Transformers Classics (The Battle for Autobot City Review)

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Classics, Generation One, Target Exclusive

General Information:
Release Year: January 2007
Retailer: Target Exclusive
Price: $19.99
Accessories: Ultra Magnus - wind vane/gun, smokestacks/gun, Skywarp - missiles x 2, missle launchers x 2

Images:

*Images from the Official Transformers web site.

Box Text:
"As commander of Autobot City on Earth, Ultra Magnus commands the most powerful forces ever assembled, of which he is among the greatest. He was given the honor of City Command by Optimus Prime because of his superior intelligence, and incredible might as a warrior. Since taking command he has defended the city against dozens of attacks by Decepticons led by the crafty Skywarp. For his part, Skywarp is determined to breach the city's defenses and destroy Ultra Magnus in order to prove himself to Megatron."

With the strong performance of the Classics line, it was inevitable that redecos would be released as store exclusives. In January 2007 Hasbro released a Target exclusive two pack of Ultra Magnus versus Skywarp. Following the theme of the Optimus Prime versus Megatron "Ultimate Battle" set, this set has a title as well: the Battle for Autobot City - a reference to Ultra Magnus' position as commander of that city. Ultra Magnus is a redeco of the Optimus Prime sculpt and Skywarp is a redeco of Starscream. Check out the original reviews for a more detailed look at each figure. These reviews will cover the changes made to the figures for this release.

Skywarp Review

Images:

Strength: 7 Intelligence: 9 Speed: 10 Endurance: 7 Rank: 9 Courage: 9 Firepower: 8 Skill: 8

The Decepticon half of "The Battle for Autobot City" is one of the classic Decepticons from the original Transformers line: Skywarp. Just as the Hasbro designers of yesteryear had done, the current designers took the basic Seeker sculpt previously used for Starscream and gave it a new deco. For a detailed review check out Starscream's review. This review will cover the changes made to the figure for this release.

Robot Mode:
Skywarp has always had black, purple and silver as his primary colors. This new version does the same. His primary plastic colors are black and metallic purple. Most of the body is black. The ends of the missile launchers, the lower arms and fists and his feet are all metallic purple. Silver paint is used on most of his upper body and waist with some black parts still left for contrast such as the turbines on his chest. His head is black with a silver face. The robot eyes are painted red, true to the original television show where all the Decepticons had red eyes.

The missile launchers are mosty purple, with silver details on the sides. The ends of the launchers and the missiles themselves are black. The upper arms are black with metallic purple paint. The lower arms and fists are cast in purple with silver on the lower arms. The legs are cast in black, but have purple paint on the knees and on the thrusters. The feet have silver paint in the center. This layout is heavily based on his Generation One figure where silver was used on the same parts.

Skywarp's leg joints are slightly more loose than Starscream's. It is not that he is floppy or cannot stand. I just say slightly because it is definitely noticable in the feel of the figure. His arms however are about the same as Starscream's.

Vehicle Mode:
Skywarp is composed of two primary plastic colors: black and purple. These are the key colors for the character and they are used very effectively here. The only additional color is found on the cockpit which is cast in translucent orange plastic. The black makes up the majority of the vehicle. It is also used for the missiles. Smaller parts such as the sides under the wings, the back ends of the missile launchers and the thruster nozzles are cast in hard, metallic purple plastic. The nosecone tip is also metallic purple, but it is a much more rubbery plastic (for safety reasons).

Silver and purple paint applications make up mos tof the details. The sections on either side of the cockpit are colored metallic silver. Then the wings have angled, triangular silver details with thin, purple triangular lines inside of them. Similar details are found on the top of the rear thrusters. These details resemble very similar stickers on the original Skywarp figure. On the horizontal fins towards the back are metallic purple details painted along the edges.

Unlike his G1 predecessor, Classics Skywarp does not have large Decepticon symbols everywhere on him in this mode. Instead, a heat sensitive rub symbol can be found on top of hisleft wing. On the edge of the vertical The color of the character works well here since the default black color of the rub symbols blend in with the black plastic on the rest of the figure.

Ultra Magnus Review

Images:

Strength: 9 Intelligence: 9 Speed: 6 Endurance: 8 Rank: 8 Courage: 9 Firepower: 6 Skill: 8

Robot Mode:
In his original G1 incarnation the cab of Ultra Magnus was a redeco and slight retool of the original Optimus Prime cab. In that respect this redeco makes perfect sense. At one time Hasbro had toyed with the idea of perhaps releasing armor with this exclusive to make a "complete" Ultra Magnus, but the problem is that the costs would have been prohibitive. Overall, I think it was the right choice if they expected this set to sell in large quantities.

Ultra Magnus' primary colors are white and blue in this form. Some parts are black such as the fists and the gun made from his smokestacks. Several parts are cast in translucent blue plastic, including the sides of the vehicle mode on his arms, his chest windows and the robot head. True to his G1 predecessor, Ultra Magnus uses a lot of white paint. The robot head in particular uses a lot, covering most of the helmet section. The mouthplate is colored silver. Unfortunately a tiny bit of the white paint has scraped off the edges of the crest and antennae on his head. Not all the Ultra Magnuses are like this, I just happened to get this one that was. Silver is used for detailing on his mid-body, particularly on the grille and the horizontal sections on top of it. While cast in blue (a lighter shade than Optimus Prime's) the section with the horizontal lines on his lower legs are painted dark grey. Each shoulder has an Autobot symbol on it and a bit of yellow can be found on the circular details on his waist section and the "lights" on top of his chest. While Magnus actually has one or two less paint applications than Optimus Prime, he looks great in robot mode just as he is.

All the joints on this figure are just as tight as those on Optimus Prime. His weapons remain the same so you can have him use them individually or combine them into his back pack gun.

Vehicle Mode:
The most pleasant surprise with Ultra Magnus was his use of a different deco pattern than Optimus Prime. While he does use the standard white and blue colors associated with the character, the sides use a curved silver and blue pattern that starts high at the back and curves downward. This pattern can also be found on the wind vane as well. The headlights and the row of lights on the top are paitned yellow. The grille and the fender are painted silver. The wheels are cast in black, but the sides are painted copper.

Final Thoughts:
Skywarp has a fantastic color scheme. Sure he's a direct redeco of an existing figure, but so was his G1 predecessor. The colors are dynamic and I love the modern take on his wing details. Ultra Magnus is a pleasant surprise in that he does not just use black and white on a one to one swap with Prime's colors, but has his own pattern that distinguishes him well. Considering the $20 price point for two figures (one of which is a Voyager class) this is definitely worth adding to your Classics collection. Highly recommended!