Cliffbee.com: Fire Grand Convoy Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Grand Convoy
Series: Superlink (Energon)
Allegiance: Cybertron
Alternate Mode: Semi Trailer Cab

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Fire Grand Convoy for this review



TRUCK MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A red truck with an orange front facade, transparent orange windows, chromed gold bumper and grille and some charcoal elements at the back, Fire Grand Convoy is a repaint of Grand Convoy (Deluxe Energon Prime in the Anglosphere). The colour scheme here is obviously centred around the concept of fire, with the colours gelling quite well. The tyres are black with silver hubcaps and there are minor painted details all over - mainly in reds and yellows. The colours here achieve a different look to the original version, while still looking like a Convoy.

   For those not familiar with this particular version of Convoy, this cab looks like a cross between a tow truck and a semi cab, and is clearly not any real model of truck. The robot arms and large helmet are behind the cab, so it's more than just a box on the front of a set of wheels. The arms work well as struts although the helmet looks like a helmet that's just sitting there. There are some gaps on the roof, although the dark grey does a good job of hiding them.

   There are a total of three Cybertron (Autobot) symbols visible in this mode. The first is the small silver one on top, inside a silver gear, which indicates the type of combiner he is. The spark crystal is on the rear left of the cabin itself, while there's a big moulded one on the right side - painted red with white relief. While this symbol doesn't stand out amongst the various reds on this toy, it's actually painted the correct shade of read, rather than being left as the slightly metallic red of the base plastic - a nice touch.

   There are some nice finer details in this mode, such as the headlights, silver windshield wipers, the fuel tanks and lights across the top of the windshield. There are hardpoints on the struts at the rear, and he has a total of eight places you can mount the gun: the hitch, a socket just to the right of the hitch, on the hardpoints, on either fuel tank, or lastly there are holes on the sides, between the Cybertron logos and the fuel tanks. I personally prefer either these last holes or the hitch - and am impressed that you have so many options!

   The gun represents most of the truck mode's play value, the other half is the rolling plastic tyres - there are six ridged tyres, two in front and four at the back. You can also attach the trailer of the leader sized toy, but that's a combination of two toys and colour schemes, and beyond the scope of this repaint, which is designed to powerlink with Black Rodimus Convoy.

   I really like the attention to detail in this mode - and this repaint. While the design choices made - such as the helmet on the back - aren't too realistic - the colour scheme here is more unified than on the regular version, which helps to blend in those elements. For what it is, this is a decent truck mode, and the repaint works well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the legs down from underneath the cab, fold out the feet. Detach the struts from their sockets on the hitch's plate, swing them out to the sides to form the arms. Bring the arms down to his sides, flip the helmet back to reveal his robot head and rotate it around. Flip the robot head up into position, fold the hitch plate down onto his back and slide it up until it clicks. Give him his gun and you're done.

   It's possible to fold away the helmet out of view. While you're not really meant to do so, I think the toy looks better (although less like his big brother) without the helmet just floating behind it's head.

   Since he's able to combine with other deluxe sized Superlink toys, there are lot of joints that aren't involved in either his transformation to robot mode, nor part of it's articulation. His chest splits apart, but unlike the larger one it lacks fold out panels, instead it actually splits into shoulder pads or hip plates for his combined modes. When you combine him you see just how different the engineering is on Grand Convoy's two toys.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 10cm

   Again based around red, Fire Grand Convoy's head, shins and fists are black while his waist is chromed gold and the chest is transparent orange. His feet are a dark metallic brown. His torso is the front of the truck in its entirety, hence the chrome of the grille on his waist. The spark crystal sits on his left shoulder and the moulded Cybertron logo on the right shoulder. The colours are again based on the fire theme, although his blue eyes are a notable standout, along with the silver mouthplate. Still, the repaint works well here.

   The wide waist and hips have earned this concept the nickname "Fatimus Prime". The thighs are thicker than the shins - normal for a human but bizarre for a Transformer. While they look unusual, I don't mind the thighs visually - you can slide them down over his calves if you want, which will give his hips greater clearance but leave him with slender thighs (I prefer them up). The odd proportions do get in the way of his poseability a little, but not enough to bother me. As with some of the truck mode aspects, the look bothers me, but he was always going to inherit it.

   Easily the best feature of this toy is the robot mode poseability. His head turns, the shoulders have ratchets and can swing backward (this is identical to G1 Prime, actually), and his arms can swing up to the sides. His elbows are hinged and his wrists can wiggle from side to side, which is because his hands are meant to swing away and replace with four-barrelled silver guns for his upper-half mode. There's nothing stopping these deploying now, so if you want to, you can deploy them.

   His hips rotate and his legs can lift out to the sides. Below the hips are swivels allowing his legs to rotate, and his knees and ankles are hinged. His feet have big heelspurs, making him nice and stable despite the backpack formed by the hitch and rear wheels. The main impediment to his poseability is the fact his front wheels are on his hips, limiting his legs somewhat. With a little work, Fire Grand Convoy can be posed in a wide array of positions. Most of the work is adjusting his feet to keep him upright, they're big enough it's not too tricky.

   The hardpoints are now on his wrists, as mentioned you can swing the hands away and reveal the silver guns, although you lose the hardpoints if you do this. It's possible to mount the gun on the sides of his thighs - on the fuel tanks - if you want to give him G1 cartoon style liquids-up-your-sleeve nozzles.

   Again this mode is quite detailed, and suffers slightly from having to continue some quirks of the character's appearance. But the poseability is great and the repaint works well again. The head is very reminiscent of G1 Prime's, which I like. The main flaws of this robot mode are the wheels on his waist and associated problems and the fact he's shorter than most Superlink deluxes. The more unified colours are again nice, although the robot mode of the regular version doesn't suffer as a result of the colours as much as the truck mode does.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although Fire Grand Convoy is a repaint of Deluxe Grand Convoy, as mentioned. He was sold exclusively through a Japanese magazine, and is intended to powerlink with Black Rodimus, also sold through the same magazine.

OVERALL

   While the truck mode is a little odd, the unified colours help mask the kibble on the back, and the colours look good in both modes anyway. The robot mode is good, and while I'm not sure the repaint is good enough to justify tracking one down, if you do get it, this is a well repainted figure. You'd only really get him with Black Rodimus Convoy, thankfully that repaint is also good. Worthwhile if you're interested and willing to pay market rates - 8/10

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