Hail Megatron! There’s no need to point out that the character that deviates the most from his original Generation 1 design is the notorious Decepticon leader. Taking hints from Transmetal 2 Megatron, Cybertron Megatron, RID Megatron and even obscura such as Inhumanoids, the movie Megatron does at least achieve the objective of being a truly monstrous, terrifying and powerful villain, one that you can actually believe that his own followers, and even Optimus Prime, would all fear. The price paid for such a fearsome, brutish appearance is in the limited choices of alt mode. Honestly what earth form could Megatron transform into that would carry the necessary weight and authority. Certainly not a hand gun, while the obvious choice of some kind of tank is difficult to reconcile with the need for him to be able to make a quick escape, let alone follow the Allspark to the end of the universe.
Still, as interstellar spacecraft go, it’s surprising to learn that it turns out that the most effective form for such a craft is a that of a humanoid robot lying on his back with his arms and legs outstretched. In this case it’s definitely not the toy design team’s fault, for a change.
They’ve done the only sensible thing they can do with the limited options presented by Megatron’s movie design. That is, build a highly detailed, articulated representation of Megatron that as a bonus can be folded into something approximating Megatron’s jet mode, but be warned, it leaves a lot to be desired, not least because what should have in theory been one of the easiest things to get right, the arms becoming the, err, arms of the jet mode, is pretty poorly executed. The problem here is Megs’ hands, which are rather unwieldy long fingers that don’t neatly fold away in jet mode.
Of course, being a leader there is a Leader sized figure. That’s the one to get if you want the mace, the ability to merge the arms together for ‘big gun’ mode, and flashing lights (right, because flashing lights are a defining feature of Megatron). But the poor color choices and flying car crash look of the alt mode make the Voyager version the one to get for accuracy. When the most accurate version of the toy is not particularly accurate, that suggests something has gone wrong somewhere doesn’t it?
Since only Prime is popular enough to warrant identical designs in all different sizes, an additional gimmick is required to justify the existence of the Voyager sized figure. In this case, the figure is meant to represent Megatron in his ‘defrosting’ state as he escapes from human captivity. It does seem an odd choice that rather than mold the ice covered pieces as if they were metal panels with chunks of ice hanging off of them, that they just seem to be purely made of ice, as if his wings are going to fall off if the bits holding them on melt. If anything, some of the parts look more like feathered wings than either ice or jet parts.
Still, the Voyager figure is not without some gimmicks of its own. The wings can be extended, and moved into a forward ‘attack mode’ position, locked into place with button on the top of the jet fuselage.
The main cannon features a firing missile but it’s quite possibly the worst implementation of a spring loaded missile ever attempted. Rather than have a proper catch to hold it in place, and a trigger to fire it, locking the missile in place is dependent on finding the exact right spot where it will hook, and I’ll be damned if I can get it to stay put. The good news I suppose is that launching the missile requires only that you look at it angrily. Here’s a tip, the missile is going to get lost to easily, just stick it in a safe for 10 years and then sell it on eBay for $50 to someone who wasn’t so forward thinking.
There are two ‘automorph’ effects on this figure too, positioning the shoulders correctly for jet mode causes the ice stuck to Megs’ chest to slide up covering his face (well, sort of) and revealing the socket for the primary cannon to plug into. For this reason the cannon cannot be ‘armed’ in robot mode. And something never seen before, the feet automatically return to ‘flight mode’ as soon as weight is taken off them, making for some cool dynamic ‘leaping’ play moments.
It’s not quite the definitive movie Megatron figure, and indeed a recolor with a proper metallic paintjob is due to be released in Asia later in the year which will be even more authentic, at least in robot mode. But you have to have a Megatron to lead your Decepticon army. So it may as well be this one. The sculpt, coloring and articulation make for a nice robot mode. The jet mode stinks, but it’s still better than the Leader class, and it’s not like the movie alt mode really gave them much to work with.