Armada Wave 1 Reviews
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A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication
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Armada Wave 1
By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor
ASM Quick Facts
Mini-Con: Leader-1 (mobile artillery truck)
Powerlinx: 2 gimmicked, 12 solid
Difficulty: 4 (Expert)
Contents: Megatron, Leader-1, 3 missiles, instructions, mini-comic/catalog
Decepticon leader Megatron comes with the Mini-Con Leader-1,
a double-cannoned military vehicle who just happens to have the same name
as the leader of the original good-guy GoBots. To transform Leader-1 to
robot mode, straighten out the legs and fold up the cannons. In robot
mode, Leader-1 is colored similarly to his namesake (silver with a yellow
visor), but his sculpting does not suggest any obvious homage to the
original. The instructions show three different "Weapon" modes for
Leader-1, each used by Megatron in a different way. His right hand ends
in a semicircular stump, necessary for one of his weapon modes, but
rather odd looking on the robot.
In vehicle mode, Megatron is a large green tank with elements of purple,
bright salmon-orange, dark metallic blue-grey, silver, yellow and black.
One of the two samples shown at Toy Fair had red detailing, matching the
box art, but Hasbro apparently decided to go with the brighter
fluorescent shade instead. The body of the tank is H-shaped, with a
pair of large claws in front. The turret rotates with loud clicks, and
the main cannon barrel can be raised and lowered. The tank rolls on
wheels beneath the treads, and a transparent Decepticon symbol appears
to the right of the cannon on top of the turret.
Vehicle Mode Features
- The claws at the front of the tank can be manually pinched
together to capture Mini-Cons.
- A strip of orange plastic on the front right-hand side of the
tank can be flipped forward to become a launching ramp with a
sliding (but non-gimmicked) Powerlinx peg.
- Hitting a small switch on the front left-hand side of the tank
causes three panels to flip out, each with its own Powerlinx
- A section of the rear right-hand side of the tank can be
flipped down to reveal a platform with a folding access ramp. A
slider moves a grabbing claw to capture any Mini-Con unlucky
enough to drive onto the platform.
- A section of the rear left-hand side of the tank can be pulled
out and split open into a giant claw or cage, with molded
detailing on the inside resembling a rotary grinder.
- Pulling the spring-loaded cannon barrel back toward the turret
fires its pressure-launched missile, accompanied by a "blast"
sound effect and a flash of red light beneath the clear Decepticon
- Rotating the turret about 45 degrees (or two clicks) makes the
symbol light up red as a (rather un-menacing) voice says
"Decepticons, Attack!", followed by battle sounds.
- Attaching a Mini-Con to the purple Powerlinx plug on the right
side of the turret and pulling it back swings up the tankís double
missile launcher with a firing noise and a flash of light under
the symbol. The slider has an L-hook to lock the launcher in ready
position. At least, thatís how itís supposed to work -- on our
sample, once the launcher was used once, the trigger in the hollow
center of the Powerlinx peg remained depressed, allowing the
launcher to be activated without use of a Minicon. The peg can be
forced to lock again with a bit of work, but the feature
definitely doesnít work quite right in this particular Megatron.
The missiles, detailed to match the cannon-launched one, are
fired by means of triggers on top of the spring-loaded launcher.
- A Mini-Con can be attached to the Powerlinx peg on the "pilot
hatch' at the back of the turret. The instructions indicate that
Leader-1 in "Weapon C" mode -- essentially vehicle mode with the
cannons pointing straight back -- should be used here, and that
the gimmick somehow involves turning the turret with the Mini-Con
attached. This does not seem to accomplish anything different
from moving the turret without a Mini-Con. Turning just the hatch
a few degrees to the left or right, however, produces a
machine-gun firing sound and makes the Decepticon symbol lights
up. Doing this when the double missile launcher is in firing
position substitutes the launcherís sound, presumably because the
button that triggers it is still pushed down by the launcher.
Transformation to Robot Mode
Straighten the back of the "H" to become legs, folding down the feet and
flipping out the heel supports. Turn the tank turret 90 degrees to the
right. Rotate the lower body 180 degrees around and swing the tank barrel
down. Open the side-panels of the shoulders, swing out the arms and
close the panels again. Slide the chest-lever down to reveal the robot
face. Itís not quite the Expert-level transformation that the box
The Decepticon leader of Armada bears few resemblances to past Megatrons.
Carrying over the colors of the tank mode, he adds a pale metallic
purple face, set in an antlered helmet that looks like a cross between
the heads of Beast Wars Dinobot and the G1 Insecticon Shrapnel.
Megatron has two large Decepticon symbols on his shoulders and an
incredibly tiny one sculpted on the lever for his face-concealing plate.
Tank treads jut up from his shoulders. The cannon from his tank mode
points forward from the right side of his torso, reminiscent of the
original Megatronís arm-mounted fusion cannon. His right hand is a
standard fist-with-hole, while his left hand is more clawlike. He looks
quite formidable and appropriately villainous.
Although Megatronís design seems like it could easily incorporate a
standard hip joint, it does not. His legs swing out to the sides and
his knees can swing in toward the center, but neither joint articulates
to the front or back. He has universal shoulder joints, rotation points
at the neck and waist, hinges at the elbows, forearm swivels and a
swivel at the right wrist. Although the fingers of his left hand are
hinged, they are held shut by a spring mechanism.
Robot Mode Features
- As in tank mode, pushing in the canon barrel fires its
- Sliding a Powerlinx peg on Megatronís left forearm makes a
black knife-like weapon slide out of his arm and into his hand.
The instructions indicate that a Mini-Con should be used for
this, but there is no trigger mechanism present.
- Leader-1 in "Weapon A" mode can be clipped into the tread
housing above Megatronís right shoulder.
- According to the instructions, Megatronís three missiles can
similarly be clipped into the housing above his left shoulder, but
there only appear to be slots for two of them to attach.
- In "Weapon B" mode, Leader-1 becomes a handgun for Megatron,
with the stump of the Mini-Conís right hand forming the handle.
He sits off-center, but itís a serviceable weapon form.
- Attack Mode: Raising Megatronís upper body permits
his midsection to rotate 180 degrees, bringing the tank turret
around to the front. Attaching Leader-1 and unlocking the double
missile launcher gives Megatron a five-barrelled assault weapon.
The turret can be rotated by turning a small crank on the robotís
side. Although the instructions do not mention this, the crank
should be locked back in place when transforming Megatron back to
robot or vehicle mode. This may take a few tries, as in some
locked positions, the main cannon will no longer point straight
Although he looks great in both modes, Megatron is a bit of a letdown
overall. While the toy has lots of interesting and creative features,
its lack of articulation and surprisingly low number of
Powerlinx-activated gimmicks are disappointing. The textless
instructions are a real problem here, as the depictions of features are
often vague and confusing. It would have been helpful to get a bit more
explanation of some of the features, such as the shoulder-missiles and
the various sound effects. Still, as with the rest of Armada, thereís
a whole lot of play value here, and plenty to spark a kidís imagination.
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