Saturday, January 17, 2015

Takara Masterpiece MP-22 Ultra Magnus Review

Besides Bumblebee, Ultra-Magnus is by far my most anticipated Masterpiece figure release of this year, and for a very good reason. This moment marks the first time Ultra Magnus has received a Masterpiece makeover, a decision that will likely have a great payoff in the end. Included in this set is a mini Spike and Daniel Witwicky figure. Ultra Magnus was released in late December 2014.

Truck Mode

Ultra Magnus' truck mode is mostly aces. The variety of materials, crafted details, transparent windows, color schemes, and use of Autobot insignias are perfect. The extra bits of chromed pieces and rubber tires greatly add to the authenticity of this truck. The trailer also offers a spot to store Magnus' gun.

The pair of missiles can come out, but unfortunately, they must be removed manually. No rigging will ever project the missiles; they are essentially there for aesthetic purposes.

The truck comes with a white spring loaded latch underneath. Pushing the latch down will separate the truck from the trailer.

One disappointing factor though, is the lack of turning radius on this truck. Collectors hoping to turn the truck and trailer, while rolling them on their wheels, can only work with a puny 10 degree turn on both sides. Anything more than that will have the back wheels already touching the trailer.

As advertised, Magnus' truck mode can haul smaller Autobots in his trailer. However, do not expect the vehicles to roll on the trailer smoothly, as drastic level changes and incomplete tracks get in the way. Even when the top end is lowered, the tracks will not rest on a perfect angle. Despite the technical difficulties, the Autobot cars do make wonderful displays when loaded on the trailer. If only there were more cars to fill the back to maximum capacity.

Robot Mode

One of the biggest downplays to this figure is the cab being unable to transform into a separate robot prior to upgrading himself to the mode seen here. With that said, Magnus is still awesome! The sheer size of this robot is amazing, and the material that comprises this toy also adds some weight to go with the bulk. The properly portioned, blocky exterior sports nice panel lining and mechanical detail. None of the joints are too loose, they were nicely tightened to support Ultra Magnus' weight.

Due to the heavy reliance of color mixed with mold injected plastic, the flat coated paint applications used camouflage very well. They make perfect complements and the naked eye couldn't initially tell them apart, unless the toy is looked at very carefully. Magnus' head was also given some great attention to detail, as his face was coated in flat silver paint and blue eyes.

One hidden gem of Ultra Magnus, is an empty compartment, located inside his chest, that stores the Matrix of Leadership. Unfortunately, the Matrix is not included. Collectors will have to borrow the one that came with Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Finding one on eBay is possible, but they are pricy.

There are only a few minor nitpicks though. There are some unsightly clipped sprue marks seen on Magnus' forearms and shoulders.


Ultra Magnus comes with his very own super blaster gun, alternative (screaming) face plate, and an extra set of hands designed to hold the Matrix of Leadership.

The super blaster gun has tabs that snap into Magnus' palm so that the weapon won't fall off easily. Though the color looks a bit bland, the crafted details are indeed superb.

Magnus' extra face expression mimics the moment he held the Matrix of Leadership in his hands. Unfortunately, the Matrix is not on hand for this review. However, this accessory comes in handy, whenever anyone wants to pose Magnus in various angry or vengeful poses.

Takara also designed an extra compartment in Magnus' back that stores his various faces. The hinged panel does have specially crafted pegs that will secure the faces inside.

The extra pair of hands that holds the Matrix of Leadership isn't really sophisticated in design. They are merely a pair of sculpted clenched fists, but with an empty slot dug into the knuckles. With the Matrix of Leadership in hand, simply insert both ends into the knuckles, and then the pose would be complete.

One Hidden Feature

In between swapping Ultra Magnus' facial expressions lies one extra feature. That hidden Easter egg is Magnus' alternative head, which sports the same features as Optimus Prime, but with a white head, sky blue eyes, and silver mouth shield.

Spike and Daniel Witwicky

Spike and Daniel Witwicky, wearing the suits seen in Transformers: The Movie, were also included as extra accessories. The paint job is sort of decent, but they suffer from not having the eyes painted in also. The main draw is to have them sit inside the driver and passenger seat of Ultra Magnus' truck mode.

Getting them in there is simple. Flip the roof up, and then place Spike and Daniel on the red seats. Needless to say, be sure to pose Spike and Daniel in the sitting position prior to putting them in.


Naturally, Ultra Magnus' blocky figure restricted some movement out of this toy. However, there is some great poses that can be made. I appreciate Takara's extra liberties taken into Magnus' side flaps on the waist that moves on a hinge to allow more movement out of the legs.


Size Comparison

It goes without saying, Ultra Magnus is huge! He stands tall over Soundwave and Bumblebee is as tall as Magnus' knee.


Despite some flat features, Ultra Magnus is indeed a cool toy to have. His size and weight made up for any shortcomings. The paint job is glorious, material doesn't feel flimsy, and extra features are nice to have. Even the transformation between truck and robot mode aren't too difficult to follow. If you're a fan of Magnus or Transformers in general, consider adding this masterpiece in your collection!

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