Review: Transformers Generations Megatron (G1 and Armada)

For the franchise’s most iconic and most common villain, the gladiator/revolutionary/rebel/tyrant/warlord/mass-murderer/Decepticon Leader Megatron has had a pretty poor track record of good toys. For the past decade or so, fans’ only options for a neo-G1 Megatron toy were limited to the Nerf gun Classics Voyager or the WFC video game Deluxe, and neither toy really fit the bill. Thankfully, Hasbro seems to have dedicated 2015 to serving up heaps of fanservice, and finally G1 fans are treated to a proper Classics-style Leader Megatron. Hasbro didn’t stop there, however, as G1 Megatron is packed in a wave with his own retool as, oddly enough, Armada Megatron

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Vehicle Mode

Everyone knows that Megatron turned into a handgun back in G1, and everyone knows toy and gun laws since the 80’s mean that Megatron won’t be turning into a handgun again. The next best thing, and Megatron’s second most common altmode since then, is a tank. Leader Megatron has one of the nicest tank modes since ROTF Bludgeon, but one-ups even that mold by having fully-functional rolling rubber treads. The treads are divided into four separate sections similar to an H-tank in order to accomplish this feat, but the overall effect is great. The turret can rotate on a somewhat-rickety ratchet joint, but it cannot move up or down.

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In their identical-in-sculpt altmodes, you can see the most notable differences between the two Megatrons. G1 Megatron is covered in a lovely, shiny silver paint that looks positively premium. Meanwhile, Armada Megs takes advantage of this budget by boasting a ton of paint apps to better resemble the tank mode of his original toy. He even has painted detail evocative of the original’s clawed head in front of the tank, which is awesome. Both Megatrons really do look great, but despite the gorgeous silver of G1, I like Armada’s tank mode the best. Also, the crotchpiece in the back of the tank is supposed to be flipped horizontal and locked in by tabs on his legs, but the tabs aren’t sculpted quite right and transforming him properly will result in stress marks on his crotch. Instead, I just flip the part all the way down, as seen above.

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Transformation

Keeping the trend of current Generations figures, Megatron’s transformation is fun and intuitive. In particular, the way the arms convert from the turret to allow for rotation in altmode and full movement in robot mode is very impressive, though you could argue that Cybertron Defense Scattershot may have done it a bit better. Also, watch out for an easter egg in the form of Megatron’s sculpted spark chamber from Beast Wars before you fold down his chest plate. Those are the kinds of little details that make you smile.

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Robot Mode

Transforming and rising up, Megatron stands tall and imposing. The shiny silver paint looks even better in robot mode, as it’s broken up by the black plastic and red paint apps. He looks great for the most part, but there are some oddities to his design. His legs are a bit thin, and his feet are kind of small. It’s not too noticeable in person as much as in pictures, but it’s there. His head, while well-sculpted and slavishly G1, feels a bit too big, especially compared to Armada Megs. His shoulder joints can be a bit ugly and make his shoulders look oddly disconnected from his body, especially when you rotate his arms outward.

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Finally, his fusion cannon is… disappointing. You can rotate it where the cannon barrel is facing forwards and it looks fine, but it doesn’t look like a fusion cannon. Rotating it to the more cannon-looking side works, but it makes it look too small (and the other side sticks out a bit far). The connection to his arm is an awkward one, and I really don’t see why it had to be this way. It’d be nice to be able to remove it and peg it into the 5mm hole on the side of his arm, but it appears to be fixed to his arm (and with no way to easily disassemble it). The fusion cannon is Megatron’s signature weapon, and I do wish it had been better represented.

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Armada Megs trades in the shiny silver for a colorful purple and green that color-matches perfectly with his old Armada toy. Furthermore, almost every single robot mode paint app is specifically placed to evoke details from the original toy, particularly his shoulders and crotch. The chest is the biggest letdown, as the big spot of silver does little to evoke the Armada toy and instead looks a bit too much like the G1 colors. The headsculpt, however, is absolutely gorgeous, and the smaller size looks much more proportional. Unfortunately, the antlers are unpainted red on the final toy; I did a quick touch-up on mine. Armada Megatron also makes good use of the back treads to evoke the tread-shoulders of the character, but you can style them any way you choose.

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Articulation for Megatron is a mixed bag. His head is on a very nice double-swivel that allows left and right movement as well as up and down. His shoulders are technically universal ratchets and have great movement, but anything too extreme will look weird due to the joint. He can also move his shoulders in and out due to transformation. His elbow is a simple 90 degree ratchet, and his biceps, wrists, and waist swivel. The legs are where the articulation drops out, as his knees are ratcheted and very limited due to the treads. His hips are universal ratchets and his thighs swivel, but his ankles have no articulation aside from upward movement for transformation, which is largely useless. 

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Both Megatrons come packing heat with two guns that can attach to form a rifle of some sort. As far as I know, it’s not modeled after any Megatron-y gun in particular, but it works for some extra firepower for either Megs or any other figure you choose to give them to.

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One addition exclusive to the G1 version is a small sticker sheet, consisting of two Decepticon insignias, two Autobot insignias, two chest squiggles, and a black and white lined sticker which I assume is for the fusion cannon. It’s a cool addition, except the stickers are crap. They’re paper and have a white background, so the chest squiggles would look terrible (also, where would you actually put them?). The faction symbols don’t suffer quite as much, though they are cut rather poorly. It’s really cool of Hasbro to throw in a shoutout to MTMTE with the Autobot symbol, but the figure is so slavishly G1-styled that he looks very out of place in a MTMTE setting. It’s the thought that counts.

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Another point worth noting is that while G1 color Megatron has a pretty clear place in a Classics collection (unless the size bothers you too much, or you consider him good enough for the MP shelf), Armada Megs is sort of left in collection limbo. While there is a very small Neo-Armada lineup forming with Universe Hot Shot and Generations Armada Starscream, Hot Shot is kind of a poor toy and Starscream ends up being way too small in comparison to Leader Megatron. As a huge Armada fan from childhood, I’m overjoyed that we’re getting these homages, but I just don’t know where to put these toys.

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Overall

Transformers fans have been waiting a very long time for a good-sized, good quality Megatron toy, and finally we have not one, but two, depending on your cartoon of choice. Having both Megatrons come out in the same wave is an odd decision, and has probably caused many fans to limit themselves to just one version of the mold. If you’re going to get one, the obvious choice is the G1 Megatron. He is a bit more premium-looking due to the silver paint, and he’s easily the best modern G1-style Megatron toy yet. However, Armada Megatron is a fantastic toy with a more visually interesting color palate, and tons of painted detail meant to evoke the original toy as much as possible. I would say that they are both equally worth your time and money, but don’t expect masterpieces.

Where to Buy

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