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Series: Legacy Evolution
Allegiance: Decepticon
Category: Leader
Year: 2023


Prelude: A new Transformers series needs a new Megatron, naturally, so when the Transformers franchise was rebooted for Armada, a new Decepticon tyrant took center stage. Known for collecting Mini-Cons, switching his name to Galvatron and back again multiple times, and having pincers on top of his head, Armada Megatron soon established himself in the greater Transformers mythology. Now he is back for Legacy, sadly without a Mini-Con, which is bound to make him angry. So let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Naturally this figure here is a new version of the original Armada Megatron, so comparisons will abound, of course. First thing: the look. No doubt about it, this guy here is meant to be Armada Megatron. He’s got the big tank shoulders, the pincers on his head, the green and purple coloring, everything. So no complaints in terms of resemblance. Oh, and comparing him to that other Armada Megatron we got not too long ago, Fans Hobby Meg-Tyranno, he does a better job of faithfully replicating the bulky look of the original in my mind. Just be careful with those pincers on his head, they are just plugged in, not fixed in place. Megatron’s big tank cannon can remain on his back (pointing just about any which way you want) or be put in place underneath his right arm to blast away those pesky Autobots. Still a great look.

Once you get past the look, though, there are a few problems. Undisputed number one: the shoulders. Just like with the original figure, the big tank tracks sit right on top of the shoulders. Unlike the original figure however, the tank tracks cannot rotate. Or to put it another way: Armada Megatron cannot raise his shoulders above eye-level. This is something the old figure was fully able of, so I have a hard time understanding why it’s not possible here. The big tank tracks fold sideways as part of the transformation requirement, but the joints there are rather loose, so Megatron’s shoulders tend to droop. This is a big, big flaw in my mind. They improved the articulation in other areas (the figure now has knees), but the shoulder thing really drags it down.

Now I already mentioned the lack of a Mini-Con, but the Legacy figure does need a Mini-Con to activate any of its gimmicks. Mostly because it barely has any. The knife in the arm is missing and the missile launcher on his back (which moves forward for his attack mode, more on that in a moment) is just sculpted and doesn’t fire anything. Now, I know Hasbro has apparently decided that gimmicks are not something collector-oriented figures have any need of, but personally I am not a fan of this trend.

Now Legacy Armada Megatron can do the same attack mode the original figure had by rotating its tank turret to the front of the figure. Now Megatron can fire both his tank cannon and his (non-firing) missile launcher at the same time. Another thing I need to point out, though: the tank barrel is made of some kind of rubbery substance and came slightly bent out of the package. Haven’t been able to straighten it again. It does lend itself to Megatron’s one new gimmick, though, as you can unplug the tank barrel, fold in his hand (left or right) and attach the tank barrel there. It’s not bad (presupposing a straight tank barrel), but why include a new gimmick instead of actually including any of the original ones? No idea.

Now this review probably sounds far more negative so far than it’s actually supposed to be. Armada Megatron is a good figure. I like the robot mode’s look and the improved articulation. I am just a bit disappointed that a potentially great figure is being dragged down by a weird design decision regarding the shoulders. I could have lived without the whole palette of gimmicks (probably), but at least give me a robot capable of raising his arms above shoulder-level.

Alternate Mode: Megatron still transforms into the same Cybertronian H-tank as the original figure and except for some minor things, the transformation is the same as it was back in 2002. Now I could actually copy and paste quite a few things I wrote about the robot mode here. Look-wise the tank is great, strongly resembling the original. It has a turning turret, the gun can be raised, no visible robot bits, everything works.

If you remember the original Armada Megatron, though, you might remember it was not only a tank, but also a big playset for Mini-Cons. There were hidden compartments, flip-open panels, multiple Mini-Con ports, the works. You will find none of that here. Look-wise it’s all there, but what were moving parts on the original figure are mostly just sculpted details here. So if you just wanted a tank, you will have nothing to complain about. If you wanted a bit more, though, then the original Armada Megatron (or Fans Hobby Meg-Tyranno) do a far, far better job than this figure here.

Combiner Mode: This figure is designed to Powerlink with the upcoming Titan-Class Tidal Wave figure, or rather some extra parts that come with Tidal Wave. I don’t own Tidal Wave yet, but you can somewhat simulate the look by using a few Modulators (see 22nd picture).

Upgrade Set: There are apparently already several upgrade sets out there to give Megatron actual shoulder rotation, but they do require quite a bit of work to install. My buddy James has gifted me a smaller upgrade set that, while not giving Megatron rotating shoulders, at least stabilizes the shoulders and keeps them from drooping. They attach to the back and one of them looks almost like Megatron’s missing Mini-Con Leader-1 in vehicle mode. No need to remove them for transformation, either. A nice extra that makes Megatron more stable, at least.

Remarks: Despite Armada being a complete reboot with no connection to any previous Transformers series, Armada’s Megatron was a pretty familiar guy. Sure, he looked different, but he was basically the same character as G1 Megatron (and sounded just like Beast Wars Megatron). Hungry for power, intent to rule the universe, and dismissive of his underlings. It was only near the end of the series, when the threat of Unicron manifested, that Megatron (or Galvatron as he was known by then) began to change his ways (at least a little bit).

Now the original Armada Megatron had some limitations in terms of articulation, but otherwise it was a great toy with amazing play value, especially in combination with multiple Mini-Cons. The Legacy figure, well… it looks like the old figure, it is better articulated in general (it has knees), but the lack of shoulder rotation is a definite minus. Add the total and utter lack of gimmicks and the absence of a Mini-Con, I cannot honestly recommend this guy to anyone but true Armada die-hard fans. Unless all you want is a new figure that really nails the look, then you’re golden with this guy.

Rating: C+


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