The Transformers Archive Skip to main content / Also skip section headers

[The Transformers Archive - an international fan site]
Please feel free to log in or register.

  • transformers toys
  • transformers comics
  • transformers cartoon
  • transformers live-action movies
  • transformers fandom
  • transformers forum


Hover here to pick reviews from this section! ↵
Latest Reviews, Toy Checklists,
Resources & Current Lines
Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:
Technical Specifications:

Warcry's review of: Ultra Magnus

Name: Ultra Magnus
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot City Commander
Sub-Group: NA
"Consistency is Victory."

Ultra Magnus is all soldier. Most comfortable when carrying out Optimus Prime's orders. Possesses magnificent fighting skills, courage, and a gift for battlefield improvisation. Uncomfortable in the mantle of leadership, but presents strong profile as a commander. Carries missile launchers capable of hitting a target 30 miles away. Resolute, fair, and courageous beyond reproach. Ever ready to sacrifice himself for the good of men and mission.

Ultra Magnus is one of the toys most often pointed out as being a brick. I'd have a hard time disagreeing with that. In fact, his super-robot mode is the epitome of brickishness. However, the guy does have his charms. My Magnus is a Hasbro re-issue, which means it has shortened smokestacks and lengthened missiles. His tech specs are also much higher than the original, for no real reason (the ones given are the ones on the reissue tech spec). Ultra Magnus was Autobot leader in the Movie, until he got blasted by the Sweeps. Afterwards, he was one of Rodimus Prime's key officers. In the UK comics, he was an important character; both in the future and present stories. Basically, every fan of the original series should know who he is.

Vehicle Mode:
Magnus' alt mode is a car carrier with a white cab. His trailer is mainly blue and red, with some white details. You can fit one or two Autobot cars onto each level of his trailer, depending on their length. In this mode, he's got his two missile launchers attached to his trailer, facing forward. He's got large Autobot symbols on either side of his trailer, which contrasts nicely with the blue plastic. Likewise, the white cab is a nice contrast to the red and blue trailer. He looks nice, especially if he's carrying a few cars that compliment his color scheme. To be honest, I think that Magnus has one of the best vehicle modes in all of Transformers. It's definitely his best mode.

Robot Mode:
Small mode - Magnus's cab is a repaint of the original Optimus Prime. He's got articulation at the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. In this mode, Magnus is nearly all white, with red optics, a blue faceplate and forehead. To be honest, I like this color scheme better than Prime's. In this mode, Magnus can properly hold his gun, something Prime cannot do. He can also be put into quite a few different poses. The only drawback is that Magnus's trailer really can't do much of anything. That's probably why the guy spent most of his time in his large robot mode in the cartoon and comics. This mode was a nice surprise, actually. I didn't really give it much thought when I got the toy, but I like it a lot more than his large robot.

Large Robot Mode - What can I say about the large robot mode? He's big, bricky, and blue. No legs to speak of. Articulation at shoulders, elbows and wrists. He has wheels under what they laughingly call his 'feet', so you can roll him around. This mode has a blue head, chest plate, forearms and 'legs'. His torso is red, while most of the rest of him is white. The color scheme and stickers work together to create an impressive, imposing visual effect. One good point about this mode is that it really does resemble the cartoon and comic Magnus. All in all, though, this is Magnus's worst mode, and the one that has disappointed a fair number of collectors.

Transformation: 8 - Not overly difficult, but it works very well. All of his modes look like what they should look like.
Durability: 9 - Mine's a re-issue, so I haven't broken anything on it. However, I know from my G2 Prime that the shoulder joints on the cab are delicate. Also, some of the joints on the trailer look decidedly flimsy. However nothing screams out breakable to me. Which, I suppose, is the up-side of being a brick.
Fun: 9 - Nice alt mode, nice small robot, brick large robot. Lots of play value, just by virtue of having three modes. All in all, not too bad.
Price: 6 - TRU re-issues are long gone by now. If you somehow managed to find one, it should cost about $40. An original would be more, but not worth it, IMO.
Summary: 8 - To be honest, I'm not sure why people complain about this toy so much. There's nothing overly bad about it, and it even has a nice surprise in the form of the really good small robot. But if you don't want him because his most recognisable mode isn't particularly good, then save yourself the money.

With thanks for long-term support to sponsors: