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Transformers Prime – Powerizers Ultra Magnus

Ultra Magnus is the only figure from the Transformers Prime line that I really felt I had to have, and it’s ironic because he never actually appeared in the series, so you’ve got to wonder why he was even produced at all since the line is clearly based on the show. What’s also curious about this figure is that it’s a unique sculpt and not just a white Optimus Prime, which is all too often Ultra Magnus’s fate when it comes to the toys. So a unique sculpt was created for a character that was never on the show — I can’t help but scratch my head. Regardless, I’m happy he was released because he’s so close in appearance to how I envision my perfect Ultra Magnus, and he almost works as a Classics Ultra Magnus, which is how I’ve repurposed him. He appears to be based on the character’s fully-armored G1 look with a few nods to the hiss Transformers Animated design. It’s an awesome look that definitely fits within the Prime aesthetic, but whether or not he’ll fit in a Classics display is going to depend on your preferences. I think he works well enough, but your mileage may vary.

I’m happy to see there’s no mention of his being Optimus Prime’s “brother.” Ultra Magnus should be a badass Decepticon-hunting warrant officer, and his bio here sounds close enough to that to make me happy. Decepticons should be afraid of him. That’s enough.

The shoulders immediately bring to mind his Animated design, but everything else here looks to be unique to this rendition of the character. It should also be noted that there’s nothing here that suggests he’s wearing any kind of “armor” with the actual ‘bot hidden within; it looks as though this is what the character looks like, plain and simple. While I will admit there is a certain charm to the idea that he’s Optimus’ brother wearing a formidable suit of armor, I’m thankful it seems as though Hasbro has forsaken that idea and is now giving Ultra Magnus what he deserves — unique and awesome sculpts, at least in this case.

As for accessories, he comes with one missile that can be mounted on his shoulder as a very clear nod to the G1 figure, and a rather large hammer that also serves as a rather large rifle thanks to a transformation gimmick that American Transformers toys seem to be plagued with. It’s not that I don’t like the hammer/gun, but the problem is it doesn’t really work in either mode as well as it should. It’s also rather heavy — too heavy for his shoulders to successfully support. This is a BIG nit of mine with this figure. His shoulders are ball joints, and maybe it’s just mine, but they were never all that sturdy to begin with, so there was no way they were ever going to be strong enough to support the hammer in any dynamic poses. He’s limited to poses where the weight isn’t going to work against him too much, like in the pic above.

It’s a very heavy hammer

In gun mode, the “hammer” portion doesn’t really have anything to do but just sit there looking somewhat obtrusive. It would be much more effective it it were just removable.

It’s also a very heavy gun

Much of the weight can probably be attributed to the light-up gimmick the hammer employs. It’s sorta cool, I guess, but ultimately wasted since he can’t really hold it all that well. The light is activated automatically when the hammer mode is engaged.

It’s hammer time!

Since he only comes with one missile to mount on his shoulders, the G1 homage isn’t as fully realized as it could be, but what’s cool is that the G1 Ultra Magnus’ shoulder missiles fit in the Prime figure’s shoulders. It’s not the snuggest fit in the world, but the fit is good enough. I’m not really a fan of how it looks — the idea was much more attractive, it seems — but I so appreciate the fact that it’s possible.

With the G1’s shoulder missiles in place

The weapon he comes with is too heavy for him, or at least for mine, so I’ve been trying to find another weapon he can hold. His hands are shaped in such a way that prevents many weapons from working, but I’ve found that the Targetmaster that came with Universe Cyclonus works reasonably well.

He works well enough as Ultra Magnus, but I do wish there were more red in his design. He’s almost entirely blue while the G1 design — which I’m hopelessly tethered to if you can’t tell — sported a lot of red, and that’s how I still picture “Ultra Magnus.”

Then and now

Fansproject’s “City Commander” upgrade set has been the closest thing we’ve gotten to an updated G1 Ultra Magnus, but as awesome as that set is, it still has many shortcomings — like articulation, for starters — that makes the need for an update very necessary. Does the Prime figure make for a better updated Ultra Magnus? That’s really going to depend on what you’re looking for in the figure. I think it’s close, at least as close as the Fansproject set comes. Neither is perfect, but they both work to a certain extent.

With City Commander

… and at least he’s not just a white Optimus Prime. It’s not that I don’t like the look, it’s just that I’m so tired of it. It’s too easy.

Ultra Leader seemingly saying, “C’mon, I’m still relevant, right?”

But if you can’t get away from the idea that Ultra Magnus is a white Prime inside a suit of blue and red armor, then maybe the below combination may work for you if you use your imagination.

With Revoltech Ultra Magnus

My season 3 crew is such a mishmash of styles and aesthetics that he almost fits. It’s his head that makes him a dead giveaway for a Prime figure above anything else. If he had a nose, he’d probably fit in just a little better. He still works as a decent fill in until we (hopefully) get a better Classics Ultra Magnus, and if you don’t feel like plunking down well over $100 for the Fansproject set up, then this figure’s $19.99 retail price (at Target) can’t be beat.

Some of the season 3 crew

His alt mode is where the figure is really lacking to some extent. It’s just too simplistic looking, almost like a Tonka toy truck. I’m not even completely sure what type of truck it’s supposed to be — some kind of fire truck? A pick-up truck? A brightly-colored military vehicle? I can’t tell. It’s definitely stylized and looks too much like a “toy” (I’m fully aware of how ridiculous that sounds, but I think you get my meaning).

Alt mode

Ultimately, he’s designed to fit most effectively in a Transformers Prime collection, so if you’re looking for an Ultra Magnus to fit in your Classics collection, then this figure may not be the most ideal fit, but he does work well enough. He hits many of the right notes and it’s definitely a cool sculpt.

He’s popping up at retail right now. I found mine at Target where he’s priced at $19.99, so keep an eye out if you’re after one.

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6 thoughts on “Transformers Prime – Powerizers Ultra Magnus

  1. You could be right, Steve. Given the colors, I couldn’t pull my mind away from “tow truck” or something similar. But that doesn’t look TOO far off…

  2. I’ve come to really like him quite a bit. He may be my favorite version of the character so far. I’ve actually been quite impressed with all the Prime figures I’ve picked up lately, but Ultra Magnus here is definitely the best of the bunch.

  3. Awesome pictures. What a gorgeous figure! The alt mode is ok, but I love the robot mode. The head sculpt is fantastic. Can’t wait to find him.

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