Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Transformers Combiner Wars Megatron Review

Combiner Wars Megatron
Combiner Wars Megatron
For a character as important as Megatron, it is perhaps surprising that the Generation One incarnation of the character has had so few toys based on him.
Optimus Prime is iconic, as in virtually every iteration he is some form of Red and Blue truck.

Due to modern gun laws dictating that we will never see a replica hand gun version of Megatron again (Nerf gun style not included), Megatron has been everything from a hand gun, a tank, a stealth bomber, various alien jets & tanks to a flying hand.

So here we finally have a G1 style Megatron figure, with a Tank alt mode just like IDW or G2.

Is it all that we dreamed it would be? Hit the button below to see the full review and find out.

Tank Mode

combiner wars Leader class Megatron

Megatron is once again a Tank, which is easily the most fitting alt mode for a despot military leader. These are the clothes Megatron should always wear Hasbro, stick with it.

What is cool, is that the Tank has a very retro style to it, and it looks like the sort of vehicle that could have happily fit in amongst the original Transformers toys.

It is very reminiscent of Megatrons G2 form, probably more than any other version of Megatron. I'd love one in that colour scheme, in fact just make it and I will you my bank account details Hasbro.

Generations Megatron tank

Away from his pretty aesthetics, this Megatron comes with quite a few gimmicks or "action features" as we might have called them as kids.

First, he has two small pistols that fit into peg holes on the turrets. You can pull them out and combine them into a longer rifle should you so wish (more on that later).

Next up, the turret can rotate and is completely unhindered so goes alllllll the way round. Sadly the barrel can not pivot up or down, as it Megatrons fusion cannon, but it can fire a missile and remove some unsuspecting child's eye.

You will notice across the Tanks body that there are also weird doorstop looking things, which are actually Armada mini con ports, being as his wave mate is a repaint into Armada Megatron.
So you can plaster him up with mini cons giving him the power cosmic or whatever mini cons did long after I had got bored of watching the show.
I suppose that is arguably his justification for being in the Combiner Wars line, as he sure does not combiner with any of the other figures.

transformers combiner wars megatron

The final feature is arguably the coolest, as it is something you rarely see on Transformers despite an abundance of Tank figures - that is working treads!
If you move the toy across a flat surface, the tread wheels will move and the rubber treads will then slide along them, grinding anyone in their path to dust.

Pretty cool that.

Megatrons alt mode, being leader sized, is quite massive too which fits with him being the villainous imposing leader of the Decepticons and it is a really great toy. I think if anything this is probably the best mode this toy offers, especially if you have him rolling other toys into robotic pancakes.

Hasbro have actually made a regular, non H Tank, and it is locked together solidly with no gaps or real compromises.

Robot Mode

Transformers Generations Leader Megatron

Transforming Megatron is mostly a joy, as the way the arms and legs form is inspired simplicity. Sounds like something from a car advert.
You pull the arms apart and they fold out so neatly, with the front of the Tank flipping up to form Megatrons iconic G1 chest. The treads split, with the front halves becoming part of the back, and sliding down on a weird Red assembly that maybe feels a bit fragile. But the two front halves clip together and lock into place, so they are fairly solid.

The legs unfold from the sides in one fluid motion then snap into place at the knees.....and you are done.

Easy peasy, but in a really fun way.

combiner wars megatron head

The first look at Combiner Wars Megatron is somewhat awesome, as it is the first time there has really been a toy that has hit the G1 cartoon look so spot on.
True, there was a Masterpiece toy but it was designed in two weeks, and....at best it looks like a weirdo who hangs around peoples bins on the streets.

This guy takes all of the hallmarks of G1 Megatron, and somehow squeezes them into a completely different alt mode - but it makes total sense.

The head sculpt is instantly recognisable as Megatron and has already jumped up my leader board for "best Megatron head ever" to number one (it is one of those pin boards, like that which flattened Flat Stanley).
Megatrons face is perfect, and despite Hasbros figures more recently leaning towards IDW - the head on this guy is resoloutely G1

Giant Black Dairylea eyebrows and all. There is some pretty use of Silver covering the entire figure, along with Red just like his cartoon progenitor (never thought I'd use that in a sentence) as part of an overall neat paint job.

Other cool design flourishes lifted from G1 are the chest and the molding on the shoulders appears to be an attempt at mimicking the pistol hammer from the original Megatron design.

His legs look much better in real life than the early photos, but of course his most iconic feature is that massive fusion cannon.

The "proper" way to have it, is with the Tank barrel pointing forwards, after you have compressed it down, but it does not go all the way in so looks silly. You can easily flip it around so it looks better, or more traditional at least, as it is just on a hinge that allows it to sit on the side of his arm, or on top of it depending on what kind of pose you wish to pull off.

Combiner Wars Megatron articulation

It has been a positive ride on the sunshine bus so far, but now we have to speak about articulation - and this is where it becomes the most disappointing figure out of the Combiner Wars line (so far anyway).

The articulation here is a battle, that is probably the best way to describe it, along with hindered. His shoulders are on this weird red tube assembly that is brilliant as part of the transformation, but looks weird for the arms. It also does not allow for clearance in order to splay the arms out sideways either.
You can sort of force it around, with a lot of adjusting, but then the cannon barrel (if you have it the way I do) is blocked by the treads on his back.

Combiner Wars Megatrons legs are the worst offenders though, the articulation here is hindered at every turn.

His crotch plate blocks the legs from moving very far forward, which is strange considering the articulation is all there if you flip the crotch plate down.  Then you have the knees, which cannot bend very far due to the Tank treads on the back blocking them..
Lastly Megatrons ankles have tilt, but it is so minimal that you may not even notice it is there. This is compounded by the hip ratchets where the clicks are too far apart so you have a choice of straight legged, or massive A stance and nothing in between.

Hasbro got the look of this toy so right, but the articulation is fundamentally flawed (in best lawyer voice), and dynamic posing is completely off the table.

combiner wars leader megatron optimus prime mp-10

Combiner Wars Megatron is a decent sized leader class figure, being only slightly shorter than Masterpiece Prime (the second incarnation). For me that is perfect, as I don't care much for scale and now my Masterpiece Decepticons (or more appropriately the "that sort of size shelf as it should be more aptly named, due to having a few non MP's thrown in there) have a leader.

I know it bothers many people that Megatron is shorter than Prime, but I always saw them as about the same size, or Prime slightly taller anyway. Optimus always looked lanky in the show, whereas Megatron just looked like a regular dude with gigantic death cannon sticking out of his forearm,

They are just toys, so I don't really care about the sizes to be honest. Megatron looks double hard anyway.

Owing as Hasbro are so close to IDW now, Megatron does also come with a sticker sheet to allow you to give him an Autobot badge, those swirly chest hair things, and some extra detailing for the cannon. I figure he looks better stock, so have not bothered to apply them, plus I would only get them wonky anyway.

leader Megatron gun combiner wars

Hasbro have been leaving out weapons for figures, or giving them terrible ones for yonks, but when it comes to a character who already has a massive gun welded on to his arm - they give him a neat combing rifle.

The combined form may not look so great, but when split into two - the smaller guns are fantastic for use with other figures. Mine now live in the hands of the Stunticons who got short changed with a pipe and an axe.

Axe man is awesome though, obviously.

Combiner Wars Megatron masterpiece optimus prime

Combiner Wars Leader class Megatron has a lot to like about him. As a leader class figure he is big, he is an awesome looking update to the original G1 character, and he stands fairly well amongst a band of Masterpiece figures. Transforming him is a sublime experience, and that head sculpt is amongst my favourite ever.

Something that is so close to greatness is just slightly held back by his poor articulation, and that is really disappointing. You could have had it all Hasbro! 

Still, it is the best Megatron we have got thus far and does look brilliant - maybe I am just nitpicking?

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  2. Awesome review. Extra credit for the Flat Stanley reference and the bin weirdo comment.

    1. I always knew flat stanleys time would come again. How are you finding your Megatron? That tank mode is wicked right, rolling thunder.