Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fortress Maximus

When Takara announced that they were releasing Encore Fortress Maximus a few months ago, I was ecstatic.  Then I panicked.  How would I photograph this behemoth of a figure?  Fortress Maximus is the biggest Transformer ever released with a height of two feet!  How would I photograph Encore Fortress Maximus with my original Fortress Maximus?  The light box would have to be big.  Realizing that, I custom built a light box.  It's huge, and, frankly, needs more work.  I still need to add a better backdrop, I think, and a few more lamps.  The three lamp setup isn't working like I need it to.  Since then, I've been using it to take lots of pictures for the blog, but I haven't actually tried to put anything really large in it.  Say like Fortress Maximus.

Time to rectify that.

I remember when I got my Fortress Maximus.  I was in the 6th grade and my parents gave me a choice: I could either get my first stereo with a turntable (God I'm old), or I could get, as they put it, that big Transformer.  I thought about it for a bit before I ultimately decided to get Fortress Maximus.  Stereos would be around forever, I reasoned, but Fortress Maximus would only be available for a short period of time.

Looking at him, it's easy to tell that I've had him since 1987.  He's dirty, and his stickers are peeling.  Because he's so old, and expensive to replace, I'm hesitant to transform him, let alone add things like water to the mix.  For a figure that's so old, he has amazingly tight joints.  I thought that I was going to break one of the tabs on his leg cannons when I popped it out.

I knew when I got him that he'd be heavily armed, and I wasn't disappointed.  Aside from the two handheld guns, Fortress Maximus comes equipped with leg cannons, waist cannons, a cannon on his left leg that swings out, cannons on his forearms, and cannons in his freaking hands!

Fort Max, like every other base released after Omega Supreme, is a triple changer. He has a robot mode, city mode, and an attack vehicle mode.  Let's look at the city mode.

The city mode is massive, of course, but also beautiful.  It's large, compact, and full of features.  The two large ramps feature manual launchers so you can launch your vehicles.  The main ramp in the middle, the one with Grommet, features a push button launcher.  It's pretty neat.  There's also a spinning radar dish at the top, a helicopter landing pad, and a few other neat features.  The first we'll look at is the jail cell.

Should the Autobots manage to capture a small Decepticon or a Decepticon Nebulon, there's the perfect place to put him.  I really like it.

This is what I've always just thought of as another entrance into Fort Max.  To the left of the stairs, we see the elevator which leads to the ramp.

Next up is the "attack vehicle" mode.  It's uh, it's a thing.

I'll be honest, I don't like this mode.  It's too big and it just looks like Fort Max decided to lay down.  The less said the better.  Anyway, Fort Max is more than just a city.  He comes with friends!

First we have Cerebros.

I really like Cerebros.  His head sculpt is nothing like the one from the cartoon, but that's fine.  It still looks pretty good.

It's almost like a smaller version of Fort Max's head.  Cerebros is a triple changer as well.  There's his robot mode, Fort Max's head, and what I've been told is a computer for the city mode.  Really, it's just a bent over Cerebros.

Cerebros himself is a Headmaster!  His partner is Spike, who, according to his Tech Spec, is from Nebulos now.  That confused me as a kid, but I don't really care about it now.

He's seen better days
Along with Cerebros and Spike, Fort Max also came with two drones, Gasket and Grommet.

Gasket on the left, Grommet on the right.  Spike on top.

Gasket and Grommet merge to form Cog.

Overall, I love Fort Max.  He's tall, feature packed, and features decent articulation for a G1 figure.  I'm looking forward to the Encore release of this figure so I can see how it compares to the original.  Besides the sword.

Also, be sure to check out the tabs on the bar up top as I plan on adding many new sections over the next few weeks.  I'm starting with the smaller parts of the collection and working my way up to the G1 figures.


  1. There's a reason they call him the coolest Transformer ever made! The light box seems to work really well! Great job!

    1. Thanks! I still need more light, I think. I'm also debating what kind of camera I need.

    2. You might want to get one of those flex neck lamps for the size box you have. Not sure what would work best.

      I've been thinking of cameras too. I use my iPhone 5, which should be more than adequate, but I've been thinking of doing videos too and I don't know if that'll cut it.

    3. I currently use a three desk lamp setup and they all have flexible necks, so I'm thinking of adding three more. That way I'll have two up top and two on each side.