Remember back in 1986 when Ultra Magnus had this white Optimus Prime inside him? That was weird! And then the cartoon and comic ignored it, and then Dreamwave remembered it, and that inspired a bunch of white Optimus Prime toys, and then IDW said "actually you know what inside Magnus is this tiny white mustached guy," and then Hasbro made THAT a toy. But throughout it all, we never really got an Ultra Magnus toy that had a white Optimus Prime inside. Sure, we got White Optimus Primes, and we got Big Combined Mode Ultra Magnuses, but never again an intersection between the two, where one fits inside the other.
Well, Stege Ultra Magnus has stepped forward to finally make that dream come true. For the first time in forever, Ultra Magnus is a white Optimus Prime toy which armors up into an Ultra Magnus toy. And....
...That's about really the best it has going for it!
All the other zillions of kinds of Magnus toys kind of do better all the things Magnus toys tend to do. Like... Stege Magnus doesn't even work as a car carrier. He's too full of armored parts that you snap around your White Optimus Prime. So unlike, say, Combiner Wars Ultra Magnus, you can't cram a car into him somehow.
Stege Magnus is also pretty short. I mean, it makes sense. He's a Voyager-scale White Optimus Prime (albeit different from the actual Voyager-scale Stege Optimus Prime) that adds armor parts to make him a slightly taller robot. He weighs more than Combiner Wars Magnus, despite being a fraction of its height, just because how he works makes him so dense. He's full of things. (Which, again, probably helps keep him from working as a car carrier.) But White Optimus Prime works as the skeleton of Armored Ultra Magnus, so Armored Ultra Magnus can only be so large.
I also don't really like the aesthetics of Stege Magnus. He's just so busy. He is very Stege.
I do like some small non-White-Optimus-Prime aspects of him. Like, he's an actual Space Truck, rather than Stege Prime's "1980s Freightliner with the serial numbers filed off" truck mode. That's appreciated! I also like how he has flippable underwear that swaps between smaller and larger robot modes. Oh, and how his Space Truck bumper transforms along a track of plastic up his spine.
But, like, in most respects, once you start comparing to other Magnuses, for me this is a disappointing Ultra Magnus. I definitely prefer the Combiner Wars one overall. And that's before we get into Laser Magnus or Masterpiece Magnus or Animated Magnus, etc. BUT: if you like the White Optimus Prime Guy who wears parts to become Big Ultra Magnus, this guy's your guy. That's what this Magnus specializes in.
You just gotta... weigh how much that means to you versus other things Magnuses tend to do.
Wait! Almost forgot. There's more thing this Magnus can do that others can't. He has waist articulation. Not even the Masterpiece had waist articulation. This is in part due to, you know, how Magnuses tend to transform. There's too much going on in the abdominal area for waist articulation to make sense and/or not break physics as we know it. But Stege Magnus breaks up the car carrier trailer into smaller parts and fits it on a smaller toy with waist articulation and takes care to not obstruct that articulation.
So, hey! Waist articulation on an Ultra Magnus! That's the innovation we've been waiting for.
Note: Later, this guy's gonna be retooled into Optimus Prime. He'll have a new truck front/chest and probably a new trailer/armor parts. We haven't seen the actual toy yet, but IDW's started drawing him into their next Transformers continuity, which begins this March. And the art for that Optimus gives him a Transformers Cybertron-styled cab chest, and Ultra Magnus comes with Transformers Cybertron-styled leg guns, soooooooooo...