Tuesday, 22 September 2015

A Concise Review of Combiner Wars Armada Megatron In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Leader, 2015.
Modes: Robot and Tank.
Transformation Style: Turret into arms, via rotary chest assembly.
Play Patterns: Robot and vehicle, mini-con ports, 5mm weaponry.
Points of Interest: Retool of the concurrent G1 Megatron version with a new head, based on the Armada iteration. Rolling rubber tracks.

The Good
Compared to a typical Generations toy, Megatron is sufficiently well built as to resemble his own altmode. He's not got that carved out look, and feels far more likely to pass the drop test. The tank mode benefits from real rolling tracks, while the colour palette makes for a more visually varied take, almost realistic, on a tank than the G1 version. His robot mode similarly benefits from looking colourful and mean, with nice light piped eyes. Play value is definitely a plus in both modes, with 3 mini-con posts in good places, 4 5mm ports for both use and storage, two tank weapons that combine, and a missile launcher. Detailing is nice, with a few Easter Eggs, like a spark chamber. The transformation scheme is also notable for forming the arms from the turret, while still allowing for rotation. This is not unique, but nearly, and welcome.

The Bad
While arguably the dominant partner in this mould pairing, see the mini-con functionality and tank detailing up front, he still looks a lot like G1 Megatron in fancy dress. If he had a new chest plate, and maybe a dagger, he would have great. The vehicle mode meanwhile does not hide the legs at all, not good when they are purple. The shoulder joints look odd too.

The Mediocre
With 21 joints in the proper places, this toy is a lot more nimble that the 2000's version, but that's not the same as saying he's especially posable. He's got enough to be going on with, but is limited in the shoulder and knee. Its mostly ratchets too, and while there is a waist joint, he always looks a bit stiff.

The Alternative
There's a really obvious answer to this, the shiny silver G1 Megatron. This of course has adopted as the favourite of the fanbase, and the third parties, but its probably going to cost more than this toy in the long run. If all you want is a good tank though, ROTF Bludgeon is your first port of call, followed by Generations Warpath.

The Verdict
Armada Megatron is a bit of niche choice, coming from an unpopular series, and having a few notable problems. The colour choices aren't for everyone, plus he runs into the same articulation weaknesses and visual flaws as silver megs. He is not a must-have purchase in the wider context of Combiner Wars either. However, play value is high, the tank mode impressive, and if you have some Mini-cons, ya laughing. Ultimately, the toy is good, so don't dismiss him just because he's not G1.

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