Friday, September 18, 2009

Transformers Animated Megatron (Leader Class)

One of the interesting story elements from the first season of Transformers: Animated was the fact that Megatron was more or less out of the picture. He showed up at the beginning, was blown up, and then spent more of the season as a head in Isaac Sumdac's lab. Sure, he was able to slightly influence events, such as inspiring the Dinobot's creation, making the Autobots think their new HQ was haunted/trying to kill them, and becoming a voice in Lugnut's head, among other things. It freed up the writers to create stories different from previous TF series, including using a lot of human supervillains. But, in the season finale (appropriately titled Megatron Rising) when Megatron got his new body, it was awesome.

This is the third Animated Megatron toy, and the first with his new, Earth mode body. It was released a few months after the first bunch of Animated toys (And the two toys of Megs's Cybertron mode), which seems to have been planned to not spoil the big reveal of the new and improved Decepticon Emperor of Destruction's body, but, given the long delay of the toy's release, it was pointless, as everyone had seen Megatron rising already. Anyways, this is a beautiful toy. Megatron's Earth mode was based off Super/Ultra Megatron from the Japanese G1 manga, which were upgraded forms of G1 megs, so TFA Megatron here looks very much like the original, yet is still very distinct. As a Leader hetowers ovetr most TF toys, like he towered over everyone in the show. His overall look is accurate to the cartoon. Like most TFs, Megatron is mostly molded in color, but what paint there is has basically no errors, other than a stray bit of red on the helicopter cockpit piece. It's worth noting that I love the red used for his highlights. It's not particularly bright, but has a nice sort of purpleish tint to it. His 'Con symbol is red because of the lights, but I have since painted it purple.

Luckily, Megatron is no slouch in the articulation department (He has articulation! If you didn't get that, you suck and should talk to Darth as he never shuts up about that JaAm comic). He has swivel/pin shoulders, hips, and knees, swivel head, biceps, and wrists, ratcheted hinge elbows, and very nice rocker ankles (You can also use the conversion joints in his feet a little for posing). He can't raise his arms up a high as most TFs, because his big, tall shoulders, which house the pin joint, block them. Luckily, his shoulders aren't tall enough to hit the wings on his back. His elbows are a bit odd. Like a lot of Animated toys, the "default" position for his arms are with the elbows sideways, so you have to swivel hi arms to bend them properly. But, his wrists mean this isn't really a problem, like it is with Starscream and Blackarachnia. There's also a conversion joint that you can use to give his elbows a bit larger range of motion.

Conversion is simple, but still pretty good (I ten to like the tougher ones, but I do appreciate the simple conversions, if they're well done). His legs are particularly innovative, with the outer shell of his lower legs flipping around and moving up. Make sure you push the wings (With the rotors) down and his arms out. That little step was left out of the instructions.

His helicopter mode is nicely huge, and very cool looking. It is, of course, a completely made up model, but still looks like it would actually fly in the real world. The 'copter has various nice details, like the jet engines (Which are used on some advanced attack helicopters) and even a seat in the cockpit. There's landing gear, with working wheels on the underside of the fusion cannon, and on the bottom of the tail. You can also remove the fusion cannon, and flip down another set of landing gear under the cockpit.

Megatron's main weapon is, of course, his fusion cannon. It's nice and large, and has some parallels to the G1 cannon, with the larger bits on the end and in the middle. It's removable due to the conversion process, so it can be put on either arm, though the right is the default place. Unfortunately the base of the cannon is rather large, butIt does look sort of like extra armor to protect Megatron's arm from the recoil such a large, powerful gun would surely produce.

But wait! There's more! Megatron's helicopter rotors can fold up to become twin sowrds. The hilt uses the standard TF 5 mm handle size. You can also leave the words where they go in vehicle mode, storing them on his back.

Like all Leader TFs, Megatron has lights and sounds, plus a few other gimmicks. But, instead of telling you about them, I made this (very low quality) video:

I love that evil laugh.

Now that the movie stuff has come out, and the Animated cartoon has ended, the TFA Leader toys are going on clearance in many places (I got Megatron for half price), but even if you only find him for full price, I still HIGHLY recommend him.

Bionicle: The Legend Reborn

Alright, in case you haven't guessed already, I'm a pretty big Bionicle fan. So, I was pleased when they announced the new Bionicle movie, based on the Bara Magna storyline. It does come with a bonus comic (thanks alot for ruining the suprise, Monty), but since ODST is com- I mean, because of financial limitations, I could only rent it.

Here's the plot from Wikipedia, so I don't spoil it.

Cast out of his own universe, his stature gone, Mata Nui fights to unite a devastated land and find the secret to reclaiming his own lost empire.

In this ever expanding universe of heroes and villains, Mata Nui, once a great and powerful ruler, awakens to find himself in a remote, decaying wasteland of scrap parts and burnished metals. A desert junkyard. Local villages scavenge for what remains, building shelters, survival gear and ultimately arenas where they can settle their disputes. Pitting the best gladiator in each village against one another, tribes can quickly end quarrels based on the outcome of the fight. Mata Nui, in search of how to get home, quickly finds himself in the middle of one of those battles.

However, the outcome is as much of a surprise to him as it is to the villagers when he leaves the arena triumphant. As a result of his brave actions Mata Nui strikes a friendship with the famous Glatorian Ackar and is asked by Metus to become a Glatorian. Mata Nui coldly refuses, and meets Kiina, a Glatorian who believes Mata Nui is her ticket out of Bara Magna. The three attempt to go the Tajun but are ambushed by Bone Hunters and a Skopio creature. After barely escaping alive, the three begin assuming that there is a traitor among them.

Now, with the Skrall and Bone Hunter alliences building, and invasions taking place all over the planet, it is up to Kiina, Mata Nui, Ackar, and new allies such as Berix and Gresh to stop the terror and expose the traitor.

The characters are really great in the movie. Metus was one of the better characters. He reminds me of Obediah Stane from the Iron Man movie, while he reminds Monty of TFA Swindle. Ackar is also another great character, one of Monty's favorites in fact. Mata Nui happened to be my favorite, considering he's both new to the world, but still wise in the way things work. Sadly though, that's not the case for all characters. The Skrall, my favorite characters from the Bionicle universe, were, as Monty put it, "victims of limited screen time". And they weren't the badass motherfuckers from the comics. Also, Tuma, the leader of the Skralls, was deprived of screentime. And his voice wasn't what I was expecting at all. I expected a more authoritarian sounding voice, not some Lord Voldemort crap. I mean, wouldn't it be cool if he sounded like BW Megatron?

Also, the CGI has been greatly improved since the last three movies. The Glatorian's armor and weapons have a great weathered effect. Also some of the standard pieces that are part of Bionicle sets, such as the tiny little pegs, actually appear and are moving pieces.

The best part about the movie is the casting. The two best examples are Mata Nui and Ackar. Ackar in the movie is played by Jim Cummings, who was the voice of Shredder in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And Mata Nui is voiced by Michael Dorn. You know, COMMANDER WORF?!?! FROM STAR TREK?!?!?

Overall, this is an excellent movie. I recommend buying it.

Or at least renting it as soon as possible.

And now, for your daily recommended dosage of Skrall.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not dead yet!

Just busy...