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Series: Legacy United
Allegiance: Predacon
Category: Commander
Year: 2024


Prelude: For the longest time the Takara-exclusive Beast Warriors were barely known outside of Japan, but these days characters from Beast Wars II and Beast Wars Neo are sitting on Western toy shelves, too. Case in point, Beast Wars Neo Magmatron, who has snagged the coveted Commander Class spot in the Legacy United series and is ready to disturb an entirely new market of fans with his Tri-Fuzor Magmasaur mode. So, let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let us begin with the fact that this new Magmatron robot is a BEAST! Some people apparently thought he would be smaller than the original Ultra-Class Magmatron, but that is most definitely not the case. Magmatron is a huge, heavy robot, easily as big as old-school Leader Class figures, and there is no denying who he is supposed to be. He is the spitting image of both the old toy and the animated character.

Magmatron probably has one of the most unique robot mode designs of all time, resulting from being assembled from three separate beasts. All three beasts heads are visible in robot mode, giving him a rather asymmetrical, but highly recognizable design. You can also move all three beasts heads, if you want, so Magmatron can stare at his unlucky opponents with four pairs of eyes if you want to. The head design is also very unique, mostly because of the huge “ears” he has (the wings of his Skysaur component). Also, they gave him the snarling teeth-clenched expression many of the original Beast Wars figures had. Very nicely done. The three beast components hold together solidly, no danger of Magmatron falling apart.

Comparing him to the original figure, Magmatron might look pretty much the same (just bigger), but shows improvement in several ways. While the original figure was okay in terms of articulation, it carried so much kibble that some things just weren’t possible. The new Magmatron can actually turn his head (and thankfully his wings are articulate, too, so they can move out of the way if needed), he can swivel his hip, has ankle tilt, twisting wrists, and can actually hold his weapon solidly, both as a sword and as a walking stick. For some reason he cannot hold it as a gun, like the old figure could, but that is just a minor thing. The backpack he carries is a bit bulkier than that of the original figure, but it doesn’t hinder him any and he has no balance issues, either.

One thing I want to point out is the insane amount of detailing that went into his legs. The original figure basically had metal flip-flop shoes on a hinge for his beast mode feet. This new figure has the flip-flops incorporated directly into the beast feet, but has added several moving parts on the back of the lower legs to duplicate the look of the original figure’s legs. That so much effort went into the back of the legs is somewhat insane, but in a good way.

For weapons Magmatron carries his familiar sword that doubles as a walking stick. According to the instructions you are supposed to put several of the included blast effects between the hilt and the blade, because… no idea, really. It looks cool on the cover art of the box, mind you, but what is this supposed to be? The blade launching explosively from the hilt, maybe? I cannot tell you. This is also the ONLY place where you can attach the blast effect parts on the figure. Magmatron also has two additional swords, which are attached to the “ears” aka the wings of his Skysaur mode. The swords are okay, if a bit small in the hands of this massive robot. He also carries roughly half of his Seasaur mode as a shield that can attach to his arm and you can imagine the flippers as blades, too.

I love this robot mode and it’s a near-perfect representation of the animated character. But to satisfy the nitpickers, there is one minor thing I am not perfectly happy with: the hip kibble. The original figure had it, too, but on the new one it is somewhat thicker and interferes a bit with the arms. A very minor thing, though. Barely worth mentioning. So bottom line for the robot mode: awesome! I love this big guy!

Alternate Mode: As mentioned above, Magmatron’s robot mode is composed of three separate beasts. His lower body and right shoulder transforms into Landsaur (technically a purple Gigantosaurus), his arms, back, and shield become Seasaur (a green Elasmosaurus), and his head becomes Skysaur (a red Quetzalcoatlus). The Landsaur is the largest of the three and has a very nicely sculpted head with an opening jaw, fully articulated legs, and tiny little arms on balljoints. The legs might be a bit large proportionally, but I am no expert on Gigantosauri, so it might well be okay. Landsaur can also swivel his tail side to side and can lower and raise his head, too. He lacks the missile launcher the original figure had in its mouth, sadly. At least an attachment for one of the blast effects would have been nice. He is far better articulated, though, so that is a fair trade-off.

Seasaur is the middle child in terms of size and the only real difference when compared to the original beast is the size and the length of the neck. The original Seasaur’s neck was way, way longer than it needed to be, so the new one here looks a lot better in terms of proportions. All four flippers can move (two are on balljoints) and the leg is multi-jointed, too. My buddy James is already looking for a filler set to fill in the gaps in the neck pieces, but otherwise there is nothing worth complaining about here.

Finally we have Skysaur, the smallest of the three. Unlike the original Skysaur he can flap his wings and while the original’s wings could spread thanks to a spring mechanism, the new one’s can simply unfold spring-less. Skysaur has fully articulated feet, an articulated neck, and can open its jaw, too. Very nicely done.

And because this guy hails from Japan, there is also a monstrous, abominable fusion mode included. Magmatron can combine all three of his beasts into a single hybrid monster called Magmasaur. Basically it means that Seasaur opens up like a clamp and attaches to Landsaur’s tail, unfolding the robot mode arms to serve as a pair of hindlegs. Skysaur more or less lounges on the back of the combined beast, looking like he’s having the time of his life. And just so there are no misunderstandings: this is not a fan mode. Magmatron appeared in the Beast Wars Neo cartoon in this mode and there are quite a few dedicated parts involved that are only needed for this mode. So Magmasaur is fully official. The connection between all three components is rock-solid, all four legs retain their full articulation, so there is nothing preventing you from putting this freak of nature into action.

Bottom line for the beast modes: all three individual beasts work like they are supposed to and the combined mode is as abominable as it is hideous, but works great. So no complaints here, either, apart from the lack of anywhere to apply the blast effect parts.

Remarks: After the first Japan-exclusive Beast Wars series, Beast Wars Second, concluded, a sequel series was quickly put in production. Beast Wars Neo showcased a Cybertron (Maximal) team led by Big Convoy, (whose tusk is visible on Magmatron’s package artwork) who came across a Destron (Predacon) militia led by Magmatron, who were scouring space for the Angolmois energy capsules that had been launched from planet Gaia at the end of the previous series. In the end Cybertrons and Destrons joined forces to prevent the rebirth of Unicron, Magmatron sacrificing his own life to give Big Convoy the opportunity to destroy the essence of the world devourer.

Many people were surprised that Hasbro would select such an obscure character for their next Commander Class, given that this is only the second-ever Magmatron figure. Whatever the reason, though, I am very happy that we have this guy now. Magmatron is an awesome figure with only very few minor flaws, fully capturing the insanity of the Japanese Beast Wars franchise with his asymmetrical design and abominable Magmasaur mode. Now if beast Transformers are not your thing, then this guy is probably not for you. Everyone else, though? Check out this utter BEAST of a Transformer! He is simply awesome!

Rating: A-


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