TRANSFORMERS: R.E.D. (HASBRO)
Okay, the Transformers reviews have certainly slowed down around here, I suppose. I was trying for a once-a-month thing, but I couldn’t even do that. Admittedly, I wasn’t really trying. Well, hey, would you guys like a Transformers review? Okay, but slight caveat: this one does not transform. I know. First Transformers review in three months. Doesn’t even transform. There’s some sort of cruel irony there. Well, if it makes it any better, it’s at least an Ultra Magnus. So, you know, it’s at least mostly on brand. Mostly.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Ultra Magnus is one of the two figures (the other being the Prime version of Knockout) that make up the fifth assortment of Transformers: R.E.D., which remains exclusive to Walmart. The entire selling point of this line is that the transformations are sacrificed in the name of animation accuracy, a selling point that has been completely lost with this figure, because instead of being based on any animated appearance of Magnus, this figure is instead based on his G1 inner robot. Why? Re-use, that’s why. I’ll get to that. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 34 points of articulation. Magnus’s entire existence is reliant on one thing: he’s a 100% parts re-use. Since he’s just the inner robot, rather than a proper armored Magnus, he’s just a complete repaint of the Series 1 Optimus Prime mold. This is my first time messing with the mold. It’s alright. The movement is a little better than the Soundwave mold for the most part, and I found the angles to be a little sharper on this one. It matches the Prime animation model, which is good for Prime. For Magnus, it’s kind of neither here nor there whether it’s accurate to anything. It’s generally a pretty fun sculpt removed from the source, and it plays pretty well, so I can’t really complain. The mold still features Prime’s opening chest compartment, which on the first release allowed for storage of the included Matrix of Leadership. The Matrix isn’t included here, so it’s kind of vestigial, but it’s still a cool feature. The main change-up for this release is the paint scheme. As with the G1 figure, he’s a largely white version of Prime, much like the inner bots for the Siege and Kingdom releases. Not *actually* being an inner bot means he can follow the original color scheme a little bit more, specifically with the upper being silver, rather than just more white. The application is clean, and he looks the part, so it all works out. Magnus is packed with three sets of hands (fists, open gesture, and a grip/pointing combo), a rifle, and an alternate Energon axe hand (now in blue). All of these are the same as those included with the standard Optimus, though, as noted above, this guy loses the Matrix.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I got this line’s Soundwave because he pretty much fell into my lap. He was fine, but not really enough to make me jump into the line any further. The announcement of a Magnus was exciting, but that was undercut by the reveal that he was just a Prime repaint. Generally, I don’t tend to go for just inner-bot Magnuses, so I wasn’t really planning to get this one. Ultimately, I got him because I needed to stop at Walmart for something else, he was there, and he was on sale. He’s not a bad figure, but he’s also just sort of…lost? Like, he’s not even true to the one thing the line had going for it, so, exactly what is his purpose? I’d like to see a proper armored version later down the line, but honestly I feel like this figure’s existence is going to make getting another one more difficult. I get Hasbro wanting to get extra mold re-uses, but for this specific line, I don’t feel like this is one that really works. So, I’m glad to have another Magnus, as per usual, but I do wish he were better.