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with Minimus Ambus

Series: Combiner Wars
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Leader
Year: 2015

The legend of Ultra Magnus is exceeded only by the legend of Optimus Prime. When Ultra Magnus was lost, the forces of justice would not let a warrior of his caliber fall. Minimus Ambus, using the power of his rare loadbearer spark, enables Ultra Magnus to fight on.

Robot Mode: In more than one way this figure is a very straight-forward adaption of the classic G1 Ultra Magnus, both the toy as well as the cartoon character. Not only is it pretty much the exact same size as the original City Commander (though much better proportioned), he is also clearly recognizable as the character and looks pretty spiffy. Naturally the figure is much better articulated (G1 Magnus was a brick except for his arms) and can pull off all sorts of cool poses. No complaints on this front.

In terms of weapons Magnus has his trademark white box missile launchers on the shoulders, as well as two black rifles. These four weapons can combine into a big war hammer, seeing as ever since Animated Ultra Magnus it’s pretty much a must for a Magnus figure to carry a hammer, too. The figure also adapts the fact that the original G1 Magnus was basically just a suit of armor for a smaller robot. Magnus can open up his chest and flip back his head, revealing a cockpit for his small companion robot Minimus Ambus (more on that below).

The only downside of this otherwise excellent figure is, to me, that he has several visibly hollow parts. The missile launchers are hollow, so are the thighs. It doesn’t really hurt the figure in any way, mind you, but it makes it feel a bit cheap. Otherwise, though, a great Ultra Magnus robot. Thumbs up!

Alternate Mode: Like in days of yore Magnus transforms into a white truck pulling a blue and red car transport trailer. Much like in robot mode he is pretty much the exact same size as his G1 predecessor and basically features the same gimmicks, too, namely the ability to transport several Deluxe-sized cars. Both the box missile launchers and his black rifles can be mounted on the trailer. So bottom line: a very faithful adaption of the classic Ultra Magnus alternate mode. No complaints.

Partner / Add-On: Ultra Magnus comes with Minimus Ambus, a small white and green robot that transforms into a futuristic car and can take a seat inside Magnus’ chest. Ambus is as articulated and detailed as you can reasonably expect for a figure his size, so no complaints here. The car mode isn’t terribly exciting, but you don’t get this figure for the car mode.

Remarks: Ultra Magnus has been a mainstay of Transformers since his debut in the 1986 Transformers movie, but this figure here is specifically modelled after the Ultra Magnus appearing in the current IDW comics. Here it has been revealed that the original Ultra Magnus died long ago, shortly after the Great War began. In order to uphold morale and create an image of a legendary, immortal law man, other Autobots have worn his armor through the years, pretending to be the original. The most recent of these is Minimus Ambus, a small Autobot with a special load-bearer spark that allows him to power robotic bodies much bigger than his own.

Interesting side note: roughly 90% of the time Ultra Magnus (or at least part of him) is a repaint of an Optimus Prime figure. Not this time, though, where Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus was heavily retooled into Titans Return Powermaster Optimus Prime. Second interesting side note: the Japanese Legends version of this figure has repainted Minimus Ambus into Alpha Trion, given that the IDW comics featuring Ambus are not published in Japan, so Japanese fans are less likely to know who this guy is.

Overall I mostly got this guy because I sold exceptionally well at the 2017 CONS convention and had cash left over. I was happy with my Fansproject City Commander and didn’t really need another Ultra Magnus. That said, this figure is pretty good. The fact that there is no separate white Optimus Prime look-alike included doesn’t bother me at all and Magnus looks pretty cool, with the figure having no serious flaws. So bottom line: the best non-Third-Party Ultra Magnus for your Classics / Generations line-up. Go and buy him if you haven’t already.

Rating: B+
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