Tuesday, 6 September 2011
M is for Magmatron
The Winning Toy
"Magmatron's beast mode is composed of three dinosaurs. An all around warrior more wildly evil than even Galvatron. On the on hand, he is violently enthusiastic, while on the other he can judge situations quite reasonably. He is also charismatic, enough so that the other Predacons acknowledge his superiority."
*Please note that this was translated from Japanese, so apologies if it makes no sense.
Toyline: Beast Wars Neo
Generation: Beast Era
Size Class: Ultra
Function: Emperor of Destruction
For what is essentially a gestalt robot form Magmatron has great articulation. His legs are connected to his groin area by 2 pivot joints that enable him to rotate back and forth fully and outwards to about 90 degrees each. His knees are able to bend backwards by about 90 degrees, much like a human's knees. For some reason Magmatron's feet have small wheels on them...this doesn't do anything, but they're just there.
The upper arms are connected by pivot joints like the legs are, but the right arm's articulation is slightly hindered by the Gigantosaurus head. The elbows can be folded inwards by 90 degrees, again like a humans. His hands can be folded inwards fully and backwards by about 90 degrees. The thumbs can also be folded outwards by 90 degrees if you want to (but the rest is just sculpted)
Magmatron's colour scheme is basically a combination of that of his alternate modes, with some greys to show he's a robot. He retains all his alternate mode's sculpting, along with some mechanical parts which would have been hidden in his beast modes
Magmatron's face is mostly silver with green eyes and red "helmet" with yellow details on his forehead. Magmatron has a sculpted ridged nose, a cleft chin and sculpted fang-filled mouth.
Magmatron's weapon can either be used as a sword or a blaster. It's default form is the sword, but to turn it into the blaster you just have to fold out the handle. Any of his five projectiles can be used in either mode. The handles can be held in Magmatron's right hand by a small peg hole between his middle and pinky finger. Meanwhile, on his right forearm he has an clip designed to allow his shield (bottom half of the Elasmosaurus) to clip in
Magmatron is one of those rare Transformers who have multiple separate alternate modes, making his a Tripartite toy (i.e. it has 3 parts)
The dark blue component usually referred to as a Landsaur on websites and the Sourcebook is actually based upon a Gigantosaurus. The body is mostly dark blue, with light blue highlights and sculpted scales/muscles all over his body giving him a mostly realistic feel. He also has a purely green pair of eyes, and other sculpted details (nostrils, ridges etc). He has a set of red claws on his chest that looks random here, but is mostly for his robot mode. His hands have sculpted claws, and his feet have the same, but with them being painted silver as well
His tail is immobile, but actually can be opened up by a ball joint, which holds his bone-blade in this mode. The lower part of the head is immobile, but the upper half his able to move by a combination of a pivot and spring, giving him a chomping effect.
the arms are connected via a simple ball joint and have no other articulation (like in most similar alternate modes, like with Beast Wars Megatron or T-Wrecks). The legs are connected to the main body with a pivot joint that allows it to rotate 360 degrees, and also on a hinge joint which allows it to be spread out by about 90 degrees. The knees are able to bend backwards by about 45 degrees on a hinge joint and his feet can bend on a 90 degree angle on a hinge joint as well
The back of this component's legs have some of his robot mode foot kibble exposed, which ruins the illusion a little bit, but not that much. His spark crystal is found inside his neck on his weapon.
The Quetzalcoatlus/Skysaur component is a lot simpler than the previous part, he's a mostly red figure with metallic flesh colour inner wings and yellow claws and beak. The body is sculpted with folds and muscle that would be expected on a creature like this. The claws are also sculpted but not articulated.
His beak is sculpted with sharp teeth and can be opened and closed on a pivot joint enabling it act like it's talking/eating. The neck is articulated to allow it to move almost realistically, the bottom and middle joint is able to be positioned via a pivot joint at about 180 degrees each. The head is connected to the neck on a pivot joint that allows it to rotate at a little more than 90 degrees
This component's legs are connected to the main body with a ball joint, enabling it full mobility. The knee joint is able to rotate at about 135 dgrees (90 forwards, 45 backwards) and his feet are able to move at about 180 degrees (90 either way). This component's spark crystal is in it's left wing. He also has a red missile on each wing.
The final component is the Elasmosaurus/Seasaur, which is a mostly pale blue-green colour with dark blue highlights. The bulk of his body is the torso part which has 4 flippers connected to it, with the first 2 connected via ball joints. The flippers are sculpted to look realistic and the main body is sculpted with scales, grooves and muscles.
The most striking part of this component is of course, however, the extremely long neck. The neck is composed of nine small pieces, all of which are connected via a ball joint to the next one and can therefore be positioned in any position you want them to be, from a simple flat, fully extended neck to a spiralling neck like I have mine posed in for my picture. The head itself is connected to the very last neck component by another ball joint and features an opening mouth with sculpted teeth. The jaw can be opened up by just under 90 degrees.
The head features 2 yellow eyes (as opposed to the other two parts having green eyes). The head also features scales and ridges to give it a feel of realism. This component's spark crystal is found inside his torso, housed on his left robot mode arm. He also has 2 grey missiles located inside his torso.
Magmatron's Dino-Abomination mode is actually pretty cool, he acts as a four legged monster with2 stubby arms, massive wings and a long thin tail with a small head on the end. All of the gimmicks from the individual modes remain intact. My only real gripe about this mode is that the Quetzalcoatlus head just hangs there on his back, it would have looked better if that part could be tucked away inside the Elasmosaurus part.
The four legs are able to be posed to make it look like he's walking and the tail/Elasmosaurus neck is fully articulated, enabling it to be positioned in almost any way.
Each of Magmatron's 3 individual beast modes has an individual gimmick. The Elasmosaurus' gimmick is that when you push in his two back flippers, which makes the front two spread out, to emulate swimming. The Quetzalcoatlus part can flap his wings by pulling down on his tail (I know it's cruel, but it's needed!)
The Gigantosaurus' gimmick is a bit more violent, you're able to put one of the supplied projectiles into his mouth, which clicks into the launch gear inside and then pushing downwards on the upper part of the neck will launch it
Magmatron was introduced in the 1999 Japanese TV series Beast Wars Neo, the second sequel to the western series Beast Wars after Beast Wars II, and before Beast Machines. He was the leader of the Predacons in the series and was quite active in the series as well (as expected due to the small enough main cast size).
Throughout the series, Magmatron and his Predacons, along with the Maximals have been manipulated into finding these energy capsules full of Angolmois energy, which is later used by the Blendtrons to revive Unicron inside the previous series' Predacon leader, Galvatron's dead body, where Unicron and Magmatron fight, leading to Magmatron being destroyed. But don't fear Predacon fans! Magmatron returns to life at the end of the series along with all the missing Transformers from Beast Wars II as well
Magmatron was later used as the primary antagonist in IDW's The Gathering comic, where he travelled to Prehistoric Earth (during series 3 of the Beast Wars series) and had his team activate all the forgotten stasis pods, and turning them into Predacons, however this only works for about half of them, with the rest waking up as Maximals, thanks to Razorbeast's infiltration. Magmatron is later shot into a Transwarp dimension where he is assumed to have died.
However, it is revealed in the sequel series, The Ascending that Magmatron actually DID survive and has been able to see the future and knows that Unicron is returning to destroy Cybertron. With the help of the Earth-based Beast Warriors and the Pack they manage to stop Unicron from returning, and Magmatron is returned to normal time, ready to help rebuild Cybertron, just as Megatron appears on the planet....In this series Magmatron is seen with a Cybertronian mode, which is basically a land vehicle, an aquatic vehicle and a jet.
Magmatron was given a toy in the Beast Machines line under the Dinobots banner, which, despite them being sold as Maximals, he still retains his original name and the Predacon spark crystals, unlike the other reuses of the Beast Wars Neo toys. The only real differences are that his projectiles are filed down to make them "safer" (though they'll still hurt if you shoot one in your eyes, so don't do it!!!). He didn't appear in the TV series, but did appear in the 3H comic series for the pre-Fun Publications Botcons, where he was part of the Dinobots team sent to a world, but is ultimately killed by a Dweller creature along with several of his team-mates
Magmatron's name is most likely based on Megatron's but altered to differentiate him from the other Beast Era Megatron. However, he might have been named just to follow the trend of most Decepticon/Predacon leaders ending their names in "-Tron" (Gigatron, Megatron, Galvatron etc)
Is he Cool?
He is cool, yes, his characterization in the comics and series is very interesting, and his toy is very fun to play with. I mean in how many other Transformer toys do you have a robot that splits into three decently designed prehistoric animals?
I like to think of this toy as a one shot evolution of the older Duocon toys (Flywheels and Battletrap) who were single robots who split into two alternate modes. In Magmatron's case he utilizes the three main battlefield types (Air, Land and Sea) and can also all be used in tandem with each other in battle as well (Elasmosaurus can wrap them up, Quetzalcoatlus can stop them from flying away, and Gigantosaurus can just chomp on them)
Magmatron continues the tradition of Spark Crystals instead of rub sign insignias that was used in the Transmetal 2 Beast Wars toys, some of the new mold Beast Wars II toys and all of the new mold Beast Wars Neo toys, and later followed by the Robots in Disguise Predacons. However, unlike the others who use this gimmick, Magmatron actually has three Spark Crystals, one for each alternate mode, which obviously makes no sense with him being a single robot.
One minor thing that annoys me on this figure is that his Gigantosaurus tail doesn't have a use in robot mode, unlike the rest of him. I mean he can be attached to the ball joint on his rear, but it just hangs there, unless you want to use it as a weird sword sheath....
So yeah, overall this figure is pretty cool, he has a good set of alternate modes, and robot mode, and has quite a lot of play value...now for the bad part, because he was used predominantly in a few comic series, he's become a "hot figure" meaning that he costs more now than he did when he was first on the shelves (also called the Furman Effect, this has also happened with characters like Razorbeast, Thunderwing and Bludgeon, as well as the new Roche effect with Ironfist and Overlord!).
So my overall opinion is that if you can afford him, or can find him going for relatively cheap, then do it! He's a good figure, but not worth bankrupting yourself over.