When listings for Earthrise toys started leaking last year and we began to learn we'd get a few of the Cybertron-mode Stege guys back in new Earth mode toys (hello Starscream and Optimus Prime), many of us figured, yeah, okay, they probably won't do a new Earth Megatron. There's a long history now of Megatrons just sticking to their Cybertronian modes, the Stege toy is fine and a passable tank, and honestly it's the one toy from the Voyager Class pricepoint range that tends to shelfwarm. We knew we were getting a Grapple, so wouldn't that slot be better taken up by Grapple retooled into Inferno?
And he's like the Stege Megatron toy, but retooled to be worse! See, one of Stege Megatron's nicest features was that his tank barrel transformed into a sword. The blade halves folded out from underneath, eclipsed around the barrel, and bam! sword. A sword that was sword-shaped! It just had a neat barrel encased in the middle. I liked that! It was based on the sword that the original 1985 Japanese version of Megatron came with (in lieu of the fusion cannon, actually), which isn't precisely my cup of nostalgia tea, but it did the job very well!
Earthrise Megatron just sticks the tip of that same sword design onto the back of a giant chunk of Abrams tank that includes the barrel. You peg it onto Megatron's forearm. It looks like a giant chunk of tank with a little pointy pokey part. If it weren't so wide, he could probably use it to stir his morning coffee. And then you remove a part of the tank from the back (from between where the legs go) and peg it onto all that.
It's a terrible, embarrassing change that makes a toy worse.
I mean, the reason that chunk exists is that they want to keep Megatron having his little 1984 Walther P-38 pistol hammer halves on his shoulders. The chunk of Abrams tank covers them up when you transform him into tank mode. Stege Megatron transformed into a Cybertronian tank, so he could have the front of the tank look however it wanted. (though the tops of the arms transformed a little to obscure them)
But it's... super not worth it...?
Beyond that, Earthrise Megatron is actually a pretty extensive retool of Stege Megatron. They essentially transform the same, and all the new parts are shaped similarly to the old parts, but like 80% of him is different. New head, new, chest, new crotch, new shins, new Abrams tank front half parts, new fusion cannon, new backs of his upper arms, new... barrel shield pointy stick...
All this is in service of making him more of an Earth tank who transforms into something even closer to the old cartoon Megatron design. He's got those little vents on his obliques and smoother, slopey legs that sort of resemble gun handle shapes better. His fusion cannon looks more like a pistol sight. He's got a ... new cartoony Megatron head that looks worse than the Stegey cartoony Megatron head.
And he's two to a case, with one Quintesson Judge filling out the third spot! Oh boy!
anyway because of this he's much easier to get one's hands on, i got one, and i stole stege megatron's head and arms and sword/barrel, stuck them on earth megatron, painted his obliques red (the stege head had already been painted by me), and now i have an earthier Marvel Comics-style Megatron that has a better-sculpted noggin and doesn't carry a dumb-looking chunk of terrible tank/barrel/butterknife around on his forearm
(see image on right)
Sure, in tank mode the barrel area doesn't look as Abramsy, but THAT'S AN OKAY TRADE-OFF.
(the plastic colors are the same, and the head and arms swap real easy, don't even gotta unscrew anything)
i recommend doing this, if only so you all help get these guys off shelves before Kingdom shows up next year, if straggling earthrise megatrons are the reason there's no shelfspace for a new dinobot toy to reach saturation i will murder everything
(walmart-exclusive netflix stege megatron pictured in comparison images)