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Series: Fans Hobby
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 2022

Prelude: After bringing us an excellent Armada Optimus Prime in the form of their Naval Commander, Third Party company Fans Hobby took the next logical step and brought us their version of Armada Megatron, called Meg-Tyranno. Can Fans Hobby deliver another winner in the still wide-open field of Third Party Unicron Trilogy figures? Many thanks to fellow TF collector Fuchs Geronimo, who loaned me this guy in order to find out. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Looking at the robot mode, you can easily recognize who this guy is supposed to be. Armada Megatron, no doubt about it. Giant shoulder pieces, claw-like antennas on the head, big chunky boots, big tank barrel hanging off his back. Meg-Tyranno is a good-deal larger, of course, scaled-up to Masterpiece scale. He is also quite a bit better articulated, including individual fingers on each hand and actual knee joints. Finally, the tank barrel on his back, which he can flip forward under his arm, is quite a bit longer, not just actually, but also relatively, than it was on the Armada figure.

The main difference between the two figures are the two big shoulder pieces, though. On Armada Megs, they were the same width as his shoulders, while on Meg-Tyranno they are a good deal broader and not actually connected to his shoulders, but rather attached to the collar area with two hinges. It’s a subtle but noticeable change to the figure’s silhouette and proportions, and to be honest, I don’t like it. It’s a small thing, all things considered, but to me it kind of separates the two big pieces from the rest of figure, where on the Armada figure they were a solid part of it. Might just be me, though.

Meg-Tyranno comes with quite a few gimmicks. He has flip-out knives on both forearms (Armada Megatron only had it on the left one). There is a handle on the tank barrel he can grip, though it is a bit awkwardly positioned in my mind. The claw-like antenna on his head can be interchanged for a differently-shaped one if you prefer. Meg-Tyranno also comes with two different lower face-halves (laughing and serious) and two different pairs of eyes (red-metallic and red-transparent), though you need to unscrew the head in order to exchange either of them. Batteries in the head can make the (transparent) eyes light up if you wish.

Like the original Armada figure, Meg-Tyranno can not only flip his tank barrel forward under his arm, he can also twist around so the entire tank turret is now in front of him for a kind of super mode. Once again, though, the handle on the tank barrel is a bit awkwardly positioned. Where it was a bit too close to the body in “normal” mode, it’s now a bit too far away in this “super mode”. Not a big thing, but noticeable. The rotating lever on the tank turret causes the tank barrel to move forward and backward in a pow-pow motion.

Overall Meg-Tyranno is pretty cool robot with a fair number of gimmicks. As mentioned above, I don’t particularly like how they changed the big shoulder pieces, but that’s subjective. The one objective fault I can find with this robot is the chest plate, which tends to flip up over and over again if you pose him. Also, those tiny little side panels on the chest plate easily snap off their hinges if you’re not careful. Neither is a big issue, but I thought I should mention it.

So bottom line for the robot mode: a nice, scaled-up Third Party version of Armada Megatron. Apart from the size and articulation there are no major changes to the robot itself. Nicely done, though with some minor drawbacks.

Alternate Mode: Naturally Meg-Tyranno transforms into a tank. More specifically a so-called H-tank, meaning that when looked at from above, the tank is in an H-shape. The tank tracks on this vehicle are actual rubber and they move, too. The tank turret can turn 360 degrees and the barrel can lift up. The robot mode’s head clamps are visible at the front, but unlike on the original figure the actual head is hidden.

Now the original Armada Megatron wasn’t just a tank, but also kind of a playset for Mini-Cons, too. Meg-Tyranno not only features every gimmick the original figure had here in this mode, it also adds several more. Let’s start with those copied from the original. A double missile launcher flips out from the turret, firing tiny, easy to lose missiles. On the front right strut of the tank is a launching ramp. On the rear left strut, a compartment opens up where a Mini-con can be stashed, though Meg-Tyranno adds a spring-powered launching mechanism. On the rear right strut, another compartment opens up, containing a Mini-Con capture claw.

Features that the original Armada Megatron lacked in tank mode are a gun turret on the front left strut. On the front right one there is a mechanical arm, implying a repair station for Mini-Cons. The rear of the tank opens up, showing room for two Mini-Cons to easily fit inside (though they do end up in Meg-Tyranno’s hands, basically, which is not a place a Mini-Con wants to be, ideally). Finally, the turret features a seat where a Mini-Con can play tank commander, including an unfolding control stick. The gimmick of making the tank barrel go pow-pow works in this mode as well, of course.

Bottom line for the tank mode: pretty fabulous. Transforming Meg-Tyranno into tank mode is a bit of a hassle because a lot of plates need to be unfolded and lined up to properly peg into one another, but the end result speaks for itself. A cool tank and a great Mini-Con playset. No complaints.

Partner: Armada Megatron came with a Mini-Con called Leader-One, so Meg-Tyranno naturally also has a Mini-Con with him, named... you know what, he hasn’t gotten a name. Well, Naval Commander’s Mini-Con didn’t get one, either, so that’s okay. Anyway, this Mini-Con is pretty much a slightly scaled-up copy of Leader-One, a bit better articulated, and... yeah, that’s pretty much it. Not much more I can write here. Like the original Mini-Con, this one, too, can become a handgun for his bigger partner.

Remarks: Armada was a new start for the Transformers franchise and of course Megatron was back as the leader of the Decepticons. This time around he was looking to boost his power by enslaving all the Mini-Cons. Eventually he and Optimus Prime were forced to join forces against the world-destroyer Unicron, who fed on the hatred between the two. At the conclusion of the series, Megatron (by then renamed Galvatron for weird reasons) appeared to perish alongside Unicron, only to return in the follow-up series Energon (once again named Megatron, until he was renamed Galvatron again, only to return in the follow-up series Cybertron, once again named Megatron, until he was renamed Galvatron again).

Looking back at Naval Commander, Fans Hobby took an already excellent figure and took care of its one big handicap by giving us a super mode that had actual, articulated legs. In the case of Armada Megatron, the original figure had no such huge handicap. Sure, articulation wasn’t the best and Fans Hobby definitely improved on that, but apart from that there is nothing really new here. It’s Armada Megatron, just bigger, better articulated, and with a longer gun. That’s pretty much it. And the somewhat changed silhouette due to the shoulders, of which I am not a fan. Can’t really explain it, but there is something a bit off-putting about it.

So bottom line: if you are a fan of Armada Megatron and wanted to have him at Masterpiece-scale or were simply out for a good opponent for your Naval Commander, then you will get what you were looking for in Meg-Tyranno. Just don’t expect any big surprises or revolutionary improvements here. He is simply the original figure scaled up with improved articulation, that’s it.

Rating: B-

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