Transformers Review: Fortress Maximus (Kabaya)



Intro:
            Fortress Maximus – this should be a character, a Transformers figure that should top the wish list of any collector, past and present. For the younger generation of Transformers, the name may or may not ring a bell, but for long time fans like yours truly, that statement can only make sense.
            Fortress Maximus, for so long until now, has held the title of the biggest ever Transformers figure/ toy ever built/ designed. Now, to put that into perspective: for most collectors, the biggest action figure that they might have is Unicron, and rightly so, standing at 15-inches tall, the Chaos Bringer easily dwarves anyone that you might have in your collection.
            Fortress Maximus, however, is a different ball game altogether. Standing at 2-feet tall, Fort Max is the biggest of ‘em all and the Chaos Bringer is only the distant second. Today, Fort Max still remain elusive amongst collectors and for those who have him, he would probably be their most prized possession. Back in 1987, Fort Max would cost at a retail price of about RM 400 to 500, which made him as the most expensive toys ever made. Today, that price range would probably get you a Masterpiece Grimlock, and the Dinobot Leader’s size is nowhere near to Fort Max. The secondhand value, on the other hand is even more stellar. A loose Fort Max (without a fist and a gun) can still fetch a value of about RM 4000 (US$1200)! Just imagine how much a minted one would cost!
            Anyways, for fans like me, Fortress Maximus is the robot, but to be able to get him is almost impossible. As such, people like us might have to seek other options.
            In came the Kabaya Candy.
            When I first started buying Kabaya Products back in 2011, I was amazed on how well designed and realistic these little robots were. Building them can only add to the fun. Super Ginrai, Star Saber and Deathsaurus have been some of my favorite individual figures so far. To add more fun to the line, Kabaya introduced some more gimmicks.
            The first of these were the ability of two separate figures to combine into one, i.e. Star Saber can combine with Victory Leo to form Victory Saber, and Super Ginrai can combine with Godbomber to form God Ginrai.
            Then we have figures like Hot Rod and Deathsaurus, where you need to buy the entire Wave in order to form their respective powered up versions, i.e. Hot Rod into Rodimus Prime, and Deathsaurus with his additional Breastmasters.
            Subsequently, we also had the first combiner set in the Kabaya line, i.e. Gaia Guardian, formed by combining 6 separate sets into one, and subsequently God Guardian (the size of a Deluxe), when combined with Hotspot. The Gaia Guardian set was previously the only non-part-former Transformers in the series, as they literally transform.
            And when you think that things couldn’t get any better, Kabaya came up with Fortress Maximus.
            Fortress Maximus is divided into 3 separate boxes, each almost twice as big as your normal Kabaya box. Considering that it is Fort Max we’re talking about here, it’s really not a surprise.
            When this figure was first announced, I knew that I just had to get him. I wanted Fort Max so bad, that I actually gotten myself a knockoff version of him in one of my trips to Terengganu back in 2006. It was a poor figure really, even for knockoff! But then again, what do you expect from a RM14 figure? 
            I wasted no time to place an order for him and when this guy finally arrived, I was so darn excited that I just couldn’t wait to get back home and began with the construction.
            For this review, this entry will be divided into 4 sub-divisions: one for each box, and the final one for the big guy himself.
            Anyways, Fortress Maximus’s construction is finally completed and he’s all ready for public viewing consumption. Without further ado, here is Fortress Maximus.

Box 1
            Individually, there is nothing stellar about him. Box 1 actually consists of the Fort Max’s torso and main body, which looks like a tower with a ramp leading up to it.
            Box 1 also comes with a small Windcharger figure, even smaller than a Legends-class figure!
            The gimmick of this set is that you can put Windcharger, in his car mode, into cavity on top of the ramp, and then with a single push at the dial behind the tower, the little guy would roll out of the building. 
Windcharger
            Well, that’s basically all there is to it.
Box 2
            Box 2 is actually the left leg of Fortress Maximus, identified by the two sets of cannons that he carries. 
            Alone, I guess Box 2 is supposed to be some sort of a tower, with some kind of rotor on top. Why do I say that it’s a rotor?
            Well basically there is a small gear on the side of the tower, turning which would result in the ramp-piece to spin in tandem like a rotor.
            The tower has also a door on its side, which also doubles up as a ramp leading up to a cavity. In the combined base mode later on, this would become some sort of a detention cell. 
Cerebros
            Box 2 also comes with another small robot, the most significant small robots among all 3 boxes – Cerebros. In the show, Cerebros supposed to transform into this super computer, but here, he looks rather like some cockpit of sort. 
            In the combined mode later on, Cerebros would play a huge part by becoming Fort Max’s head.

Box 3
            Just like Box 2, Box 3 transforms into a tower, which would later become Fort Max’s right leg. As compared to Box 2, Box 3 is slightly more boring.

            On its side, there is also a compartment that can be used in the combined mode later on. The tower also comes with the Master Sword – Fort Max’s sword used in the Headmasters series. 
Spring to propel Powerglide
 
            The gimmick carried by this mode is on its ramp. At the top of the ramp, there is a spring-loaded trigger that could propel a small aircraft at lightning speed.
Powerglide
            Talking about small aircraft, this set also comes along with a small robot called Powerglide. He’s very tiny, but still a welcoming addition to the set.  

Fortress Maximus

City Mode:
 
            Although nicknamed as compact “City” mode, I would actually call him as just a base, as he was normally portrayed as in the Japanese series. Size-wise in fiction, Metroplex should be bigger as Metroplex is supposed to be a City-proper. 
 
 
            Anyways, I really love the resulting base mode. It has a certain satisfying size to it. When compared to Kabaya Ultra Magnus, the latter is like a giant!
From left: Kabaya Ultra Magnus, Kabaya Fort Max, Universe Cosmos
            In this mode, Cerebros is inserted into a cavity near the left leg, which acts as a command center as a whole.
Battle Station/ Starship Mode:
            Whichever this mode is called, it is still quite massive. In the Japanese Headmaster series, Fort Max was frequently featured to have this mode as the default mode.
            Anyway, Fort Max is heavily armed, especially with 5 guns in hands. 

Robot Mode:
            This is why I bought this set for in the first place. The resulting Fort Max is actually quite easy to transform. Most importantly, he is not a part-former. 
            Articulation-wise, he’s almost similar to his real life counterpart. The shoulders rotate; the elbows bend; the wrists turn; the hips swing forward and out to the side.
 
 
            The transformation is exactly similar to his gigantic cousin.
From left: Animated Blitzwing, Generations Soundwave, Kabaya Fort Max, Kabaya Ultra Magnus, Universe Cosmos
The most significant about this figure is literally the size. When observed clearly, Fort Max is clearly bigger than your ordinary Kabaya figures. This one is about a Voyager-class figure as compared to a normal Deluxe. 

Overall:
What can I say? I love Fortress Maximus, big or small. And although this is not really a proper substitute, at least you’ll get a Fortress Maximus, and for many, this is probably as close as you’re gonna get in owning a Fort Max of your own. 
So far, I dare say, Fort Max is literally the best Kabaya had to offer, and I am really looking forward to many more from them. 
Go get Fort Max, simply said.

Highly recommended.

            Final verdict: 10/10.

2 comments:

  1. How much for the kabaka gum fort max ? He is looking good.

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    Replies
    1. I bought all 3 boxes at RM 140, which is about RM 47 per box. It's a bit more expensive compared to your normal Kabaya, but way bigger in size...

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