Transformers Siege: Titan Class Omega Supreme by Hasbro

Hasbro gets a lot of shit from collectors, some of it most definitely deserved, but I always have to give them credit for continuing to turn out these massive Titan Class Transformers. I don’t know how well they do, since Big Boxes around these parts don’t carry them, not even on endcaps at Christmas, and it’s not uncommon for some of these to turn up at deep discounted clearance at closeout stores after the holidays. Nonetheless, Omega Supreme here is the fourth Titan Class under Hasbro’s belt, and that’s if you don’t include the two big Combiners, Devastator and Predaking. Omega was a G1 toy that I never owned as a kid, so the ability to get him now in an updated version scratches a thirty-five year old itch.

Like all the Titans, Omega comes in a huge, fully enclosed box with some absolutely bitchin’ artwork on the front and some pictures of the toy on the back. This giant box was practically made to be found under a Christmas tree, and I actually considered saving him for my Christmas review this year, but in the end I knew I didn’t have the patience to wait a couple more months. Unlike previous Titans, Omega comes out of the box nearly fully assembled, so you can indeed put him back in the box for storage. That’s a big deal for me, as it means I’m more likely to keep the packaging. This time around, there’s no sticker sheet, and no batteries required, because Omega doesn’t have any electronic features. Normally, I like to start with the alt modes, but in the case of Omega here, let’s begin with his robot mode.

Holy shit, I love this robot mode! Omega’s new look draws heavily from the original toy with elements from the Sunbow animation design as well. His proportions are greatly improved upon, giving him legs that are actually useful and articulated, a separate and distinct torso, and arms that are still pretty beefy, but also more in scale with the rest of his body. I’ve seen a fair bit of griping over the gap between his boxy torso and his hips, but it never bothered me much in the pictures, and it sure as hell doesn’t bother me with the figure in hand. If anything, it’s a worthy trade off to give his legs a wider range of motion for those intimidating wide stances. Familiar design call backs include the yellow panels on his lower legs, the red chest plate, yellow shoulder pylons, and the familiar pieces of track arching up from behind those shoulders. This new design even incorporates the clear panel on the upper chest from the cartoon version, albeit with the panel changed from red to yellow. Of course, Omega also sports the same lack of hands as his G1 namesake, with his right arm ending in a triple fingered claw, and his left arm terminating in a blaster. He’s definitely not your traditional Autobot, as he’s designed to blow your face off rather than shake your hand. And while Omega is not as tall as the previous Titans, Fort Max and Metroplex, he’s still plenty big and beefy, and I think appropriately sized.

From behind, Omega is extremely polished, with no hollow portions or ugly bits. The twin cylinders that form his backpack are a new design element, but I think they look great while incorporating a clever new bit of engineering for his transformation.

The head is heavily modeled after Omega’s old Sunbow design with the sculpted face positioned behind a clear plastic shield. The expression is pretty spot on and the only big difference here is that his eyes are yellow instead of blue. And speaking of eyes, there’s some brilliant light piping going on with those peepers. The “helmet” features the two tubes coming off his “ears” and meeting at the box under his chin. He even has a cannon that can raise up out of the back of his head.

For a big boy, Omega sports lots of useful articulation. His legs have strong ratchets in the hips for front, back, and lateral movement. They’re plenty noisy, but they can support his weight with no problems. There are swivels up in the thighs, the knees bend, and there’s lateral rockers in the feet for those wide stances. The arms can rotate at the shoulders as well as hinge outward, there are swivels in the biceps, and the elbows are hinged. He can pivot at the top of his pelvis, each of the fingers on his claw are hinged twice, and his head can rotate left and right. There’s no doubt about it, Omega is a really fun toy in his robot mode and he can take and hold some pretty cool action poses. I would probably have been totally happy with this guy even if he didn’t transform, but of course he does, so let’s check out his alt mode… but before that, have a look at his little buddy Countdown.

Countdown continues the trend of giving us little robots to interact with our big ones. These are similar to the old Micromasters and more recent Minicons, and we’ve seen a resurgence of these ever since the Titans Return line. Countdown has a very cool robot mode, which includes a highly detailed head sculpt and even a painted face. That’s something we don’t always get in these little fellas. His transformation is extremely simple and his alt mode is a little moon-buggy with a satellite dish on the top. OK… now on to Omega’s alt mode…

Yup, it’s the same style of rocket base as the original toy, complete with rocket, gantry, track, and patrol tank. And while there are some nips and tucks to proportions and other little details, it remains wonderfully faithful. Getting here is pretty easy, which shouldn’t be too surprising since none of the Titan Class figures have had complex transformations. In this case, both arms come out as one piece, with a connection passing through the main body. This piece then transforms into the rocket. The tank pulls out of the body from the chest, similar to good old Power Master Optimus Prime, leaving behind the legs and shell, which form the main building/gantry. I think the biggest surprise for me was the track, which I did not realize would be raised on struts. That’s pretty cool. I also love how solid it is. While there’s nothing attaching the tank or rocket, I can still pick up the base from the main building and the track will come along, all without falling apart. On the downside, the track is a lot more compact than I remember the old toy being and that makes this big tank patrolling around it look a bit silly.

As with past Titan Class figures, Omega’s alt mode is mainly designed to be in scale with the tiny Titan Masters or Power Masters. That makes him the perfect playground for Countdown. He scales well enough to hang out in the compartment of the main building, roll down the ramps in vehicle mode, or hide in the compartments that open up on either side of the base. He also scales exceptionally well with the track when in vehicle mode. There’s almost enough room for two-way traffic. Too bad my Mini-Cons are in storage, because I’d have fun loading this base up with them.

And while the base certainly isn’t designed with larger Transformers in mind, Deluxe Class vehicles, like Ironhide here, can patrol the track pretty comfortably as well.

The rocket trades length for girth (insert phallic joke here), and in doing so, I think it makes for a more impressive display. There’s nothing actually securing the rocket to the gantry, but if you put it close enough to the main building, the yellow pylons look like they’re designed to reach out and grab it. There’s also a hinged ramp on the bottom of the open compartment of the building, but it too doesn’t actually attach to the rocket in any way. Apart from sitting pretty and being able to woosh around the room with some imagination and assistance, the only real feature to the rocket is the opening compartment at the top. It’s big enough to house a small Transformer as a pilot.

The final element, the tank, is a pretty cool piece all on its own. It’s a satisfyingly hefty vehicle with tons of sculpted detail all over. The two side cannon can raise and lower, as can the main cannon. There’s also a smaller gun that can be raised out of the back of the turret for added firepower. He has sculpted faux treads, but real wheels under him to help him roll along the track or the floor.

Finally, Omega does come with some effect parts, which can be stacked together to form a blast effect for either of his arm weapons. These can also be pulled apart and pegged in various spots to look like enemy fire impacting him. I like the idea here, but I’m not real sold on the execution. I think the coloring is a little too dark and the plastic too opaque to really make it look all that great.

I almost wish that I had broken this review down into two parts, because it felt like I didn’t have enough time to gush enough about this amazing figure. It still impresses me to no end that Hasbro is willing and capable of putting out these Titan Class Transformers, and how every damn one of them has been a direct hit. No, they ain’t cheap, but even at $160, Omega feels like he’s at a pretty good price point. He isn’t the biggest of the Titan Classes, but he feels a lot more complex than the two Autobot cities. And the fact that they nixed the electronics on this release doesn’t phase me one bit. I think this guy is libel to make most any Transformers fan happy, and that’s especially the case for me because, as I said earlier, I never owned him as a kid.

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Transformers Titans Return: Trypticon by Hasbro

Today’s Transformers Thursday review is brought to you by the motto, “Better late than never.” I’ve had Hasbro’s latest beast of a figure since around Christmas time when Amazon had him as a very appealing Deal of the Day. He’s been out of the box and on my shelf since then, but reviewing these Titan Class figures takes a lot out of me, so I really had to build up to it. Also, I’m fresh out of other Transformers to look at right now, so it was either Trypticon or nothing. I also want to preface this review with the disclaimer I have up on my past two Titan Class figures. My staging area is not big enough to handle these guys, so I have to make do with a sheet for a backdrop and a lighting rig that is not at all ideal. Also, unlike the previous Titans, I’m doing this one all in one part. There were a few pictures I would have liked to retry, but time didn’t allow it. In other words… sorry for the picture quality on some of these. With that all being said, let’s check this guy out!

Like Metroplex and Fort Max before him, Trypticon comes in fully enclosed box with some really nice artwork on the front and plenty of pictures of him on the back. It’s collector friendly, but you have to be willing to risk pulling him apart again if you want to put him back in the box. For me, taking him out of the box was a one way trip. In addition to the big guy himself, you also get the Deluxe Class Full-Tilt figure and his Titan Master, Necro. Also included in the box is a character card, a folded instruction sheet, and a massive sheet of foil stickers. I put most of those stickers on, but there are a few that I didn’t bother with, and a few others that I’m just too scared to attempt. I may finish stickering him up someday, but for now I’m happy with what I’ve got. Let’s start out with a quick look at Necro and Full-Tilt!

Full-Tilt’s alt mode is a pretty cool looking purple car. I’m assuming this is supposed to be a Cybertronian vehicle, because there are no windshields and it looks like a futuristic armored car. There’s a decent amount of sculpted detail here, mostly in the form of panel lines, some bolts, an engine on the back, and he’s got four rugged looking wheels. What’s missing? There’s absolutely no paint showing on this mode at all, which makes it feel rather unfinished to me. Trypticon is expensive, Hasbro, splash some paint on there, would ya, please? Full-Tilt comes with a black double barreled gun and it can be pegged right into the top of the vehicle.

Necro is Full-Tilt’s Titan Master and he too escaped the factory without any paint, which is a shame. He’s cast mostly in purple, but his head is cast in black plastic. You get the usual points of articulation, with ball joints in the neck and shoulders. The legs are fused together, but they have hinges at the hips and knees. Full-Tilt’s auto mode does open up and has a compartment for Necro to sit in, but since he’s nearly all purple, he kind of blends in with the rest of the purple plastic.

While I’m not overly impressed with Full-Tilt’s car mode, I really dig his robot mode. It’s still woefully lacking a lot of paint, you just get some silver on his chest grills, red for his visor, and a little silver on his “helmet.” But he’s a good, solid and clean design and kind of fun to play around with. He also displays really well with the other Deluxe Class figures on my shelf. So, yeah I dig him, but I can’t dwell on him much longer, because I’ve got a lot more to look at. So, let’s move on to Trypticon’s space cruiser mode!

I have to be honest, I did not expect to like this nearly as much as I do. This is a bruiser of a ship and it’s bulky, ugly, no-nonsense design is exactly what I expect out of a Decepticon space cruiser. Forget the dainty curves of The Nemesis, Starship Trypticon looks like a warship that can take a beating, and it’s stacked with firepower and carrier capabilities too. There are just a few things I don’t care for about the design. First off, what’s the deal with those stubby wings? Who are you kidding Trypticon? Those can’t possibly serve any purpose! Also, the instructions show them angled up a bit, but the wings on mine are a little floppy and will only lay flat. Secondly, the gigantic translucent dome looks like a cockpit and that kind of throws off the whole scale of it. Indeed, it’s kind of hard for me to not see it as a cockpit, making this look more like a fighter-sized ship. At least until I start stacking it with Titan Masters. Oh, and how about the fact that the nose of the ship actually looks like Trypticon’s head. Wait, did I list that with the things I didn’t like? Forget that. It’s awesome!

Space Cruiser Trypticon is absolutely loaded with sculpted detail. There are vents, panel lines, cables, hatches, and Titan Master foot pegs littered all over this thing. He’s also got two massive cannons on his back, which can elevate, another cannon in the middle of his back, where you can also mount Full-Tilt if you want, and finally he has a set of two smaller guns right up front at the nose. He also has three massive reactors exposed on either of his broadsides. It’s probably a good idea put some armor up over those, but then I’d like to think they just piss out so much radiation that it’s better out then in. It’s also probably the bubbling molten hell where all the Titan Masters he eats go to be converted into fuel. But we’ll get to snacking on Titan Masters later on.

The sides of the space cruiser can be used to launch Deluxe Class Decepticon spacecraft, complete with ramps that can extend to make an elongated runway. Both Triggerhappy and Misfire fit really great in these areas. Here’s where you can also get a nice sense of the scale of this space cruiser mode. I particularly love the little doorway that leads into the ship. It’s just the right size for the Titan Masters to pass through. These two carrier sections really make the star cruiser mode a lot of fun to play with.

And just when you think you’ve seen it all the front of the ship can open up to transport Full-Tilt in his car mode. And since the front of the ship looks like Trypticon’s head, when Full-Tilt launches, it looks like he’s barfing him out. Simply awesome. Yup, I absolutely love this mode and it’s various little design elements. It’s fun to mess around with, but a little too big and heavy to be whooshing it around the room. All in all, I’d say this ranks better than most of the third modes on the Voyager Triplechangers in this line. Let’s move on to his city mode!

The city mode is not a whole lot different from the space cruiser mode, and I kind of dig that. It’s like Trypticon can just fly to another planet, transform while he’s landing and BOOM! There’s a Decepticon City in your neighborhood now, bitches! DEAL WITH IT! All he really has to do is unfold his legs into pylons, drop three ramps, raise the cannons into towers, and tweak a few other things. But despite it’s simplicity I think it’s definitely on par with the Fort Max/Metroplex cities, and probably even a wee bit better. High-Tilt can now launch from the top and roll all the way down the ramp and into battle. You can also park Deluxe Decepticons on the side platforms or continue to use them as aircraft strips. Honestly, while I really liked the interaction between the space cruiser mode and the Deluxes, this is a CITY mode, and to really show it off, I’ve just got to bust out the Mini-Cons!

These Titan Class cities are just about the only occasion I get to use my giant bag of Mini-Cons any more. There are still plenty of sweet spots to pile them on, but Trypticon doesn’t really have the same amount of useful surface space as Metro or Fort Max. He’s still plenty of fun, though and while the Titan Masters are tinier, I think the Mini-Cons also do a nice job conveying the intended scale of this thing. Of course, you still have the option of converting the twin towers into cannons by angling them forward, and there are plenty of covered areas under him where you can park more cars.  So, while I’ll give the space cruiser mode a bit of an edge as my favorite of the two, I like this one quite a bit. But now that we’ve been through both the alt modes, as fun as they are, the real attraction here is Trypticon’s T-Rex mode, so let’s get him transformed and check him out.

Oh, mama! As much as I dig the two alt modes, here’s what I bought my tickets for, and I am not disappointed. While Trypticon’s T-Rex mode is not as tall as Metro or Fort Max, he’s still a powerhouse of a figure and an absolutely spot-on update to the original toy. I know I made this comment when dealing with the space cruiser mode, but nearly every bit of his surface area is covered with some kind of sculpted detail. There’s so much going on with this guy that it’s easy to get lost in all the minutia, and I think the hyper-detail in the sculpt helps to accentuate just how big he’s supposed to be.  The deco is an instantly familiar combination of gray, teal, and purple that matches my memories of my old childhood friend, and he’s got all the points that I consider to be iconic, like the translucent orange discs on his hips, and the “teeth” on the insides of his feet that served the walking gimmick in the original toy. I’m also suitably impressed by the articulation in his not-so-little arms. They’re actually quite useful for picking up Autobot fools.

As awesome as the body is, the head is a damn work of art, with powerful jaws, light piping in the eyes which I did not want to cover up with stickers, and those massive shoulder cannons. Once again, all the detail in the sculpt blows me away. I really should have posted this review yesterday on Valentine’s Day, because I’m in love with this big guy. Trypticon’s noggin also holds a few fun play gimmicks.

For starters, if you plug Necro’s head mode into the little compartment on the top of Trypticon’s head, the translucent orange panel between his eyes flips up to reveal a hidden laser cannon. Sweet!

Next up, if you open his jaws up all the way he’s got a double barreled cannon hidden in his mouth. He also has a throat which lets him swallow Titan Masters, sending him to that hellish gut I mentioned earlier where they can be melted away into fuel. But not to worry, Hasbro knows those things cost $5 a pack, so you can open his chest and retrieve them from his stomach compartment easy-peasy. Above we see poor Fracas emerging in the fetal position muttering, “I’ve seen things!” I really love the hazard striping stickers that go around these chambers, even though they were a bitch to put on straight.

With three of these Titan Class figures on my shelves, you’d think the impact of their coolness factor would have waned a bit, but that is definitely not the case with Trypticon. Indeed, in a lot of ways he’s even more impressive than Fort Max, because he’s all new sculpting, and he’s everything I could have wanted in a modern Trypticon update. Every now and then I stare at him on the shelf and still can’t quite believe Hasbro is turning out toys this amazing. Hasbro gets a lot of shit from collectors, and sure some of it is deserved, but it’s hard for me to not acknowledge them as my favorite toy company when they’re turning out works of art like this guy, not through Kickstarters or Comic Shop Exclusives, but right on the shelf at your local big box. Will we get a Scorponok in this scale? That would be cool. But even if they retire the Titan Class line after this third release, nothing can take away the fact that they delivered this trio of amazing giants. I think I can speak for most of us when I say, Good on you, Hasbro! Unless you got a Trypticon with shitty hips. Then you’re probably pissed.

Transformers Titans Return: Fortress Maximus by Hasbro, Part 2

So, if you were here yesterday you witnessed a middle aged man practically brought to tears of joy by the magical thing that is a giant toy robot. I checked out Fort Max’s robot mode as well as his Titan Master and his Titan Master’s Titan Master. Today it’s time to check out the alt modes, and I’m going to start things off with his Battle Station Mode. Once again, I’m going to apologize for the quality of these pictures, but I had to get really creative with the lighting and backdrop in order to snap pictures of this beast.

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So here’s the Battle Station. I love this mode and I don’t care that it’s basically just Fort Max lying on his back with his arms over his head. It’s cool, dammit! This thing is probably intended as a land vehicle, but I’d like to think of it as an ocean faring vessel, but it could really even work as a space ship if you want. It’s all up to your imagination. The legs form two forward pontoons with two massive dual-cannon gun emplacements, while the arms form landing strips for aircraft. Yeah, the upper legs and pelvis are just connective tissue.

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Cerebros forms a Command Tower in the middle of this behemoth, with Emissary free to stand on top and shout, “I’M KING OF THE WORLD!” Now, I realize this is Titans Return and Fort Max is designed to be manned by the tiny Titan Masters. Indeed, there are foot pegs all over this thing and these little bots certainly give Fort Max’s alt modes an incredible sense of scale. But I’m going a different route here because how often do I get to say, LET’S BUST OUT THE MINI-CONS!!! 

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Yeah, if you thought I could resist the opportunity to load up Fort Max with Mini-Cons the moment I transformed him, then you just don’t know me at all. Let’s take a quick tour!

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The front pontoons are probably not the best place for Mini-Cons to gather, as I imagine the blasts from those cannons are pretty fierce. But I’ve got a couple doing maintenance checks on the left pylon. I know what you’re saying. Stormcloud is a speedboat, what does he know about fixing cannons? Well, he’s taking some engineering extension courses from Powerlinx Blackout. Just go with me on that one. Meanwhile the other pontoon is being used as a makeshift helipad… Haha, see what I did there? Makeshift is using it as a helipad! OMGWTFLOL!!! Anyway, it’s worth mentioning here that the right foot on my figure does not lock into position like it should. I had to use a little blue-tack to hold it in place. That’s disappointing, but I guess not catastrophic. I wonder if this is a common issue or I just got lucky. Moving on to the middle…

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There’s not much to do in this middle section. It’s just a place for the Mini-Cons to hold their adorable little Mini-Con meetings. I’ve got Blackout chilling and watching the skies with his AA-gun arms while Payload drones on about whatever Mini-Con’s drone on about. Probably how much it sucks to carry Sky Blast on his back all the time.

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Over here, Waterlog is being lowered into the water by one of the cranes. Dammit, I can’t remember his name. Meanwhile, Sky Blast is standing by on his launch pad.

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The runways are loaded with Mini-Con jets waiting to fly their sorties in case Starscream and company happen to show up.

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And finally, I’ve got Waterlog’s twin… um, Other Waterlog, standing by to launch out of the bay in the back.

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There’s a lot of fun to be had here with the Battle Station mode, and yes there’s an entirely other mode to play with. Insert G1 transforming sound here.

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Now the City Mode is just as awesome and it looks great, but in fairness it offers more or less the same play areas as the Battle Station mode, just in a slightly different configuration, so there’s not a whole lot to be said about this mode that hasn’t already been said.

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The central Command Tower is still there, although now the back of it is facing forward. It looks good, and I dig the way the little Autobot emblem can be seen near the top. This time, I’m using the top of the tower as a launchpad for Sky Blast. There’s some room here and there for other Mini-Cons to congregate, but there’s not a lot of areas here that are specifically designated to interact with figures. You can open up the translucent compartment to have access to a little room in there and maybe use it as a prison.

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At the front ground level of the city we have a couple of garages, which work really well for the Mini-Con cars. This is probably the biggest difference between the two modes. The Battle Station didn’t have a lot of places for the cars to live, whereas here they do. I wish the main ramp wasn’t so steep, though.

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The box hanging off Fort Max’s leg serves as a gunner station with Cerebros’ gun attached to it. You can also detach this and use it as a tank, but it’s a bitch to get off.

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The two front runways from the Battle Station are here, just separated from each other. They still serve as runways for my Mini-Con jets to launch from. You also get the two large gun emplacements on the sides with room for more launching areas or helipads or whatever you want. Like I said, we’ve seen most of this in the last mode, so there isn’t a lot new to talk about here. It’s still a great looking city, certainly a lot better looking than Metroplex’s city mode and, if I happened to choose this mode to talk about first, it would have been the Battle Station getting the shorter end of the stick when discussing the various features. As always, there are some different configurations you can play around with, but most of them are just going to be slight variations on what we’ve already seen. I should also note that while I get the most fun out of using Mini-Cons with the alt modes, Fort Max is still big enough to interact with the Deluxes and the tiny Titan Masters really give him an even grander sense of scale.

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In case you didn’t notice, I’m impressed with Fortress Maximus and I’ve been having too much fun playing around with him. And finally getting him is all the sweeter for me since I never owned the original G1 toy. The closest I came was owning the Car Robots Brave Maximus, which I wound up selling off when the prices for him were going through the roof and I needed money to feed my video game addiction. I’ve felt bad about that decision for a long time, but now that I finally have a modern update of the old mold, I’m at peace with it. This guy looks amazing standing next to Metroplex and I can’t even imagine how cool they’re both going to look when displayed with the Titan Class Trypticon. Now I’ve got some major re-arranging to do as I try to make a new shelf for my Titans!

Transformers Titans Return: Fortress Maximus by Hasbro, Part 1

Well, I’ve been saving this big bot for a while now and with Toy Fair getting my toy collecting juices flowing (I’m talking about you, Trypticon… Lotion and tissues were involved!), I thought this week would be a good time to open him up. In order to give Fort Max his due, I’m going to take a couple days to look at him and that means no DC Friday tomorrow. Sorry, but it takes me a long time, and some serious DIY bullshit, to rig up my sad little photo stage so that it’s big enough to shoot something like this. So, while I’m on the subject, let me apologize in advance for the lighting in this review. My set up is designed mostly for figures in the 4-inch to the 12-inch range, so I had to just do the best I could and I can’t say I’m terribly pleased with the results. Anyway, today I’m going to check out the packaging and his robot mode and tomorrow I’ll have a look at his two alt modes. And with that out of the way, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t state what most of us have been thinking ever since this toy was first shown… OMFG, FORTRESS MAXIMUS GOT A MODERN UPDATE AND HE’S ABSOLUTELY FREAKING HUGE!!!!

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Hell yeah, he is! This isn’t so much a love letter from Hasbro as it is a giant, heavy package of sex in plastic transforming robot form. The last time I saw a Transformer this big he was in a Generations box and his name was Metroplex. Well, the deco may be different, but the box is right about the same size as we saw with Metro. Alas, the artwork here is landscape, whereas Metro’s was landscape on one side and portrait on the other. Why does that make any difference? Because I have Metro displayed standing on top of his box and I use the box itself to store other Transformers. Yeah, I can still do that here, but the artwork just won’t be orientated right. It’s fine, I’m about to start mixing up my Transformers display anyhow and see if I can find a shelf for these two Titans. Besides, here we have another Transformers figure clocking in at over 2-feet tall and I’m complaining about the box, so I’ll just shut the hell up now so we can open it and see what’s inside…

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Fort Max is built using some parts shared with Metroplex, so there are going to be some general similarities here. The first of which is how he comes in the box with one arm detached. Unlike Metroplex, Fort Max’s arm actually detaches again, so if you want to store him in the box, that’s do-able this time. Mercifully, Hasbro used the regular string to secure him (with the exception of two invisible elastic bands), so getting him off the cardboard tray is as easy as snip, snip, snip.

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Also included in the box is a folded instruction sheet, a profile card, and a glorious foil sheet of stickers! STICKERS!!! I love putting on stickers. At least for the first five or ten minutes and then I’m ready to be done with it. It doesn’t help that putting stickers on Fort Max is like trying to dress a large fussy child for church. If this is going to be anything like it was with Metroplex, I’ll start with him standing on the table and soon have him across my lap, over my shoulder, and just all over the place. Well, wish me luck. I’m off to sticker him up, and after a lot of teeth grinding and a few expletives, I’ll be back to try to get this review rolling…

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Aaaand back! The stickers didn’t seem as bad as with Metroplex and I think they go a long way to spice up the look of the toy. There are a few strips I left off, which I may decide to put on later. But before looking at the big bot, let’s check out his Titan Masters. Yes, Fort Max has not one, but two Titan Masters. Yo mama so fat even her Titan Master has a Titan Master! Seriously, this is like one of those Russian nesting dolls. I’m going to start small and work my way up!

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First, you have Emissary, feel free to call him Spike if you want, and I don’t have a whole lot to say about this tiny bot. He’s basically similar to your average Titan Masters, featuring the same level of articulation with ball joints in the shoulders and neck and hinges in the hips and knees of his fused legs. He’s molded in the same dark gray, light gray, and blue plastics as the big guy himself and he does have some paint on his face, which really goes a long way to make these little bots look better. Like the Titan Masters we got in the first wave of Deluxe’s this one just feels a bit more premium than what we’ve been getting since.

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And in case you were wondering, he is indeed compatible with the other figures in the line. Here he is with Hot Rod standing in for Firedrive. Of course, Emissary is intended to transform into the head for…

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Cerebros, who transforms into Fort Max’s head. This guy is roughly Deluxe-sized and he’s a damn cool looking robot. He’s got great proportions and a nice boxy G1 look that I just love to death. His chest is a silver grill that conceals some lights and a speaker. Connecting Emissary’s head mode to him causes his chest to light up, fires off some start up noises and he says his name in a cool synthesized voice. Pressing the head down again will activate some firing sounds. The deco uses most of the colored plastics used on Fort Max himself and yet Cerebros manages to look rather distinctive.

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I particularly dig how he has a shroud on his back to cover up the Fort Max face. Having a giant face on your back may be alright if your a tiny Titan Master, but I don’t think it would have been very excusable for this guy. The articulation here is pretty much spot on for a Deluxe-sized figure too. He’s a very solid figure and loads of fun to play with all on his own.

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The head sculpt is fantastic. He’s got a rounded black “helmet,” a prominent mouth plate, and a blue visor. And yup, you can pop any Titan Master you want on there if you want to change out his noggin.

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Cerebros has a gun, which is stored in Fort Max’s clear chest compartment when you take him out of the box. It also has room to seat a Titan Master, but I’ll get to that tomorrow when we look at the alt modes! Transforming Cerebros into Fort Max’s head isn’t much more sophisticated than transforming the little Titan Masters. You fold his arms in front of him, fold the legs up to the sides, and flip up the face shield. Doing this activates the familiar G1 transforming sound and with him in his head mode and plugging the noggin into Fort Max’s body makes the ancient Titan speak his name. And with that, we can finally have a look at Fort Max himself!

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Ooooh YEAH! If this doesn’t get you hard, there’s something wrong with you. Or maybe that’s the other way around. Either way, I’ll confess that by reusing parts, I was afraid this guy was going to come off as a Metroplex masquerading as Fort Max, but it doesn’t at all. Yes, if I look carefully I can see some of the same features in the forearms and lower legs, and the hands are the same, but if I didn’t already know about parts sharing, I’m not sure I would have identified it until I stood the two together and really scrutinized them. Nope, when I look at this beauty all I see is a fantastic modern update to the Fort Max toy I wanted so badly as a kid. I think the thing that strikes me as most immediately impressive is how great one of these Titans looks with some color. No offense, Metro, I still love you, but the blue, red, and gray plastic, coupled with some lovely silver paint apps all looks so damn good here, and it really picks out all that wonderful sculpted detail in the mold. And there are a ton of details! This guy just wears it well.

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The back shows off more of those amazing details. It also shows the two ramps that drop behind his arms. These are easily the only awkward thing about the robot design, as I guess you could call them base mode kibble. They don’t really get in the way much when I’m posing him, but they can look a little awkward when his arms are up. That having been said, the original G1 mold had them too, so who am I to complain?

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In fact, if I were to complain about anything it would be that Max is rather light on the ordinance, at least as far as the Hasbro release is concerned. Metroplex came sporting a massive shoulder cannon and a pair of hand guns, which could mount on his shoulders. Max has knee guns. And that’s pretty much it. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some knee guns, and I get that they were going for an exclusive enticement with the sword, but I would have really liked his rifle, and I kind of miss the flip out hip cannons that the original toy had. At least, you can take Cerebros’ gun and mount it to various ports on Max, including his left shoulder, which looks pretty good. OK, that’s enough griping… that’s really all I’ve got for the griping.

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Cerebros forms a truly fantastic head sculpt. Max looks quite the noble bad ass and if you press the button on his chest his eyes will light up and he’ll make all sorts of battle noises, powering up noises, and he’ll even utter “Autobots” and “Decepticons” from time to time. Fort Max is not much of a conversationalist, and I always thought it odd, at least in the Sunbow cartoon, that the bigger the robots got, the dumber they sounded. In addition to the great head, you can really see some of the amazing sculpted detail in this closeup. From panel lines to gears, to sculpted turrets, they really decked him out. I dig the translucent plastic they used for his chest compartment too. This toy just looks so amazing!

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There’s no doubt that Max is happiest when he’s standing at attention. He’s quite stable that way and, like Metroplex, I know I can stand him on the shelf like that and not worry about him toppling over. Of course, there’s also plenty of articulation to play with too. Max features some heavy ratcheting joints, similar to what we saw with Metro, and the arms can hold whatever pose I put them in and the legs do a pretty good job of holding Max’s substantial bulk if you don’t get too crazy.

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With that having been said, I’m pretty pleased with some of the wide stances and action poses I’m able to get out of him. It does take some work, finding that sweet spot where he will balance. And if you give him too wide a stance, his legs are inclined to slide outwards and do the splits. I wouldn’t be comfortable posing him like this for a long period of time, but it does make him surprisingly fun for such a large and bulky figure, let alone one that transforms into two alt modes.

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If any part of Fortress Maximus isn’t totally blowing my brain out the side of my skull, it’s just because Metroplex came first and stole some of his thunder. But that shouldn’t take anything away from him. In fact, and I’m going to get a little sappy here, playing around with this figure really made me feel like a kid again. There’s something about a toy like this that is just so grand and so magical that it personifies that perfect Christmas morning or that especially amazing birthday. It literally fills me with joy to know that there are companies out there like Hasbro that are willing to take risks and say, “Who cares if kids these days just want Apple Watches and tablets and XboxStationWiiUs? We’re going to make a goddamn giant robot and we’re going to convince retailers who are already crazy stingy about their retail space to put it on their shelves. Not only that, but we’re also going to do it again at the end of the year with a giant robot dinosaur.” It makes me want to stand up and applaud. Now, I have absolutely zero insider information when it comes to my hobby. I’m just a guy that runs a silly toy blog. I don’t go to Toy Fairs and talk to Hasbro reps, and I don’t own any of their stock. But I’m willing to bet that they know that this thing is aimed at us collectors and they do it anyway. It’s something that Mattel had to set up a subsidiary mail order company called Matty Collector to do. It’s really something special and a little part of me has to believe that somewhere out there a kid actually asked for this for Christmas, got it, and had the time of his life opening it.

And with that, I’m going to break today so I can come back tomorrow and look at his alt modes.