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Series: Legends
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Leader Headmaster
Year: 2019

Prelude: Ah, Dai Atlas, whose name translates as God Map. Fans of Japanese cartoons might know him as the guy who succeeded Star Saber as Autobot leader. Fans of the IDW comics might know him as the guy who was killed by Star Saber. And fans of the Japanese G1 toys might know him as the toy who was even bigger than Star Saber. Now he is back in the Legends EX series (no sign of Star Saber there yet) as the third and final member of the Big Powered set. Let’s say go! (sorry, that was Star Saber again).

Robot Mode: Let’s start by saying that Dai Atlas is a rather extensive remold of Titans Return Sky Shadow. The legs are more or less indentical, but the rest has been heavily worked over. The result is a Leader-class robot, which not only looks big and powerful, but also shows undeniable Japanese 80s Anime influence. The original G1 Dai Atlas was a good deal bigger still, but overall it’s a very nice homage and the character is clearly recognizable. Thumbs up for that.

Now let’s get the big weak point of this figure over with: the legs. The lower legs, more specifically, which are not only hollow, but also open to two sides. Sky Shadow filled up this hollowness with the folded-in halves of his tank turret, but seeing as Dai Atlas does not split into two vehicles, he lacks this filler. Now there are already numerous options from third party providers for filling this empty space, but it would have been nice had it been filled to begin with. A definite point deduction here.

Apart from that, though, Dai Atlas is a very fun figure. The connection between his upper and lower body could be a bit tighter, but it’s not really a problem. He can pose pretty well. The wings on his back can be removed and connected into the Z-shield, a somewhat Z-shaped shield (who’d have guessed) that he can attach to his arm and tended to throw at enemies in the cartoon. He also wields a gun, though it does look a bit small for his size.

Overall Dai Atlas is a very good-looking robot. I really like the 80s Anime look. If they had found some way to fill up his legs, he’d easily have gotten a thumbs up from me. As things stand he is good, but with definite room for improvement.

Alternate Mode: Officially Dai Atlas is a quad-changer, meaning he’s got three different alternate modes. Realistically two of those alternate modes are basically the same vehicle with just minor modifications. Dai Atlas transforms into something that is best described as a flying drill tank. Nominally there is the jet and then the drill tank, which is the jet with the wings folded down and the robot arms flipped forward. So... yeah, really just one vehicle with minor variations.

Now there is probably no vehicle that is more Japanese than a drill tank and Dai Atlas makes for a pretty good one. The aerodynamics are questionable, of course, especially if you add the gun on top, but overall the vehicle looks pretty good. Sadly the drill doesn’t actually turn, but that’s a minor point. There is a cockpit for Dai Atlas’ Headmaster (sorry, Titan Master). So overall a very nice-looking Japanese Anime vehicle. Thumbs up!

Seeing as both the original G1 Dai Atlas and Titans Return Sky Shadow had a base mode, it’s not very surprising that Legends Dai Atlas has one, too. It’s basically the robot sitting on his butt and spreading his legs a bit, but it works nicely. There is a place for the Titan Master and ramps to connect it to other bases (sadly the smaller base modes of his Big Powered team mates feature no such connections). So while I’m not a big fan of base modes (with some exceptions), this is a pretty nice one.

Partner / Add-On: Dai Atlas is a Headmaster, meaning his head detaches into a separate robot, called a Titan Master. Seeing as Dai Atlas was never a Headmaster in the original fiction, the smaller robot does not have a name of its own. It’s a standard Titan Master figure, nothing else to say here.

Combined Mode: The reason why Dai Atlas was sold in a set with Sonicbomber and Roadfire is, of course, that the three Powered Masters can combine into a single super vehicle called Big Powered. Roadfire attaches to the top of Dai Atlas, while Sonicbomber attaches to the front. The resulting vehicle looks more or less like Dai Atlas’ vehicle mode, just longer and more heavily armed. The connections are very solid, so it’s no problem picking up Big Powered and flying him around the room if that is something you like to do.

Big Powered can be enhanced further by using Topspin and Twin Twist as additional vehicles. For this to work you detach Dai Atlas’ wings, plug the two additional vehicles onto his arms, and then attach the wings on the outer sides. The result looks really great, a huge Anime-style space ship. Sadly it’s not quite as stable as the “normal” Big Powered, seeing as the tabs Twin Twist and Topspin tab into are those that usually affix Dai Atlas’ robot mode arms to the torso. You need to twist his forearms around 180 degrees in order to have the tabs on the outside, which has the entire weight of the two additional bots and the wings rest on Dai Atlas’ shoulder joints. It holds together if you’re careful, but no fancy flying maneuvers here.

Overall Big Powered is fun, especially if you add Top Spin and Twin Twist, too. Does it really make sense? No, but since when has sense entered into it. So if you’re a fan of big, chunky Anime-style super vehicles, Big Powered is definitely worth a look.

Remarks: After the original Transformers cartoon ended in Japan with the return of Convoy (Optimus Prime), the next series saw a new breed of more powerful Transformers in the Headmasters. Then the next series portrayed the yet more powerful Godmasters. The next series brought us the STILL more powerful Brainmasters. And when Zone came along it brought us, you guessed it, the EVEN MORE powerful Powered Masters, such as Dai Atlas and his gang. Unsurprisingly Dai Atlas, as chief Powered Master, became the new Supreme Commander. Such is the way of Japanese Transformers series.

Giving an objective rating for Dai Atlas is a bit hard, seeing as he is most definitely a fringe character that most people outside Japan won’t know much, if anything about. He is a retool of a very good figure, but the decision to not have him separate into two components leads to a few problems. Still, I’m a big fan of the look & feel of the Japanese G1-sequels and I very much like this set. It’s not for everyone, but if you like the look and are a fan of big, chunky Mecha vehicles, then Dai Atlas (and the rest of the Big Powered set) are definitely worth a look or two.

Rating: B-
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