Megatron & Leader-1 - Armada - Figure

No TF series would be complete without a Megatron to lead the forces of darkness. Over the years, the supreme evil one has appeared in the form of a pistol, a tank, a jet fighter, a Tyrannosaurus rex, a dragon, and even a big floating head. Now behold the latest incarnation of Megatron: a futuristic tank whose awesome power is enhanced by Mini-Cons.

Note: For my Armada reviews, I will be referring to Powerlinx connectors as being either live (attach a Mini-Con to activate a gimmick) or dead (merely a post on which to store a Mini-Con).


Vehicle Mode
Leader-1 appears to be a cross between a dune buggy and a tank. He's silver and blue-gray with black tires, yellow windows, and orange guns. One of the smallest Mini-Cons, he comes in at a dimunitive 3.5 cm(1.4") long. Like all Mini-Cons, Leader-1 has some nice detailing to him, particularly his tires, which have large grooves for off-road driving. His guns can lower to aim straight ahead as well as upwards.

Very easy.

Robot Mode
Leader-1 stands just under 6 cm(2.4") tall. He remains mostly silver and blue-gray with black on his chest and a yellow visor. His Powerlinx connector is mounted in his stomach. His shoulders, hips, and knees all move, but the orange gun barrels on his legs impede poseability. His arms are permanently bent at the elbows, making him look like a boxer. His left arm ends in a fist, his right one has a cylindrical shaped blaster, which also serves as a handle for Megatron in gun mode.

Gun Mode
Unfold the orange barrels and lower Leader-1's right arm.

Leader-1 is a neat little partner for Megatron. Cheeky name too.


Tank Mode
A military green tank with assorted blue-gray, black, silver, purple, and neon orange parts, Megatron is 22 cm(8.7") long (25 cm[10"] if you include his main gun) and 14.5 cm(5.7") wide. He rolls along on four small wheels mounted in his treads, but not too well, I'm afraid. His main gun can lower to touch the ground or elevate to about an angle of 70 degrees, his front fenders have headlights and jagged edges for cutting through hedgerows (or Autobots!), and he has eight Powerlinx connectors scattered about on his turret, sides, and atop his treads. Only the two mounted on his turret are live ones. There are also four additional dead connectors, which I'll talk about next.

As many fans have eagerly noted, Armada Megatron boasts as many gimmicks as the six previous Megatron toys combined:
  • The wicked-looking pinchers mounted at the front of the tank open and close by hand. According to the Hasbro representatives at Botcon 2002, these claws were originally supposed to extend and grasp a Mini-Con figure with a press of a button, but this gimmick was ultimately scrapped.
  • Press a black switch on the tank's front left side to cause three panels to flip open and reveal three dead connectors for storing Mini-Cons.
  • Flip up the orange ramp with a dead purple connector on the tank's front right side to form a launcher for Air Defense Mini-Cons and to reveal a second dead connector on the opposite side of the first one.
  • The compartment on the tank's left rear slides out and opens up like a giant mouth, ideal for trapping extremely foolish Mini-Cons. "Look, a great big steel Venus Fly Trap. Let's play on it!" SNAP! "Crap."
  • Push the purple switch on the tank's right rear to deploy a black drive-up ramp and a three-pronged purple capture claw that seizes and holds the same Mini-Cons who fell for the Venus Fly Trap trick. "Look, a ramp with a big scary claw mounted over it. Let's play on it!" CRUNCH! "Crap again."
  • Pull back on the main gun to activate a blasting sound and to launch a pressure-based shell that travels about a metre or so.
  • Attach a Mini-Con to the live purple connector on the roof of the turret and pull back on it to cause a spring-loaded missile launcher to flip up and activate a firing sound. The connector can be locked in place and the missiles fire about a metre.
  • Attach a Mini-Con to the live green connector near the rear of the turret and turn it to either side to activate a continuous machine gun sound.
  • Rotate the turret to hear Megatron say "Decepticons, attack!" in a raspy, non-David Kaye voice, followed by gun blasting, missile fire, and machine gun bursts.
  • In addition, all four turret-based gimmicks activate a flashing red LED mounted beneath a transparent panel with a raised Decepticon symbol on it.
With his four extra connectors deployed, Megatron can host up to a dozen Mini-Cons, including one in the Venus Fly Trap. The overall result is the most fun-packed vehicle in the TFs line to date. I WISH they made ones like this when I was a kid.

Fairly simple for a toy this large. The rear sections of the tank become the legs, the front sections become the arms, and the main gun ends up jutting out from Megatron's right or left hip. Just like a Decepticon to shoot from the hip.

Robot Mode
Megatron stands 19 cm(7.5") tall at the head, 25 cm(10") with his tank tread shoulder pads. He's more colourful in this mode, with a mostly silver and purple upper body. Raised Decepticon symbols leer ominously from his shoulders. His head is blue-gray and black and his face is a very light metallic purple with orange eyes and a nasty sneer. The pinchers on his head can be removed without much effort, however, I actually like the look of them. On his chest is a purple switch with a teeny-tiny raised Decepticon symbol that activates a sliding face plate, good for concealing the robot head in tank mode or for holding up Iacon's First National Bank.

This really is a fabulous-looking robot mode, one that truly captures the essence of Megatron. Unfortunately, it's closer to G1 and G2 Megatron than it is to BW and RID Megatron in terms of poseability. True, he's got articulation at the head, shoulders(two ratchet joints), elbows(hinge & swivel joints), right wrist, and waist, but his hips and lower legs only swing out to the sides. Part of the reason for this is that with so many gimmicks on Megatron, additional joints would've meant upping his price. Personally, I could've done without one or two of gimmicks if it meant having a Megatron who could do more than just the splits and a standing sidekick. Also, the turret on his back impedes arm movement somewhat.

To make up for this, Megatron has a couple of interesting robot mode features. His right forearm has a dead connector for attaching a Mini-Con to. His fist can grip either Leader-1 in gun mode or the Star Saber. His left forearm has an orange live connector that causes a black combat knife to slide out of his palm. For when it comes down to it, blowing away Optimus Prime isn't nearly as satisfying as putting a knife into him, looking him in the optics, and seeing what's going on in there as you turn it slowly (apologies to Ah-nuld for stealing one of his lines).

Even more intriguing is Megatron's special attack mode. Extend his upper torso, rotate the turret around 180 degrees so that it's covering the front of him, lock his torso back in place again, elevate the main gun as far as it will go, attach a couple of Mini-Cons to the live connectors, and then turn a small purple crank on his side to make the turret spin around and activate the "Decepticons, attack!" sound perpetually. That's right, Megatron doesn't *really* want to harness the power of the Mini-Cons; he just wants to give them rides on his built-in Tilt-A-Whirl! Or, try using this gimmick to hypnotize someone into doing your evil bidding. "Go out and buy me all the reissue G1 Primes! And take off your pants!"

Susp Sez: While it's not the most poseable Megatron toy, it's definitely the most fun, and certainly one of the best-looking. The tank mode is a mobile gimmick factory that's solid and has fine detailing. The robot mode is slightly less fun, but is just as solid and even more detailed. Forget pining over that never-to-be-re-released Walther P-38. This here's a REAL Megatron toy.


"My power is your doom!" -Armada Megatron

DateAugust 10th 2002  
Score 9 stars (9 out of 10)  

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