Reviews

Takara Masterpiece MP-36+ Megatron (Toy Ver.)

The Vault Keeper

The Vault Keeper

Masterpiece Megatron… I think I have space for another one ? I mean why not, there is no shyness about doing the old double dip when it comes to Optimus Prime is there ! I have Despotron, I bagged an MP-36 and somewhere gathering dust I have MP-05 who is more than likely succumbing to cosmic rust.

So why not ? Okay then lets do this shall we, Masterpiece MP-36+ Megatron (Toy Ver.)… the shiny one.

* Just to note that I have lifted some aspects of this review from my previous one for MP-36, a few reasons really; it’s the same figure, covered most of what I wanted to say in that one, informative for those who have not read that one and because I’m a lazy arse. You may order those in the priority of your choosing.

 

 

Packaging & (lack of) Accessories

Megatron comes in the larger box, comparable with that of say Soundwave, Ultra Magnus et al. It’s the usual set standard design and execution, matt black with gloss highlights and imagery. The figure is housed in a two part clam shell, the upper part containing Megatron himself along with his iconic fusion cannon and the lower part being the repository of his myriad (ha, ha) of accessories. These comprise of;

  • Energy Mace (with loose chain & articulated chain) Not Included
  • Blaster Pistol Not Included
  • Laser Sword (with beam effect) Not Included
  • Key to vector Sigma (die-cast) Not Included
  • Head Gear (mind control what-cha-ma call it) Not Included
  • Chest Section (damaged) Not Included
  • Chest Section (Super, Duper Shiny)
  • 3No faces: Indifferent, Amused and Shouty
  • Silencer
  • Stock

…. and as always the baggie containing the instruction booklet and collector card.

 

 

As ever, when it comes to these ‘mall’ exclusives, Takara take the opportunity to shaft the collectors up their collective posteriors. You’d think we’d learn after Skywarp, Thundercracker etc.. Okay, so not all of them are a piss take but lets be honest, the ones we really want are ?

I find myself arguing a case about the lack of accessories, whilst holding a personal point of view of not being overly bothered about accessories at all, well needles ones should I say. No, I’m arguing a case of a higher price point (than the original release) with the removal of all the formers accoutrements.

One could argue that this is due to it being a reflection of the Hasbro release, which is a fair and valid point… however. If this is the case then an opportunity has been missed to adorn the set with the addition of the “high density infrared laser cannon” but more so, his big ass “shiny sword” to pay further homage to the Takara release. Boom, one release paying homage at the alter of two prior G1 releases. Two rolling stones and one moss covered bird, or some proverb to that effect.

 

 

Gun Mode

Taking it’s inspiration from the Walther P38 9mm semi automatic pistol Takara have managed to strike a good balance here with the gun mode, retaining the detailing of the real fire arm whilst adding the angular lines seen in the animation plus adding the abundance of chroming to lift it to that G1 toy level.

The original Transformers Megatron toy was a direct lift (minus the pellets etc..) from the Diaclone U.N.C.L.E. set which was attractively presented in a mock briefcase.  With gun laws and restrictions being what they are now it’s hard for a replica gun to be made as a toy. As such Megatron is shipped in his robot mode, surprisingly in this case without the attractive orange “tab” inserted in his barrel.

 

 

The pistol has a nice weight and balance to it, feeling sturdy and compact but with a slight hint of fragility where the barrel connects to the main body of the gun. The gun mode also does a bang up job of hiding a lot of the robot parts, no small feat considering. The size isn’t too bad either and adding the silencer and stock to the pistol, we see the more familiar looking alt mode we are all used to, some die-cast in the stock adds to the weight.

 

 

No working parts in this mode other than the spring loaded trigger, safety catch moves and the hammer can be pulled down but does not return on pulling the trigger. The scope has a sound feature but no working lens, I’ll go into this more in the robot mode narrative.

I have not encountered any issues with the silencer and its fitment to the gun barrel like what was experienced with the MP-36 release.

 

 

Overall it’s a gun, what more can I say, looks like a gun and has the awesome bonus of being able to transform which brings me nicely to the hard part ….

 

 

Transformation

Go f*ck yourself and the horse you rode in on ….. a few glasses of Fireball, some expletives and over an hour of stress and we are in robot mode”. This was my opening line taken from the transformation of MP-36, clear and straight to the point.

This time around it was a hell of a lot more fluid and done without imbibing alcohol. Yes it remains a complex, transformation but it’s also a genius of engineering.  Megatron is probably the hardest character to realise in a toy form, if you go for his original and best incarnation that is, Takara have certainly upped their game on this one.

 

 

Robot Mode

In robot mode and Megatron cuts a very lean silhouette, very reminiscent of his G1 appearances, an aesthetic Takara has now settled into with their continuing Masterpiece output… and then repainted back into a toy scheme.

 

 

This figure has lots of articulation, in fact it’s probably the best articulated Masterpiece figure released to date (subject to MP-44), again maintaining the exceptional engineering feat. This abundance of articulation brings with it the potential for some truly great and inspired poses, many you won’t find here as my imagination is somewhat lacking beyond the traditional “hero” poses and the more jovial inclined ones.  To just give you a brief idea I’ll run through some of these articulation points;

  • Head on ball joint
  • Arms pivot forward on a shoulder joint
  • Ratchet joint on shoulders with outward movement
  • Upper arm swivel with single joint elbow
  • Jointed fingers & thumb, Index independent with remaining three fused
  • Waist swivel and pivots forward for AB crunch
  • Ratchet joint to top of legs with outward movement & swivel
  • Single joints to knees
  • Feet forward & side to side pivot

So as you can see that’s quite impressive when you come to think, and if you are concerned, the single knee and elbow joints do provide just as much range as a double jointed variant, marvellous.

 

 

Why we are here, the chrome application is very, very nice but it’s a b*stard to photograph with all the reflection issues for an amateur like myself. However stood at the side of MP-10 in the detolf and he looks amazing.

We can now have a play around with that abundance of accessories, I’ve taken a selection of photos below to highlight their use and features, I did forget to do the “gun head” mode last time round but nailed it for this one.

 

 

A brief rant / mention for the sound feature on the fusion cannon. The gimmick of 3 different sound effects; transformation sound effect, blast noise effect and some angry Japanese bloke ranting over something.

Again, a repeat of what we got with MP-36, the re purposed sound chip used for the G1 Galvatron reissue from a few years back, great way to save a little expense but maybe just a little naughty Takara.

 

 

A source of debate amongst the more “special” cases within the collecting community has been the look of Megatrons back. (In the current case of MP-36+ it’s not been made to look any better in some collectors eyes, considering how the gun barrel folds under). Heated debates, opinions voiced, rants a plenty but in the end it does not change anything, it is what it is. Look, you cannot pull a figure off like this without some pay off down the line, this fact has always been true for Transformers toys. I personally have zero issue with it, especially taking into account the overall engineering and work that has gone into this figure. In a past life I worked in engineering and construction so I have a familiarity with how these processes work, you will always gain in one area but loose out in another, it’s a fact.

 

 

If this representation is not to your tastes then as you’ll know there are 3rd party options out there to choose from, one of those may suit your requirements better and since my original review for MP-36, additional attachments have been produced to cover up the back section.

 

 

Final Thoughts

I had reservations when deciding to purchase this figure. I knew about the higher price point, I knew about the sparse accessories and I knew it was going to be a 50 / 50 choice on whether to keep it or not if I did end up buying. Well, I did buy and I’m glad I did, and in all honesty he’s a keeper. I’m still a fan of MP-10  and this version of Megatron fits so much better with him than what MP-36 does.

 

 

The question now is; do I keep MP-36 and await a royal bum f*cking when opting for MP-44 or, do I off load MP-36 and get myself a Magic Square Light of Freedom and sod having a Megatron to compliment him ?

Or… do I off load MP-36 and MP-36+ and settle for MP-10 with Despotron ?

But we all know what will really happen; Magic Square has already been pre-ordered and the industrial sized tub of Vaseline is ready and waiting for MP-44…. such is the resolve of a Transformer collector.

Some bullet pointed Pro’s & Con’s that I’ll leave you with;

Pro’s

  • Chrome, lots of Chrome
  • Tight joints and good articulation
  • Solid construction, well balanced with nice amount of die-cast
  • Wonder of engineering and inspired transformation
  • The G1 face sculpt and yellow eyes

Con’s

  • Initially complex transformation with the chance of damaging the chrome finish
  • Soft plastic in places in conjunction with some overly tight joints
  • No Kremzeek
  • Bugger all accessories

 

Masterpiece Megatron MP-36+ is the figure we should have gotten first, before the cartoony MP-36. The Masterpiece line has drifted from it’s roots, it’s ethos of updating the toys has been lost and I think this is Takaras way of clawing back some sales from collectors that have moved over to 3rd Party. So should you buy ?

 

 

If you have MP-36 and are a fan of the cartoon then I see very little point and you’d be best served saving your hard earned for MP-44 (your going to need it). If you are a completionist then you won’t have wasted time reading the above review and you’ll be sat in a corner playing with your weapon of choice. However, if you missed out on MP-36 and don’t like the 3rd Party offerings then it’s going to be really tough to justify the price point; considering when you can get a knock off MP-36 with a painted finish similar and enjoying all the accessories to boot. It’s a tough decision and one I do not envy considering the amount of what’s being released and the ever increasing costs of our hobby.

I would have waited an eternity for this….

 

 

Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, Masterpiece MP-36+ Megatron is in stock as of time of writing and can be ordered by clicking here.

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