"Generations" Cybertronian Megatron Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: August 2010
Price Point: $12.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Fusion Cannon missile launcher, Missile x 1

*Images and text below archived from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
MEGATRON rebuilds himself continuously. When the war first began on CYBERTRON, he constantly applied new modifications to catch the AUTOBOTS unaware and under prepared. His spies are always on the lookout for new tech that will optimize his body into the perfect war machine. He is the bleeding edge of technology on CYBERTRON, and his enemies will pay the price for not keeping up.

Turn the tables on the good guys when you throw this warrior into the fight! Your CYBERTRONIAN MEGATRON figure is dedicated to destroying any opponent and his launching missile accessory will help you two get the job done. If robot combat turns into a chase, convert your villain into Cybertronian tank vehicle mode. His tank "treads" convert to hover engine accessories to make him a virtually unstoppable fighter! Ages 5 and up.

When the "War for Cybertron" game was announced, one of the most anticipated design reveals was Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons. Having seen Megatron redesigned over and over in various forms (Armada, Energon etc.) over the years, many were eager to see his new design that represented the "Generation One" version of the character that so many fans grew up loving (or hating). With his reputation as a warrior, a powerful figure and a leader, his new form had to be fresh while evoking the original character, and thus was born "War for Cybertron" Megatron.

Robot Mode:
Since 2007, the design of the Megatron as seen in the live action movie has been influencing designs of other Megatron figures, even if they do not represent the one in the movie. In "Animated" for instance, Megatron's "pre-Earth" form resembled the Movie CGI model in many ways with curved and jagged metal bits on his head and body. It is this same design principle that was applied to "War for Cybertron" Megatron. However, instead of making him a pile of angles and panels that just kind of piled up on each other as the movies have done, this version of Megatron takes many influences from its G1 counterpart and adds new elements such as an enhanced fusion cannon design, jagged armor pieces that look sleek while the figure manages to retain the bulk befitting a Decepticon leader.

Megatron's general body layout resembles his Generation One self, including having his fusion cannon attached to his right arm, symmetrical arms and legs with a head design that has a helmet over his face. Where it takes a lot of movie design influence are the details. The body of the original Megatron was very much made up of rectangles with some curves. This Megatron seems mostly made up of angles. Perhaps three of the details that show this off the best are his knee armor, the chest panel and the panel on his back, all of which have a triangular shape. However, it's not just Movie Megatron this harkens back to, but also the Decepticon symbol itself. If you look at his chest for instance, the chest looks like the top of the Decepticon symbol, complete with smaller arrow designs in the middle. On the back panel there is an actual Decepticon symbol, with the central crest, triangles sweeping out to the sides and the angular "eyes" leading to a V shaped mouthplate. These designs look absolutely fantastic and it really gives a modern look to a classic design.

The original Megatron was a very straight forward design with a lot of rectangles and tubes put together to form his basic body form. It is a cool and classic form, but there was not a whole lot of nuance to it. This form however has lots of layers, further echoing the live action movie designs. If you look at his right arm, you'll see the upper arm looks like it has armor built onto the outer facing side with small details including circles and angled lines running along its length. His chest is not just a flat panel but instead a V shaped panel set on top of the base chest section. His hip section has layers as well, with V shaped panels layered on top of others. Taking Megatron's story as a gladiator who fought his way up the ranks, his design suggests a series of upgrades and armor additions over the years. Not only do these sculpted parts look fantastic, but they also add character to the figure.

One of my issues with the live action movie Megatron design is that many details get lost in the layers and layers of jagged armor. This Megatron could have easily fallen prey to the same weakness, but the designers balanced the layering of armor designs with some awesome distinctive detail. Among some of my favorite details are those on his waist section and the fusion cannon itself. The waist area has a vertical and horizontal row of angled lines on each side. These are reminscent of similar details found on Generation One Megatron's animation model. It's a small detail, but really shows the depth and detail the sculptors were aiming for. The fusion cannon itself is a thing of beauty. No longer consigned to being a plane tube connected to two other tubes, this design looks like it means business complete with a targeting scope on the side, power readouts on top (all sculpted in!) and tubes sticking out the back a bit that are reminscent of the "thruster" like design on back of G1 Megatron's cannon (but much smaller in size). A final detail that deserves mention are the hands, which are sculpted in what I would describe as a "reaching" position, partly open, the fingers stretching forward. It looks great and it befits the character as he reaches to take hold of power for himself. I'm happy they didn't just go with a simple fist on this figure.


Some compliment must be paid to the head sculpt on this figure. Again, drawing influence from his live action movie counterpart, the "helmet" portion is curved and sleek coming to sharp points on either side of his face. This is in sharp (no pun intended) contrast to the more squared off head design used in the Generation One cartoon and comic book. This gives him a much more modern and sleek appearance. The helmet has two layers to it, echoing some G1 designs where there was a helmet and then an extra semi-ring around the base with rows of line designs. I like this bit of homage design as it is subtle. The head would have still looked great without it, but the designers went the extra length to put it on anyway. His face continues the contours of the helmet by coming to a very sharp point on the armor over his nose and his chin. Finally, the crest at the top of his head is a nice, small point that echoes a similar design on the top of the Decepticon symbol.

In terms of fidelity to the CGI model used on the game, I would say Megatron is spot on. The sharp angles, the bulk and the intricate designs of the in-game model are reflected here. I do find that the game model looks a bit elongated in some parts, especially the head, compared to the figure, but that may just be a trick of proportions (it's hard to compare a three dimensional figure to something up on your 36" TV screen sometimes).

Megatron is cast in light grey, black and translucent purple plastic. The grey plastic dominates most of his form while the black is found on smaller parts such as his forearms, lower legs and the Fusion Cannon. Translucent purple is used partly for light piping on his head, but also to convey the "glowing energy" that most of the "War for Cybertron" Transformers have showing through their bodies. On Megatron, you'll dinf the translucent purple plastic most prominant on his head (in the center crest) and on his chest. The crest interests me the most as it is rare for light piping to be used in such a manner. Usually if there are painted eyes, the light piping is wasted. In this case, Megatron's eyes are painted but the light piping still shows through.

Paint decos are mostly done in black, grey, silver, lavender and metallic red. Red is the color seen the most, with designs on his chest, arms and the fusion cannon painted in red. Black is used for smaller details such as the middle part of his knee armor and the ridged lines on his arms and chest. Light grey is used on the upper part of his knee armor while a darker shade is used for his face. The lavender color is found throughout his body. On the torso, it is used for a Decepticon symbol. On the waist, it paints thin lines near the hip joints. One of my favorite details are three lavender lines on his fusion cannon that resemble power readings. A spot of silver is seen on the cannon, painting in a circle right in front of the aforementioned "power lines".

Megatron has twenty two points of articulation in robot mode. This six in each arm and five in each leg. Thanks in part to his wide feet, Megatron is very stable in robot mode, allowing him to strike a variety of poses without tipping over. This is especially handy considering he is, by design, asymmetrical in appearance and in weight distribution. The cannon is longer than his entire arm, creating an uneven weight on that side, but you'd never know it from looking at him. The Fusion Cannon can detach from the right arm and attach to the left, but a quick look at the screws on the cannon tell you that it was really meant to be attached to the right arm as the screws are not visible from the front on that arm. Unlike his Classics counterpart, this Megatron can point his cannon forward with his forearm right side up. This makes for some great potential posing and play. Inside the cannon is a translucent purple missile that fires when you press the piece with the circle and "power lines" on them. Believe it or not, despite his G1 self being a gun, this is the first time in ages that a G1 inspired, US Megatron figure has been able to fire from it's cannon (this does not count guys from lines like Armada, which are clearly in a separate universe).

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the Fusion Cannon if connected to one of the arms.
  2. Swing the robot feet up and fold out the small panels on the inside of each foot.
  3. Split the forearms and swing each half of the hands in, then swing the treads against the arms and rotate them around.
  4. Swing the chest plate down.
  5. Move the robot head down into the chest.
  6. Swing each upper arm section up and push them in.
  7. Rotate the panel with the clip on it (on top of the left arm) around and extend it to attach to the top of the right arm.
  8. Swing each lower leg up and into the upper legs (bringing the armor pieces formed by the feet to the top of the vehicle).
  9. Swing the back panel out.
  10. Attach the Fusion Cannon to the back.

Vehicle Mode:
Megatron's vehicle mode is inspired by many previous iterations of the character who transformed into tanks such as Armada Megatron. The shape of this vehicle carries over a lot of the design inspiration from the robot mode, combining G1 aspects with live action movie designs. The large angular plates on the top remind me of similar plates on Megatron from the live action movies. The Fusion Cannon mounted on top serves as more of a reference to his G1 self, where the Fusion Cannon was highly visible in his alternate mode. Another interesting design feature is the "clamp/claw" in the front of the vehicle underneath the cannon. At first I thought this was a homage to the Armada Megatron figure, which had a similar design element. However, looking at it from another angle, it appears that the design may be a play on the top section of the Decepticon symbol. Either way, it's a cool bit of design that also makes the front end look a lot more interesting than it would be otherwise.

The only "new" parts really revealed here are the undersides of Megatron's feet, which are light grey with red detailing. His cannon is the most prominant detail in this mode so it draws the benefit of having the detailing from that piece make up a lot of the vehicle's top seciton.

While he is a tank, the only shame is that Megatron's cannon cannot be moved in this form. However, the designers did add in one feature that I like a lot. Megatron's "standard" form is a hovertank (as portrayed in the video game), but you can also convert him to a regular ground tank by swinging the treads out to the sides. The treads have small wheels on the bottom, allowing him to roll along. Coupled with his cannon firing, there's still some good play value in this mode.

Final Thoughts:
The strongest point of Megatron's design is the robot mode and all the thought that went into it. He's simply an amazing homage to Megatron and the Decepticon symbol itself. The vehicle mode is a bit weaker, but I ascribe that partly to the game design (which is being followed faithfully). Overall Generations Megatron is an awesome figure and for the price point, well worth a place in any Transformers collection. Highly recommended!

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