The emphasis of this figure is clearly the robot mode and making it as close to the appearance Megatron had in the original G1 cartoon as possible while still being able to transform into a gun. At that I'd call it a great success. This is Megatron, no doubt about it. The head especially is a spitting image of the cartoon character. The only thing slightly off-putting are his legs, which are still pretty thin and you can see the trigger from the gun mode on the inside of them, but that's just a minor thing. Megatron is very posable, right down to his individual fingers and offers tons of play value here. Balancing is a bit of an issue when he has his big gun on his forearm, but he can manage. The big gun has a red light installed inside, kind of like a laser scope.
If he can't use his big gun, Megatron has a smaller gun and a sword ready (both of which he used in Transformers the Movie in his final battle with Optimus Prime) and his trusty purple Morning Star, which can fit onto either of his hands (as seen in the legendary battle on the dam in one of the earliest episodes of the G1 cartoon, the title escapes me right now). If Megatron has one real problem, then it's the general sense of fragility about him. His robot mode seems... easily breakable. He doesn't have the same massive feel as 20th Anniversary Prime
. In terms of looks and posability, though, Megatron gets a straight A in robot mode.
Megatron transforms into a Walther P-38 gun. But in order to get there you have to go through what might just be the most complicated and awkward transformation ever. It puts the Alternators to shame. The result, though, looks pretty good. What bugs me a little is that the resulting gun is both oversized (as in too large for an adult hand) and is mostly plastic on the outside as opposed to the shiny metal feel of G1 Megatron
in this mode. So to sum it up, the gun mode isn't bad, but definitely not worth the stress you have to put yourself through when you want to transform him into it.
Partners / Add-Ons:
Remember that episode where Megatron created a littly electrical creature called Krimzeek and let it loose on the Autobots and the world in general? Well, Krimzeek finally gets his own action figure, as he comes as an add-on with Masterpiece Megatron. Not sure who had that idea, really. Krimzeek is a fun companion for Megs, but unnecessary in my book.
If you want to restage all the many battles Megatron fought against Optimus Prime, there is no better way to do so then with Masterpiece Megatron and 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime
. That said, Megatron is not as good a figure as Prime is. His whole design is far more complicated, the transformation is awkward to the point of painfulness (I needed over 20 minutes to transform him the first time), and his mostly-plastic design isn't exactly the most stable in the world. I broke off some kind of tiny plastic knob the first time I tried to transform him. Not sure where it came from and it hasn't hurt him yet, but it has made me weary.
So what have we got here? A great-looking, extremely posable and fun robot mode. A transformation sequence I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. A gun mode that looks good but is oversized and doesn't offer much play value. So if you're looking for a great-looking Megatron to put on your shelf and pose next to Optimus Prime, Masterpiece Megatron is your guy. If you're looking for a toy to play with and to transform back and forth a lot, then hands off! Since I fall more into the first category than the last, he gets a pretty good from me.
UPDATE 2008-10-07: Fellow TF-Fan VectorSigma from the NTF-Boards
has recently supplied me with pictures of the upgrade set available for Masterpiece Megatron. Here's how that looks like. Many thanks to VectorSigma.