Dragon ModeImperialdramon is the Mega form of Paildramon, who in turn is the DNA Digivolved form of ExVeemon and Stingmon, the Champion stages of Veemon and Wormmon, partners of Davis and Ken. Imperialdramon first appears in 2.39, "Dramon Power," then quite briskly Mode Changes to his Fighter Mode in 2.43, "Invasion of the Daemon Corps." I've been continuously putting off reviewing this toy... well, 'cause I didn't want to. The figure released in America was a down-sized version of a larger toy released in Japan, utilising the same mould, just on a smaller scale.

The toy comes packaged in Fighter Mode, but for the purposes of this review, we'll start with Dragon Mode. And by God, it's an ugly Dragon mode. Stunted, stocky and dwarfish, there is little of the fearsome nature of the Dragon Mode we know from the series in this almost-comical creature. The front legs look bizarre, with the hinges on the armour making the legs look like the elbows are backwards, and the back legs cannot bend around properly to give the Dragon Mode it's sleeker look. Even with articulation in the shoulders of all four legs, the knees and ankles of the back legs, the tail and the wings, the mode offers little.

To transform to Fighter Mode, you first remove the Positron Laser from the Dragon Mode's back by extending the barrel and pulling the laser itself off. Next, you straighten the legs and rotate them back, extending the leg below the knee, the pull the tail back. Swing the Fighter Modefront legs down and rotate them out to the sides at the elbows, forming Fighter Mode's arms. Detach the armour from the feet, then fold it up and attach it to the shoulders. Push up on the forearms, compressing the arms, then fold down the toe claws. Flip out Fighter Mode's fists from under the feet. Detach the white horn on Dragon Mode's head, and rotate it around 180 degrees. Push the Dragon Mode head down, so the neck slides inside the body, then attach the horn to the hole in the back. Flip up the black panel under the Dragon Mode's chin, then flip down the Dragon Mode head, exposing the Fighter Mode head. Pull it up, and rotate the forehead crest around into position. Finally, fit the peg on the Positron Laser into the hole on Fighter Mode's right arm.

Articulation in the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, neck, wings and tail. More poseable than Dragon Mode. Nicer-looking than Dragon Mode, too, that's for sure. Yep. Looks like Fighter Mode, all right.

...and yet, it still somehow manages to be completely, utterly, unbearably BLAND AS HELL.

I really wish that there was more to say about it, but... there isn't.

Giga Crusher my arse.The toy also has a preposterous "third mode," where the figure mimics the use of his "Giga Crusher" attack. You remove the Positron Laser from the wrist, then fold up the Dragon Mode head from the chest, and attach the laser to the underside of it. It can be a considerable bitch to get the gun to lock in place, and it looks ridiculous.

As a transforming toy, it's okay. In fact, the transformation to Fighter Mode is identical to the way it occurs in the cartoon. And THAT, you see, is my biggest problem with the toy - it's screamingly tacky and even more commercial that the rest of the line. It seems to me that people let the fact that it's cast from a Japanese mould colour their judgement when appraising the toy, given that it was surrounded by American moulds of a low quality all their own at the time of it's release. But that's not the case with me - it really, REALLY bugs me whenever I see people saying that this figure is the best Digivolver there is, when really, it's anything but. And besides all of this, the figure lacks the inherent sense of FUN that one demands from a toy. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that at one point, my local toy store had over one hundred Imperialdramon figures out on the shelves - taking up the *entire* Digimon figure section of the store, with no other Digivolvers there at all - all marked down to 75%, and they STILL weren't selling. Quite the testament to the toy's unpopularity.
Painfully, painfully average.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5