Three main points to get out of the way first: *There is no die-cast. I know this is a deal-breaker for many. If you are in the no-diecast = no-sale crowd, I understand and won't try to change your mind. *This is by far the best release of this mold. It still retains the Binaltech attention to detail, and blows the Hasbro release right out of the water in the looks department. *Mellisa on her own isn't that creepy. If this was a BT* release and didn't have the obscene box art and illustrations, along with the sexual overtones the story implies, I don't think anybody would have had a problem with the Melissa figure itself. It would have been tossed aside and forgotten just like the other BT* women without any uproar. Unfortunatly, the creepy box art and illustrations do exist... So, about this Convoy fellow... Right off the bat, every square inch of the red plastic is painted. It appears to be the exact same paint as the roof of the Alt release. This does a WORLD of good to not make the truck look like such a......well....toy. First of all, it's shiny. Second, sculpted details come through better. Finally, and most importantly, light no longer shows through the plastic. Having light shine in to the top of the Alternators truck bed lighting up the side panels from the other side really made it look cheap. No such problems with Convoy. This toy also goes the extra mile in the detail department for the truck mode. Obviously, the wheels and front grill are chromed where they are painted silver on the Alt release. I will admit that I miss the black wash on the front grill that the Alt had, but it still looks fantastic. Then there's the less-obvious details that add up to make the truck shine. Details like the mold change to the roof to add the brake light. The intierior has also been fully painted (painted gauges, stereo, etc). The brake lights are now accurate with red paint around the individual lights. The back window also has black trim now where the Alt release was totally clear (that looked really cheap). Finally (as far as I can remember off the top of my head), the front fog lights have a silver backing instead of the totally clear lights the Alt had. In all, it makes for a truck that looks a million times better. The 'bot mode is a totally different deco. We all know about Convoy's astounding color-crotch technology, but aside from that you'll just have to dig up photos to see the difference. Personally, I like both Prime and Convoy's 'bot decos equally, so variety=good. In the end for me the biggest factor is that the red plastic is totally painted. I can't over-state how much better it makes everything look. Yes, it's an expensive toy to not have die-cast...but even with the plastic they still went the extra mile with the details and crush the Alt in the visual department as a result. And you get a surf sword. You really don't feel ripped off when you hold it in your hand and examine the fine details. Especially when you put it side-by-side with Alt-Prime. And let's face it...it's not THAT much more expensive than Alt Prime. You can say Prime is $20 all you want, but the fact is the only way most of us will ever get him is to pay BBTS $30 plus shipping. He's just not in stores. Anywhere. So I say Alt Prime is a $35 toy. Anyway, that's my take on it. I'm as puzzled and turned off as the rest of you by the whole kiss-play thing, but at the end of the day I can cast it aside when the main Transformer toy is as good as this.