This is the last and biggest of my Transformers Universe figures but not the last one in the box. I’ll explain when I get to the last two of this review set. King Atlas has some interesting history attached, but I’ll summarize for those of you not really into Transformer history. The links in the next paragraph go to the Transformers wiki if you want to know more.

King Atlas is the second recolor of G1 UK exclusive Decepticon Skyquake, later redone for the US KB Toy Works exclusive Machine Wars line as a new body for Starscream, which means this is the only Autobot version of the mold. I never had the figures from either of these groupings. The name comes from the Japanese exclusive character Dai Atlas from Transformers Zone but while intended to be the US version of that character the Universe line came out with no bios (tech specs were pretty much gone by this point due to international packaging holding English, Spanish, and French text) and the convention comics made him a new character for the Transformers Universe comics. As for the toy itself, there’s a lot to go over but it’s all in vehicle mode.

Note that the blues in these photos are going to come out brighter than they are on the actual toy. I tried to edit them to something closer but it didn’t always work.

King Atlas is a Cybertronian bomber. The TF Wiki guesses that the form is based on “the Rockwell B-1 Lancer and/or Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird”. While Skyquake had some odd colors and Starscream purple and black (which works for a stealth bomber type plane but doesn’t match his usual color scheme), our Autobot goes for white with  some black highlights, with some reds and dark blues to round it out. This looks big and powerful, and they packed this thing with a lot of play features.

On the top are a set of panels that slide open and closed. According to my instruction sheet these are “solar receptors”, which I guess means he can use solar power to help stave off the drain from all the Energon he must burn off. Missiles can be stuck on either side of the front end and on the wings, but they have another use we’ll see later. He has two small twin thrusters on the sides and one huge thruster that was part of Skyquake’s gimmick. The wings have tampographed Autobot symbols and wing coloring that I’m guessing is replacing stickers on the G1 and Machine Wars versions of this mold, but I could be wrong. The landing gears can raise and lower and have working wheels on them for landing. Overall I really like the jet itself, but it has features designed to up the playability of the toy.

“Looking through here I can see my face being burned off! Wait….”

Skyquake’s gimmick involves a “Megavisor” connected to that thruster. Through it you could see various slides he came built-in with and his fellow “Predators” teammates came with them as well. Plug a Predator onto the thruster by lifting up the intake (the piece that’s a deep translucent red on King Atlas) and he shows you targets to go after and a few toys that didn’t actually get past the planning stage. You could also see his robot head from above but that’s ignorable when you’re looking through the eyepiece. King Atlas doesn’t have and slides but I don’t know if plugging a Predator onto him would work. You can see straight ahead, or by turning the smaller stabilizers bring up a mirror that allows you to look down, the only Megavisor gimmick he has. Why would you want to see underneath yourself?

In hindsight I should have use the position that showed the “open” sticker but there is no actual “closed” position.

The underside of the thrusters also serve to drop the missiles as bombs. I’m not sure how that would actually work but I’m not an aircraft engineer. By turning the baby blue dial (at least that shade of blue came out right in the photos) the bombs drop, and you can look through the scope to see them fall. You can put three bomb missiles in there, though there are spaces for four. You just have to not spin it all the way around. Presumable Skyquake came with the six to mount and three of four to drop, using the mounted ones as spares so you don’t have to interrupt play or worry as much about the one you lost until it ruined mom’s vacuum cleaner or got eaten by your baby sister. It does make a good place to store the six that come with King Atlas without losing them in the box. Skyquake also came with a launcher for the missiles but the wiki assures us that it would in no way pass US safety inspection so both Starscream and King Atlas came unarmed.

These last two pictures are where I really tried and failed at the image editing. The legs and arms are a darker blue than you see here.

We’ve talked a lot about vehicle mode but what about robot mode? Honestly there isn’t much to say. It’s late G1 exclusive to the branch of Hasbro who didn’t create these later figures usually. The aesthetics aren’t that bad. The “helmet” is a nice design, he looks like he could pack a punch, and despite the bar in the lower legs the design is okay. Sure he has half the ship on his back and the other forming his legs with really small feet but that’s not out of the norm for G1 in either country. The only really ugly thing is the big thruster coming off his back but he might use it in battle as a speed boost and the feet are designed in a way that keeps him from being back heavy.

“If I had a gun I’d shoot you right now.”

Then you get to the articulation, and I use that term on a technicality. The head is immobile and there’s no leg movement at all. His arms go forward to aim Skyquake’s gun that King Atlas doesn’t have. There’s a reason these guys were sometimes called bricks. Clearly all of the play value was put into the vehicle mode and little thought was given to the robot. It makes it an odd choice for Transformers Universe as so many of the figures came at a time when articulation was a big deal for Transformers to have. I also question using this for Starscream in Machine Wars for the same reason. That line came out during the Beast Wars toyline. If you’re getting this you’re getting it for the bomber.

Decision: Stays

It seems an odd decision given that Robots In Disguise Ultra Magnus was on the purge despite his really good vehicle mode. However, his robot mode was a pain to work with and his combination mode hard for me to get right even if it was any good. King Atlas may be a G1 brick but he’s a brick from a series we didn’t get in the US in the day and I don’t own any Machine Wars figures. The robot is decent enough and looks menacing to any Decepticon while his vehicle mode makes up for it. I kind of want to keep this one a bit longer.