Wednesday, May 18, 2016

BotCon 2016 Megatron

Once upon a time, the then-standard bearer for official Transformers conventions lost the convention license. In the aftermath of that final convention in 2004, the former convention-runners revealed plans for what they would have released at the 2005 convention. Chief among these revelations was a new form for Beast Wars Megatron, using the then-recent Robots in Disguise Megatron mold. Although this concept was extremely popular, it soon became clear that the new convention-runners had their own ideas for BotCon exclusives. Thus, Transformers fans had eventually come to accept that this idea would never become a reality....

...And then, one day, it did. At the recently-completed BotCon 2016, the final convention as Fun Publications themselves lose the convention license, the so-called "Transmetal 3" Megatron concept was finally produced as a toy. Whether this was done precisely because it was to be the last BotCon, or just because the time was simply right, is not known. But it does make for some interesting symmetry, as does the fact that Fun Publications used this same mold for Deathsaurus during their first BotCon in 2005.

Having already featured BotCon 2005 Deathsaurus fairly recently, I'm not going to go through all of the potential alternate forms this toy can take. That said, it's perhaps ironic, given how seldom Deathsaurus was seen to change out of his robot mode in multiple appearances of Fun Publications fiction, Megatron is seen taking on several of his alternate forms in his single appearance (the BotCon 2016 convention comic: "Dawn of the Predacus"). The dragon mode, seen here, does highlight one of the few flaws this toy has. For some reason, the factory chose not to paint the eyes on the dragon heads. Fun Publications attempted to compensate by offering stickers that would work for the dragon eyes, but you had to order those separately, which I did not choose to do.

The original plans for "TM3" Megatron, all those years ago, included an element that did not, ultimately, make it to Fun Publications' version: a rubber ducky. This would have been a reference to a running gag in the Beast Wars series, whereby Megatron was often seen with such a rubber ducky. Fun Publications did release a separate rubber ducky exclusive, but it was just a standard-sized yellow duck such as you might find at any Bath and Body Works store, with the "BotCon 2016" logo imprinted on it. The duck was by no means in scale with this figure (a Fun Publications display depicting the duck as held in Megatron's "hand" mode notwithstanding). Thankfully, several folks stepped up to fill the gap, including the Allspark, which distributed this little guy for free if you stopped by Winston Bolen's table in Artist's Alley (although no purchase was required, I did pick up one of his prints, as I think it's important to support good work). Now Megatron has his constant companion once again!

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