Why remake a figure? The 1999 version of the antecedent to Transmetal II Megatron was pretty great and loaded with gimmicks... that this toy lacks. The 1999 toy had spring-loaded mechanisms like two rocket launchers and switch-activated wings. There was a third "dragster" mode complete with wheels. It has vac-metal wings, and a rubbery neck and tail. Some of these elements don't age well, a lot of 1990s "transmetal" chrome has cracked and flaked off. Sometimes rubbery plastic degrades with age. This new toy removes the extra modes and comes up with something more or less closer to an ideal of the Beast Wars cartoon model.
The old toy was very good, but its considerable ambition gave collectors a reason to get a less-fragile version of the popular and expensive original. I love mine, but at 23 years old I'm a little concerned about touching it. The 2022 TM2 Megs is probably going to hold up better to time and play, assuming it doesn't fall to gold plastic syndrome down the road. There are gold plastic claws and neck pieces, as well as horns, and they feel like they could snap without too much trouble now.
The 2022 edition is a tiny bit taller in robot mode, and has a design that's closer to the cartoon. The spark chamber chest is downplayed and lowered, reduced in size and the purple, red, and gold chest feels like a bit of a departure. He keeps the dragon head arm, now complete with multiple joints instead of a lever-controlled mechanism. While I did get a kick out of the joystick, having to lock it in place was necessary and just being able to pose it - gravity allowing - is a plus. The joints on mine are stiff enough to be posed easily with the big flame projectile and no sagging. Our robot pal still has vestigial wheels, but h is new head seems like a departure from the original toy and cartoon to the point of distraction. The purple face is gone, replaced by a silver one with toothy fangs that just don't feel or look correct. If this was an all-new toy I wouldn't think it was amiss, but the 1990s TMNT-style grimace of the toy was recognizable. So was the sneer of the cartoon. When it comes to nostalgia toys it doesn't usually pay to reinvent the wheel, and this toy managed to keep the look and feel of the original rather well except for the robot head. The red is nice and bright, the clear orange wings are great, and they even wrapped the dragon claws around the robot chest. The engineers did a pretty good job making sure the robot mode got more love than the dragon mode.
While I wasn't expecting much in the way of accessories, I was glad to see a flame blast. It's prettier than a launching rocket, and you can use it with other toys. Megatron wasn't exactly loaded with weapons in his dragon form, so he met expectations. I would have loved to see a purple Spark crystal or something to tie in to the original toy more, but they did a pretty good job taking an incredibly good and ambitious robot and bringing it in to the modern era. I'm not saying you won't prefer the original - but this is a remake that certainly tried to fix some of what may be possible breakage points. (Plus or minus the gold bits, we'll see.)
Transformation is not too hard - I tried fussing with it without instructions because they're not the clearest things in the world. The robot legs become the dragon legs, the dragon arms are tucked in the robot chest, and the robot head gets stuffed up the dragon's butt. Really. I can't make this up, and it works - it's still obviously a transforming toy, but other than the chest most of the dragon elements look like they belong. This is not a frustrating toy to transform, and I love that.
You can see some bits where the chest doesn't quite fit in with all the other parts, but it's still pretty great. The dragon chest hung off the robot back and snaps in to cover the spark crystal, and the clicky ratcheting articulation makes sure neither the robot nor dragon will easily topple over. And he'll need the help - his wingspan is about 15-inches wide, and with his neck extended he could be about a foot tall, depending on how you pose him. This is one of those Leader toys where you get something big enough so you won't wonder why you're being charged $53 for it. Sculpted detail borrows from the cartoon and toy, but adds more paint (and takes away the chrome.) I like the gold dragon horns and teeth, but I do worry about the longevity of both the plastic and paint. Which probably means I'm too old to fully appreciate these things for what they are anymore. But I like the gold claws, the scale sculpting isn't too shabby, and this is a toy with definite presence. We've bought so many robots that look perfectly nice and can be posed well, but this is something you could probably give his own shelf in a DETOLF and be perfectly fine to give him some room to breathe.
I have no doubt a lot of fans have and are happy with their originals - I was kind of complaining about a remake until I got this one in my hands. It's a different kind of figure, and while I'm sad it doesn't have wacky toy mechanisms, I won't argue that it looks gorgeous and I prefer the look of the new dragon head to the old one. Having remakes of toys I bought myself when I just started college makes me feel positively ancient, but it's good for more generations than 1984 toddlers to get some remakes. I think this one will impress you if you haven't preemptively decided to hate it, because both modes are charmers and it displays nicely. I like it a lot more than Kingdom Beast Megatron and I did find some of the Beast Wars updates to be a bit frustrating to enjoy, even if they looked cool. This one is a joy to pose around and I keep moving him around while I write. Get it if you can find one at a fair price.
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