Dec 8, 2008

TDJ015 - Ultra Magnus from Robots In Disguise

I got back in to collecting Transformers right when the Transformers Beast Wars line was leaving shelves and being replaced with the Beast Machine line that matched the newest television show. I tried my best to hunt down as many Beast Wars figures as possible and get them on clearance while the new line was taking over. Beast Machines also marks the first line that I decided to collect every piece from. And if it wasn't for that accursed Primal Prime, I'd be there by now.

Ultra Magnus's cab resembles his G1 namesake with the use of white.

Once the Beast Machines were over (both the toy line and the TV show) Transformers fans were given a whole new TF to look forward to in the form of Robots In Disguise (R.I.D.) or as it was known in Japan, Car-Robots. The line started off in 2001 with pretty realistic versions of cars for the Autobots and repaints of Beast War figures for part of the Decepticon arsenal. I was very pleased to see that all of the more organic transforming parts that were utilized for the Beast Wars and Beast Machine lines were now being integrated into a more traditional line, giving us which seemed like what Transformers would actually look like if they were real. But little did I know that they'd advance way past this to bring us even more realistic and fluid transformation in the years to come. I have no doubt that we'll see figures that even make the one being released today look like clunky G1 figures in comparison.

Though the RID line sported a bunch of really amazing smaller vehicles, it was Ultra Magnus (God Magnus in Japan) that sort of stole the show for myself and many others. In the cartoon, Ultra Magnus was a dark and mysterious character for the first few episodes he appeared in. Though he wore the Autobot symbol, he would just show up, fight, say something snarky to Optimus then leave again. It turns out that in this story line Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime were brothers that had sort of a falling out on Cybertron, something to do with who actually became the leader of the Autobots. I really like that the fact that the toy can hold three regular size cars and there just so happened to be three regular sized cars in the cast at the point when Ultra Magnus made his appearance. The show's producers even tied his ability to carry these other characters into a reason behind their eventual repaints. Something he showed off in an episode, where he'd force the three cars (Side Burn, Prowl & X-Brawn) into his trailer and super charge them. They came out with all sorts of new powers to fight the Decepticons as well as fancy new paint jobs. Finally someone took the time to explain a repainted Transformer!

Part of an episode that shows the cars getting Powered Up and Ultra Magnus
& Optimus Prime joining together as Omega Prime.

The release of Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime into the line-up actually gave fans a new figure as the two figures can actually link together to form one massive Ultra Prime Opti-Magnus thing (actually known as Omega Prime in the show). Which is sort of weird since they're brothers. I equated it with the fusion technique that was used in Dragonball Z.



Super Saiyan math.

I actually tried to do that pose with Ultra Magnus and Optimus Prime doing their Super Saiyan thang, but they refused with their bulky builds so I had to gank that picture.

Ultra Magnus was one of the last RID figures I actually opened as he was in one of the many boxes that had to wait a few years in St. Louis basements/garages/storage lockers before I could get him up here. When I found the box with him in it I almost immediately opened the package up to check him out (ps, "check him out" = "play with him"), but I held off figuring I should probably document this for ToydeJour. The package itself is very colorful as all the cards and boxes in this line were. There's a big use of reds and oranges that seem to follow the Autobots through every toy line. There's also a description of Ultra Magnus and the new version of what fans know as "tech specs". Apparently Ultra Magnus is lacking only in Rank and Endurance. Which I'm guessing one is a direct result of the other. You gotta eat your oatmeal, Magnus!

Side view of the box showing Ultra Magnus in both robot and alternate mode.

In "car" mode, Ultra Magnus measures about 14 feet long and twenty stories high. For trues, he's a biggun, he's one of the only toys that shattered that fourth wall there that I have with the white paper that I use as a sterile background and for lighting the figures. So you get to see all sorts of my desk in these pictures.

I really liked the small use of blue chrome on the front of the figure's cab. That accompanied with the gold Autobot symbol really makes it apparent that Ultra Magnus was someone of importance. He comes with a giant gun that also can transform into three versions of an arm cannon and also top mounts to him in his vehicle mode.

The toy took about 20 mins to transform the first time and came with one of the largest instruction sheets that I have ever seen. I use it as an extra blanket now in the winter months. It was very large not only for him but because it included transformations for that gun and also how to have him form together with Optimus. The amalgamation of the two robots features an all new head that isn't seen before this and hides snuggly in Ultra Magnus's truck cabin. Keeping with tradition, Ultra Magnus's trailer makes up the bulk of his robot form, mainly as the two massive legs that plug into the upper part of the body.

Cybertron Senior photos 08.

I really dig Ultra Magnus's head and the neat little touch that they added by putting the Autobot logo right there on his forehead. Speaking of little touches, this is the series that the designers started putting "Cybertron" on the rubber tires as if it were the name brand for each of the TFs. Its small details like that which really show that people are trying to put out a quality figure with nods here and there to collectors.

Ultimately the articulation on this figure leaves a lot to be desired, not really too easy to pose either as there's so many parts that have a chance to come undone while you're working on a different limb. I didn't have one of the legs plugged in all the way and eventually had to reassemble him when he dropped to the floor during a photo. I'm glad to have him in my collection, but I wish he came packaged in robot mode as I think I would be better putting him back in the box for display.

This is the most pictures I've ever taken for an entry ever! Find the Autobot's biggest little brother for sale here and here.

Liz: I haven't had a real conversation with Sam since the the Transformers Beast Wars line was leaving shelves and being replaced with the Beast Machine line that matched the newest television show. It's just inane questions over and over:

"Hey, Liiiiiiiz? I have this many dollars? How many is this in Transformers?"

"Hey Liiiiiiiiiiiiiz?? Rhinox isn't really dead in real life right? Is he just sleeping??? He's just sleeping right? Liz? Is he sleeping? Liz? Liz? Liz? Liz?"

"Hey Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizz??? I accidentally spent all of our Transformers on Transformers!"

I think this is really the only thing he does differently since then, but I don't know a whole lot about Transformers. It's really annoying, but if he gets too out of control, I just start talking about how much of a genius Michael Bay is and he starts crying.

Between you and me, he also...well. Ok, this is totally unrelated, but everytime he changes clothes, he'll start making these "Ch-ch-CH-Ch-CH!" noises. And every once and a while I swear I hear a laser sound effect.

But he's always done that. I think he just has some mild form of tourettes.

As for the toy, I don't like his golden eyes. They judge me, check me out and sex me up all at once.

Plastic/Material – 5/5
Poseability – 1/5
Packaging – 4/5
Design – 3/5
Playability – 3/5
Price (value) – 3/5
Overall – 3/5

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