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Sharkticon Megatron

Transformers: Prime
by yo go re

Remember: live every week like it's shark week.

The invincible Decepticon tyrant is repaired, refitted, and hungry for revenge on Optimus Prime.

Leibnizian optimism is a theodicy that claims we live in the best of all possible worlds. It's a school of thought founded by Gottfried Leibnitz (thus the name) that posits the reason evil exists in the world because it has to: that God is all-powerful and all-knowing, and that He would not choose to create an imperfect world if a better world were possible; therefore, any flaws in the world must be an unavoidable part of every potential world. To Leibnitz, it meant that philosophy and theology were not intrinsically incompatible; to us, it means sometimes things really do seem to work out for the best.

At its core, this figure is the same as Voyager Class Megatron - but to say that is rather misleading, because it doesn't seem like anything more than the upper arms and legs, the knees, and the crotch-plate is shared between the two toys. Everything else has been resculpted, including the head (which now has an open mouth and a small central fin).

In addition to the fully animal TFs, the Beast Hunters line brought back all the existing Prime characters with additional "beast" details. That usually meant a few extra spikes or something, but in Megatron's case, it's much more extensive than that. He has fins on his forearms, his shoulders now look like a dinosaur's hipbones, and his chest has been redesigned to look like it has eyes and a mouth. The main color in this mode is dark brownish grey, but it's offset by a shockingly vibrant blue and a muted pink. The colors don't quite match the G1 Sharkticon that Megatron is supposed to be homaging, but they're close enough that you'll recognize them.

Sharkticon Megatron comes with a weapon called the Sharktooth Spear. On early shipments of the toy, the packaging called it the "Tartarex Warp Sword," which is a fearsome name (even if it sounds like a cross between an abyss and a condiment) but misleading: this thing has two modes, and neither of them is really a sword. The first is clearly a gun, though it's shaped like a fish (befitting Megatron's new sharky design). The instructions say it fires swarms of energon-seeking micromissiles that explode on impact. BOOM!

Then, like the MechTech weapons that came with the movie toys, the gun converts into a second form - a spear, like the name suggests. Unlike the movie weapons, this one can actually stay in its converted form, thanks to the handle locking in place. From the instructions: "blade is surrounded by an antimatter warp field that destroys whatever it touches." Oh snap! Plus, the Dark Energon inside Megatron can be channelled into the weapon for extra power.

Since this toy is essentially a suped-up Voyager Megatron, the conversion process is the same as it was on that figure; if you know how to change one of them, you know how to change both.

Sharkticon Megatron's altmode is officially called a "shark jet," because screw logic! Right in the ear! For you Trekkies out there, it kind of looks like a Klingon Bird of Prey. There are hooked wings with a 7¾" span, then a thin neck connecting to a larger bulb in the front. The "mouth" from his chest is now way out in front, ready to take a bite out of whoever he swoops at, and the fins on his arms stick up in the back. Plus, this is the first Prime Megatron to actually have something covering his head in this mode - no tiny robot head peeking out here, no sir!

The Sharktooth Spear, in its gun mode, can plug onto the top of the shark jet, so it looks like two fish attacking in a school formation.

Sharkticon Megatron is both a cool homage to G1, and a fun toy in his own right. If you don't like the idea of Megatron being a shark, then pretend this is just a Sharkticon with a new design and put him in your Classics display. I picked this figure up on a whim the first time I saw him, not knowing that he was Voyager Megatron redux - but since my dog killed that toy, getting this one doesn't run into the one purchase per mold problem. So like we said way up above, sometimes things just work out for the best.

-- 10/29/13


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