Valiant, courageous, a warrior without peer… but peace is his most fervent wish. Fights only out of necessity; believes all violence is ultimately pointless and counterproductive. Transforms to battle station and city modes. Armed with twin laser-guided mortars on legs, heat-seeking dual laser blasters, and fusion-powered photon rifle. Has communications, detection, and repair equipment. Controls two armored vehicles, Gasket and Grommet, which combine to form Cog. Head transforms to semi-autonomous Cerebros, who is binary-bonded to the Nebulan leader, Spike.
Did we ever think this day would come? This seemingly unattainable figure for so many collectors due almost entirely to its very high and commanding price tag, has suddenly become available at almost a quarter of the cost. Thanks to Takara’s very successful and brilliant Encore line, Transformers collectors can have this G1 Masterpiece in their collections. Let me be clear, G1 Fortress Maximus is just that: a masterpiece. Even with my extensive dedication to collecting G1 toys for over the past year now, I do not believe I fully understood these remarkable toys these first Transformers really were.
It has been a long time coming and I have literally daydreamed about owning this figure, but the time has come to see what Fortress Maximus is all about. The G1 Journey is jumping all the way to the 1987 cast of Autobots; I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking from here! Since I know many collectors are still either waiting for the second shipment of Fort Max’s or are still not on board with this figure, I will highlight in bolded red any QC issues or concerns.
*** As a reminder, please click on the images to view their full size ***
Alt mode 1 – Battle Station:
As I was taking photos I quickly realized I was losing all “professionalism.” Instead of trying to get the premiere shot of Fortress Maximus, I simply wanted to play with him. Every single part about this figure makes me want to drop the camera, drop the responsibilities, forget about working in the morning! and simply play with this awesome toy. The Battle Station mode is Fortress Maximus and company equipped to the fullest and ready to bust up some Decepticons. The playability is just endless …
Blasters can be attached to both sides of Fort Max’s tower.
Headmaster Spike has his own cockpit to man those blasters with. Bring it Cons!
Launching ramps for both Gasket and Grommet or nearly any other Mini-Bot!
Twin blasters at the front part of the Battle Station. Cerebros can command from nearly anywhere on the station.
Easily one of the most fun parts of the Battle Station mode: Fort Max’s elevator to the second floor. How cool is this? A Transformer with 2 stories for smaller figures to operate in!
Elevator takes you straight to the off-ramp. Brings new meaning to Transform and “roll out.”
Alt Mode 2 – City Mode:
City mode is really cool. It’s a much more compact version of the Battle Station and I’m guessing it’s more designed for non-combat situations. All the playability is carried over from the previous mode with a few more bells and whistles. The launch ramp gimmick (it’s accessible in both modes but I’ll highlight it here) is one of the coolest gimmicks I’ve seen in Transformers toys: period!
I struggle mightily taking pictures of larger figures. This decent shot was probably 15-20 minutes of work.
Helicopter pad! YES!
A prison type set up. Works well!
The Cerebros headmaster can plug in here. I was a bit concerned as the figure did NOT want to fit into the allotted slot. After some fiddling I was able to get him in, although I am still hesitant to do so again. You’ll also notice on the fold down piece there is a slight stress mark at the top left. Have caution around this area.
Steps for the little guy.
Robot mode – Cerebros, Spike, and Cog:
Rightfully so, Cerebros, Spike, and Cog are kind of left out of the Fortress Maximus discussion. The main attraction is this two foot tall robot with weapons and gimmicks galore! It’s completely understandable the “head” of this figure is often not mentioned. In their own rights, Cerebros and Spike are great figures. I love, love, LOVE the Headmasters. This is easily one of the shining moments of Transformers history and Fortress Maximus is the poster child of it … at least from what I’ve seen so far.
Cog is comprised of 2 mobile vehicles, Gasket and Grommet. They combine to form Cog which is a funny looking robot that has blasters for arms. Although he lacks a tremendous amount of play value, being able to transform him into 2 smaller vehicles that can take part in the Fort Max alt modes makes up for it.
Good ol’ Spike … give the robot his head!
Thanks to Alldarker, another QC issue has been spotted on Spike. Take a look at his hips: Spike’s right thigh should have been assembled with the slight curvature located at the back when he’s in robot mode. On mine, it shows the curvature at the front – his left leg is assembled properly, with the curve at the back. DAMN!
MY EYES! OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO MY EYES! Seriously, big bummer here as Spike’s yellow eyes have literally bled themselves. I guess I’ll need to ask a favor of one of my Radicon buddies to fix this up.
This gimmick … why is it so cool? Some collectors have posted their stickers have been crooked. Not a big deal, but it can be annoying.
Man your battle stations!
Got tickets? To the gun show!
Robot mode – Fortress Maximus:
How can you get any better and bigger than this? Fortress Maximus, the two foot tall giant Headmaster. I know some collectors were downright pissed off this reissue has seen the light of day … I wish I could share my sympathy with you, but I really don’t. G1 figures need to be a part of people’s collections, reissues are a way to make that possibility more affordable and realistic. As a G1 collector, I am all for people having access to these toys in any authentic manner, reissue or vintage, and it doesn’t matter how hard it’ll make my quest for buying a vintage Fortress Maximus in the year’s to come. For now, Encore Fortress Maximus satisfies this dream! I will say this, all reissues should be distinguished from their vintage predecessors, it’s important to note the copyright stamp on Fortress Maximus does not have “Hasbro” on it unlike the 1987 vintage. Enough of that though, this is about Fortress Maximus!
Those eyes are NOT stickers by the way 😉 Although they do supply you with a set of sticker eyes.
Hip cannons! Who even needs those?
The Master Sword just puts it over the top. How can this figure get any better?
We heard you liked blasters … so we just put them friggen everywhere.
Besides being a convenient storage bin for blasters and swords, Spike chills in here too.
Encore Fortress Maximus arrived on my doorstep at a weird time in my life: I’m currently selling my house and packing up everything, including my collection. Fortress Maximus is the only G1 figure I have out right now, and he fills up so much of my free time because I am so in aw of his presence. He is the mecha of my collection and really stands for why I am doing this collecting Journey. He represents a time where big ass Transformers could sell because they were so popular, fun and functional gimmicks were everywhere and they WORKED, and he also shows that anything is possible. The Encore line is blown wide open, what’s next? Scorponok? Dai Atlas? What we know for certain, BIG Transformers are back. Fortress Maximus will soon have his tallest Transformer ever thrown taken away by the FOC Generations Metroplex due out later this year. That’s okay though, because no one will take away this figure’s sheer brilliance as a Masterpiece.
If anyone has any requests for more pictures of this giant, please let me know and I will do my best to supply them 🙂
Til All Are One,