Cliffbee.com: RiD Ultra Magnus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ultra Magnus
Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Car Carrier



CAR CARRIER MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 32.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   A big car carrier - big enough to hold X-Brawn, Side Burn and Prowl - which is no coincidence. Ultra Magnus is a solid ten-wheeler, there's no joint on this truck, although there are two larger wheels under the back, two sets of smaller wheels under the front of the tray and two smaller sets at the rear, so there's an implied trailer. The cabin is largely white with a chromed blue and silver bumper, featuring a giant gold foil Autobot logo on the front, and a silver grille. There are transparent blue windows and inside the cabin is a fairly obvious red head - which is for Omega Prime, not Ultra Magnus himself. The trailer has a blue lower deck, grey sides and upper deck with a dark grey gate at the back. There are some nice paint applications here, with the highlight the giant gold logo stamped on the front. There are red and yellow taillights on the rear gate, stamped Autobot symbols on either side of the trailer, red lights on top of the cabin and a liberal use of silver chrome - including all ten hubcaps. While I wouldn't call this an exciting colour scheme, it's sensible for a car carrier with implied homage to G1 Magnus, and with that gold logo in front Ultra Magnus works well visually.

   There's barely a smooth surface here - metal lattice grip dominates the decks, the beams of the trailer have an industrial look and the rest of the trailer has mechanical moulding. The cabin is a lot smoother, but not devoid of detail either. While Magnus is not quite a realistic car carrier, the sculpt is good enough that you don't really notice.

   The gate folds down, which allows you to roll one of the Car Brothers onto the lower deck. Before you do that, you might like to lower the upper deck and roll the other two Car Brothers onto Ultra Magnus. Yes, Magnus' trailer loads and unloads realistically! All the wheels spin, but sadly the rubberised plastic used by Hasbro has a tendency to split (only one of my small tyres is splitting, thankfully).

   The other major aspect of play value here is the gun - which is a large transforming contraption that's more massive than most basics. The top section is a light blue twin missile launcher, while the lower section is a darker blue base with a dark grey cannon on one side and a dark grey gatling gun on the other. The white missiles file, but will generally not go far since they have to clear Magnus himself. The base can attach to two sets of pegs, both on the upper deck's guardrails - either at the back or middle of the truck. Despite the limited missile launchers, this is a very versatile weapon that adds a lot to play value.

   This is Magnus' better mode, not least because it's designed to work form a playset of sorts with the Car Brothers. The colours work well, the play value and sculpting is great and the extensive chrome shows that Takara really put effort into this truck. This effort is spoiled a little by Hasbro's choice of tyres plastic, but that's not enough to ruin things.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the lower deck and trailer sides, fold the gate down onto the lower deck and swing the sides back (folding away the frontmost panels). Lift out the light blue connecting pegs, and stand up what is now Ultra Magnus' legs. Swing out the arms from the front half, flip up the battery pack and collapse the upper deck to form wings. Swing out and rotate his head, fold out his chest panels, fold away the bumper and deploy his thighs. Split and attach the boots, rotate the forearms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 34cm Width: 17cm

   A tall, leggy robot that's mainly blue with some white and read and grey wings on his back. The boots are blue, the thighs, palms of his hands and upper arms light blue, and his kneecaps, feet and chestplate are dark grey. The head is blue with a detailed silver face, complete with gold chromed eyes which look really nice. His forearms and digits are white, as is his groin. This colour scheme is a little disjointed, mainly because there are so many visible bits on his torso block that are for other modes. There's a fair bit of (non chrome) silver paint, including on his chestplate and kneecaps as well as the aforementioned face. The allegiance symbols are limited to the stamps now on the sides of his ankles. The gold chrome one is on his... afterburner.

   The most striking aspect of this robot is the legs. Half the height is taken up by his giant boots, which are huge blocks four times as long as his thighs. The torso is also quite small, in fact it's as big as one of the forearms - although there's a huge backpack behind it, including the battery pack and truck cabin. The wings are as tall as the thighs and torso combined.

   The G1 Ultra Magnus tribute isn't as strong anymore, despite the addition of red on his torso, since the proportions are so different, and this toy has wings instead of shoulderstacks. The watered down tribute doesn't bother me - this Ultra Magnus is very much his own character in the show. What does bother me is the distorted shape of this toy, which brings problems other than strange proportions.

   With swivels and ball joints on his shoulders, ball jointed elbows and wrists, hinged fingers and hinged thumbs, Magnus has very poseable arms. His neck is also ball jointed, adding to the impressive upper body poseability. Sadly the legs are problematic. There are two rotators per hips and the knees are hinged with rotators just above them. But the giant boots are hollow, so there's nothing directly below the heavy backpack. He'll stand fine at attention, but with such long legs any leg posing will result in a centre of gravity that's over air - and a toppling Ultra Magnus. The electronics in his backpack are heavy, the hollow legs are not. This would be far less of a problem if the boots were shorter - even slightly, or if the insides of the boots had some sort of heelspurs.

   The gun is again versatile, and can be rotated and morphed into a hand weapon, with either grey array as the primary barrel with the missile launcher on top. It needs some help being held, so there are posts on his forearms which take charge of supporting it, while the hands loosely grasp the red handles. It can also clip into his shoulders as a chest-mounted weapons array, and it's this configuration that lets loose with the sounds. There are light blue buttons on the mounts, and the mounts are designed in such a way that you can activate each button on it's own or both together. Activating both buttons will cause Magnus to yell "Fire!", and follow up with gunfire. The right button on it's own will set off laser fire and the left machine gun fire. On top of the missile launcher is a fold-up transparent blue targeting panel, with crosshairs and other details. Sadly it's too high for his face.

   As interesting and versatile as the weapon is, as good as the arm articulation is, the legs really bring this mode down. The poseability is really hampered and the proportions look wrong. It's still a reasonable robot mode, and considering he's the battle armour for Omega Prime this is a really good effort, but I do think shorter legs would have been possible.

VARIATIONS

   The Japanese version, God Magnus, which came first, has metallic red plastic, lacks the Autobot stamps and speaks in Japanese rather than English.

OVERALL

   A great vehicle mode and a robot mode with some good and some bad - on balance this toy is great considering he's battle armour for another Transformer. Unlike so many other battle armour Transformers, Ultra Magnus has a proper alt mode and a decent - albeit flawed - robot mode. Considering that RiD Prime comes with his own battle armour anyway, I'd only really recommend getting Ultra Magnus for Magnus, unless Omega Prime specifically appeals to you. Having said that, the robot mode has enough problems that I only mildly recommend this toy - 5.5/10

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