Super Megatron TT-GS09 Japanese / Hasbro Pulse Exclusive
Transformers Generations Selects Voyager
Item No.: No. F0115 Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Blaster cannons Action Feature:Transforms from Super Megatron robot to Ultra Megatron robot to a tank to a jet Retail:$59.99 Availability: August 2020 (December 2020 in USA) Other: Based on Battlestars manga, toy took about 30 years. Remold of Titans Return Galvatron, but better.
I was very excited to hear Super Megatron was coming to menace Star Convoy. I was less excited to hear this late-G1 leader would be a remold of the not-my-favorite Titans Return Galvatron [FOTD #1,516], who carries on the legacy of disappointing Galvatron toys into the 21st century. "This could be better," I thought. And now this engineering is better with more modes, better parts, multiple faces, and it only cost me more twice as much as the 2016 mold.
Very few parts were left unchanged from Galvatron, and were it not for the elbows and knees you could be forgiven for assuming this was a completely new toy. The robot has a reversible chestplate, two faces, and two crests on the forehead you can switch between to "power up" the robot - plus wings, transforming cannons, and other elements. The manga had even more variations between Super Megatron and Ultra Megatron, but they may be impossible to replicate at this size without getting even more expensive.
This one is packed in vehicle mode, which isn't too uncommon in Japan but is almost unheard of in the USA. Once you remove the box's black sleeve - and then the other black sleeve - and then open the lid - you get a look at the jet mode. It looks a lot like the manga design, as a grey jet that seems vaguely inspired by an X-Wing complete with s-foils that don't move. But you do get some nice wings and a yellow cockpit. It's pretty sturdy with a bit of kibble, but it's a remold with four modes. You're going to get some. The treads are a little strange, but you also get loads of wings and weapons. If you want more weapons, that's what the 5mm holes are for - go ahead and add some of your own. It's a convincing weird space ship, and the kind of late-Generation One alternate mode that we just don't get enough of with all of the faux-realism or not-a-real-licensed-vehicle-but-close cars we get.
Super Megatron and Ultra Megatron aren't wildly different - the toy's differences are simple. The head changes a bit, the weapon configuration changes, and the wings mode. The robot mode has some good answers to previous complaints - panels cover some of the empty space, for example - but the articulation isn't exactly amazing. Some of the tabs are stubborn and won't lock or move correctly, but it doesn't get in the way of standing him up on a shelf or posing him. Getting the heads swirled around was tricky, and flipping up the helmet was kind of a pain - but doable.
The extra face is pretty ugly, but it's a nice option to have. The spinning chests is a clever idea to power-up the toy, although if it were cheaper I don't think the alternate one would be missed. It's cool, but given it's the same colors you'd have to really look to see it's missing. It's a little different, and it's something you can futz with. Since you didn't read the manga 30 years ago, you probably wouldn't have missed a shortcut.
I don't like the tank. Transforming it into this mode includes a lot of special tabs and it looks like you can see failings in the design as you go. The tank treads dangle loosely. The peg is fine to slot the front part of the tank body, but the holes - directly behind the robot knees - seem both molded poorly with limb alignment guesswork making it an imperfect fit. It's also easy to knock off the very small hip flaps which seem to serve absolutely no purpose other than to misplace them. But the tank turret does turn thanks to partsforming, and it does look like a weird 1990s Japanese tank. If you don't play with it ever, it looks cool - but as a toy? It is less exciting. It's bizarre to say "for a $30 toy this would be terrible but as a $60 toy for adult collectors it's just fine," but that's the truth. That's also why I generally prefer to buy kid's stuff and mass-market items - the quality is better and you don't have to sit there making excuses for something failing to live up to expectations. (Am I worried about Unicron? Maybe.)
Since you had to pre-order months in advance, followed by delays, you can't get this for $60 anymore. There's a premium on the already premium price, as Japan's Selects are all a lot more expensive than America's. It's sort of like these are the A+ BotCon exclusives, but are generally still a bit cheaper. It would probably not be quite as cool as a mass-release thanks to the paint and new parts, so the figure we got here is a bit more expensive than I would like - but also better than I would have expected. It's also a heck of a lot more interesting than another run-of-the-mill tank remold or recolor. If you're interested in Japanese obscurities in Transformers lore, this is one of the coolest things you could ever hope to buy. Maybe next we can get Gilthor. That would make a heck of a toy.
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