Sunday 9 August 2020

Masterpiece Megatron MPM-8


In March 2006 Film Producer Don Murphy posted a green light image on his message board signifying the Transformers movie was going to happen. Looking back it does seem quite fast that the final movie came out just over a year later in July 2007 considering all the photo realistic CGI involved.

From the announcement until the release there were many tidbits of news such as the confirmation of Peter Cullens casting as Optimus Prime in July 2006 plus many design leaks. The first leaked design was a set photograph of the 1:1 scale Buumblebee which gave an indication of how the the robots were designed. There was a mixed reaction from fans, certainly over the design of Starscream and Megatron.

Early concept design of Megatron by Ben Procter

The design of these Decepticons was a departure of the familiar designs everyone was used to; Megatron looked like various chunks of metal fused together with a very unusual head. It was Megatron head design that caused a lot of negativity. If you study the designs you can see similarities with the G1 design, however it seems like the movie studio heard the reactions and they changed the design. The approved designs were previewed in October 2006, one was a standard head and the other the "battle mode". The battle mode head ended up being the main head they used; this was very much a silhouette of G1 Megatrons "bucket head" and looked a lot better than the early design leaks. As Hasbro & Takara were designing the toys earlier than these changes, the back of Megatrons leader class box still shows Megatron in robot mode with an older head design.

Head designs for Megatron. The top right design ended up as the final head.
Back of the 2007 Leader Class box

Megatron's fusion cannon was also an obvious omission from the design but the studio did confirm Megatron would have it in the movie. The fusion cannon ended up being an arm transformation rather than an individual weapon and Megatron would not have an arm mounted fusion cannon until the 2017 film "Transformers The Last Knight", where Megatrons design was the only redeeming factor of this movie.

Toy wise the 2007 Movie Megatron seemed to get the short straw, both the leader class and voyager class figures were not great, Certainly when compared with Optimus Prime. The complicated movie design possibly did not help. In 2019 however Hasbro released two figures which depicted the 2007 Movie Megatron more accurately than ever before. Under the Studio Series line Megatron was released as a Voyager class figure which for its price point looks like a great figure, other than that I can't comment as I don't intend to purchase it. Under the Movie Masterpiece line Megatron was released as the eighth Masterpiece figure.

Packaged in robot mode, MPM-8 Megatron is a surprisingly large figure and stands taller than the mainline Masterpiece Megatron figures (apart from MP-5). The detailing on this figure is incredible and is near identical to the Megatron seen in the movie. Like most of the Movie Masterpiece figures Megatron has a movable jaw inside of which are some sharp teeth. Megatron is also quite posable and you can pull off most of the poses from the promotional CGI renders that are floating around. Megatron comes with a rubber chain which is used for the flail weapon. You can pull out either of Megatrons hands, plug in the chain and then plug the hand onto the end of the chain.

2007 Leader Class & MPM-8 Megatron

A small plastic detailed AllSpark cube also comes with the figure. There is a section of the chest you can pull out revealing a clear red section where you can push the cube into to replicate Megatrons "death" scene.

Megatron also comes with a small gun which can be be swapped with one of the fists. If you remove both hands, this weapon can plug into both wrists and then extended to form Megatron's Fusion Cannon. Side on, Megatron does have a bit of a "back-pack" but it does fold away quite well. All of Megatrons accessories can also store away on his back but this does look rather odd but its an option.

Transformation into Cybertronian jet mode is more frustrating than complicated. This is a figure where everything needs to line up exactly before it plugs in. The jet mode itself is also a very close representation to the CGI model, although I'm going to keep this in robot mode due to space restrictions. The weapons can also store away in the jet mode.

Overall this is the best representation of the 2007 movie Megatron and is well worth picking up if you find one on offer. I think the RRP is quite steep myself.

View the full gallery here.

MPM-8 and MP-36 Megatron

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