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Series: Toyworld
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Headmaster
Year: 2014

"I mean, 'Fortress Maximus'--come on. What kind of a name is that? But everyone's like, 'Oh, Fortress Maximus, you're my hero! You've got guns in your legs and you killed tons of 'Cons at Simanzi...' And I'm like 'That was a thousand years ago!' He's a relic! He's a has-been! He's--"
"Just walked in."
"Great to see you, Max! Come on over! We were just talking about Simanzi! With the thing and the--the stuff! So... oh wow! You've got guns in your legs! How's that working out for you? That's awesome, man. You're awesome."

--Trailbreaker and Chromedome (IDW "More than Meets the Eye")

Prelude: Infinitor is not a figure released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. He hails from third party company Toyworld and is, of course, meant to be Fortress Maximus, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name. Also, I’d like to dedicate this review to two people: one, my beloved wife who gave me Infinitor for my birthday this year, and two, my good buddy James who challenged me to write a review that would convince him to buy ‘Mini Max’, as he calls him. Challenge accepted, Jim, here we go!

Robot Mode: Inevitably this review will not only include numerous references to the official Fortress Maximus figure from Hasbro, but also to the recent third party figure Warden from Perfect Effect, which also depicts Fortress Maximus, though in a different way. Let’s start with the most obvious thing first: Infinitor is basically G1 Fortress Maximus, just shrunk down to roughly Ultra-class size and with far, far better articulation. He’s got almost all of the gimmicks the larger Maximus had, including his famous guns in the legs (which Warden only gains through an upgrade kit). Speaking of guns, Infinitor has loads of them. Two big ones unfold from his hip, he’s got guns in his forearms, a separate gun platform on his left leg, and of course the big blue rifle.

Some differences to the bigger Fort Max are there, of course. Infinitor lacks the addional guns Fort Max had in his hands, which would have been very difficult to implement, I believe, given the much smaller size of said hands. Another slight difference is in the design of the upper torso, where Infinitor does feature two opening panels much like Fort Max, but looking a bit different. The ramps on the back his arms are not clipped in place, but rather pegged in and on a swivel, so you can move them out of the way whenever you want. He’s got that little red lever on his pelvis the big guy had, too, but here it’s purely ornamental and not for making a radar dish turn. And then there is the far better articulation, of course. While Fort Max wasn’t exactly a brick, he wasn’t a contortionist, either. Infinitor can pose with the best of them, though, and even includes angled feet for a more solid stance. So no complaints on this front.

So bottom line for the robot mode: a great downscaled version of the big guy, far better articulation, and faithful translation of most of the gimmicks. No room for complaint.

Alternate Modes: The original Fortress Maximus was a triple changer with a city / base and a battleship for alternate modes. So naturally Infinitor has those same alternate modes, just smaller and with a few slight differences. Let us start with the battleship mode, which is mostly just the robot lying down on his back with the control tower folded out and the arms stretched above the place where the head used to be. Time was I really didn’t like this mode, but over the years I’ve come to appreciate it somewhat. It’s a Cybertronian battleship that mostly looks like a robot, yes, but I still like it. The legs stretch out in front with the leg-guns raised up and the Headmaster figure can take a seat in the cockpit. The big rifle can attach to either side of the control tower and you have your ship. Btw, those clamps in Infinitor’s hip come into play here, stabilizing his legs for this mode. Not strictly necessary, but a nice details.

On to the city mode. Fortress Maximus has, to me, the best city mode of any Transformer ever made, hands down. Infinitor faithfully recreates that mode on a smaller scale. Naturally a few of the gimmicks included in Fortress’ giant frame have been removed or at least reduced. The loading bays on either side of the base mode are there and can open, but the red bars that made one of them a prison cell are no longer there. There is no internal lift in the center of the base, leading to a launching ramp, simply a size issue. And there is no place to insert Cerebros as a communication center, either, because, well, no Cerebros here. Everything else, though, has been very nicely recreated, giving you Fortress Maximus’ fantastic city mode on a smaller scale. Very, very nice.

And given that Infinitor has a lot more leg articulation than Fortress Maximus had, it is possible to modify the city mode somewhat. Instead of folding up the legs as smaller ‘towers’, you can stretch them out sideways and position them alongside the long white ramps on Infinitor’s arms. It’s basically the same city mode, just more stretched out. It’s also possible to remove the white ramps from Infinitor’s arms and fasten them to the legs instead. I didn’t take any pictures of that, but you can see it on Infinitor’s packaging. So while I do prefer the original configuration of the city mode (probably a strong sense of nostalgia involved, I admit), it’s nice that you have further options here. So bottom line: Infinitor nicely recreates the alternate modes of Fortress Maximus. No complaints here, either.

Partner: Being a Headmaster, Infinitor’s head detaches and becomes a robot of its own (or possibly a pink- or green-skinned alien or a former teen sidekick in a robotic suit of armor, take your pick). Now the original Fort Max was a double Headmaster. The head of the big figure became Cerebros, whose head could detach in turn and become Spike (or Galen, or the actual Fortress). Given the smaller size, that isn’t really doable here, so Infinitor is a ‘normal’ Headmaster. The smaller figure is very nicely done, highly articulated thanks to ball joints, and does strongly resemble Cerebros (except for the head, which looks like Infinitor’s head). Nicely done, though unlike Warden’s Headmaster figure the bigger face on the back isn’t hidden.

Remarks: It’s not easy being a Fortress Maximus collector. You want to collect Optimus Primes or Bumblebees or Starscreams? No big, you have hundreds of figures to choose from. Fortress Maximus, though? Even counting Japanese versions and reissues you have no more than five official figures of the guy, all repaints of each other, each of them far more expensive than just about any third party figure, and requiring a whole lot of shelf space, too. So given Hasbro’s reluctance to give starving Fortress Maximus fans some alternatives, I’m rather glad that we now have not just one, but two third party alternatives. And hey, either one will cost you a whole lot less money than even the cheapest of the official guys. If that isn’t a good incentive all by itself, I really can’t help you.

Anyway, for the final verdict I can only say this: Infinitor is a great update of the original Fortress Maximus figure. In direct comparison with Warden, I’d say… well, it depends. If you want an as-close-as-possible new version of the old toy, Infinitor wins hands down. If you’re simply looking for a well-made new interpretation of the character (that can also interact with the original toy), I’d probably give the edge to Warden, simply because he does more than simply shrink down the original figure with some improvements. Being a Fortress Maximus nut, I’m happy to have both. If I could only keep one, though, I’d probably keep Warden (by a hair), simply because he goes the extra mile of being a bit more than “just” a downscaled, improved version of the original. Still, Infinitor is a great figure and definitely recommended to all Headmaster and Fortress Maximus fans.

Rating: A-

Update 2019-09-22: Thanks to Reprolabels / Toyhax Infinitor now comes with plenty of stickers to make him even more G1 Fortress Maximus like than he already is.
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