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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Additional Image:
Box Art:

Brave Maximus' review of:
Fortress Maximus Jr.

Name: Fortress Maximus Jr.
Allegiance: Cybertron
Subgroup: Headmasters
Alt-Mode: Battle Station
Function: Headmaster Leader
First Cartoon Appearance: US- Rebirth Part 3, Japan- Headmasters- Head On! Fortress Maximus (first full appearance).
Motto: "Prepare for war, but strive for peace."

Valiant, courageous, a warrior without peer... but peace is his most fervent wish. Fights only out of necessity; believes all violence is ultimately pointless and counterproductive. Transforms to battle station and city modes. Armed with twin laser-guided mortars on legs, heat-seeking dual laser blasters, and fusion-powered photon rifle. Has communications, detection, and repair equipment. Controls two armored vehicles, Gasket and Grommet, which combine to form Cog. Head transforms to semi-autonomous Cerebros, who is binary-bonded to the Nebulan leader, Spike.

In 1987, while the Transformers cartoon was winding down in the US (with the final 3 Episodes aired to introduce the "Master" lines of Transformers), the Japanese market was still flourishing. The cartoon series "Headmasters" was launched, and would pick up where season three left off. It would introduce the Cybertronian Headmasters and their leader, Fortress Maximus. At the same time, Takara decided to start hooking a younger market, with smaller, simpler versions of the popular characters. One of the first ones to be done, would be Fortress Maximus. Keeping his C-114 designation, he's ready to tower over your Micro Masters and World's Smallest TFs.

Alt Mode:

Fortress Maximus Jr. is stripped of his triple changing abilities, and can only transform into his battle station mode. This is a faithful representation of the much larger original, except that it measures only 6 1\2" from the back of his hands to the tip of the ship. He has the central tower, his arms form the thrusters, and he even has indents in the feet for Grommet and Gasket. From the left side, the platform\double cannon sticks out (though without the double cannon). From the main tower, he even has the large rifle off to the side. He has no wheels on the bottom, though, and cannot roll on his own. He also doesn't have the ramp-flaps covering the back of his arms, so his fists kind of stick out.

His colouration is basic, but faithful to the original. The main body is a light grey, while his arms, feet, rifle, and ramp pieces are a dark blue. Stickers add colour and detail to his legs (in the form of silver tech detail for the upper legs and the shin cannons for the lower legs), as does the green "clear" piece on his left side. Speaking of detail, there's actually a lot moulded into this toy. Just about everywhere that the full sized Fortress Maximus has lines cut in, or raised parts, this guy has them as well. There's quite a lot packed into this little guy.

Fortress Maximus wouldn't be the Leader of the Headmasters if he wasn't one himself, and his Jr. version is no different. His head comes off when you transform him, you pull out and re-attach the legs, and there's "Fortress". This is a bizarre little figure: He has no real arms to speak of, and his feet are just little round pegs. His head is very similar to Spike's, but he has a big orange face sitting in the centre of his body. But, the attempt was made, and you have to give them bonus points for that.

Robot Mode:

This is, of course, what everyone buys him for. The easiest way to describe him is right from Austin Powers: "I shall call him: Mini-Me", because that's exactly what he is. From the face down to the indents of his feet, he is a Junior version of Fortress Maximus. Despite only being 4 1\2" tall, he still manages to look bulky and big. His arms and legs are in the exact same proportions as those of his larger counterpart, and his head is hidden between the two shoulder pads. He is full of great little details. Where the tower splits at his hips, if you look inside, you can see where his massive cannons would be. The back of his hands sport the squares where the blasters would flip out and he has more cut in and raised detail than most figures his size. On top of that, he has extra stickers to add the detail - a "large" Autobot symbol on his chest, silver tech detailing on his shoulders, and white and red details on his forearms and stomach. One of the things that surprised me was that, even though it's useless, they kept the ramp part on his right leg. In the full sized version, this would lead to a car port in his city mode. Here, it's just a neat little detail. He also has a mini version of his Photon Rifle, in dark blue.

The major draw back to this figure is his size, though. With such a plain colour scheme, the details tend to get washed out, even though it's the same colour scheme as his larger counterpart. There's just not enough size to use the shadows to bring the details out. So unless you're 3 inches away from him, as I am now, you're probably going to miss them.

Poseability:

If it's possible, he's even more of a brick than the full sized Fortress Maximus. But, because of his size, it's still forgivable. His arms move 360 at his shoulders, and his hands rotate around. His legs also move at the hips, so he can sit down. That's it. Still, it's more than most G1 Transformers.

Transformation: 2. Most people can do this in their sleep. Nothing strenuous.
Durability: 1. He's made from a cheaper plastic than most Transformers, and it's thinner. Combine that with the fact that there's a lot of pegs and holes, and something's going to break or get lost (I just about lost Spike's legs just writing this review.) Keep him in one mode, don't transform him a lot and keep him out of the sun.
Fun: 2. Even though this was designed for younger children, it doesn't have that much play value. He's a collectors item now, and needs to be treated as such.
Price: 1!!! I've seen him go for as much as $100USD on his own, and more for the Three pack. I paid $30 for him, and that's only because I'm a Maximus fanatic. Again, only for completionists.
Overall: 3. He's more of a rare find now, and not a toy. He is one of the few TF's I would ever recommend keeping in a box. Only get him if you're nuts like me.
 
 
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