Cliffbee.com: LioConvoy Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: LioConvoy
Series: Beast Wars Second
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Supreme Commander
Alternate Mode: White Lion

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me LioConvoy for this review.



LION MODE
Height: 12.5cm Length: 26cm Width: 7.5cm

   A white lion with a gold mane and silver paws which fade to white plastic, LioConvoy has a black nose and white and black eyes while his tail is gold. There are a few hints of red here and there - peeking out basically, but this is a fairly simple colour scheme for a toy this size. This makes sense - white lions are essentially simple in their markings. They don't normally have gold manes, however. I'm not sure if this plastic suffers from the notorious Gold Plastic Syndrome, but a quick Google search seems to suggest he doesn't. Either way, this is a decent colour scheme if a little simple.

   LioConvoy is covered in fur sculpting, with his mane's fur flowing backwards and the tail's tip bushy, as you'd expect on a lion. His feet all have four moulded silver claws and his face includes details such as whisker spots, teeth inside his mouth and little ears buried within the mane. There are some gaps and seams here and there, but overall this is a good, satisfying, lion mode.

   As tends to be the case with larger Beast Wars Maximals - and especially with Takara's efforts, there are a few weaponry options and the like here. There's a gold button integrated into the top of his mane - pressing it causes both jaws to open, bearing his teeth for as long as you hold the spring-loaded button down. There's a non-functional red button in top of the mane (it comes into play in robot mode), pressing the panel around it causes two gold and red missile launchers to pop out on either side. Additionally, if you push some small gold rods underneath the front legs forward, the sides of the mane flip forward to reveal two more launchers. LioConvoy comes with six gold missiles, allowing you to fully load him - with spares. Lastly there are gold claws which flip out from underneath his front paws.

   For all the attacking options in this mode, there's not a lot of poseability - more wiggle room in his legs than actual articulation. Along with some seams here and there, this is LioConvoy's main weakness in beast mode. Still, the array of weapons and the sculpt are both impressive, so it's a satisfying beast mode, if not a fantastic one.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A very asymmetrical transformation with lots of unfolding and twisting, so I'll summarise rather than go step by step. LioConvoy's a shellformer in some aspects but not as much as many of Takara's BW efforts.

   The hindlegs more or less straighten out to form the robot legs while the mane and head unfolds as a right shoulderpad. The robot arms unfold from within the mane while the centre mass rotates to become his torso with a red chestplate folding into position and his head popping out from within the beast's back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 23cm Width: 21.5cm

   A white red and gold robot, LioConvoy has a red torso, red arms and red kneecaps while his legs and left shoulder are white. The lion's head and mane on his right shoulderpad are gold along with the groin and panels here and there. The head and hands are blue while his face is silver with yellow eyes. The head is pure Optimus Prime, incidentally. There's a silver Maximal (well Cybertron) logo on his left pectoral muscle and some silver "six pack" detailing on his waist - LioConvoy has a fairly organic looking torso. The colour scheme is more varied now and while the red and blue Optimus Prime like elements are a nice idea, the mess on his right shoulder really breaks up the colour scheme.

   At a basic or deluxe level, LioConvoy would work a lot better, but at the ultra scale, all the head and mane junk - coupled with the tail on his other shoulder - he just looks messy. Break manages it much better despite having a lot more kibble, since he's a lot smaller. On the upside, there's a lot of nice sculpted detail here - well above the level of a basic and most deluxes. His head is well sculpted, even if it does scream "OPTIMUS PRIME!" The detailing on his allegiance symbol and his six pack is good while the robot only areas of his legs and arms are fairly intricate. The sculpt is to some extent dominated by the kibble, but at least the kibble isn't the only show in town.

   LioConvoy's missile launchers are all available here. The top pair now sit on his shoulder and can detach and fit in his hands. The side pair are concealed on the outside of his forearms - the tabs to release them are inside his elbows now. The mouth gimmick is available here but serves no useful purpose. The tail looks like it might be useful as a weapon, but it just hangs there. You can open the panels on his mane, however. Once you've done this, the formerly non-functional button now works as a plunger, causing the four open panels to spin like a sawblade, giving LioConvoy's opponents a good reason to avoid wrestling him. I'm not sure if this weapon is the reason for the kibble being there or an afterthought to put the kibble to use, but it's a novel idea which goes a fair way to excusing this lump of lion on his shoulder. The claws hidden within the forelegs of the beast mode can be deployed underneath his hands. The panel underneath the allegiance symbol opens to reveal a silver matrix of sorts and a rubsign.

   LioConvoy's poseability is generally pretty good, although there are some restrictions. Inevitably the mane assembly gets in the way of the right shoulder, although it can largely move out of the way, so it doesn't limit LioConvoy as much as you might expect. The shoulderpads _do_ get in the way of the arms and his head - the latter is quite limited. The head and waist both turn but the head's movement is useless since it's flanked by kibble on both sides. The shoulders and elbows have hinges and ball joints but the shoulders are restricted, as mentioned. His hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees have hinges and rotators, but both the hips and knees are quite tight. His ankles also feature hinges and rotators, and while LioConvoy has heelspurs, the hinges don't serve to anchor dynamic poses he's not as poseable as he should be with this roll call of articulation - he has a good but by no means great range of poses.

   A disappointing robot mode thanks to a giant lump of kibble and underwhelming poseability, although LioConvoy does display well. The colours are a little mixed up but it's the mane on his shoulder that leaves LioConvoy unbalanced. The play value is good, mind you, thanks to the mane weapon and all the missile launchers. If the mane wasn't so overwhelming I'd like this robot mode a whole lot more. While nothing about the mane is awful, it just introduces too many issues.

VARIATIONS

   There is a clear, "Flash", version, which is quite common.

OVERALL

   Both modes are decent but neither reaches any great heights. LioConvoy's modes both look okay, despite the mane breaking up the robot mode and a simple lion mode. The sculpt is good and he's packed with play value, if not a lot of poseability. The engineering is more awkward and unwieldy than clever - the mane gimmick dominates here, as well. There are better, smaller, shellformers from the Beast Wars Neo line, but LioConvoy does offer a lot of play value compared to most shellformers - 7/10

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