Cliffbee.com: Classics Ultra Magnus Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ultra Magnus
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: City Commander
Alternate Mode: Semi Trailer Cab



TRUCK MODE
Height: 8.5cm Length: 16cm Width: 6cm

   A blue and white cab with six black plastic tyres and transparent blue windows. Magnus follows the recent trend of Optimus Prime repaints in white being called Ultra Magnus, however while many have been simply white, this toy is about half white and half blue, tying this repaint to the original Ultra Magnus well (and very closely to RiD Magnus. The base of the truck - including the hitch section - is mid blue while the upper section is white. The grille and front bumper are painted silver along with pinstripes on the sides while the headlights and lights on the roof are yellow. There are twin black exhausts mounted on the back of the cabin itself, while bronze hubcaps round out a fairly simple yet attractive colour scheme.

   It's a fairly solid shortnose truck, unlike the various longnose cabs we've see a few times in recent years. There's a windvane on top, and most likely a sleeping area behind the side windows. The silver stripes are continued onto the windvane, and are wavy rather than straight. The curved pinstripes and windvane give Magnus a rather aerodynamic look. The moulded detail is perhaps a little disappointing for a Classics toy, although it's by no means poor. To be honest I'm not that worried since the colour scheme is kickass already.

   We don't get a lot of play value. The wheels all roll of course, and this really represents the play value here. While there are two different weapons available to the robot mode, both are integral for now - the smokestacks and windvane become handheld accessories later but can't simply convert now - both actually transform. There's no actual hitch, although Magnus does carry a small block near the back which is a pseudo-hitch. Neither Ultra Magnus or Optimus Prime come with trailers anyway, so for the moment a hitch is a moot point. I'd love to see a trailer for Magnus, one that could carry Cliffjumper, Rodimus and Mirage would be awesome.

   While it doesn't do too much other than sit around being a truck, this is probably best truck mode amongst the various Ultra Magnus repaints in recent years. OK, it's not as cool as say Laser Magnus, but it's a well sculpted truck mode with a colour scheme that's far more thoughtful that most of the Ultra Magnus repaints Hasbro usually does.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the windvane and exhaust stacks. swing out the stock of the gun from the lower strut of the exhausts, flip out the trigger section, fold the exhaust together to form a handgun. Fold the sides of the windvane down, swing back the crest and fold out the barrel. You now have a black handgun and a white and blue windvane-like blaster cannon. Set the weapons aside.

   Swing the rear section down, fold down the side panels, lift up the kneecaps, swing up the feet and split the boots. Swing the side windows right out to the sides, taking the sides of the cabin with them. Stow the bumper behind the grille and rotate the top of the cabin around to form the chest. Lift up the head and rotate to reveal the face. Rotate the shoulders into position, flip up the hands, fold the side panels onto the outside of the forearms, facing up. Lastly, give Ultra Magnus his two hand weapons. Incidentally, the windvane _can_ actually stay attached to the truck - its attachment point is on a neck which can fold down into his back, and the windvane will sit flush on his back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 13cm

   Just like the truck mode, Magnus is largely white at the top and blue on the bottom - more accurately most of the robot is white while the kneecapss and below are blue. Mind you the upper body isn't devoid of colour - the truck windows on his chest are transparent along with the eyes. There's a false grille on his waist - a common feature on recent Optimus Prime moulds - which is painted silver along with his mouthplate. The remainder of his head is unpainted while there are small Autobot logos stamped on either shoulder. His fists and panels on his shins are black, rounding out the colour scheme.

   This robot mode is littered with typical Optimus Prime features, which is to be expected. There's not actually much of the truck mode visible here, although there's not much kibble either. The windshield forms the chest while the false grille sits just below this, with a pseudo-bumper on the groin. The boots are formed from the hitch section, but there are no visible tyres - they're hidden underneath the side panels. The windvane and chest are the only significant truck elements visible now - and that's if you have the windvane in his hand. While the front tyres sit behind the waist, the panels on his forearms are all we really have for kibble. On the whole it's a well laid out, attractive, robot mode.

   The poseability is quite good, and the lack of kibble makes Ultra Magnus stable in a variety of poses. The head turns as does the waist - although only if the windvane isn't flush against his back. There's another pivot between the chest and waist anyway, which can substitute. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend and there are rotators in his upper arms. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees rotate and bend. The feet, which incorporate heelspurs, fold down and anchor a wide array of poses with a little work. The exhausts form a really nice double-barrelled gun and the windvane a bulkier gun - but one that looks like part of the truck with a barrel on the end. At any rate, Magnus has enough articulation to allow for some fun double-gun poses.

   A solid robot mode which doesn't really have any flaws. The colour scheme works quite well - and while the layout isn't typical of Ultra Magnus, it's still an attractive scheme and the colours do make sure it still feels like an Ultra Magnus. The poseability and weaponry give Magnus play _and_ display value. This is a good robot mode that doesn't have - or need - any gimmicks.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, Ultra Magnus is a repaint of Optimus Prime. He came in a two-pack with Skywarp. He shares the mould with Shattered Glass Optimus Prime.

OVERALL

   I actually prefer Ultra Magnus to Optimus Prime - since the colour scheme here is different whilst still representing the character well. Not that Prime is bad mind you - but I like the creativity in the colours here. The truck mode is solid without being remarkable, the robot mode looks good, has remarkable articulation for something that forms a realistic truck mode. The weapons are very nice and integrate into the truck mode well. Considering how nice Skywarp is, I'd recommend Ultra Magnus - even if you already have both moulds - 8/10

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