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Rise of Tyranny: Miner Megatron

Transformers Legacy Evolution
by yo go re

It doesn't always take a major retooling for me to want a character - sometimes it's just a miner repaint.

When Ratbat exploits the Energon miners of Cybertron, one miner, Megatron, rises up and rebels against the Senate's tyranny.

Now, I haven't read the IDW Transformers comics, despite all assurances they're the greatest thing since loafed bread, but I have picked up enough to know that Megatron, rather than being the epitome of evil he was in the '80s, is instead a working class hero who, I guess, let power go to his head? Smart enough to know that "settle it at the ballot box" doesn't work when it means those holding the keys to the ballot box might lose power, too weak to reject that power when it's handed to him. He's a revolutionary who embraced the system after breaking it, rather than throwing it away.

2019, 2020, and 2021 were pretty crap years for Transformers toys, as the "War for Cybertron" Trilogy focused almost all its energy on remaking the same small handful of characters over and over. It was great to walk into a store and see the shelfwarming 2019 Siege Megatron sitting there right next to a cartoon repaint and (eventually) a 2020 Earthrise retool that only looked different in altmode, not robot. This figure marks the tenth time the Siege mold has been used, but they finally found something worthwhile to do with it.

So naturally it's only available in an online-exclusive two-pack.

Since he's an industrial machine, Megatron is mostly a dark grey, and has yellow hazard stripes on his knees, chest, shoulders, and forehead. Technically they point the wrong direction: rather than just signifying the presence of a hazard, they also show you where it's safe to pass; instead of guiding you around Megatron, these are funneling you right into the middle of his body. The chest plate, shoulders, and head are new, to better match the comic art.

Rather than his famous fusion cannon, this Megatron has a drill bit mounted on his arm, and he carries a pickaxe, presumably because he's hoping to make an appearance in Fortnite. The articulation is pretty standard for a Voyager, with joints for the head, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. The figure's knees have been assembled incorrectly, with the internal left and right knee parts swapped; since that part is held in place by a pin rather than a screw, there's no way to easily fix it at home. The mistake doesn't get in the way of converting Megs, but there's a minor difference in the thickness of the front and back, which means the knees will always be pushed slightly backwards, making the toy prone to toppling over. To counteract this, try turning her toes out toward the sides more. Or just give him a really wild stance.

Converting Megatron is a little tricky, because my dumb ass already managed to somehow lose the instructions. Let's see if I accurately learned it before then! The only real hassle is dealing with the front treads of the tank, which you sort of have to flex around other pieces to get them where they're meant to go.

Unsurprisingly for a miner, Megatron turns into a piece of mining equipment. You can tell it's not a tank, because it doesn't have a gun. Rather, it has a large drill bit attached to... what looks like a gun. The handle of the pickaxe is used to hold the drill in place, leaving the head of the axe to be stowed wherever you can find space for it. Surely they could have made a way to stick it underneath or something?

I always find "H-tanks" to be a lazy design. Or, well, uninspired; "lazy" is mean. All it says is "we couldn't find a way to have these pieces match up." It makes slightly more sense for a Cybertronian mode like this, but in-universe, what advantage does having large hollow spaces give over a more solid frame? The wheels under the treads roll, and you can turn the turret to point different directions. Most of the hazard stripes still point the wrong direction in this mode, but the way the legs turn around and fold up at least make the ones that were on his knees correct? The bulk of the toy is dark, dark grey. with a lighter dark shade (you read that right) for the limbs and silver for the drill bit. The lower edge of the pickaxe is bright magenta, which really makes it stand out against the body.

The problem the past few years was never really that Hasbro wasn't making interesting Transformers, the problem was that they kept making the interesting ones weird exclusives rather than putting them on store shelves where you could buy them. This Megatron mold was an epic shelfwarmer when he was Megatron colors, but as a pre-revolutionary mine worker? I'd have bought that the second I saw it! It's too cool! But no, the only way to get him is in a two-pack you have to order online (and hope they send you the right one). Legacy and Legacy Evolutions have improved things a ton from the WFC Trilogy, but we still get a few cases where the really worthwhile toys are not put in front of fans.

-- 08/22/23

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