Review by quinncat
The Titans Return rendition of Fortress Maximus is the biggest transformer ever made, and that size comes with a pretty size able price too, so imagine my surprise when Ollies, had this normally $150 figure on sale for $110 off. Yes, this only cost me $40.
Since Fort Max is still a headmaster, his head Cerebros is a full fledged nearly voyager class sized figure that could be a full review on its own. He features a grey, blue and black color scheme; a far cry from the G1's various tones of gray but, the blue and black add a nice level of variance in the design, making Cerebros feel equal to that of any other normal figures in the Titans Return line. His Titan Master, now called Emissary looks very close to G1 spike, which is great considering he isn't just another unpainted, uninspired Titan Master like Chromedome's or Hot Rod's. The head Emissary transforms into carries the distinct, but obscure likeness of his appearance in the G1 cartoon, although the most iconic Cerebros visage are ones based on his original toy, or the Headmasters seasons of Japanese G1.
Accessories are pretty light, but necessary as, Cerebros does include a gun that can seat one Titan Master, but nothing more.
Articulation for Cerebros is pretty standard in terms of recent Transformers although it lacks a waste joint due to it's battery compartment because, of course, what would such a huge figure be without lights and sounds! When pushing down Cerebros's head in this mode, he makes a variety of very loud laser sounds, and actually says his name which is pretty cool, but the sound effects do have their downsides, which I'll touch on after his... Transformation!
Transformation for Cerebros into head mode is very simple but effective, and you don't have to remove Emissary to do so. The arms swing forward at the shoulders, the legs fold over the sides of his body while the feet flip up, and two fins mounted on his backpack rotate out to form horns. The highlight of this Transformation comes in it's dynamic face reveal, as fold up the gray armor panel on Cerebros's backpack uncovers the monolithic visage, while his eyes flash red and a Transformation sound plays! The whole conversion never really gets old to me, especially when its bookended by such a dynamic finish. The head itself looks incredible. Its very well detailed and, of course, is huge.
Although that Transformation sound is great and very satisfying, it also highlights the gimmick's main problem: you can't turn it off! Because that, and other sound effects are both very loud, and essential to the Transformation, they do get irritating quickly, so I actually removed the batteries on mine. This actually gets especially annoying, once you try to fit Cerebros in head mode onto Fortress Maximus's body, as it is actually tricky to do the first few times, and many sound effects will play unintentionally on your part.
One cool feature about the sound effects however, is that they are different depending on whether Cerebros is in his robot, head, or base configurations, although the actual sound effects lack some variety because most are just laser sounds, Fortress Maximus does say some phrases like his name, autobot, or decepticon. In addition to that Cerebros also says his name as mentioned before, and while in base or battleship mode, Emmisary can say his name. I think it's a pretty cool touch that even the Titan Master can say his name while Fort Max is in base mode even if the sounds aren't actually coming from Emmisary.
Before we take a look at Fortress Maximus's robot mode in all of its glory, I have to apologize for the change of scenery, as the desk where my reviews are normally set is far too small! So, the remainder of this review will be set outside!
In his full robot mode, Fortress Maximus is bigger than I imagined, and actually the tallest figure I, and many others probably own let alone the tallest Transformer ever but, honestly he doesn't have too much more to boast about besides that. Sure, he's very poseable, with fully articulated hands and any other joint aside from an ankle pivot that could be found on other modern Transformers but there isn't much besides that that you can do with him. One awesome touch, is that the guns mounted on his shins can actually come off, and be used as handguns, but other than that, and Cerebros's little gun, Fortress really lacks weapons. That's honestly only a small complaint because, this figure looks amazing, and is so fun to pose, that it more than makes up for the lack of accessories.
The actual design itself looks awesome! I love this modern interpretation of Fart Max's asymmetrical but cohesive design, and it fits very well with other Classics style Transformers.
Size in this mode is again, unrivaled by any other transformer. For some frame of reference, Cerebros, who is larger than most deluxes, doesn't even come up to Fort's knee.
Fort Max's Transformation into battle station mode is at the very least, accurate to the G1. You just lye the figure down, point the arms up, fold up the hands, fold the feet down, and rotate the sides of his upper by around to form the bridge. Afterwards, Cerebros can be plugged into it. When Fortress is in this mode, he certainly looks the part, as G1 Fort Max shares this modes "simplicity". Quite frankly, I love it's silly adherence to such a funny "Transformation", and I wouldn't want it any other way.
Base mode is where things get interesting, as, although it is very similar to the battleship mode, and looks nothing like the G1's base mode, it is very impressive nonetheless if only for its sheer width. There are many places for Titan masters to stand, many spots for Cerebros's gun, and both of Fortress's shin guns to be placed in both alt modes, but other than connect other leader class Titan's return figures, theses modes don't really have any special features of their own aside from new sound effects. They do both look very impressive, However.
There is also a popular fan mode, that replicates the more "city like" solid design of the original that involves opening up the legs and setting them on the ramps. It's very tall, and evokes the G1 in a great way, but it's definitely not intentional, as the alternate leg configuration isn't very secure. I don't know if I prefer it over the intended base mode, but it's still awesome seeing an equivalent Fort Max's G1 base mode, intentional or not.
Taking everything into consideration, Transformers Generations Titans Return Fortress Maximus is an event of a figure with a price in proportion to it's size but not it's features. It is a really good figure that is very impressive while being fun to pose and looks like the ideal modern interpretation of the character to me. Both of his alt modes may be a little under engineered, but they still look good, and command attention in their sheer size alone. Cerebros is a very good figure too, and I love how close his head; Emmisary, is to G1 spike. Overall the only real negative you should walk away from this review with is unfortunately, the price. Yes, there is a lot here, but $150 is a price I honestly don't think it's worth but for the $40 I paid, I couldn't be happier. Make no mistake, Fortress Maximus is more than worth your time, but only if you can find it for a decent price. I'd say give your local Ollies a call, and see if they have any because if they do, you won't regret it.
|Posted 13 October, 2017 - 12:20 by quinncat|