Posts tagged with "ultra magnus" - 1
Posted January 13, 2019 at 10:03 pm

Remember back in 1986 when Ultra Magnus had this white Optimus Prime inside him?  That was weird!  And then the cartoon and comic ignored it, and then Dreamwave remembered it, and that inspired a bunch of white Optimus Prime toys, and then IDW said "actually you know what inside Magnus is this tiny white mustached guy," and then Hasbro made THAT a toy.  But throughout it all, we never really got an Ultra Magnus toy that had a white Optimus Prime inside.  Sure, we got White Optimus Primes, and we got Big Combined Mode Ultra Magnuses, but never again an intersection between the two, where one fits inside the other.  

Well, Stege Ultra Magnus has stepped forward to finally make that dream come true.  For the first time in forever, Ultra Magnus is a white Optimus Prime toy which armors up into an Ultra Magnus toy.  And.... 

...That's about really the best it has going for it!

All the other zillions of kinds of Magnus toys kind of do better all the things Magnus toys tend to do.  Like... Stege Magnus doesn't even work as a car carrier.  He's too full of armored parts that you snap around your White Optimus Prime.  So unlike, say, Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus, you can't cram a car into him somehow.  

Stege Magnus is also pretty short.  I mean, it makes sense.  He's a Voyager-scale White Optimus Prime (albeit different from the actual Voyager-scale Stege Optimus Prime) that adds armor parts to make him a slightly taller robot.  He weighs more than Combiner Wars Magnus, despite being a fraction of its height, just because how he works makes him so dense.  He's full of things.  (Which, again, probably helps keep him from working as a car carrier.)  But White Optimus Prime works as the skeleton of Armored Ultra Magnus, so Armored Ultra Magnus can only be so large.  

I also don't really like the aesthetics of Stege Magnus.  He's just so busy.  He is very Stege.  

I do like some small non-White-Optimus-Prime aspects of him.  Like, he's an actual Space Truck, rather than Stege Prime's "1980s Freightliner with the serial numbers filed off" truck mode.  That's appreciated!  I also like how he has flippable underwear that swaps between smaller and larger robot modes.  Oh, and how his Space Truck bumper transforms along a track of plastic up his spine.  

But, like, in most respects, once you start comparing to other Magnuses, for me this is a disappointing Ultra Magnus.  I definitely prefer the Combiner Wars one overall.  And that's before we get into Laser Magnus or Masterpiece Magnus or Animated Magnus, etc.  BUT: if you like the White Optimus Prime Guy who wears parts to become Big Ultra Magnus, this guy's your guy.  That's what this Magnus specializes in.

You just gotta... weigh how much that means to you versus other things Magnuses tend to do.

Wait!  Almost forgot.  There's more thing this Magnus can do that others can't.  He has waist articulation.  Not even the Masterpiece had waist articulation.  This is in part due to, you know, how Magnuses tend to transform.  There's too much going on in the abdominal area for waist articulation to make sense and/or not break physics as we know it.  But Stege Magnus breaks up the car carrier trailer into smaller parts and fits it on a smaller toy with waist articulation and takes care to not obstruct that articulation.  

So, hey!  Waist articulation on an Ultra Magnus!  That's the innovation we've been waiting for.  

Note: Later, this guy's gonna be retooled into Optimus Prime.  He'll have a new truck front/chest and probably a new trailer/armor parts.  We haven't seen the actual toy yet, but IDW's started drawing him into their next Transformers continuity, which begins this March.  And the art for that Optimus gives him a Transformers Cybertron-styled cab chest, and Ultra Magnus comes with Transformers Cybertron-styled leg guns, soooooooooo...

Posted October 11, 2015 at 5:01 pm

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.  

The important thing are those red thighs.  

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.

Posted May 31, 2015 at 12:01 pm

There was a lotta stuff at Toy Fair this year, from the giant-ass Devastator to the Combiner Wars guys to a buttload of Kre-O stuff that'll never come out, but this friggin' Ultra Magnus was at the top of my list.  This friggin'  Ultra Magnus!

When we first got store listings that hinted at a Leader Class Ultra Magnus, there were a lot of different ways the toy could have panned out, and there were even a "he tell me" folks around who were insistant that this Magnus would go those ways.  But naw, dudes, this guy ended up being everything I personally wanted.  He's no strictly 1984/5ish redesign like the Megatron and Jetfire before him, he's a purposeful translation of Ultra Magnus as currently seen in the IDW comics, down to having a little tiny Minimus Ambus friend to go with him.  That last part, especially, I wasn't expecting to see in a toy -- not only because production costs are rising and parts counts falling to match, but also because it's celebrating a very specifically current unorthodox treatment of Ultra Magnus.  Sure, we get a lot of white cab Optimus Primes here and there in lieue of an Ultra Magnus, but actually getting our little mustachioed reimagining of that concept I thought was unlikely.

And so I am amazingly pleased.

Minimus Ambus himself is very very small.  He's about half the size of a Legends Class figure, so he's amazingly dainty.  Even at this size, though, he's not as simple as he could be.  His car roof and robot backpack is on this hinged arrangement that seems too rich for this toy's size's blood.  In Ultra Magnus's robot mode, he fits inside the chest, all mech pilot like, with his fistholes pegging onto control joysticks.  Because this is where the larger robot's head fits into during car carrier mode, Minimus can't stay here when you transform Ultra Magnus, but Minimus transforms into a car, and so I think there might be a place for him in vehicle mode, if you think about it.  

(Japan is apparently going to do him in white and purple and red and pretend he's Alpha Trion, while painting the larger Magnus robot more like how he is in the IDW comics, because I don't know why.)

The larger Ultra Magnus part of the toy's had a lot of thought put into it as well.  His shoulder missile thingies and his two rifles combine into an axe, which is a callback to his Animated counterpart.  (Which obviously also makes me amazingly pleased.)   Articulation abounds, despite the way Ultra Magnus's design usually being a stumbling block to such.  His head turns, despite it being part of a mask that goes over Minimus Ambus's head.  His arms manage to articulate outward from the torso, despite those tall shoulder pylons.  The shoulder missile launchers are even on hinged tabs so they can move out of the way of his outward bicep articulation.  And Magnus has, like, has actual working thighs, despite that whole area needing to be a flat plane for cars to ride on in vehicle mode. 

A lot of these ideas are shared by the Masterpiece Ultra Magnus that came out earlier this year, but concentrated in this less-expensive form.  The walling of the trailer mode piling up on the back of his legs is another, as is the way his forearm armor accordions around his fists.    The result is a very playable robot figure with a number of weapon configurations, who transforms into a vehicle mode that can carry your other Transformers, who also includes a little pilot guy.  This toy goes down my list and checks everything off.  

Surplus to all this is the little sculpting details all over him that suggest he transforms into a truck cab that's several stories tall.  There's tiny ladders and tiny doors everywhere.  Each of his wheels would be larger than my apartment.  This doesn't distract from the toy at all, and really only creates a conversation starter, but what?

Posted January 9, 2015 at 7:01 pm

The Masterpiece line to me was pretty blah back a few years ago when all the toys were mostly the same height in robot mode.  Optimus, Grimlock, Megatron, Rodimus, Optimus a few more dozen times... But these days, they're doing more than just Big Guys and they're trying to scale them according to how they appeared in the cartoon, which means you've got tall guys like Optimus, slightly less tall guys like Soundwave and the jets, medium-sized guys like Prowl and Wheeljack, and tiny guys like Bumblebee.  Stretching out in the other direction is Ultra Magnus.

Ultra Magnus might be the first guy in this new paradigm that isn't scaled perfectly to how tall he is in the cartoon -- he's just a head or so taller than Optimus Prime, but this toy he's a few heads taller.  This is because they seem to have wanted MP Magnus and MP Prime's truck cabs to be the same size.  And when your entire body is the trailer of a car carrier, you're probably going to be way taller than the guy who's just a truck cab.

Speaking of which, unlike the original Ultra Magnus toy, which was really just a redecoed super robot trailer combiney thing for the original Optimus Prime, this new Ultra Magnus doesn't have an Optimus Prime robot inside him anywhere.  The truck cab splits up completely differently to help complete the torso.  It can remain attached during transformation or detach from the trailer hitch as needed.  There being no white Optimus Prime involved makes me a little sad, but I guess engineering challenges may have gotten in the way of that.  It probably would have involved taking the trailer apart, at any rate, if there was to be any leg articulation, while this toy manages to not need anything to separate during transformation.  Even the missile launchers are on little arms so you don't have to unplug and plug them where they need to go in either mode.  

Speaking of missile launchers, Masterpiece Ultra Magnus is also unique in Masterpiece in that his vehicle mode, at least from the back of the truck cab, is really obviously a bunch of Ultra Magnus robot parts rather than being based on any real-life car carrier trailer.  It's accurate to the original toy and the cartoon, but it's still conspicious next to the Real Life Licensed Cars that have been the staple of the line for a while.

That said, it's a fun and hefty toy.  It's not annoying to transform, and it's a fun process throughout.  When I see him, I actively want to transform him -- even the part where you replace the real rubber tires in his feet with smaller fake plastic molded tires that match the animation model better.   It's ridiculous and you don't really need to do it except for aesthetic reasons, but the change itself is fun to operate.  

He comes with two faces which are interchangeable.  One's a stoic face and one's a shouting face that's supposed to accompany use of his extra pair of Matrix-holding hands.  (Matrix not included.)  I love the shouting face, and interpret him as being angry at people for flouting technicalities of law.  If you leave both faces off, there's a white Optimus Prime head sculpted underneath which harkens back to the original toy.

Magnus also comes with little figurines of Spike and Daniel Witwicky.  They can ride inside his cab mode, if you want.  More likely, you will lose them.  

Masterpiece Ultra Magnus is a good purchase if you want a giant, hefty Magnus.  He's really good at that.  It may be the thing he's best at.  It's not that he's bad at other things, it's just that he's... a really huge Magnus.  It is a quality that overwhelms all the others.

Posted May 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm
It seems like Hasbro's trying to shove Ultra Magnus into their own cartoon programming through sheer force of action figure market saturation.  We got the Cyberverse Ultra Magnus, then the Voyager Class Ultra Magnus, both based on the same design, followed by a Fall of Cybertron Ultra Magnus, and... okay, two more Ultra Magnuses?  Oh, and these are actually based on the design from the cartoon?  All right, then.

Seems like the way to get ol' Mags into the cartoon was to make him a partial rebuild of Optimus Prime's model.  Likewise, that's how this Beast Hunters toy works.  It's a retool of the "Robots in Disguise" Voyager from last year, which is a toy I didn't own, so it was new to me, at least.  And unlike the First Edition Optimus Prime I did own, this version tried to get stuff to transform into what it actually transforms into, rather than having a bunch of fake kibble.  The chest windows become the real windows (such as they are), the air foil shoulders become the real air foils... that sort of thing.  Though for some reason the toy doesn't get to keep the smokestacks.  They're in the instructions, but not included with the released toy.

Also, because Ultra Magnus has new gigantic shoulders, Ultra Magnus's truck mode has new gigantic Ultra Magnus shoulders sticking out the back of the cab.  In robot mode, they can point forward and launch missiles.  The missiles can store all sorts of places.  There's clips everywhere.

Weirdly, Ultra Magnus's retool seems to be based on the Japanese "Arms Micron" iteration, as it's got the Mini-Con peghole attachments still there on his forearms.  Maybe it's not really THAT weird, if TakaraTomy permanently altered the tooling to put those in.

Oh, and Magnus comes with a winged jetpack!  It seems to be the same design that Beast Hunters Optimus Prime has, with the X-shaped wings and the metal shard tail.  It clips up over the back of Maggy's shoulders behind his head, and it's amazingly snug.  You kind of have to overreach the whole mechanism to get it to fit in.  In truck mode, it just pegs into the hitch and you set the Forge of Solus on there.

(Yeah, he comes with a tiny Forge of Solus.  Because Magnuses these days have hammers, and so I guess any hammer will do?)

It was hard to choose between this Magnus and the upcoming Premium Edition Magnus.  Premium Magnus comes with a much better Forge of Solus, plus my mental image of Ultra Magnuses is "they are huge."  However, once Magnus showed up in the cartoon proper, I saw he was represented by being a Voyagerish size.  Cartoon scale won out and I got the smaller version.  Also the least expensive!  That helps!
Posted December 17, 2012 at 12:35 am
I don't know what happened.  Back when I had this entire wave preordered at Big Bad Toy Store, I was kinda bummed that ordering the set of five included the Ultra Magnus.  I didn't need the Ultra Magnus.  I'd just gotten a toy of that guy in the Transformers: Prime line, and so this would just be some extra thing I didn't really want.  Magnus doesn't even look like this in the game!  But it cost less to get the whole wave as a set than to order four of the five guys, so oh well.

Then Hasbro Toy Shop got in the wave first, and I could order just the four guys and save money.  And I hesitated.  And I bought Magnus anyway.  I didn't have to.  I coulda just gotten the four other guys.  But... but... I don't know.  Maybe I would need him!  Maybe I could put him in a photo with the other toy of him and be happy for thirty seconds!  So there you have it.  I even swapped their weapons, for funsies.  Ain't I cute.

Fall of Cybertron Magnus is, of course, a retool of Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime.  He's got a new Magnusy head and a new weapon.  The fun thing about the sword Magnus comes with is that it splits into three parts and can combine around Optimus Prime gun he comes with, resulting in a super sword!  The sword design is based on Optimus Prime's melee sword from the game.  So at least there's that reason to own this toy.  You know, the whole Complete The Armory reason.

A pretty flimsy reason.

You're lucky I like you, Ultra Magnus.
Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:01 am
Ultra Magnus and Ironhide seem to be two characters in the Transformers Prime toyline who weren't slotted to appear in the television show, but got multiple toys as if they were important characters anyway.  (Well, okay, we didn't get Ironhide's larger toy as himself, but as Kup, but the concept still stands.)  That Ultra Magnus got two toys caused some folks to speculate that he'd show up in Season 2, but SPOILERS: he did not.

Now that I have Ultra Magnus's Voyager Class toy, I dunno if I'm sad that this awesome design isn't in the show or grateful that a non-show character has a toy strong enough to make me like it this much.  'Cuz I do.  Like it this much, that is.  It's a charismatic chunk of fossil fuels.  If he were real, I'd follow him anywhere.  It doesn't hurt that Ultra Magnus borrows pretty heavily from the Animated version of the character, with his big truck-front shoulderpads and the massive hammer.  And it super-doesn't hurt that this Ultra Magnus is founder of the Wreckers, and you know me and my Wreckers.  (The massive hammer really helps him fit in with the iconography of that group.)

His transformation is pretty simple, but clever enough that Magnus doesn't look simple.  Magnus basically lies down and stuff folds around his robot parts to form a truck.  My favorite part is the two pairs of rear wheels which unfold from vehicle mode to wrap around his shins.  The only annoying part are his fairly loose shoulders.  They're not quite stiff enough, and so they easily sag under the weight of his large weapon.

His large weapon, as I mentioned, is a giant hammer, but its default mode is an equally-large gun.  Like the other electronic-light-up weapons of the Transformers Prime Voyager Class toys, one mode is transformed into the other through spring-lever action.  Unlike the other weapons, though, Magnus has a latch that locks the weapon into his ax mode so it can stay there without you having to hold it in place with your fingers.  This is very good, 'cuz Magnus needs his friggin' hammer and I care much less about the gun.  It can also stow on his back if you want to keep his hands free.

There's a second accessory, a missile launcher with a red missile that looks like a call-out to the missile launchers of the original Ultra Magnus.  You can peg it wherever.

I imagine Magnus knows Bulkhead, the former Wrecker.  I wanna know more details of their shared history, though I doubt we'll get any anytime soon.  We're also expecting a whole combiner team of Wreckers soon, too, so Magnus won't always be so lonely.  (Of course, before then we'll get a Fall of Cybertron Magnus toy which will probably work better aesthetically with them, but meh.)
Posted May 15, 2012 at 2:35 am

Man, I'm kind of annoyed with myself that I somehow saved the BotCon toys I like the least for last. I was on a pretty good roll of "Woo"s and "Yay"s, and now we're in this rut where it feels like I hate everything. That's not true! It's just that we're to the stuff I didn't want to talk about immediately.

Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus I'm not unkeen on.  He's a new character!  And he uses the mold's second head that Hasbro hadn't used yet.  It's a translucent skull, because, yo, bad ass.  Reportedly this is an "evil Optimus Prime" noggin that Hasbro would have attached to their eventual Nemesis Prime use of the mold.  It's a pretty villainous head, so it works well for SG Ultra Magnus.  The Diaclone Powered Convoy colors work well here, too.  Red and blue are usually heroic colors, but with their specific hues and with all the black and gray, it comes off as evil enough.

Guess SG Prime shrunk in the wash.

My only complaint is the relative tininess of the toy.  He's plumped up in the comic, because his opposite number is Treadshot, the huge Deluxe Jazz mold.  It feels  uneven.  The smallness is something I complained about with the original use of the mold, and it's relevant with Magnus, too.  But not as relevant as it is with BotCon's other use of this mold.

Geez, Shattered Glass Optimus Prime!  I dunno what BotCon's historical fascination is with upgrading their guys as less impressive toys, but yikes.  SG Prime used to be a Voyager.  A good Voyager!  One of my reluctant favorites of the 2008 set.  He was the centerpiece of my Shattered Glass Autobot shelf.  When I eventually put this new version of him in his old toy's place, you wouldn't even be able to see him.  Bumblebee can see over the top of his head.  It's just not a great upgrade.

Size aside, the toy is decoed marvelously.  There's paint washes everywhere.  But I'd rather his new toy had the presence of the old toy.

Now, Optimus Prime only appeared in the comic as a head on a screen, so my brain hasn't really registered yet that he's this body now.  So I'm probably good to keep the old one on the shelf until he eventually appears in a future story and reminds me.  Let's hope that's a long way off.
Posted January 22, 2012 at 10:19 pm
I suppose I should talk about those last two BotCon 2012 exclusive reveals.

One of them was Shattered Glass Ultra Magnus.  He doesn't excite me too much.  I do like that he has a translucent skull for a face, but the Diaclone Magnus colors don't look very striking to me.  He may be my least favorite of the six.  It is nice that we get to own the yet-to-be-used-in-retail alternate head for the toy.

The second was Metalhawk.  He was a Japan-only Pretender dude, and so under most circumstances he wouldn't be very high on my AW YEAH list.  However, BotCon knew exactly how to draw me in.  They not only did a toy of his Pretender shell mode instead of his robot, but they actually gave him a human face.  That's something Transformers proper hasn't seen since the late 80s.  It's also something you'd never see at retail these days, so it makes a perfect BotCon exclusive idea.  It's definitely a "you are a hardcore Transformers fan" thing.  It in particular calls back to the Mega Pretenders, who had shells that transformed into vehicles.  Some were random monsters, like Thunderwing, but some were humans!  Seems like Metalhawk gets to join their ranks.
Posted January 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm

The penis mightier!

When I was in high school, Generation 2 Laser Optimus Prime was the fucking bomb.  It was seriously the best Transformers toy ever, hands down.  I wasn't alone in this assessment: in the Nineties the annual online Transformers fandom awards gave Laser Prime the #1 spot on the  "Best Toy Friggin' Ever" poll for years and years after his release.  The only thing that knocked it from its lofty perch was the arrival of Masterpiece Optimus Prime.

What granted the toy immortal status was the context of its birth.  Laser Prime came out late in Generation 2, just as Hasbro decided, hey, maybe we should, y'know, give these guys some, like, knees and elbows or something.  Laser Prime was the highest-priced item that year, so what he gave us was a very sizeable, very poseable, very electronic Optimus Prime who not only came with one of the best missile-launching and disc-shooting trailer bases ever, but he also rocked the fucking sword.  (Which, in theory, would light up along with the rest of his electronics if plugged into his fist.)  Laser Optimus Prime was fucking badass, and he was the most fucking badass Generation 1/2 Optimus Prime toy for a friggin' decade.

Some people prefer the mold in his "Black Convoy"/Scourge colors from Robots in Disguise.  (Who inspired a tiny Spy Changer version of the toy that later got redecoed as Optimus Prime in a "Circle of Life" sort of way.)  Me, I go for e-Hobby's Laser Ultra Magnus, who you see accompanying this blog's subject in the photos here.  And I still love that toy.  So It was hard to imagine what a newer version could bring to the table.  Wasn't the original Laser Prime mold good enough?  Was it that dated?  Could it be improved on 15 years later?

I may be small, but I can hold my sword with both hands!

So here's Reveal the Shield Optimus Prime, who's an homage to ol' Laser Prime.  He's just a Deluxe Class toy, compared to the, uh, whatever large undefined size class original Laser Prime was.  So, yeah, RtS Prime is pretty tiny.  He's even pretty tiny by modern Deluxe Class toy standards.   He's shoulder-height with Generations Thunderwing and Classics Bumblebee, which makes him one of the shortest Deluxes ever.   It makes me wonder what about his construction made it too costly to make him bigger.  Bumblebee came with that sizable transforming jetski/trailer accessory, so that's a conservation of mass.  Thunderwing is mostly wing, and so he's about as big as he can get and still fit into the bubble packaging.  With RtS Prime, though, I'm not so sure.  He feels like he has a lot less mass than, say, Drift or Straxus, both of whom tower over him and come with more accessories.

Might it be his complexity?  I'm not talking really about his transformation, which is indeed much more complex than the original Laser Prime's.  I'm thinking more of the extravagant series of lightpiping that runs through the top half of his body.  His shoulders, torso, and head are all full of translucent orange plastic, and so when you put him up against a light, he glows through all these sculpted cracklines.  It's pretty neat.  (And was probably intended as a replacement for the original version's electronic lights.)

But let's get back to his transformation.  One thing that this toy definitely improves on versus the original is the vehicle mode.  While Laser Prime's back end was unmistakably a pair of robot legs pegged together, RtS Prime's vehicle mode tries to make that back end look like an actual truck back end.  This means some liberties have to be taken with Optimus Prime's legs, and those liberties were definitely taken, with some very compelling results.  There's a series of flip-over panels that move out of the way from truck to robot mode so that you can compress the wheels into the insides of the thighs and shins.  This is necessary because, like a real semi, he's got those double-wheels, and double-wheels are wide!

Plus I hide my legs better.

I also appreciate how the windows of the vehicle become the chest of the robot.  Original Laser Prime had vestigial chest windows, which looked nice but were a real cheat, but RtS Prime says fuck that shit and goes the extra mile of moving the chest windows down into the robot mode.  And they even paint them silver so that they call back to Laser Prime's chest color.  (That is super appreciated.  If they'd done his chest up in traditional red, it wouldn't feel much like Laser Prime at all.)

When you fold the side windows in so that his shoulder jointings have a place to go, they press up against the insides of his chest window.  Why?  'Cuz there's a Matrix sculpted on the facing side of those window panels.  Oh fuck  yeah.  And in an undocumented feature, when you compress the remaining vehicle kibble into his backpack, there's a large slot there for his sword to stow.  His sword which transforms into the trailer hitch.  (Not nearly enough Optimus Primes have actual trailer hitches, instead of the usual humdrum peg and peg-hole.)

I like to pretend that back kibble is a jetpack.

I'm not sure where I stand on RtS Prime's poseability versus the original's.  In theory, he has the original's joints and more.  In theory, he adds very-helpful ankle articulation to the pile.  His head is perched high on a ball joint.  And his additional wrist articulation allows him to, at long last, hold his sword double-fisted style.  But a lot of the rest of his articulation is hindered by the sculpt.  His waist could turn more than a few degrees to each side if his backpack didn't get in the way.  His elbows don't quite bend 90 degrees.  And the admittedly nifty collapsible leg wheels keep his knees from bending much.

So RtS Prime is something of a mixed bag.  Whether he skews awesome or meh depends on how you prioritize his shortcomings and improvements.  Plus he has some pretty big shoes to fill... literally.  What with being tiny.  And, hey, let's be real, here.  Laser Prime was the most awesome toy of his decade.  If he came out today, he wouldn't be so legendary.  ...which is just about where RtS Prime stands.

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