Another review from the Animated line, this time it is the Leader-class Megatron toy, which transforms from a Osprey-like helicopter gunship (missing are the rotating blades to allow for VTOL). Here are my thoughts:
This mode (my favorite of the two) feels more like a $40 toy than Bulkhead does, though they share many of the underlying mechanics. First off, they are nearly the same height, but by design, Megatron looks much more streamlined and elegant. This is more a pure toy, in the sense that he is possible, all the weapons are removable, and there are less play gimmicks to him than Bulkhead.
Articulation is good, the head rotates to both sides (not 360), the arms and legs again have the ratchet joints for better possibility, and his knees bend (not that Megatron would ever kneel before anyone). Both swords are removable, and can be stored on his back, and the gun is also removable. This is a great design choice, as it allows for a more varied posing. Action features include lights flashing and two phrases ("Crush the Autobots" & "Where is the All-Spark?") along with evil laughter when the Decepticon logo is pushed. The gun fires a clear red projectile, and this is neat, because the gun has to be cocked by pulling on the back before it can be fired.
The Headmaster head packed with Bulkhead fits onto Megatron, though lights and the voice do not change. I wonder if this feature was removed late in the production, as the notches exists, but nothing is mentioned in the instruction pamphlet.
The transformation is boring, lacking much of the excellent engineering found in Bulkhead. This leads to a functional vehicle mode that feels like the movie version, where the body folds into itself and little more. Much of the robot mode is hidden, thankfully the canon attaches to the underside of the cockpit to hide his head. A transforming sound plays when the cockpit is lowered over the head, and pressing the Decepticon logo plays a helicopter sound.
The swords transform into the helicopter blades, and they spin in tandem (this must be done by hand, there is no trigger. A trigger would have likely screwed up the rest of the figure, so it was likely best that this was left off. There are non-tractable landing gear in the front and rear, and that does it for vehicle more.
Megatron's robot mode carries this figure into a 'glad I bought' category. There is a lot to like, from the restrained coloring palate, to the general playability of the figure. Like Voyager Prime, this is leaps and bounds better than the Cybertron Megatron found in the 2-pack. With his restrained action features, easy transformation, and durability, I think this will become one of the favorites of kids, and kids at heart.