Blog #382: Toy Review: Transformers Encore #23 Headmaster Base Fortress Maximus (with Cerebrose, Spike, Cog, Gasket, and Grommet)


Fortress Maximus is one of the most amazing action figure toys of the 1980’s.  He is the largest Transformer ever produced (though that will change when Generations Fall of Cybertron Titan Class Metroplex is released later this year).  While there are a few Japanese Transformers toys that are in my opinion more impressive (Victory Saber and Pig Powered come to mind) he is without a doubt the most impressive Transformer ever released in the USA.


A mint complete G1 USA Fort Max can cost upwards of $1000, and a MIB one could set you back twice that.  So, if you don’t have an original, at about $350 this Encore reissue really is the way to go, especially since he includes. The sword that was only previously available with the Japanese version.

He does have some quality control issues.  Mine just has one bad knee on Cerebrose and some flash on Spike, but I’ve seen online people having problem from missing parts to stress marks, so make sure you’re buying it from a reputable dealer who may be able to help you with QC issues.

City Mode


In city mode, Fort Max look great.  Sliders allow you to launch smaller vehicle Transformers down his ramps.  He has an elevator accessible from the side that comes up to launch them down the center ramp.  There is also a compartment with stairs on the right side in back and a sort of jail cell on the left.

Battle Station Mode


Fort Max’s battle station mode takes up far more space than the city mode.  In Japan, they called his battle station a starship.  In the final episodes of the USA cartoon, “The Rebirth,” Fort Max is seen flying in battle station mode.  He doesn’t have the bells and whistles in this mode, but he does have lots and lots of guns.

Robot Mode


The only word to properly describe Fort Max in robot mode is impressive.  He has cannons on his arms, legs, torso, and the backs of his hands.  He has his large hand held cannon as well as a double barrel cannon (not pictured).  His sword has been altered from the original Japanese version.  It can be taken apart, where the original could not be disassembled.  Also, the sword originally had stickers, but as the art is now a tampo, the screws are no longer covered up.  Kind of a double edge sword, no pun intended.  The tampo is nice, but so was having the screws on the sword covered up.

Cerebrose and Spike




Fort Max’s eyes are now tampos rather than stickers.  That’s a really nice change, but I’m really not sure why you would change just one sticker to a tampo.  I would have liked to see more tampos on him.  Spike is a standard Headmaster.  Cerebrose comes with his own sword and gun.  The original USA version of course did not have this sword either.

Cog (Gasket and Grommet)




Gasket and Grommet are two fairly plain vehicles that combine to form Cog.  Not terribly great, but nice to have a couple of extra accessories.

Thanks for reading!

About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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