"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Ultra Magnus Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Generations, Leader, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: January 2019
Price Point: $49.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: Rifle, Shoulder Armor x 2, Forearm Armor x 2, Leg Armor x 2, Chest/Head Armor x 2, Rocket Launchers x 2

Ultra Magnus

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

  • Build the ultimate battlefield - the generations War for Cyber Tron trilogy introduces an expansive ecosystem of collectible figures. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability). featuring classic G1 characters, War for Cyber Tron: Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and deception battle to control Cyber Tron. The time of peace is gone. Cyber Tron is a war-torn battlefield, overrun by the Fighting between two factions: the deception resistance Army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters
  • 7-INCH SCALE ULTRA MAGNUS FIGURE - This articulated Leader Class WFC-S13 Ultra Magnus action figure features complex conversion between robot and Cybertronian armored truck modes in 26 steps. Use parts from the truck trailer to armor up the Ultra Magnus figure and convert to C.O.M.B.A.T. READY mode. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure.
  • CUSTOMIZABLE WEAPONS LOADOUT – The honorable Autobot City Commander, Ultra Magnus, gears up for battle with the customizable C.O.M.B.A.T. System. Equipped with 5 weapons accessories, the Leader Class WFC-S13 Ultra Magnus figure features multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapon ports to attach weapons, enabling custom weapon configurations in bot and vehicle modes. Figure is also equipped with C.O.M.B.A.T. System armor ports to attach the included 7 armor accessories and convert figure to C.O.M.B.A.T. READY mode.
  • Expandable weapon selection - War for Cyber Tron: Siege weapon accessories are compatible with figures across the line. Compile an arsenal of additional weapon accessories from other War for Cyber Tron figures, or use battle Masters, micro master, and Deluxe class weaponizer figures to build bigger mission loadouts. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability). battle Masters, micro master, and Deluxe class weaponizer figures convert, combine, or break apart to become weapons to equip all other War for Cyber Tron figures.
  • Add battle effects with Fire blasts accessories - attach fire blasts accessories to the ends of weapon accessories to simulate blaster fire or explosions firing from the weapons. (Not included. Included with battle Masters figures. Each sold separately. Subject to availability) multiple fire blasts ports on the figures and vehicle modes allow fans to enhance their battlefield with simulated battle damage. All figures and weapon accessories in the Siege line are compatible with Fire blasts accessories.

Build the ultimate battlefield with War for Cybertron: Siege figures. Siege plunges fans into the epic fight to survive on the final day of the Autobot and Decepticon battle to control Cybertron. The Decepticon resistance army and the Autobot counter-resistance fighters gear up with the C.O.M.B.A.T. (Cybertronian Omnifuctional Modular Battlefield Assault Tech) System, the universe's most advanced modular weaponry.

The WFC-S13 Ultra Magnus figure features story-inspired battle-worn deco and is equipped with a RT-15 Stethoscopic Detector weapon accessory, 2 W-30 Magnetic Inducer Launcher weapon accessories and 2 W-HV-1000 Simulacrum Blaster weapon accessories. Multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapons ports in bot and vehicle modes allow fans to attach weapons to figure in custom weapon configurations. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

In 2018 the "Power of the Primes" line finished off the "Prime Wars Trilogy" which had begun with "Combiner Wars". To kick off a whole new G1 inspired series of "Generations" figures, a new line known as "War for Cybertron: Siege" started in late 2018 and continued into 2019. Among the early 2019 releases was Leader Class Ultra Magnus.

Way back in the pre-Generation One era, the to that would become Ultra Magnus was released as the Diaclone "Powered Convoy". As the years passed there would be many more Ultra Magnus toys including "Classics" Ultra Magnus and the more recent "Combiner Wars" Ultra Magnus. However, it has been quite some time since there has been an Ultra Magnus figure where the cab becomes a robot that can be combined with the trailer to form a larger robot. "Siege" Ultra Magnus brings back this G1-esque play pattern in a brand new figure.

Packaging:
Taking a cue from "Studio Series", the Deluxe figures in "Siege" are packaged in a new type of box that differs from the rectangular boxes of the past. These boxes are beautiful featuring an unusual shape with one flat side and one angled side. While elements of previous packaging are still found on the boxes (ex: the vertical Transformers logo, the "Generations" logo, a largely black background etc.) there is a lot more added on. First, the background is not solid black. There are designs on it that look like sparks or perhaps embers from flames On the angled side is the character's package art. In this case it shows Ultra Magnus yelling (presumably in the middle of a battle). The figure itself is in robot mode behind a clear plastic window. To the left is a chevron with the character name. Below that is the "War for Cybertron: Siege" logo.

The back of the box features Ultra Magnus in all his modes indicating a 12 step transformation for the cab section, 14 for the vehicle mode and finally 20 to transform him into his "armored" mode. Off to the side is his cosell: Shockwave.

In a fun extra, shining a black light on the packaging will reveal Cybertronian glyphs. Input them on Hasbro's "Teletraan-1" web site and you get a translation. In Ultra Magnus' case his glyphs translate to "Forgeofsolus". This unlocks a video featuring the various ways you can transform and play with the figure. It also unlocks a bio (screenshot is above).

Accessories:
Ultra Magnus' trailer is formed from a pile of parts that serve as his "armor" in his "combined" robot form in addition to his weaponry. Here is a breakdown of the parts:

  • Chest/Back/Head Armor: This piece forms the chest, back and head of the larger combined form. It has a lot of G1 inspired details including the shape of the chest armor and the head with a large crest and two tall antennae on the sides.
  • Shoulder Armor: Based on the distinctive pylons and armor on G1 Magnus' shoulders, this has details including a peg on top and three raised rectangular details in front.
  • Forearm Armor: Each of these armor pieces wrap around Ultra Magnus' forearms. They have a distinct, angled opening in the front based on G1 Magnus' design.
  • Leg Armor: This wraps around the lower legs, forming blocky looking armor including a protective panel in front and thick feet.
  • Rifle: This rifle is a heavy duty version of the weapon from G1 Ultra Magnus. It features a piece extended in the back, an angled section on top and a thick barrel. This piece is cast in red plastic and painted silver. The rifle has one 5mm peg and two 5mm ports on the sides.
  • Rocket Launchers: While they are not functioning weapons, the rocket launchers resemble those attached to G1 Ultra Magnus' shoulders. These are stylized versions of the ones from G1, featuring an angled section in the back and pegs sticking out the sides.
  • Blasters: There are two blasters included with this figure. Instead of being based on G1 Ultra Magnus, these resemble parts on the sides of "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus with longer barrels. Each of these features a 5mm peg on the bottom and side. There is also a 5mm port on the outside of each weapon. These are cast in black with silver paint at the end of the barrel.

Typically I like to start my reviews with the mode the figure is packaged in, but for this figure I think it makes more sense to start at its foundation: the cab and then work my way up. Out of the box it is fairly easy to pull the armor pieces off to break the figure down to its cab only mode.

Cab in Robot Mode

Cab in Robot Mode:
When photos of this figure began to pop up online, one of the first questions that came up was whether or not this figure is just a redeco and retool of the Voyager Class "Siege" Optimus Prime. However, once you have the figure in hand it becomes very obvious that this is a completely different figure. Don't get me wrong, this figure shares a lot of design elements with the Voyager Class Optimus Prime. This includes the design of the robot head, the short smokestacks on the shoulders, the details on the legs and arms. However, the figure is actually slightly taller and bulkier than Optimus Prime. Also, a lot of the details are only similar. For instance, both figures have vent-like details on the lower legs, but on Magnus they are thicker and extend closer to the edges of the legs than those on Optimus. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is the torso where the windshield and grille for a "T" shape that really stands out. Other structural differences include a hinge piece between the chest and shoulders that does not exist on Optimus Prime.

Ultra Magnus is a highly detailed figure. In some ways there are more details on this figure than Optimus. This includes a series of ridges on the thighs, round "bolts" sculpted onto the arms and lots of panel details on the arms. Perhaps the best detailing can be found on the chest under the windshield windows where there are several lines that look like circuitry. The only part of the sculpt that throws things off are large clips on the sides of the legs. While not ideal, they do not ruin the overall appearance.

Taking a cue from his G1 counterpart, this figure is mostly cast in an off white plastic. Smaller parts like the elbows are cast in silver. The wheels are black plastic. Beautiful translucent blue plastic is used on the torso. Silver paint is found on the chest, face and legs. The details on the legs are mostly "battle damage" style brush work. The pattern on my figure looks good, but these are done by hand so they can vary from figure to figure. There are other beautiful colors including metallic blue on the pelvic area, light blue on the head (along with red eyes) and yellow on the lights running along the top of his chest. The finishing touch is a tampographed Autobot symbol in red and silver on the left shoulder. The deco looks great overall, especially given the mostly white base color.

There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure. This includes five points on each arm and leg. There is even wrist and waist articulation! There was a time when this would not have been extraordinary but over the years articulation has started to disappear bit by bit from figures. This count actually restores them back to what was once considered normal and I am very happy to see this return to form.

Magnus has nine 5mm ports to connect weapons and accessories. This includes two on the shoulders, two on the forearms, the fists, ankle joints, the back and the sides of the lower legs. As part of the "Siege" line, this figure also has four connection points for the blast effects included with the Battlemasters. There is one on each shoulder and one on each leg. This offers a lot of play factor, especially when you consider how the figure can connect to other figures in the line. This is a solid figure that looks great and has some fun play value.

Cab Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the heel pieces up into the feet.
  4. Push the lower legs together.
  5. Swing each forearm up.
  6. Push the torso forward.
  7. Slide the back piece down.
  8. Swing the arms back.
  9. Swing the chest down and swing the robot head in, then swing the chest panel back into place.
  10. Rotate the top half of the body around, so the windshield and the blue piece that was on the back face the same direction.
  11. Swing the robot legs back.

Cab in Vehicle Mode

Cab Vehicle Mode:
In all honesty, Ultra Magnus' cab mode is not really meant to be an independent vehicle on its own. Sure it has six wheels, smokestacks, a windshield and so on. However there are some bits that clearly indicate parts of it were meant to be covered up. This includes the robot fists still sticking out in the back and an open gap between the front wheels and the robot thighs. Now, if you take into account this is not so much meant to be a disguise as it is a mode of quick transportation this works within the fiction, it does break the illusion usually created by an alt-mode.

This mode mostly shows off white plastic, but the blue back piece from the robot mode is now clearly on display in the front. The translucent blue on the windshield and grille are also prominent in this mode. Silver paint is used on the gatling guns on the front and the sides of the wheels. Silver is also used to brush on "battle damage" on the blue section. It looks good overall partly thanks to the ton of sculpted detail from front to back.

Transformation to Combined Vehicle Mode:

  1. Take the chest/back armor piece and swing out the ends.
  2. On each leg armor piece, swing out the side panels of the trailer section.
  3. Position the small red panel from behind the chest armor into the corresponding slots inside each leg armor piece.
  4. Connect the two leg armor pieces together.
  5. Attach the forearm armor pieces to the pegs behind the Ultra Magnus head on the chest/back armor piece.
  6. On each shoulder armor piece swing the silver pieces on the sides out.
  7. Connect the shoulder armor pieces together.
  8. Slide the shoulder armor pieces into the tab connecting both halves of Magnus' legs in cab mode.
  9. Snap the leg armor pieces into the ends of the shoulder armor pieces.
  10. Swing the side panels in, clipping them into the chest/back piece and the robot legs.
  11. Attach the black blasters to the sides towards the front.
  12. Attach the rocket launchers to the sides.
  13. Attach the rifle to the top towards the back.

Combined Vehicle Mode

Ultra Magnus is heavily based on G1 Ultra Magnus, but his "combined" vehicle mode pays homage to a completely different Ultra Magnus! Specifically, his vehicle mode is based on the "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus from the 2001 series. These differences are not subtle. The designers went full bore on recreating "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus' vehicle mode. Here are some of these key elements:

  • The front end has an angled "headlight" section, but it has several gatling guns sculpted into it instead.
  • The windshield section angles forward, just like "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus.
  • The panels on the sides cover up most of the trailer section instead of having wide openings like G1 Ultra Magnus.
  • The blasters attached to the sides resemble similar details on "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus (but those were used to attach his weapon and were not weapons themselves).

While I would have loved to see a more G1-esque Ultra Magnus, the vehicle looks great and serves as a very cool homage to "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus.

In terms of colors this figure is based on G1 Ultra Magnus, but goes off in its own direction. The trailer section is mostly red and blue with some white. However, the red and blue are much darker shades than those found on G1 Ultra Magnus. The red is mostly found on top, with the blue focused on the sides. These two colors really pop in contrast to the white in front and back.

Let's get the bad news out of the way: this mode cannot carry four vehicles like G1 and "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus. The lower section is closed off and the rear ramp does not swing down. There are also armor pieces in the lower level that take up space as well. However, you can put figures on top. Some Deluxe Class figures will fit just fine. Legends Class figures and Micromasters will definitely fit.

The top part of the trailer has two 5mm attachment points for weaponry. Each side of the trailer has two ports. However, the blasters on the sides also have 5mm ports so you can really pile on the weapons. If you include the sculpted gatling guns in the front there are nine weapons on this mode, making him one awesome war machine.

Transformation to Combined Robot Mode

  1. Separate the cab from all the parts forming the trailer.
  2. Separate all the various trailer/armor parts.
  3. Fold in the side panels against the leg armor.
  4. Rotate the top of the cab section around.
  5. Swing the robot legs down and separate the legs.
  6. Swing the arms forward.
  7. Push the robot chest back.
  8. Fold out the waist piece, rotate it around and push it back in.
  9. Swing the back piece up on the chest/back armor.
  10. Attach the back of the chest/back armor piece to the "spine" column on the back.
  11. Swing the section with the head down and tab it into the area near the shoulders.
  12. Swing the chest panel down and push it against the cab section's chest.
  13. Slide the shoulder armor pieces over the shoulders.
  14. Swing out the side panel on each forearm armor piece and slide them over the forearms and swing the panel up to lock it in.
  15. Slide the leg armor over each lower leg on the cab section.
  16. Attach the rocket launchers to the sides of the shoulders.
  17. Attach the blasters to the sides of the lower legs.
  18. The rifle can attach to either fist.

Trailer and Cab Combined Robot Mode

Before diving into the robot mode, let me address one concern many fans have had. If you compare this figure with its "Combiner Wars" predecessor it is clearly shorter. Many people have taken this to mean that this figure is made up of less material, representing a big cost cut. However, after weighing both figures this figure turns out to actually weigh more than the "Combiner Wars" version! "Combiner Wars" Ultra Magnus weighs in around 11.5 ounce, but "Siege" Magnus comes in around 12.3 ounces! So yes, you are losing height, but you are definitely gaining plastic.

While Ultra Magnus' vehicle mode is based on his "Robots in Disguise" counterpart, this mode takes us back to the character's G1 roots. There are a bunch of design elements from the G1 version of the character:

  • The head features a high central crest and antennae on the sides.
  • Both shoulder sections feature pylons that extend up higher than the head with a peg on top.
  • The rocket launchers are attached to the sides of the shoulders.
  • The chest features an armor panel that looks like a small ship pointing downward. That's because once upon a time in the Diaclone era, this piece was a separate accessory that could serve as a ship!
  • The waist area has a "belt" like design complete with a circle in the center.
  • The thighs have ridges on them. These are based on similar details from G1 Ultra Magnus' trailer section.
  • The forearm armor has an angle in the front around the wrists.
  • The lower legs each feature a rectangular, beveled detail at the knees and a series of horizontal panels on the lower portion. These are both based on sticker details from G1 Ultra Magnus.

On top of these G1 inspired details, there are lots of smaller details sculpted all over the figure from the shoulder pylons all the way down to the feet. It may be a bit much for some fans, but to me it resembles some G1 Japanese artwork I have seen of the characters drawn with exaggerated proportions and tons of small details that the G1 toys did not have. I always loved those drawings so this feels like that artwork brought to life.

All the colors from the previous modes come together here nicely. Most of the red and blue winds up mixed on the top while the legs are mostly white. There is plenty of silver paint making up details on the head, chest and legs. White paint is found on the waist area and the eyes are painted light blue. Red paint is used on the lower legs. The "battle damage" paint works really well here. You'll find it on the chest armor, thighs and feet. Having it distributed throughout the body makes it look more realistic than if it was only on one body part. If there was a bit on the arms it would have been perfect.

One of the limitations of combining a trailer with a robot to form a larger robot is the loss of articulation. For instance, G1 Ultra Magnus wound up only have arm articulation in his "combined" form. Not so with this figure! Like the cab's robot form, there are twenty two points of articulation in this form (including the waist!). This is thanks mostly to the way the armor pieces just fit over existing body parts without hindering articulation. The only exception to this is the ankle articulation, but since the leg armor pieces also have ankle articulation, nothing is lost! The result is a beautifully articulated Ultra Magnus figure!

There are eight 5mm ports in this mode, allowing you to attach weapons in a variety of ways. This includes two on the back, two near the shoulders, two on the shoulders, two on the forearms and two on the sides of the legs. Add in the fists and that makes ten. Now add in two attachment points on the rifle and one on each blaster weapon and there is insane potential to add on weaponry in this mode.

Finally (yes, this is a long review) there are six attachment points for blast effects. You'll find them on the pylons, the chest and legs.

Final Thoughts:
"Siege" Ultra Magnus is a solid, fun and well constructed figure. It also pays homage to two different iterations of the character, which was an unexpected surprise. Highly recommended!

Pros:

  • Beautiful sculpt in all modes.
  • Fantastic deco.
  • Lots of play value.
  • Awesome articulation in both robot forms.
  • Solid construction.
  • Great homage to both G1 and "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus.

Cons:

  • The "wear" paint detail is very uneven from figure to figure so you may want to look it over carefully in store if possible before purchasing.
  • Some fans may have preferred the figure to be taller.
  • Some fans may prefer a more G1-oriented vehicle form.