Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Rise of Ultra Magnus

I can remember when Ultra Magnus was a sought after figure due to the G1 movie, back when I was a kid. His toy was a white-colored version of Optimus Prime that fit inside a much larger suit of armor, which was formed from his semi trailer. But somehow he was left with just one figure to his name for years after that initial outing. Then Robots In Disguise was released in the US, which was a re-dub of a Japanese Transformers cartoon. Ultra Magnus was back again, and as well armored as before. Since then he's been re-appearing in a number of the Transformers lines, either as recolors of the Prime toy, or completely new molds all to himself.

Today I ran across the Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Voyager-sized version of Magnus, which is partly a Prime re-color, but with a number of new parts added in. He has a new head, shoulder-mounted missile launchers, and the Forge of Solus hammer (albeit in silver, not the bronze/gold of the cartoon or the box the toy came in). Most of the body is from an earlier mold of Prime, but there are enough new bits to make him worth picking up, at least for me. There have been enough versions of Ultra Magnus to date that he's almost reached the "group" status on my collection shelves. That's the point where I have enough of one figure from different lines to put them all in one spot dedicated to just that character, without it looking odd.

Here he is in robot mode. It's a very nice look, especially with the wings/blades in the back and the shoulder cannons armed. In fact, I've started calling him Bat-Magnus due to the shape of the wings and the back panels when looking at him head-on.

The transformation from robot to vehicle isn't hugely difficult, but it isn't documented very well in the instruction manual. There's one picture showing how to fold his arms and shoulders down under the top of his chest plate to form the hood and top of the cab... it really should have been two or three shots of the various twists of the elbows, shoulders, and shoulder pads to get it to look like the one diagram they provided. The vehicle mode looks pretty good by itself, but suffers from the massive kibble sticking out the back with his shoulder weapons, jetpack/wings, and hammer all jammed together into a lump on the back. But the front of the cab snaps together quite well, without large gaps or obvious seams when you look at it from the front. It just isn't the mode I'd keep him in for very long.

So robot mode is definitely my favorite, but I have to say that the hip joints on my figure are far too loose. He can still stand by himself, but if he was on a surface any slicker than my computer table he'd be in danger of forever doing the splits. It's unfortunate from a play perspective, but not something I'm worried about for display purposes right now.

In the end, I'm happy with this guy, and glad he appeared on the shelves at my local Target this weekend! He's a great representation of the character from the Prime cartoon that's finishing up this season, and should look great with the other Mangus (Magnuses? Magnusi? Magni?) figures in my collection when they're all back in place. For now, just a quick shot of him with the few figures I still have out of storage: