Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Don't Look Back In Anger.

Time for that rare thing; a mid-week review! Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage your guest reviewer... King Grimlock!

"So, my first review and it's Big Bad himself, the mighty maniacal Megatron. The Classics line was always going to feature the Decepticon's supreme Leader and in the end we got 2 of them! This is the voyager class figure, released at the same time as the voyager Optimus Prime to provide the direct competition for the Autobot. In the first Classics line, with the exception of Devastator, voyager class was the largest figures available, the reason being, one can assume, that being a filler line between Cybertron and the (then) upcoming big screen blast, Hasbro figured that the line wouldn't draw sales and larger figures would end up shelfwarming in the same way that some of the supreme and ultra classes had done through out the Unicron Trilogy. Hasbro, of course, couldn't have been more wrong and the line was an unprecedented success, paving the way for the current classics 2.0/universe line.

Anyway, back on track. As one of the line's most iconic figures, Megatron needed to stand out, he needed to be 'classic'. And he is. We have, finally, got a gun Megatron again. Not a tank, not a plane, not a dragster, not a bloody floating head. A gun. Admittedly not a Walther P-38 as he was in Generation One, but appears to be based on the Nerf N-Strike Blaster, more than likely the only reason that he got past the notoriously difficult U.S gun regulations. Irony, in it's purest form. And in gun mode, Megatron works. He just looks fantastic. As he looks more 'space' gun-ish, his colour scheme reflects that. Plenty of grey, maybe a little light in shade but good never the less and a large amount of purple and black. His classics colour scheme always reminds me of Galvatron and, if I'm honest, I think it fits the figure much better than the Henkei! Henkei! japanese release. And the Energon green areas around the barrel really work, conjuring up images of Shockwave's nuclear powered blaster, crammed into Megatron's fusion cannon. The scope is excellent, featuring working sights, (how can you have working sights?) and the gun fits nicely into your hand, the trigger producing a healthy click when you pull it. The only downside is the orange cap on the barrel and scope, and for 2 reasons. Firstly, it looks crap (thank you U.S gun regulations) and secondly, the colour fades rapidly. I've had mine for almost 18 months and you can tell a real difference in the shades of orange.

Now, I don't own the original Generation 1 Megatron, but I do the Masterpiece and I imagine they are fairly similar in process. If this is the case then this Megatron has bares a passing resemblance to his G1 counterpart's transformation. And boy is it a transformation. It's not often a figure leaves me scratching my head but I transformed this back into gun mode earlier and for the life of me I couldn't work it out. Trial and error or instructions, there is only one manly way. So, half an hour later....admittedly back to robot from gun is fairly simple, it's just a case of remembering which part of the dismembered mess is supposed to go where.

We have robot mode. Wow. I love this guy. Massively imposing, great articulation and very tidy with only a minor amount of kibble. I'll get the gripes out of the way first because I don't want you guys to be left with negative thoughts of such a fantastic figure. Firstly, let's say it, let's get it done. The wings. Yeah. Now, I have grown to accept these for what they are and now see them as essential to the figure. I know there is a fairly easy mod you can do to remove them but he just looks too thin without them and I can't stand a Transformer that you have to leave bits off of in either mode. I just see them as giant Energon panels, filtering external energy sources and converting them into power for the ma-whosive fusion cannon. Or something like that. Secondly, you can't put fusion cannon on top or on the side of the arm, it has to be under slung. It's not that bad as the arms have such fantastic articulation that you can still pose him G1 style but his fist is always upside down. It's like he's trying to get a part in Wanted curving bullets. And thirdly, and finally, the monobrow. Classics Megatron is the Noel Gallagher of the Oasis of Decepticons.

But the pluses, the oh so many pluses of this fantastic figure. The posability is off the scale, well balanced and with moving knees, hips, elbows, biceps, shoulders, and neck that all can be twisted and turned in numerous directions, most with that satisfying ratchet click that ever great Transformer should have. The colour scheme in this mode reminds me very much of action master Megatron, and, overall, he does look like a Megatron. The legs are very G1, the hammer on the shoulder, the helmet that we all know and love. And, going 1 step better than G1, he no longer suffers from trigger/cock syndrome as it is safely tucked up on his back. the tidiness continues with the hands coming from within the forearms and head from within the chest cavity, all then covered back over, leaving no gaping holes. And the light piping through the eyes. Get the light behind this guy, with his Energon panels as well, he just glows a beautiful green. And the embossed Decepticon symbol on the chest... it just gets better!

Overall, as Hellhound says, it's hard to fault the classics line. All the toys have been lovingly crafted to give an updated but faithful representation of fan favourites and Megatron is no exception. Like Grimlock and Prime, inspiration hasn't just been taken from the original G1 figure but from most of the history of Transformers, creating a figure that simply sums up the character. And aside from the positioning of the fusion cannon, all the gripes are easily over come with a Stanley knife and a Sharpie pen. Do yourself a favour and get this guy if you love Transformers. Heck, get the entire original classics line. They are truly fantastic."

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