There’s something somewhat strange about the fact that the Beast Wars incarnation of Ultra Magnus is making an appearance in a post before I’ve even gotten around to devoting a post to the City Commander himself. But…
I can’t deal with that right now. (Ha! Straight to the oldest joke in the book in no time flat.
Mostly because there’s this to deal with,
Ok, that’s not entirely show-stopping. Mammoth’s are admittedly pretty awesome, but setting aside his fabulous shade of blue, we’ve had mammoths in the franchise for roughly fourteen years now, ever since Big Convoy first showed up in Beast Wars Neo.
What is absolutely, remarkably, splendidly show-stopping is the deco of the robot mode.
Not just that he is made to look like Ultra Magnus, but the fact that he is Ultra Magnus.
Rather, he is Ultra Mammoth. In essence, this figure — this character — exists to make that pun.
Magnus joins the Beast Wars era in the same way Hot Rod and Arcee did, through the BotCon/Timelines fiction. Whereas Arcee gained a shiny new spider alt mode — undergoing the “Maximal Upgrade” procedure — Hot Rod remained the same, or at least he did up until they killed him in Wreckers: Finale Part II. Ultra Magnus
has chosen was forced to undergo the Maximal Upgrade when he, Prowl, Silverbolt, Ironhide, and Grimlock crash land on a prehistoric Shattered Glass Earth. Though it’s not called the Maximal Upgrade, instead Prowl… well, maybe I should just let him explain.
Maximal Upgrade or not, the end result is the same.
Really the only part of this that peeves me is the legitimacy it gives to previous assertions by IDW in their Beast Wars Sourcebook that the components of Magnaboss were actually G1 Prowl, Silverbolt, and Ironhide. All of that is forgivable when we get the big blue behemoth leading them up.
Unlike the 2.0 version of the Subscription Service — where I was only convinced to sign up once they showed Thrustinator — Ultra Mammoth was the ice cream sundae sitting atop a cake full of awesome. In a group that included the amazing Jackpot, Circuit, Slipstream, Breakdown, and Scourge; Ultra Mammoth has proven to be my favourite.
Though it is sometimes derided for being a “shell-former“, I love everything about this mold. There’s the massive cannon — named “Blue Bolts” after the weapon carried by Robots in Disguise Ultra Magnus — formed from his beast mode’s head and snout that can be left on his back — yet still deployed in battle — or be detached and held.
He has missile launchers in his legs and tonfa fold out from his wrists for some up-close-and-personal beatdowns on Decepticons or Predacons.
Because I tend to store missiles away, I didn’t even know they had changed the legs missiles on this mold from the original design until I read about it online.Apparently now they are wider and don’t sit as far in. This means they can’t be left in when he is transformed into beast mode. You know where they do fit just fine regardless of what mode Ultra Mammoth is in? In the box. Which is where they will stay.
A feature of the mold that took a little bit of explainin’ is the Matrix stored in his chest.
Currently, this has become the main focus of the Transformers Collectors’ Club Magazine’s comic book. Ultra Mammoth and his band of newly minted Maximals, joined by Depth Charge, are on a hunt for a mysterious “Origin Matrix” that resides on this prehistoric Shattered Glass planet Earth. Hopefully they can use this Deus Ex Machina to undo the spreading damage done when the Ultra Magnus native to the Shattered Glass universe used his Terminus Blade to pull the Earth of the Classics universe into orbit around the Cybertron of Shattered Glass, destroying the remainder of Classics universe in the process.
Catch all that?
tl;dr version: TOY!
Being a mold made for Beast Wars Neo, it has a second alt mode, essentially a weaponized version of his beast mode oddly enough.
Not as bad as the Unhorse, but it is still a thing that should not happen.
So that would be Ultra Mammoth, a toy that more than lived up to expectations and that I thought I couldn’t possibly love more; but something else has sprung up in the meantime that I am loving even more than the official Collectors’ Club fiction. Over at Shortpacked, David Willis is writing a self-proclaimed “Beast Wars Doujinshi” (I admit, I had to look up “doujinshi”) about Ultra Mammoth’s birth, as a wholly different character than Ultra Magnus, on regular Beast Wars earth at the same time the Maximals and Predacons are fighting elsewhere on the planet. There is a notable guest appearance by a member of the main Beast Wars cast, but that’s the only encounter he has had so far with anyone. I’m not sure what direction it’s headed at this point or even how long it will be, but I must say I have quite enjoyed the ten parts presented so far.