Because I’m an idiot!
Transformers Toy Story
Toward the end of 2006, the Cybertron cartoon/toyline was coming to a close, and the 2007 movie toys weren’t going to hit until May 2007. So the Classics line was used to fill the lull between the TV series and the then upcoming movie. Among the products that came out of the line was the Ultimate Battle 2-pack, which consisted of a Deluxe sized Optimus Prime done up very much like his original cartoon incarnation, a Deluxe G2 style Megatron and a packed in DVD. Anywho, the Classics were very well received by the fandom, and then the 2007 movie hit, and Transformers suddenly became uber hot again.
Arguably, the success of the movie was partly responsible for the Universe Special Editions line in 2008 (?), which were repaints of 4 Classics figures. One of which, was the Ultimate Battle Megatron, now done up in G1 Megatron white with red accents as opposed to the original’s G2 style green and gray.
I got this guy due to having a discount coupon. I’ve wanted this mold for quite a long time, especially in the original green, but the shop where the coupon could be used had very few options. The selections were either way overpriced (so the coupon was useless) or simply not eligible for discount. I paid about the price of a regular Deluxe for this guy (before the price hike), so while he’s not cheap, at least he’s reasonable.
Normally I don’t want to talk about packaging, but I gotta admit, the Special Editions give us the good stuff. The shop I went to don’t treat their toys too good, many of the packaging are damaged, and even Special Edition Megatron’s packaging is slightly collapsed on one corner. But as I released him from his cardboard and plastic prison, I realized that he didn’t go down without a fight. The cardboard is made of the good stuff it seems, nice and tough.
Display-wise, it’s about the same as a Busou Shinki box. You can open the front flap to reveal the figure, and get some flavor text and art etc. Nice, but nothing overly luxurious if you’re used to getting imported collectibles.
While not “packaging” precisely, I’ll end this part by saying that Hasbro’s really gone all out to give the customer value for money without actually doing anything drastic, like remolding the figures. The Special Editions are all straight up repaints, no remolding, but at least in all the other ways they can, Hasbro tried to justify the extra pricing that Special Editions will cost you.
An “A” for effort… if you give a flippin’ damn about cardboard.
In vehicle mode, SE-2 Megatron’s a tank. It’s a nice tank, what can I say? The turret is potentially the most unstable and gappy part of the tank, but once properly transformed, it’s as solid as a rock, and there’s a little flap thingy that does a good job of hiding any gaps. Color wise, the back portion of the threads are painted white, which makes it stand out amidst the light gray of the rest of the tank, but overall, it’s no biggie. The color scheme doesn’t really give you a “tank” feel to the toy, it feels more like a “Megatron tank” than a “tank tank”, but hey, this is Transformers, we’ve had blue Armored Personnel Carriers and green motor bikes and purple dinosaurs. A white tank is nothing out of the ordinary. This is still a pretty neat looking tank.
Not only that, it’s pretty darn playable for a Transformers alt-mode. It rolls on 4 teensy wheels, as expected. But not only does the turret turn a full 360, and the main cannon can move up and down somewhat, but also the gun attachment atop the turret can also spin about 355 degrees. Alas, not a full 360 degrees due to the switch which activates the gimmick getting in the way.
Speaking of the gimmick, not only is it not available in tank mode, but thankfully, it doesn’t make the tank any less stable.
So to close up, we’ve got a very solid tank mode.
3.6 out of 4.0
Transformation is relatively easy, although not only were the instructions kinda confusing because they only showed you a side view, but Megatron’s gimpy right cannon arm totally gets in the way. Once you figure out how to actually transform him, it’s not so bad, but that gimpy right arm is forever going to bog the transformation down.
2.5 out of 4.0
Domo Arigato Mode
In robot mode, Special Edition Megatron looks great, but nonetheless, mocks me with how much I’d have preferred the original G2 color scheme of the guy. As is, SE-2 Megatron looks like G1 Megatron being a tank robot rather than a gun robot, which is fine. But this guy’s got such design cues from the old G2 toy, especially his entire torso, be it the front or even the extended back piece; that the original colors seem to just fit so much better. I mean, he’s even got G2 Megatron’s Jay Leno chin!
Putting my personal color preferences aside, this is still a great looking figure with nice paint detail. Just look at his chest for instance, which has its lines painted in. That said, there are minor sloppy paint issues here and there. Ordinarily, they’re mostly minor imperfections that are part and parcel of Transformers toys, but considering this is a so-called “Special Edition”, I was really expecting perfection.
Articulation is superb, SE-2 Megatron’s neck turns, his shoulders and hips have full range of movement, he’s got swivel biceps and thighs, his knees bend and even his feet have articulation. He can even bend backward thanks to his transformation, although he has no waist swivel. His left elbow also bends a full 90 degrees.
His right hand technically has articulation, and it’s technically important, as it lets you position his hand cannon… but erm, how to say this…
This is a great robot mode for a Deluxe, deserving of an A+… but that gimpy gimmicky right forearm utterly brings the toy down to a C. Were it not for the fact that the gimp gimmick arm is rendered useless in tank mode (a good thing), he’d be a D-, all because of that frikkin’ arm. Seriously, everything else about SE-2 Megatron is great, solid, or at worst nitpickilly. But that damn gimmick arm…
So, what the gimmick arm does is that by pressing a button, Megatron’s wrist spins. And by extension, so does his entire cannon assembly, giving his a rotor cannon spin attack action thingy. The downside? It renders the entire arm highly floppy and unstable. I’ve had the thing for less than an hour and his right arm’s fell apart on me 4 or 5 times. Usually it falls apart at the wrist, but the cannon flap’s been known to pop off. Not only that, but due to the gimmick mechanism taking up space, Megs doesn’t have an elbow on his right arm.
If ever there’s an example of a toy’s gimmick devaluing the overall toy, Ultimate Battle/SE-2 Megatron’s right arm is the quintessential instance of it.
2.5 out of 4.0
Normally I wouldn’t want to put down an otherwise excellent toy for one flaw. But Megatron’s spinning arm gimmick fails on such an epic level, that it really does bring the entire toy down. Since the gimmick is manually activated, you can technically just ignore it, but because of how unstable it makes the right arm, there’s little escaping it.
SE-2 Megatron is an average toy. It’s actually excellent for a Deluxe, but its one major flaw really does bring it down. I’d like to say that things like its paint scheme or even the packaging makes it a must own, if only for collection’s sake, but really, the color selection is a matter of personal preference, the paint is sloppy in some places despite this being “Special Edition” and I’m not sure I can recommend the extra bucks you’ll pay for this guy on the strength of its packaging.
Grab SE-2 Megatron if he’s on sale. He’s even almost worth it even at regular retail pricing. But don’t pay high secondary market prices. Just consider him as your average Deluxe. Nothing more, nothing less.
2.6 out of 4.0
0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent