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Toy Alliance: Mega Action Series 02 Megatron

If there was ever a line that represented both the pinnacle of collecting, and the fear that my collection might come crashing down under the sheer volume it has grown to, it would have to be Mega Action Series. And should the latter come to pass. Its will at least make for one last epic throwdown.

Megatron had been a much teased and anticipated follow-up to MAS01 for over a year. He finally started shipping this summer, and before you knew it, we were all chomping at the bit for MAS03: Soundwave. Megatron was kind of denied his moment of glory just by being the second and subsequently middle release- Optimus was still relatively new and very prominent in peoples’ collections, and then to be followed on by arguably the most recognized Decepticon in pop culture. He still hit like a force of nature and sold out in quick order, but it felt like a little of his thunder was stolen. And I’m guilty of this as well- I had intended to review him much sooner,  but kept putting it off or getting delayed. This had nothing to do with the figure itself, because as you can see, he is magnificent, just stuff getting in the way.

As fate would have it, this week brought with it the dropping of an excellent new Bumblbee trailer, and a one-night-only return of the iconic 1986 movie to the theater. I had no idea of these things when I put him on the calender, but what a perfect time to get back into a Transformers state of mind.

If I were to distill my feelings on this figure to a simple couple points, it would be that Megatron came out exactly like you would have expected, and you were expecting something pretty awesome.

If you own Optimus, you’ll not at all be surprised by the bulky, sturdy, and yet surprisingly nimble build of this figure. He is nearly dead-on to Optimus’s size, owing certainly to some common parts. That’s not to say that Megatron is merely a retool of Optimus, rather that Toy Alliance recognized that not everything had to be from the ground up, and used certain structural parts to give Megatron the same size and quality.

The only obvious parts of that reuse would be things like the hands and biceps, but it also includes parts like the neck, shoulders, knees and hips. Essentially, things that make sense. As a result, he is a match for Optimus in all articulation except the torso, where Prime has a wider ab-joint range. So that makes the articulation excellent for any 6-inch figure, and astounding on one nearly 20-inch.

Megatron does get a couple up on Prime in features- he matches the LED eyes and the matrix cavity by having a removeable chest piece that reveals his spark chamber, but gets a massive boost with his LED powered arm cannon. This removeable part has an excellent purple muzzle and energy effects along the sides. If a third party were to make a LED gun for Prime to even the score, I’m definitely in.

Paint on mine is not quite as super-clean as Optimus was, but on a figure this big and robotic, I dont really have an issue with a scuff or scratch here and there. The silver is a classic choice, but it’s the accents of red, black and gold that make this Megatron such an eye-catcher. His size and proportions are very similar, and yet there is something about this coloring and the overall style that almost make him feel a little bigger.

And its that presence that makes Megatron such a must have. He is equally as imposing and powerful as Optimus, but its by so perfectly nailing the essence of the character that it picks up all of the prowess and menace that Megatron personifies. Not at all unlike how MAS01 Prime just effortlessly conveyed the ultimate heroic representation, actually. And they did it in an almost conservative fashion, sticking to the parts that worked, and just changing what was crucial to nail that essence. This is definitely a winning formula, and it looks like Soundwave follows suit.

And after watching that aforementioned trailer a dozen times, and buying my tickets for today to see the original movie- for the first time on thr big screen for me- I am really pleased at how that essence of the original characters that I love seems to only be getting stronger. I actually liked most of the first two Micheal Bay films, which were the latest in a long line of reimaginings of these characters- some, like Beast Wars, struck me almost as distinctly as the original. Changing things to keep them new, fresh and accessible to a new audience is not a bad thing, in fact it’s a very necessary one. But where the last few movies faultered, and this new one seems to be recovering, is that they lost the heart that makes these 30-year old cartoons mean something to us. It’s a lesson Transformers has really been relearning since 1986.

So, hopefully that means MAS04 gets to be Bumblebee?