Megatrons Around the World!

An overly grandoise title, as we're only talking about one of them.

Megatron has been released in droves in Japan...or should I say, re-released. Megatron, along with a number of other guns (Gunrobo and Browning, among others) originally came from a Pre-Transformer line of toys, and was incorporated into the Hasbro line. Our Megatron wasn't a half bad toy. Pretty consistant, aside from the usual number of variants. :-) (which are covered in the Decepticons section of the site).

Brief History of Megatron

In the Microman/Micro Change line, there were two different molds of the toy that went on to become Megatron: A) the standard Walther p38, and B) the Walther p38 UNCLE (Uncle, in this instance, referring presumably to the old 60's show The Man from U.N.C.L.E.)

Walther P38 UNCLE: This unit came equipped with silencer, scope, stock, sword, and a number of small plastic 'bullets' that could fire out of the gun (they also included some nice cardboard targets you could shoot at). This one is considered (more or less) to be the basis for the G1 toy. (Although the G1 version of the toy did not come with the bullets or sword...however, the original-release of him did have the firing pin left in, so if you got ahold of the plastic bullets, you could theoretically get your TF Megatron to fire them. :-) Needless to say, later versions of USA Megatron were completely remolded to eliminate even this ability.)

Like many other Pre-TF molds, this one was also lisenced through Gig in Italy and equipped accordingly. (Meaning, they actually had bullets with it...could you imagine trying to use a saftey 'bopper' missle with this guy?) Note the change in the boxart, which is consistant with other releases from Italy:

Standard Walther P38: This unit was stripped down compared to the UNCLE; it came only with the bullets, sword, and gun (no silencer, scope, or stock pieces, for example, and no cool cardboard targets). This version of the Microman toy also had a different color scheme than the Uncle (brown and blue versus grey and silver). Note that there is no scope clip on top, and note that the molding on this toy is missing the butt (stock) attachment tabs! (See the back/bottom of the handle of the gun.) That's the easiest way to tell this version of the toy from the reissue brown version (in-addition to mold-stamping, of course). (Pic)

Note: Don't be fooled by the knockoff version of this toy! No copystamp, and note the goofy 'star' in the middle of the grip. (Pic)

Japanese Transformer Megatron: This toy is essentially the standard Microman P-38. It doesn't come with the attachments, only the small gun and sword. (Odd, considering they should have at least included the fusion cannon for Megatron?!) This unit also varied from the USA version in that the thighs were blue, and he was dull grey plastic (USA version was chromed, and had red thighs). And again, note that the Japanese Megatron doesn't have the moldings on the leg for the butt-attachment, nor does he have the clip for the scope.

Hopefully, a pattern emerges for you. ;-) Basically, the American version of Megatron is the UNCLE mold, while the Japanese version of Megatron is the standard P-38. Neat, huh? (Note: For more information on American Megatron mold variants, please see the Decepticons section of the site.)

It's interesting to note that there were 2 releases of the single-packed blue-innards Megatron, and that there were molding differences between the two. On the part of the gun that becomes his left arm there is a, 'safety switch' molded into him. (One version sports a slightly-less-than quarter circle underneath, while on all the others it's a half circle.)

1975 OW |1975 SP

Goodbye to Megatron: After the single-boxed version, Takara later put out a 'GoodBye giftset' release of Megatron (in this instance, packed with Starscream). This version of Megatron was different than the previous Japanese releases, because this time they included the attachment clip for the scope. They also (finally) decided to give him his fusion-cannon. :-)

Reissue Megatron in Japan: Now is where it gets interesting. If you've followed along, you've taken note of the fact that in Japan, the standard P-38 was the only game in town, mold-wise. However, with the reissue, you have the best of all possible worlds. Not only do you (finally) get the Uncle version of the Megatron mold in Japan (note the gun handle..see those molded clips on the bottom), you also get all the pieces of all the units (scope, silencer, stock, bullets, etc). Because of all this extra swag, they've taken to calling it the 'special' edition (and it certainly is's the first time everything came with one toy in a TFs version in Japan). Heck, he even still fires bullets. Note that in addition to the standard version reissue special, there is also a brown recolor, done in homage to the original standard Microman P-38. (Remember when I mentioned the molding of the toy earlier? On the butt/handle? This is why.) Even though the color matches, the molding is different, so don't let someone trick you into paying Pre-TF prices for a reissue gun molding.


Dreamwave Reissue Megatron: Then, of course, there is the Dreamwave reissue. :-) Same as the 16s versions, but a cool new package, and...if you can believe it...yet more accessories! A colored-mace, specifically, that wasn't available with any previous version. The mace was first seen in the battle between Prime and Megatron on top of Sherman Dam in the original MTMTE. (Pic)

Megaplex: (Remember him? Unchromed, blue-thighs? Of-course-not, he wasn't called that before.) :-) He also saw a re-release, as an E-Hobby exclusive. Like the Dreamwave reissue, he comes with all the accessories, including the special (though slightly recolored) mace. It's interesting how history gets reverse-written. In Machine Wars, Megaplex was supposed to act as a decoy/stand in for Megatron (both were jets) he's doing it as a gun, too. Sigh.

On a sad note...due to child-safety laws, we'll never see another Megatron release in the USA. The most we can hope for are the continued imports of Japanese-TFs. And with all the reissues of Megatron that Japan had (16S, recolor, E-Hobby, Dreamwave version)...I think they can spare a few for us. :-)

"Question: how do I tell my original and reissue Megatrons apart?"
Answer: Easily. :-) The original is stamped Takara (and later Hasbro) Japan. The reissues are stamped China. Should you have further confusion, compare rivets vs screws. :-) More on that from Himawari:

"Well, beside the thing with the sticker, to be sure that it isn't a reissue, he can check the arms or legs. If they use a special rivit like the ones used for the reissue Fairladys, you can be sure it is the reissue. You can see the rivits in place of screws on the legs here.

Mind you it is the E-Hobby version but there is no difference in molds. The reissue was based off of the GB Megatron. If you look at the arms, (in gun mode) you can see the pins in the arms. This appeared in the second version of the Japanese Megatron and GB meg. but with screws not rivit features.