Please scroll down to go directly to the Megantik size comparison with the Battle Beasts and Beast Saga lines or the Megantik figure review.
For the longterm visitors of the Beastformers Blog, or collectors who might know the White Rabbit behind it from somewhere else, it might have been pretty remarkable choice or unexpected move for the Blog to pay attention to such a new line as the Megantik. Because those who know the philosophy behind the Beastformers Blog, with a main focus on the history of the original line, also know that new lines are rarely discussed or reviewed out here. So far this has happened twice with the Beast Saga line by Takara Tomy in 2012 and the Rise of the Beasts line in 2014 who received a review out here as well. The Beast Saga line gained itself a permanent position on the Beastformers Blog due to the fact it was a line created by Takara meaning a link to the vintage Beastformers line couldn´t be ignored and in the case of the Rise of the Beasts line the inspiration and feel of the line in relation to the Battle Beast couldn´t be ignored. Both valid reasons for the Beastformers Team to add them to the Beastformers Blog. So before we start reviewing this new Megantik line straight away it might be good to explain why we think the Megantik line should receive a shout-out/article out here as well.
A valid questions because over the past few years there have been a few anthropomorphic inspired animal lines which were never mentioned on the Beastformers Blog. The reason for the fact that the Megantik do deserve a place out here is based on one thing which is similar to the reason for the Beast Saga being out here. Yes, it is true that the Megantik line seems to be received very well by a wider audience of mini figure collectors, so it´s a line that´s not only attractive for those who look at it from a Battle Beasts perspective, but that´s not been the main reason. Also the looks of the line, after being confronted with the first pics and the commercial during March 2017, were not decisive here (what this means you can read further on within this review when we discuss the design and looks of the figures). What did ad the crucial weight was an addition that´s found on the packaging and to the commercial of the Megantik and it comes down to one word: NERF.
NERF toys makes all sorts of foam-based weaponry and as shown within the TV commercial of the Megantik you can win a NERF gun by gathering 15 Points from the Megantik blind bags (1 bag holds one point) and follow the instructions on the Megantik website. Now this still ain´t the real reason for the Megantik becoming interesting but we´re getting close. Within the TV commercial my eye spotted one crucial detail that changed the whole perspective and that was the little HASBRO logo appearing within the NERF promotion as part of the Megantik commercial. Hasbro……….
Relation to HASBRO
The moment the Hasbro logo appeared this new line suddenly had my full attention because was Hasbro involved in the Megantik line, does Hasbro own Diramix or what´s their relation? It is obvious that from our historical view at the Battle Beasts line Hasbro has played a crucial role and whereas Takara did come up with an attempt to revive/honor the old line via the Beast Saga line Hasbro, so far, never really showed anything like that. So might this be the new Battle Beasts line in disguise because if we as Battle Beasts fans recognize the Battle Beasts feel that´s attached to this line Hasbro most certainly must have had their thoughts about it as well. All in all it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment finding out that NERF is a brand that´s owned by Hasbro but that Diramix is an independent Italian Toy Company. In other words NERF is connected to Megantik as a promotion but Hasbro is not involved or connected to the Megantik line (yet!). Interesting to see is the statement that Diramix gave when asked for the connection with Hasbro;
¨In order to sustain its first launch we asked Hasbro Italy their cooperation on a contest with Nerf prizes¨
So Hasbro Italy granted Diramix the Nerf promotion contest in order to cooperate with them allowing Diramix to launch the Megantik line in a successful way….. Hmm that´s interesting, so what´s in it for Hasbro than!? Of course Diramix was not willing to answer the additional questions because they´re too focused on their business strategy rather than the product itself. Understandable, but that doesn´t mean we cannot guess or speculate a little bit more about this interesting but complicated connection to Hasbro.
Is it possible that Hasbro Italy Srl, who definitely knows about the likeness of this new line to their old Armata Bestiale (Italian Battle Beasts) line, might want to keep an eye out on this line to see what potential it might have for the International market in the future? This could explain why Hasbro Italy granted Diramix this Nerf promotion and they´re willing to cooperate in such a way (probably paying a part of the TV commercial as well) they did gain some rights or first dibs from Diramix…. Let´s not forget that Hasbro never created the Battle Beasts to begin with either because they bought the rights from Takara during the 80´s and over the years Hasbro has proven to be pretty successful when it comes to purchasing rights and licenses of successful toys and brands. If only the slightest assumptions here are true and the line does become a success there´s a big chance that the Megantik (or under a different name) might make it onto the International market under the license of Hasbro. It is this vague but potentially interesting connection to Hasbro which made the Megantik line worthwhile to look into because its simply something the Beastformers Blog can´t mis in case it might turn out to be the new Battle Beast line in disguise in the future….
So far the speculation about the connection between Hasbro and the Megantik (Diramix) let´s continue this review with some interesting choices the design team behind the Megantik made.
Let us explain that before we start reviewing the figures giving credits and critics to various points and details its important and fair to know that all of this can´t be interpret without understanding the Battle Beasts perspective we, as fans and collectors, have and look through. All of the new lines whether they´re from Takara, Hasbro, Diramix and whether they´re directly or indirectly influenced by the Battle Beasts line or not will be measured and compared to the old line. This is not always a completely fair review knowing the love and awe we have for the old line and it´ll hardly be impossible for any other line to even come close to the original Battle Beasts line we compare to, with all the nostalgia that´s connected to it, but this is why it is the Beastformers Blog and not some kind of independent mini figure review platform 😉
Megantik designers inspired by the Battle Beasts line?
After a first glimpse at the few Megantik figures that were shown via the various channels it was clear from the beginning that there was quite some variety amongst the figures not as in different characters but more as in the looks and weight of the sculpt. The first Megantik figure we were confronted with was the Bat (Nocturno) and that directly evoked a bit of the Battle Beasts feel. A feel that was not always present for the other figures that were shared during the following days. But what was the most remarkable was the choice of the animals which almost directly seemed to be inspired by the Battle Beasts line because an Armadillo, Bulldog, Octopus, Spider, Bat and Skunk are not really obvious choices to make when you´ve the whole animal kingdom to pick from designing a new toy line. According to Diramix the design team behind the Megantik developed these completely independent;
The idea was developed independently of other toy lines
Ok, that´s possible, but the choice for the specific animals is highly remarkable in our opinion. The feel that the design team did know about the Battle Beasts (BB) or even the Beast Saga (BS), whether they´d admit or not, was strengthened by another interesting detail which are the details on the backside of some of the Megantik. Also here there´s the room to debate since there are more toy lines that have scuba- or other types of tanks to their backs but also here the likeness to for instance the backside of the BB Penguin and/or the BS Walrus are remarkable.
Whether the design team of the Megantik did look at other lines or not during their design process it´d be highly unthinkable that during the whole process there´d have been no external influences because once designing it is impossible to be completely blank. Since unconsciously you´re always influenced by own experiences and memories from the past playing with similar toys, and in that case it wouldn´t be a surprise to find out the Armata Bestiale (Italian Battle Beasts) were on of them….
The Battle Beasts feel
As stated before the looks of the Megantik line in general was not the main reason for the Beastformers Team to look into them a bit deeper straight from the beginning since this happened after the possible connection to Hasbro was found. This directly explains that the Beastformers Team wasn´t completely convinced by the sculpt quality and feel of the Megantik compared to the Battle Beasts line. It is hard to agree or disagree with the Battle Beasts feel because this is found within the details and the main reason for this feel to be absent amongst the majority of the Megantik line is due to the bulkiness of most of them. Some simply come of a bit boorish in size, weight and look in comparison to the Battle Beasts and even Beast Saga line. BUT whereas the Beast Saga line, by Tomy Takara, completely missed the real Battle Beasts feel with ALL of their figs being to bulky the Megantik line does hold some gems amongst them which do come close the to real Battle Beasts feel and thus do have a potential to become future Battle Beasts, this goes for the; Bat (Nocturno), Spider (Revolveragno) and Octopus (Polpop) and partially for the Gorilla (Guerrilla), Bulldog (Burk) and Buffalo (Bufalos). Again this is a personal taste and to some the others might also have the Battle Beasts feel over them but in our opinion they´re to bulky. Amongst the rest there´s a few that just don´t feel right making them feel a bit out of place amongst the other Megantik figures. If you wouldn´t have a proper idea of the size of the Megantik you could easily mistake Leonidas, Trigger and a couple others for Kinder Surprise egg figures due to the combination of their sculpt and the chosen coloring. Another comment we heard was that they look like a mixture between Battle Beasts and Gormiti which is understandable looking at the origin of the last line.
We as Battle Beasts fans and collectors always have our thoughts about articulation because wouldn´t the Battle Beasts line have been much more successful if the Beasts would´ve had more points of articulation. While on the other hand the limited two points articulation, allowing only the arms to move, has also become a simple strength of the line for those who love them. So whether you have not enough or to many articulation is always a subject that´s up for debate but that only goes for figures that do have articulation and the Megantik line doesn´t have this. Looking at the other lines by Diramix it is not remarkable that this ain´t the case but when it comes to figures holding weapons we can all see that it could´ve been a big plus point in case they´d have had articulation. Although for some looking at the Spider and Octopus having multiple arms holding multiple guns this might have been a bit tricky so if those would have been guiding at that point the choice to make solid one pose figures is understandable. In general the pose of the figures is strong showing an aggressive in action pose but it´s a shame that for some this pose only seems to work from just one perspective. With the Kayman figure for instance the pose from the front is really strong but the moment you turn it side ways the whole quality of the figure shown from the front perspective seems to disappear.
It is not completely clear out of which material the Megantik are composed as it seems to be a mixture of a rubbery and plastic like material. They definitely don´t break very easily so its not some kind of cheap hard plastic material.
Just like the Battle Beasts the Megantik figures seem to have been cast in one base color and all the additional colors are applied via paint afterwards. Looking at the slight, and larger, differences within the paint jobs on multiples of the same figure we can conclude that they´re probably hand painted.This is in line with the addition on the packaging which says;
Shapes and colors may vary from those shown on the packaging
Looking at the figures that were shown in the Megantik TV Commercial it is clear that some slight color adjustments have been made. If you look at the Rhino Boom figure from the TV commercial for instance it does have a much more yellow/gold color of details on the armor compared to the actual figure which seems to have more bright green details.
Enough critics and details on the design of the Megantik line now, they aren´t Battle Beasts, but let´s have a look at them side by side with our beloved Battle Beasts for a genuine size and feel/look comparison.
Megantik size comparison
(Battle Beasts 1987 – Megantik 2017)
As stated in the design review above the Spider (Revolveragno) is one of the few figures that comes close to the real Battle Beasts feel and this size comparison with the Megantik Revolveragno besides the Battle Beasts Webslinging Spider shows that perfectly. It could easily be a 21st century take on the vintage version from the eighties.
(Battle Beasts 1987 – Megantik 2017 – Beast Saga 2012)
The Megantik Armadillo (Armadel) is the perfect example to show the bulkiness we tried to explain reviewing the design above. Clearly visible is the size difference in comparison between the Spider and the Armadillo Megantik side by side with their Battle Beasts ancestors. Even the more bulky Beast Saga Armadillo figure comes of as slim in comparison to the Megantik figure. Armadel does have a bad ass gun but when it comes to looks he doesn´t get close to the other two he´s lined up with, its more a comic style caricature version.
(Battle Beasts 1987 – Laser Beasts 1988 – Megantik 2017 – Beast Saga 2012)
To be complete we also added the Laser Beast sculpt to the lineup of Rhinos and also here the difference is obvious. On itself the Megantik Rhino (Rhino Boom) does stand out amongst these three but its questionable whether it stands out in the right way, to some it might to others it might not. Up close the head sculpt of the Megantik figure is impressive but it has more like a skull feel to it which, looking at the other figures within the Megantik line, doesn´t make a lot of sense unless Rhino Boom should be considered as one of the bad guys (the Destroyers) from the Megantik Story but that´s not found within the storyline.
The size comparison pictures speak for themselves so it might give you the insights you needed to judge the Megantik line for yourself, hope it helped!
Amongst all mass produced toy lines, the Megantik are made in Guangdong China, factory errors appear and even though its not very common to find one of these, especially within such a fresh and new line, the Beastformers Team pulled a Megantik Factory Error from one of the Blind Bags during their review. You could consider this headless Revolveragno a ¨lucky draw¨ because it does tell us a bit more about the way the figures have been produced.
Before the discovery of this Factory Error you could have thought that all of the Megantik figures were cast in one piece but now it is clear that they consist out of at least two but in some cases maybe even more parts that had to be assembled correctly in China to compose one figure. In some cases the heads seem to be the add-ons that were added to the body part while for others this seemed to be the case for the arms.
It is clear that this Revolveragno missed a step during the assembly phase in China and it did end up inside a blind bag without its head. (The loose head was also not found inside the bag) Luckily, if you´d be an Italian kid pulling such a figure from a blind bag, Diramix has a solid replacement policy for figures like this but this obviously only goes for Italy. Which means that if you happen to be a foreign collector expecting to purchase a full set of all 15 Megantik figures at once from Italy by purchasing a Megantik box and accidentally pull a factory error as well you´re unlucky. So far this is the only Factory Error we´ve heard of and found though and quite a few boxes have been opened by now so the chances of actually finding one inside a blind bag are limited. Luckily the Beastformers Team had two sets of Megantik available for the review because otherwise we´d have been stuck with an incomplete set which wouldn´t have allowed us to compose the full checklist on the Megantik page.
All in all we might have been a bit harsh in our criticism on the level of design but there just ain´t a real strong cohesive connection between all 15 sculpts within the Megantik line in our opinion, they do belong to one and the same line but the feel, looks and weight of each figure differ to much in order to really look at them that way. On the other hand there´s a huge admiration for the way this line is launched and promoted within Italy since it is a complete package containing the figures, a game and a storyline. Especially the game is a simple but well thought out strategy composing your own Megantik Battle Arena from the tiles and the cards on the backside which are directly connected to a playful way of learning how to calculate, adding and subtracting points during the Battle. Inside the included Magazine there are also various interesting information on planets and the galaxy so this also holds educational value for children. The artwork surrounding and supporting the line is well executed. While in some cases of blind bag releases the figures can be identified based on touch that is certainly not the case with the Megantik bags so even though this might be a bit frustrating for some that´s also a positive thing. After various pros and cons on different levels the Megantik line can definitely be considered an interesting new toy line because the blind bags are one bag of fun and eduction all at once!
To conclude the Beastformers Team would like to position itself on the sideline, besides Hasbro (?), keeping an eye out on how the line will do in Italy and how it might evolve into a line that has potential for the International market. Out of a 5 star rating we would have rated this line, IF solely based on the figures, at 2 – 2,5 stars but due to the complete package and the potential that this line has we conclude this review with a final rating of 3/5 for the Megantik line from Italy.
Hopefully this Review of the Megantik line was useful and helpful, containing the right information, in order to make up your own mind about this line.
Godetevi il Megantik!
(Enjoy the Megantik)
The Beastformers Team