Dark of the Moon Voyager Class Megatron Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Dark of the Moon, Decepticon, MechTech, Revenge of the Fallen, Voyager

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: April 2011
Price Point: $20.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Fusion Cannon/Blaster

Images:

*Images and text from The Official Transformers web site
MEGATRON has lost battles, but he has never been truly defeated. Even after his near total destruction by the AllSpark, he returned. This latest loss is nothing to him. He has plans thousands of years in the making that are finally coming to fruition. This time, nothing will stop him from annihilating the AUTOBOTS completely.

Spring into action with this vehicle-to-robot villain! Switch your mighty MEGATRON figure from robot mode to Mack Truck Mode – and switch his blaster to a fusion canon! As the battle rages on, keep converting him back and forth, so he’s ready to face whatever his enemies throw at him!

Weapons work with any MECHTECH TRANSFORMERS figure! Ages 5 and up.

While the Cyberverse makes up a smaller scale of figures in the "Dark of the Moon" toy line, the size class most fans are used to returns with "Mech Tech" technology. The generaly concept behind "Mech Tech" are weapons that transform from one type of weapon to another. These have standard peg sizes that allow the weapons to be swapped between figures.

Last we saw Megatron, he was damaged and retreating as The Fallen was defeated by Optimus Prime. It seems he hasn't fared very well as "Dark of the Moon" finds the Decepticon leader having adopted an Earth mode and hiding out as he plans his next move. For those who have been waiting for Megatron to adopt a vehicle mode based on an Earth vehicle, the time has finally come with this incarnation of the Decepticon leader.

Mech Tech Weapon:
Since the Mech Tech weapons are critical parts of this toy line, I will review the weapons separately if they have some type of functionality. How they work with each figure will be discussed in the review of the various modes. I will make one general statement that will probably be replicated throughout several of the first (and possibly second) wave of deluxe figure releases regarding the Mech Tech weapons: they cannot stay in their "transformed" state without being held in place. Most Mech Tech weapons are spring activated, and when you release the switch that transforms them, the weapons automatically revert back to their previous form. What concerns me is that the packaging for the figures clearly shows the weapons in their alternate forms with no indication that the transformed weapon cannot stay that way without support.

That said, Megatron finally gets a cannon like attachment that can be used as a separate piece, similar to his Generation One fusion cannon. The cannon is formed by the front portion of his tanker container from the vehicle mode so it has a curved shape with very obvious truck mode influences including spare tires attached to the sides and a ladder in the back. On the bottom is a black peg that swings down to allow Megatron to attach this to the sides of his forearms (or really anywhere else he has the appropriate slot such as the top of the vehicle mode cab section).

The front of the weapon features a large barrel in the center with four smaller ones flanking it (two on each side). It's a powerful looking weapon for sure and I think it befits a Decepticon leader and the threatening connotation that the term "fusion cannon" has held since Generation One. Even neater? The spare tires on the sides actually double as points for you to connect more Mech Tech weapons (or weapons from series such as Energon and Generations). In addition, there is a hole on the top of the weapon where a third weapon can be attached, giving Megatron some amazingly destructive potential with this blaster/fusion cannon!

Press the ladder piece in the back and the sides swing out and move forward in a movement that echoes the way Megatron transformed his arms into a fusion cannon in the first movie. However, the sides don't come together but rather reveal claw like protrusions on the inside with the smaller weapon barrels extending forward. This is actually the "true" fusion cannon mode according to the packaging and I think it looks cool. Correction from my earlier review: the weapon can lock into place thanks to the ladder being able to turn to the side. Thanks to fans including Karyu and Michael for pointing this out!

The blaster/fusion cannon weapon is cast in silver plastic with the handle on the bottom and the tires on the sides cast in black. This is quite different from the prototype, which had this part colored silver. What we do get is a bit of brown paint adding a weathered look to the left side of the weapon on the top. It looks good and blends with the rest of Megatron's robot mode well.

Robot Mode:
Megatron has always had a very skeletal looking robot mode in the feature films. Previously a lot of this creepy look was covered up with angled panels of armor and other sometimes messy looking bits and pieces. This time out, having an Earth based vehicle mode has tamed the "jagged bits and pieces" look a bit. Sure he still looks like death in robot form. His head has the same design that looks like the Decepticon symbol with tons of extra greebles. This time however, his head has a bit of an asymmetrical design with the right eye exposed more than the left, looking like he's suffered some damage. He also still has a lot of panels that look like they're covering up parts underneath in sections such as the triangular panels sculpted into the abdominal area and some of the angled bits found on his arms. He also carries over a couple other features from his previous incarnation including his hands with super long, creepy clawed fingers and feet with two large "toes" in the front.

In contrast to the design elements above, many of his parts are now much more straight forward. His chest has parts from the front of the vehicle mode on them, albeit moved at angles to give it that "Bay-verse" look. His legs do have a multi-layered armor look about them, but the armor panels are fairly flat and straight instead of being angular and going off in all sorts of directions. Kudos need to be given for the level of detail on the figure. The head sculpt is very intricate and creepy while his arms and legs have very nice details including tubes and raised sections that resemble machinery. Combining these more traditional Transformers design elements with the ones mentioned in the above paragraph work together to form a creepy looking figure that feels more solid in structure than his predecessors.

Megatron is cast in metallic tan plastic, silver, black and translucent red plastic. The tan is a very subdued tone, however what really looks great is the metallic flake inside of it, which looks spectacular when you hold it up to light and move the figure a bit. The grey makes up smaller parts including his forearms, hands, feet and the panels from the front of the vehicle that form his chest. The black plastic is found on smaller parts such as the top of his shoulders and the wheels on his legs. The translucent plastic is used to great effect on the head, which now shows more of the red color on the right side thanks to the asymmetrical design. His paint applications are done in grey, silver and tan. There aren't a ton of paint applications in this mode, and given the somewhat monotone nature of Megatron color schemes in general this doesn't shock me at all. What we do get is some silver on his face, grey on his legs and tan paint used on his arms to help match up with the rest of the figure. As to where I would have liked to see more paint, a lot of it is on the legs, which have some fantastic sculpted bits that I think paint would have helped accentuate. This includes details on the lower legs and the feet.

Aside from his Mech Tech weapon, Megatron includes another rather unusual accessory. To match his appearance in the film, and drive home his "worn down" state, Megatron comes with a rubbery, soft plastic hood/cape combination. One piece goes over his left shoulder and obscures a good bit of his torso on that side while the hood goes over his head and masks the "damaged" right side of his head. This cape/hood connects to Megatron using a tab on the hood that inserts into a slot by his shoulder. The hood and cape connect by a peg. I think this is a neat design element that adds some character to the figure, but really it looks better without it for display purposes.

There are twenty two points of articulation in this mode. This includes six in each arm and articulation on the chest, which can swivel from side to side. Megatron has five key connection points for Mech Tech weapons. Two are found on his forearms and another two are located on his lower legs. He also has a connection point on his back that can be used for weapons storage. If you add in the fact that you can attach three weapons to the fusion cannon, Megatron can attach a grand eight weapons in total!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Take off the cape/hood piece and detach the hood from the cape.
  2. Detach the fusion cannon weapon if atached.
  3. Swing each of the hands up against the forearms.
  4. Straighten out the arms and then rotate them back.
  5. On each shoulder, lift the seciton with the black piece up, rotate it around and swing it down.
  6. Push the two grey pieces on his chest together to form the front cage of the vehicle mode.
  7. Swing back the panel on his back.
  8. Swing the front of the chest panel up, at the same time push the head back.
  9. Swing the back panel over the head.
  10. Swing the arms so they are pointing forward.
  11. Extend the chest panel forward, then swing it up.
  12. Swing both arms in to connect them together.
  13. Rotate the lower body around.
  14. Swing the smokestack piece down so the smokestacks point up.
  15. Swing down the "V" shaped piece between his legs.
  16. Rotate the lower legs around so the wheels face out to the sides.
  17. Swing the robot feet back.
  18. Swing each leg up at the hip joint.
  19. Swing the rear wheel panels out.
  20. Swing up the rear halves of the drum/tank that sits on the back of the vehicle, then connect the two halves together.
  21. Swing the rear wheel sections in and connect them together in the back.
  22. Swing the robot arms up and tuck them on the underside of the vehicle.
  23. On the upper legs there are silver panels on the sides, swing those forward and lock them into place against the robot arms.
  24. Attach the fusion cannon to form the front half of the tank.
  25. The cape portion of the hood/cape accessory can be draped across the rear of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
As mentioned earlier in the review, Megatron's vehicle mode is based on an Earth vehicle for the first time in the movie trilogy. Specifically he transforms into a Mack tanker truck. You can see photos of the actual movie prop truck on Movieweb.com. The real life prop is a very run down looking truck with tons of rust and equipement attached to the trailer section. It is interesting to see that while the vehicle mode of this figure captures much of the essence and details of the real life prop, it also differs from it in some significant ways. First, let's look at what details did carry over into the vehicle mode:

  • The sloped Mack truck front "longnose" is intact.
  • The Mack truck "bulldog" is sculpted into the front of the truck.
  • The front of the truck features a cage with scoops on the bottom. Details include the "MACK" logo in the center and a spool for a tow line.
  • The side view mirrors are vertical and long.
  • The smokestacks have a thick section on the bottom which leads to a thin section and then a thicker one at the very top.
  • The tank on the back of the truck is partly covered by a tarp which is simulated by the "cape" resting on the top of the tank in vehicle mode.
  • On the sides of the vehicle, you'll find ladders in the center on either side.
  • The tank itself is long and oval in shape (which is fairly standard so this is no shock).

Even with these similarities, there are some fairly significant differences in the design of the real life prop and this figure. These include:

  • The front of the prop vehicle has a very noticable net covering the hood. No such detail is found on the figure.
  • The "spare tires" on the sides of the tank do not appear to be present on the prop vehicle.
  • The rear section of the vehicle has the biggest differences. On the prop vehicle there is a lot of equipment mounted on the back trailer area that are missing on the figure.
  • The front end of the vehicle has some spikes that extend out in front, different than the "cow catchers" on the front end of the figure.

In many ways, this vehicle looks like what Megatron may have looked like when he first took on this form, before he became beat up in the movie. The "problem" (if you want to call it that) in terms of movie accuracy is that this figure looks too clean compared to the rusted and disheveled Megatron seen in the "Dark of the Moon" film.

Megatron shows all the same colors in this form as the robot form including the tan, silver and black colors. The silver makes up a large portion of the back and details on the sides. The tan plastic make sup the rest of the vehicle except for the front cage and wheels, which are all cast in black. There aren't a ton of paint details in this mode. There is a bit of brown rust color on the fuel tank and on the sides. The wheels all have brown painted on the sides and tubes leading from a ladder on the side to the area above the two wheels in the middle are painted an off-white color. A hint of silver is found on the sides right behind the wheel wells in the front. Overall, I really wish more paint had been applied. Megatron is meant to look super beat up and rusty in the film, having the figure reflect that would have been really cool.

While not super movie accurate, there are some great sculpted details on this figure including ladders on the sides next to intricate looking equipment. The sides of the cab are lined with raised circles representing rivets and there are storage panels on the sides behind the front wheel wells. On the "tarp" that fits on top of the fuel tank are straps and buckles sculpted along the accessory. The detail level you would expect is there, and I wonder if the designers had to work off early drawings or mock ups of the final prop, thus leaving certain key details (see above) out.

Before you think I'm totally down on this figure, I am going to say right now that this truck is fun for another reason. You can attach up to six Mech Tech (or Energon etc.) weapons to this figure. Two are on the sides on the cab section, another is on top of the cab. Two are found on the "spare tires" on the sides of the tank and another connection point is found on the top of the fuel tank. Even better? His smokestacks can be used for "C Clip" weapons! In addition, his legs are designed in such a way that the rear of the vehicle can turn as if the trailer was a separate piece attached to the cab (but it's not, they do connect together permanently). I give high marks for the figures' play value in vehicle mode. Megatron should be armed to the teeth so I dig this functionality a lot.

Final Thoughts:
Megatron is a mixed bag. On the one hand I would say he's only about 80% movie accurate (not just in deco but in sculpt) but he's still a fun toy and that is sometimes more important than "movie accuracy. Recommended!