A couple of weeks ago I welcomed the duly-appointed enforcer of the Tyrest Accord into our home. Ever since, he’s been making sure the Autobots are up to date with the studies of the Autobot code, and making sure all of their Autobot badges are on straight.
The first thing that struck me about this figure was how big and heavy he is. The box is the same size as MP Soundwave’s box, but the figure almost completely fills the box. He comes with a few accessories, but none of them are all that great.
He is the only Masterpiece figure that comes with accessories specifically from the scene of his execution. He has a pair of extra hands to hold the Matrix of Leadership and an extra face contorted into a pained expression taken from the scene where Galvatron executes him. But I prefer to think of it as Ultra Magnus’ angry lecturing face. One cool little detail is that when you slide Ultra Magnus’ face off, there is an Optimus-like white face underneath it, a nod to the G1 figure.
Unfortunately the hands feel like really low quality plastic, and his limited poseability makes it so he can only hold the Matrix aloft above his head. Takara are also banking on you owning some variation of the MP-10 Optimus Prime figure, because Ultra Magnus does not come with a Matrix of Leadership. Poptimus Rhyme (aka YotH Optimus Prime) has had his Matrix privileges revoked ever since he proved that he can’t even take care of his own Autobot badge.
Ultra Magnus’ chest opens to reveal a Matrix chamber that looks like it was pulled straight from the 1986 Transformers movie.
Ultra Magnus comes with two human partner figures, Daniel and Spike. They’re pretty simple, and they’re made to ride in Ultra Magnus’ cab in vehicle mode. They’re a little out of scale with the Daniel Exo-Suit figure that came with MP-21 Bumblebee, but it’s forgivable. Optimus, Ultra Magnus and the rest of the Autobot cars are in relative scale, so the partners are of little concern. The paint is quite sloppy though, which is disappointing.
An imposing figure on any battlefield, you may need to restructure your shelves to fit Ultra Magnus in. He is absolutely massive. I’ve really enjoyed this figure since he arrived. I have never owned a G1-style Ultra Magnus before in my life, so while I could see how he was supposed to transform it was always a little bit of a mystery to me. The transformation sequence is quite intuitive. The first time I transformed him from robot to vehicle mode I had to marvel at how they integrated his cab into his robot mode.
The original G1 Ultra Magnus included a white recolour of Optimus Prime’s cab which used the trailer as a kind of power armour, but that mechanic does not feature in this Masterpiece incarnation of the character. The cab forms the head and chest, and the trailer forms the rest of his body. While he is an excellent representation of Ultra Magnus, he has somewhat limited poseability. His shoulder articulation in particular is a point of frustration, but you can somewhat fudge poses by unhooking the shoulder connection from the blue chest panel. It’s still stable and allows for a better range of movement.
Oh, and he has a buttflap. Yeah.
Ultra Magnus’ vehicle mode is an armoured car carrier. He can hold up to four Autobot cars – two on top, two on the bottom. His gun stores between the struts that form his arms.
One very cool feature is that you can configure his missile launchers to point forward from the front of the carrier just like the G1 toy, or they can hang from the side of the carrier just like the G1 cartoon. Whichever takes your fancy, you’re covered.
The other really cool thing about vehicle mode is that the cab section looks like a replica of MP-10 Optimus Prime’s cab. From the front it looks like the same figure until you look a little closer and start noticing small differences. The Daniel and Spike figures can sit in the seats inside the cab, which looks very cool.
There’s not really a lot to say about Ultra Magnus’ vehicle mode. It’s great, but he will spend most of his time in robot mode, which is where this figure truly shines.
He is getting a local release here in 2015 at Australian Toys R Us stores for $299.99. I ordered mine from Hobbylink Japan for $190AUD shipped, and I honestly feel like I ripped HLJ off in that transaction. Ultra Magnus is so good that I would have gladly paid the Australia Tax price for him.
Ultra Magnus is not an action figure. Ultra Magnus is a monolith. His presence will be a focal point in any collection that he is a part of.