Transformers Classics Ultra Magnus & FansProject TFX-01 City Commander review


Transformers Collectors’ Club have done it again! What an amazing treat for Transformers fans! I’m kidding of course. This unofficial City Commander armour set has been produced by the obviously talented FansProject, and represents a new, high, standard for customs and fan made Transformers tributes. Such a high standard in fact that Hasbro and/or TakaraTomy really ought to be considering buying the rights to mass produce this, at least for their collectors’ club members.

This set is of course called City Commander to avoid infringing on Hasbro’s trademarks, but there’s no doubt about who this is, even if there are no official Autobot decals included.

The clean lines and angles, and large feet/small head proportions really add to the anime feel used by the Classics line and recent comic books from both Dreamwave and IDW.

The parts fit together very well, the tooling and quality of plastic used here has really paid off. Getting the leg parts on and off is ever so slightly tricky, but all the other pieces snap perfectly into place and hold fast, yet are no trouble to remove again afterwards. Everything just feels like it was always supposed to work this way.

In vehicle mode, the trailer is more sleek and streamlined than the original Magnus trailer, leaning a little towards the Rodimus Prime trailer style.

The one weak area is perhaps the gun. Clearly awkwardly leftover after the other parts are used to make the figure’s armour, the gun is just a bit too large, even if Magnus should have the biggest BFGest gun around. The quality of the Classics Ultra Magnus figure underneath is sufficiently high that the joints can bear the weight of the additional pieces, even the gun in missile launcher mode, but not quite in cannon mode, which is to be expected. The Classics figures weather-vane and smokestack handguns can also be attached to the back of the armour’s “towers”, although again they look a little awkward.

There are lots of great little touches that show how much love and attention to details has gone into this set. Holes in the shoulders can accept missile launchers from the original G1 Ultra Magnus. The instruction booklet takes the form of a short comic, although presumably using the Diaclone Magnus colour scheme as TakaraTomy will be less litigiously inclined than their American counterparts. Although no Autobot decals are included, there is a set of license plate options to use, and the panel they affix to can be flipped up to hide the decal from appearing in robot mode. The ankles rotate slightly so as to stand flush with the ground even when the legs are angled apart. The armour loses none of the poseability of the figure inside, amazingly.

Clearly this is a must buy for any serious fan who has a Classic Ultra Magnus figure sitting around naked. With the relatively short run and fan-made nature of the product, it’s sure to retain its value, if not increase. If you miss out on this one, there’s always the Nemesis Prime Shadow Commander armour, or Diaclone colours versions that may see a release though. One could argue that this is more of a puzzle former than a transformer, disassembling one configuration and reassembling in another, but Ultra Magnus always was and in his case it’s the right way to do it. The transformation is fun and there are some moving parts here, especially in the leg and chest pieces.

I’m not sure even FansProject have the guts to try and make a version of this armour for Masterpiece Ultra Magnus, and anyway, guess what? Alongside Masterpiece Starscream, the quality and matte finish of the plastic used here looks just right. At the same time it’s not as brittle and delicate as the plastic used on that figure, so you don’t need to be afraid to actually play with it. As far as I’m concerned, this is my Masterpiece Ultra Magnus.

What next for FansProject? Powermaster armour for Classics Optimus? A Prime upgrade kit for Classics Hot Rodimus? What about a finished version of CyberFembot? I would buy them all. So post your ideas in the comments, and have your say in our upcoming poll.

Wow. Masterpiece Ultra Magnus, City Commander. Just wow.