For those that don’t recognize him, that’s the psycho Shattered Glass Optimus Prime (seen here talking to his gallery of dead bodies). Now, imagine having this guy for a brother, the sibling rivalry would be pretty intense. Culminating in a coup attempt by the less-succesful brother, Ultra Magnus, against Optimus, the “Emperor of Destruction”; Optimus took a page out of Movie (2007) Optimus Prime’s book and ever-so-politely ripped Magnus’ face off.
Leaving his brother with a bare mechanical skull where his face once was, Optimus then had him tossed into prison and went about his crazy business. Escaping from prison thanks to his lackey Shattered Glass Tracks, Ultra Magnus receives an upgrade into a more powerful body but chooses(?) to leave the frightening skull face.
And, oh, what an awesome headsculpt the skull makes. Done in translucent plastic on his toy, it pretty much counts as the best light-piping ever.
The awesome doesn’t stop there. Just like his fellow evil Autobot Tracks, Ultra Magnus’ paintjob is based off a Diaclone toy. “Powered Convoy” is the toy that would eventually be repainted into G1 Ultra Magnus.
One of my favourites of the boxset, the Diaclone-based colour scheme really looks good on this mold. Topped off with the skull headsculpt, it makes for a visually stunning toy. He comes with the mold’s transforming sword, which the Botcon Invasion comic and his bio refer to as the Terminus Blade, an immeasurably powerful weapon capable of splitting open space-time itself.
One thing he doesn’t manage to improve upon is this mold’s frustratingly awkward alt mode.
Once you get all the pieces into the right places, it looks great, but getting it there involves lining things up just so in a number of areas — especially when getting the back wheels aligned. One wrong push to align the tabs in the back and you can dismount the doors and windows in the front. Almost always re-aligning the doors and windows leads to accidentally releasing the tabs in the back. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Overall, the mold is good but not a lot of fun to transform.
Whoever will come to our rescue?