While it is true Fortress Maximus is a redeco and retool of Titan Class Metroplex, he doesn't just have a new head. There are a lot of new parts on this figure. Pretty much all that has carried over from Metroplex are parts of the hip/waist area (where Metroplex's back is now the front), the forearms/hands and parts of the legs. The rest of the figure features all new parts with designs based on the G1 Fortress Maximus' design. Here's a rundown of the new parts on the figure and their inspiration:
- The upper arms have an angled, "L" shaped design that comes from G1 Fortress Maximus. This version however has several more layers of design including tubes, dials and even blasters not found on G1 Fortress Maximus.
- The left side of the chest is a compartment with a translucent green window in front. This does swing open but it does not stay up with the weapon inside attached, which is unfortunate. The shape of this green window is based on the shape of G1 Fortress Maximus' equivalent compartment, down to beveled edges and a notch on top.
- The center of the chest has several small details including windows and cannons, but the most "G1" of the details is a partially obscured circle. Here it looks like it could be a turbine or fan but in the G1 Fortress Maximus toy this was actually a working dial that turned a radar dish.
- Instead of the narrow mid-body area that Metroplex has, Fortress Maximus has a blocky, rectangular mid-body with two grey sections on the sides and a blue one in the center. The grey sections have circles on them representing the cannons that would swing out on G1 Maximus.
- The shape of the thighs are based on G1 Maximus' legs, with layers of armor that curve on the outside leading to beveled sections with three rectangles angling outward.
- The lower legs have large, dual barreled cannons on them. These are essentially the same design as Metroplex's legs, but with different detailing and a frame attached to the legs for the weapons. These are among the most iconic details of Fortress Maximus' design.
- On the left leg there is a small helipad attachment that can swivel up and down. This piece has two cannon barrels sculpted into it as well. All these details call back to the helipad/weapon from G1 Maximus.
- The foot pieces are retooled from Metroplex, sharing some of the designs including small turrets and 3mm ports for Cyberverse weapons. However there are differences. These are a bit taller and ticker in the front and they have round designs that look like headlights. Since these parts become the front of the battle station mode (aka the spaceship mode) these details make perfect sense.
What's great about this design is that it pays homage to G1 Maximus but it adds a lot of texture to the original designs. For instance, the left side of the chest was basically a flat panel with a sticker on it for details in G1. Here there are sculpted tubes and panels in that section. There are also lots of beautifully sculpted details unique to this sculpt including machinery in the center, the various layers on the arms and tubes on the dual barreled cannons on the legs. Every inch of this figure has plenty of eye candy to behold.
This release of Fortress Maximus bases its colors on the original G1 action figure. It may be hard at first to distinguish between this figure and the mass release at first since they both use a combination of blue, grey and red. Some of the more distinctive color patterns carried over from the G1 Fortress Maximus figure include white in the center of the chest and on the thighs as well as the feet being all blue instead of partly red. The "cannons" on the middle of the torso have grey on the sides instead of being all blue.
This release also features some deco that differs from the mass release. The shoulders feature red paint not found on the mass release. The center of his chest has red paint on the "dial/fans" instead of silver. A lot of the details on this figure come from the stickers which I cover above. You'll find them everywhere from the head all the way down to the feet. My favorites include the giant Autobot symbol in the middle of the figure and the ones that fill in details on the legs and chest. Overall the deco looks great and this is one of the rare cases in the "Transformers" line nowadays that does not have me feeling like there are big gaps in the colors on this figure.
Fortress Maximus features thirty points of articulation. This relatively high number is thanks in part to the ability of his fingers being able to move individually. He also has waist and head articulation. Since his robot head connects to a rotating platform, the Titan Master gimmick does not get in the way of the head turning side to side but you have to put a little bit of strength into turning it. Other cool features include:
- Pressing the button on his chest activates all the sound effects noted above in Cerebros' review. This same button also pops the head off.
- There are Titan Master pegs on either side of the head, two on the right, one on the left. There are additional ones on the heli-pad attached to the left leg and on the red panel on the right forearm.
- The right forearm has a red panel that can be opened and swung forward. Unlike Metroplex, this panel does not have a weapon attached to it. However the sculpting (including panels and screens) is the same inside. This slot has enough room to fit a Legends Class figure (or a pile of Titan Masters).
- Each forearm has four 5mm ports, two on top, two on the bottom that you can attach extra weapons to.
- Fortress Maximus' hands are the same design as Metroplex's, so he can hold Metroplex's rifles.
- The dual barreled weapons on the lower legs can swing up or you can detach them and swing out handles that allow Fortress Maximus to hold them.
- The feet have several 3mm ports that allow you to attach Cyberverse weapons.
- You can detach the weapon emplacement from inside the left side chest compartment. This can then be connected to the port on top of the compartment. A Titan Master can sit inside the chair on top.
On top of everything mentioned above I'm happy to report that Fortress Maximus is very stable. With Metroplex some folks reported his hip joints could be a bit loose, causing him to flop forward or back. In Maximus' case his joints are mostly ratchet joints and very tight.
Exclusive to this figure is the Master Sword, an accessory not included with the mass release. This sword can be separated into three smaller swords with 5mm pegs on each. When combined Fortress Maximus can wield it as a weapon. It even has some metallic orange stickers on the blade near the base (though I believe the Takara Tomy version will have more stickers).