It seems to be a near-inevitability within the various universes of Transformers that we have experienced over the past several years that, sooner or later, Megatron is transformed into the generally more powerful and generally nastier -- if such a thing is possible -- Galvatron.
This progression can trace its origins back to the animated TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE. Megatron was damaged beyond repair in a final battle with Optimus Prime. Chucked into space by his "loyal" Decepticons, Megatron was picked up by Unicron, and given the more powerful form of Galvatron. He led the Decepticons into battle against the Autobots, but was ultimately defeated and sent off into space.
As the subsequent season of the animated TV series unfolded, Galvatron was discovered in a pool of hot plasma on a distant planet. The dunking had fried a few of his brain circuits, and Galvatron, for all intents and purposes, was an uncontrollable maniac, as compared to the more scheming Megatron. In one episode, Cyclonus even tried to get psychological help for Galvatron.
Within the Generation One toy line, there were no similarities between Megatron and Galvatron. They were two entirely different toys. In more recent years, the use of the names "Megatron" and "Galvatron" have become a way for Hasbro and Takara to get more than one use out of the complex molds that go into any of the larger Transformers. One can hardly blame them for this.
About the only Megatron off hand I can think of that didn't take on the name Galvatron was the Beast Wars version. However, given that the Beast Wars Megatron went from a tyrannosaurus rex, to a TransMetal T-Rex, to an immense fire-breathing dragon, he hardly needed a name-change.
Admittedly, Megatron is the better-known of the two names. But that doesn't mean Galvatron should be underestimated.
Within the various Transformers concepts we've seen over the past few years, Optimus Prime has tended to be more consistent in basic appearance than Megatron. Fans have certain expectations from Optimus Prime. They expect him to be predominantly red with a fair amount of blue trim, and they expect him to turn into something that reasonably resembles a truck.
Megatron has been a little less consistent than that. As long as he looks suitably menacing, he's gotten away with a fair diversity in his basic appearance. The Megatron from Transformers Cybertron is a fairly equal combination of grey, purple, orange, and turquoise -- notable for a distinct lack of primary colors in his design, and as a Triple Changer, his alternate modes are really vicious-looking versions of a jet and a race car.
So now we have Galvatron. And although he's based on the same molds, it's interesting to note that his color scheme is actually a lot closer to the original Generation One Megatron, than Megatron himself.
The original Megatron was a fairly plain fellow from a color standpoint. Silver/white with black detailing and a few highlights in purple and red. He transformed into a gun, which is why you're not likely to ever see the original Megatron return to the United States.
The Cybertron Galvatron has a similarly very limited color palette. Silver with a lot of black, and some red trim. Apart from the metallic purple face and the purple Decepticon insignia, that's about it. And the difference it makes between just how vicious Galvatron looks compared to Megatron, despite the fact that they come from the same mold, is staggering.
Megatron is almost too colorful for his own good. He's not going to
be mistaken for a good guy, but he's just a little too flamboyant. Galvatron
It's certainly worth mentioning that the figure is neatly painted, and the details that are painted are, in several instances, different than the ones that are painted on Megatron, if somewhat fewer in number. Still, Transformers seem to be the one toy line that have escaped the sloppy hand-painted detailing that has plagued so many other toy lines in recent times. I hope this continues to be the case.
The figure, in robot form, is superbly well-articulated. This is one advantage that almost every Transformer since the days of the Beast Wars have had over their Generation One ancestors -- those original robots weren't particularly poseable in their robotic forms. Galvatron, like the vast majority of modern-day Transformers, has a full range of articulation in his humanoid robot mode.
Galvatron's background on the package is presented as follows: The rage Megatron feels after his defeat by Metroplex activates the formant power within his Unicron armor. This vast energy draws power directly from the Giant Planet itself, feeding it into Megatron and changing him into the mighty Galvatron! A living engine of destruction, Galvatron lives only to conquer all and grind the universe beneath his armored heel. His weapons and intellect super-charged by the living energy of the Giant Planet, there are none powerful enough to stand in his way!
Two notes here: That reference to Unicron is interesting, almost a nod to the original Megatron/Galvatron scenario, which was brought about by Unicron. Also, the Metroplex toy has, as of this writing, recently been released. It's in the same size range as Galvatron, and looks very impressive. I would recommend it just based on observation.
And I would certainly recommend Galvatron. Even if you have the Transformers Cybertron Megatron toy, Galvatron is, in all honesty, that much cooler, and certainly more villainous-looking. He's not inexpensive, but if you pick him up at Wal-Mart, you can do what I did and put him on layaway for a while. That gives you two months to gradually pay him off as you're able.
TRANSFORMERS CYBERTRON GALVATRON is definitely a worthy addition to
the Transformers collection, and he has my distinct and enthusiastic