Well, not quite. At least not this version.
The original Ultra Magnus was the ultimate soldier as well, but he was not supreme commander material. Oh no, not him. We all know who became the "new" Prime.
Well, during the Transformers Animated Movie when Optimus Prime died, Magnus was the ready made replacement for our fave Autobot leader. Heck, Prime even gave him the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.
But it was not to be. Not even with a cool design and colour scheme, and a seriously "Ultra" name to match.
The original Magnus did go on to "guide" Rodimus Prime as a mentor-like figure. And I suppose he got his revenge on Rodimus for opening his Matrix by lecturing him many a time in the post-movie episodes.
This Magnus, though, is perhaps the most fearsome warrior in the Animated continuity (even fiercer then Megatron, I think).
I mean, check out all his guns (And I don't mean biceps):
Dual shoulder launchers with retractable lasers on top of them, coupled with twin triple shoulder machine guns (Which hide nicely in the front of his shoulders. When he wants to play nice).
And that hammer of his? Controls local weather. Yep. So he's like Thor on Earth. Except he could also make it hot and sunny if he felt like a barbecue or something.
But if he were on a planet that, oh say, rained cats and dogs literally, there'd be a whole bunch of stray animals left around after a big Decepticon servo-kinking. (The SPCA wouldn't be too thrilled either. For non-Singaporeans, SPCA = Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
Oh yeah. And that hammer of his also pops out to expand into a great(er) hammer when you push the head up. Nice.
One thing I like about these leader figures: They have really cool sound features. From the voice in robot mode to the laser sfx in vehicle mode. And they light up brilliantly too. But I mainly like the sfx done by the original voice actors. It really serves as a reminder of Magnus' character as well as brings you back to certain pivotal points in the series.
"Don't be a hero, Optimus, It's not in your programming."
Gotta love how he owns Optimus, in fact all of the Autobots, in Transformers Animated. (In fact most of the Decepticons as well. Except Shockwave, perhaps.)
But I suspect his character in the series has (if you'll pardon the pun) more to him than meets the eye.
He's relatively cold and aloof, and is suppose to kick ass and take names for breakfast. Yet he's somehow ambushed and almost destroyed by Shockwave. I suspect he might end up a turncoat as well. Not like Shockwave though, but rather more in a "too righteous" sense, and it'll be up to Optimus and Sentinel to take him down together. Oh well, we'll just have to wait and see.
So here's how I rate the toy:
Show Accuracy: 10/10 - Wonderful! Right from his face sculpt to his moving brow ridge when he talks, the great Elite Guard symbol on his chest and his alt mode, his sheer bulk and his hammer(!) - holding this guy in your hand will always make you forget the shortcomings of the G1 character and think of his badass Animated self.
Poseability: 8/10 - Here's where the figure suffers--and I think all of the Leader Class figures have the same problem as well, at least the Animated ones do.
Magnus is pretty flexible, except that he's got no waist rotation. His knees also don't bend all that far, but the leg does rotate below the knee.
But then again, this is Ultra Magnus. And he looks very dignified and stoic in the series, so he doesn't really need to bend like Prowl. ;P
Aesthetic: 9/10 - I have to be honest, I kinda like more red in him, like the G1 colour scheme. But this way he does look more like he's wearing a uniform, which works out fine 'cos he is Supreme Commander of the Elite Guard. ;)
Love his shoulder molds, which form the front of his alt mode. His face too is suitably distinguished and stern looking. Very in-line with his character!
And Magnus always seems to have the best overall face design anyhow.
Overall: 9/10 - Gotta love the Magnus! And I think besides the exclusive City Commander (G1) molds, which are, well, exclusive, this is the best one out there in retail. So what if one of his famous lines (when his fellow Autobots are being blown to shreds) is not the super funny, "I can't deal with that right now..."? This version is Ultra! And has the rank of Magnus! And can eat Sentinel Prime for breakfast!
Also not forgetting to mention, I got this guy as a Valentine's Day present! :) So that makes him Ultra Special as well.