My fingers feel like they’re messed up. My fingertips are tender to the touch and stings a little while I’m typing this out. The fingernails on my left index finger had a big chip in it so I had to file it down a bit. And… is this a paper cut? Yes, it is a paper cut! How the heck did I get that? The last bit is probably the oddest injury I received while transforming my latest acquisition, MP-36 Masterpiece Megatron.
Now, I’ve been wanting Takara to make a new and improved version of their original Masterpiece Megatron. His first version, MP-05, was a bit of a mess, with a lot of niggling problems and, well, he doesn’t look good in both his robot or Walther P38 gun mode. Most fans expected more for the leader of the treacherous Decepticons but it seemed like this was the only Masterpiece Transformer version we were going to get for him. But when they made MP-10, the new and improved Optimus Prime, fans, including myself, dreamed that Takara to re-engineer Megatron to be more cartoon accurate and just plain better. Well, my dreams came true as I finally got my hands on MP-36! And, honestly, the injuries I’ve received from the figure are… kinda worth it? Because all that pain and effort is worth it!
Takara really went all out with the engineering of Megatron in MP-36. He’s definitely just not a new version of MP-06 with just a few slight modifications. They went back to the drawing board and they seemed to put an extreme amount of effort to make up for the mistakes they made in their earlier version! And it really shows as he almost perfect in almost every way.
First, let’s go over his robot mode as that’s how he comes packaged in the box. The first thing you will notice is how he looks practically like he did in the cartoon! From his extremely detailed face to his non-skinny legs (a big misstep with the previous MP-06), this version of Megatron is gorgeous. Takara put a lot of detail into his robot mode that fans will appreciate. They even gave him the little fins on his shoulders and that weird computer where his abs are. That’s a lot of attention to detail!
If I were to nitpick, though, I will say that his hands are a little bit small and don’t look all that proportional to the rest of his body. They had to be smaller than normal as they needed to fit snugly in his forearms when transforming him into gun mode. There are also a noticeable number of panel lines on his legs. Those lines are there because of the way he transforms so they’re a necessary evil. I will say that they actually look kind of good and don’t distract from his overall look. In fact, they actually make Megatron a little bit more menacing than he did in the cartoon. That can’t be all that bad, can it?
He’s also got a lot of articulation, which is always much appreciated in an expensive action figure like this. His shoulders and hip all have heavy ratchet joints, making it easy for his to raise his arms and legs for great dramatic poses. I will also have to commend his teeny hands as it actually has a lot of articulation. Most Masterpiece Transformers only have articulation in their index and other three fingers. But MP-36 was graced with extra articulation on those fingers and his thumb. Yes, they’re there to make sure they fit in his forearm but I still like that extra articulation.
Takara has once again gone to town with the number of accessories with their latest figure and, I will say, this version of Masterpiece Megatron has probably the best ones yet! The most prominent has definitely have to be the number of extra faces he comes with. They all look really well made and don’t look out of place on him. His standard frowny face that he’s wearing out of the box is good but I just love the other two, the grinning one and the one where he’s yelling, look so much better! If you’re so inclined, you can also switch it out with a “battle damaged” face and chestplate so you can relive the traumatic time when both he and Optimus Prime duked it out to the death in the original Transformers: The Movie. You can also relive the “reformatting” scene where Unicron transformed Megatron into Galvatron by removing all his face places. Nice touch, Takara!
Speaking of Transformers: The Movie, Takara also included a couple of accessories from that film. Specifically, the “beam dagger,” which he used to stab Optimus Prime with at the start of their duel to the death, as well as the little laser pistol he used to gun down the Leader of the Autobots with. You can actually switch out the beam from the beam dagger and stick it in the tip of the barrel of the laser pistol to make it look like he’s firing at Prime.
But my favorite accessory for Megatron’s robot mode would have to be the Energy Mace he used in episode 2 of the animated series. Not only does it come with a “standard” laser chain that droops down when its not moving around, you can attach an articulated “chain” with joints on it so you can make Megatron pose with it with some really dramatic poses. If you wanna pose him in a way where it looks like he’s swinging that Energy Mace around, definitely use the articulated “chain.” It really does look good with the right camera angles.
There are a few accessories for his robot mode that I don’t really care for, though. The Key to Vector Sigma is one of them. It a nice detailed piece of plastic… but then again, it’s just a piece of plastic with very little functionality than for Megatron to hold. The second is his helmet, which he used to control an Optimus Prime clone in that one forgettable episode. It’s not bad and fits snugly on Megatron’s noggin. It’s just that it’s just not all that fun to play with.
I do have to mention the gun accessories, the barrel/silencer and the stock, which do have their uses when Megatron is in robot mode. The butt has a couple of uses. The first is as a really thick looking flight stand which, in all honesty, I am never going to use again. You stick a peg, for a lack of a better term, up Megatron’s butthole and lock in a tab in the bottom of his crotch. And, once it’s in there, it very sturdy. But it’s a little too sturdy. If you do get it in Megatron, you’ll have a bugger of a time getting it out (that’s what she said). It was a scary experience getting it out and I’m not going through that again!
The barrel accessory itself doesn’t have all that much functionality other than combining it with Megatron’s barrel and configuring it to make it look like a bazooka. I know they’re copying what the accessory did with the original toy but it just doesn’t look all that good. Like with the original toy, you can combine the stock, barrel and scope accessories and transform them into his howitzer gun, which does look good. But the mere fact that you have to remove Megatron’s iconic fusion cannon to do so takes away from the effect.
Speaking of the fusion cannon, it has an electronic gimmick in there wherein, if you put in a couple of watch batteries in it, it’ll make several sounds. Sadly, the first two sound effects seem to come from the Japanese version of the Transformers cartoon. The first sound is a laser blaster sound but it doesn’t have the bass sound I remember. It’s too high pitched for my liking. The second is Megatron giving commands… in Japanese. The third sound effect is the iconic transformation sound effect from the cartoon, which does remain untouched. The Japanese sound effects aren’t a deal breaker, though, In fact, I don’t think I’ll be using it them all that much.
Now, we’ve gotta talk about his gun mode but I will have to say something about the transformation process: it’s actually quite nerve wracking. Remember how I told you about how his flight stand is hard to get out once you get it in? Well, there are going to be a lot of times where this is the case, especially when you are transforming Megatron from gun to robot. That’s the side effect of Taraka re-engineering the toy so that everything tabs into place nicely and sturdily. There are some really some sticking points where it can feel like you can break it while transforming it. I don’t care if the box says it uses “long life design” part (what does that mean, anyway?). It just feels frightening if parts stick together and you have to exert a good amount of force to get the pieces to get moving.
I will mention the stickling points in my figure so that you are forewarned. The first one is the crotch joint wherein you have to squeeze the legs together to form the gun grip. It’s hard to get enough leverage to actually do this but, according to the Internet, you can loosen the screw a bit to make it move much more easier and I can confirm that this does work. The second and third sticking points for me involve getting him into his robot mode from gun mode. There’s a part where you have to split apart the front part of the gun housing so that it forms Megatron’s backpack. Essentially, there are three tabs that lock that entire section into place, and each of them overlap some pieces. Those pieces then make a really tight seal around each other, making it a bugger to actually pull apart!
But the worst for me has to be the leg hinge joints that “fatten” up the legs. Both the inner and outer panels are on the same joint so you have to swing them apart at the same time. I guess they’re supposed to swing in and out of position easily but they just don’t for the Megatron I got. Oddly enough, the right leg I can do with some difficulty but I never feel that I could break that joint. It’s the left leg that I’m scared of. I’ve looked up some tricks online and I seem to be the only one that has this issue. I do try wiggling it so that they do come loose and they do eventually come apart but it never feels fluid enough that it feels safe for my expensive figure. If you have any tips on what I’m doing wrong, I’d really appreciate it.
Now, it’s because of all of these really great connections of tabs that I got all of the injuries I mentioned at the start of this review. But, honestly, it does feel all worth it because the engineering put into the transformation process is really impressive. There’s nary a wasted piece and every thing snaps together into a really good looking replica of a Walther P38. Honestly, I wouldn’t be taking this out of my house in gun mode because it does look like the real thing at first glance!
He doesn’t have all that many accessories in his Walther P38 mode besides the aforementioned barrel/silencer and stock attachments but they do complete the look of Megatron’s gun mode from the cartoon. It does look spectacular in gun mode. There are, of course, a ton of panel lines because of all the little bits and pieces that need to fold together to get him into this mode but there was no way Takara could minimize the panels and not make him look cartoon accurate in both modes, I think. Despite this, it looks great.
There’s also a little heft in it when you do attach those accessories, making it almost feel like a real gun! I will say that the grip is a little thicker than I expected. It’s not visibly noticeable but it does feel kind of weird in your hands. But, if you think how well the legs look in robot mode and how Takara got them to be so skinny in gun mode, it’s ultimately just a nitpick. He also has a spring loaded trigger but it doesn’t really do anything. Once again, that’s a nitpick as I would rather the trigger do nothing instead of it doing something but the transformation would suffer because of the gimmick.
I’m extremely pleased with the feats of engineering Takara did with MP-46 Masterpiece Megatron. They did a bang up job squishing in an almost perfect robot and gun mode for the leader of the Decepticons. However, it does some a wee bit short from beating MP-10 Optimus Prime because of the rather frightening transformation. If I didn’t fear it breaking every time I transformed it from robot mode to gun mode, this would be an almost perfect figure. Still, it’s a totally top grade figure and if you can get one, get one. Trust me.
What do you think of MP-36 Masterpiece Megatron? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!