Vaults of Iacon


Takara Masterpiece MP-31 Delta Magnus

September 13th, 2016 | posted by Eddie


 

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I was sat writing this review just as news broke of the potential images of what could be Takara’s Megatron Masterpiece 2.0 hit social media. Granted it’s not the usual way to begin a review, talking of a completely different figure but I mention to highlight the importance and to let you (the reader), know that I could be just a little distracted at this time. However I shall endure and overcome……..Delta Magnus !

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So, who is Delta Magnus ?

Well, the toy has it’s origins (as with most Transformer figures) from the Diaclone line. Known back then as “Powered Convoy” it was essentially the same “character” as Battle Convoy but given a new paint scheme and a trailer that could transform into armour for him/it. Since then however it has become more commonly referred to as “Diaclone Ultra Magnus”.

When Hasbro released The Transformers this mold was not taken up until 1986. When the animated film came out the mold was re-coloured and given the name Ultra Magnus, he was advertised as the new leader along with Galvatron but we know how that worked out…

We did get a brief glimpse of what could have been with a Japanese teaser trailer where Ultra Magnus appeared in these Diaclone colours but we would have to wait until 2001 to get a toy release. Sold as a Japanese Toy Festival Exclusive it was limited to just 1500 pieces.

The Dreamwave comics had a red/blue Ultra Magnus clone, created by Shockwave this clone never saw action and was destroyed. Moving forward to IDW and Delta Magnus finally got some characterisation, part of the Primal Vanguard and member of the House of Magnus along with his “brother” Ultra, they fought alongside Orion Pax.

So, now we are kind of up to speed lets move along to the actual review shall we, starting as ever with…

Packaging and Accessories

Nothing remarkable or new to comment on with the packaging, Takara have a design that works and are sticking to it. Not dissimilar to the release of Ultra Magnus, the pictures depict Delta in varying poses in both robot and vehicle mode now bestowed of a new title, as the box states “MP-31 Cybertron Vanguard Leader”.

In the box a clamshell houses Delta in robot mode along with accessories, booklet and collector card.

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Accessories this time around include a gun, an interchangeable surprised face for Delta Magnus, 2x faces for Ultra Magnus (both have larger eyes, more resembling sunglasses as seen on the artwork for The Transformers: The Movie) and a figure of Marissa Faireborn. Omitted from this release are the “Matrix” fists, hardly surprising as they would have no relevance to this colour scheme, besides which I’ve yet to use the ones with Ultra Magnus himself. I also find the choice of including Marissa Faireborn puzzling, I must confess to not ever watching the third season of the cartoon series, aside from The Return of Optimus Prime that is. Sure, I have caught the odd 5 or 10 minutes here and there of other episodes over the years but nothing I’d seen compelled me to waste my time on it to be frank.

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So with this being the case her inclusion is escaping me, maybe a quick look on the TF Wiki will illuminate me as to the why’s and wherefores. Personally I’d like to have seen the inclusion of a buggy and maybe a holo-driver in lieu of a pilot, you know to give a further Diaclone connection to it, perhaps it’s something one of the third party accessory people will get on to, here’s hoping.

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Robot Mode

Delta is heavy, 1kg heavy, he’s a big hefty fella that towers over the MP Optimus Prime. Scale is always going to be an issue with the Masterpiece line, whether it be robot or vehicle mode, someone will take issue somewhere along the road. Me personally I like his scale and size, it just feels and looks right the only saddening thing is when you stand him next to MP Grimlock, you know then that Grimlock is too small…..*cough…Reximus Prime !

Being a straight up repaint of Ultra Magnus there are no mold changes, everything is as it should be in the places it belongs. Now I never did a review of Ultra Magnus so I cannot reference that review here while doing the one for Delta. My reviewing efforts began post the release of Ultra so these will be my first written comments on the mold as a whole.

I’ll start with the paint scheme seeing as though it’s the main selling point for this figure, it’s gorgeous and if I’m honest I think I prefer these colours over Ultra’s plain old red, white and blue. Although being the same figure the change in colour does make them look different somehow. The paint used has tiny metallic flecks in as does the plastic, this in itself also a change from Ultra which incorporates flat colours. Another change is to the eyes of Delta, gone are the blue and replaced with amber giving it a further edge.

Now because of the size and bulk this impacts greatly on the pose ability, there are some good joints but they never seem to manage a good range and thus their full potential. I scoured the internet for inspiration when doing the photos and found very little variation, so I decided to stick with the more traditional “hero” poses etc..

Delta has the same face swap out gimmick as Ultra, this time round the Optimus face is blue in accordance with Diaclone history. On my figure here face separation is a little stiff, this is due to a globby paint application which also prevents it from sitting flush with the rear section of the head. Not a major issue but worth pointing out. The chest Matrix chamber is still present and still lacking in painted detailing and to the rear on Delta’s back is a fold down flap that can store the unused face plates.

Transformation

Transformation to vehicle mode is not a complicated process, with one major difference it kind of follows the sequence used for it’s G1 predecessor. The major difference I refer to of course is the hollow cab in place of an Optimus figure which would sit inside of the armour. I like this hollow cab design as it allows for a more singular complete transformation, separating Magnus from Prime it mirrors what we see in the animation and comics as far as transforming goes.

I would have liked a Magnus, whether it be Ultra or Delta that did incorporate an MP Prime but I guess this would have proved size and cost prohibitive. Maybe down the line Takara will release a white MP Convoy and a Blue MP Convoy for Ultra & Delta respectively much like they did the black for Nemesis Convoy. I suppose we can but wait and see.

Whilst transforming if you prefer, the cab can separate to assist or you can try doing in one big chunk, but remember the weight when holding so as to avoid stressing any weaker joints.

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Vehicle Mode

Delta Magnus is modelled of a 1970’s Freightliner FL86 cab over engine truck the same as Optimus Prime. However differing from Optimus in having a car transporter trailer as opposed to a container trailer.

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When in vehicle mode Delta has space to carry 4 MP size cars, lowering of the ramps at the back allow access to the lower bay whilst un-tabbing the upper section allows it to tilt down to allow access to the upper level.

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The trailer section can store Delta’s gun in the upper section and the two shoulder mounted rocket launchers can be set to two positions, one where they are set at the front mirroring the G1 toy then out at the sides to give an animation look.

There is good articulation between the cab and trailer section allowing the unit to be turned when wheeling along, which it does well especially on those nice rubber tyres. The cab opens up to allow the figure or Marissa to sit in the seating section, she is held in place by a small tab which sits between her legs…ooerr !

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It’s a nice looking truck and on it’s own merit would make a good toy to play with or display but to be honest, aside from here for this review, Delta wont be in truck mode again anytime soon.

Recap and Closing

That seems rather brief, even for me and it went all to quickly. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say about Delta Magnus, more that there is not much I feel I can say about Delta Magnus. He’s a great figure and looks really good but he’s not very remarkable, not in the sense of other MP’s that have seen a release lately. Also compared to say, MMC Backdraft which I reviewed a short time ago, he’s positively basic. And maybe that’s his appeal to me, I do blow hot and cold with my Transformers, one minute I’m berating over complexity then feeling quite “meh” with simplicity. Delta or should I say Ultra Magnus has always been a favoured character of mine, the Magnus of the UK Marvel comics that is and I wonder if I had done this review in the December of 2014 for MP Ultra Magnus would it have been as I have written here…….I kinda doubt it.

If you don’t have Ultra Magnus I would say go out and get Delta, he is worth it although if you do have Ultra Magnus then unless you’re a repaint junkie you could give him a miss but I wouldn’t if I were you.

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Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website.

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