Cliffbee.com: Burning Beast Convoy Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Beast Convoy
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Cybertron (Maximal)
Function: Supreme Commander
Alternate Mode: Gorilla



Note: This is a limited edition of the Robotmasters Beast Convoy toy (Optimus Primal), sold with an exclusive DVD. I do not own the standard version.

GORILLA MODE
Height: 9.5cm Length: 10cm Width: 9cm

   A transparent red gorilla that's similar to the beast mode of the original Optimus Primal, albeit smaller. The eyes are blue, the fingers and some detailing on his chest are gold, but otherwise this toy is completely transparent red. Which actually looks pretty good - for a limited edition anyway. I'm pleased that they've resisted the temptation to add more colour, since on it's own the red works quite well. Granted, it's wildly unrealistic - but that's not the point here. The original version is black and grey, a far more realistic colour scheme, so if you're after the realism of this mode, the DVD version is not for you.

   Being a repaint of a toy based on a realistic toy, there's great sculpting here. Other than the front and back of his forearms, everywhere that would have fur has moulded fur, and the toes and fingers are all well defined. The face is realistically shaped, with lips and sunken eyes. He even has a rump and pecks. There are seams here and there and a screw visible on his back, but none of this gets in the way of the illusion created by the sculpting.

   The play value here is slightly reduced when compared to the original Optimus Primal. The shoulders and hips are ball joints and the knees and elbows are hinged. These joints are really intended for the robot mode, since no matter how you pose Beast Convoy, his face looks down and he's on all fours. Having said that, it is possible to stand him on his hindlegs, but his face wont look forward but up in to air at about 40*. This toy lacks the chest-beating gimmick of the original Primal, which would have hard to execute at this size and pricepoint. It never worked _that_ well anyway, so I'm not troubled by this exclusion.

   The mould does what it has to, since it's a good replica of a gorilla and closely resembles the original Maximal leader. The red and gold colour scheme works really well here, creating a fire-creature look, in keeping with his name.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   More or less the same as Optimus Primal's, with a couple of minor details left out. Straighten his legs, rotate the waist, fold out his feet and flip over the gorilla toes to reveal the heelspurs. Straighten his arms, swing down to the sides and lift up the shoulderpads. Swing the beast head down onto his chest, which will reveal the robot face and through internal gears rotate the gorilla face to reveal a gold chestplate. On mine at least, you have to slip the chestplate one tooth extra. Lift the robot head, which sits back in beast mode, lift up the shoulder-cannons on his back.

   Instead of missile launcher covers, his entire rump plate lifts up, to reveal his twin gold swords. You can place one in either hand (they are specifically left and right handed), or attach his missile launcher to one hand and a sword to the other. The forearm panels lift up to reveal gold spring-mounted twin-blasters, similar to the missile launchers that Primal had - there is no mace here.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 11cm

   Still about 85% red, Burning Beast Convoy has blue eyes, a silver face, gold shoulder cannons and antennae, gold stripes above his elbows, a gold chestplate, gold kneecaps and fingers and gold swords. Again this colour scheme is all about red, and the Burning part of his name is entirely appropriate. There is no mutant head here, which is fine since Primal's was rather lame anyway. Aside from he silver face looking slightly out of place against the other gold highlights, this is a great colour scheme.

   The shoulder cannons are single pieces, not missile launchers like on Optimus Primal. Combined with the twin blasters in each forearm, his big red missile launcher and twin swords, they make for a heavily armed robot. One of the few changes made to this toy is his open palms - Primal had clenched fists. While they work fine with his swords (which clip into the open palms), the missile launcher looks kind of strange plugged into the open palm. Still, the single missile will fire about a metre, thanks to a powerful spring. I'm definitely glad they included the missile launcher as the extra weapon here (all Robotmasters toys get some sort of new weapon).

   There's still a lot of fur sculpting here and the robot moulding on his face and chestplate are impressive. There's some detailing on his waist and pistons on his ankles that are left unpainted on this repaint, but painted on the original Robotmasters toy. On the whole the robot mode is remarkably consistent with the original Primal, weaponry aside.

   The articulation here is impressive. His head turns, the shoulder cannons can lift up and down independently, the shoulders and hips are ball joints while the elbows and knees are hinged. The waist rotates at there's some wiggle in the feet and heelspurs that help give Burning Beast Convoy meaningful leg poseability.

   Again a good repaint and a very good Robotmasters mould that's armed to the teeth. The articulation and seven weapons give Burning Beast Convoy great play value for a deluxe.

VARIATIONS

   None as such - as mentioned Burning Beast Convoy is a variant of Robotmasters Beast Convoy.

OVERALL

   I originally passed on RM Beast Convoy, even though it seems to be quite well done, simply because it's so similar to Optimus Primal - whom I already have. I grabbed this toy because the new colour scheme provides a toy with greater contrast. Despite some simplification, the mould is very true to it's inspiration and there's a lot of play value for a deluxe. Burning Beast Convoy is a really nice thematic repaint, and you get a DVD in the box (in Japanese, which I don't speak). I'd recommend the mould for anyone who missed Optimus Primal, and if the idea appeals, Burning Beast Convoy is recommended also - 8/10

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