Monday, 10 January 2011

Classics, Henkei & United Megatron

Classics Megatron

Megatron returns as a handgun. OK it's a hand gun with safety orange tips and some of the shape is a bit odd but..... Much later edit: Megatron's gun mode is modelled on the Nerf N-Strike Maverick toy gun. The scope, barrel support and hand grip are all black with purple detailing, the body of the gun is a grey white, and the chamber at the front is picked out in clear green - this looks like a revolver chamber mounted too far forward. The barrel support underneath vaguely resembles a grenade launcher without the necessary opening at the top end. The trigger moves and clicks but doesn't do anything. A large Decepticon logo is on either side of the scope.

It looks a plausible if futuristic gun bar the colours. It is however built for a hand a little smaller than my huge mits !

To Transform him you start by folding the sides of the front of the gun down below the trigger. Most of the robot is now visible, it's worth taking a moment to note what is where. Bend the scope back beyond the safety catch bringing with it the piece it's attached to (an arm) Fold the front of the gun up over the top of the gun - another arm. Fold the piece that this is attached to up over the trigger mechanism with the arm pointing to the rear. Rotate 180 degrees so the arm points forward and lock into the piece over the trigger. Fold the other arm up onto the shoulder. Pull both legs from the trigger. Fold the trigger onto his robot back, turn the gun sides through 90 degrees so the little catch is facing forward and lock into his back. Fold the gun halves down onto his back to form a back pack glider jet thing (use your imagination) Straighten the legs, slide the shields up and extend the feet. Lift both arms to point up, fold the scope back, fold the hands out and rotate down so they're by his side. Open the chest cavity and fold out his head.

The resulting robot screams G1 Megs like no Transformer has since G1 Megs. He's got the gun handle style legs, a cannon on his left arm and a very Megatron head - with green lightpipe that works a lot better than Prime's did. The black is now on the legs hands, and waist, the purple on the legs fronts, lower arms and chest. The upper body is white grey. His jetpack thing is transparent green. Some might not like the jetpack but I do - it evokes the feel that Megatron may at one time have had wings, which is appropriate for Megatron the leader of a mainly flying race. He still feels small for a Voyager - like Prime - but less so, there's more bulk and he's a good inch or 2 taller.

His articulation consists of knees, a swivel above the knee, universal joints at the hips, limited universal joints at the shoulders and a bicep immediately beneath plus an elbow and his neck.

So.... standard size peg holes on the hands, but here's where the fun starts. For both fists to be facing upwards the cannon on his right arm needs to be under the arm. This is a bit of a departure - it would look more ok if the very prominent Decepticon symbol on the cannon wasn't upside down. I quite like under arm cannons - look at a pic of a HEAT Viper's weapon. One advantage is that it does mean both fists are free. I do look at it and wonder if there might have been a different solution in making the scope/cannon removable ? Now the arm can be turned so the cannon is the right way up - on top of the arm with the logo looking right - and this works, indeed the elbow has a small amount of end backwards so he can just about bend the arm like this. The fist is now the wrong way up though. picky, picky, picky. So maybe loose the logo and make the fist rotate ?

For a more opaque back pack pull out the back pack and fold it the other way up before attaching. Works this way round as well aesthetically.

Overall better than Prime, possibly due to us being less familiar with attempts at redoing G1 Megs.

Henkei Megatron

Henkei Megatron comes packaged in robot mode.

When you transform him to gun mode you get a mainly silver gun. The white has gone silver or a similar grey. The purple on the handgrips is black. The safety peach is a dark grey. The clear green is now colourless clear plastic. The con symbol on the side of the scope is a more metallic purple. The clear plastic in the scope is now red. There's a whole load of new red markings on the gun. Although BW Dragon Megatron was red this isn't a colour I automatically associate with Megatron.

TFing back to robot mode and you gain chrome on the chest - apart from the con symbol which is purple - and the knee pads. Since the knee pads lock into other bits during TF and the chest has something close round it this possibly isn't the greatest idea in the world. More red markings in bot mode, and the lightpipe eyes are fuelled by the same clear red plastic as the scope.

Overall: In theory this should be a better toy, closer the G1 colours etc. In practice, given a choice between the two, I think this toy looks better in the purple and white of the Classics version, but that's in turn marred by the safety peach.

Megatron was Transformers Henkei toy D-01.

United Megatron

A trend is emerging in Transformers of bringing back certain toys and instead of completely repainting them as a new character just tweaking the deco slightly. Universe Starscream is one of the earliest I can think of but there's been a few recently.

In Gun Mode United Megatron is very similar to the Henkei version, but with much less of the red markings. The moulded Decepticon symbol is now unpainted, which will prove useful later while he gains a purple Decepticon symbol on the body of the gun just above each trigger.

Transforming to robot mode you find he's again quite similar to Henkei Megatron. Gone is the garishly chromed chest which is painted silver like most of the rest of the body, loosing the extreme contrast between the chrome chest and pale grey plastic of the Henkei version. The red is drastically reduced in robot mode, with the sides of the lower torso, the front panels on the forearms and inset panels on the legs being the only place where it's found now. The head is still lightpiped in clear red plastic which is also found at either end of the cannon/sight. The non-painted Decepticon symbol on the cannon makes it look much better when left under the arm but oddly the whole toy makes the cannon work better on top of the arm than it has done on the previous versions.

For my money a far better version than the Henkei one.

Megatron is Transformers United toy UN-09, the only boxed toy released in the large first wave available at the end of December 2010. As yet no western Generations/Reveal The Shield version has been announced.

More pictures of United Megaton can be found at this Blog, which shows him with Henkei Megatron and in these reviews at the 2005 Boards where he's shown with Classics Megatron and again with Henkei Megatron. This last review includes a good picture of how Megatron should be transformed inside the gun mode!

Future Repaints

There's a few good, and a couple of slightly mad options that Hasbro could use here.

Break the lilac purple out with clear Orange Plastic, remould the head, chest & possibly the sight and call it Galvatron ! Paint it a nice bright green, which will please the safety laws, as a homage to Generation 2 Megatron - they've already done a Silver Tank Megatron so this will make a nice companion piece. An all black version of this toy, like Animated Shadow Blade Megatron would be good too.

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