Cliffbee.com: Magnificus & Ga'mede Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Magnificus
Series: e-Hobby exclusives
Allegiance: Destron
Status (Magnificus): Outcast
Function (Ga'mede): Volunteer
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Tank



TANK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 15cm Width: 11cm

   A black and silver square ride-on tank with a red seat, a black cannon mounted on the front and some chrome on the seat back and a dial on the cannon. Aside from the raised seat, this tank mode is identical to that of Perceptor, who shares this mould (more on that in a second). There's a large backwards-facing Decepticon sticker on the cannon and a small one on the back of the seat. This is a pretty good colour scheme, which I actually prefer to Perceptor's. The black and silver work well together, with just enough chrome and red to keep things from being dull.

   I never thought much of this as Perceptor's third mode. Yes, there are moulded treads on the sides, but there's no turret to speak of and the tank mode itself is far too wide to work as a standard tank. Takara get around these issues by introducing Ga'mede - a Microman figure who can sit in the seat and ride Magnificus like a chariot. The two scale well and there's a nice symmetry to this pairing - Magnificus is essentially a reissue of the Microchange toy Perceptor was based on - bringing the mould back to its roots (Microchange was a Microman subline). The addition of a pilot gives this mode legitimacy as a primary mode. I should add that the instructions still refer to the microscope mode, but Magnificus' canonical alt mode is the tank. For more info on the 'scope mode, refer to my Perceptor review.

   Ga'mede's legs drape around the cannon, which he can grasp with his hands. He's fairly stable despite not clipping in place. There are three black plastic wheels, two under the front and one underneath the back, in the middle. Magnificus rolls fairly well when pushed on a table, although he's too heavy to move far once you let go. The ground clearance is low so he'll tend to slide along carpet.

   I really like the fact that Magnificus uses Perceptor's third mode - it shows Takara were thinking about this release. It's not much of a tank on its own but as a ride-on battle vehicle it works quite well, and Ga'mede makes a big difference. The silver is far more neutral than Perceptor's blue and the Autobot's black and red are both black here, making Magnificus's colours more credible in this configuration.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the sides back to form his legs, rotating at both the hips and knees to bring the legs to the front. Slide in the wheels and flip up his feet. Fold down the chrome section of his seat to form his chestplate and fold down the silver, non-chrome section to form his belly. Extend out the arms and rotate them down. There's little flaps on top of the shoulders so the arms aren't hollow. Fold these down. Slide the fists down. Straighten the cannon and fold it down to rest on his right shoulder. Slide out his head, using the dial on his back there just for this purpose.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19cm Width: 8.5cm

   Again a mix of black and silver, with black dominating. The forearms, thighs and belly are silver while the chestplate is chrome with a clear centre (revealing red). His face consists of a silver mouthplate and yellow eyes. There's also some chrome on the tip of his shoulder cannon, as well as the dial on top. The two Decepticon symbols are both visible - the big one on top of his shoulder cannon and the small one on his belly. On mine the smaller one was crooked, and this was the case on another review I've read. I removed it and re-applied one from Collectors Series Megatron. There are some foil stickers on the outsides of his boots and shoulders and prominent ones on his thighs. Again the colours work very well, and again I prefer these to those of Perceptor. I actually had a knock-off Microchange Perceptor as a kid, so this colour scheme holds a lot of nostalgia for me.

   The twin silver knobs which attach to the Microscope have to be added here - since they don't fit in tank mode. I'm leaving them off since they're really just microscope remnants and I'll have to add them every time I transform him. It also provides another difference from Perceptor.

   He comes with two hand weapons, not that he needs them which the huge cannon on his right shoulder. There's a black handgun and a black and red missile launcher, identical to Perceptor's down to the red missiles. For a toy that's over twenty years old, Magnificus is pretty poseable. There are two sets of swivel joints in the hips and the knees. There's a fair bit of poseability in them, helped by solid feet on which to stand. And you can fold the toes forward to give him a more natural looking stance. The shoulders and elbows are swivel joints - and the swivels in the elbows are not part of his transform at all.

   This is a nice robot mode with great colours. There's less to separate him from the Autobot scientist but the Decepticon logos help. With three weapons and good articulation for a mould this old, there's quite a bit of play value.

GA'MEDE
   Apparently named after the Jovian moon Ganymede, Ga'mede is a blue Microman figure with a European appearance and silver hair. His boots and forearms are chromed silver and his hands grey. His hand are detachable and he actually comes with six pairs, ranging from closed fists to open fingers, and several pairs can hold his various weaponry. There are Decepticon logos stamped onto either shoulder.

   He comes with six accessories - a machete, a pistol, a semi-automatic rifle and holders for each weapon. The rifle clips onto his back via a chest harness thing, the others attach to his limbs via their holsters. All the accessories are black, and we also get a clear stand which plugs into his feet, that comes with all current Microman toys (thanks to Moto-Viper for this info).

   For those unaccustomed with Microman, these are very poseable little guys. His head turns, the shoulders are double ball joints, the elbows are double hinges with swivels above them. The wrists rotate and the hands can swing back and forward. The waist is a double ball joint, the hips single ball joints. His knees are double hinges with rotators in his thighs and the ankles are both hinged and ball jointed. That makes it 29 points of articulation by my count, which is normal for the Microman toys from 2003 onwards.

   I'll confess to knowing almost nothing about about Microman - my Ga'mede is the only one I've ever seen, and I'm more than happy to link a more Microman-centric review of this guy if anyone writes one (email me if you have). I will say that I'm very impressed by this guy, and don't mind him being bundled in with Magnificus - even ignoring what he brings to Magnificus. Peter Gorman informs me that Ga'mede uses the 'new standard Microman type', as found at MicroForever. In fact, he's a repaint of Microman Walter from the 2004 series, who has the chrome silver head that is standard for Microman toys.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, Magnificus is technically a reissue of the Microchange toy (MC20) that Perceptor was based on, and was sold by the online store eHobby concurrently with the recent Perceptor reissue. Being a limited release, I doubt there are any variations.

OVERALL

   Probably the most creative eHobby exclusive so far and one of the most impressive (if not the most). The colour scheme works very well, using the tank mode as his primary alt mode differentiates the two toys quite well and the inclusion of Ga'mede turns this formerly weak third mode into a strong alt mode. Ga'mede is a great inclusion, although I've noticed flakes of silver on his hands when I remove them (but as a Transformers fan, I'm perfectly happy leaving the default pair attached anyway - Microman fans might disagree). The weak cannon struts that plague Perceptor aren't really an issue on a toy that's designed for collectors and not careless kids, so I can't really fault this as a set - 10/10

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