Transformers Review – Metroplex (Cybertron Leader-class) -- 10,000 Views Special Edition


Intro:
            10,000 views are such a momentous landmark to achieve. I am grateful that all of you do enjoy my reviews and we do look forward to provide you with even more reviews, news and articles. Thus, to celebrate this momentous milestone, we shall review one of the most unique figures from the Galaxy Force/ Cybertron series – Metroplex, a.k.a. Megalo Convoy
Metroplex – a name that will bring a smile to most Transformers fan, especially for those who grew up in the G1-era. He was the hulking robot that transformed into a whole friggin’ city and made all other gestalts looked like toys (pun not intended). After his G1 appearances, the character went into dormancy.
            After decades in the doldrums, the name is brought back as the gigantic leader of Giant Planet/ Gigantion, or Gigalonia (in the Japanese’s Galaxy Force). He was one of the more powerful characters in the show that he could actually beat Megatron up on his own!!! Most definitely way stronger than Vector Prime.
            The Japanese series depicts Megalo Convoy (his name in the Japanese series) as a caring leader and did not wish to return to his previous warring ways, implying that the character used to be a fearsome and ferocious warrior. He is easily the biggest Transformers in the show, dwarfing even his own fellow Gigalonians. Based on observations, the character would naturally be as big, if not bigger than the conventional gestalts, although there is no way to prove that since there were no gestalts in the show. I’d like to think of Megalo Convoy as the descendent of the original Metroplex, being bigger than most other robots, although still a lot smaller than his ancestor.
            Also it is worth to note that this Metroplex action figure has proven to be one of the most elusive figures in the entire country. Many local dealers didn’t even manage to get supplies, thus it has given rise to the impression that it is released in Malaysia in limited quantity. So, without further ado, let’s roll on with the review.

Alternate Mode:
 
            Now, to be honest with you, I’m not entirely sure what’s this mode supposed to be. According to the description given, it is supposed to be some sort of a construction vehicle-ish, but honestly, it looks nothing of the sort. Yes, there is a hint of a shovel and a pair of bulldozer-ish shovels up in front and that about it. In actuality, this mode kinda reminds me of a certain vehicle from the animated series, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, and to some extent, something from the Robotix show. 
 
            The alternate mode is kind of like a mixed baggage. It offers no such disguise capability whatsoever because it looks absolutely out of this world, but then again, that’s the point, his vehicle mode doesn’t have to be confined to the norms of our world, so if you look at it from that angle, then the alternate mode probably works. The alternate mode is uncreative at best, because it looks exactly like his robot mode sitting on the ground, with his hands swing back awkwardly. 
 
            The shovel is huge, and it really does add dimensions to the alternate mode. The shovel should be facing the front while the circular saw should face the back. The whole length of the shovel-saw contraption bends at two places, although the shovel portion can bend as well. The circular saw rotates and it does clicks as you rotate them, which is very nice. Also, just so you know, the Cyber Planet Key gimmick still works in this mode as well (more on that later on).
 

Robot (Work) Mode:
 
            It is important to note that there are two ways to have this figure; i.e. the official way and the unofficial way. The photo above depicts the official way, which I am not really fond of, partly due to the exposed screws. Somehow, in the photo below, which depicts the unofficial way looks much better. 
 
Articulations for the Official Work Mode
            The features and articulations for both methods are literally the same except for the knees. The knees for the official method bend as if they are double-jointed, which is nice, but as far as the unofficial method goes, it is kind of limited in the degree of bending. 
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, it is a pity that we never get to see this on the actual show, because this mode would literally make some of us old-time fans smile. Why, you might ask? Because the Work mode is literally an homage to his G1 namesake. Coincidentally, they are both of the same size, and so are the overall colors and shape. 
I also like the head sculpt – an obvious homage to the previous Metroplex’s figure, and it also comes with red light piping. 
 
            Articulation-wise: the head only rotates, although it would’ve been great if it was somehow on a ball-joint; the whole shoulder pads rotate (clicky) and the arms swings up and down (clicky) – both on click-joints; the arms rotate slightly above the bendable elbows and there are no wrist joints; all fingers (minus the fixed thumbs) open and close in tandem; his waist joint is available, which is always a good thing; the hips are on clicky universal joints that provides all around movements; bendable knees (clicky) and finally, a pair ankle joints that swings upward and down (clicky).  I have had this figure for almost 7 years now, and the click-joints still work fine, which is a huge bonus.
            The feet are quite huge, thus the entire figure itself is quite stable, so you can pose him in various poses, and the entire thing still won’t topple over.
            He is still able to wield his gigantic weapon – the Sparkdrinker – in this mode, albeit awkwardly. The weapon kinda looks a bit too big for him. 
            Even though as mentioned earlier, this mode did not appear in the series, it was shown briefly during his transformation sequence. He would transform into his Work mode, before proceeding to transform to his much larger robot mode.
From Left: Unicron, Metroplex (Work Mode) & Primus
            Anyways, although this itself is already a fabulous robot mode, we are further spoilt with another mode.
From Left: Metroplex (Work Mode) & Galaxy Convoy (Super Mode)
Robot (Combat) Mode:
 
             Although he wasn’t specified as such officially, I’d still prefer to call this mode his Combat mode. His Combat mode is very streamlined and looks very well-proportioned. He might look extremely thin from the sides, but he does look quite majestic and has an aura of a powerful leader to him. I love the broad shoulders and how streamlined the torso is. 
 
 
            Articulation-wise, it is overall similar to that of his Work mode, even though the legs have been lengthened for this mode. However, the main difference is that he could better wield the Sparkdrinker in this mode, even though there is still no way for him to wield the darn thing with both of his hands. I still think that the lack of a ball-jointed head somewhat hurt the figure a bit – I could think of many poses to do with him, if you only he had come along with that ball joint. Anyways, can’t do anything about it now. 
            He also comes with several Minicon ports, numbering at 14 (1 at each shoulders; 1 on each hands; 2 on the chest; 2 near the waist; 1 on each thighs; 1 on each ankles; and 1 on each heels). 
            Obviously the guy is HUGE!!! You always have fun with HUGE things, don’t you? Both the Cybertron figures Primus and Optimus Prime/ Galaxy Convoy are completely dwarfed by Metroplex in terms of height, although he’s very, very thin. Not quite as tall as Unicron, but definitely not out of place.  
From left: Unicron, Metroplex (Combat Mode) & Primus
            Suffice to say, I love this mode despite some of the minor shortcomings.

Gimmicks and Accessories:
            As far as gimmicks and accessories go, Metroplex comes with loads of them. First of which is Drillbit, Metroplex’s little Minicon companion. Drillbit is described as a robot that complements Metroplex. Where the latter’s prowess in construction is legendary, he still requires Drillbit’s much-needed assistance to conduct delicate works which he couldn’t perform due to his size, such as accessing confined areas and doing minute and detailed tasks. 
 
            Drillbit transforms into a double-drill driller. Drillbit’s robot mode has standard Minicon articulations – no elbows or neck articulations, but come with a swinging hips and bendable knees. Drillbit himself also doubles up as a weapon where it can be mounted on the shovel and acts as a blaster in Metroplex’s alternate mode; or be mounted on Metroplex’s arm in either robot modes as an arm blaster. Neato…
 
 
 
            Another significant accessory is the legendary weapon – the Sparkdrinker, and I do think that it’s a friggin’ cool name for a weapon. As mentioned earlier, Sparkdrinker doubles up as a shovel attachment in Metroplex’s alternate mode. In his robot mode, it becomes a wieldable weapon roughly the height of Metroplex himself. Sparkdrinker also carries the Cyber Planet Key gimmick on it. 
 
 
            The Cyber Planet Key itself purple and gold in color, fit for a leader-level figure such as Metroplex. Inserting the Cyber Planet Key into the slot given slot, Sparkdrinker would emit some sort of a laser blast sound, splits the circular saw into two, thus turning Sparkdrinker into a gigantic axe, and the red LED will flash three times. 
 
 
            Even though in the animated series itself, Galaxy Convoy/ Optimus Prime has been shown to be able to wield Sparkdrinker, I find it a bit ridiculous since the weapon is obviously too big for him to hold. 
            Another think to note, although it was never mentioned officially anywhere, you can actually split the shovel apart and turn him into a base of sort in order to enable Sparkdrinker to stand on its own, turning it into some sort of a staff. Also, if you like, you could have Metroplex carry Sparkdrinker on his back by pegging the weapon onto a couple of holes behind the chest.

Overall:
            I am very impressed with this figure, and is definitely one of the best figures from the Cybertron/ Galaxy Force line, along with Primus and Galaxy Convoy/ Optimus Prime. The size alone is impressive enough and it really makes him a superimposing character amongst your collections.
            Metroplex is categorized as a Leader-class figure, but you really do get a Supreme-class figure for a Leader-class price. And due to its limited in quantity in Malaysia, Metroplex does fetch quite a value – as high as RM450, compared to a purchase price of RM180 back in 2005/06. On eBay, a Cybertron Metroplex figure can cost you between US$60 to US$125, depending on condition. Mint-in-sealed-Box Metroplex can up to as high as US$255, which is about RM900!!!
            All this do indicate that this figure really does worth investing in (if you can still find it), and I couldn’t agree with it more – it’s an absolutely brilliant figure.

Superbly and Highly Recommended to Everyone!

            Final verdict: 10/10.

2 comments:

  1. where the heck do you get all these transformers?! The only unique ones I can find aren't made by Hasbro, so I don' know if they are authentic or not

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  2. Well, first of all u need a little bit of $$$, and a lot of luck (pun not intended). While I do sometimes rely on my main supplier in order to get my hands on some of these goodies, in many cases, it was all down to luck. Take Metroplex for example, a supermarket nearby had only 1 unit of this guy, and it just so happened that I was at the right place, at the right time.FYI, my Metroplex is a Hasbro release, and I'm very happy with it. Also, eBay too offers a lot of options in finding those gems, I got my Ghost Rider via that.

    Although majority of authentic figures are released by Hasbro and Takara-Tomy, there have been other companies as well, licensed by the Big-Two, to release Transformers figure, i.e. Sonokong & Mocom, both Korean. In order to identify whether these guys are authentic, firstly check whether or not they carry either one of the faction logo, which normally is painted on rather than stick on. Secondly, inspect the box and look for the Hasbro/ Takara-Tomy's trademark on them. Remember, no matter who is releasing the figures, as long as they are given permissions by HasTak, they have to carry their logo on their boxes.

    Lastly, if you are buying non-minted figures, look for the copyright carving on the figure themselves. As long as these figures fit all of the above criteria, the quality should be on par with that of HasTak's.

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