechatron's action feature, just press the top of the nose down and let go. The vehicle will then roll forward on its wheels on its own.
The vehicle is a cool representation of Megatron. Small details such as the scales and paint details are very well done.
Transformation to Chariot Mode:
Swing both "arms" in the back forward. Lift the panel on the top of the head and flip it around so the dual cannons face forward. The claw should face back. Mechatron is now ready for a passenger.
In chariot mode, much of Mechatron's appearance is the same as his vehicle mode. The rolling action works in this mode as well. However, as Mechatron rolls forward his arms will twist around and around in the front. The claw on the back may be used to hold onto a passenger. Most basic and deluxe Beast Machines toys will work with this vehicle. Because of his smaller size, the Beast Machines Transformers Megatron can stand on the back panel and ride his vehicle.
Mechatron's missiles can be fired by pressing the buttons on either side of the missile holder in its mouth. Megatron and Mechatron looks great together, and I think it would have been fantastic if they were sold as a set, a leader and his chariot.
Added 2/14/01: Mechatron was repainted and re-released to help refresh the Beast Machines line for 2001. The new color scheme is odd because it does not match any version of Megatron even going back to the Beast Wars toys. His primary colors are purple and yellow. The arms of the vehicle are yellow and gold. The middle of the vehicle is translucent purple and the cannon in the mouth is yellow. The nice "lightning pattern" that was light grey on the original is now black on this version. Although the colors work together well, they do not match any version of Megatron and thus makes one odd vehicle.
As an accessory, Mechatron is great. However, as a stand-alone toy, some people may be disappointed. Even the transformation is a bit of a stretch. Recommended as an accessory, not as a stand alone toy. B
Updated Thoughts (June 1, 2022):
It's been over twenty years since these toys were released, and after playing around with them for these updated photos I have to say I really respect the "outside the box" thinking that went into Mechatron. Both versions of this vehicle are really goofy and fun at the same time. I mean, sure it would have been cooler if the Deployers worked with these vehicles, but I still love the idea of Vehicons riding on a giant dragon head for no apparent reason. I also really love the colors on both these toys and the deco on the second version is particularly nice. These are not "must haves" by any means, but they do represent a really interesting and experimental time in the Transformers toy line.