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Ultra Magnus

Transformers: Prime
by yo go re

Just what we need: more confusion in the command structure.

If there is any Autobot the Decepticons fear as much as Optimus Prime, it is Ultra Magnus. His battle hammer has crushed chassis from one side of the galaxy to the other. No battlefield on which his armored feet have stepped has ever been yielded to the Decepticons.

This guy is technically the same character as this guy, but if you, like us, can recognize that Fall of Cybertron is just a retelling of G1, then this is our first version of TF: Prime Ultra Magnus.

Ultra Magnus has not yet appeared on the cartoon, but this figure does a grand job of showing us what he'd look like if he did. He's not just a repaint of Optimus - that's coming later in the year - but he sticks to the Prime aesthetic, meaning lots of angles, lots of kibble, and a head that calls back to G1 without really copying it at all.

Instead of the old-fashioned "box with feet and arms" design or the original Ultra Magnus, this one has a more humanoid shape. The forearms and shoulder armor are still boxy, but the rest of him is curved and pointy. There's heavy armor around the back of the legs, which makes him look like he has huge calf muscles. He's got armor plating on his waist and chest, which takes the place of the G1 toy (if not its exact shapes). There's a huge chunk of kibble covering his entire back, and a few pieces of fake kibble on the upper body: doors on his chest (like Ratchet), and tires on top of his shoulders.

Ultra Magnus has a single missile that's a bigger, longer version of the G1 missiles, and then one of those spring-loaded weapons the Voyager class figures have been coming with, but unlike those, his actually has a latch to hold it open. Finally! In its extended mode, the weapon is a big hammer - that's right, another import from Animated. It's got a green light in the head that serves no purpose, and it's so heavy that the figure's balljointed shoulders can't hold it up. It's more an accessory for play than for display, but we're just happy that you don't have to tie it open to make it useful.

Converting Ultra Magnus to his altmode is pretty easy; in fact, it's basically a scaled-up version of the Legends Class Magnus, so it's not like they went overboard in his engineering. The altmode is, no surprise, a truck, though it's not a car carrier - that is so 1999! This is some kind of heavy artillery truck, judging by the massive cannon sticking off the back.

Yes, his hammer, when it's not busy being a hammer, turns into a great honkin' gun. At a glance it looks like a tow truck, but instead of a hook it's got a gun barrel. The missile can mount on top as well, for that extra little "oomph" when it comes to murdering the hell out of your enemies. In theory the gun is an alternate display option, but in practice the truck looks weird without it.

The toy is done in classic Ultra Magnus colors: it's mostly blue with red accents. As a stupid old GEEWUNner, I gotta admit that an Ultra Magnus without a white cab still looks incomplete to me. Or at least some white somewhere - this figure gets nothing. He has some silver for the front bumper and the steps leading up to the cab, but the only white we see here is the Autobot symbols on the sides. The windows are all translucent blue plastic, matching the head of the hammer/base of the gun. The back of the truck is pretty much unpainted, which makes him look extra dull if you choose not to use the gun.

Ultra Magnus is decent, but earns a few cool points for not just being a repaint of Optimus Prime. His robot mode is definitely more interesting than the truck mode, but is fun to transform and adds some big time muscle to the Prime Autobot ranks. Now, what are the odds we'll actually see him in the cartoon at some point?

-- 02/26/13

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