Toy Photography Advent Calendar Day 25: Super Megatron

At the beginning of the year, I named Super Megatron as my favorite official Transformers toy of 2020. But to tell the truth, it’s for sure one of my all-time favorites, and my enthusiasm for it has not faded. It’s so bizarre that it actually exists. It’s even more bizarre that they way it exists saw it turn out so good. It’s this one perfect moment as a toy, and it’s one that I feel will be hard to top.

Super Megatron was created for the Battlestars line in 1990. This is also sometimes known as Return of Convoy, and is the line Star Convoy comes from. Super Megatron wasn’t made for the toyline. In fact, I’m pretty sure Battlestars had no Decepticon toys at all. Instead, Super Megatron was devised for the fiction supporting that series. Which amounted to some manga and “story pages” in magazine features. Did I mention that even in Japan, Transformers was in serious decline by 1990? I don’t think there’s been any hint that a toy for this revived Megatron was ever on the table then, and so it remained for 30 years…

Selects Super Megatron isn’t a new mold, but it’s a heavily redesigned mold. This uses Titans Return Galvatron as the starting point. That already gave some folks pause when this was announced, as that wasn’t a generally popular toy. I, having somewhat unique tastes, actually always liked what that Galvatron was trying to do. Some details could have been better – and indeed, I spent a lot of money over the years on upgrade parts to improve the Legends version of Galvatron well before the idea of Kingdom Galvatron was ever known. Anyway, they started with Galvatron, but completely remade the core body, eliminating the Headmaster functionality in the process. They also added on things like wings and missile racks and such. There’s a lot of new bits in this just within the torso block. The lower half of the body stayed basically the same, and the arms were mostly left alone, except for replacing the biceps with new pieces that allow the cannon to attach to the side of the arm, rather than on top of, as it was for Galvatron.

The final result of all these changes is a Super Megatron that looks pretty close to the old Battlestars art, and which can achieve all the major forms Super Megatron had in the story material. It’s handy that Galvatron was already engineered with the idea of being a triple changer. I’m sure that spared Takara’s engineers some effort in making sure both a jet and a tank mode could work. If I understand right, Super Megatron wasn’t a triple changer as such, but when he got minorly upgraded again as Ultra Megatron, his alt mode became a tank, rather than the space jet it had been before. About the only thing this toy can’t do is fuse with Dark Nova and become Star Giant. But that’s fine.

The change between Super and Ultra Megatrons is a matter of flipping around the chest plate to reveal different details, and rotating the headband around. That part is pretty difficult to achieve, and in general I don’t even bother. The way I display the toy, it has the red side of the headband facing out all the time. But besides that, the difference is mostly in how parts like the wings are arranged. While that may seem a little thin as supposedly distinct modes, a better way to look at it is as having a lot of flexibility to have the toy set up just how you want it.

For instance, I generally have the wings folded on to the back, and the missile racks flipped back, and use that as Super Megatron’s default state. And I iterate outward from there for whatever purpose I have in mind. The toy, for all of the things it has going on, can effect a very nicely compact robot form, if that’s what you need it to do. Or it can go big and all over the place. That’s one of my favorite parts, just how much I can make its robot forms my own.

The vehicles are a little bit of a declining slope. The jet mode is pretty good, but has similar stability issues as Galvatron’s jet/spaceship mode did. You can deal with it, but it’s a little bit of a pain to get it all sorted out and not have things come apart. The tank is comparatively more solid, but getting everything lined up first is more of a chore. And the tank mode has a rather large and unsightly gap in the front. My one major thing I’d change on this if I could would be to have the turret attach lower, so it could fill in that space and make a lower profile, sleeker looking vehicle. Oh well.

The bad news is, Super Megatron is kind of expensive to obtain now. Easily in the $100+ range when you find it available. That puts it in the same general territory as Cloud toys on the aftermarket (and side note: Super Megatron and Cloud Starscream make for a pretty interesting pair in a display. Certainly more interesting than using Cloud Megatron, even if by comparison it makes Starscream’s toy look that much worse and old). I got mine for original retail, of course, and I’m glad I did. I don’t know that I’d say this is worth dropping over $100 on, but it’s definitely worth keeping watch for the right deal to come along. It seriously is one of the best things Transformers Generations has done in a long time.