Transformers Prime Cyberverse Ultra Magnus Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Commander, Generation One, Prime, Cyberverse

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: July 2012
Price Point: $7.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Hammer/cannon weapon


*Images with asterisks* and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
As the commander of the most elite AUTOBOT special forces unit ever assembled, you’d expect ULTRA MAGNUS to be just about one of the most unstoppable warriors this side of the galactic core. You’d be right. Add an AUTOBOT hero to your TRANSFORMERS adventures with this intense Commander Class ULTRA MAGNUS robot-to-vehicle figure! In robot mode, your brave ULTRA MAGNUS figure’s battle hammer will make serious trouble for the DECEPTICONS. But if they get him on the run, convert him to truck mode to keep him one step ahead! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his enemies throw at him! Fierce ULTRA MAGNUS figure converts from robot mode to truck mode and back. Arm him with his battle hammer!

Includes figure. Commander Class Series 2 007 ULTRA MAGNUS Ages 5 and up.

Ultra MagnusWhen most non-hardcore fans think of "Transformers" as a toy line, the name Ultra Magnus is less likely to come up than say, Bumblebee and that's a shame. Introduced in 1986 as a "City Commander" (presumably of Autobot City Metroplex) this character rose up to become Rodimus' advisor and right hand in the cartoon while being a powerful Autobot warrior in the comic books. Years later he still appears in fiction including the current "More than Meets the Eye" title by IDW and now he has joined the ranks of the "Transformers Prime" cast. There is supposed to be a Voyager Class version of this character out later, but this Commander Class is the first look we're getting at Ultra Magnus in his latest incarnation.

Robot Mode:
In his various incarnations, Ultra Magnus has often been portrayed as a large, powerful Autobot whose very presence looked imposing. The design of Ultra Magnus' new look seems to take G1 and Animated Ultra Magnus and mash up details of both before adding elements of its own unique design. The G1 elements are found scattered throughout the body. This includes his head design, featuring a high central crest and antennae on the sides. The center of his torso area has a section of armor wrapping around the chest with a beveled piece in the center, reminscent of G1 Magnus' chest armor. In addition, there is a circle on his waist area that is reminscent of the waist armor on G1 Magnus and his hands have squared off, blocky looking fingers, much like his G1 counterpart. The "Animated" influence comes in with other parts such as his large shoulder armor, the more curved nature of his body design which is illustrated in the torso and leg designs. His weapon is also directly inspired by "Animated". Featuring a giant hammer with a long handle, this weapon's design is based on the weapon used by Ultra Magnus in the "Animated" television series. Overall, it's a very regal, sleek design that I would not have expected of an Ultra Magnus figure. I am quite pleasantly surprised!

Ultra Magnus is cast in four key colors: metallic blue, grey, black and translucent light blue. The blue and the silver are his primary colors, with the blue taking center stage forming his shoulder armor, head, forearms, most of the torso and his lower legs. The silver is used on alternate parts such as his thighs. Translucent blue is heavily used on the chest area - part of the gimmick where you can take the Star Hammer playset's light and attach it to Magnus' back and light him up. On its own however the translucent blue looks really great and works well against the other colors on the figure.

Paint applications on this figure utilize other classic Ultra Magnus colors. Red, silver, yellow and neon green all appear on the figure. Silver is the most heavily used color. You'll find it on his chest, waist, legs and face which helps give him a more mechanical feel. Red is used on the chest area around the armor that borders the translucen blue parts. It's also used to paint an Autobot symbol in the middle of his chest. The yellow is used for the circle on his waist armor and the neon green is used for his eyes. I find it interesting Magnus doesn't have blue eyes like most of the Autobots, and if he appears on the show I'll be curious to see if they portray him the same way. It's a nice color scheme overall, and I appreciate the use of both dark and lighter colors to offer some balance. Plus, they're mostly colors inspired by G1 Ultra Magnus which I really like!

There are eleven points of articulation on this figure. This includes the ability for his arms to swing in at the chest and waist articulation (part of the transformation, but also useful in this mode). Magnus is armed with a giant translucent blue hammer. The weapon fits into his hand in a couple ways. You can have him just hold the very end, e can hold the handle or if you swing the hammer head up, he can hold the weapon in its alternate form as a cannon! There are holes on either side of the hammer head that can accomodate other Cyberverse weapons. Right on top is a peg that can do the same, potentially turning his hammer into a melee and ballistic weapon combined! Need more weaponry? Both of Magnus' forearms have holes on the sides that will allow you to attach additional weapons. This interactivity is a crucial part of the Cyberverse play pattern so I'm glad whenever I see it implemented.

An interesting note on the articulation. As mentioned above, Magnus' arms can turn in on the chest joint, also a function of his transformation. What this also allows you to do is have him grip the hammer's handle in two hands, giving him some extra posing possibilities. I love the use of a transformation design element as a point of articulation, especially one that serves a practical purpose with regardds to his weapon. Very cool!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon for now and convert it into its cannon mode by swinging the hammer head back.
  2. Point both feet down.
  3. Connect the two legs together.
  4. Rotate the waist around.
  5. Push the robot head down.
  6. Swing the shoulder armor up.
  7. Straighten out both arms and then press them into the sides.
  8. Attach the cannon weapon to the hole in the back of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Traditionally Ultra Magnus has been portrayed as a car carrier in vehicle mode. However, more recent versions have just had him acting as a tractor cab, mostly because he's often a redeco of Optimus Prime. This time out, Ultra Magnus forms a complete truck with cab and trailer together. He's not a car carrier like G1 Magnus was, but the cab section is higher than the rear section, which is pretty flat on top. You could put a Legion Class vehicle on top, but there are no rails or anything to indicate he is meant to accomodate a "passenger". Still, it's a very cool looking vehicle and is slightly reminscent of "Robots in Disguise" Ultra Magnus, who had a flattened front end on the cab section (similar to G1 Magnus) but with extra armor bits. Here, Magnus has an extended bumper section, a formidable looking grille and the top section of the cab winds up going over the windshield, giving it a forward swept appearance that is bold and sleek at the same time.

A lot of smaller details have been worked into the sculpt as well. This includes side view mirrors, a row of lights on the otp of the cab, a stylized grille with angled lines and a raised circle reminscent of his waist armor and headlights sectioned into two parts. The sides right behind the cab section have beveled, rectangular storage containers and smaller details such as a ladder underneath.

In this form we get to see mostly blue plastic with some more black in the form of his six wheels. Several parts such as the bumper and the containers on the sides are painted silver. Silver is also used on the smokestacks and grille. Translucent blue shows up for the windshield while metallic blue paint is used to offer visual continuity on the side windows. The other "Magnus" colors of red and yellow are found on the cab section. The end result is a set of colors that are distinctive to the character and look great on their own.

All of the functionality I mentioned earlier with the hammer is intact here. The way the cannon looks it reminds me of a Long Tom Cannon and looks like it could do some serious damage. The holes from the sides of the forearms are now on the sides of the vehicle, which allows you to attach two additional weapons on the sides.

Final Thoughts:
I really like the look of this figure, and its posability and ability to connect extra weapons really makes it fun. I appreciate the combination of G1 and "Animated" elements with the "Transformers Prime" aesthetic binding it together. It's also great to have a Cyberverse version of Ultra Magnus in the mix. Highly recommended!