BWNeo: Magmatron

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Pravus Prime, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    As I recently discussed in recent threads, I'm a BWNeo junkie, more or less. Figures like Big Convoy are my favorite TF's ever. However, I've always been missing Magmatron, and it's always been a sore hole in my BWNeo collection, to have so many of the other kick butt figures, and lack the Destron leader was always unfortunate for me. (Compounding this was the fact that I hate the BWII Galvatron Mold, leaving my Predacon forces leaderless) He had always been out of stock every time I looked for him at stores online, and I was always outbid on eBay. After the first issue of the amazing (IMHO) issue of the Beast Wars comic, I again searched, and found a pretty good deal for the Korean Magamatron on eBay.

    Well he came today, and I have to say, what a disapointment.

    Now, you may argue, wait, be fair, he's an older figure, don't be too harsh on him, it's my first day with him, he may grow on me, etc. Well, I already took that into consideration, and I'm weighing him against his contemporaries, and not just Big Convoy either. It's a neat idea, but this seems to be a case of the distance being too great for the reach at times. I also wanted to share this with anyone who's considering going back and getting him because of the BW comic.

    In beast mode we are presented with three fantastic beasts, each with their own predacon spark crystal to boot!

    Seasaurus has all these neat ball jointed necks, and a swimming action, as well as storage for the missles. (Arms and shield in Robot mode)

    Skysaurus has a wing extending feature, where he draws his wings out to their maximum reach, a refreshing move rather than a lame wing flapping action. He also has storage for two missles on his wings He's also very well articulated with 12 or so POA for such a tiny critter. (Head/chest in robot mode)

    Landsaurus is the weakest of the bunch, with a fair amount of robot showing through (Compared to the others who show pretty much none), with a missle launcher in his mouth, and a fair amount of articulation. (Torso and legs in Robot mode)

    There's a combined mode, which I can't seem to pull off. For some reason, Seasaurus falls apart rather than accept Landsaurus' tail. Literally, Seasaurus can detach into two, and seems to prefer sliding apart to trying to take Landsaurs tail. Even ignoring that as user error, Skysaurus more sits on rather than connects to the other two, which connect to each other with 2 peg and socket, and 2 slot and sockets to connect in what could be called overkill. Literally, there's two tabs to connect Skysaurus, which aren't a fine fit.

    Transforming him to Robot mode can be difficult, not to mention frustrating. He's essentially a collection of tabs and pegs, and while I didn't have much difficulty getting them all to assemble into Magmatron, others may never be able to get all of them just right, all 9 connections must be made right to get the robot mode. Even with that, I liked the figure, and although challenging, it's not terrible once you figure out the order that they should go in. And once done, there's a lot of hanging stuff. Most of Seasaurs neck drapes on his back with no purpose, Landsaurs tail has nothing to do but be a Tripod.

    No, that's not what's so disapointing about the figure. I can live with all of this so far.

    It's robot mode that kills it for me.

    He's so poorly articulated. Yeah, he's got a lot of POA, but they're pretty useless. His shoulders are pretty much overshadowed by the Land and Seasaurus' heads, and he lacks elbow articulation. Let me say that again, he lacks elbow articulation. No, not entirely, he's got it, but it's like Cybertron Scourge, or SWTF Obi-wan, where it's not in line. He can put his hands on his hips. However, you can swivel the arms to have that L jointed elbow, except that without wrist articulation, he'll just end up palms up. There's no wrist articulation to overcome this, but there is a hinge there to make the wrist move the other way. Because of all the connections, there's no head or waist movement at all (Which is really weird, both are there, but get locked down when assembled into final robot mode). While his legs have a great amount of articulation there, don't forget that a lot of it doesn't mean much because of landsaurs tail that hangs straight down. Half of Seasaurus uses a tab approach to attach to the left arm, to become a shield, and the swimming motion can act like a clamp or blades or something. Landsaurs throat becomes a very cool sword, or lame gun, which he can't hold. Yeah, that's right, he can't hold it. It's physically impossible, because of the thumb swivel and the curviture of the fingers; the weapon has a peg on the side of the handle, to fit into the palm, like some of the recent alternators. Because of the curviture of the fingers and the placement of the thumb, there's not enough space to get the handle down and peg into the hand.

    Now, that's not to say he's a failure. He works well in each Beast Mode, and is a novel approach. He's the size of an Ultra or so in Robot mode, and has a suitable imposing look to him, so he'll fit in nicely with pretty much any collection. One can detach seasaurus' head from Robot modes shoulder, and use the neck lengths to have him "strike" out. The figure stands with great ease, thanks to the Beast mode tail acting like a third leg, and the mechanical "boots" that come with robot mode. It's mostly a case of frustration, it wouldn't have taken that much to have created a much nicer figure. A better attachement for the unified beast mode, some extra joints to improve robot mode, and he would've been an A+ figure. He'd also be a great add-on to a beast lover who doesn't care about articulation, or how difficult he is to TF. However, if pegs, tabs, and clips aren't how you like your Transformer, and articulation is your thing, avoid at all costs.

    All that said, I say he's a disapointment, but I think it's more of a case of my expectations being too high for him, I had so many other BWNeo figures that I had been impressed with that over the years, the head Pred had attained a level that the toy just couldn't compete with. I can see how he could've been so much better, and that's to the detriment of my enjoyment of the figure. I'm not saying he's bad, or that he's a failure as a TF. It's more that when you look at Big Convoy, BWII Galvatron, and the other BW figures at the time, in robot mode, he comes off as disapointing. Even Heinrad, the alarm clock as some of the POAs that he's missing.

    He's an interesting figure, and in a way, I'm rather glad to have him. Perhaps with time he'll grow on me, and become a favorite (I have a feeling that as I become more familiar with him, that'll be the case, I'll get over my initial disapointments and he'll grow on me). For now, it's more of a "collection complete" approach for me. Hell, I'm even comtemplating gluing the sword/missle into the launcher, cutting off the tab, and giving the sword to Black Big Convoy, ala the BWNeo Manga, and just leaving Magmatron in robot mode.

    I should also note that further fueling my disdain was that I paid around $40 for the figure. At $20 it probably wouldn't have been so bad.
     
  2. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    I'd like to add that since then, I've TF'd him a few more times, managing to get the combined mode to work;I found the key seems to be in attaching the bottom part rather than the top, and that Sky with some pressure snaps in firmly. I've also found that robot head can be snapped into place looking up rather than slightly down as he was, and with a lot of pressure and wiggling, managed to get the weapon into his hand.

    Also, with some more TFing, he's still pretty cool, but those elbows drive me nuts. He's growing on me already, just like I said he would.
     
  3. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Man, I've been here a LONG time Veteran

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    Wasn't Magmatron issued in the US as a store exclusive (possibly Target?) as part of the Beast Machines Dinobots subline? I'm sure I've seen an auction for that on Ebay.

    He's an interesting looking figure. I might get one at some point. Nice review.
     
  4. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    I got one at Target back in the day. The box said he was a Japanese exclusive.

    I love the beast modes, and the robot mode, but the combined beast mode is kinda weak.
     
  5. Chosen

    Chosen Space Ninja

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    I got myself an extra-cheap Magmatron around a year ago (the same time as my infamous cheap God Neptune). I couldn't stand him. Landsaurus was nasty looking thanks to the kibble. Seasaurus is definitely the star of the bunch, and it's to think that there is no "regular" Elasmosaurus or Plesiosaurus Transformer out there, just a component to a meh TF. Skysaurus is just there.

    I remember a similar problem with the combined dino mode, but once I figured out how to lock the tail into Seasaurus, it was neat. Neat chimera creation, and the sort of alternate mode for a TF you don't get to see that often. If that's all he did, as some sort of leader for the BW Mutants, he probably would have been better for it.

    Because I just couldn't enjoy the robot mode at all. For being relatively heavy and massive, Magmatron always felt flimsy. Attemps to pose him with all his weapons usually ended up with Magma doing the splits, toppling over, or worst of all, coming apart. The Seasaurus shield weapon was a nuisance and never helped with poseability. I think I also had a similar problem with Magmatron's gunsword, but don't quote me on that.

    As far as articulation goes, Magmatron might as well have a brick for a head, because he can only turn in one direction without that goofy Landsaurus head getting caught on the Skysaurus wings. His legs couldn't be bent unless you wanted to risk toppling the thing or making him fall apart, and the arms were hampered by more dino kibble, bad joints as Pravus mentioned, and simply crappy choices of weapons. Suffice to say I've long ago sold the guy and have no interest in getting another.
     
  6. TSFC

    TSFC Banned

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    Got him. Love him. In fact he's the only non AEC figure I've kept in my collection.
    I ended up removing some the neck links in the Seasaurus figure. (It held together much better and looked nicer too.)
     
  7. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    That's not a bad idea.
     
  8. Draven

    Draven Banned

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    I don't have the BWN version, but the Target exclusive release of Magmatron was the last MIB Beast Machines toy I needed for the set. I really do like him, too; his beast modes are pretty good (although the combined one is just silly, not to mention bordering on pronographic if you look at it in the right/wrong light). but his robot mode is superb. Very displayable indeed. He's not the most articulated figure, no, but he just looks so damn mean that it makes up for that IMO.
     
  9. thefrozenred

    thefrozenred 4 8 15 16 23 42

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    I oscilliate between liking this figure a lot, and putting him in storage. The individual beast modes, and their combination into the robot mode, is astounding in terms of detailing and creativity. I love the fact that Magmatron's legs have the little cuts in them...REALLY nice detailing like that.

    But the lack of articulation, especially in the arms, is what puts him back in storage. The head is a pretty bad offender, too - with the pteradatctyl (I know, it's spelled wrong) feet unattached, you then have the problem of said feet looking weird and out of place when his head is turned. I'm also bugged by how much the head wings interfere with the posing with the shield (which is a great idea that was executed really well, if you ask me).

    He's not on par with Big Convoy, unfortunately, but he's not terrible, either.
     
  10. DeathFrogurt

    DeathFrogurt The frogurt is cursed!

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    Now I feel better about "missing the boat" in Beast Machines. I'll probably still want it by the end of the mini-series, though.
     
  11. flux convoy

    flux convoy RIP Botcon.

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    i got one cheap a little while back now myself. as far as colors and display goes, i think he's great. that's most of my collecting need right there. i was slightly disappointed in some of the things that were mentioned but not enough to feel like it was wasted money. mine connected just fine too. my only real gripe was that he can't seem to hold the weapon as a sword. my way arond that was to pose him with a clutching hand in the air. i don't regret buying him at all. for $20 he was a steal i think.
     
  12. doomtron

    doomtron seeker

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    anyone who wants a magmatron check out amok time. they have him for thirty bucks! eversince i saw dons work in beastwars ive become a magmatron fan.
     
  13. Boo

    Boo Addicted to candy canes.

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    I used to have the Target exclusive one. I liked him, but sold him or some reason... I may see about picking one up again soon. The robot mode, in spite of the articulation problems, is really nice. As are all the Beast modes.

    Nice figure.
     
  14. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    My buddy Desastron recently wrote a review about Magmatron:

    [​IMG]
    For more pictures, click on the image above

    Prelude: Most fans will have heard of the series Beast Wars, which was one of the milestones in the history of the Transformers. What's not quite as widely known, though, is that "Beast Wars" spawned not just one, but two spin-off series.

    First there was Beast Wars II, which was created mainly to bridge the gap for Japanese fans between seasons of Beast Wars. This series was never aired outside of Japan, but it was popular enough to pave the way for a second spin-off series.

    Beast Wars Neo might just be the most extraordinary Transformers series ever produced. The characters especially were set up differently than one would expect. And what would a Transformers series be without a main bad guy? Here, too, Beast Wars Neo broke new ground.

    Of course Magmatron, the leader of the Destrons, plans to conquer the universe as most of his predecessors did. In his case, though, it’s not strictly a matter of megalomania. Magmatron simply thinks that his way is the best way: All Transformers united under a strong leadership. What makes Magmatron different from his predecessors, though, is a sense of honor.

    Magmatron deeply respects Big Convoy, who has already beaten him once previously to the series’ beginning. Magmatron also fights fair, something no top bad guy has ever done. Remember the time Megatron challenged Optimus Prime to a “fair fight” in the original series, which was to determine which party would be allowed to remain on Earth? Megatron cheated by transferring the special powers of all his subordinates into himself. Magmatron would never do such a thing.

    In the sixth episode of Beast Wars Neo there is a one-on-one fight between him and Big Convoy. But it isn’t Magmatron who gets help from outside. As Big Convoy is in danger of losing, Rockbuster, an old ally from days gone by, comes to his rescue. And when Magmatron stands alone against Unicron, he doesn’t order his subordinates to come to his aid. They’re all present, but even though he is clearly outmatched, he continues his one-on-one battle.

    His entire behavior towards his subordinates is also highly unusual. Magmatron does not punish his people for the occasional failure. He is always fair towards them, for which they respond with loyalty and faithfulness. He recognizes successes, doesn’t dwell on mistakes. Magmatron has all the inklings of a highly professional soldier.

    What truly sets him apart, though, is his behavior at the end of the series. He lets go of his personal goals, conquest of the universe, and enters into a permanent peace with the Cybertrons in order to rebuild the devastated planet Seibertron and ensure a future for his people. That alone makes him what’s possibly the most interesting Destron of them all.

    Robot Mode: Magmatron is an Ultra-class figure with a rather remarkable look. For one thing there are the big wings on his head. Big wings on a figure’s head might sound a bit strange at first, but they really look good on Magmatron. They feel like an ornate headdress of some kind, or maybe a samurai’s helmet. Which would fit the toy’s character.

    Then there are the three heads of his alternate modes. These are spread out across his torso and give him an uncanny, almost demonic look.

    The most unusual detail about this figure might well be the choice of colors, though. Most other head bad guys in Transformers are usually grey or maybe a dark green, but Magmatron is a rather colorful fellow. Legs and tail (yes, Magmatron has a tail) are colored a dark blue. The head and parts of his back are a bright red, while his arms, other parts of his back and the big defense mechanism on his left arm (I intentionally avoid the term ‘shield’, seeing as it’s more of a grappling weapon) are leaf green. Additionally he sports a few grey and yellow highlights.

    Surprisingly this wild mix of colors works pretty well together und the detailing is done beautifully. In terms of looks Magmatron certainly couldn’t be any more extraordinary than he is, but this experiment succeeded.

    Another interesting thing is Magmatron’s posability. In theory he is very posable. His legs, his feet, the hip, the arms, even the head can move. But the way he’s put together somewhat limits his movements. The wings on his head, for example, restrict how far his head can turn. His feet, too, can only move back and forth a little bit. Not that it matters, they are such that they give him plenty of stability. When I first transformed him I thought that his tail would be needed as an additional stabilizer, but it isn’t so. It’s just there for the visual.

    Finally I’d like to mention his armament. For one thing Magmatron has a sword, the blade of which can be fired like a missile. You can load ‘normal’ missiles into the sword handle as well, though. Magmatron also has this shield-like grappling weapon on his left arm. If you press the upper extensions together, the lower perform a grabbing motion.

    So all in all there isn’t a whole lot to complain about when it comes to Magmatron’s robot mode. His biggest strength, though, is his extraordinary look. A very good robot mode.

    Alternate Mode: Magmatron’s alternate mode, too, is breaking new ground. He doesn’t just transform into a different shape. Magmatron’s robot mode splits into three components, each of which assumes a different alternate mode.

    The lower half of his body becomes the so-called “Landsaur”. Scientifically it’s a Gigantosaurus, one of the biggest carnivorous dinosaurs of all time. The dinosaur walks on his hindlegs, which are pretty posable by the way and give him good stability, too. His arms are on ball joints, which makes them pretty bendy as well. Apart from that, though, he’s rather immobile. He can open and close his mouth, but that’s it. This dark blue Gigantosaurus is the weakest of the three dinosaurs in my opinion. But I do appreciate that they didn’t chose yet another Tyrannosaurus Rex for an alternate mode. And the Gigantosaurus isn’t bad, all things considered.

    Magmatron’s head becomes a flying dinosaur called “Skysaur”. This one here’s a Quetzalcoatlus and amazingly well done. The legs are multi-jointed and fully posable, which opens up a number of different poses for this flying dinosaur. Head and neck are mobile, too. Even the jaw can open and close, but there’s a small mistake here. The Quetzalcoatlus didn’t have teeth, but you can write that one off under artistic freedom, I guess. One fun detail here: If you pull on his butt, the Skysaur flaps his wings. And even those have multiple joints for a halfway realistic series of movements.

    Finally Magmatron’s third component form is a leaf green aquatic dinosaur, the so-called Seasaur. In this case it’s a Elasmosaurus. The body of this ancient water-dweller somewhat resembles a turtle. He’s got four fins and if you press the two rear ones together, you get a sort-of swimming motion. The highlight of this component is the long, whip-like neck, though. It consists of a number of fully articulate parts, which enables many, very natural looking poses.

    Taken separately the three components aren’t bad, but there is a bonus round. Because the three dinosaurs can be combined. The resulting combination is called “Magmasaur” and is a chimera. The front part consists of the Landsaur, which form the head, arms and forelegs of Magmasaur. The rear parts consists of Seasaur, who contributes the rear legs and the whip-like tail. The Skysaur, finally, gives wings to Magmasaur. This fantasy beast kind of resembles a dragon.

    This mode looks a bit cobbled-together, but was shown looking just like this in the accompanying TV series, where it posed a near-insurmountable challenge for every opponent. The proportions of this Magmasaur do seem a little strange, but one has to respect the fact that they managed to combine these three dinosaurs at all, and in a half-way harmonic-looking way, too.

    So all in all Magmatron is no slouch when it comes to alternate modes. The three individual components are mostly well-thought-out and designed. The combined form isn’t perfect, but still interesting. It’s not easy giving any sort of final verdict here, because one has to keep in mind that Magmatron represented a completely novel concept back in the day. So I think one can honestly say that these modes are done pretty well as well.

    Conclusion: It’s not easy to give a final rating to Magmatron, as this figure offers quite a few different aspects and one can easily lose track. The robot mode is very good and has but a few flaws in terms of posability, resulting from his design. These can be neglected, though, as Magmatron scores heavily with his unique and great look.

    In terms of weapons I have nothing to complain about, either. The robot mode kind of reminds me of a very colorful, demonic Samurai warrior, a look I really like. Maybe not everyone’s cup of team, but mine.

    The three-part alternate mode isn’t bad, but one does notice its experimental nature. So in this case I, for once, would like to rate each component separately in order to explain my final rating.

    The Landsaur gets a straight B. The figure is solid, but could have been improved in certain aspects. The Skysaur gets a straight A. This component is highly posable, very nicely detailed and offers complex wing movement to boot. The Seasaur is also awarded an A. It, too, is very nice to look at and posable. The neck especially can be posed in numerous different ways thanks to its many joints and the body has a nice swimming gimmick. Nothing to complain about here.

    The combined mode, the Magmasaur, is but an additional extra to me. It does look a bit cobbled-togther and so I can’t give it more than a B. So taking these into account, the final rating for the alternate mode(s) would be somewhere between A and B. Seeing as I’ve given the robot mode an A-, the final rating can only be a well-deserved…

    Final Rating: A-
     
  15. AndreyOfDoom

    AndreyOfDoom maximize

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    You sure? Mine holds the sword and gun fine in both sword and gun mode. IT does peg in just adjust the thumb properly and slip it in.
     
  16. slugslinger2004

    slugslinger2004 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Good reviews in this thread. I plan on getting a Magmatron eventually, but there's always something else I want more at the time.

    From the looks of it, I'm not bothered by the elbow articulation (or lack thereof.) Hopefully I'll buy one before the end of next year.
     
  17. escutler

    escutler Decepticon Air Commander

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    Does anybody know if the Korean version of Magmatron that is selling on ebay (D-05) is different, or inferior, in any way to the original Japanese one (D-35)? It isn't a knock-off, is it? I am dying to get this guy, and I am trying to figure out what this D-05 version is!
     
  18. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    It's exactly the same.
     
  19. MisterFanwank

    MisterFanwank Toy Industry Analyst

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    Oh, ho ho ho, Magmatron is one of my favorite figures in a long time. He's one of the few figures where I don't give a damn about the parts forming. He's about having awesome beast modes. He's about having a fun combination. He's about having an extremely solid robot mode that's visually striking and charming and fun the same way G1 bricks are, yet without the lack of poseability. That some parts get dropped off (half of seasaur) means nothing to me with this figure, while on other figures it would drive me batty.

    He works and he works well.
     
  20. escutler

    escutler Decepticon Air Commander

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    Thanks! I appreciate the info. I may be hitting up eBay for this guy very soon! He just looks too cool.
     

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