CITY COMMANDER & CITY COMMANDER ADD-ON SET
Series: Fans Project
Categories: Upgrade Set
Year: 2008 / 2010
The City Commander trailer serves as a suit of battle armour for Classics Ultra Magnus
(it works for Classics Prime
and Shattered Glass Prime
as well, of course). Unlike the original G1 Ultra Magnus
, though, it's not a nearly immobile brick where the smaller Magnus figure just clicks on. No, the City Commander armour is no less than eight different pieces (nine if you count that huge honkin' blaster) that Ultra Magnus puts on just like you'd put on armour pieces in real life. It's boots, a hip plate, a chest plate complete with head, shoulder pieces and gauntlets.
It takes a moment to put everything on (especially the boots), but once you're finished you have a spectacular-looking Ultra Magnus toy standing before you. He's big and bulky, but retains pretty much the entire range of posability of the unarmoured Magnus figure. The new head can both turn and nod, while the new fists have wrist movement. The detailing is extremely well done and there are several nifty little surprises. One, you can store both of Magnus' guns on the back of the shoulder pieces, either pointing up or down (if you want them hidden away). Also, the shoulder pieces feature holes on the side where you can go old school and plug in G1 Magnus' shoulder-missiles. You can even open up Magnus' chestplate. Sadly there is no room to store a Maxtrix of Leadership behind it, but at least you can pretend.
Ultra Magnus is, of course, no longer dependent on the two weapons he originally came with. No, the City Commander armour comes with a new weapon for him. And it's a huge, huge cannon. We're talking a cannon that would make Universe Nemesis Prime
green with cannon-envy. It's so big, in fact, that the joints on my Ultra Magnus aren't strong enough to hold it up. For the pictures I had to support it on his knees. Personally I don't really see the point of this gun. It's so huge as to be completely impractical and I really can't picture Magnus shouting something like "ULTIMATE SUPER MEGA ALLSPARK-MATRIX BLASTER - MAXIMUM BURN!". Still, if you like your big cannons, this one's not bad. I think Magnus looks better without it, though.
So to sum it up: Classics Magnus wearing the City Commander armour is without any doubt in my mind the absolute best version of Ultra Magnus ever made in any Transformers series. He's big, he looks fabulous, he's posable, what else do you want? Absolutely no complaints at all.
For a long time G1 Omega Supreme
has held the title of supreme "puzzle-former", a robot that doesn't so much transform as fall to pieces and reassembles in a different shape. Well Omega, you've got competition now. Because in order to transform Ultra Magnus' City Commander armour into or out of its trailer mode, you really need patience and puzzle skills. Nine different pieces need to be taken, transformed, and then put together right in order to form the trailer. Not quite as many as it was with Omega, but it takes a lot of time, too.
Once assembled the resulting trailer is a surprisingly wholesome looking piece that offers little clue as to what might emerge from it. Classics Magnus in truck mode can simply hook it up and then drive down the highway. Cab and trailer fit together very well, both colour- and shape-wise. It looks somewhat different than G1 Magnus' truck mode did, as the trailer isn't open but rather a single, solid piece. Still, the back of the trailer still retains a lot of the same look it did in G1 days, so it's easy to see that the two trucks are somewhat related.
You can't really do much more than drive in this mode, of course. The back of the trailer can open up, more or less, but it's neither a straight ramp, nor is there any place inside for transporting much of anything. Still, a very well-thought-out alternate mode for Magnus' combat armour that stows away everything and leaves you with no loose parts to misplace. So all in all, a very nice truck mode. No complaints here, either.
There have always been lots of complaints about Ultra Magnus. The character was best known for being the hand-picked successor of Optimus Prime who couldn't deal with stuff and lost the Matrix of Leadership to Galvatron. He somewhat redeemed himself in the third season of the G1 cartoon by being a valuable second-in-command to Rodimus Prime, but that was all he ever was: A second. And then there was the toy. A barely posable monster of a robot that you could only look at from the front, followed by a large number of white Optimus Prime repaints (except for the RID version
Now finally, finally we have an Ultra Magnus toy worthy of the name. Okay, it's actually two toys if you want to get technical, but for me Classics Magnus and the City Commander armour are from this day forward inseparable. They look great together, they move great together, they are just... perfect. Can't really find another word for it. Perfect.
The City Commander armour is not an official Hasbro product, but was put together by fansproject.com and was sold in limited quantity. I was lucky enough to get one and I'm not giving it away again, that much is for sure. Another fun side note: The instructions for how to assemble and disassemble the trailer came in the shape of a comic book which saw an alternate universe version of the Transformers in ancient Egypt. The bad guy was called Pharaotron, the Transformers god Primus was renamed Ra-Mus, and Magnus/City Commander was called Orion and came in the classic Diaclone colour scheme. It's so strange it's fun.
Anyway, for only the second time ever in my days as reviewer, I give this wonderful Transformers toy a perfect score. Every TF fan should own one.
I've recently acquired the City Commander Upgrade Set containing Ultra Magnus' signature rifle and shoulder missile launchers. And some people kept asking how Classics Optimus Prime looks in the City Commander armor (almost no visible change), so here are pictures of both the set and Optimus in Magnus' clothing. Enjoy!