Sunday, 7 August 2016

LG 23 Galvatron, is a Headmaster?!??


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After my previous excited post about Headmasters, you may be wondering if everything from now will be all love and praise for any and every Headmaster that may or may not pass through my door.  I like to look at toys rather critically, no toy is ever perfect for me and I will always have criticisms on them.  That doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the toys so don’t worry about my love for Head Masters.
Currently I have two.  One I meant to cancel after a cup of tea, but didn’t.  The other I fully intended to get.

This post is about the lucky one.  The one that owes his home to a cup of tea.

His name, Galvatron.


Ever since his debut in the movie (and especially his time hopping UK comic adventures), I have liked Galvatron.  Even looking at him in the G1 toy catalogue that came with toys, I wanted one.  I never got around to it until I bought the E-hobby purple version and he was fun if a little odd, but he is a space laser weapon thing, so that’s fine.  I grabbed the HenkeiHenkei one too, and that was pretty awful.

Luckily for me, Legends Galvatron is back to being a weird laser cannon thing again.  Huzaah.

 
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Let’s start with the box.  I really love the look of the Legends boxes.  This one is quite large due to the shape of Galvs’ cannon mode.  I was impressed when I opened the packing box he came in.  He has some awesome character art on the front and side which looks just like the comic book art style and rather nicely also looks like the toy!

Glavatron (6)Glavatron (2)

The box doesn’t mention the name of the Headmaster figure at all.  No surprise since the Japanese story for Headmasters is that the head robot is the character, so we could assume that the headmaster robot is called Galvatron.  However it does look suspiciously like Megatron.

 Glavatron (8)The blurb on the back of the box says:
New Emperor of Destruction Galvatron has returned as a Headmaster!   It's possible for him to Transform into a new mode, a SciFi Jet plane!
The Headmaster isn't just a gimmick, it adds lots of play satisfaction with the Battle mask’s Battle-Up gimmick and other new fun gimmicks.
 
The instruction sheet has a little comic in it as the Legends series does, and instructions on the reverse.  The instructions also don’t mention the name of the Headmaster Robot.  However the COMIC book does name the HM robot.  It is Megatron.  In fact it is the previous Legends Megatron LG13.  In the comic Weirdwolf gives him a face Backpack and bammo He’s now a Headmaster, that simple.  So there we go.

A quick looks at sheet

GlavasheetGlavComic

I really like the instruction sheets TT have been coming out with lately.  One side has some nice artwork, the other has bio and statistics and the other side has the comic.

Bio
The Emperor of Destruction Megatron has been reborn as the New Emperor of Destruction Galvatron!
His new body is covered with high pressure resistant armour and can transform into a high speed, long distance Jet plane.
His fusion cannon is more powerful than before and can be used for flight whenever he wishes as well as attacking his enemies the Autobots!
He is the absolute ruler of the Deceptions and uses fear to control the army from the highest ranks, to the lowest warrior.




Statistics
  • Strength      10
  • Intelligence    9
  • Speed           9
  • Endurance    10
  • Rank             9
  • Courage        9       
  • Fireblast       9
  • Skill             10
Aside from speed, his stats have actually dropped a bit since Megatron days.  They are the same as his G1 stats though, where the bio appears to be written with Galvatron being a separate character (which would make sense, since his rank isn’t 10)

GalvaSpecsG1MegaBiio

Comic Highlights

GlavComicI notice that all the Tfs are HM size now.  Wierdwolf and Skullcruncehr are the only two there right now, but they are as tall as Soundwave, Megatron, Tarantulas, BW Megs and everyone else.  The only ones that are taller are, the OL ladies, Blackarachnia, Slipstream and Nightshadow.

 
The comic goes with a little story about how WW and Tarantulas made the Galvatron body.  When Megs Transforms an Head-ons, the battle mask pop ups and makes him reveal his dark heart and go a bit berserk.  Then a wee little joke at the end.   In the panel at the bottom right of the first page, (remember that Japanese comics go from right to left)you can see that at the table is Soundblaster, Skull next to him and Mindwipe (with a little Dracula style cape). The one with the reed in his mouth is WW, leader of the Decepticon Headmasters, next to him is Beast Megs and Tarantulas.  Waspinator gets to sit right next to Megatron for some reason.  Lucky waspy!!

Ok, now for the toy.

That's some serious Heat he’s packing


Because he’s a cannon.
 
Glavatron (18)Glavatron (16)Glavatron (17)
 
I like this rendition of the cannon mode and am really pleased to see they didn't give him a tank mode.  I always thought of it as a natural progression for Megatron, since he was a gun to go up to the next level and become a BIGGER gun (in the form of a cannon).  After all, Hot Rod went from a sports car to a space camper van...

Glavatron (25)Glavatron (20)

He still has the treads on the bottom of the feet, which are unlikely to ever be rolled on, but nice to see them.  As well as good colour spread, the centre being Galvatron lavender and the the rear being grey.  His orange barrel looks just as future laser as it did in the 80s.  The whole form just gives off an excellent Galvatron alt mode vibe(and Floro Dery design feel).  Very nice.

 
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I particularly like the orange of his laser cannon.  I think they’ve got the perfect colour for it and even though it doesn’t light up (I would have loved some laser pew pew sound effects on this guy), it does seem to have some metallic flecks/effect to it so it kind of sparkles and reflects light really well.

Even the jet mode cockpit underneath manages to bulk up the form enough to add some oomph to the look.

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Right behind the main body of lavender though is a bit, well, robotty.  You can plainly see his butt, hips and thighs wedged into the legs and they thigh pieces are hollow, so it doesn’t look all that elegant from the top.

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Right at the back there are some pegs that plug into the feet of the HM units so they can stand on the toy.  This adds an extra level of interaction between the two, as in cannon mode, there is no realistic (using that word rather loosely in this context) place for the HM to command from.  


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Underneath also looks fine and even though it doesn't really look like anything, a common complaint I seem to have about space/future modes I have it seems, however I do really like this mode.  It does have an undocumented option, where you can seat the HM figure into the cannon, barrel.  Although in this  current setup the HM will be upside down.  I suspect this is so that you can use the cannon on the other figures that have an official base mode.  I think the Voyager sized ones are all vehicle triple changers, and the Leader sized ones are all base formers. 
Soundwave/Blaster and PM Prime  are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Let’s wiggle some bits


On the toy.

Glavatron (30)Glavatron (31)Glavatron (32)
 
So with a short bit of wiggling about, we have his jet mode.  Yes.  All voyager Titan Wars/Headmasters will be triple changers.  Not necessarily a good thing….  The instructions label it as a SF Jet.  A science fiction jet.

Great.  Another can’t be arsed future/space mode…


Glavatron (41)Glavatron (42)

Although this one doesn’t look bad.  It seems to take cues from Animated with a huge cannon hanging under the nose (Leader Megatron) and a V shape jet mode (The Autobot Jet Twins).  I will say that this is Galvatron’s weakest mode.  It doesn’t really convince me he’s a jet, as there are no wings at all.  Nor thrusters of any discernible nature and looking at it from the rear, all you see is robot JUNK.

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At least the colours are a good mix.  Still.  You can now open the cockpit and place Megatron inside and he sits snugly.

Glavatron (37)

The pegs for the HM are still accessable if you want some wing-surfing action going on.  

Glavatron (44)Apparently this purple hinged piece on the cannon is front landing gear.  Flipping it down kind of works, but there is no other landing gear anywhere else.  He has some possible clip/landing gear bits on his back, but they are made redundant by the treads.  The treads I guess are it, but they are angled to the floor and only just make it by default…  if you flip the purple landing gear al the way over, it actually locks the rear of the cannon in a bit tighter.
 

Glavatron (39)Glavatron (40)Glavatron (38)

Overall, this mode is. Passable.  I would have preferred a laser pistol mode over this to be honest.  Or better yet, a better engineered toy with only a robot mode and cannon mode.

Time to looks at HM Megatron

Glavatron (12)Glavatron (13)Glavatron (14)Glavatron (15)

Before we get to the main piece, let’s have a look at little Megatron.  He is very cute and a rather good miniature version of how we think he should look.  I like the fact that you can easily see his bucket head style on his head.  Colours are a bit plain on the front, but he does have enough colours to do the job with his black legs and a pretty good grey plastic for the rest of the body.  His eyes have been picked out which adds some nice definition to his face which is needed as even though he has a mouth and nose sculpted in, it all kind of blurs together  in the grey.


Glavatron (46) Glavatron (47)

Glavatron (99)Transformation usually involves bending him over and BAM.  He’s a head.  Most of the paint has gone onto the big robot’s face, which is where it would be needed, so I am glad for that.  It looks not really all THAT Galvatrony to my mind, but I do like the look of it.  For some reason though, putting this head on Skullcruncher makes the head look really really big!




 
A quick 5 or so steps later…

  Robot mode

Glavatron (45)Glavatron (48)Glavatron (49)

And What a Robot mode it is!  He has the bulk and look of Galvatron, it is very nice,  Like his G1 self, he is partly parts formed, in that you have to move the laser cannon from he neck section to his arm.  Naturally the head has to plug into the chest and it looks pretty good.

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I really think they managed to nail the look of the character.  There’s no doubt about who this is.
Sculpting is nice with little details here and there to add texture to his look.  I like the inclusion of his abdominal section which is needed to add to the look of Galvatron.


Glavatron (90)Glavatron (80)Glavatron (89)

Other stuff isn’t that exciting, but just know that robot mode is a nice looking representation of the toy.

Articulation is excellent.


Glavatron (63)Glavatron (64)


On the base robot.

 
Glavatron (82)Glavatron (83)Glavatron (87)Glavatron (76)Glavatron (86)

There’s the catch.  If you take away his cannon and leave his battle mask off (A whole section for that later), the toy is very well articulated and can pull off many poses.  I think s it’s wonderful that hey gave him side to side ankle tilts when they didn’t really have to.  It’s the little things like that, which allow you to pull of very Galvatron-esque poses.

Glavatron (75)Glavatron (65)

When you have the mask and cannon on him however, you’ll find that the mounting position for the cannon, the general size and the shoulder pad will hinder pose options when armed.  For example, due to the rear of the cannon hitting the shoulder pad, you can’t have him point the cannon up.  To do so, you have to flip the shoulder pad out of the way, which looks a bit silly.

Glavatron (72)Glavatron (67) 
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However if pointing the cannon straight or down, it isn’t too bad.  I thought the tank treads on the back of his arms would be troublesome as well and they are, but only a little bit.


That damn Mask gimmick


So now we are here, probably the biggest flaw on this toy is the mask gimmick.  I can see why it was implemented, I just wish it was done better.  The big thing with this series of toys is that they want you to swap he heads around as they are compatible between all robots and class sixes.  So HM Megatron can be plugged onto Skullcruncher’s body. Chromedome ‘s head can be plugged into Galvatron’s chest and so on.   Therefore, I guess to avoid mini-Megatron being laden with the crown of Galvatron all the time, and thereby making MegaHead too large for any deluxes, as well as limiting his interaction with the mini vehicles and whatnot, they gave the body the battle Mask gimmick.

Glavatron (49)Glavatron (50)Glavatron (51)Glavatron (99)

As a result, all the Voyager and up size Transformers have some sort of helmet addition, so the min robot doesn’t look like a pinhead.  Galvatron’s consists of a mask that flips out of his chest via a spring mount.  Nice for effect, but sadly manages to fail on almost all accounts.


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Why?


The mask in the chest and required hinge joint limit the L-R movement quite severely.  There is no way this guy can look in either direction convincingly.  Mine can look more to the right than the left, but even then the amount of swivel is pathetic.


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As a result of the hinge, the up and down movement is non existent.

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As a mask, it is a separate piece of the face and doesn’t naturally adhere to Megatron’s face very well.  You can (with a bit of fiddling) kind of hook the chin into a space in the mask’s chin, but even with the closest possible connection, there are many points where you can see gap between the face and mask.

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The Final flaw, with  the mask is that Megatron’s lovely angular, shiny face is essentially recessed and therefore hard to see at all times.  I suspect the image on the back of the box for his face has had a bit of brightening up on it.

The Wrap up.


In the end, old Galvatron here isn’t half as bad as I thought he would be.  
I have gone from
  1. regretting seeing him arrive,
  2. to being slightly disgusted,
  3. to actually thinking he’s not a bad toy. 
 
Don’t get me wrong, he’s certainly not an excellent toy.  Well, the base body for robot mode is, but when you add on the parts that make him Galvatron (laser and mask) it hinders him so much that he drops to “Hrm, I guess he’s OK” levels.  The leg articulation is nice and you can actually put him in some cool poses as long as you don’t rely too much on an expressive head.
I have now passed the point where I was thinking about selling him and changed my mind and will keep him as my resident Legends Galvatron for now, but seeing how close this guy is to being a good toy (if they dropped the mask gimmick) really makes me wish they’d pull their finger out and make me a Masterpiece Galvatron.

I mean come on, there were concept sketches and a hint of planning for an MP Galvatron YEARS ago….
 
Omake:

Since there is a lot of base action going on with this Headmasters line going on, so I’ve made myself a personal challenge.  To make a base mode from any and all Titan Masters/ Headmaster Legends figures I get  and here is my attempt at one for Galvatron.


This one Maybe a jokeGlavatron (101)Glavatron (102)Glavatron (103)

How’d I do?























































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