- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 7, 2007

Thanks to the proliferation of film, comic book and cartoon characters, companies are bombarding consumers with an incredible selection of action figures. With tongue in cheek, let’s take a peek at some of the specimens worthy of a place in …

Zad’s Toy Vault

LEADER CLASS MEGATRON

Director Michael Bay’s live-action homage to the Transformers comes to three-dimensional life with help from the company that made the war between the Autobots and Decepticons famous.


Hasbro has been offering a complete lineup of Transformers figures for over two decades, and its latest series ties in perfectly with the big-budget movie.

Besides smaller-scale Movie Legends, deluxe toys and even plush figures ($3.99 to $9.99) that highlight characters such as Bumblebee, Barricade, Scorponok and Wreckage, youngsters will find 10-inch-tall versions of Optimus Prime and the leader of the Decepitcons (Megatron) that offer complicated morphing into secondary designs.

Figure Profile: From the package: “Frozen in Antarctic Ice for hundreds of years, Megatron is finally free, and his might will make the Earth quake, and the stars fall from the sky. As one of the most dangerous Transformers ever to stalk the galaxy, he has no known weaknesses and only one purpose — to capture the AllSpark and rule the Universe. Nothing, neither the Humans’ armies or his ancient enemy Optimus Prime can stand in his way.”

Accessories:Megatron features advanced Automorph technology that translates into cocking a lever in his chest, releasing a button and listening to a creepy shriek as his innards light up and a pair of translucent wings pop out. The big guy also has a rocket claw that turns into a chain whip, arms that (when combined) form a laser cannon and a scary face.

By the way, it takes about 15 steps and a strong cup of coffee to convert Megatron into his alter Cybertron Jet mechanical persona. I still haven’t figured out how to turn him back.

Price: $39.99

Read all about it: IDW Publishing offers the trade paperback The Transformers: The Movie Prequel ($19.99), which compiles a four-issue comic book series, and a sequential-art adaptation of the film, released as a four-issue series ($3.99 each).

Words to buy by: Transformers toys will have a major resurgence in popularity thanks to the movie. However, they have always been one of the better pop-culture-themed, brain-stimulating items a child could own. The latest Leader Class morphing robots are well worth taxing a child’s logic skills and imagination.

Strange but cool

A short look at products associated with the Transformers’ new live-action movie.

Optimus Prime Voice Changer Helmet (Hasbro, requires three AA batteries, $29.99)

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