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Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

MMC Reformatted R-28 Tyrantron / Tyrantronus



2017 has been the year of Megatron. We've had the glorious Masterpiece MP-36, we've had Spark Toys version of the War Within Megatron and now MMC give us the long-awaited IDW Megatron as seen in the pages of More Than Meets The Eye/Lost Light, Chaos Theory and Megatron origin...R-28 Tyrantron/Tyrantronus. MMC have been going at the Lost Light cast and crew something fierce, with the DJD, Turben (Whirl), Calidus (Rodimus) and more to come. Tyrantron is a major draw for lovers of the title, especially as James Roberts writes Megatron in an absolutely compelling, complex and multi-faceted way that has brought him to life for me and others in a way little other TF fiction ever did before. Tyrantron is a big deal.




The quite ambitious R-28 from MMC's ever-growing and improving Reformatted series of Classics/Generations-scaled bots has two main configurations. There is the 'miner' Megatron "Tyrantronus" from pre-war Cybertron in the IDW universe as well as the "Tyrantron" configuration where the updated MTMTE/LL Megatron appearance is the inspiration. In the above picture you can see the Tyrantron gear on the left with the quite magnificent laser sword and mace + chain, as well as Tarn's extracted mask that magnetically attaches to Tyrantron's chest. On the right you have the Tyrantronus miner gear (including head). In the middle you have the Glitch head for use on Kultur (Tarn).

Tyrantron

Tyrantronus

In terms of looks, R-28 Tyrantron is phenomenal. From the silver finish to all the detailing and quality of the joints, he's a wonderful creation. They have nailed the look of pre and post-war IDW Megatron to the point where there's nothing left on the table for anyone else. Compared to Calidus where the face and proportions were not quite perfect, Tyrantron blazes it. The slightly gold tint of the metallic paint on the Tyrantronus configuration is a joy to behold. There's so much bulk and power inherent in this design, and it has been translated beautifully to physical form by MMC. I was, immediately, more drawn to the miner configuration.



One of the key visual strengths of R-28 is just how masterfully re-created the two headsculpts are. Among the best I have ever seen at replicating the direct inspiration from which they are drawn, you almost feel as though Milne himself has produced these. Dripping with character and the weight of what this character has impacted in the pages of IDW's MTMTE, LL and wider universe. It's not just the heads, though, there is so much detail and paint scattered across all of the parts on Tyrantron that it's a real pleasure to behold. So just in case I have not made myself clear, looks wise, this is a huge success.



In terms of accessories, both configurations have a giant fusion cannon (or drill for Tyrantronus if preferred) that plugs in via a big square tab on the forearm. This looks great and is pretty secure, it's very Megatron and pretty iconic, but it immediately obstructs arm movement and depending on where the arm was at rest originally, may not be able to securely peg on due to such obstruction. If collectors want to go fully accurate for Lost Light crew displays, they'll leave the big cannon off anyway for Tyrantron config. This is as good a time as any to mention the small barrel on Tyrantron's back and the small ice-cream-cone style drill on the miner Megatron's back. They clip onto an exposed pin in the backpack which is housed within the black plastic. It's not a secure connection unless you really shove it in there, where it becomes a massive pain to remove. I can happily leave the ice cream cone off the Tyrantronus configuration.



Menacing and at the same time deep, R-28 is such a brilliant Lost Light shelf addition. So many collectors are thrilled with it and some are buying two just because they cannot pick between either of the gorgeous configs for permanent display. That is also supported by the ease with which one can switch between each mode. Pop off the chest, wings and head, then replace and boom. Done. The mace accessory has a dreamy purple metallic chain and a lovely length to it. It feels like a substantial accessory with tonnes of play and display potential. Weapon grip is definitely a strength on Tyrantron.



Size wise, he sits taller than the already lanky Turben, taller than Voyager class figures but shorter than Leader class. On the face of it, you see the looks on offer here and the stature of the character involved, you ally that with what you know of MMC's ability to infuse their toys with epic posability, and you have an absolute world beater. It's a fair amount of cash they are asking for it too, in the UK it'll cost you upwards of £100. 



Looking at the above pictures, you'd have no reason to doubt that billing. He does the run very well, he does a good kneel and he has great balance, so why have I been posting on social media that I am disappointed with the posability, especially when he has (almost) double jointed arms, knees a great waist swivel and good movement in his head (but not looking down)? Well, it's all in the ankles. The rocker does not allow for much lateral tilt at all, meaning that the more extreme you get, there is no flush contact between the foot and the surface he's on. That breaks the immersion for me and I tend not to pose toys in such extreme stances if the ankle tilt won't support it.


I also found that it was sometimes difficult to get both the toe and the heel section of the feet to stay flush and aligned, I often have to push down the heel spur to maintain the flush contact with a surface. It is nice, though, that the head is also on a slider so you can adjust its visibility when posed, not having it obscured by the shoulders. With his hands he has a pointing index finger and the rest are pinned together. I sometimes wonder if his face is just too stoic to convincingly pull off the most extreme poses, so I suspect a growling or shouty face would have gone a long way under those circumstances.




The transformation is very much from the 2017 MMC philosophy of less steps, less frustration, more repeatable. It's such a small number of easy steps with only the button-release leg extensions being an issue with regards to frustration. The problem is, his alternate mode is highly pointless. Is it a jet? Tank? Drill? All of the above? Considering the fact that it requires the addition and attachment of the fusion cannon to complete - a piece that compromises robot mode posability - and seems like a complete afterthought in either configuration really bothers me.




I get it, IDW Megatron does not have a highly recognisable or iconic alt mode beyond his period as a handgun. I appreciate the simple transformation, but what we do have is a non-descript, kinda incoherent and nebulous mode here for both figures that leaves one with very little desire to return to alt mode. So that makes Tyrantron rely extremely heavily on his robot mode. That's fine because he's gorgeous, but when you throw in the limited ankle articulation, the frustration of having to lift four separate flaps manually on his waist to get any decent angles in the thighs, and the obstruction of the arm cannon, it's a bit unacceptable.

Correctly transformed silver slide-down panels!

There's potential there in that alt mode, it's not a total loss. It has an air of menace to it and - again - I could accept its blah nature if the robot mode posability was up there with the Turbens, the Spartans and the Talons of this MMC world. I just think for the cost and the stature of this release, they have relied very heavily on his robot mode looks and the desire of fans to fill the Megatron space on the Lost Light shelf. Judging by how happy so many collectors are with Tyrantron, I guess you'd have to say they've succeeded at that.

I can find a wicked idle and strong-looking pose for Tyrantron, for a shelf, really quickly. He will boss that shelf indefinitely and he is probably the best-looking and most accurate IDW Megatron robot mode we will ever see. The quality is excellent, as is the finish. However, I just don't think I'll ever really play with the toy too much. Transforming him is pointless as I've got no desire to see the alt modes again, and I can't do extreme posing because he just doesn't rock them convincingly enough for me. R-28 is a spectacular IDW shelf Megatron who can transform, but he's not a terrific Transformer in my opinion. That's not going to matter to most, though, so for what it's worth I think MMC gave their target market exactly what they wanted here, and I can certainly laud that achievement because it's no mean feat.


All the best
Maz













2 comments:

  1. Great review as always Maz. As a photographer I'd love to see your take on the SXS version of Rodimus, as next to Megatron the two look ripped straight from the page and compliment each other wonderfully. Would love to see what you could do with them!

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    1. Thank you so much! I would like to get my hands on the SXS hot Flame, but it doesn't look to be on the cards. Glad to hear he improves on Calidus.

      All the best
      Maz

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