Cliffbee.com: 6" Titanium Ultra Magnus Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ultra Magnus
Series: 6" Titaniums
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Car Carrier



TRUCK MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 17cm Width: 7cm

   A metallic mid blue and white futuristic semi trailer car carrier based on the original Ultra Magnus. The cab is white while the trailer is dominated by blue, with some white and a hint of red. He has ten black tyres, six on the cab and four at the back of his trailer. The windows are black, there's a stamped Autobot logo on the roof of the cabin and silver on his smokestacks, grille and bumper. The headlights are yellow while the tailgate is painted white. It's a pretty good match to the original, although instead of a red lower deck this Ultra Magnus has a blue and white one which is pretty clearly the front of the robot. I would have preferred some more red, but on the whole the colours are well done, and the metallic blue looks really nice.

   As with many 6" Titaniums, Ultra Magnus isn't as stable as you might hope for. The back end of the top deck doesn't clip into place, instead it rests in place. Whilst it does that quite well, some pegs or slots wouldn't have been asking too much. The rear end itself won't peg together properly, since the top deck is too wide to fit into its resting place otherwise. Thankfully there's nothing really loose, so he still displays quite well, but this sort of lazy design is far too common in this line. It's not enough to ruin the truck mode, but I'm not happy about it, either. The detail h ere is actually pretty good and while the lower deck is kibbly, he _looks_ like G1 Magnus here, which is pleasing.

   The play value here is minimal, but then that is to be expected. You can fit one or maybe two World's Smallest Transformers on the lower deck, the upper deck could accommodate maybe two Spychangers. All ten wheels roll, the missile launchers on the front are for show only. You can slot his silver handgun into the gap between the launchers - which actually hold it in place, but this isn't really a good look. The hitch is fixed, so cornering is a problem.

   A good truck mode, although not without flaws. For a change we have an Ultra Magnus toy that is a car carrier and not a white Optimus Prime repaint. Amazingly, this is only the fourth such toy - and that's including the Spychanger from RiD. It's a pretty good copy of the original car carrier, and while the lower deck has some kibble and the upper deck doesn't fit well, the semblance makes this a good Ultra Magnus alt mode. The upper deck issues should have been fixed before release - neither would have been too hard - and the handgun isn't dealt with very well. The colours are great and the simple fact is this is only the second G1 interpretation of the concept.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the weapons and set aside. Rotate the smokestacks forward, fold the cab itself underneath the hitch, fold down the front gate to form a chestplate. Rotate his head, lift out and split the upper deck, fold the sides out to form his arms. Fold the rear gate up to form boots, slide the arms up, rotate his fists. Place the handgun in either fist and plug the missile launchers into his shoulders. Fold in the clips on the outsides of his boots, which are not functional on this toy.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 14cm

   A blue and white robot with red on his chest and some minor red highlights here and there. Ultra Magnus has blue eyes of a slightly darker shade than elsewhere on the toy, which matches the colour from Transformers: The Movie. The silver handgun doesn't really match G1, but pretty much everything else does. Okay, the white thighs don't match the red thighs of the original either, but they match the movie. There are Autobot logos on both shoulders. Again the colours represent the character well and the metallic blue looks great.

   There's not all that much metal here, it's limited to his chest and the inner two thirds of each boot. Still, here's moderately heavy since the boots are large pieces. The boots are a good place for metal, also, so I'm happy with the placement. It's worth noting that the blue plastic and paint shades are pretty much identical, which is nice. On the subject of materials, the launchers, fists, handgun and head are composed of a soft plastic, along with the now hidden smokestacks.

   The detailing is pretty good, both in the sculpt and the paint mask, with a detailed face, complex pattern on his chest and some nice features on his legs (such as actual feet). It's incongruous that the designer has paid great attention to detail on some elements such as the now aesthetic clips, the eyes and the small but distinct feet, yet the missile launchers have been moulded in such a way way that they can only plug in to his shoulders upside down. There's no need for them to be upside down, either. It's a minor thing, but as with the lazy design aspects of the upper deck in truck mode, it's an annoying flaw that _really_ should have been addressed, and would have been very easy to rectify during design. FortMax Reed points out that the shoulders were meant to be on the opposing sides - which explains the upside down launchers (they shifted the launchers rather instead of placing the logos on the back of his arms).

   The poseability is pretty good here. His neck and shoulders are ball jointed, and while the latter can pop out fairly easily, they'll hold poses. The elbows are hinged with tight ratcheting rotators below them - you'll have to grasp the upper arms to rotate his forearms or the shoulders will pop out. The wrists can turn, although this is limited since the hands are inside covers. The waist turns, the hips swing and lift out to the sides, the knees bend with rotators in the thighs to assist - and all of these joints are ratcheting, allowing Magnus to hold poses without collapsing. The heavy boots and good lower body articulation allow for some nice action poses - which is in contrast to the original Diaclone based toy. The missiles can't launch but Magnus can actually stand in decent poses toting his gun, so I don't really mind.

   A good robot mode with great colours, smart use of die cast metal and good articulation. It's also a great representation of Ultra Magnus, which sweetens the deal. The upside down missile launchers are frustrating. You can swap the shoulders around with some effort, which fixes the launchers but leaves his badges on the back of his shoulders - visible in truck mode. The loose shoulders is a minor flaw, but they're minor. While it's not the best engineering in this line, Ultra Magnus isn't as bad as some and visually he work very well.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Considering how much Hasbro likes producing white Optimus Prime repaints and calling them Ultra Magnus, this toy is a welcome - and all too rare - revisiting of the actual Ultra Magnus concept. Unfortunately he's quite rare in some markets (including the USA). As Titaniums go he's quite well designed, but there are some annoying flaws which should have been addressed. The truck mode is pretty good but the upper deck needed to fit into place better. The robot mode is his stronger mode, and if not for the upside down launchers, would be great. Despite the flaws, it's still a good toy, and as 6" Titaniums go he's quite enjoyable. Definitely a toy I'd recommend to fans of this line - and a must for fans of the character thanks to the display value of his robot mode - 7.5/10

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