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with Cerebros, Cog & Spike

Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Headmaster City
Year: 1987

Robot Mode: As a robot Fortress Maximus towers over all other Transformers past & present. The size of a small child, Maximus is highly detailed and carries tons of weapons that can be deployed from hidden compartments. In this mode the smaller robot Cerebros transforms into Maximus' head and the other figures (Spike, Gasket, Grommet) can take up residence in any of the many storage compartments in his body.

Alternate Mode: Fortress Maximus has two alternate modes. In one he becomes a battle station (complete with wheels so it can roll over the floor), which the Japanese cartoons called a starcruiser. The legs stretch out in front, deploying the installed laser guns. The other is a city-mode and I like that one a lot better than the other. With its many towers, ramps, openings, and such Fortress Maximus plays the part of Autobot command centre to a T. This was also the mode the American series showed as Maximus' star-travelling mode.

Partners / Add-Ons: Fortress Maximus has four support robots. The first is Cerebros, a grey and dark grey robot who transforms into Fortress Maximus' head when the larger robot is in robot mode. In order for Cerebros to transform into his own robot mode in turn he needs Headmaster Spike who becomes Cerebros' head. Maximus is further staffed by Gasket and Grummet, two tank-like vehicles (one of which can serve as a ride for Spike) that can combine into the robot Cog.

Missing Parts: Fortress Maximus is complete except for two small handguns, belonging to Cerebros and Cog respectively. They got lost during one of the three moves this beauty accompanied me on.

Remarks: The undisputed centerpiece of my collection and without doubt the rarest, most sought-after, and biggest of all the Transformer toys. Fortress Maximus appeared in but one episode of the original cartoon (the final one to be exact, titled Rebirth - Part 3). For a one-time character Hasbro certainly put a lot of love and detail into this one. Fortress Maximus comes with tons of hidden compartments, extra canons, and lots of other stuff and accesoires, including Spike, the annoying human boy from the original cartoon, who makes his toy debut here.

Maximus later appeared again in the Japanese cartoon series Headmasters and Car Robots, the latter saw air time in the Western world under the title Robots in Disguise. The toy was not reissued outside Japan, though, meaning the G1 version is the only toy likely to turn up in Europe or America.

Where did I find this rare treasure? Here I was, no older than 12 or 13, strolling around in Vienna, Austria, where I was visiting my grandparents. We headed into a hidden-away toyshop in some side street and in that shop, stashed away in the farthest corner between some leftover barbies and stuff, I find Fortress Maximus. I immediately badgered my grandmom into buying it for me.

Interestingly enough my copy of Scorponok, the Deception counterpart of Fortress Maximus, apparently hails from a Vienna toyshop as well, or so the seller on ebay tells me. Maybe these two are so rare because Vienna bought up the whole lot.

Anyway, you can bet that I will never ever sell this one unless my life depends on it. I've seen it go away on Ebay for over USD 500.00, but even that won't sway me. This one is here to stay.

Rating: A
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