Monday, November 25, 2013

GT-R Maximus

I've never been a huge fan of the Alternity line of Transformers from TakaraTomy.  When they were first released, I thought they were gorgeous.  Optimus Prime and Megatron looked spectacular judging by the pictures I saw of them online.  After a lot of back and forth, I finally opted to get Alternity Thundercracker.  Then I cursed Unicron for leading me into a nightmare of twisting parts.  Thundercracker still stands in robot mode due to my inability to get him back to his vehicle mode.  Guess that makes me a novice Transformer collector.

Haunting my nightmares since 2010
After that debacle, I've been content to just look at the pretty pictures online.  I was tempted to get Galvatron, Bludgeon, Stat Saber and Dai Atlas, but fear permeated every thought I had about them.  Every attempted click of a mouse at checkout would be followed with a glance at Thundercracker mocking me and my skills.
Then there came a day when I saw the promotional art for GT-R Maximus.  There was something about him.  Was it the head sculpt?  The fact that he came with a Master Sword (heavy emphasis on the "w" when pronouncing sword)?  I'm not really sure.  All I can say for certain is that I looked at Thundercracker, made an obscene gesture at him and ordered him.  Then trepidation set in.

I don't know if I can properly convey how I felt when I opened Maximus and prepared to transform him into robot mode.  I followed every direction, distressed that I didn't know how to read Japanese.  Each part folded brought panic as I was worried that I was going to break something.  Then it happened.  I managed to pull an arm out.  Luckily, it popped right back in, but I was frantic for a second.  Covered in sweat, holding back tears, I finally held a very heavy robot mode Maximus in my hands.  Rejoice!

Needless to say, Maximus' transformation scheme is a little over complicated.  Then again, all of the GT- R figures are since they're just the Alternity Optimus mold with different heads and decos.  Also, all of the Alternity figures are needlessly complicated.  I don't know how many times I stopped to curse while transforming him.  There are pegs on the back of his feet that The Masterpiece figures, which are the pinnacle of transforming technology, are nowhere near this hard.

Anyway, I wanted to show off the robot mode first because I'm proud of myself for getting him back into car mode.  But we'll get that soon enough.  My first impression of Maximus' robot mode is that he's really compact.  Even though I have Alternity Thundercracker, I thought that Maximus would be Binaltech sized.  Wrong.  Here 'a Maximus with Zoom Zoom.
From tall to small
My second impression is that he doesn't feature the articulation that we've come to expect from Masterpiece or even Binaltech figures.  His fists, tiny as they are, are permanently closed.  The feet don't really form any decent angles for dynamic posing and Maxmimus' head does not look up or down .  That's...that's a bit if a bummer.

His deco is really sweet, however.  I really dig the white and bright green.  I've never been a fan of green, but it pops in this instance.  Maximus' head sculpt doesn't really scream Fortress Maximus, but I like it.  The visor on the forehead is a nice touch.

Maximus comes equipped with the Master Jack Sword.  The word "Jack" is thrown in there because the sword becomes a jack for the car mode.  I actually thought I broke the sword when the handle flipped down.  Man, I was on edge the entire time I handled him.  There are also cannons on the his forearms that can be folded back when not in use.
Shoot to kill
Slice and dice
Now, on to car mode.  For all of my griping, I really love the car mode.  And that isn't just pride in the fact that I was able to get him back into car mode speaking.  Maximus is loaded with sponsors.  I mean loaded.
"D'Station - proud sponsor of the 4 million old Cybertronian Civil War"
There isn't a spare centimeter on this guy that isn't emblazoned with some company's logo.  I wonder if TakaraTomy had to pay for all of those logos, if the companies just allowed their use for free, or if the companies paid a fee.  Whatever the answer, Maximus screams real car.

As I mentioned earlier, Maximus' sword becomes a handy jack.  There are even holes at the front and rear bottom for the jack to connect.  It doesn't really elevate the car, but it's a nice touch.

Then there's the matter of the race queen that comes packaged with Maximus.  She's a thing that I'm not sure about.  I understand that race queens are popular in racing, but I question their existence for this line.  Sure the line was created as a way of celebrating the GT race, but the women make me feel like I just started a Kiss Player collection.  And I don't want any part of Kiss Player.  That and mine kept falling apart when I look at her.  Here's a picture of her if anyone is interested.

And here she is with Maximus.
Jazz hands!
Alternity has been a line that has confounded me since I got Thundercracker.  The complicated-for-complication's-sake design has always annoyed me.  I guess if I had just started with the Optimus Prime model, I wouldn't have avoided the rest.  My wallet, and wife, are probably glad I skipped most if the line.  However, now that I have Maximus, I'm beginning to wonder.  Don't tell my wallet.


  1. Oh man, you started out with Thundercracker?!?! No wonder you were nervous. I picked up Prime & Megatron when they were on sale somewhere, I don't remember where, but I decided after owning them I will never buy another Alternity figure. You're absolutely right, they are complicated for complicated's sake. And they are smaller and less fun than the Binaltech/Alternators. I like Max's coloring here, but like you I really don't want to own anything that comes with a Japanese girl. Thanks for taking one for the team on this guy.

    1. In my defense, I was taken by Thundercracker's car mode. It's pretty sweet.

      As far as the girl goes, it's all in the name of research.

  2. You know, Maz might disagree with you evaluations, given what he has wrote on TF Source, haha.

    For me, I never did like the Alternity line right from the start. I never did like that they downscaled the BT line and then is charging us more.

    I just didn't want to start a whole new sub-line that didn't look as good BT. And initially, it was just repaint after repaint after repaint of characters that were never cars in the first place! When the 3 seekers became cars I went wtf....

    So, I was turned off from the start and then just didn't pick up a single piece (including not picking up the GTs).

    There is some merit to the GTs though, like you said, the sponsor decals do look nice.

    1. The seeker car modes are sweet, so I didn't really mind the change, frustrating as they are. And don't think Maz didn't influence me a bit after I read a few of his articles...

    2. The cars are nice and the robots do have trappings that make them look like seekers... but they are just not meant to be cars, I think. haha.

      Yeah, Maz influences buying habits, he's evil!