ULTRA MAGNUS SPOILER PACK
TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY (HASBRO)
Okay, so, uhh, here’s something a little different, I guess. At the beginning of the year, back when the world was still relatively normal, Hasbro debuted the trailer and accompanying toy line for their Netflix-based Transformers War For Cybertron: Siege cartoon, which is, of course, based on the toy line of the same name. Despite the toys being pretty directly recreated for the animation (down to using the same CAD files), there’s still an even more-show-specific set of figures, which are a Walmart-exclusive here in the US. At the center of this line is a rather gimmicky concept: a spoiler pack. And before we get into any sort of confusion about this being a box of car parts, since that wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for a Transformers line, it specifically references spoilers for the show’s plot, although technically the contents of the box as well. We found out fairly early on that the box contained an Ultra Magnus, but further details weren’t initially revealed…or at least they weren’t supposed to be. I’m going to play nice to that small handful of people who might actually like to still be surprised when they open this thing. If that’s you, the following review is technically a SPOILER, so you’ve been warned.
And boom, there it is. That’s *most* of what you’re getting in this box. There’s a little more of it, which I’ll touch on in the review proper. Alright, let’s jump right on in!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ultra Magnus and Battlefield Rung make up the Ultra Magnus Spoiler Pack, which is part of the Walmart-exclusive War For Cybertron Trilogy line of Netflix-inspired figures. The pack is sold in the above windowless box, with only a faded illustration of Magnus on one side to really hint at what’s contained. His name’s not even printed anywhere on the packaging, so unless you know it’s him, I could imagine there might be some confusion (his tray was also in the box face down, I guess to hide the surprise a little longher?). As of right now, he’s the only Leader-Class figure that we know we’re getting in the line, but it’s possible that might change. All of the figures in the line so far are just straight re-decos of Siege figures, and Magnus is no different, being a repaint of his initial Leader Class figure from last year. That was my favorite Siege item, so you’ll hear no complaints from me on that front. The armored robot mode has Magnus standing 7 1/4 inches tall and gives him 20 practical points of articulation. The paint change-ups on Magnus’ fully kitted out appearance aren’t anything major. He’s got the same overall broad strokes look. The most glaring shift is definitely the pillars on the tops of his arms, which go from predominately white (or off-white) on the last figure, to largely a gun-metal grey. This grey coloring is on a lot of the figure, completely overtaking the missiles on his shoulder, and several of the red spots on the last figure as well. It’s an overall darker pallette, so he’ll pretty quickly stand out from the last figure. He loses the initial Siege-style damage, in favor of this grey overspray. The white sections are a much starker white, which I do like a little bit more, and the blue is just a touch brighter in shade than the last figure. Still not quite a vintage Magnus blue, but certainly brighter.
Since he’s the same mold, Magnus keeps the same inner robot set-up as the last figure, but again with some slightly tweaked paint colors. The straight white is even more noticeable here, as are the dark patches of grey. The windows of his truck cab no longer have the silver paint on their backs, so it’s just straight translucent. The blue on the head extends past the mask covering now, going under the eyes, which looks a little more striking, and he also loses his Autobot symbol on his shoulder. Spoilers? Probably not.
Magnus keeps both of the prior releases vehicle modes, with the changes to the paint showing, of course. He also gets the same initial accessory selection, with the rifle, the rockets, and the two pistols. However, he also gets a Battle Master companion in Battlefield Rung, which is a transparent pink remold of the Siege Rung figure, as well as a pair of effects pieces to go along with him. The initial Rung figure was pretty hard to come by, so the reissue is definitely appreciated, and he’s a pretty well-crafted little figure in his own right, even if I’m still not entirely sure what the heck his alt-mode is meant to be. There’s also…well, I guess it’s black Play-Doh? It’s not officially branded as such, which is a little surprising, what with that being another Hasbro brand and all, but there it is. Packaged within this black not-Play-Doh is a baggie with three Energon cubes, roughly the same color as Rung and his effects pieces, though made of a rather rubbery material. They’re pretty nifty, so I can’t knock getting them. The Play-Doh’s still a little weird, though. The one thing notably absent is Magnus’ sweet-looking cloak from the trailers. I was really hoping it would be here, but alas, no luck on that front. I guess I’ll have to figure something out on my own.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
It’s become harder and harder for me to resist picking up Ultra Magnus figures in the last year, so when this pack was confirmed to contain him, I was on-board, no matter what. I ended up pre-ordering him through Walmart’s site, because I really didn’t want to risk not finding him. That was before the pandemic, and man was I glad about my choice in hindsight. I actually had the contents of this set spoiled for me a few months back, so I knew what I was getting. Honestly, that was probably for the best. Ultimately, it’s a little hard to figure out the market on this guy. His price point and the way he was marketed all point to him being very adult collector-oriented, but the weird Play-Doh thing feels far more oriented towards a younger crowd, who will probably never even know it exists. Whatever the case, for a Magnus fan like me, I was pretty darn happy with this re-deco, and I like having another shot at Rung. Overall, I enjoyed this experience. I’m very curious how it will play out in the long-run, though.