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Series: Prime Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2012

Megatron began his life as a gladiator, built to fight in the brutal darkness of the Kaon pits. It was there that he learned that the strong survive and the weak perish, and there that he became determined to become the strongest of all. His conquest began there and has since burned its way across the universe.

Prelude: Something I want to get off my chest. When the figures of the Prime main line, called “Robots in Disguise” were announced, a lot of people were annoyed that they were once again renaming the size classes. Now I didn’t mind that in general, seeing as the classes had changed names before and would undoubtedly do so again. What ticked me off, though, was that they changed name mid-series. The First Editions still had the “old” names that have been in use since the Cybertron series, while the main line got new names. I had to put quite some effort into my toy database in order to make it possible for different figures in the same series to have different names for the size classes... only to find no trace of the dreaded “Powerizer” class-name on Megatron’s packaging. He’s a Voyager, it says so on the box. Multiple times. Nowhere do you find the term “Powerizer”. So as of now, that word is forever stricken from the hallways. Voyager it is, Voyager it shall remain. And thanks for nothing.

Robot Mode: If I may say so, Prime Megatron is one of the prettiest Megatrons we’ve seen in a good long while. He nicely combines the general look of his G1 predecessor with the “edgy” look of the Movieverse version into a streamlined, very clean-looking whole. One thing I should mention right at the start: the plastic most of him is made from has a very nice texture, nicely bringing out the slightly-worn metallic look of the TV character. A better paint job would have brought that out even more, but even with the slightly beige-tinted grey the figure is mostly made from, it looks pretty spiffy. Overall the detail work that went into this figure is impressive. The face sculpt is very nicely done and the face has received a nice paint job as well. The legs are also pretty cool, subtly paying homage to the original G1 Megatron with the ‘grip’ on each side.

Then there is the big gun on his arm. Bonus points here: the figure’s electronics are all in the gun, leaving the figure free instead of having to compromise somewhere to fit them in. The gun also contains Megatron’s flip out sword. The blade actually combines from three smaller blades that fold together from different sides and then light up. Very nicely done, though there should be some way to lock it in position. Maybe it’s possible to customize something here. I’ll have to ask Limewire. You can store Megatron’s big gun on his back, too, if you want. Apart from the gun he has a strange-looking small double-blade that he can fit into either hand. Not sure where that came from, I don’t remember him having anything like that in the series, but whatever. You can also fit it onto his gun, if you want, though I think I’ll leave it aside for the most part.

Articulation is not a problem in the slightest. The figure can move with the best of them, just about the only thing missing is a twisting waist. The big shoulder pieces can get in the way sometimes, but seeing as they are on separate ball joints from the actual shoulders, you can move them aside as needed. The only slight downside here is the pieces hanging off his back. They aren’t big and don’t get in the way, but I haven’t really found a way to make them look good yet, either. Still, what you have here is one of the best Megatron robot modes I’ve seen in a good long while. Very nicely done and two thumbs up.

Alternate Mode: It’s hard to find a good alternate mode for a Megatron. Optimus Prime is almost always a truck of some sort, but Megatron? He’s a gun, a tank, a truck, an ugly mass of parts that’s supposedly some kind of space jet, a helicopter or a giant fist. For Prime we’re back to the space jet variant. Once again Megatron foregoes the whole “in disguise” aspect and remains a Cybertronian vehicle, probably inspired by the first two live-action movies. I would have preferred to see him in some kind of Earth mode, but it was not to be.

Between the butt-ugly Movie version and the brilliant Energon science fiction bomber, Prime Megatron is somewhere in the middle. While his space jet mode is far from streamlined and there are visible robot parts peeking out (the hands and feet at the rear, his head in the center), it’s far from the brick-like mess that Movie Megatron was. It’s definitely not the sleek, sexy aircraft we see in the Prime cartoon, but you can look at it and think “yeah, that thing could presumably fly” without too much suspension of disbelief. The big gun on top sticks out somewhat, of course, but that hand-blade thing from the robot mode makes it a tad more aerodynamic-looking.

Still, overall I must say that Megatron’s alternate mode is tacked-on at best. Yes, he’s a transforming robot. Yes, his alternate mode is recognizable as a space jet of some kind. But that’s pretty much the extent of it. The jet offers little in the way of play value, doesn’t even have a landing gear of any kind, and is clearly subordinate to the (admittedly brilliant) robot mode. So my recommendation here: leave Megs in robot mode.

Remarks: Of course a new Transformers series must have a new version of Megatron as the main bad guy, that’s a given. And the Prime TV series has the closest thing to a resurrected G1 Megatron we’ve seen in a good long while, probably even closer a match than the Animated version was. While Megatron has spent a big portion of the first season of Prime in the hospital bed, he has still managed to establish himself as a bad ass. Having Frank Welker supply his voice helps, too, of course.

As a toy Megatron is a bit of a mixed blessing. The robot mode is spectacular, no doubt about it. A very close match to the TV character, great look, nicely implemented gimmicks, the works. All that works to the detriment of the alternate mode, though, which does work somewhat, but is nowhere near as brilliant as the robot mode. Still, as someone who mostly leaves his figures in robot mode, I can live with a somewhat lacklustre vehicle mode, no problem. A better paint job and alternate mode would have given this figure a straight A easily. Given the shortcomings in both, he still comes out with a solid B+. Recommended to all Prime and Megatron fans.

Rating: B+
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