Diaclone: "Powered Convoy" Diaclone Ultra Magnus
Ultra Magnus - Like most of the G1 Transformers...especially in both Season 1 n 2, the toy mold belonged to a Pre-Transformers like by Takara called "Diaclone". Ultra Magnus is the last G1 TF toy that uses the "Diaclone" line toy mold called "Powered Convoy". he's also the only Season 3 Transformer whose mold belonged to the "Diaclone" line.
The TV commercial above is the Japanese commercial of "Powered Convoy".. apparently he's more of a drone figure rather than a singular figure as seen and used in the G1 series and mythos of the Ultra Magnus we all knew and so fond of.
Transformers G1 Ultra Magnus Commercial (Jap)
Transformers G1 Ultra Magnus Commercial (US)
Transformers G1 Ultra Magnus Commercial (uk)
Above are 3 different country based TV commercials of Ultra Magnus, each with it's own flair and style to inject excitement into kids who would be watching these toy commercials. Apparently, the commercials seems to depict him more as the new Autobot leader and paired him up with the new Decepticon leader - "Galvatron" in these commercials.
Vintage G1 Ultra Magnus
Ok let's talk a little bit about the toy and it's history. Ultra Magnus made his first debut in the 1996 Transformers animated movie and is supposedly pegged as Optimus Prime's choice as the new leader of the Autobots after his untimely demise. I think this is mainly becoz his design is the only "Prime-like" design among the new Autobots that were introduced in the animated movie. But an atrocity is being committed in the movie... "HotRod" basically stole Ultra Magnus thunder when he caught hold of the matrix first, as it was falling off Prime's dying hands. Nice going there Prime... u fail to mention this minor albeit very crusial information about the passing on for the Autobot's Matrix of Leadership hehehe. Magnus continues to make regular appearances after the movie in the US series in both Season 3 and 4. He also makes regular appearances in the Japanese "Headmasters" series...where he was killed off by Sixshot!!! Poor Ultra Magnus just can't get a break!!! LOL
Ultra Magnus's Robot Modes
Now let us talk about Ultra Magnus toy mold... Poor old Magnus is forever pegged as Optimus Prime's BITCH for all time.. till now. Because the front cab of the vehicle mode for Ultra Magnus is basically the same cab and robot mold of G1 Optimus Prime. The difference in with this toy mold is the fact that the trailer transform into the armor of Ultra Magnus where the Prime- like figure is snapped onto the transformed trailer body to complete the whole Ultra Magnus figure...
As a kid, i could never afford the bigger TF toys.. especially figures like Prime n Magnus. So when i started going G1 crazy back in 2000... I made up my mind to get all Prime n Megatron figures out there. Since Ultra Magnus cab mode basically transform into a white G1 prime mold..this make this figure a must have for me.
Ultra Magnus's Vehicle Modes
I finally got a chance to get a g1 Ultra Magnus figure in 2001. I manage to get the Exclusive Diaclone colored Ultra Magnus as well as the yellow crystal version - "Shinning Magnus" in 2003. I didn't bother getting the Hasbro reissue of Ultra Magnus in 2003 as like all Hasbro reissued G1 Prime mold, it's stacks are stunted...
Anyhow.. ever since Prime's cab is used as Ulttra Magnus cab and thanks to Dreamwave's effort in depicting Magnus as a white Prime and Prime's brother. Toys of Ultra Magnus are forever presented as a white repainted Prime and pegged as Prime's BITCH for all time..
The only Ultra Magnus figs that are out there now that are not of an Optimus Prime repaint is the repainted version of TF Armada's "Overload" as well as the 6" G1 Titanium Ultra Magnus. Rumor has it that next years Classics 2.0 / TFU line would have an Ultra Magnus toy that is of a completely new mold that is not a repaint of Prime... let's keep our fingers n toes crossed.. shall we?? :P