Cliffbee.com: Fortress Maximus Jr Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Fortress Maximus
Series: Transformers Junior
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Headmaster Leader
Alternate Mode: Space Ship



SPACE SHIP MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 16cm Width: 6.5cm

   A scaled and dumbed down replica of Fortress Maximus's space ship mode. It's mainly light grey with some blue on the front and rear of the toy. There's no dark grey or red plastic, though Fort Max does has the big red guns on the front sections in the form of stickers. There's a small blue gun which can sit on either side of the tower - this is the giant gun from the original, scaled down. I've always found Fort Max's colours rather drab and with only grey and blue here it's a terribly uninteresting colour scheme. I don't think it would have been too difficult for them to put some dark grey plastic on this toy, either.

   This space ship mode was intended as an intermediate third mode on the larger toy, but this Junior version lacks the city mode - so this is his only altmode. It's worth noting that the space ship mode has no dedicated joints on the larger toy.

   There's a gross loss of detail here, which is to be expected when you consider that this toy is smaller than the foot of the original. Still, the transparent window is reduced to a green sticker. The green sticker and gun stickers provide the only real colour, and while there is a spattering of moulded detail, the toy does look a little bare. Behind the tower there's an upside-down Autobot logo sticker, which doesn't really play a role here.

   The only play value here is in the gun, which can lift up and down. It's nowhere near enough to save a very bland, uninspiring space ship mode. While I can see why the city mode would have been close to impossible at this scale, I'm disappointed that more effort wasn't put into this mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A simplification of the original. Remove the gun and the ramp at the back, fold up the feet and split the tower. Fold the tower halves down to form the hips, swing down his arms. Attach the head, reattach the ramp on his back and place the handgun in either hand.

   The head is the top half of Fortress (Cerebros), while the lower half simply detaches and plays no role here. Fortress himself is a waste of time, with Fortress Maximus's face as a chest. The figure is so front heavy that it can't stand up and he has no real arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   Again mainly grey with blue arms, feet and handgun, along with a blue panel on the right shin. There are a lot more stickers visible now, which is a pretty clear sign the designer was placing emphasis on the robot mode. Fortress Maximus has an orange face with the Autobot logo now sitting central on his chest. The additional stickers really make a difference - sure the colours aren't that inspiring but he no longer looks bland.

   As with the space ship mode, there's a lot of lost detail in this mode, but the stickers do a good job of distracting your attention away from that fact. The panel on his leg is a curious touch - on the large toy it forms a fold down platform for the city mode. It no longer folds down, but it can detach and you can stow Fortress's legs underneath. For some reason there are holes on the other side so you can attach it to the left leg if you want to.

   The play value is again minimal. The shoulders rotate, as do the wrists and the hips swing. The swinging hips and rotating wrists aren't needed for the transformation, either.

   Easily better than the space ship mode, but then that's not much of an achievement in itself. The stickers bring some badly needed colour to the toy and some poseability make a reasonable robot mode that does indeed look like Fortress Maximus.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Fortress Maximus was available on his own or as part of the Leaders 3 pack along with Convoy and Chromedome. The latter seems to be far more common for some reason.

OVERALL

   Being ridiculously scaled down, this was never going to be as good as the original, but even for a Junior this is a poor effort. The space ship mode is very lazy while Fortress is a waste of time. The robot mode is nice, but it's just not enough to save the toy. Still, this is one occasion where the more obscure version is easier than the standard version of a character, and so simply being an affordable Fort Max brings some appeal. Worth considering if you like the character and can't afford the big toy, but If you have the original, skip it - 4/10

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