Series: Planet X
Legal stuff first as always. Apollo is not a figure released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. He hails from third party company Planet X and is, of course, meant to be Fall of Cybertron Ultra Magnus
, but for legal reasons he canít be called by that name. Instead he is named after the Greek god of light, the arts, spring, and healing. Or possibly the guy from Battlestar Galactica, who knows.
Apolloís standard robot mode is a repaint of Planet Xís previous Jupiter
figure, based on Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime
. The figure is about Voyager-sized, Iíd say, and looking very powerful. Like quite a few Ultra Magnus figures that are repainted from Optimus Prime figures he is mostly white with several blue highlights. He also sports some green highlights, though, referencing Minimus Ambus
from Combiner Wars and the IDW Comics.
The figureís articulation is excellent, no room for complaint here, and the detailing looks pretty good as well. I especially like the way the back is put together with the two wheels and the black panels. A bit fiddly to put together, but looking great. Apollo carries a white rifle for a weapon, which he can either hold in hand or plug into his forearm. His second weapon is a big hammer, which I originally didnít like at all, but have since grown to adore. There are so many Mighty Thor poses possible here, it just looks cool. Hammer and rifle can also combine, somewhat, into a bigger gun.
Apollo also comes with a blue Matrix of Leadership as an accessory. Now as you would expect said Matrix can be stored inside the figureís chest. Sadly that fact is not mentioned in the instruction sheet at all and since the chest panels are pretty tight and take a bit of force to open, I initially overlooked this feature (I tried to pry open the chest, but didnít want to exert too much force since I wasnít sure whether it was supposed to open). Anyway, the Matrix fits inside the chest very nicely. Sadly, this wonít be the last time the instruction sheet is found wanting.
Overall this is a very nice robot here. While personally I always preferred the War for Cybertron
Optimus design to the Fall of Cybertron one, I still very much like this robot mode. Thumbs up and no complaints.
Apollo transforms into the same Science-Fiction style truck as Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime, naturally. The transformation is a good deal more complicated than that of the Deluxe-class figure, unsurprisingly, but still not all that hard. Though I have to say, again, that the instruction sheet could be improved a lot. The tiny grey-scale images donít really help much when something small and fiddly needs to be transformed. Anyway, we end up with a mostly white Science Fiction truck.
The truck looks pretty spiffy and, while a good deal smaller than the robot mode, nicely conveys the image of power. Now according to the instruction sheet you can mount Apolloís gun on top, but for the life of me I couldnít figure out how. It doesnít help, of course, that said instruction sheet shows Jupiterís gun instead of Apolloís, which is quite a bit different. So, maybe you can mount the gun on top, maybe you canít. Even without it, though, a very nice vehicle mode.
Super Vehicle Mode:
In most cases the Magnus armor worn by the various Ultra Magnus figures (those that have a smaller inner robot) takes the form of a trailer. Not this time. Apolloís vehicle mode is basically being covered by a big armored shell and the resulting super truck looks bigger, more angular, more powerful, and just very, very cool. In this mode you can attach Apolloís rifle to either side, no problem, and all pieces of the armor are accounted for, no leftovers. The only thing that is left-over in this mode are the black smokestacks on Apolloís shoulders. They must be removed in order for the bigger shoulder pads with the missile launchers to be attached. Maybe this could have been handled a bit differently. Otherwise, though, a superb armored truck mode. Very nice.
Super Robot Mode:
The main attraction of this figure is, of course, the super robot mode. The white inner robot puts on a big suit of armor, turning an already very powerful looking robot into a hulking fighting machine. Iíve read quite a few negative comments on the look of this mode. Looks like a dwarf, looks like he overdosed on steroids, bla bla bla. To this I can only say: please remember that this isnít supposed to be G1 Ultra Magnus
. Itís an Autobot from the War for Cybertron / Fall of Cybertron video games and those pretty much all look like they can barely walk with the amount of armor and weapons they carry. So Apollo very much fits that look.
Letís start with the one tiny thing that bothers me here: in order to put on Apolloís boots, you have to remove those black exhaust pipes that were on the rear end of the vehicle / the back of his thighs. Those are so tight, though, that they are almost impossible to get off unless youíre using pliers. No, Iím not kidding. And, again, the instruction sheets are lacking, because they do not mention those exhaust pipes at all, neither putting them on, nor taking them off.
Apart from that, though, I really love this super robot mode. Apollo, while clearly recognizable as an Ultra Magnus inspired character, has a very unique look about him. He is very muscular-looking, but still nicely articulated. All the armor pieces hold together very nicely, only the shin guards might pop off if you pose him too vividly. His two weapons, rifle and hammer, look great and can be combined (as mentioned above) and attached to his forearm. The entire look of the figure fits nicely with the hammer as a weapon, making him look like a meched-out fantasy character indeed. I love it.
So bottom line: I love this super robot. Heís not perfect, no, but his few tiny flaws donít take anything away from him. Two thumbs up!
Another thing not mentioned in the instruction sheet (I know, itís becoming a running gag) is that Apolloís armor pieces can combine not just into a shell for his car mode, but also into a kind of armored wall / weapon storage shed. Itís rather similar to the way the pieces connect for the vehicle shell, but vertical. Apollo can take cover behind his wall and shoot his rifle or store his weapons inside of it. A nice add-on. Now if only they had actually mentioned it in the instructionsÖ
Ultra Magnus was not a playable character in the campaigns of the Fall of Cybertron video game. His armored super robot form was available in the Havoc DLC pack for the multiplayer mode, though, while his inner robot is, of course, a white repaint of the Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime design. And yes, technically he is supposed to be the same guy as Prime Ultra Magnus
, but the continuity chaos that is the Aligned Continuity is another story.
Planet X is bringing out lots of designs based on War for Cybertron / Fall of Cybertron. While I liked the games, I wasnít exactly chomping at the bit to get more figures from it. When I saw Apolllo, though, I just had to have him. He reminds me of my very first Third Party figure Fansproject City Commander
in all the right ways and while he does have some problems (especially the instruction sheets!!!), he is still a very nice figure. Recommended to all Fall of Cybertron and Ultra Magnus fans.
Tags: - Autobot - Military Vehicle - Planet X - Science Fiction Vehicle - Third Party - Truck - Ultra Magnus (Aligned) - War for / Fall of Cybertron