Monday 23 October 2023



I liked Commander Stack, there were some teething issues shall we say, but these have been rectified and all is good. So much so that when they announced they would be doing the ‘Shining Magnus’ version, it was a done deal. This was a chance to not only grab myself a great figure but also to right a wrong I did myself around 20 years ago. The wrong I speak of is when I sold off my G1 Exclusive Deco C-69 ‘Shining’ Ultra Magnus (20th Century Toy Museum from December 2000). A decision that if I think about too much, regret can often flood in…. but, these things happen! Lets move on to the review shall we.

*Just a heads up, most of the review that follows is lifted from my own review of MX-22 Commander Stack, it is after all the same figure. I have updated and edited in various places where relevant.

Box & Accessories

X-Transbots do some good packaging. They are always nicely illustrated, sturdy with a lovely matt finish and highlights. What I also like about them is the inclusion of the ‘battle scene’ on the rear, very reminiscent of the Generation 1 boxes. Having being impressed by the polystyrene that Janssen was entombed in, it feels like a step back with the plastic clam that is used for Stack. I’ve said it many times before, I do appreciate the polystyrene, it gives off that ‘Premium’ feel, but I’m also aware that it does have cost implications too. Standard collectors card and instruction booklet are present but I cannot remember the last time I used an instruction booklet, I tend to hit YouTube up for a transformation video and pause where necessary.

Accessories wise, we get 5 alternate face sculpts, a rifle, matrix and a pair of translucent eyes. Additionally, there is voice box in the backpack and a light up eye feature.


F*ck That!!!

Seriously though, this is one transformation I’ll not be doing. Not because I can’t, more because I don’t want to tempt fate with the whole translucent plastic thing. Also, there is like 40% of me bearing in mind it’s made by X-Transbots.

Vehicle Mode (based upon MX-22)

My first thought was, oh he looks like MP-10, which he does. I’m curious as to the thinking behind that, what with the robot mode going the cartoon route for it’s looks. It’s no major issue, it just got me thinking is all. Overall the vehicle mode is good, if you intend to leave it alone and not play with it. The cab is essentially a shell, with not much structural integrity. A little too much pressure here or there and it cracks open like an egg. Very slight rotation on the fifth wheel giving you a minimal angle. Then those tight tabs strike back as not all fit in fully and leave panel gaps, or in the case of the rear of the trailer, the ‘arms’ can get stuck if you insert all the way onto the tab. Id suggest not doing so and it very well may break or stress the tabs.

I’d assume that if all tabbed and locked into place as it should, it would be quite sturdy, but to achieve this I’d need to trim or shave some of those tabs. Something I’m not in a rush to do, as to be honest, Stack after this review will remain in robot mode. Rubber tyres, it’s a thing for me, and rolls well with no hindrance. The cab doors open and inside there is some detail, I’ve not tried it but it looks like the Spike figure that comes with MP-10 will sit comfortably inside.

Robot Mode

Commander Stack’s robot mode is really nice, honestly, it looks bloody lovely. His pose and presence really capture the essence of the character, heroic, powerful and serious. Proportions are good, that is when you don’t have the arms extended to utilise the double joints. Which, if you are using those, would mean that the arms aren’t down by his side, making those proportions go ape (pun intended). As for the articulation, that too is very good, some real dynamic poses are achievable and under his own stability, without support. Die-cast helps the weight distribution, giving him that supporting centre of gravity. With this being the translucent version, not much in the way of paint application aside from the die-cast parts and some highlights here and there. In robot mode you can play around with his light and sound features.

Two LR621 batteries for the light up eyes and three LR44’s for the voice box. To activate the eyes, a quick double press of the button to the rear of Stacks head, and to activate the voice, one long press for a couple of seconds. A selection of phrases from the ‘86 movie invigorate your audio receptors briefly until you realise that the voice is not Robert Stack. Interestingly the names of Transformers used are swapped out with the names of X-Transbots product. For example, using Apollyon instead of Megatron etc. Just a random fact, Apollyon is Greek for an angel of the abyss, in Hebrew that name is Abaddon. Megatron to Galvatron anyone...

As for the overall build quality for this version of Stack, that too is great. The tight tabs and such work in his favour in this mode. With everything all in place nice and snug it makes Stack feel solid. This is a more streamline representation of Magnus, not as bulky as the Takara offering, or what I assume the Fans Toys version to be when it’s released. It just looks so tidy from any angle, with no kibble on show whatsoever.

Closing Thoughts

So as some of you who follow me may know, I did not have the greatest of starts with my standard version of Stack. I had a left shoulder issue, hairline crack on the waist flap and the eye circuit board being non functional. All these issue have been dealt with by X-Transbots and the retailer, both of which I cannot fault in their communications and promptness. 

So, those prior issues aside, what do I think of this version of Commander Stack? In all  honesty I’d have to say he’s fantastic. It’s not just about the look or the fact it’s translucent (it’s my catnip), I’d have to say that I believe X-Transbots have produced a better and more sturdy figure. The joints feel better, as do the tolerances and stability. Also I think that the quality of plastic is better too, this version does not feel as delicate or fiddly.

Commander Stack displays very well and fits in with both Official and other 3rd Party Masterpiece in terms of scale and aesthetic. The latter due to it’s influence by the animation, as are most figures nowadays. Is it worth buying though? Well that depends on how you collect. If you’re a X-Transbots collector then perhaps, if you're an Ultra Magnus fan then definitely but if you just collect 3rd Party Masterpiece to reach a goal of having a particular line up then I’d say no. It is a bloody lovely looking piece but it’s niche, not one that you’d necessarily have in your 1986 Movie line up. Me, well as I said in the preamble… I had a score to settle. Now, lets see about that Delta Magnus re-paint shall we X-Transbots!!!

And that’s about it. The rest you can gather from the photo’s or by heading over to Omegalock and buying one for yourself.

Right, I’m out of here. I’ve been Edd, he's been Mellow Yellow and you’ve been awesome for spending a little time reading my ramblings.

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