Transformers Car Robots Brave Maximus Toy Review
Brave Maximus is a redeco and re-release of the Generation One Transformer Fortress Maximus. To this day, Fortress Maximus holds the record as the largest Transformer every released. Standing at two feet tall, Fortress Maximus cost around $86.99 at Toys R Us back when he was released in 1987. This new release of the toy has been recolored and is missing some parts from the original Fortress Maximus.
This review will begin with robot mode since that is the mode the toy is packaged in. Be warned that this toy is held down to the insides of the box by at least twenty twist ties. Put some time aside when removing this toy from the packaging. Once you have it out however, the fun can begin.
First, the big question. Many people heard that Brave Maximus is missing many parts that the original Fortress Maximus had, this is true. The parts missing are:
- Single barelled hand held gun
- Double barelled hand held gun
- Cog: a robot who was a combination of two vehicles and a gun.
- Several stickers. The original Fortress Maximus came with a large sticker sheet that one had to apply themselves. Brave Maximus has a majority of the stickers from Fortress Maximus already applied, but some such as the sticker for the helipad in robot mode is missing.
Also missing is the "Master Sword". The original Japanese
release of Fortress Maximus included a large sword.
However, for safety reasons, this was left out of the
American release. The top part of the
sword was used for the
God Fire Convoy set. The guns were made available on a limited basis
via a mail order offer in Japan through a magazine.
For those of you who swear you've seen pictures of Brave Maximus with the weapons, you're not going crazy, there was a special series of Brave Maximus toys offered as prizes through a contest in Japan that included all the parts.
Brave Maximus' color scheme is a combination of black, red, silver and two shades of blue. The red is used on the sides of his upper body, hip cannons, the cover of the panel on his arms hiding twin cannons and the double barelled cannons on his legs. Dark blue is used for his shoulders, hands, lower main body and lower legs. A lighter shade of blue is used for the rest of his arms, a section of his torso and upper legs. His robot head is mostly black (with some red and silver). The panel on his right leg and feet are also black. Silver is used on the right side of his chest along with the center of his upper body. Right in the center of the torso is a section which is actually die-cast metal silver. A piece of translucent green plastic is used for the panel on his upper torso's left side. Brave Maximus' robot eyes are yellow with a blue outline.
Unlike most toys from Beast Wars and beyond, Brave Maximus has many stickers that adorn his body. Each of the stickers were made to resemble some type of complex looking machinery in an attempt to give him the appearance of being a large, mechanical monolith. This adds to the details already molded onto the toy. Altogether, this is one detailed looking toy.
Put simply, Brave Maximus is heavy and big. That alone however is not all that makes a toy. In robot mode, Brave Maximus has ten points of articulation. This is quite impressive considering the amount of time this toy preceeded the "ball joined" Generation 2 era of Transformers toys. This articulation includes three points of articulation for each arm.
Even without his two hand held guns, Brave Maximus has quite an array of weapons:
- Move his arms upwards and you can swing out the hip cannons from his sides
- Flip up the double cannons on each of his legs to fire them forwards
- Flip open the panels on his lower arms to reveal double barelled cannons inside
- Rotate the red parts on his hands around to reveal two more double barelled cannons
Altogether that's fourteen weapons! No doubt about it, Brave Maximus is well armed! Between his large size, cool detail and weapons, Brave Maximus is one cool robot.
Transformation to Battleship Mode:
Begin the transformation by detaching his robot head. Set it aside for now. Fold up the ramp located on the back and lock it into place where the robot head was. Next, make sure Brave Maximus' arms are straight (not bent at the elbow). Flip the arms up so it looks like he is doing a wave at a baseball game. Be sure the hip cannons are tucked in and flip up both halves of the central tower. Snap them together. Flip the robot feet so they point forward. Brave Maximus is now in battleship mode.
To transform the head into robot mode, flip out the sides and fold them down. Swing the arms out to the sides and fold out the hands. Fold up the black piece above Brave Maximus' eyes. Place the small red gun in the hand. Combined, the smaller Headmaster (Plasma) and the head of Brave Maximus combine together to form the Cybertron warrior, Brave.
For those fans a bit confused, don't worry. Some may recall that in America, the original Fotress Maximus did not have a "Battleship" mode, but rather a battle station mode. In the US, Fortress Maximus was not a ship but just a battle station that Autobots could use as a place to fight from. In the three part US "Rebirth" series (which featured the Headmasters and Targetmasters), Fortress Maximus was in fact shown flying in his city mode rather than this mode!
Brave Maximus' color schme does not change in this mode very much. The only color more exposed is silver, which is used for the ramps connected to his robot arms. The square laser section attached to his left leg show more blue and red. Black takes a bit more prominance by the central tower. If you are curious, the holes on either side of the tower are meant for the aforementioned hand held guns that were not included with the toy. Translucent green plastic appears again in the "pilot seat" at the top of the tower. If you wish, you can place Plasma in that pilot seat.
Like most vehicles from the Headmasters age of Transformers toys, Brave Maximus has a familiarity to his form, but in many ways it looks alien. This mode is more of an improvisation from the city mode than anything else, but it does appear to be a nice futuristic battleship/aircraft carrier.
Transformation to City Mode (from robot mode):
Detach the head and set it aside for now. The smaller Headmaster Plasma piece can be set aside for now as well. Turn the hands around and straighten the arms. Rotate the arms up and fold out the ramps. Fold up the central ramp on Brave Maximus' back. Fold out the smaller ramp from the underside of the central ramp. Fold down the flap with the Autobot/Cybertron symbol on it. Fold up the translucent green cover on Brave Maximus' left chest component. Fold out the red ramp and fold the translucent cover back down.
Now fold up the tower halves from the hips and connect them together to form the central tower. Swing the legs out to the sides. Rotate them around so the dual barrelled cannons face opposite the ramps you just transformed. Now fold the legs in, collapsing the blue upper leg sections into the larger lower leg sections.
Again Plasma can be placed into the cockpit on the tower. Now take the Brave component and fold the black crest over the face. Swing the robot legs out to the sides and then fold them forward. Now flip the panel on the right side chest component down. Flip open the smaller grey piece and then insert the Brave component into the slots (via the legs) and then flip the smaller grey piece back down. In case you're curious, what you just formed is a "communications tower". On the left leg, swing around the square piece on the leg to form a heli-pad. Swing down the red staircase on the left leg and then swing down the stairs on the right side. Finally, at the base of the central tower, open up the grey doors on both sides. Brave Maximus is now in city mode.
One of the reasons I always wanted the original Fortress Maximus toy was this mode. The idea of having a large playset that was a Transformer was mind-blowing, and having one that could actually accomodate Transformers larger than a basic mini-car was even better!
Brave Maximus' color scheme is the same in this mode as the battleship mode. But now you can see a lot more grey thanks to the grey ramps. Each has stickers on them that give Brave Maximus more of a mechanical look. In a great touch that was not done in the original Fortress Maximus toy, the central tower and two side towers have yellow detailing on them that appear to be "windows". This gives Brave Maximus a grand appearance and makes him look more like a "real" city.
Brave Maximus is choc full of features that the original Fortress Maximus had as well:
- The radar dish at the center of the city can be turned by pushing dial on the side.
- Each of the ramps on the sides can "launch" a vehicle by placing the vehicle on the red platform and then using the tab on the side to push it forward, the idea is to have the vehicle slide down the ramp.
- You can place a smaller vehicle in the entrance at the base of the tower, then use the dial at the back of the tower to lift the vehicle to the opening at the central ramp. Then push the button on the left side of the city. This will "launch" the vehicle down the central ramp. The Spychanger cars are perfect for this.
- On the tower with the heli-pad, you can lift the red gate and place a figure in there as a prisoner.
- A Transformer can be placed on the other leg's compartment, and other figures can stand on the stairs.
Overall, Brave Maximus is a cool toy to have. He is very pricey however at $150-$250 a pop. Granted, the original would cost you at least $600-$900 on the secondary market (depending on condition). However, keep in mind that Brave Maximus is missing several parts that the original Fortress Maximus had. Even obtaining the sword would cost roughly $150-$200 since that is the cost of the translucent Fire Convoy/God Magnus set. If you have the money to spend, I do recommend this toy, just realize it is an expensive toy. Some will complain that the rating I am giving a "G1" toy is high, but Brave Maximus brings with him a lot of the nostalgia and fun of the original Fortress Maximus to earn a high grade from me. A