Friday 25 May 2012

Evil Ultra Magnus!

magnus head


This year’s Botcon set is an eclectic set.  A bit of a mish mash ideas, it reeked of desperation and a lack of ideas.  It contains a mix of ‘classic’ (G1-ish normal) characters and some from the ‘Shattered Glass’ series, which was an opposite ‘universe.’  So the Autobots are the bad guys and the Decepticons are the good guys.  Shattered Glass was done a few years ago and I really liked the idea.  Seeing it again so soon though made me think, “Hmm, this is a bit sad.”


I thought that the set was going to be a bit lack-lustre this year and the figures a bit rubbish.  Well, the set is a tad lack-lustre, but the figures are surprisingly well done.  Well, the ones I have looked at so far anyway.


Ultra Magnus here is one I thought would be pretty good and was looking forward to, as he has an opaque head…


This Magnus is a recolour of the ‘Reveal the Shield"’ Optimus Prime, which was a supposedly updated version of the Generation 2 ‘Laser’ Optimus Prime.  Sadly though it’s hard to update such a great toys as the G2 Prime.  I felt that way about Prime when I got him, and I suspect I’d feel the same way about Scourge as well.  Nevertheless, the new head for Magnus looks good and makes up for the flaws in this toy I think.


First Up, some shots and talk of the truck mode.



Long nose truck mode, much like the Prime from the movie series.  It is influenced by the Diaclone, Powered Convoy colours which were the colours for G1 Ultra Magnus before he was a part of the Transformers line.  Mainly blue coloured, he lack the red bits on the bonnet.





The Evil Autobot symbol in the Shattered Glass world is purple and the Heroic Decepticon is red.  You can see the nice silver line that goes along the side of the truck (carried through to Optimus in various forms as well).



The back is the legs of the robot mode as well as storing his blade, which you can see, as it is rather cleverly hidden as the dock for where a trailer would connect to.  I do like the tyre print that is sculpted on the tyres.  My biggest issue with the vehicle mode is that the gas tanks, which fold down from the robot’s back are meant to sit flush with the back of the legs, but they never do.  I think it has something to do with the lack of solid lock-in spots.  This is a flaw with the toy itself, not just the Botcon version, as my Prime has the same issue.




Here we can better see the decal on the bonnet.  It looks cool, I am not sure if it meant to be a homage to anything, but it breaks up the blue nicely.  The lights on the top of the cab are nicely painted as well.  I was surprised to find a rub sticker on him as well.  Magnus is the only one with an actual rub sticker in this set.  Afetr seeing this I thought Turbo Tracks might have one as well, but it appears he doesn’t.  you can also see the bonnet doesn’t clip together all that fantastically.  You can get it pretty good at times, but as soon as you pick up the toy the crack will show it’s face again.  Again, flaw with the toy.



Under the truck you can see quite a bit of colour, but little that alludes to his robot mode.  Well actually, its all his robot mode, but it doesn’t look all that obvious.



Well to me anyway.




Final truck thought.  The G2 Prime, of which this is based upon had light gimmicks, the truck lights and a light in his fist were battery powered and the head had some really cool light-piping in it.  This toy emulates some of that to a small extent.  Placing the truck on top of a light source allows his headlights to light up.



Final truck mode pic, because I thought it was funny.  Magnus with a trailer.



Now, Ultra Magnus TRANSFORM!




The robot mode is quite dynamic.  They have allowed for lots of lovely articulation and it shows.  Knees, ankles, waist, wrist (About 2 even), neck, shoulder, it’s wonderful.  Although they did sacrifice the solid nature of the truck mode, so I am glad to see that it was compensated for somehow.  The sword can store away in the back, which I like, because it’s cool like that.  They also lok a little like jets for a snazzy much needed Magnus Jet Pack!


He can easily reach over his shoulder to grab the sword.




There is a heap of cool details on this guy and some good clear paint applications.  What I liked about the general release of this guy was that he had a sculpted matrix in his chest, which the G2 Prime had as a sticker.  This Magnus has it as well.  And it has an extra bit of detail the original didn’t have.


Well, almost, on the matrix Magnus here has a tiny bit of silver paint dry-rushed over it and it’s just enough to make it a touch more noticeable.  As a result, it looks pretty cool as it sit discretely behind his chesty windows.




Other general details are nice and I really like the look of the robot body.  The blue, red and silver work really well together.




He also has a rather nice sword.  It is disguised as the trailer dock in truck mode and manages fit in his back for robot mode, as I pointed out before.  The sword is made of clear plastic and transforms into the sword shape.


This is where the coolness of his articulation comes in to play!




His wrists have a hinge joint at the hand and a ball joint attached to the fore-arm. and allows him to point the sword quite well.


The sword has some nice detail on it and with appropriate lighting can look rather cool!










The shoulders can be lit up from the head lights during robot mode with an appropriate light source.




He has a small ‘u’ on his bicep as well which can be back-lit!




The head is a great sculpt!!  Interestingly enough, I heard rumours that this head was an extra head sculpted by Hasbro in an effort to reuse the body.  A wise move.   I suspect it would have been designed to make a Nemesis Prime of some sorts, hence the Optimus like head and new face.  It is really interesting.




And you can see the possibility of his HEAD having light piping.




Great face sculpt!  Definitely skeletal, in the comic book, it sort of looks as if Optimus rips Magnus’ face off.  Of course, with the Botcon/TFCC comic being rather badly done, it can be a bit hard to work out what is going on.


Anyway, moving away from that side of things, the head looks really awesome with some back lighting!




Wooo, Ghostly!



“Hey, how you doin’?”



Even the ‘helmet’ bits looks pretty cool.  With the crest in his head and the little bits on the side by the ears, it looks very Optimus like.  Since the TFCC have announced a ‘Scourge’ (From the Robots In Disguise series), I highly doubt that we will see a Hasbro Nemesis Prime using this head and body.  Shame really as it looks good.



Finally we have his Bio.  Well, it’s more like a story exposition than a bio.  The last paragraph is more of a character profile than anything else.



The first paragraph is trying to be poetic.  Essentially it seems that he is an adrenaline junkie.  Which wouldn’t make a very effective leader.  After all, all wars eventually come to an end and a boring time of leadership ensues.  The first paragraph goes on and on about how happy Magnus is, yet the second paragraph talks about how jaded and bored he is…  Sigh.  Slowly these bios are getting better.  Slowly, so very, very slowly…  It’s taken 5 years to get to this point…


So, to finish this little review off, I think Ultra Magnus here is a pretty good figure.  Interestingly enough a Hasbro one that only needed a change of colours for this set.  The paint applications are well done, it manages to give nods to Diaclone, yet also manages to make it a bit more modern.  The robot mode is pretty cool, but just let down by the tyres inhibiting the knee movement slightly and the truck mode looks nice, but comes apart easily and is a bit flimsy.


I still think this is the highlight of this year’s box set, which is a bit sad as it means it’s all down hill from here.  Let’s hope not hey?


  1. I guess the good thing now is I can get toys without having to be there, but they are plugging out quite a few toys and it's obvious (especially this year) they are running out of ideas.

    It's turning onto another online toy store now.

  2. g2 optimus with new head and a few gamma changes nice.

    1. i like the evil autobots idea even though it doesn't really fit into any actual storyline i can find.
      and i believe that ultra magnus was one of the guardians like omega supreme and not optimus' brother. optimus is a descendant though. but not a brother

  3. Yeh, the only problem with Evil Autobots/Good Decepticons is that most characters have a counterpart on the opposite side anyway, Blastoff/Cosmos, etc. Still I really like the SG interpretation of things. It also gave Goldbug a bit more love as well.

    Oh and Rodimus has a goatee. How cool is that?


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