Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Happy Chinese New Year of the Dragon!

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Transmetal 2 Dragon that is…


Since we are coming up to the Chinese New Year I thought I would continue with a semi tradition that I started a couple of years ago with the year of the bull which involves having an appropriately themed Transformer on display of the coinciding year, so for the year of the tiger, I had Tigertron, year of the bull was Tantrum’s turn, year of the rabbit, erm well, if I had Stampy from Beast Wars Neo, that would be great, but I don’t and I can’t think of any other rabbit transformers, so I had nothing.

Luckily this year is the year of the Dragon and since dragons are cool, there is of course a swathe of awesome characters to choose from.  Well, maybe not a swathe exactly.  But more than we have rabbits hey?

Transmetal 2 Megatron not only fits the bill with his alternate mode being a dragon, he also fits with appropriately celebratory colours, mainly red and gold (or yellow).  Huzzah!  Plus he is an awesome toy and since I have had him out and been discussing him a bit with friends, it turns out that he is many people’s favourite Transformer.

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So let’s start off with a look at his robot mode.  Transmetal 2 Megatron here is a continuation of the brilliant Beast Wars Megatron.  Starting off as a Tyrannosaurus Rex, then a robo-rex and his final mode is this impressive dragon mode.  That is why he has a dragon head for an arm. 

Standing by himself he is fairly impressive in height, although a little stumpy looking oddly enough.  His chest is pretty large and his legs look a little chunky, the long arm is massive and his other is a tad short looking.  He is in the Ultra size class of figure, which is (was) the next size up from the Voyager size I think.  It can be hard keeping up with different size class name changes sometimes.

Anyway, I have him here standing next to Voyager Prime Optimus and Lugnut.  He is a bit taller and fairly chunkier looking as well.
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Now onto the finer details.  The robot mode carries the same general feel of Megatron, as it should, just much stronger looking than he was before.  He certainly looks a lot more angry than he used to be, I guess as the his plans grew more grand and the stakes higher, Megatron obviously got a tad more crazy.


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He has excellent facial sculpting, clenched teeth, which you can see.  Slightly squinty eyes and quite a bit more colour to his face as well.  The tail of the dragon forms a helmet which limits the movement of his head somewhat.  He also has a visor that can be lifted up and down too.


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The helmet has a nicely sculpted Predacon insignia on it, the helmet also covers his eyes and you can still see the details on his face with the it on. 

The back of his head has a couple of horns on it, as well.  It also has a long tail hanging off the back, which inhibits movement even a little bit more.

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On the top of his head is a small spring launcher for a missile.  Personally I think it looks a little silly when he has a missile in there.

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In his chest is a little cockpit which is apparently from unfinished plans.  Hasbro intended on eventually giving Megatron and Optimus little sparks that would sit in the chair, but canned this idea later on.  As a result, in his chest Megatron has this little chair in a bubble and the chair rotates around to stay upright all the time, it’s clever really.  You can see a small lever as well, I guess it would have held the man in place.

It’s also hard to photograph well.

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His legs are interestingly asymmetrical I discovered, rather sadly after I broke his ankle.  Luckily I manages to fix it up with some very careful glue application.  It was interesting looking into that leg, due to the connection.  A little swivel joint and it also has these two pieces of rubber to add strength. Anyway, one of the legs has horn bits and the other, doesn’t.  This asymmetrical theme manages to carry on throughout the figure in various parts.


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Almost like one side is animal and the other robot.  You can see the piece that broke and needed to be glued back together on the right.


On his knees, you can see some wheels and on the side of his legs are a couple of hinged bits that could be jets that fold up.  This is probably a throwback to the Transmetal Megatron that was a robo-Rex, who had fans on his hips and roller skating feet, which was added as a vehicle mode of sorts.  TM2 Megs has a vehicle mode of sorts as well, although it mainly involves him folding over his legs.  Whether it is designed to be like that or just an unfinished mode is not made clear.


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One of the great things about this figure is the amount of bling he carries.  He has a shield on his arm that forms the stomach of the dragon.  It is chromed and has a nice variety of colours on it.  It’s quite surprising.  Sadly the arm is a little lacking in articulation. 


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He has a ball jointed elbow, but no wrist movement, so he can shake his fist quite well, but that’s about it.  What I find really odd though is the way his fist has been sculpted.  his index finger kind of points out a bit, it’s really strange. 


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It’s not like he has a weapon to hold either, that index finger just points up and the others are in the shape of a fist, it is most unnatural.  The other arm that is the dragon head is large and floppy.  It can be locked into place with a switch, but I had to swap the switch around 180 degrees as it came assembled incorrectly from the factory.  The dragon arm has some flexible plastic and looks appropriate.  Never having seen a dragon in real life, I can’t say how genuine it is.


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The jaw can open and close and the top of the mouth is chromed plastic.  The arm is really long and is good fun to play with.  It is still pretty pose-able though but it can make him overbalance and fall.  Still, it’s good fun making scenes you would like to see.


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The whole body is quite full of bling.
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Under the tail of the head, is the switch for the wings.  So you are able to have them folded or unfolded.  Which is cool, as they are pretty impressive.  Actually, Megatron here has quite a demon like look to him really.  The red, the wings and the clawed feet.  Interesting concept there.  I wonder if it was intentional.  I suspect probably not, it’s just that big wings make him look more impressive.


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Once the wings are out, he even looks cooler.  Is that possible?  Well it must be so as I just said it.

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The wings look sweet, but from the back you can also see a lot of dragon kipple mainly due to some dragon arms.  But the opaque plastic of the wings is great and the paint on them look really cool as well.


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Now onto the good stuff.  Sure the robot mode is pretty cool and chunky and strong and maniacal, but the real reason I got this guy out of the box was for his ..

 DRAGON MODE!

Megatron’s beast mode is faaaaaantastic!

RAAAAARRRRRGH!

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It’s tall, it’s strong, powerful and just wow.


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The tail is made of soft plastic and is really flexible so it does the job that a tail should do and keeps him balanced.  There is some awesome bling on this dragon mode as well.  It is quite a good combination of the European style dragon with elements of the Chinese style dragon.


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The soft spikes of the tail add a bit more to his menacing demeanour.
The neck has plates on the back that are chromed plastic.  They fold separately to allow for flexible movement.  You can see the ‘tendon’ piece that tightens to ‘lock’ the nice in place.


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The dragon face looks ace as well and the red horns on the back of the head can be lifted up and that launches the missile that can be hidden in his mouth.  Definitely a more appropriate place that the top of his head.


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He even has a little beard off the dragon’s chin.  Cute!

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The lock on the back of the neck, also activates his er, head wobble gimmick.  Twisting eh switch left and right makes the neck move left and right as well.


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On his stomach and chest area is some good colour gradients.  There is a Predacon spark crystal on one side and the shiny arm shield forming the lower area.


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The chest even has asymmetrical points to it, the side with the spark is a tad robotty and the other is more beast like.  The legs suffer a little bit, in that the knees are just above the ankle.  The robot knees are halfway up the thigh area and only fold one way.

One thing that bothers me about the dragon mode is the tail.  If transformed according to the instructions, the tail sits above the back of the dragon.  You can slide the head around so the tail is flush with the ‘spine’ but then the tail is upside down.  This is annoying as it doesn’t looks quite right either way, a small change in the way the tail joins onto the head would have fixed this issue. 

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As it is, he ends up with a massive gap under his backside.  The head also sticks out somewhat.  The helmet covers it, but still, to me it is way too obvious.


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Oh well.  He still looks extremely cool with his wings flared out.
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And the wings have lots of lovely detail on them and are asymmetrical as well.

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He also has a little missile holding option within the wing as well.  It’s very subtle and well done.  They can be seen if you really look for them, but are hidden well enough not to stick out heaps.  The chromed bits on the wings are asymmetrical and surprise surprise have a robot and beast side.


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See the vents on the right and scales or feathers on the left. Wooooo!  Oh and Missiles near the hinged area.



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The hinged bits on the wing allow you to give him flapping options as well.  Reeeeaaaargh!

Now to have a little look at his wheelie bits for the ‘vehicle’ mode.  The claws of the foot have a little wheel on it.
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The jet parts fold up to reveal the wheels on the thigh, bit the wheels can reach the ground anyway so it’s just for looks.  Possibly propulsion.
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The you just ‘lock’ the neck in place and fold the legs over.  The feet claws slide nicely into the slits in the arms for a nice fit. 
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And there he is.  Erm, Great?  I dunno.  Awesome dragons don’t really need a ground mode do they?

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So there he is in some sort of vehicle mode.  Maybe a race car?  It reminds a bit of the race car mode of the Robots In Disguise version of Megatron.

So what wen end up with is a naff ‘vehicle mode’ and an awkward chunky robot mode, but an awesome beast mode.  The good thing about this guy is, his dragon mode is so cool that it completely makes up for the robot mode and personally I am willing to forget about the vehicle mode anyway, so awesome beast and so-so robot, makes this guy a definite get figure.

If you are a Beast Wars fan, then I can’t recommend this one enough.  Even if you aren’t it is still a pretty Transformer, with lots of well placed chrome of various gradients and enough play value in both modes to make you go “Wow! What a nice Transformer!”  He’s got the bling and the powers to impress even the most hard core hater of Beast Wars.  In fact, I would even go as far to say that this is the best Dragon Transformer ever designed.  That includes all up until this day!

4 comments:

  1. This is one of my all time favorite toys. Too bad I don't have it anymore. I'm looking to buy the Cryotek blue version of this just to have something different.

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  2. That Cryotek is a nice use of the same figure as well. I like the way they adapted it to the blue. Ice and fire, and Cryotek ends up being Megatron's superior.

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  3. Don't you have such a great review for the "Mega" dragon megatron? the one smaller than this one? I'd really love to see if it worth to change it for a extra RTS eyebrow I have.

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    Replies
    1. I have done this one for the Mega version from the Beast Machines show.

      It's a decent enough toy, but the bling on the TM2 one makes him all the more sexier!

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