Sunday 23 August 2020

Masterpiece Megatron MP-36


Profile (Translated from the Trading Card)
MP-36 Destron Emperor of Destruction Megatron
Function: Emperor of Destruction
Motto: “Peace through tyranny.”
Profile: The Destron Emperor plots the conquest of the entire universe. An ambitious charismatic leader with overwhelming power; he formed the Destron army and started the war on Seibertron. Aims to eliminate the Cybertron army and create his own energy reserves by using Earth’s and other planets resources.
STR...10; INT...10; SPD...4; END...8; RNK...10; CRG...9; FBL...10; SKL...9


When released in March 2007, MP-5 Megatron arrived to mixed reactions. The main criticism was levelled at Megatrons legs which when viewed face on are quite thin but considering Megatron was only given a 12 day design schedule, what we got was pretty impressive for the time. Due to the time constraints this Megatron ended up as an upscaled version of the original Megatron figure. Being around 12 inches tall to scale with MP-1 Convoy, Megatrons gun mode was huge, not to mention the Fusion Cannon / Scope which was also over sized and heavy enough that it weight down the robot mode when connected to the arm.

Initial leaks of the prototype MP-36

With the direction of the Masterpiece line changing to a cartoon accurate aesthetic it was only a matter of time until another Megatron would see the light of day. At the beginning of September 2016 on the Chinese message board platform Weblio, a user posted 3 photographs of a cartoon accurate prototype Megatron. At the time it was unknown if this were a Takara Tomy product as there were a lot of third party manufacturers making a few impressive pieces. Mid October however it was confirmed that this was indeed the official MP-36 Megatron with the latest issue of Figure King magazine.

MP-36 Megatron was finally released 1st April 2017 for 23,000 Yen (over $200 / £160) and in my opinion this release is well worth it. MP-5 Megatron was okay for the time and I've seen other third party companies try their hand at a Masterpiece version of Megatron but all of those are not just not very good in my opinion. 

Out of the box MP-36 looks just like he was walked out of the animated series, the proportions are certainly pretty close and just like the animated version the overall colour scheme is almost a flat grey but the paint does have a slight sparkle in the light. If you didn't realise what this figure was, you could easily think it's an action figure rather than a transformable figure, however when you turn this around and see the back the illusion is killed. Considering the ingenious transformation, I feel this is forgivable.

Like most of the recent Masterpiece releases, Megatron comes with four optional faces, a standard face, a laughing face, a shouting face and a battle damaged face. The chest section also slides off and you can replace this with a battle damaged version. The battle damaged face and chest is based from the 1986 movie after Megatron's battle with Optimus Prime. Without a face or chest place attached, TakaraTomy have included details seen from the 1986 Movie where Unicron transforms Megatron into Galvatron.

Megatron comes with his iconic fusion cannon which is, thank goodness, much much smaller in scale than MP-5's version. The fusion cannon even has a few sound effects. The back of the box says the fusion cannons sound gimmick is a first in the Masterpiece series for speech however MP-1L Convoy came with a sound stage and there was also an MP-9 Rodimus Convoy sound stage in 2011 which had speech from the original voice actors. The fuson cannon has three sound settings, one setting has a cannon blast sound, the second setting has two transformation sounds and the third setting has the voice clips from Seizō Katō, the original Megatron (and Galvatron) voice actor. Unfortunately there are no clips from Frank Welker...

The voice clips have been heard before from Takaras reissue of Galvatron from 2005. Translated, the clips are as follows:-

1) "Destron Army, Transform!"
2) "Mwa Ha Ha Ha! The Fools!"
3) "Grrah, I will destroy you!"
4) "You're a fool!"
5) "Hrr! Crush the Cybertrons!"
6) "You will serve me!"

Megatron also comes with more accessories which include the laser gun and "light saber" from the 1986 movie, a diecast metal Key to Vector Sigma, a helmet from "A Prime Problem" and the Energy Mace from More Than Meets The Eye Part 2. There is also an optional articulated chain link section for the mace.

The Stock doubles as a flight stand

Unlike MP-5 Megatron, this version also comes with the silencer and stock. With the silencer section you can form the shoulder cannon and the stock can double as a flight stand. If using this as a flight stand, take care when plugging this into Megatron as well as removing it as this is a very tight connection. The silencer, stock and fusion cannon also combine into Megatron's large cannon just like the G1 toy.

As you'd expect with Megatron, transformation is involved but not too complicated but I found it satisfying rather than frustrating. The hardest part for me was folding the barrel down on Megatron's back as it is just so stiff. You can tell Takara Tomy designed the robot mode first to get the proportions just right and with MP-36 they thought outside the box. Previous Megatrons (including third party) had wide chests as the chest would form the side of the gun, however this Megatron does not do that. 

In gun mode MP-36 does not look as good or as "clean" as MP-5 Megatron with all the panel lines due to the transformation. However the fact this transforms this is unavoidable. The fusion cannon / scope attaches to the top of the gun and you can also attach the stock and scope for the complete look. There is a word of caution with this release, the paint scratches very easily, escpecially on the barrel when you slide the silencer over it. 

There is some nice detail included on the Scope / Fusion Cannon. In gun mode, the end of the Scope is pulled forward to extend it which reveals two rectangular indents; this detailing may be a homage to Takaras prototype Walther P38 U.N.C.L.E.

Overall this is possibly the best version of G1 Megatron we have and I certainly can't see Takara releasing a version 3 of Megatron as I just can't see how they could improve MP-36.


I am the ruler of the Universe! (Translated from the back of the box)
“Transformers”….the brand synonymous with transforming robots, not just in Japan but around the world. Although Transformers has grown over many series, the character who is consistently the “symbol of evil” opposing Cybertron Commander Convoy’s symbol of justice is Megatron, Leader of the Destrons. Megatron appeared in the first episode of “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers” and is always at war with Convoy to destroy the Cybertrons and steal Earth's rich energy resources. Smaller in size to the previously released “MP-5 Megatron”, this has been designed with a new interpretation, pursuing a design closer to the animation model. Fully equipped with the silencer and stock accessories, this Masterpiece Megatron Ver 2.0 is the definitive edition. Additionally the scope includes the first sound gimmick in the Masterpiece series. Along with the blast effect and transformation sounds there is also a speech sound effect using the previously recorded voice of Mr Seizō Katō, the original voice actor. Combining the dignified voice along with the various facial expressions you can enjoy the action as though it were alive. We want you to be here for the release of the new Masterpiece Megatron, Emperor of Destruction. 

Emperor of Destruction Megatron (Translated from the instruction booklet)
9 million years ago deep within Planet Seibertron, Megatron was created. He formed the Destrons filling its ranks with extremists, slaves and military robots; even good robots joined after being indoctrinated. Leading the Destron army he caused the “Great War” which would divide Seibertron for 2 million years.
As the war intensified, Seibertrons rich resources were drained and its civilisation was on the brink of collapse. Cybertron Commander Convoy left the planet in the Ark in search of new resources and was closely pursued by Megatron in his battleship, the Nemesis. Both sides fought and the ship's crash landed on Earth, the impact of which put both factions into emergency stasis.
After 4 million years they awoke in the year 1985 and resumed their battle on Earth. Calling himself the Emperor of Destruction, he sought power and delighted in destruction. It could be said that Megatron has an insatiable greed which is the very ideology of the Destrons. He is however not only belligerent; in addition to his combat prowess he is well versed in strategy and is also a charismatic leader. He quashed the mutiny within his ranks led by Starscream and the Triple Changers but he did not destroy them. Not only tolerant, Megatron is cunning enough to use the ambitions of others to further his own.
While he looks down on Earthlings as primitive lifeforms, he will use their science and technology as well as draw energy from Earth's ancient ruins. Depending on his interests, Megatron will work alongside the Cybertrons, it is this flexibility that gives Megatron's character appeal. 

Weapon: Nuclear Charged Fusion Cannon (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
This is Megatron’s powerful and trademark weapon. This diabolical cannon is said to be able to connect to a black hole and draw on its anti-matter. It has a range of 19km and can bury the strongest of Cybertrons with one blast as well as having enough power to flatten a small town. The anti-matter it extracts can also be used for a variety of functions such as generating a shield; this truly is a weapon suitable for the Emperor of Destruction. 

Weapon: Laser Dagger (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
“I’ll crush you with my bare hands!” After Megatron’s one-on-one confrontation with Convoy he lost his Fusion Cannon and picked up a random nearby weapon which happened to be the Laser Dagger. He counterattacked Convoy using the daggers light blade, wounding Convoys waist. His later persistent attacks would prove fatal for Convoy. 

Weapon: Blaster (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
During Megatron's one-on-one battle against Convoy, he picked up a blaster as he was begging for his life. He shot Convoy in quick succession at the open wound in his waist. The blasts did not kill Convoy instantly but they did prove fatal. Although it was a small and inconsequential weapon, the fact it dealt a mortal wound to Convoy made the Cybertrons see this weapon as an abomination. 

Weapon: Energy Mace (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
Used during a confrontation with Convoy in episode 2 of “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: Secret of the Ruby Crystals”, Megatron turned his right hand into an energy based Morning Star weapon. Although this would not appear again it was impressive that he could generate this at will to torment Convoy, cementing the Emperor of Destruction as a formidable foe in his quest to conquer the universe. 

Option: Key to Vector Sigma (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
Held by Alpha Trin, this is a key that activates the dormant Vector Sigma, a computer on Seibertron that gives life to machines. In episode 41 of “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: The Key to Vector Sigma Part 1” Megatron brought the Stuntrons before it to give them life. Megatron also knew the key had the power to turn any substance to metal and schemed to turn Earth into a second Seibertron. 

Option: Headgear (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
Used in Episode 21 of “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: Two Convoys” this was the headgear Megatron used to control the clone of Convoy which had been created by the Destrons. Infiltrating the Cybertron base, the fake Convoy spoke the words of Megatron which could sometimes cause confusion. Megatron however could not imitate Convoys burning sense of justice. 

Ability: Transform (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
The Destrons ancestors were military robots who outperformed the Cybertrons in combat power. The tide of war turned after the Cybertrons developed the ability to transform. The Destrons would eventually develop this ability and transform into powerful weapons. When the Destron Leader Megatron was created he would transform into a gun, the symbol of a powerful weapon and his name would be synonymous as the Emperor of Destruction. 

Appearance: Gun Mode (Translated from the instruction booklet) 
Megatron is one of a few Transformers who transform into a “gun”. Megatron shrinks when he transforms and is immobile; therefore Starscream would often carry and utilise him in gun mode. His other subordinates would also pull Megatron’s trigger in gun form but Megatron can also fire by himself. Unlike other Transformers, Megatron transforms into a pure weapon which is a representation of the Destron ideology. Has such unrivalled destructive power that even a combiner warrior can be felled by a single shot. He is a terrifying force against the strongest of Cybertrons and this is only when Destron subordinates are wielding Megatron. As they both have interests to prevent the destruction of Earth, Megatron has occasionally been held by Convoy when they battle their common enemies. This however is only temporary - could there be a future where both Cybertrons and Destrons are at peace?

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