For more pics, click on the image above
Prelude: 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 can’t 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.
Robot Mode: Apollo’s standard robot mode is a repaint of Planet X’s previous Jupiter figure, based on Fall of Cybertron Optimus Prime. The figure is about Voyager-sized, I’d 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 figure’s 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 didn’t 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 figure’s 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 didn’t want to exert too much force since I wasn’t sure whether it was supposed to open). Anyway, the Matrix fits inside the chest very nicely. Sadly, this won’t 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.
Alternate Mode: 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 don’t 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 Apollo’s gun on top, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how. It doesn’t help, of course, that said instruction sheet shows Jupiter’s gun instead of Apollo’s, which is quite a bit different. So, maybe you can mount the gun on top, maybe you can’t. 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. Apollo’s 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 Apollo’s 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 Apollo’s 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. I’ve 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 isn’t supposed to be G1 Ultra Magnus. It’s 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.
Let’s start with the one tiny thing that bothers me here: in order to put on Apollo’s 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 you’re using pliers. No, I’m 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. He’s not perfect, no, but his few tiny flaws don’t take anything away from him. Two thumbs up!
Accessories: Another thing not mentioned in the instruction sheet (I know, it’s becoming a running gag) is that Apollo’s armor pieces can combine not just into a shell for his car mode, but also into a kind of armored wall / weapon storage shed. It’s 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 instructions…
Remarks: 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 wasn’t 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.
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Phil's review of Planet X Apollo aka FoC Ultra Magnus
Posted 08 May 2018 - 06:22 AM
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