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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Big One

I considered waiting much longer to post this purchase, but as it is I've already had this figure for a while and I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and get it out there. For something this big I figured it needed a little gravitas, after all it doesn't come along every day. And it represents thus far the largest monetary investment I have made in any one figure to date. But I knew as soon as I had it in my hands it was all worth it.

So here is the big guy: Grand Maximus. A repaint of Fortress Maximus, Grand Max was released in Japan in 1988 with the Masterforce line. His size, number of accessories and difficulty to find in good condition are what contribute so much to his price. Not to mention he comes with an exclusive Pretender shell for his headmaster, Grand. Yes, that is right, the Headmaster is also a Pretender. That fact astounds me a bit. You could shoehorn a Targetmaster in there as well and you'd be in business.

Barely fit in the box
This is the second figure I photographed on a black background and probably the last. It is just too hard to work with. I actually took a lot more photos but due to the time required to modify them correctly I won't be posting them. And I will be going back to white immediately. However Max does shine well against the black here, and I really like his colors. You'll notice many of his colors are a reverse of Fortress Maximus. Where FM has red, GM has blue, where FM has blue, GM has red and so on. Also one of his primary colors is a very, very dark green/blue (on his legs and chest areas) which I really like.

Grand's pretender shell is one of most ridiculous things I have ever seen. This shell has to be so large to accommodate the figure it is insanely out of proportion. Look how wide it is, especially the head! It just goes to show why all of the pretender inner robots were tiny, spindly things. At least it is somewhat explained by being a rocket pack.

Cog, Grand's Shell and Grand

Cloudburst, Grand & Landmine. Notice the head depth.
Now I know there is a very reliable rumor going around that this figure will see reissue very soon due to Encore Fort Max which I completely expect. However in my mind I wanted to purchase this figure before the reissue came out and parts potentially were mixed, not to mention I don't purchase Transformers to sell later so a value drop is not that big of a deal to me. Could I have purchased it later at a cheaper price? Perhaps, but I got a steal on this guy so I can't really complain. And if the reissue never happens then I don't have to worry about it.

The cities, Fort Max, Grand Max and Brave Max
Any way you look at it this is just a repainted Fort Max with a Pretender shell and a sword, but that is part of the appeal of these Japanese figures to me. They are the same, yet different to what I know and that makes them a bit mysterious. Although I must admit I do envy the kid who got one of these one Christmas morning, what a joy that must have been.

That's a lot of Max
See also:
C-305 Ranger
C-303 Minerva! Or is it Minelba?

C-301 Goshooter - Shūta Gō!
C-310 God Ginrai Giftset...Vintage!
C-310 God Ginrai - Inside the Differences
D-306 Darkwings Gift Set


  1. What, no box? Lame.

    Seriously this is so freaking cool. I knew sooner or later you would be adding this big guy into your collection. I can't wait to see it in person too. Though I'm mostly interesting in seeing the Pretender shell!

    1. Yeah yeah. I think I may just retake all the pictures for this post anyway, when I do I'll include the box. I can't fit it in the lightbox!

  2. I had no idea that the shell was that honking big! Then again, I guess once the arms are folded back, Fortress is pretty deep. I am curious, however, did you find him through an auction or private transaction? I'm just wondering for when I eventually get around to thinking about getting him because I don't want to mortgage the future on him and wanna know the best way to try to get one.

    And I think Grand's colors are better than Max's. Especially on Cog.

    1. I found him through a private collector, the best way to go is definitely off eBay and most sellers would agree since they end up paying huge fees on something this expensive. I agree on the colors as well. Much better on GM.

  3. congrats on getting GM! this guy is an essential part of any MF collection, so its not suprising that you got him. I think the Pretender Shell (which is also part of MF mythology) is what makes him so special. It is a nice shell, but yeah, a little large.

    Love the shot of them in base mode. I think the Max mold has perhaps the best TF base mode, period.

    I got mine back in 2004 MISB, and boy, I could not sleep for days... just thinking about how awesome this guy is. Back in the day, there was almost *zero* photos of GM around and I think to this day, used the photos I snapped for them (which looks quite amaturish to me now).

    1. I'd believe that about the photos! There really aren't that many around that are nice and clean anyway, but especially back then. And you opened yours from sealed right? Man that must have been a rush. I would have had to downed a couple drinks to calm my nerves before doing that!

  4. Grand Max will be the last of the vintages off my list, regardless of an impending (rumored) Encore reissue. Gratz, man! GM shots are looking kick-ass as usual! :D

    I've always found the mystique of this toy appealing...sometimes I'd search for one on Ebay so I could wow my friends with the ridiculous prices toys like Grand go for.

    And regarding gimmicks, I suspect Grand's headmaster mode has 5mm ports in his fists, so he's probably compatible with Targetmasters. Then have some Micro Masters and Action Masters hang out on his base mode. He's the master of masters!

    1. I probably should have checked before I sold him off, but I believe you are probably right about the fists. They are the exact same size as Fort Max that much I know for sure as I accidentally mixed up some accessories for the photos and had to retake them.

      It's so funny, it was very appealing to me as well until I finally had it. Then I really didn't want it anymore, lol.