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          TOY REVIEW

Name: Ultra Magnus
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: City Commander
Vehicular Mode: Car carrier


VEHICULAR MODE

Height: 6cm cab, 12cm trailer
Length: 12cm cab, 23 trailer, 30cm combined
Width: 5cm cab, 9cm trailer
Ultra Magnus is a large car carrier semi truck. The cab, ramps, and upper car supports are white, the front and back of the trailer are light blue, and the trailer base is red. The trailer is designed to hold Autobot cars on both levels and carry them. As a result, it is hollow. The cab itself is the same cab as in the Optimus Prime set, with new colors. The cab has lots of nice details, ranging from the top horns, windshield wipers, small bolts, and lines in the grill. The doors are also visible on the sides. However, not just the cab is from the Diaclone series. The trailer is from Diaclone as well. The trailer appears to have small gas tanks of its own on the sides, but they're unpainted. It only has 4 wheels, relying on the cab for support. The wheels roll freely.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE: CAB

Start the robot by flipping the back section down. Fold the feet up. Swing the head lights out, pull the smokestack sections back, swing the arms out, attach the hands in the head lights, and swing the robot head up. Fit the gun in either hand.

CAB ROBOT MODE

Height: 15cm
Width: 9cm
Basically what you'd expect from a white Optimus Prime. The stickers follow patterns close to Prime's stickers, with new colors. The fists follow the type 2 small design. The gun, however, is completely new. Plus it has no rear false handle, and he
can hold his gun straight. The mouth plate and forehead are blue, and he has red eyes. However, the hands have the addition of small lines on the thumb "joints".

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

From small robot mode, fold the feet down, fold the arms back, and fold the lower arms in. Remove the hands.
To form the trailer body, first remove the launchers. Fold the upper bars up, and split the halves down to the sides, locking the bases in place. Remove the white trailer hitch, fold the upper support bars in, and fold the rear sections down to form the legs, Slide the bars up, then slide the blue ends up. Attach the large hands, fit a trailer hitch on as a waist plate, and attach the blue chest plate. Fit the small robot in the back on the pegs by the head lights, and fit the large head over the small head. Fit the missile launchers on his shoulders, and fit the gun in either hand by the large handle.

ROBOT MODE

Height: 24 cm (up to head)
Width: 15cm
A very impressive robot, I'll say that. The overall design is very bulky, with huge arms and legs. While the main body is formed by the red base, it's offset by the ramps, which form the lower legs, the white waist, and the blue chest shield. While the feet can't move, the wheels allow the toy to roll. From the front, the toy looks real nice, but from the back, all you can see is the back of the small robot. The upper legs are also rather thin. In fact, the small robot seems to serve mostly as filler for the torso. Holes in the chest allow the windshield plastic to show through. The arms are the best part, with large sections, the shoulder
launchers, and the large protrusions from the top. He has four joints, two per arm. The eyes are holes, and seem to be designed to allow the red eyes to show through, but it doesn't go down far enough, and all you see is the white forehead.
The Optimus Prime cab is fully compatible with the trailer. In fact, the red body blends in better with the large robot's body than the white Ultra Magnus cab. You also get dark blue eyes with the Prime robot.

VARIATIONS

The second release replaced the metal feet with plastic feet, and the rubber wheels with plastic wheels. The third release had an unpainted small head, an unpainted large head, and no windshield plastic, and removed the chrome paint from the legs. Also, somewhere along the line, the launchers lost their springs, and a second trailer hitch which can't form a waist was made. In December 2000, Takara re-released the Ultra Magnus toy as part of it's "Generation One" line. See 'Generation One Ultra Magnus' toy review for more details.

OVERALL

It's not particularly bad, but it really doesn't do anything, and is a rather uninteresting toy overall. Good colors though. "C-"

Supplementary: POWERED CONVOY

As mentioned in the review, Ultra Magnus was derived from Takara's Diaclone line as part of the Car Robot sub group. Unlike Transformers, Diaclone robots were piloted mecha and also came with small human Diaclone pilots that had magnetic feet (which is why Ultra Magnus has driver compartments).
 

Powered Convoys in vehicle mode. 

Unlike Transformers, Diaclone mecha were 
portrayed as mass produced war machines.


Powered Convoy's cab section in robot mode.
Unlike Ultra Magnus, Powered Convoy came with a red  
roller car....

.....which could then transform into a robot!

Powered Convoy in combined robot mode.

Ever wondered why Ultra Magnus has a pilot's  
compartment? It's because Powered Convoy had  
pilots! Although all Diaclone mecha that became  
Transformers were stripped of their human pilots,  
they retained their cockpits, a visible sign of their  
Diaclone heritage!
Interestingly enough, Takara reused the Powered Convoy name in the "Beast Wars Metals" line for Optimal Optimus (in other words, Optimal Optimus' Japanese name is Powered Convoy!). And as soon as the Beast Wars Metals line ended in Japan, Takara released a line of Transformers called "Car Robot" (which at the time I'm writing this, is scheduled to be released in English as "Transformers Robots In Disguise"), which was the same group of Diaclone mecha that not only Ultra Magnus, but Optimus Prime and the Autobot cars were also taken from the Diaclone Car Robot series!

This toy review was written by Justin Anderson
Editted by Goktimus Prime. Diaclone supplementary also written by Goktimus Prime
Diaclone images courtesy of Taguchida

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