FansProject TFX-01 City Commander
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 2:06:15 PM
After reviewing on Tramsformers Classics Ultra Magnus here, it's now time to review the main reason I bought this bland redeco of Transformers Classics Optimus Prime: his awesome trailer!
Introducing FansProject TFX-01 City Commander, a 3rd party expansion kit that enables you to transform Classics Ultra Magnus to his glory G1-self.
More on this great figure after the jump...
Ultra Magnus is a fine soldier. Although he has incredible fighting skills, courage and unmatched talent for improvisation on the battlefield, Ultra Magnus is most comfortable when carrying out orders, and is naturally uncomfortable if the mantle of leadership should ever find itself placed upon him.
Despite the fact, Ultra Magnus was the City Commander for Autobot City in Transformers The Movie, which indicates that he at least is willing to accept a leadership role in a smaller capacity rather than as Supreme Commander (a role filled by both Optimus Prime and later Rodimus Prime).
The loyal Autobot suddenly became the leader of the Autobot as the successor of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership after the death of Optimus Prime.
Later he was blown apart and lost the Matrix to Galvatron, but was reassembled and reactivated by the Junkions. Fortunately Hot Rod recovered the Matrix and became Rodimus Prime, and then Ultra Magnus decided to step down as leader to give the role to Rodimus. He continued to act as his close advisor, keeping him on the straight and narrow and always reassuring him, attempting to urge him out of the shadow of Optimus Prime.
Ultra Magnus alternate mode is a car carrier truck. Maybe you already know this fact, but Ultra Magnus is actually consisted of two forms: an inner robot (the transformation of the cab, resembling a white Optimus Prime) and a super robot formed from the trailer and the inner robot. The inner robot was never showed on the original cartoon. Ultra Magnus toy is a redeco of the Diaclone Powered Convoy toy, so he has similarities with Optimus Prime.
When Classics Ultra Magnus came out, it is only natural that he is a white redeco of Classics Optimus Prime (as most of his incartanation were). Fortunately a third party group called FansProject came out with an idea to release an expansion kit for him, called TFX-01 City Commander. The expansion gives Ultra Magnus a trailer and can merge with the robot mode to form a larger robot, just like his original G1 toy.
As a third party add-on which doesn't relate anyhow with Hasbro/ Takara, the City Commander packaging (and the toy itself) doesn't mention or display anything about the Transformers franchise (mainly of fear of legal concern), but any Transformers fans should immediately discern it.
The City Commander comes in a box with predominant blue color. A large "PARALAX" word is displayed on the front. There is no indication of what is actually inside the box.
On the back of the box there is a paragraph. It read "Prepare for a new adventure across the vast, countless universes. To battle an illusive enemy with unbelievable allies. Are you ready to befriend familiar looking foes? Will you confront friends who are now farfected in their nature... Welcome to PARALAX". Again it doesn't reveal what is inside, and the words are just confusing.
Inside the box is the add-on kit, wrapped in neat plastic tray, along with a plethora of accessories. My City Commander is the second release item, which come with a cannon and a pair of missile launcher (can be bought separately if you hasn't get it already). These included extras also come with an instruction manual.
The instruction manual for the trailer is, interestingly, a comic book! It tels the story of a battle between Pharaohtron (somewhat resembling Megatron) against Ra-Mus (obviously Optimus Prime). The transformation depicted inside the book is for Powered Commander, a redeco of City Commander.
Besides these accessories, the package also includes a sticker sheet (I don't really need it since the trailer is alredy so awesome without it), a set of stubs (to plug in the screw holes), and some replacement faces.
Detail and Articulation
Before going to the add-on kit itself, lets take a short detour on the included cannon. The gun resembles the white blaster cannon Ultra Magnus uses in the cartoon and designed to be used woth the City Commander...
...but there's more than meets the eye! The gun can transform (a neat gimmick) into a smaller blaster.
The transformed gun matches perfectly with Classics Ultra Magnus. The white color is a bit bland for my taste, but seeing that it is modeled after the cartoon appearance it is okay, though the black pegs give me a felling that the gun is like an unfinished model.
Okay, enough of that. Now to the main attraction, the trailer itself!
City Commander trailer is made from solid plastic. The build is great (arguably better than Classics Ultra Magnus itself) with predominant blue color. The color is flat and blends perfectly with the style if Ultra Magnus in truck mode, as in the photo below.
The trailer connects to the back of the truck using a large stub (the stub originally doesn't serve any purpose for the figure other than aesthetic reason). The connection is intended to be loose, just enough so Ultra Magnus to drag the trailer around. Lifting the figure will surely split them apart. The missile launcher pegs into either side of the trailer.
The back of trailer, intended or not, can be opened. This feature is actually part of the transformation scheme, as you will see shortly.
Just like the original G1 toy, City Commander is a partformers. which means that the trailer split apart into armor parts which can be attached to Classics Ultra Magnus (or any Classics Optimus Prime unaltered mold in that matter), serving as the inner robot.
Splitting the trailer apart
Again, the FansProject team showed their professionalism in creating this add-on. Splitting and combining the armor parts into the trailer is very well thought of. The stubs, hinge and slot works perfectly fine, as if it was made from a top notch company (the quality is even better than some of my official Transformers figure).
Attaching the armor parts to Classics Ultra Magnus is the most fun part in transforming City Commander.
To attach the chest and head section, you must fold Ultra Magnus' head like shown below. This is the only part of the figure that needs transforming in order to attach the City Commander armor.
The chest section slides perfectly to Ultra Magnus. There are small springs in the chest that let the chest part to grip nicely to the figure so it doesn't fall off easily.
To attach the leg armor, you must insert the figure's leg in a certain angle so it can slide in. This is by far the most difficult part on assembling City Commander, as the pieces are so tight you might feel as if you are just going to break it.
If you place it just right, the legs will fit perfectly up into the knee pad, as seen below.
The hand parts just slides into each of Ultra Magnus' hands. You must be careful to align the hand kibble (the truck doors) in the correct position, if not it won't fit perfectly.
The shoulder armor snaps into the shoulder of Ultra Magnus. It is hold firmly by a series of tabs so it will not fall off unless you yank it with a bit of force.
To attach the torso armor, you must slide it inwards until it locks perfectly.
The included missile launcher pegs to either side of the shoulder. The red missiles can be pulled from the base if you want. The missile launcher is not spring loaded, but the missiles appear to be designed for it.
And there you go, City Commander (Ultra Magnus) in his awesome glory.
City Commander is as large as an Ultra Class figure (Classics Ultra Magnus is a Voyager Class figure). He has great detailing and closely resembles the G1 Ultra Magnus, albeit with a style of originality by the FansProject team. If you notice there is no Autobot symbol on the figure (again due to fear of legal concern, but a slight visit to Reprolabels should fix this).
The paint application is flawless and in style with the Classics figure line. The figure feels imposing and solid, as if the armor parts is an integral part of the figure. A slight glance will not be enough to discern that the figure can be separated between the inner robot and the parts attached.
The face is painted in a nice silver. The eyes is not light-piped, not even colored. I don't know about the reason behind this, maybe so that you can paint what color you desire for the optics?
Not only that City Commander retains all articulations from Ultra Magnus, it also added some new one. The head is now on ball joint, and its feet can be swiveled (similar to what implemented in Classics Hound I reviewed here). There are a license plate rotating gimmick on the left feet, but you must apply the "CityCommander" sticker with it.
The hand is larger than the one on Classics Ultra Magnus to fit City Commander's proportion. It can be rotated left and right.
FansProject also kind enough to come with a solution to store the extra weapon when it's not in use: Ultra Magnus' double-barreled gun can be stored in the right shoulder.
Likewise, the shotgun-like blaster can be stored on the other side.
The rest of the trailer converts into am enormous BFG cannon for the City Commander.
The cannon is boxy in appearance. Here I applied some stickers on it to make it a bit better.
It is also quite heavy, even Ultra Magnus' ratcheting joint on the elbow cannot cope with its weight when I posed him in a certain pose.
But if you manage to pose him with it, City Commander will look so awesome.
Combined with so so much variation of weapons, you can erect so much cool pose from the figure. Either using the large cannon...
...or holding weapons in both hands.
The added articulation points are also a welcomed addition. You will have easier time posing him than the Classics Ultra Magnus.
Comparison with my Henkei Optimus Prime. He can also use the City Commander armor, although there will be some color that doesn't match up. If you want to augment the Optimus Prime figure, you should opted to get the Power Commander kit instead.
Overall, the City Commander add-on kit is a worthy addition to your collection.
The City Commander armor is undoubtedly the best third party add-on kit out there in the market so far. The quality is superb and the engineering of it is very well though out.
The only concerns are that the price tag is quite hefty due to it's third party nature, and the Ultra Magnus figure is long sold out these days, so completing this City Commander figure will force you to reach your pocket deeper. But I assure you, if you're aiming to complete the Classics set, it will surely not disappoint you.
I'm looking forward for the next releases by the FansProject team, namely Defender, Protector and the Bruticus Maximus upgrade kit.