"Generations" War for Cybertron: Kingdom Megatron (Beast) Toy Review

12/19/20

General Information:
Release Date: Q4 2020/Q1 2021 (Estimated)
Price Point: $49.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

  • DISCOVER KINGDOM: Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever
  • BEASTIFY THE BATTLEFIELD: Unleash the primal power of the beasts with this Megatron (Beast) collectible figure, featuring a detailed beast mode with intricate dinosaur-inspired molded scales and articulated jaw with molded teeth
  • UNLEASH THE BEAST MODE: Megatron toy converts into a Beast Wars-inspired T. rex mode in 27 steps. Yeeesssss…
  • CLASSIC BEAST WARS WEAPON HANDS: Figure's dino head and tail become his classic claw hands. Add laser fire effect by placing Fire Blasts accessories inside dino head (sold separately with other figures, subject to availability)
  • GOLDEN DISK CARDS REVEAL POSSIBLE DESTINIES: Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character!

Beastify the battlefield! Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever. Primal power floods the battlefield as the fierce beast modes of the Maximals and Predacons are unleashed!Unleash the primal power of the beasts with this Megatron (Beast) collectible figure, featuring a detailed beast mode with intricate dinosaur-inspired molded scales and articulated jaw with molded teeth…does anyone have a toothbrush? Toy converts into a Beast Wars-inspired T. rex mode in 27 steps. Figure's dino head and tail become his classic claw hands. Add laser fire effect by placing fire blasts accessories inside dino head (sold separately with other figures, subject to availability). Yeeesssss…Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.)

Disclosure: This action figure was provided by Hasbro as part of a Kingdom unboxing event. BWTF thanks Hasbro for its generosity.

Kingdom reintroduces several characters from Beast Wars back into the retail Generations line. Unlike the Thrilling 30 line they are not just a random part of assortments, they play a role in this chapter of the War for Cybertron storyline. Key to that is having leader characters including Megatron himself. This is not the Megatron we have seen many times over in the past few years. Instead, this is the Megatron from the Beast Wars series in a form inspired by the 90's TV show with some modern styling.

Packaging:
Megatron is packaged in a large box, shaped like the same boxes from Earthrise. This means it has a rectangular shape with an angled section on the left. Unlike previous packaging, this one has a much smaller window revealing only the head and upper torso (and a bit of the shoulders) of the future. The right side has a vertical Transformers logo with the Generations logo above it. The beautiful part of the packaging is the artwork. In lieu of the larger window, the box has artwork of Megatron in both modes. In front the art shows his beast mode and off on the angled side is Megatron in robot mode firing his weapon from his right side "dinosaur arm". The Kingdom logo is placed right over the beast mode. The artwork is gorgeous and I love how we now have both modes featured on the package art. In an interesting move, the name "Megatron" is printed towards the top of the packaging in both English and Cybertronian text. However, it does not just say "Megatron", it says "Megatron (Beast)" to distinguish him from other Megatron figures in the line.

The back of the packaging features Megatron in both modes. The robot mode is standing on an intricate looking design. Above him is a modernized Predacon symbol. To the left are the words "Megatron (Beast)" and a 27 step transformation is called out under the robot mode. One awesome feature is found on a flap at the bottom of the packaging. There you will see a modernized version of the classic Beast Wars "eye" which featured prominently on Beast Wars packaging for years. However, the middle of the eye does not just feature a simple pupil. Instead, the "pupil" is actually a graphic of the Ark crashing to Earth! I absolutely love this part. It is a fantastic way to pay homage to the past while adding in an element of the current series.

Robot Mode:
From the moment I first saw preview photos of this figure, I was insanely excited to check it out in person. Now that I have it I am absolutely in love with this sculpt. The designers approached this figure from two directions: a "Jurassic Park" style T-Rex for the beast mode and a Beast Wars TV show accurate robot mode. The result is an amazing looking figure that blends two aesthetics beautifully. For the most part, this robot mode looks like the CG model from the old 90's show jumped off the screen into plastic form on one's table. Here are some of the key design elements from the show found on this figure:

  • The robot head looks like it used G1 Megatron's head design as a starting point, but then added elements including a pointed "chin strap" piece and thin, wide eyes. There is also a central crest in the middle of the "helmet" section featuring a Predacon symbol inside.
  • The chest design features several teeth like designs in front of the neck, looking almost like a necklace of teeth. Meanwhile the chest itself features layers of detail including pill shaped sections with horizontal lines inside of them.
  • The right arm is formed from the dinosaur head. This was used to great comic effect in the first season of the TV show and it is an iconic feature of the character.
  • The left arm features a regular robot fist, but on top of it is the beast mode tail forming a claw weapon.
  • The thighs feature a raised, circular design at the top leading to armor on top of the thighs with smaller circles flanking them towards the knees.
  • The lower legs are formed from the dinosaur legs, featuring "organic" looking parts and the claw feet from the beast mode.
  • Each side of the hips feature circular dual blasters.
  • A lot of the dinosaur parts wind up collapsed into a "back pack".

This figure is beautiful. I do not mind calling it a "pseudo-Masterpiece" style figure. The detailing from the scales on the beast mode bits to the robotic elements are all wonderfully intricate. At the time I am writing this review I have had this figure on my desk for about three weeks and I still cannot get over how cool it looks!

Much of the figure is made up of purple plastic, but there are different kinds of plastic. The robot parts are mostly solid ABS plastic, but some of the beast mode bits such as the "skin" on his lower legs are a more rubbery feeling PVC plastic. This is likely due to the way some of these parts have to move, but it also works from a thematic stnadpoint where the hard plastic parts represent "robot parts" while the more rubbery parts represent "organic skin".

Megatron does not just have a beautiful sculpt, his deco is also awesome. The two types of plastic are purple, with the harder plastic cast in a lighter shade of purple. Smaller parts such as the knee joints and the claws on the feet are white plastic. Paint colors on the figure include gunmetal grey, silver, white, purple, yellow, green and red. I was surprised at the sheer amount of paint on this figure. The gunmetal grey and silver are found on the robot mode parts. Meanwhile the green and yellow colors are beautifully sprayed onto the organic parts including his shoulder armor and tail/claw weapon. The designers did amazing work on this deco.

There are twenty six points of articulation on this figure. This includes seven in each leg and a really interesting feature where pulling the lower jaw of the dinosaur arm automatically opens up both halves of the head! The left fist features a 5mm port, but the claw/tail piece will restrict which weapons you can attach. Inside the dinosaur head there is a port to attach a Blast Effect, allowing you to recreate Megatron's use of the dinosaur head as a bit of a callback to G1 Megatron's Fusion Cannon which was on his right arm. All the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight, allowing for a good variety of poses.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Raise the left arm out to the side.
  2. Swing the smaller piece of the tail/claw weapon against the left forearm.
  3. Rotate the tail end around.
  4. Swing the panels on the sides of the tail down, attaching them to the smaller part of the claw weapon.
  5. Rotate the right forearm/dinosaur head around.
  6. Raise the dinosaur head up against the shoulder armor.
  7. Turn the figure around. On the back flip up the small panel in the middle behind the robot head.
  8. Swing up the T-Rex arms.
  9. Pull the upper body up and back. Be warned, this is going to require a bit of force and the "snapping" sound it makes won't be pleasant.
  10. Swing the upper body forward.
  11. Swing the robot head back into the chest cavity.
  12. Rotate the upper body around, with the tail winding up between the two legs.
  13. Swing the panels on the medium sized panels on the back piece out to the sides.
  14. Swing the smaller panels on spring loaded hinges up, then push these halves together over the robot's upper body section.
  15. Rotate the hip cannons down and push them in. The pegs on them fit into corresponding ports on the sides of the thighs.
  16. Split the section between the legs by pulling the legs out to the sides and locking the halves of into place on the waist area.
  17. Swing the legs forward.
  18. Rotate the tail piece around.
  19. Swing the panel on the back with the beast mode thighs on them back, then swing the beast mode thigh peices over the robot thighs. This piece has slots that will attach to tabs on the waist/hip pieces.

When I was transforming this figure I noticed the panels the come together to form the beast mode chest/belly area have a tendency to split apart as you manipulate other parts. Just press them back together and they should hold once you have the legs all covered up.

Beast Mode:
Kingdom Megatron's beast mode is heavily based on the Tyrannosaurus Rex from the Jurassic Park movies instead of the 90's animated version of the character. This is in line with Optimus Primal's design which features a very animation-based robot mode, but a more "King Kong" style beast mode. Given that one of the inspirations for Optimus Primal and Megatron's forms in the original Beast Wars series was the famous King Kong versus T-Rex scene from 1933 (clip embedded below), using modern day on-screen creatures as a foundation for the beast mode designs makes perfect sense.

 

This design choice means Megatron's sculpt looks more like the Jurassic Park T-Rex with its distinct head design and lots of intricate scales and wrinkles giving the beast mode "skin" an organic look. The sculpting in this mode is absolutely gorgeous. I had not expected the "skin" to look so intricate, but the designers really pulled it off. Other details also look amazing including the claw hands and the bumps running along the back. Where some fans may find a problem with this mode is the way the various panels come together in this mode. If you just transform Megatron and display him in the default "horizontal/leaning forward" mode you will already see seams and gaps where the various panels forming his "skin" come together. When you start using his various points of articulation, more gaps will open up, especially at the base of the neck and the knees. For some fans this might be a dealbreaker, but to me it is a necessary consequence of creating a figure like this at this price point. I love the fact that you can pose Megatron in beast mode at all!

Megatron's colors in this mode line up with the robot mode including the heavy use of green and yellow. The eyes are painted a bright orange and his T-Rex teeth are painted white. The green runs down the back starting at the back of the head all the way down to the tail. On the underside of this form yellow paint runs from the neck to the tail. The way the green and yellow colors are applied is beautiful and elevates the deco to a different level than your typical Transformers figure.

There are twenty two points of articulation in this mode. This includes the ability for the head to look up and down and the neck to move side to side. Now, the real insanely awesome bit of articulation involves the beast mode thighs. Each of the beast mode "skin" pieces that fit over the robot thighs actually feature a circular piece running on a U shaped track. As you move the legs back and forth, the circular piece slides across that track which gives Megatron a very unique feature! Combine the ability of the tail to move in two places along with the ankle tilts you wind up with a beast mode that can achieve some really cool poses. This mode also allows you to attach a Blast Effect to the inside of the mouth just like you did in robot mode.

Final Thoughts:
Megatron is spectacular. The level of detail on the figure is above and beyond and the sculpt does a great job of balancing both the Beast Wars TV show and Jurassic Park aesthetics. He is also a fun toy in both modes. Yes, there are some iffy bits in beast mode when you pose him out, but to me that is a minor quibble in the face of the rest of the awesomeness in this figure. Highly recommended!

Pros:

  • The robot mode looks like the cartoon character brought to life.
  • The beast mode has a strong Jurassic Park vibe.
  • Fantastic articulation.
  • The deco is beautiful in both modes.

Cons:

  • The way the panels break up around the neck area in beast mode will definitely irk some fans.
  • The knee joints are fine in robot mode, but in beast mode the gap formed by bending them looks rather odd.