Cliffbee.com: War Within Ultra Magnus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Ultra Magnus
Series: 6" Titaniums
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm

   A very heavy white and mid blue truck, Ultra Magnus is yet another repaint of an Optimus Prime toy. While the concept is pretty silly, this truck does still look decent enough in white. The blue is a mid blue and is joined by a lighter metallic blue on the cabin windows. Ultra Magnus is largely composed of die-cast metal, and much of the truck is white with some splashes of mid blue. The exhausts on either side (at 45) are painted silver while there's a (darker) silver gun on the back. There are six large black plastic tyres - two bigger ones at the front and four smaller ones at the back. As uninspiring as this repaint concept is, the colours still work fairly well on this mould.

   Compared to the Optimus Prime toy I reviewed, the quality of the paint job is excellent - and from what I understand that toy suffered from a lot of production problems, so in that context a revisiting of the mould isn't a bad thing. This toy isn't the Ultra Magnus we saw in the War Within comics, however - so fans of the comic will find this repaint rather frivolous. There's more white here than there was red on Prime - the paint mask is quite different. Like Optimus Prime there's a small red Autobot logo stamped onto the front left fender, with a silver base, and there are yellow headlights on the partially silver bumper. The four lights on the lightrack are blue while the lightrack is white.

   The truck itself is essentially a single central cabin affair, the front slopes down and the back is more or less a hitch area. The anchor pieces for the exhausts are behind the cabin and slope upwards, so the exhausts point up and back - they're not quite smokestacks but close. His robot fists are clearly visible on the back ends of these blocks since they're blue and have distinctly moulded fingers. The silver gun is notably modelled on that of the original Optimus Prime. Overall the sculpt here is good, and there's some nice attention to detail in his gun and the front section. There's not much Ultra Magnus in the design, of course, though the colours ensure this is _not_ Optimus Prime.

   There's little play value, but then the Titaniums don't focus on that so much. He's too heavy to roll on his six wheels, although they will all roll fairly smoothly if you use your fingers underneath. The gun can't aim or really attach anywhere else - other than the fists if you slide them out, but I'm happy enough that it integrates.

   While the concept of the white Optimus Prime repaint has been done to death, I don't mind in this case because the paint is simply of a better standard than Optimus Prime. It's a decent truck mode in itself with a very solid feel thanks to all the die-cast. I wouldn't really endorse it for fans of the War Within comic, but for a higher quality version of this mould, this truck works.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove his gun, fold down the rear and rotate to form his lower body. Extend the legs, split the boots, fold up his feet and heelspurs. Unclip and swing the exhaust blocks out to the sides to form his arms, rotate the blocks themselves and slide out the fists, pivot the white covers on his upper arms to form shoulderpads. Give him his gun, fold back the canopy to reveal his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 10cm

   Again Ultra Magnus is white and blue, although this time around the blue plays a bigger part. His head, chest, shoulderpads, forearms and boots are white while the upper arms, hands, waist, groin, thighs and feet are blue. His mouthplate is silver and his eyes are blue. The Autobot logo is on top of his chest. There's good detailing on his waist and groin, painted silver with some red on the groin, as well as his thighs. The silver is applied far better than on Optimus Prime, further promoting this toy. It's worth mentioning that this is not the usual all white Ultra Magnus, the extensive blue really does make this more than just the thoughtless Prime repaint. That's not to say the choice isn't opportunistic, but with all this blue and some red to boot, this robot mode has been handled very well.

   Now that everything is unfolded and revealed, I'll cover exactly what is die-cast. The chest, waist, shoulderpads, forearms, boots (but not feet) are all metal along with the canopy section residing on his back. That piece is the only kibble here which is testament to the comic people who conceived this model. There are still visible truck features, which look pretty good. The front wheels anchor the arms, the grille and headlights are central on his chest, the exhausts sit on the outside of his forearms (ala Hot Rod, and the rear wheels sit on the outside of his boots. The latter are held within half-covers, which are also a carry over from the vehicle mode, so they're not as prevalent.

   It's a well mapped robot mode with some wonderful aspects such as the painted detailing on the torso, the shoulderpads and of course the G1 semblance in his head (which does match G1 Magnus's cab robot). The colour layout works very well from an aesthetic point of view, and as I've already mentioned, does a good job of making this toy Ultra Magnus even if the mould wasn't designed for him. The silver gun works well enough, even if the original had a white gun. It works better here than the same colour did for Optimus Prime, at any rate.

   Poseability is pretty good, as is usually the case in this line. The head turns, the shoulders swing, the elbows bend and rotate, the hips are ball jointed with rotators below the. His knees are hinged along with the feet and heelspurs. The lower half of his torso doesn't actually clip into the bottom of his chest, and this joint has a tendency to loosen when you pick him up, which is annoying. The arms clip into the sides of his torso, but quite loosely, and they can unclip as well - although they're along better than the torso which relies purely on the weight of his upper body to maintain its shape. One really cool aspect of his articulation is that as you swing the arms, the tyres to which they're anchored move also. There are effectively two rotations - one for the arms and one purely for the wheels to spin - the former is tight the latter loose. For all of the engineering problems that have plagued this line, this is a cool feature on the first - some would say experimental - mould.

   For all the tiredness of Ultra Magnus rehashes, this robot mode does have a really good colour scheme. Combined with a much higher quality of paint application, this is a pretty good repaint. It would please fans of War Within comics, but as 6" Titaniums go, this is a nice robot mode. The shoulders and waist are a little loose, but the overall poseability is still good. Like all Titaniums he comes with a stand.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, Ultra Magnus is a repaint of Optimus Prime.

OVERALL

   A pretty good repaint of a decent mould. It's a shame that the white Ultra Magnus repaint has become something of an anathema, because this time around the end result is actually quite rewarding. The paint job is far better than Prime's shoddy paint, and on that basis alone I'd recommend this figure if you like the 6" Titanium line. The robot mode looks really nice, and the use of extensive blue with some red touches ensures that he feels like Ultra Magnus rather than _just_ a white Optimus Prime. The robot mode has some nice engineering and the truck mode some decent features, although some loose joints hold back the engineering. On its own merit, I'd recommend this toy, but fans of the comic series might find the repaint concept a little forced - 6.5/10

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