Before my Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus shipped, we got word that TakaraTomy over in Japan was doing their own Magnus, and it was going to have a bunch of additional paint applications I probably would have done myself (but badly). In fact, it basically looked perfect. It had the red legs I prefer my Ultra Magnuses have (a detail from the original toy and the first "season" of More Than Meets The Eye), it painted blue across the pelvis and parts of the shins instead of leaving them bare... there was not a lot to argue with. It would have to be mine, saving me a lot of time painting my own toy.
But there was one snag.
It didn't come with Minimus Ambus! Japan doesn't *really* get IDW comics over there, even though they're still very popular amongst Japanese fans, and so Minimus Ambus is not really a thing for them. Instead, TakaraTomy decided to deco up Minimus Ambus as... Alpha Trion, the other bearded Autobot guy in the mythos. And I guess he pilots Ultra Magnus now for some reason! Who knows! There's a two-page comic included, but I am monolingual.
This is a fun contradiction, in that while Japan's Ultra Magnus is specifically detailed like his MTMTE "season one" IDW comic appearances, he does not come with Minimus Ambus, which is definitely a dealbreaker for me.
Do I get the perfect Magnus or do I get the pretty-good Magnus who comes with Minimus Ambus?
I decided to mix and match and get the best of both worlds! My second Magnus is now here, and I've gifted him the first Magnus's Minimus Ambus, plus all the first Magnus's accessories, so that he gets to have his assembled hammer weapon at the same time as his shoulder missiles and rifles. (one becomes the other, otherwise) I have my cake, I'm eating it, I'm living the motherfuckin' Magnus dream.
While American Magnus is in the 1986 Ultra Magnus colors (minus the important-to-me red thighs), with a tealer blue and a milkier white, Japanese Magnus is a darker blue and bleachier white that looks more like the colors from the original cartoon. His rifles are now white instead of black. In car carrier mode, his trailer is almost entirely blue, which is truer to the original cartoon's model, rather than the patchwork red and blue of the original toy's. That I'm sort of lukewarm on, but it's a very weak personal preference as to be negligible.
And now I have this spare tiny Alpha Trion to hang out with my other tiny toys! Maybe he can say hello to The Fallen. "Hey, in some continuities, we're brothers!" he'll say. And The Fallen will be like "I wish I were on fire, why aren't I on fire anymore."
But I ramble.