"Authentics" Megatron (Alpha) Toy Review

11/18/20

General Information:
Release Date: September 2019
Price Point: $10.00 (depending on location)
Retailer: Alternative Channels (Amazon, Family Dollar, Walgreens etc.)
Accessories: Tank cannon

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com: Transformers Authentic figures feature popular Transformers characters at a 7-inch scale. Experience the excitement of Transformers conversion play with this Transformers Authentic Megatron figure. It changes from robot mode to tank mode and back in 12 easy steps.

In 2017 word came through the online grapevine that a line of Transformers was being released known as the Authentics. These figures are simpler, lower priced figures aimed at the "alternative channel" stores such as Family Dollar. By 2019, the Authentics had reached other stores including Walgreens and even Amazon (via resellers).

Authentics are separated into two sub-lines of figures. One is a 4.5 inch (about 11.43 centimeters) size and the other is a 7 inch (about 17.78 centimeters). This Megatron figure is from the 7 inch size known as the "Alpha" assortment.

Packaging:
"Authentics" figures come on a bubble card. The bubble is shaped like the figure and the insert. Each figure is packaged in robot mode with the insert showing its alt-mode. The card has a vertical Transformers logo on the right and the character's artwork towards the top to the left (if you are facing the card). The artwork used appears to be from the "evergreen" designs which feature classic characters in forms that are not unique to any particular toy line.

The back of the packaging shows renders of the figure in both modes, indicating a 12 Step transformation. The back also has the instructions. Interestingly, the back of the card is in color, even the instructions. This is a big contrast to the "Bravo" 4.5" assortments which have black and white on the back.

Robot Mode:
For anyone who has seen the "Bravo" assortment version of Authentics Megatron, it would be very easy to think that this "Alpha" version is just an oversized version of that figure. However, upon closer inspection you'll find quite a few differences between the two figures. Sure they both use the same basic aesthetics (the aforementioned "Evergreen" design) but there are many differences between the two figures. These include:

 

  • while the torso design shares a lot of the same general shapes with the "Bravo" assortment Megatron, the actual construction is reversed. On the "Bravo" Megatron, the treads on the sides faced front and the openings for the arms to transform faced the back. Here the face front and the treads face the back.
  • The small details throughout the figure are more complex on the "Alpha" figure. On the chest for instance there is a row of vertical rectangles. These are not found on the "Bravo" Class figure. Also, the arms have many more layers of details than the "Bravo" Class.
  • The legs also have more detailing on the "Alpha" version. For instance, on the "Bravo" figure the thighs each have two horizontal lines running across them. On the "Alpha" version, the horizontal lines are on the thighs along with a rectangle above them and details on the edges that are not present on the "Bravo" Class Megatron.

I have to say I really like the additional detailing on this figure. Given that the price point is about double that of the "Bravo" assortment, I would have been very disappointed if the designers had not put a bit more effort into the aesthetics of this figure.

Megatron is cast in light grey, black and gunmetal grey plastic. The paint colors include silver, red and gunmetal grey. The use of the gunmetal is particularly nice as it gives the figure the look of machinery and metal even if it is all plastic. I love the deco on the mid-body area, which mixes the red and silver paint details nicely. The finishing touch on the deco is a purple Decepticon symbol on the chest. For a figure that is meant to be a lower priced Transformers toy, the deco looks nicer than I had expected.

There are ten points of articulation on this figure. Like the "Bravo" version of Megatron, several of the articulation points are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. Unlike the "Bravo" Megatron, this figure features waist articulation, which is a nice bonus. The fists feature ports that are almost 5mm but when I tried to attach 5mm peg weapons to them it was a very tight fit and the weapons could not fit all the way, so I would be very careful if you try to fit weapons in those hands. On the side of each forearm is a small port to fit his cannon weapon. The cannon has a small peg on each side. In terms of play value, you get about as much out of this as you would the "Bravo" figure.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Detach the cannon and set it aside for now.
  3. Swing the chest panel down.
  4. Swing the head into the chest and swing the panel back up.
  5. Swing each foot out to the side.
  6. Rotate the lower body around at the waist.
  7. Swing the lower legs over the thighs.
  8. Swing each arm in, using the clips on the shoulders to connect to the chest.
  9. Rotate the forearms so the two ports on the bottom of the forearms face each other.
  10. Attach the cannon to the ports on the forearms.

Vehicle Mode:
While the construction of the figure is a bit different, this mode winds up looking very much like an oversized take on the "Bravo" Megatron figure. This is mostly because all the parts condense into almost the same places. The arms become the turret, the feet become armor panels on the sides and the knee armor becomes a row of lights in front. The main design advantage this tank mode has is the fact that the head goes into the chest compartment. On the "Bravo" figure the robot head just sits in the back with nothing hiding it. A lot of the additional sculpted detail from the robot mode carries over here, especially on the tank turret and the front of the tank.

The colors from the robot mode all consolidate in this form, making much of the center section gunmetal grey and black. The light grey plastic winds up creating a kind of outline on the perimeter of the vehicle.

This tank mode rolls on four small wheels on the bottom of the treads. The tank cannon can move up and down but the turret cannot turn.

Final Thoughts:
Authentics "Alpha" Class Megatron is a fun toy, and for the price point and size you are getting something fun but relatively cheap. That said, it is not that much of a step up from the "Bravo" version, so really it comes down to: how much does waist articulation, more sculpted detail and hiding the head away in vehicle mode mean to you? If the answer is not a whole lot, then save a few bucks and go for the "Bravo" version. Otherwise, the "Alpha" version is worth it at $10, but not much more. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Low price makes for an easy entry into the Transformers toy line.
  • Sculpted detail is beautiful.
  • Nice paint colors.
  • Good articulation.
  • Easy transform.

Cons:

  • There are hollow parts such as the legs.
  • The vehicle mode is a bit condensed and small compared to the robot.
  • Figure could use some more deco in vehicle mode.