"Beast Wars Neo" Magmatron Toy Review


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General Information
Release Date: February 1999
Price Point: $20-30 USD (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Magma Blade Sword Hilt, Magma Blade Sword Blade/missile, Wing Missiles x 2, Missiles x 2

Following in the footsteps of Galvatron is Magmatron! This Emperor of Destruction is a powerful Destron to the core. Comprised of three dinosaurs, Magmatron can fight on the land, sea and air. This is truly one powerful enemy for the Cybertrons to face. This toy was later re-released as one of the "Dinobots" under the Beast Machines line as the same character, but returning to Cybertron to find Megatron's Vehicon hordes overrunning the planet.

Beast Mode(s):
In Beast Mode, Magmatron is actually three different dinosaurs. Unlike previous Beast Wars releases Magnaboss and Tripredacus, the individual components of Magmatron do not each transform into robots, however they do combine into one beast.

Landsaurus is a Gigantosaurus, a dinosaur related to the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The main colors of this form are silver and purple. Looking at the under belly of the dinosaur reveals robot parts, specifically the chest of Magmatron's robot form. these parts are red and aqua blue. The claws on Landsaurus' feet and his teeth are gold.

The detailing on this toy is nice, with a lot of attention given to the criss crossing patterns on the dinosaur skin. The only piece which is not very dinosaur like are the back portions of his legs which reveal this dinosaur's true robotic nature.

Landsaurus has eight points of articulation. The missiles that are included with Magmatron can all be launched from Landsaurus' mouth by moving back the top half of the mouth. Magmatron's sword can be stored in Landsaurus' tail.

Seasaurus is an Elasmosaur, a sea based dinosaur similar to the famous plesiosaur. The main color of this beast is aqua blue, with some nice silver tinge on his back. The teeth are colored silver as well. No robot bits stick out in this mode at all, making it a very convincing beast mode.

Like Landsaurus, a lot of attention was given to the detail on this toy from the cross hatched detailing on the skin to grooves molded into the flippers. In this mode, Seasaurus has fifteen points of articulation. Four are his flippers, two of which are ball jointed. The other two can be moved back to make the flippers move in a "swimming" action. Ten points of articulation are focused in Seasaurus' long neck which is multi-jointed and the beast mode head can open and close its mouth. Seasaurus can store two of Landsaurus' missiles in his belly. His spark crystal is located inside the stomach area, on a piece which will later become Magmatron's arm.

Skysaurus is a queztalcoatlus. His primary color scheme is red and yellow with some silver and dark grey spray painting. Like Seasaurus, there are no robot parts sticking out, making htis a convincing dinosaur. The detailing on this toy is nice, but different than on Landsaurus and Seasaurus. This toy has a very smooth look to it, but some parts warranting more detail such as the claws and feet are very nicely done.

In queztalcoatlus mode, Skysaurus has forteen points of articulation. These are mainly focused in the beast mode feet and neck which each have about three points of articulation. Under his wings, Skysaurus can store two of Landsaurus' missiles. By pulling on Skysaurus' tail, the wings flap, making for a very nice effect. The underside of Skysaurus' left wing has his Destron Spark Crystal.

Combined Beast Mode
When Landsaurs, Seasaurus and Skysaurus want to combine forces but still stay beasts, they can form a beast mode comprised of all three dinosaurs! The result is a rather bizarre creature who packs a whallop in battle.

First, take Seasaurus and open him up. Fold out the Magmatron arms and put close him up. Flip him upside down and straighten out the Magmatron arms. Now fold down the rear portion of Seasaurus and fold up the Seasaurus dinosaur head.

Next, fit Landsaurus into the opening on Seasaurus. A peg in hold and latch will hold both dinosaurs together. Finally, fold down Skysaurus' belly and fold the beast mode head and belly back. Attach the two pieces of plastic protruding from the right and left sides of the belly piece and attach them to the two slits on Seasaurus' underside (now facing up). The combined dinosaur mode is complete!

Combined Dinosaur:
The combined dinosaur mode quite expectedly embodies all the features of Landsaurus, Seasaurus and Skysaurus combined. Aside from losing Skysaurus' neck points of articulation, this form is pretty much the same as the dinosaur modes, but all fused together.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin the transformation by opening up Seasaurus. When you fold the underside out completely, the half with the flippers on it can slide up and off of the base of the beast mode neck. Set that piece aside. Now, straighten out the arms on the other piece and set that piece aside.

Next, take Landsaurus and fold down the robotic parts on the backsides of his beast legs. Next, flip open the various panels on his side. Turn the robot chest plate around and swing around the gigantosaurus head so the dinosaur head is to the right side. Detach the neck of the gigantosaurus. Fold out the dinosaur skin portions of that piece and insert the sword missile into it to form his hand held sword. Snap together the halves of Magmatron's waist.

Form Magmatron's head and neck by taking Skysaurus and folding down his belly. Position the beast mode neck so that the peg faces down and the legs point upwards. Attach the peg at the bottom to the hole in the Landsaurus body trunk. Attach the peg on the right side of the neck into the hold at the base of the Landsaurus neck.

Next, take the piece of Seasaurus with the beast mode head on it and attach the peg on Seasaurus into the hole on Landsaurus' back. Fold the right arm over to latch onto the hole in the neck area of the gigantosaurus. Latch on the backside of the Seasaurus portion into the clip on the back of the neck portion of Skysaurus. Now, push the clip on Skysaurus' neck through the hole in the center of Magmatron's chest, and then fold down Skysaurs' head. Finally, snap the left arm into place, and fold the Skysaurus beast legs onto the two rectangular pieces on Magmatron's chest.

Insert the sword into his left hand, make sure to snap the peg into the hold in the hand. Take the underside of Seasaurus and snap it into the lower right arm to form his shield. Magmatron's transformation into robot mode is complete!

Magmatron Robot:
Magmatron is an impressive combination of three dinosaurs. His color scheme is naturally a combination of the colors of all three dinosaurs. Extra color is added on his upper arms which are mainly gunmetal (with a yellow piece of armor on his left shoulder). His face is mostly red and silver with green eyes.

In robot mode, Magmatron has twenty two points of articulation. This includes the many points of articulation on Seasaurus' neck, but also ankle, wrist, thumb and knee articulation. One point of articulation requires a bit of cheating however. In order for Magmatron's head to turn side to side, Skysaurus' feet need to be disconnected from the chest module.

In detail, Magmatron rivals Big Convoy. Besides the aforementioned dinosaur skin details, the sword Magmatron weilds has the Destron Spark Crystal and a mean looking blade on it. His robot parts on his legs, hips and arms are choc full of detail from tubes to screws and spikes.

Overall, Magmatron is one kick butt robot. He is complex, yet fun to transform and the final result is most impressive. Highly recommended. A+

Updated Thoughts (May 27, 2024):
It will come as no surprise to fans that I recently took Beast Wars Neo Magmatron out of his box after many years to have him side by side with his Legacy United Commander Class counterpart who was released in Spring 2024.  To this day I think this is one of the most unique Transformers toys ever created.  Sure it followed the play pattern of Magnaboss and Tripredacus by having three beasts form a robot, but unlike those sets the individual components have no robot modes and Magmatron is the robot mode and not intended to be a giant Combiner type character.  I absolutely love the look of this  figure whether it is in its individual beast modes, robot mode or its um...extremely interesting "Magmasaurus" mode.  Even with a Commander Class version of Magmatron out on the market in 2024 the original still holds a lot of charm and play value.

It is also important to note that Beast Wars Neo Magmatron was tweaked a bit and released in the United States as a Target exclusive in the year 2000 as a Maximal under the Beast Machines series.  This version had slightly rounded off missiles for safety reasons and slightly different colors.  One of my favorite parts of this release was the tech specs describing the Magmasaurus mode as a "tri-dinosaur Fuzor"!  Back then, it was rare for a Japanese exclusive Transformers figure to be made available at US retail so this was a fantastic opportunity for fans without import options to obtain a version of this character.

Nowadays, purchasing an original Magmatron mint in box will easily run you over $200 on ebay, so in 2024 at least your best option to get this character will likely be to pick up the Commander Class version.  However, if you ever have the chance to pick up Beast Wars Neo Magmatron for a good price, I'd say it's well worth it.

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