In my Torca post I recounted how I dreaded pulling him out of the bin he currently resides in for fear of the results of the dreaded GPS. Though I lucked out and found nothing yet, GPS is a question of when, not if. There will come a time that he eventually cracks and finally crumbles. To alleviate that sad day, I am still determined to hunt down the non-GPS suffering version of the mold, Elephorca, released in Takara’s Beast Wars Neo line.
Fast forward to one of the two subjects of today’s post: Megabolt. Though I went into the Torca post aware of his affliction, I didn’t know it about Megabolt. Apparently he has what the TFWiki calls “a mild case of GPS”. This means he suffers cracks, but doesn’t simply shatter into powder like most.
I didn’t know this at the time I removed him from his bin so it came as quite a surprise when immediately the posts holding the sides of his alt mode head together both snapped off.
This is a ten year old figure, never before transformed, so — despite the gold plastic staring me in the face — I didn’t immediately jump to the conclusion of GPS.
Then the small loop where his arm locks in place on the back of his alt mode cracked into multiple pieces.
While trying to survey the damage, his left arm fell off altogether. That’s when I hit the internet for answers. The diagnosis was grim. With the somewhat hopeful use of the words “mild case” on the TFWiki, I was determined to repair as much damage as I could and extend his life as long as possible. I started by successfully gluing the arm back on. So far so good.
Next I glued the tab back together, or at least the one piece of it I still had.
However, to glue that one piece back on, I had to transform him to robot mode first.
I was terrified.
Luckily (what an odd thing to type at this point) the only thing that happened was the indention that holds the ball joint on his shoulder cracked into several pieces. There would be no way to ensure I didn’t glue the joint into one piece if it was still attached, so I had to remove it. I glued the pieces together, waited until it dried, then tried to snap it back onto the ball without stressing it so much that it shattered further.
It shattered further. Enough remains to actually hold the joint together while still allowing it to move so I was more or less successful. In the image above, you can also see where the tip of the tab on the other shoulder piece snapped off as well.
There he is, you wouldn’t know his sad state of affairs just by looking as him, so I guess mission successful. However, this is as posed as he’s going to get, I am not tempting his fragility any further. Never has a headsculpt so perfectly encapsulated my feelings about a particular toy experience.
As the most compacted mode and therefore most secure from random breaks, he will probably spend the rest of his life in alt mode. So let’s talk about this alt mode and this figure in particular now that the unpleasantness of GPS is done.
Megabolt makes very little sense as a toy release. He was an Armada style packaged, Robots in Disguise toyline KB Toys exclusive redeco of the previous year’s KB Toys exclusive Robots in Disguise release that was actually meant as a Beast Machines Megatron toy.
Bwah? I’ll give you a moment if you want to re-parse that sentence. It’s kinda tangled.
Of course, if you’re familiar with the Beast Machines series, you recognize Megabolt’s alt mode as an improperly coloured, scaled down version of Beast Machines Megatron’s “Grand Mal” mode most commonly known as the BFH, the Big Floating Head (or Big F#@%ing Head if you’re less polite).
Unlike with Torca, when Megabolt finally suffers an irrevocable break (*sob*), it won’t be as bad because I already have the original and — more importantly — non-GPS inflicted version of the mold, Megatron Megabolt.
Megatron Megabolt was designed to be the toy incarnation of the massive, floating head construct that Beast Machines Megatron’s spark resided in for a time when he purged the organic material from himself. It was shown to transform in the cartoon, but from an enormous head into a spaceship.
Nicknamed “BFH” by the fandom, the official name of “Grand Mal” [french for “great evil/wrong/illness/pains” but best known as the erstwhile name of a type of seizure] was revealed in episode scripts and in a short story in the Transformers Legends anthology. In toy form, his original Beast Machines bio states that he “has taken the form of a gigantic cybernetic head that hovers over Cybertron”.
While staying within continuity for the series, the bio fails to address the addition of spider legs in alt mode. It also says nothing of his robot mode.
It would also make as much sense that this was meant to be a scaled down version altogether. I would love to imagine a scene in Beast Machines where the Grand Mal opened its mouth and out poured hundreds of these spider legged horrors. Then for them to transform into copies of Megatron himself as they began their assault. How chilling would that have been?
The toy also has a spring-loaded, flip-down “battle mask” attached to a missile launcher. The mask is designed after the helmet of the control harness Megatron used in Beast Machines to control his army.
On the toy, the helmet portion actually adheres to his head by way of magnets.
The head on Megabolt is one of the parts reported to suffer from GPS, which is why a photo of him in his mask is missing from this post.
One more awesome little factiod about these two (and I have to confess, my recent acquisition of Fortress Maximus actually spurred this post).
When Megatron Megabolt was brought over to the Robots in Disguise toyline, he received a bio that made him the “Emissary Mode” of Robots in Disguise Megatron himself. Car Robots, the Takara cartoon and toyline that Robots in Disguise was dubbed from included a repaint of G1 Fortress Maximus named Brave Maximus. There is an odd design quirk about Megatron Megabolt and Megabolt that he fits perfectly into the Fortress Maximus mold’s head area once you remove the spider legs.
Though most likely accidental, Megatron Megabolt’s Robots in Disguise bio actually calls this “feature” out.
“Developed “Emissary Mode” to combine with his space cruiser and even the secret Autobot defense fortress in attempt to gain absolute power.”
Regardless, I still consider Megatron Megabolt to be a Beast Machines toy and he will be displayed with the other Beast era toys. Megabolt, however, will now be sealed up in as safe a container as I can find and stashed away in a bin until the day I can display everyone. Not that it matters, I guess, considering he very well may be a pile of shattered pieces by then.