Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Sharkticon Megatron

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Decepticon, Prime, Voyager

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: July 2013
Price Point: $19.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Tartarex Warp Sword

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text in italics below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
The invincible Decepticon tyrant is repaired, refitted, and hungry for revenge on Sharkticon Megatron!
To defeat an old enemy, this Sharkticon Megatron figure has awesome new weapons! Your Transformers adventures are going to be better than ever with this incredible Sharkticon Megatron figure. In robot mode, he's armed with a spiky sharktooth spear, and the blades snap out when he's ready to attack! He can launch a devastating attack from above in his new shark jet mode! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his Autobot enemies throw at him!

Figure comes with accessory. Voyager Class Series 2 006 Sharkticon Megatron. Ages 5 and up. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

MegatronIntroduced in the 1986 theatrical film "Transformers: The Movie", the Sharkticons were a legion of transforming warriors who could transform into shark-like creatures. They served the Quintessons, but were originally modeled on a Decepticon G1 toy called "Gnaw". The influence of the Sharkticons has continued to pop up here and there in the "Transformers" toy line including Energon Sharkticon and the Sharkticon "Drones" from Botcon 2010.

In the "Beast Hunters" toy line, there have been many examples of characters retaining vehicle modes and robotic bodies, but having "beast" like parts become part of their design. Examples include Bumblebee and Soundwave. This time out, Megatron gets this treatment, using the Sharkticons as the inspiration!

Tartarex Warp Sword
I'm starting the review of this figure with a look at the weapon partly because it is a transformable weapon in the style of the "Mech Tech" weapons used with "Dark of the Moon", except Hasbro has learned from their previoius experiences and focused on making the weapon transformable in such a way that it can retain its form in either mode. It's also a great place to kick off this review because of its name. The name "Tartarex" evokes the name "Tartarus", the deep abyss in ancient Greek Mythology that serves as a place where Gods and Titans alike were banished. It wasn't a "Hell" in that those banished there were still alive, they were just "stuck" there. Given the shark/ocean reference with this figure, this is a very appropriate name for Megatron's weapon. However, if we stretch the analogy one (modern) step forward, "tartar" is also often associated with a sauce used to dip fried fish dishes, adding a layer of humor to the figure's already somewhat outrageous appearance.

The Tartarex Warp Sword looks more like a mechanical fish with pointy bits all over it. There are eyes, a mouth at the front end and details that appear to be a mash up of sea life from sharks to sawfish to a lion fish (or other similarly large finned exotic fish). Even the sword detail itself looks almost like a part inspired by an aquatic life form. The handle on the sword even has coral like designs at the section where you'll find a hinge. A lot of care went into the design of this weapon and it looks like it could even function as an indepdent drone in the water (though I doubt Megatron would want to throw his sword around that way).

Purple plastic is the primary color used on this weapon with light blue plastic used on smaller parts like the gears in the back and the handle. Silver paint is used to paint teeth details at the edge of the mouth while bright green is used for the eyes. It's nice to see paint deco on an accessory.

In its "default" mode the Tartarex Warp Sword takes the place of Megatron's Fusion Cannon with the mouth serving as the cannon barrel. The sword blade on top and the saw blade on the bottom of the mouth both extend out beyond the edge of the cannon, making this weapon deadly in three different ways! To transform the weapon, pull the saw which swings the sword blade back. At the same time, a "horn" will extend out from the mouth. Then swing down the handle and clip it to the back of the saw piece and now you have a large blade weapon complete with a handle in the middle for Megatron to hold. There are also pegs on either side of the figure that allow you to attach other weapons. Overall, the Tartarex Warp Sword is one weapon that looks as dangerous as it is wacky.

Robot Mode:
Sharkticon Megatron uses the "Robots in Disguise" Megatron as its base sculpt, retooling it and giving it a new deco to make this "new" figure. Now, often time when I say "retool" it's easy enough to think only a head was changed or one or two other parts. In the case of this figure however, I would say easily 80% of the parts on this figure are new or retooled parts when compared to the original. Here's a look at some of the major changes:

  • Robot Head: The head is a new sculpt (possibly a heavy retool) that features a shark-fin like crest on the top of the head and a mouth that looks like it's quite wide like a shark.
  • Shoulders: The shoulder armor is shaped much like a coral reef, complete with spike like protrusions.
  • Chest: The chest panels come togethre to form a round "shark face" akin to the G1 Sharkticons complete with big eyes and a round "mouth" with teeth.
  • Forearms: The forearms have curved armor, much like the firs titeration of this sculpt, but the forearms now have fins that point forward.
  • Hands: The hands on this figure look very similar to the previous one, but they have a slight difference in the thumbs, which have an extra bit of curvature going inward.
  • Legs: The lower legs are much more full of detail than the previous version, including lines that make the armor look layered and extra points coming up at the knees. There are even small vents near the feet.
  • Back: The center piece in the back is a newly sculpted piece complete with fin like curves sweeping upward and an engine like piece in the center.

The cumulative effect of these changes is frankly, one insane looking Megatron. He's completely wacky and I love it. I first saw the leaked pictures of this sculpt before any paint scheme was revealed and I knew from the get go he was going to be something unusual and fun. Having it up close now proves my original suspicions and I'm super happy about that!

Megatron is cast in metallic brown (which looks almost dark grey in some lighting), silver and light blue plastic. The metallic brown makes up most of the figure, with silver and blue making up smaller parts like the thighs and feet respectively. Paint colors include pink, silver and blue, matching the light blue plastic. These colors are inspired by those on the G1 Sharkticon and they work well against the metallic brown color. They're used sparingly so they don't overwhelm the figure at all. Like the sculpt itself, this is not a conventional color scheme but it looks great.

There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. The hip joints on my copy of this figure are slightly looser than the ones on my first Megatron. It doesn't hamper his ability to stand or anything, but it's noticable. The other joints are all nice and tight. The forearms and the back have connection points for 5mm peg weapons. You can attach the Tartarex Sword/Cannon to his arm in place of his Fusion Cannon. If you transform it into its blade weapon form, you can fit the handle into his hands.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the two halves of his feet together.
  3. Swing the robot hands in.
  4. Lift the shoulder armor.
  5. Rotate the shoulder armor around.
  6. Swing the back piece up, this will also take the arms with it.
  7. Swing the silver chest armor pieces down.
  8. Swing the arms in.
  9. Rotate the forearms around so they can connect together.
  10. Swing the arms up and connect the holes on the upper arms to the pegs on the back panel.
  11. Rotate each leg inward.
  12. Swing the waist and legs up.
  13. Lift and swing out the outer panel on each leg, there is a hooked wing tip on each panel, swing that out as well.
  14. Opening up this panel reveals a tab on the inside of each leg, this connects to a slot on the back panel.
  15. Lift the wing panels (each is on a hinge) so you can also attach the silver tab on the back panel to slots on the inside of the leg/wing panel.
  16. This is a tricky part, the opening made by the area beind the robot knees winds up creating a gap for the shoulder armor. It all fits, but you have to fiddle with it quite a bit. Your aim is to get the angled shoulder armor "spikes" to point forward.
  17. Near the robot head is a translucent piece with a peg hole in it. Swing this back.
  18. Swing the sides of the back panel forward to cover the robot head.
  19. Swing the chest armor pieces forward.
  20. Attach the Tartarex Cannon to the top of the vehicle using the hole in the translucent piece.

Vehicle Mode:
The official description of this vehicle is a "Shark Jet Mode", which is a wonderfully wacky description and an apt one. The front end of the vehicle is formed by his chest panels, forming the "shark head" complete with teeth in front and the eyes on the side. There's even a bit of a "fin" on the top. This extends to a "neck" that connects the "head" to the rest of the body. The rest of the body definitely has aquatic features to it including the fins in the back and extensions in the front (from the shoulder armor) and on the wings that look like parts of coral. If you attach his weapon to the top of the vehicle it adds to the fish-like design aesthetic. While the front end looks like a shark, the back looks like a manta ray's body in some respects, mostly thanks to the wings extending out to the sides. This wacky "beast vehicle" looks really silly and somehow awesome all at the same time!

The same plastic colors from the robot mode carry over here, with the brown, silver and blue all making bold appearances. The design favors the dark colors, especially the brown which makes up most of the vehicle. Several details are colored in pink, including the middle, the wings and the edges of the "mouth". Silver is used on the "gums" of the teeth in the front section. The "eyes" are painted green, completing a very "Sharkticon-esque" face in the front. Green is also used for a very unusual iteration of the Decepticon symbol. The top looks like your well known symbol, but the eyes are round and the bottom is a big shark toothed jaw, like a Sharkticon. It's as if the designers needed one last feature to punctuate the wackiness of this toy - and I have to say, it works perfectly.

The cannon can attach to a hole in the middle of the figure. Technically there are extra holes by the rear fins, but it's hard to find a peg long enough to fit in there nicely. Truthfully, he looks best with the Tartarex weapon on top as it matches the whole "fish" motif.

Final Thoughts:
I'm absolutely nuts about this figure. It's so incredibly silly that I can't help but be amused by it. The chutzpah it took to even put this out has to be respected and I totally love it. It's not for everyone, but if you can appreciate the artistic intent here, it's highly recommended!