Pardon me while I put the needle back on this broken record, but this is yet another Megatron figure I would have loved to have seen released in a different scale. This particular design is based on his look in Megatron Origin, which chronicled his days as a miner and gladiator before he rose to power and became one of the scariest despotic warlords ever. The comic isn’t bad for a pre-James Roberts book, and the character’s design is one I always thought was really cool, and I think it would have worked really well as a deluxe or even — gasp — a voyager. Not that this legends-class figure is all that bad or anything because on its own merits it’s a pretty cool little Transformers figure, and these legends are much better than what used to fall within that class size. Unfortunately, he’s still not perfect even when viewed within the context of just the legends class, but he is close.
These new legends-class figures are indeed small, but not horribly so. They’re about three inches tall, give or take, so just a touch smaller than the average GI Joe or Star Wars figure. But since Transformers are usually much bigger, I’ll be darned if these don’t feel itty bitty, and Megatron should never feel itty bitty because, well, he’s frikkin’ Megatron. Even so, he’s still a fun little figure.
The yellow accents mimic the “caution tape” design of his Megatron Origin appearance and definitely add some much-needed color variety to him. His head sculpt is nicely detailed and succeeds in not looking too stern, which is a good thing because when he looked like this he wasn’t really “Megatron” yet. With that in mind, this design would have been the better choice to accompany the pre-Optimus Prime Orion Pax in the current IDW deluxe-class wave, but, as it turned out, we get him here. At least we got him, right? Hrm.
The packaging is standard and showcases both figures nicely. What’s a little odd is how the bio on the back of the card focuses on Chop Shop more than Megatron. It sounds like they have something of an amusing little relationship. Seeing these two paired together does seem a bit random, but it’s hard to find too much fault with the pairing since this is the first Chop Shop figure Hasbro has released since the original way back in ’85. So if it takes his being paired with Megatron to be released again, then so be it. Hopefully, like Waspinator, we’ll see Chop Shop released as a deluxe-class figure sometime in the near future.
I don’t know if I’d say he’s immediately recognizable as Megatron to those unfamiliar with the comic, but all the classic elements are there: the dark color palette, the arm-mounted weapon, the helmet, and that distinctive chest design that looks like a steel wall. He’s not the classic Megatron many are used to and still expect to get from Hasbro one day, but he’s pretty darn close.
His cannon isn’t as intimidating as it could be, but the larger problem (pun intended) here is his size. Compared to others in this series, like Starscream and Optimus Prime above, he’s rather… puny. He’s a touch smaller than Optimus, but while he and Starscream seem to be about the same height, Starscream has more mass and that makes him look more imposing and more intimidating than Megatron. As far as I’m concerned, Megatron should always look bigger and meaner than Starscream, at least in the context of G1 and this extended G1 continuity IDW has been developing. So I’m not sure how well he displays with his class-mates because it’s hard to accept Megatron as “the little one,” though your mileage may vary on this point, certainly.
His alt mode as a tank actually works pretty well. This is one of the few Megatron figures out there where both modes are actually convincing — this definitely doesn’t happen often because at least one mode is usually something of a mess. The only aspect of his tank mode that that does require you to go easy on in terms of criticism would be the placement of his hands. They’re just right there on either side of the cannon. Fortunately, from certain angles they don’t look like hands and can pass for just part of the turret, but it’s still not the most elegant transformation.
Chop Shop can be mounted to the front of the tank to become some sort of cruel battlefield sweeper or something. This is pretty cool.
Chop Shop can also be mounted to Megatron’s arm as some kind of weapon, even though it just looks like he’s sitting on Megatron’s arm like he’s his pet or something. But he’s supposed to be a weapon. Not a pet. I think he’s supposed to be some kind of saw-thing? No idea. And, honestly, it does look a bit silly since Chop Shop looks so huge on his arm.
Both Starscream and Megatron come with Insecticon partners in this wave, assuming Waspinator can be considered an Insecticon. It’s a cool theme that has given us two very “outside the box” updates of these two characters. Chop Shop is a little guy, though, and he makes the tiny Megatron look huge in comparison. Megatron should tower imposingly over his troops, so this totally works.
Chop Shop was always my favorite of all the Insecticons released back in the G1 days, so I’m happy to see him getting some attention from Hasbro. The original figure is among those Hasbro licensed from Bandai, so the original figure will never see a rerelease since Hasbro no longer has the rights, so it’s cool to see him get an “update” in this set.
There isn’t much to him since he’s so small. His articulation is minimal, and his transformation basically involves his lying on his stomach and presto! Instant insect mode.
Here he is with Fansproject’s TFsource-exclusive version of Chop Chop from late last year. This seems like it could be a cool pairing — Chop Shop serving as a target master for not-Chop Shop. Little Chop Shop may be hanging out with my deluxe Insecticons from now on.
These new legends-class figures haven’t had a whole lot of retail presence since it seems Hasbro overdid it with the deployer 2-packs for Soundwave and Blaster. I got my sets from Big Bad Toy Store, but it looks like they’re totally sold out, and on Amazon they’re only available from marketplace sellers. Hopefully they’ll actually hit retail eventually and will be more readily available.