Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Voyager Class Ultra Magnus

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Beast Hunters, Prime, Voyager, Wreckers

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: June 2013
Price Point: $22.99 (Depending on retailer)
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Backpack/wings, Hammer weapon, Missiles x 2

Images:

*Images with asterisks* and text in italics below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
Ultra Magnus engages in highly dangerous secret missions for the Autobots. Converts from robot to truck and back, 2 missile launchers deploy in robot or vehicle mode. Ultra Magnus carries the powerful Forge of Solus battle hammer to war.

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Voyager Class action figures are the ultimate warriors in the ancient conflict between the Autobot and Decepticon robots! These mighty soldiers from the planet Cybertron have come to Earth to continue their epic battle, with Optimus Prime and the heroic Autobots fighting to protect our world from the tyranny of Megatron and his Decepticons. And now the savage Predacons have joined the fray, blasting all before them with an inferno of dragon fire. The hunt for the Predacons begins here! A mighty army of robot beasts has allied itself with the Decepticons, and their battle against the Autobots will decide the fate of our planet. Each figure converts from toy beast or vehicle to robot and back. With awesome action features, amazing detail, and a variety of characters to choose from, there's something for everyone with Transformers Prime Beast Hunters toys (each sold separately).

Collect your favorite characters, pick your side, and join the battle. Features: Converting Ultra Magnus action figure, Forge of Solus battle hammer, 2 missiles and instructions. Ages 5 years and up

Ultra MagnusWhen "Beast Hunters" debuted, things looked bleak for the Autobots. Their base was gone, they were scattered across Earth and Optimus Prime was gravely wounded. One of the beacons of hope that arrived on Earth was Ultra Magnus. The former Wrecker leader and legendary fighter helped reuinite the Autobots to face the Decepticons. Previously there had already been an Ultra Magnus figure released for the "Prime" line. However, this figure represents Magnus as he actually appears in the television show.

Ultra Magnus is an extensive retool and redeco of the Voyager Optimus Prime sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the sculpt for this release (and there are lots!).

Robot Mode:
When Ultra Magnus appeared on "Beast Hunters", it wasn't hard to look at him and see how the CG artists on the show had taken the basic CG model of Optimus Prime from the first two season of the show and done some modifications to create Magnus. Many of those same modifications have carried over into the design of this figure. Using the Voyager Class Optimus Prime body as a base, the designers then altered the following:

  • The head sculpt is a brand new one, looking like a heavily streamlined version of G1 Ultra Magnus' head complete with a high crest in the center, antennae sticking up on either side of his head and a very serious expression on his face. The design is similar to last year's Ultra Magnus figure but it is not the exact same sculpt.
  • The chest plate from the Optimus sculpt has been replaced with a similar looking piece that looks more like armor plating over windshield glass instead of just an exposed windshield. This piece is a bit thicker and has more detailing on the top and sides.
  • The arms have been extensively retooled. First, the shoulders are completely different, sporting a piece on top that doubles as a missile launcher. This also pays homage to G1 Magnus who had high shoulder pieces as well (and fired missiles from his shoulders). The forearms are the versions of the forearms used in Japan for the Japanese release of Optimus Prime. You can tell by the sections on the side with 5mm peg holes allowing you to attach weaponry to the forearms. The armor piece on the side of the shoulder looks like Optimus' but it's a different piece with a similar design (the biggest clue being the lack of a hinged piece moved when transforming the figure to vehicle mode).

As one would expect, Magnus is mostly blue in this incarnation. The blue is a tad lighter than the one used on the previous version. Silver plastic balances out the blue on smaller parts like his fists, feet and thighs. His paint colors include silver, red and dark blue. The silver is used on his weapon, shoulders and head. The red is found on his lower legs, chest, head and shoulders (red was one of the main colors of G1 Magnus) and the dark blue is used to paint detailing all over the body including the crest on his head, shoulders, forearms and waist. Overall the paint job look good. Could there have been more paint apps? Sure, but I always think there could be more. Let's just say this is a very "clean" representation of Magnus from "Beast Hunters".

Magnus includes a back pack that clips onto the area behind his head in robot mode. The wings are based on the ones used by Beast Hunters Optimus Prime. This back piece has a ton of sharp looking, blade like details that make it look sleek and dangerous all at the same time. No worries though, they're blunted off and curved, you won't cut yourself on them! The base is blue plastic with the rest cast in silver. The back pack also features a hole and tab in the middle allowing you to securely attach the Forge of Solus Prime Hammer weapon. The wings have hinges that allow you to swing them back and forward. While they weren't part of the character's CG model on "Beast Hunters" I'm really glad they're included as they help add play value to the figure and they look great!

Ultra Magnus sports seventeen points of articulation in this form. I'm cheating a bit by including the ability of his hands to move up and down. His primary weapon is the Forge of Solus Prime Hammer, which you can fit into both his arms or just one (the handle is a 5mm one). The Hammer itself has a peg you could use to attach additional weaponry. As mentioned earlier, Ultra Magnus' shoulders double as missile launchers. Attach the missiles into the slots on the shoulders and swing them forward to aim them. Push the back of the missiles to use the "pressure launch" feature and they "fire". The missiles can be stored on clips located on his shoulders or on the wings of the back pack (nice to have two options). I love the play factor on this figure but I will say that I found the arm and hip ball joints slightly more loose on my Magnus than on my Optimus figure. He's perfectly stable, but you can feel the difference when you move the pieces. Note: there have been reports that some copies of this figure have mis-assembled legs, however mine appear to match up to my Voyager Optimus Prime's leg assembly so I guess I got lucky. I'd recommend you check yours out and compare just in case.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the back pack, Hammer and missiles and set them aside for now.
  2. Rotate each foot around and up, tucking it against the inside of each lower leg.
  3. Connect the legs together.
  4. Swing the panels on the front of each leg up.
  5. Pull the chest piece forward and down.
  6. Swing the robot head forward, revealing the front grille of the truck mode.
  7. Swing each hand up.
  8. Swing the shoulder sections back.
  9. Rotate the shoulder armor so the curved "wind vane" halves are on top.
  10. Rotate the forearm pieces so they can move forward and form the two halves of the truck's nose.
  11. Push the grille piece up against the edges of the forearms to keep that section assembled.
  12. Connect the wind vane halves together.
  13. Push the wind vane pieces down to form the top of the truck.
  14. Swing the front wheel well sections up.
  15. Swing up the panels that form the middle of the vehicle mode.
  16. Take the back pack and swing down the blue panel with the clips.
  17. Swing the wings on the back pack down then up.
  18. Attach the Hammer weapon to the back pack.
  19. Attach the back pack to the truck using the trailer hitch hole the two holes on either side. You will need to move the shoulder launchers up at a slight angle to fit the pack in with the Hammer attached.
  20. The missiles can be fit into the shoulder launcher pieces or clipped to the sides of the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
Like the robot mode, there are significant differences between the Voyager Class Optimus Prime figure and this iteration of the sculpt. Differences include:

  • The parts that form the wind vane are different than Optimus' in that there is no need to swing down a small curved piece in the middle to connect them together.
  • The sides of the "nose" section incorporate the "Arms Micron" attachment points right above the rear wheel wells, allowing you to attach Micron or 5mm peg weapons.
  • The windshield and side view mirrors are different than Optimus' since they're formed from the modified chest piece seen on the robot mode chest.
  • The shoulder launchers from the robot mode stick out in this mode, giving the rear section a very different appearance in concert with the back pack.
  • On the side panel the holes for the smokestacks are there, but the smokestacks are absent. They are however pictured on the official product photos. My speculation is that so much cost went into the new parts and tooling that this was excised to keep cost in balance. Also, it is interesting to note the CG model of Magnus on the show does not have smokestacks in vehicle mode, so it is "show accurate" in that respect. It's just a bummer that the holes for them are still there.

Overall the differences between this version of the sculpt and the previous one are quite significant and he really does wind up looking like a different character who just happens to share features with Optimus. This is quite appropriate as that is how Ultra Magnus was originally portrayed in the G1 toy line.

This form uses all the same colors as the robot mode, but the blue really takes center stage. Red, silver, yellow and dark blue paint are used for large chunks of detailing however. The red is used on the windshield while dark blue is found on the wind vane and side windows. Silver paints details on the sides of the vehicle and the nose section. The yellow bits are right near the weapon attachment portin the front and the headlights. Finally a tiny blue Autobot symbol is painted in the middle area of the grille (matching a similar detail on Optimus). Overall the paint job looks good. I appreciate the use of the colors on all sides and not just focusing them all in one area. I do find myself wishing the sides of the wheels were painted since this is a redeco and there's more latitude in the costs behind the figure, but balancing that out with all new parts and tooling I'm willing to let it go.

Final Thoughts:
Despite a couple nit picky details here and there such as the slightly looser joints and desire for paint on the sides of the wheels, I highly recommend this figure. It's an awesome example of how to work a sculpt with a new deco and tooling into a different toy experience!