Titans Return Fortress Maximus Gallery!
From the moment that he was announced, Fortress Maximus has been the top priority for my collection. The G1 figure was one of those holy grail characters that I only recently acquired in the form of the reissue, and getting an updated version was an absolute dream come true… and a dream that never seemed to arrive fast enough. Now that he is here, I still can’t believe my eyes.
Fortress Maximus comes in at around the same size as Metroplex. His head appears to be just a little bit higher than that of Metroplex, but Metroplex’s guns (if they count) leave him as tallest Transformer. Fortress Maximus is a very heavy remold of Metroplex, and it is amazing to see how much they have in common and yet still appear strikingly different. Fort Max has all of the articulation that you would expect a figure coming out currently to possess, and seems to be a little easier to pose. He feels more balanced than Metroplex, and his hip and leg joints are a little tighter. He’s way more fun to “play” with.
There is a ton of molded-in detail on Fort Max, but other than a few silver parts, he lacks a significant amount of paint. His color scheme is definitely not the same as the G1 figure, and that bothers me a little bit. He’s close enough though, I guess. Fort Max comes with stickers to highlight his color scheme, and they are definitely needed to bring out some of the detail. While I have a high preference for tampos in lieu of stickers, at least Fort Max did not come with insane amount that Metroplex did, and they are much easier to apply. Fort Max does not come with any side weapons, but the guns on his shins can be popped out and have handles in them that can be held in the same fashion as Metroplex’s gun. Open/concealed carry, I guess.
This mode is fairly simplistic. I know some people have complained about this aspect of the figure, but in all honesty I don’t see much difference between the G1 figure and the Titans Return figure when it comes to base and city modes. Basically, he lays flat on the ground and puts his arms and legs straight out. Not really much of a transformation, but it was good enough when you were a kid to use your imagination and pretend that it wasn’t really a robot laying on the ground. Surely you can get away with that now. The little gun/helicopter pad can detach and become a “vehicle” (some additional imagination required).
In spite of my stance on stickers, I would probably spring for some if they added this to the figure’s appearance. The box art highlights that in this mode you can attach leader class figures in base mode. I have not tried it yet because I don’t have enough space in my lightbox to take a picture of anyone attached to Fort Max, but I will probably display him as such at some point on shelf.
While this mode is definitely more of the same laying down to make an alternate mode, I feel like this comes much closer to pulling off the classic Fort Max look. All the right parts seem to go into all of the right places, and he has plenty of artillery to make it appear it well fortified location. I think the only detail that this mode is missing for me is runway ramps covering the hands completely. Seeing the hands under the runway as clearly as they are is definitely distracting from the overall aesthetic.
I think that the only thing that really disappoints me about either of these modes is the tower. The tower is small. The tower also doesn’t have any well-defined windows like the original. The G1 figure really made me feel like there could be robots inhabiting this behemoth because of all the lighted windows, and that is definitely lacking here. Don’t take that as much of a negative, however, and this is a great base that mixes well with the other Titans Returns figures of all sizes. Kids (and “kids”) will LOVE this guy, as he is, ahem, a titan amount of fun.
Yes, I went there. 😀
Titans Return Cerebros forms the head of Fort Max, and this one is a much better cartoon version of the robot mode that the original. While he can be a little bit back-heavy, he has plenty of articulation and can balance fairly decently in spite of the huge backpack. As a deluxe-sized figure, he is the only Titan Master so far to have a piece that actually covers his Titan Master face in robot mode. I guess that was to be expected for him, but it is definitely something that I would have liked to have on the smaller Titan Masters as well. He comes with sound effects, but you have to install the batteries to get them to work. I’m a little too lazy to get that done, so mine will forever stare at me in silence. While Cerebros does not come with any weaponry, you can either use the Titan Master gun station inside Fort Max’s chest as a blaster, or use weapons from other Transformers with the standard sized hands. If you are like me and saw all those clearanced out Construct Bots sets last year as cheap weapon kits, you can use any of those guns and melee weapons to power him up. I decided to take some reproduction parts from a third-party kit to augment mine, and I think it completes the figure.
The Titan Master Emissary is Cerebros’ head. When compared to Spike from the G1 figure, he sure is tiny. That’s not an issue though, and I don’t have any complaints. A plate to cover the Titan Master face in Emissary mode would be great, but I’ll just have to use my imagination (again) and ignore its absence. 😉
Overall I think this is a very good update of the original Fortress Maximus. It reproduces the look of the original character close enough to satisfy my G1 itch, and the added articulation and balance make him better than both the G1 toy and Generations Metroplex. A lack of paint is a definite let down, but the added stickers give just enough detail to make him “pop” on the shelf. The alt modes may not be complex, but they are fun and enhance the play aesthetic the line has incorporated. I definitely recommend this figure for all children, ages 8 to as old as they can get.