Universe Classics 2.0 Galvatron

Why do I sound like an angry Ray Stantz!?

Ah Galvatron. You know, I was never a fan of Galvatron. I had no idea he was voiced by Frank “Megatron” Welker, so as a kid, he was just this shrill, annoying guy. It wasn’t until the episode Webworld that I became a fan of Galvatron, and then there was the Rebirth series.

As y’all know, Megatron became Galvatron in the 1986 Transformers movie, and famously obliterated Starscream. He’d go on to kill Ultra Magnus and stuff, and in a Crowning Moment of Defiance, turned against Unicron.

Since then, he went on to be the top billed antagonist of the third season of G1 and promptly… didn’t do much. I suppose it was the fault of the competition. Rodimus was such a weak will whiny emo that they couldn’t have him and Galvatron share the same dynamic as Optimus and Megatron. Optimus and Megatron were akin to the two top athletes of some sport, whose rivalry by virtue of being top dogs created an intrinsic drama. Galvatron could have been a top dog type if they stuck to the movie’s interpretation of the character, but that would have resulted in a lopsided rivalry between Galvy and the aforementioned emoRoddy.

So seeing as he can’t kick Roddy’s ass due to Executive Meddling, Galvy’s forced to kick the collective asses of his own troops. And after awhile, even his most loyal minion (Cyclonus), was fed up with it. Hence… Webworld.

Webworld was frankly, an awesome concept. The Decepticons were well aware that Galvy was off his rocker, and pressured Cyclonus into tricking Galvatron into going to Torkulon (the Webworld). There, Galvatron was restrained and thus began a series of awesome psychiatric treatment for the insane despot. First, they tried to have him talk through his trauma.

“Tell us how you feel.”

Hateful. Enraged. Murderous. Patricidal. Matricidal. Fraticidal. Regicidal. Pesticidal.

“Good good, now I like raindrops and roses. What do you like Galvatron?”

Destruction. Desolation. Conquest. Murder. Homicidal-mania. Genocide. Defenestration. Chaos. Death. Destruction.

“You already said Destruction”

It bears repeating!

“Now describe Chiyo-chan.”

Kawaii. Moe. Loli. Sexy.

I think the scene ended with Galvatron trying to strangle the psychiatrist.

Then they tried to give Galvatron something creative and constructive to do, like playing with Legos. Galvatron took the Lego pieces, made a gun and shot up the entire workshop.

Finally, as a last resort, the alien therapists tried to lobotomize Galvatron by having the planet (which turned out to be a living entity) go into his brain and destroy his Meta Processor/Brain. Unfortunately for the planet, Galvatron’s brain is apparently Cthulhu, as the planet got driven insane when it made contact.

Galvatron then proceeded to kill the planet by destroying its core or whatever it was, and then blasted the alien race of therapists back into the stone age.

Cyclonus: Mighty Galvatron, surely this is enough? The Torkulons will require CENTURIES to rebuild.

Galvatron: ONLY centuries!?

So yeah, long character review this time, and more of an episode review for Webworld at that. I better just skip to the toy now. In short, Galvatron when done right, is friggin’ awesome. Pity that he’s done wrong 98% of the time.

Vehicle modo
Let me say this to start, Galvatron makes perfect sense (as a toy) if you take into consideration that he is craaaaaaaaaazey.

Case in point, his alt-mode is a reasonable fascimile of a Merkava tank and it’s colored in a subdued and realistic (though obviously plastic) grey. It’s also got a big transluscent orange laser cannon to go with that realism. Or in the case of Galvy, schitzo-insanity.

As for the tank itself, it’s quite good look even with the clash of realism and insanity. The turret moves 360 though it can’t move up and down. However, there are these little “feet” things at the bank of the tank that you can fold out to give Galvatron a raised cannon mode. There’s also a lot of room for fanmodes with Galvy, from giving him four feet to an assault battery mode by flipping out various panels and bits out.

A nice solid tank mode that belies the… “issues” that plague Galvatron.

**** out of *****

You’ve probably heard, but Galvatron has some major issues that start to become relevant as you go through the transformation and robot mode. Mostly it has to do with parts dropping off. Me, I’m lucky. Only one part ever dropped off for me (though with VERY little force applied) but once I figured out how to transform that part properly, I haven’t had any problems since. Possibly the chronic parts popping off-ness also had to do with the copies of those reviewers though. I got my Galvy from retail, but the reviews I’ve seen from Youtube were weeks, maybe even around a month before I heard the toy was released. So possibly they got it loose from sellers of dubious means. Who knows. That said, Galvatron IS rather sensitive, so maybe it’s simply because I’m just ovegentle with my toys.

Now onto the transformation, throughout the first time I was transforming him, I couldn’t help thinking it should be for a Voyager sized figure. The transformation at first seemed overly, dare I say, insanely complex for a mere deluxe. Which taking into account this is Galvatron, made perfect sense. Also contributing to the insanity are the instructions. The very first panel tells you to split the front sides of the tank. Fair enough. Unfortunately, it couldn’t tell you that the proper way is to loosen the front part first, then to straighten it from an orange hinge which you can see at the bottom. This will naturally loosen those front side pieces. Pulling them straight to the side, as per instructions, will result in popping them off. Which is what happened to me the first time. Okay, fair enough, how’s the instructions’ gonna tell you that without text right? What is NOT “fair enough” are the instructions for the turret. This is the part contributing to the insanity (and stupidity) of the instructions/transformation scheme. You’ll note that it tells you to rotate the turret like, 2 or 3 times, when in fact, the turret doesn’t need to be rotate even once.

When’s all said and done, Galvy’s transformation is actually quite simple, and has a few interesting twists. Essentially he’s straightening out of being a solid block. Now that I can transform him without bits falling off or seeming like they will, he’s quite decent in this department. Compared to the likes of the movie line’s Camaro Concept Cliffjumper (Bumblebee) which I was pretty sure I’d never be able to get back (I managed, thanks to Youtube references), Galvy’s a cakewalk. Unlike some Transformers, once you transform him back to tank mode, he’s nice and solid with no annoying gaps you have to “massage” back into place. He’s less than meets the eye, Galvy is.

***1/4 out of *****

Domo Arigato-modo
Considering the length of this review so far, I’ll try to be brief. Galvatron has trouble standing, not so much due to the fact that he’s back heavy, but due to the shape of his overly long boots, which slant outwards. His right shoulder also has limited articulation, and yes, compared to many deluxes and other TFs in general, he’s kinda tiny. He’d fit in more with Revoltech than battling against Classics Voyager Prime (Classics Deluxe Prime is still fair game though). His limbs and kibble also tend to get knocked about by errant fingers. Oh, and his right arm is totally longer than his left.

So is Galvatron a dud? On the surface, yes, but he’s… say it with me now, more than meets the eye.

Galvatron’s biggest drawback is his apparent utter lack of balance to go with his mental imbalance. The first solution to this problem, is to think outside the box. If you want him to just stand there, then simply by rotating his knees so that his Galvatron-Kneepads are facing to the side outwards, his balance will be increased tremendously. I’ve tried increasing his back heaviness by flipping his arms to the back and his kibble up, and he still maintains great balance. And his appearance isn’t detracted either, as he’ll have armor plating for his thighs rather than his signature kneepads, which don’t look half bad.

The drawback to this configuration is that he can’t bend his knees back, as now they are facing inwards, rather than behind him. The solution? Think inside the box. If you want Galvatron to bend his knee in the conventional way, then by all means, do so. It will automatically improve his natural balance. In fact, a properly transformed Galvatron is more balanced in a dynamic pose than a static one. Despite the articulation drawbacks mentioned earlier, Galvatron is in fact, EXTREMELY well articulated. Certain design features do limit him, but on the whole, he’s got everything.

His head, waist and right shoulder turns 360. His right arm from the elbow onwards is well articulated, able to bend and rotate, and he even has this little elbow guard thing that’s totally awesome. It covers up the space where he bends his elbow, so it doesn’t seem like he’s got a missing elbow when he bends it, but it slides back when his arm is straight. His left arm is fully articulated with a balljointed shoulder and double jointed elbows. His hips are universal joints and all that jazz. His boots rotate at two places and his front feet are actually very well articulated.

All this and he looks great in robot mode. Yes, he’s a bit of a fixer upper, I had to apply some clear nail polish to these tabs on his back so that his kibble would stick in firmly. And he has to be mistransformed in order to strike a static pose. And you’ll likely knock his limbs and kibbled about unintentionally. But on the whole, we’ve got a great looking figure with crazy effective light piping and well articulated if weirdly proportioned limbs.

***1/2 out of *****

A toughie. Galvatron is definately full of “issues”. They’re nowhere as detrimental as say, Animated Deluxe Megatron with his extremely loose hips. Unlike that figure, and a host of other TFs, you don’t actually have to fix Galvatron. Yet…

I guess what I can say about Galvatron is that at first, I agreed with other reviewers on his faults and such, but as I really got to fiddle with him, he’s grown on me. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got an ‘it’ factor. Besides, I knew going in that he was going to be Napoleon with parts popping off left and right (again, mine is mostly fine).

However, with his fun “Hyper Mode” (flip up his back kibble to form missile batteries/laser engines) that’s made possible with previously mentioned solutions to his balance problem, his good looks and dynamic articulation… and that he IS Galvatron… I would also say he’s got plenty of good points as well. Again, my piece is pretty stable, so unlike some reviews that say he’s not playable, I’ll have to disagree. Maybe in the hands of a kid, he’s destined to be torn to shreds. But in the hands of a kid at heart (collector), he’s very playable unless you’re a heavy handed player of toys.

Well, tough call. He makes perfect sense if you consider him the product of mad toy engineering. But with all his APPARENT issues, I’ll have to give Galvy a middle of the road score, leaning on good because I personally really like him. A recommended buy if you know what you’re getting into, but there are “safer” Transformers if you don’t want to take the risk that your purchase might not be your cup of tea.

*** out of *****

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1 Response to Universe Classics 2.0 Galvatron

  1. Pingback: Toy review roundup : Fanmode

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