Wednesday 28 August 2013

Galaxy Convoy from, um Galaxy Force… DUH!


Now finally, I have here one of my favourite Optimus Prime toys.  Actually that’s incorrect as it is actually a Convoy, Galaxy Convoy to be exact.  Nevertheless, out of all the Optimus Primes/Convoys of various descriptions this is at the top of my list as the one I like the most. 

I really like Galaxy Force.  It was the first Transformers cartoon that I watched in Japanese before the English and I loved the differences.  Especially since I was at the height of my Japanese language studies at the time, the characterisations were much better done than the English and it wasn’t until much after that it got forced into being ‘part 3’ of the Unicron trilogy.  I mean really it doesn’t fit very well at.  The surprise that Convoy shows at being able to combine with other Transformers is the main giveaway, especially since the main gimmick of the previous series was Transformers combining AND EVERYBODY did it…  Moving on.

Galaxy Force Convoy is a Fire truck, harking back a bit to the heroic days of Robots In Disguise.  Sure it is unlike any firetruck I have ever seen, but hey who cares, it’s a big red truck and it looks tough and cool!  I can believe it’s a fire truck.  Some how…

In 2011, I covered the second version of this figure that I got, the smaller and rather nice Hybrid Style Galaxy Convoy.  A good and expensive little bugger that one and he was based off of this guy.

I just love playing with this toy.  It’s big, tough and has multiple options for shenanigans to go on with.  I also managed to forget to take some shots of it then (I took these pics in 2011 too…) that I would think of a must have now.  Therefore, I am going to start with Vehicle mode.

Convoy comes in a couple of pieces.  The main body and a ‘trailer’ of sorts that forms his super mode armour and a small artillery style gun pod thing.  What I find rather nifty is that in vehicle mode, you can get away without the trailer piece connected to form a somewhat weird looking flatbed truck.  As opposed to Robots In Disguise Optimus who can’t form the fire truck without his extra bits. 

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Then on top of that, you can have these bits mounted on the legs to supply guns.  It’s a pretty decked out truck!  It does suffer from visible-head-syndrome and unlike Energon Optimus, they don’t even TRY to cover it up.

Galaxy Force and therefore Cybertron figures always impressed me with their general sculpted details, there are practically no boring bits on these toys and any plain areas have details all over the place.

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Admittedly though he does have a big gap in the middle of the truck which can be sort of covered by the eventual shin guns.

The cab is sweet!  The transformation is rather clever and his fists become the black grill and the back of his palms the pipes on the side of the truck.  It’s almost like when he transforms into the truck he is ready to punch his way through anything!   The cab windows are high up and rather small, as well as evoking a Star Convoy feel through them and since they do look so small, one could surmise that this is a MASSIVE truck.  Very cleverly done and really adds to the feeling of strength this Convoy has!

One other touch I really like is there is even a bit of detail inside the cab!  Very hard to get a shot of though.
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In a  very interesting move, I found that the rear wheels are provided with suspension of sorts.  Well I guess it’s good that it’s there, as that does form the feet of the Super Mode Convoy.

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With the trailer off the truck can look a bit empty.  There are robot feet sticking up, you can’t really do much with the flat bed and there is a very obvious Matrix sticking right out in the open…  But then I guess the idea is to not have him as a flatbed truck is it now.  But still…

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And here are a couple of truck pictures next to his Hybrid Style friend.

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The weapons can be activated on vehicle mode and he comes with two force chips, one of which is the standard Autobot Force Chip (or should that be Cybertoron?) and a snazzier Matrix inspired one.
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They of course unlock the more violent parts of the truck mode.    I guess normally one could refer to them as ladders?  Now they become ladders of DEATH!
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Naturally the detail on these two is very nice.  The top side of the truck also houses the ‘pistol’ he uses in robot mode too.  The inclusion of weapons into this is very well thought out!

The right side only pops down two missile launchers on either side.  But the left side opens to reveal the blaster and activates lights and sound, it also the side that ha the battery pack in it.  A slight shame, as we shall see later on…

Sadly those blue circular details on the side of the cannon don’t light up.  I always thought it would be super cool if they lit up in order as a blast went off.
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Final truck detail, is that he has a flight mode.  One could question how aerodynamic this thing would be and quite easily come to the conclusion that it has zero chance of actually getting airborne, but hey, we’re talking about sentient robots from outer space, so LOGIC BE DAMNED!

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Despite it almost looking like a fan made mode (it isn’t and features in the instructions and cartoon), I must admit I like it in a cheesy lame way…

Ok, I think that covers the vehicle mode enough for my liking, let’s move on to the robot mode.
  And you know, after my little bit about forgetting the robot mode pics I’d normally include, I have found them!  Jeezaloo.  See what happens when you have images on your hard drive for a couple of years before getting to them…

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He does come off as being a bit stumpy in robot mode, but he still looks powerful!

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Like his vehicle mode, it’s big and powerful!  He does suffer from short forearms however but he does have a hinge at the joints for his fingers and you can see straight away that he is a truck when in disguise.  The face has a rather cool addition of a fold away face mask, so when he goes into super mode, a lever on the back of the head can be pushed and the mask flips up for a lipless version of Convoy.  General details are great, he does have a faux grill lights loin piece though and the chest windows aren’t the truck windows.  I don’t know why, but some people get really worked up about whether or not Optimus’ windows are real or faux.  TBH though it has only really shown up since the movie series has begun (the anger that is, I don’t really recall anyone whinging about Ginrai’s chest windows.

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There are plenty of other details to make that truck impression though, and that’s what I like!  It’s kind of a bit of a funny homage to other Convoys really, as the cab front looks nothing like the robot mode’s chest piece.

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You can see the withdrawn face mask in the second photo above.

What I also like about this Convoy, is that he comes with a removable Matrix.  His hands are too big to hold it though, but the cartoon has it float out of his chest and do what is required.  His chest windows slide out of the way to the sides nicely and it looks pretty decent.  there is a cover piece before you see the Matrix as well, which is a nice effect they didn’t have to include, but I am glad they did.  It really adds a bit of class to this figure.
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The Matrix comes out too, which is nice and is detailed well, but lacking in paint.  Let’s face it though it doesn’t need much paint really.

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On top of all that, there is some great detail in BEHIND the Matrix.  Oh man!

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This smaller mode is quite poseable and well balanced due his rather large feet.  What’s cool about this mode is that you can use the back of the truck as his artillery cannon.

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The force chips work the same way as they do for vehicle mode.  Then if you are feeling a little bit underwhelmed by that,


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Little Galaxy Convoy’s calves flip under his feet and the back of the truck becomes a big backpack for him.  Oh yeah, look at that wingspan, the wings evoke a nice God Ginrai feel to him as well.  The cannons always swing under the wings for fighting and flip upright when negotiating, or having a beer.  Hasbro stupidly had the images of Optimus on their box with the cannons over the shoulder which never happened in the show and looks pretty stupid.

This is where the placement of the batteries becomes a bummer.  Without them the balance is pretty good, but with them in (two AA sized batteries) and with them being so high up, his centre of balance becomes too high despite his large feet, the lack of heel spurs lets him down quite a lot and he has a bad tendency to fall over backwards.

The head gimmick here is really cool though.

On the left is the normal mode head with the ‘ears’ on the side.  However flip them out, and pull that lever and lo!
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Behold embiggened mode!

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Once again detail are pretty cool.  Most of them are the same, except for the back, as it now has the truck hanging off it…

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I love the extra sculpting all over the place.  and he just looks like he is kitted up the wazzoo, even to the point of having little missile pod things over the ‘straps’ of the backpack.

The legs even look seriously beefed as well.  It’s very clever that you fold the smaller robot’s feet down to smooth the connection with the ankle.  The red guns that are parallel with the side of the leg in the far left photo can be pivoted around for some extra blamm power, not that this Convoy needs anymore…

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One thing that has me a tiny bit concerned is that beautiful blue has some little flakes in it, making the colour stand out with a slight metallic look, but maybe weakening it too…

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He does look suitably cool when standing in front of other Transformers too.

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Scourge has got some performance anxiety there methinks.

And next to his Hybrid Chum.
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Aw so cute.

Since the super mode is pretty much just extending legs and a backpack, his articulation is relatively unhindered from his smaller ‘bot mode!  Let’s see some posing!!

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Not too shabby for such a large fellow to be honest.  The only thing that I am a little disappointed with is that his big cannons don’t have any handles he can reach, but his Hybrid brother caters for that.

As it is though, I love this toy.  It’s a great representation of the character that Galaxy Convoy was, strong and determined and here he has the power to face the challenges that Master Megatron would throw at him.  Add to that the clever transformation with the fist grill and the various modes you can have him in, both vehicle AND robot mode and this toy has a lot of potential as well as looking ace!  And THAT is why it is my favourite Optimus/Convoy figure!

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