Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Retro Review...

I just took the plunge and bought Energon Galvatron (I know, I know! I'm like almost a year behind the times). Here's some random musings assembled into a half way coherent review.

Energon Galvatron

The Good...

When Energon Megatron was initially released, everybody commented on his aesthetic similarities to the classic Galvatron character. It wasn't long before Takara and Hasbro went and recolored him, releasing him in a brilliant purple color scheme and calling him Galvatron, the "powered-up version" of Megatron for that concept (this has become a recurrent thing they've done for the last four or so lines).
This mold has come out four times technically. Once as Megatron, once as Galvatron and also a smaller form that was Megatron in an exclusive two-pack and also General Galvatron in Japan (this toy I bought was the larger Galvatron incidentally).
In short, this toy is awesome. In robot form, he embodies G1 Galvatron in every way, far more then even the original Galvatron toy ever did. His shade of purple is brillant and also appropriate. His face mold is also nice looking--no more of that stupid grimace that so many of the Beast Wars era Megatron toys possessed. His twin shoulder cannons make him look heavily armed and dangerous. His ship mode is also quite asthetically pleasing. This is the ultimate Galvatron tribute toy and everybody should have him.

The Bad...

There's few bad things to say about Galvatron, but I have a few nitpicks. For some reason, the box calls Galvatron a "level four" transformation toy. This indicates that he is very advanced/difficult to transform and I did not find that to be the case at all. All you do is flip him over, fold his legs down and swing his head up. How is that worthy of level four designation? I had far more trouble with toys like G1 Hot Rod, BW II Galvatron or any Alternator in exsistence.
Perhaps my biggest peeve about this toy is the lack of a real hand weapon. Galvatron comes with a tank extension thingy that resembles Armada Megatron in its form. It doesn't transform or really look all that good. Basically, it seems to be there for him to hold as a ungainly hilt for his sword (he comes with an "energon" sword blade that fits into the tank's rear). The japanese release of General Galvatron, by contrast, came with a real energon sword, complete with hilt (apparently, the same sword as Cruellock had). I wish they'd tossed the weird cybersword idea and went for something like that with this mold as well.
Finally, the price. At $60 Cdn (Ben Yee's site had it at $40 Usd for Megatron), this toy is a bit on the high side despite it's size and features. The aforementioned tank addition has two sound effects (which I haven't tried yet) but is otherwise a worthless hunk of plastic that you're paying for. It doesn't transform (which would've been awesome) and doesn't really have much in the way of playability factor (although it can shoot a missile out of it's turret). I would've been happier if they'd ditched the tank component alltogether and given us a nice sword for Galvatron instead (all they'd needed to do was give the blade that comes with him a proper hilt). The sound effect stuff is traditionally lame anyway and they could've knocked about $10-15 off the price that way.

Still, all in all, this toy is awesome and easily the best of the Energon toys released. It's cool looking, a G1 hommage and well worth getting if you don't already own one and like the character or just appreciate a good TF toy. The sword is unfortunate but most of the previous Megs/Galvs had bad hand weapons too (G1 Galvatron's rifle, Armada Megatron's nothing) and this is easy to overlook.

- Thunder

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