Blog #1259: Toy Review: Botcon 2016 Club Subscription Service 5.0 Shipment 2 (Pretender Megatron and Pretender Optimus Prime)

Botcon 2016 Club Subscription Service 5.0 Shipment 2 (Pretender Megatron and Pretender Optimus Prime)

Pretender Megatron & Spacewarp


“Awesome” is not a word often I use to describe a Fun Publications toy unless it’s followed by another word like “failure”.  But in this case, I have to use it.  Spacewarp is awesome.  The paint job on Spacewarp is incredible (another word I don’t usually use when describing Fun Publications toys unless is followed by “mess”).  They really put a lot into painting a really small toy.  She’s beautiful.  Spacewarp is based on a canceled toy from Transformers Universe that would have been repainted from Armada Jetfire.  That design was later altered to be Fun Publications Astrotrain.

Grade: A+

Pretender Megatron

There is a surprising amount of good things in this set.  Unfortunately, Megatron’s Pretender shell is not one of them.  On the good side, they actually got, not just a G1 one mold, but a Japanese G1 mold.  Too bad they didn’t do that sooner.  Unfortunately, it’s just Cerebros’s Pretender shell from Grand Maximus, but it’s still a big deal that they got even that.  Unfortunately they decided to paint it as G1 Megatron.  The paintjob is excellent.  It certainly is in G1 Megatron colors.  Unfortunately, it looks about as much like G1 Megatron as it would if they had repainted G1 Carnivac’s Pretender shell in G1 Megatron colors.  Nothing about this toy says Megatron.  This is like repainting G1 Bumblebee as Ironhide.  You can get the colors right, but that doesn’t mean it makes any sense.  Now, if they had repainted this as Optimus Prime that would have worked.  It at least has a mouthplate like Optimus Prime.  That would have worked.  Heck, for the same reason it would have worked to paint him as Soundwave.

You might notice that, as has been normal practice at Fun Publications, he has been changed from the original promotional mockup images.  The paint changes are minor, and not a big deal.  What is a big deal is his weapons.  He was shown to come with the weapons that originally came with Grand Maximus for Cerebros’s Pretender shell.  Instead he comes with a black version of Titans Return Voyager Optimus Prime’s sword and a black version of Titans Return Voyager Sentinel Prime/Astrotrain’s gun.  They’re fine weapons to go with the shell, but they aren’t what we were told we were getting.  Par for the course.

There is also the issue of how Megatron fits inside the shell, but we’ll get to that later.

Megatron’s paint job is based on the unreleased repaint of Generations 2 Hero Megatron.  As such, his G2 logo is appropriate.  It is pretty faithful to the original paintjob, the only exception being his gun, which should have been painted green.  It’s nowhere near as cool as the green translucent G2 Megatron.  It’s a fine repaint, and the arctic camouflage looks pretty great.

I assume this piece is a new mold.  It is to help fit Megatron and Spacewarp into the shell.  It is designed to look like the gun that came with G1 Megatron.  Okay, points there, though it would have been better If Megatron could actually use it as a gun, which he can’t.  It clips onto his chest, and Spacewarp pegs onto the front.  Then it fits into slots inside the shell.  This is necessary since Cerebros was fairly big and Megatron wouldn’t really fill up the space inside the shell.  Unfortunately, the two little pegs on top of the accessory that Spacewarp pegs into are too small to hold him in place.  He falls off as soon as you tip him forward.  It’s useless for keeping Spacewarp in place inside the shell, completely failing to do what it was designed to do.  That is what I would call an “awesome failure” and an “incredible mess”.  (See what I did there.)

Also, it should be noted that the instructions for this toy are a joke.  There are no instructions for putting Megatron in the shell, just for putting Cerebros in the shell, which is completely useless.  Megatron’s instructions say Combiner Wars, while Optimus Prime’s say Timelines.  They just stopped trying at some point.

Grade: C+

Pretender Optimus Prime & Hi-Q


Hi-Q’s paint job is not quite as detailed as Spacewarp’s, but it’s still pretty great.  They did a great job painting his robot mode to look like Hi-Q.  In jet mode they went with simple striping on thee wings, but it looks great.  Very cool.

Grade: B+

Pretender Optimus Prime

Read my review of Oilmaster.

All the Oilmasters I’ve seen seem to have the same defect.  One leg is not glued on right.  That is not the case with Optimus Prime, so it has that going for it at least.  One other thing that he has going for him is that he is actually painted in the same color scheme as the toy the mold was based on, which is a huge improvement over Oilmaster.  However, there is nothing about this shell that says Optimus Prime.  What they should have done is paint him to look like Optimus Primal wearing G1 Optimus Prime colored armor.  How awesome would that have been?  After all these years truck and monkey could have become one.  They could have called him Primal Optimus Prime.  Oh well, another opportunity lost.  He comes with a tan repaint of Generations Deluxe Orion Pax’s gun.  That has some design inspiration from G1 Optimus Prime’s gun.  That’s the most Optimus Prime thing about the shell.  Having said that, it’s not a bad paintjob.

Optimus Prime’s paint job is G2 inspired and looks amazing.  The new head sculpt is perfect.  There is only one problem.  His paint job is G2 inspired, but he has a G1  Autobot logo.  How do you screw that up?  Megatron has a G2 paintjob and a G2 logo.  How they messed that up, I don’t know.

Grade: B

Overall: This is not a bad set, but has a few flaws that just don’t make any sense.  I kind of wonder if the paintjob on Optimus Prime’s Pretender shell would have been different if they hadn’t lost the license, and were able to use it again with this color scheme.

Well, it’s almost over.  Just one more Fun Publications set to go.  I’m still betting the freebie toy is Nightbird.  I guess we’ll find out in a month or so when I review the last Fun Publications Transformer!

Two little Indians playing with a gun.  One got shot and then there was one. – Ten Little Indians

Thanks for reading!


About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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