Monday 13 January 2014

Japanese Generations TG25 Part one –Megatronus.

I remember seeing the prototype images of this Orion Pax when there was a toyfare and have been quite excited for him ever since.  Later I saw the TakaraTomy colours, which featured some SUPER sexy paint on him and decided to wait for the Japanese version.

Megatronus (or IDW Megatron as he is called by Hasbro) I couldn’t have cared less for.  Stealth bomber Megs?  Meh, who cares.  However Pax would only come in a twin pack with Megatronus.  Now that I have them, I don’t mind Megatronus that much. 

Bumblebee  didn’t exactly fill me with joy when I beheld his plastic form.  Can two Pre-War Cybertronian Transformers sway my scepticism towards the new deluxes?

A little bit yes and a little bit no really.

First off, let’s have a look see at who exactly these guys are.  I have painstakingly tested my Japanese reading skills and translated their bios. (Oh mah bwain).

Long ago Meagtronus was Praised by the people of Cybertron.  He struggled against oppression and  raised himself from the low class to become a scholar, warrior and hero and was strongly supported. However,  being one to crave power, he threw away the ideals of a  great man and changed into the dictator called Megatron.  In those times the ability to fly was very rare and his new test body gave him and advantage and he created and controlled the Decepticon forces.  Megatron used this knowledge and his natural Charisma, with the intention of holding Cybertron in the palm of his hand, even if he had to start a rebellion.
Strength: 8     Intelligence: 9     Speed: 7     Endurance: 6     Rank: 3     Courage: 10     Fireblast: 7     Skill: 9
And they even added a disclaimer: “Profile and specs are a work in progress”

Megatronus’ bio here is very different to what I expected….  I was under the impression that Megatronus was one of the original 13 Transformers created by Primus.  His brothers being the heady likes of Vector Prime, Alpha Trion and Nexus Prime(nee Maximus) amongst another nine others.  Which he then betrays somehow and assumes the mantle of “The Fallen.”  Megatron then adopts part of Megatronus’ name to instil fear on those who hear it.  Megatron and Megatronus are not (as far as I am aware) related.  This box bio however has Megatronus just being Megatron before the great war and from his days in the pit (I guess).  A slight change in character, one I find a little harder to overcome than Pax being a commander of the police force.  But really, I guess in regards to the ‘versus’ side of things, there would be no-one for Pax to challenge against (please note, no matter how much it is used “verse, versing” [‘Yesterday I versed Ryu in a game of Street Fighter’], etc are NOT actual words) so in a way, the only rival he’d have would be a Pre-dictator Megatron, which is called Megatron….  Might be confusing to the kiddies I suppose.

Paxtronus (1)Paxtronus (2)Paxtronus (3)Paxtronus (4)

Nice enough box for these two, but when I did get them out of their container, I did a little double take as these guys looked tiny!  Also the tech-specs on the side are a little hard to read.  There are a few extra lines that aren’t needed making the stats look a bit odd.  For example, there is a line right before the ‘1’ line, making it look like the 1 line is 2, but they don’t have ‘half’ lines, so it’s just a bit on the squinty side to see what’s going on.  Nice artwork and simple toy placement.

Out of the box and they still looked pretty small.  To my eye I put them in the scout size class, but in reality, they are about the same height as a deluxe of yesteryear.  A shorter deluxe that is.  They are about the same height as Animated Sentinel Prime.
Paxtronus (64)
They do however lack the bulk, which is where the small feeling comes from.

Righto, on to the TOOOOYYYYZZZ!

Megatronus is first up as I wanted to keep the surprise of Orion Pax later.  Having already had a bit of a look at others’ Megatron I was fairly sure of what I was in for.  Oddly though, I thought Megatronus had a vastly  different paint job to his American friend.  Turns out I was wrong.  He is a bit better defined though.

First off, vehicle mode.  This Megatronus turns into some sort of futuristic stealth bomber.  Quite similar to Generations Scourge (hmm, I have his photos awaiting publication actually. Next project!).  In a nice touch, his cannon is part of the vehicle.

Paxtronus (44)Paxtronus (45)Paxtronus (5)
The wings join together to form his cannon, which is sadly nameless. Let’s see, MegatrON has a fusiON cannon.  MegatronUS has a fusciUS cannon. Confucius. Geddit? Oh, that was a bad joke.  Moving on, I guess it could be something to be wary of when buying  a loose one down the track, if in robot mode and weaponless, his vehicle mode won’t be worth a damn.

There’s some really good detail on the bomber.  I am rather glad I hung out for the TakaraTomy version as I think the purple lining this one has really breaks up the black of the vehicle mode nicely.  It also alludes to the look of the characters from the War/Fall of Cybertron games with the faction colour hilights adding to a feeling of the age of the character too. 

Paxtronus (10)Paxtronus (7)Paxtronus (9)
It has a very slim, nicely compact jet mode with little kibble hanging off the bottom of the plane.  There is some retractable landing gear in the nose and a couple of little bumps on the arms to simulate rear landing gear. Even though the colours though sparse I think they work well together and look nice, it does have a really nice Shadowblade Megatron feel to it, which was a recolour I bought just because the colours worked well together.

One thing that I found a little annoying and I suspect this will be an ongoing thing is since it uses ball joints, there isn’t a specific ‘lock angle’ when forming the vehicle.  So you have to spend a bit of time arranging limbs so the connect properly for smooth vehicle formation.  Megatronus’ shoulders, are like this, but I am fine with them, especially since they have excellent clearance for robot mode.  Speaking of which, let’s have a look at it.
Paxtronus (46)Paxtronus (53)Paxtronus (54) 
Transformation is a pain when using the instructions, as the pictures are unclear and rubbish.  It’s not that hard really, so ditch them and go with what feels right.  Megtronus has a very nice and imposing robot mode and I am impressed that they managed to get quite a bit of chesty mass out of a jet mode.  The gun can be attached to either arm, I just went with left because historically that’s the popular arm.

The cannon is actually pretty cool in itself.  As it forms the wings of the jet, you have to extend it, and that can be done buy pulling back on the triangular bit at the top.  A kind of automorph feature in a way.  It’s a nice effect that I quite like as once extended the translucent purple plastic of the gun is exposed, so you can have an idle cannon mode and a ready for action cannon mode.  The only real dilemma I have is, is it actually a cannon?  As the two sides don’t join together, he ends up with the side of the cannon ok, but nothing joining the top and bottom of the barrel together.  Some type of electricity weapon?  Snazzy rail gun perhaps?  Who can say?  The instructions don’t define it at all.
Paxtronus (47)Paxtronus (48)Paxtronus (56)
Paxtronus (49)Paxtronus (70)

Paxtronus (50)The facial detail is pretty nice and he has an ‘M’ of sorts carved into his forehead.  It reminds me very much of the Megatron Origins comic.  He does come with light piping for his eyes, but it is hindered by the panel behind his head, however with light from the right direction, it does look very cool as it’s a great crimson colour for evil eyes.  If you really wanted the best from his eyes, there is a sizeable chunk of red plastic on the top of his head, which is where most of the light piping will be powered from.  It is also possible to sort of get the cannon to glow a little too.

What I do really like is the level of clearance around his shoulders as it allows for some great arm movement, grand gestures and cannon pointing.  Not to mention fist shaking!!  His legs are not so cleverly done though and to get the most out of them, you will probably have to split his calves as they hinder the heel spur a fair bit.
Paxtronus (55)Paxtronus (62)Paxtronus (61)

Actually now looking at it, I don’t think that calves are meant to fold in, as they have unpainted parts on the shins that are exposed otherwise…  But the hinge is there and they look awful from the back, as well as have to be open for the jet mode, so surely they WOULD be closed for robot mode.  Once again, the instructions fail miserably here.  I think TakTom have just been using Hasbro’s lately…
Anyway, incessant ranting aside, you can get Megatronus into a very wide variety of poses with a bit of manipulation, as well as making him compact down quite low for crouching poses, sadly he can’t look up all that well and I find his head is rather hard to turn as the ball joint is really tight.
Paxtronus (57)Paxtronus (58)Paxtronus (60)

So generally, Megatronus is a pretty good little figure.  Little being the key word there.  The jet mode is quite nice and the robot mode is very nice, just small.  The purple lining on the black breaks up the black very nicely and as an added bonus over his American counterpart, he doesn’t have purple plastic on his hands and groin.

Worth the price of admission.  Standby as Orion Pax will be up soon.

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