Thursday, 5 December 2013

New styles of Masterpiece Convoy

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Finally, after taking these images when I first got the toy I am going to post them on my blog.  I’ve been putting this off, as I ended up taking a massive HEAP of pictures.  Thus, here we go. 

Masterpiece 10, Convoy.  This guy is a redesign for the Masterpiece line.  Smaller in stature and cleverly designed, he lacks a lot of the weight and chunk of the original Masterpiece Convoy, but is a much more poseable figure with good weight distribution and is closer to the cartoon look of Convoy/Optimus than the first.  Hard to believe, as I thought that MP1 was a pretty impressive figure and looked pretty bang on, but this guy has a few little additions, that while not that much individually make for a smoother and better proportioned robot AND vehicle mode.  Let’s have a look see.

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This Convoy is, unlike the otherwise named “complete version” actually complete.  He does include Roller.  It has the usual Masterpiece Black box with some nice pics and the first improvement on this figure is immediately obvious.  The cab of the truck is probably the most accurate since the G1 toy  the robot mode is also a lot better proportioned as well.

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It’s immediately chesty and more heroic.  I’d say this one is more cartoon accurate than the original Masterpiece Convoy.  He has been a little bit simplified but most of the gimmicks in the original MP01 Convoy while cool, were unnecessary such as the moving mouth plate and opening vents on his shins.  These have been sacrificed on this version,  but it still looks good and actually allow for a bit more design money to be spent on design.

This Convoy is a great figure.  Sure he may lack the die cast metal of MP01, but that adds to his play options.  It’s a very dynamic figure and I found while I had this guy out over the week or so I spent doing the photos that I played with it a lot more than I had any previous Masterpiece figure I had gotten.

The amount of detail on this guy is almost obscene.  I really love the way his neck has been done as well.
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It almost like he has walked straight out of the TV  show.  Actually this is a lot more detailed!

He comes with some articulated fingers although not quite to the extent of MP021.  His index finger is individually articulated, obviously for heroic pointing.

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The copious use of chrome is glorious, although it is naturally lacking where the sprue has connected.  Still, these blemishes are so small as to be negligible.

He has a matrix in his chest which is not lit with an LED but looks pretty good nonetheless.  It’s a really nice colour, can’t be opened and is very hefty for it’s size.  It could make some very fashionable bling if you’d like it to.  Even the cavity which the matrix sits within is covered with details.  Brilliant!

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I love the way they have done the ‘energy’ (crystal?) power of the matrix inside.  Very well done.


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Even though his chest doesn’t have a light in it, there is nothing topping you from shining one through the matrix yourself with some clever placement to get a good effect from it.

That top left photo reminds me of the excessive sculpting on this guy, even the back of his hands!

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Body details are just as good as everywhere else and in a really nice touch, you can store his Ion cannon in his back, where he can reach over and pull it out, just like in the movie when he charges in to top Megatron!  The backs of his legs are nicely detailed and cover up the truck wheels in a nice looking, but a little cartoon inaccurate way.  But hey, who cares?  Personally I like my G1 Optimus with a bit of leg wheel.

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His rifle folds up to fit in the bit in his back.  It’s pretty cool and the proportions looks good and it manages to unfold quite easily.
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Byaaan Byaaaan byaan byan!  You’ve got the touch! 

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You can’t quite get the finger to wrap around the trigger area, but it’s close enough.  Once in his hands, the ion rifle looks a tad on the small side though.  I guess that was likely to happen as they have allowed to fold away into his back.

His balance is really good, aided by big feet and good weight distribution and it’s aided by almost no die cast metals.  Is that a good thing or a a bad thing?  I think this doesn’t require any metal in it.
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I love this next photo though.  It’s “Lecturing Prime”!
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Back When I was a lad...


He’s pretty tall for a Classics collection, but back when I took these photos, I didn’t know about the other Masterpieces, such as Sideswipe and Prowl and fellows.
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Other accessories he comes with are his lovely Energon Axe.  It’s nice, just slides over the hand for much easier application than MP01.  Unfortunately this has made it look somewhat larger than it should.  Still, I do like it and still find it odd that it keeps popping up despite only having less than a handful of appearances (aside from all the toys of course….)
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He also comes with Roller (yay) making this a ‘complete’ version of Optimus/Convoy, shaming MP04 into non-existence.  Roller is really nice with a couple of configuration available.  One to hold Convoy’s guns, one for the fuel pump and another to pull the trailer.  It’s very well done.

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Convoy also comes with a pet Squishy.  Yep, Spike Witwicky figure, complete with yellow gumboots is here.  He is slightly articulated, but nothing to write home about.  I also think that he is not in scale.  But I don’t care, he is just there to get under foot anyway…

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For such a small figure, the sculpting is pretty nice.  Sure he lacks a face, but he DOES have a shirt pocket and collar. and he also has a rather impressive amount of articulation for an approximately 2cm tall figure.

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Yoo Want me to put this guy WHERE??

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Spike can also interact with Roller and the trailer.

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The trailer has a lot of nice sculpting on it in base mode and can be used to form the old ‘repair bay’ that has started showing up with various toys, yet not in any canon as yet.   Well, as far as I am aware that is.  It can also store Convoy’s Energon axe and ion rifle as well.  Once again sculpting is lovely and it’s a damn sight more interesting than MP04’s!   I noticed that Gord has a review of the Hasbro Toys R Us release up and it’s interesting to see the subtle differences in colour between the two.  The one that struck me the most was the difference between the interior of the trailer.  Convoy has  a nice silver plastic to it, whereas Optimus has just grey. 

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Hmm, I thought I had a photo of Convoy stepping on Spike.  Oh well, it appears I was maybe dreaming, or I deleted it….  Sorry

Now let’s have a look at his vehicle mode.

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The way this guy has been designed results in a much more complete looking cab than the original Masterpiece Convoy and indeed many Convoy’s before him.  THS, Classic two pack and a bunch of other G1 styled Convoy’s that had  out of whack looking cabs included.   In fact about the only gripe I can pick is the size of the rear trailer bay area being so think and chunky.  The actual cab itself is probably the cab representation since G1.  Even then it’s a bit better as he has wing mirrors that fold away for robot mode!

It is quite obviously though that proportions are all a bit out of whack on this guy.  It’s definitely not in scale with Spike and looking at the sculpting on the side, the doors are in crazy spots with no obvious step areas for a person to get in.  But hey, who cares about that right?  Spike fits in by opening the windows outwards and plopping him i the seat.  Somewhat reminiscent of the original Optimus in a way.

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I do like the way they have arranged the legs.  Parts fold out to clip them together in vehicle mode as well as cover up any leg looking bits too.  Well, relatively obvious leg looking bits.

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It looks as you’d expect him to look with the trailer on and very nice it is to look at I must say.


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A nice thing that has been retained is the ability to have the command drone sticking out of the top of the trailer, just like in days of yore.

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General details on the trailer are very nice and manage to stop it from just being a big box.  Another nice touch is that there are legs for the trailer if you want it in box mode without Convoy.  Also Roller can be configured to pull it as well.  Add to that the nice addition of a sculpted tyre on the bottom, you end up with a nice looking and realistic trailer.  They have also done a good job on covering up the stabilisers for the base mode with some hatch style sculpting.

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Annoyingly though, the paint on mine got a little scuff from the plastic casing it lived in the box.  Oh well.

Another cool touch is the way the back of the trailer opens.  Not does it have swing out doors, it also has a ramp!  NIIIICE.

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You can see the little cover for the hole for the drone in the picture above, Woo!

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Even the swivel that connects into the legs of Convoy in vehicle mode is a separate piece.  All these little details add up to a nice package.

Overall I recommend this guy pretty highly.  There are a few minor differences between the Taktom and Hasbro version, which can be simplified down to anime colours or toy colours in a way.  I prefer the darker blue that the Taktom one has and I was impatient so imported it.  Which really was a good thing since I never saw the local one in the shops, due to crappy distribution and limited numbers here in Australia.  It was expensive, yet I still think it was worth it.  In comparison to the original MP01 Convoy, I found that MP10 was a generally more “fiddle-able” toy.  I had this guy out for a couple of weeks while I did the photos and found myself playing around with him quite a lot, which is something I can’t say about MP01.  The balance seems to be a bit better and while the other is a nice figure, the overall look and ‘feel’ of this toy makes me think MP10 is slightly better than MP01, despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of gimmicks.

If you can find one, get one!

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