ULTRA MAGNUS PULSATING LIGHT AM RADIO & ELECTRONIC VOICE SYNTHESIZER
TRANSFORMERS: POWER TRONIC (NASTA)
As we come into the second day of the Post-Christmas reviews, I’m heading into some slightly uncharted territory. Firstly, I’m looking at something Transformers related which, while not completely a first for Christmas gifts for me, is still sort of new and fresh, seeing as I’ve only recently really gotten into it. And secondly, and in fact most differently, I’m not actually looking at action figures at all, but rather some action figure adjacent product. It’s not explicitly a first for me, I guess. I mean, I did review a stapler that one time, and that’s not even action figure adjacent. That’s just oddball is what that is. What am I getting at here? Well, more or less that I’m not really reviewing action figures for the day. Hopefully this will be just as good…or at least up to whatever the quality of my usual output is, anyway. Whatever the outcome, I guess we should look at this Ultra Magnus Merch I got, huh?
THE TOYS THEMSELVES
The two toys in question are the Ultra Magnus Pulsating Light AM Radio and the Electronic Voice Synthesizer, both of which were produced in 1986 by Nastra under their Power Tronic brand. They were both released to coincide with Transformers: The Movie arriving in theaters that same year, and to capitalize on Ultra Magnus’s role therein. I can dig it. Let’s first discuss the “Pulsating Light AM Radio,” a somewhat perplexing item. I mean, if you’re going to make a Transformers-themed radio, wouldn’t it make sense to at least pick one of the characters who actually turns into sound equipment? Or am I talking the crazy talk. Given that I’m arguing against there being another Ultra Magnus thing, I may very well be talking the crazy talk. The actual item’s not that crazy, I suppose. It measures 7 1/2 inches tall, and is pretty much just a scaled up replica of the G1 Ultra Magnus’s armored head. It’s not quite as human-esque as later Magnuses, of course, but I think that works somewhat to this item’s favor, because it looks a little bit more artistic, and less like someone’s just decapitated Ultra Magnus. It’s molded in the same shade of blue as the figure, and uses silver paint for the appropriate details, which honestly looks pretty good. The radio runs on four AA batteries, which are loaded into the Magnus’s “antenna” on the sides of his head. There are dials on the back of the head for turning on and adjusting the volume, as well as tuning the station. I was quite happy to find that the radio function on mine still works, however the pulsating light function sadly is no more. Oh well.
The second item featured here is the Electronic Voice Synthesizer, which is clearly Ultra Magnus, but is not actually named as such on the item’s packaging. The item allows the owner to “talk like a robot” by mouthing words into the plastic straw that pops out of the figure’s back, and is essentially a simplified version of an electrolarynx device. They were somewhat common amongst licensed products in the ’80s, so Transformers getting in on the game is perhaps not the biggest shock. The item stands 4 1/2 inches tall and actually does have articulation, with joints at both shoulders, and some slight movement on the neck. Much like the radio, this item is clearly patterned on the G1 toy’s mold, just scaled way down this time. It’s rather crude and rudimentary, and has a distinct lack of Magnus’s shoulder towers, but is overall an okay piece. Rather than apply any paint to this one, he’s instead just molded in three different colors of plastic, meaning he’s more an approximation of Magnus’s color scheme than an accurate depiction. The Voice Synthesizer runs on a 9-Volt battery, which goes in the base of the feet. I haven’t tested mine because I just don’t really want to put my mouth on it, so, you know, there it is, I guess.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Ultra Magnus is really becoming my main man when it comes to Transformers stuff, and I’ve picked up quite a healthy helping of Magnus-related stuff in the last year. The stuff in the column of “what I don’t have” is becoming a bit more on the obscure side, and included these two, neither of which I expected to add to my collection quite this quickly. I did add them to my collection quite this quickly, however, thanks to Jason from All Time Toys, who gave them both to me this year for Christmas. They’re not standard action figure fare, but they are still a ton of fun, goofy fun, but fun to be sure!