I'd largely ignored the various Alternity toys and their cousins. Man, I've got buttloads of Optimus and Megatron and Bumblebee, and they're all bound to be way less frustrating than these overcomplicated die-casty high-pricey things. It is not a toyline meant for me.
But when an Alternity spin-off, Transformers GT was announced, my ears perked up at the mention of a possible Fortress Maximus retool of the base Optimus Prime mold. A Fort Max who transforms into a sweet rally car? That's an awesome enough idea to take the plunge on one of these things. Plus it'd give me a Fort Max toy that's small enough to interact with other toys as a regular guy, as he's usually depicted in the comic books.
And so here he is. I hadn't realized way back when I preordered him that I'd decide I was also going to get the reissue as well and they'd arrive within a few days of each other. My Maximus cup spilleth over.
I didn't expect him to be simple, and he sure isn't. He's also not quite as frustrating as I was anticipating. There's been some second-hand horror stories about some of these Alternity-ish molds, but Fort Max's greatest sin really is just being way super complicated for very little gain. He doesn't transform into the most attractive of robots, and his car mode's back half literally shreds up into pieces to form something that is probably legs because they're on the end of his knees. He is not elegant. But nothing about the transformation makes you want to run some designer's face over a cheese grater.
On the plus side, his car mode is spectacular. I am a sucker for a logo-covered car, and GT Maximus doesn't disappoint. He also has opening doors and an opening hood with something that's close enough to looking like an engine under there. (It's the back of his head, mostly.) Included is a car jack that is really a sword.
Like the rest of the Transformers GT line, he comes with a "GT-Sister," a Microman-bodied race queen. His partner is Hiiro, and according to her only fiction, her gimmick is crying to get what she wants. She comes with a bunch of alternate hands you can swap out, and I look forward to immediately losing them.
Because it's just not a Fortress Maximus toy if he doesn't come with a human who has weird ideas about crying.