Transformers Encore 23 shows up on Big Bad Toy Store!
Ask most Transformers collectors what the one figure is that they would love to have in their collection, but could never afford is and they'll likely answer Fortress Maximus. I know, I'm one of them. The after market is insane on this piece, getting one that's complete and in nice shape will run you $1,000 or more! Go ahead and check eBay, It's full of them and they get bids! Fans have been begging for a reissue for many years now and it seems our time has finally come!
Big Bad Toy Store has listed Transformers Encore 23 Fortress Maximus for an April 2013 release. This is the first time anyone has mentioned a reissue of the Transformers Holy Grail, but BBTS often lists stuff ahead of a Japanese announcement and are rarely wrong. While the molds were used to later make Grand Maximus and Brave Maximus, this is the first time Fortress Maximus has been issued since 1987. Hopefully he'll include the Master Sword which was only included with the Japanese release. BBTS has him at a base price of US$350 (or you can get him a little faster for US$400) and I'm taking them up on it. Consider this: MP-10 Optimus Prime is about 10 inches tall, comes with a trailer, and costs nearly US$300 at Japanese retail, Fortress Maximus is 24 inches tall and cost US$350 at BBTS. It's a lot of money, but he feels like a bargain at that price. If you're going to go with an exporter like HLJ or AmiAmi keep in mind that he weighs in at around 15 pounds/6.8 Kilograms so expect to be paying between around $75 and $135 on shipping alone.
Now excuse me, I'm still trying to get this stupid grin off my face.