Pla-Kit Grand Convoy Super Mode

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Valkysas, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. Valkysas

    Valkysas Attack Buffalo

    Sep 1, 2003
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    Filling in some more holes in the review listings.


    Takara's first "real" model kit of a transformer, this 1/45 scale Grand Convoy is the first in a series of just two, the other one being Grand Scourge, a color variation of this item.

    Grand Convoy is more commonly known as Energon Optimus Prime in the US, one of the most-hated Prime figures in TF history. I've always liked him though, so I was happy to get this. It's very simple compared to pretty much every other model kit I've ever built (outside of early gundam SD kits), and it has some really strange/stupid design decisions, but it's still a fun build.

    for this review, I will review it assembled straight from the box, no paint added.


    Grand Convoy comes with 8 runners containing 60 parts. two blue, one white, one red, one yellow, one orange, one chrome, and one runner of black polycaps. There's also a sheet of 26 stickers. also, a manual/comic, a lucky draw MP convoy entry sheet, and some other japanese thing.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once built, you have the cab, four drones, a gun, three orange balls that can be fired from the gun, a chrome energon star, a normal head, a super mode head, two feet, and an open super mode helmet for use when not in super mode, along with a piece that connects it to the cab. On the top flaps of the box, there are stand-up targets of ravage and scorponok that you can cut out and shoot the gun at.


    Cab looks good, thanks in no small part to the giant chunk of chrome on the front. the wheels do not roll, as they are not seperate pieces. you cannot connect the gun to the back of the cab.

    transformation of the cab is mostly the same as the leader class figure, with the changes being: the hands don't have to be slid out, the robot head has to be attached, and the feet have to be put on. Special care has to be taken to not pull the arms off the body, or the polycap that holds them on will fall into the body, and you'll have to take the entire thing apart to retrieve it and re-connect the arm.


    Normal robot mode looks okay, and stands 3 1/2 inches tall. Actually, it's kind of boring. It could really be helped with some more colored parts on the lower legs and hands. the head sculpt is absolutely perfect, but if you don't paint it, you're going to end up covering the face up with one big sticker that makes it look rather lame. the sticker is too big for the space provided, which makes applying it correctly a hassle. and then you have to deal with the stickers not being very sticky, and not wanting to keep a bend. He has two accessories for use in this mode, a chrome energon star that can go on his left shoulder, and his gun. the gun is a basic two piece assembly that you can put one of three orange balls into. pulling the barrel back launches the ball.


    articulation is pretty good. shoulders can rotate 360 degrees, the arms can move outwards. the head is on a ball joint so it can turn, look up, and look down. legs can move forward and outward a bit, and the knee can bend 90 degrees. the only things missing are elbows, and foot articulation, which really limits the poses you can pull off.



    The drones are pretty neat. the ladder on OP1 can move up and down, and the tail of OP2 can fold away, but thats the only articulation these things have that's not connected to their transformation. OP2's blades do not move. they plug on, and they're locked in position. Each drone has an arm and leg mode. In arm mode, there is only one point of articulation for each drone, and it's not the elbow. it's where the two halves of the drone connect via polycap. if you pull the piece out a bit, you can rotate the lower half of the arm. Even even though OP1 and OP2 have sculpted hands inside the front parts of the vehicles, there's no way to expose them. OP3's front end comes off almost every time it's transformed between drill mode and leg mode. the connection is awful.

    for transformation to super mode, you pull off convoy's feet, head, and open helmet. you then swing open the windows, straighten the arms out, and slide the drones on where ever you want (and pull off OP2's blades). put on the super mode head, and the piece that connects it to the back of the cab if you feel like it. that way it's accurate to the leader class figure, but then it can't move. I usually leave it off.


    Super mode looks great, and is 4 1/4 inches tall. it doesnt look boring, thanks to all the color variation in the drones, and it's posability remains intact. unlike the leader version, OP3 doesnt have any stability problems as a foot. on the leader version, the foot's shape couldnt support weight very well, and it would sometimes fall forward. I don't suggest leaving the energon star on in super mode, because it can scrape up the sticker for the windshield.


    Overall, I like the kit. it's a cool piece of TF history, and it was a fun build. the craftsmanship isnt as good as you'd get from models from companies like Bandai, but when viewed for what it is, rather than what it could be, it's pretty good.

    Size comparison with Leader Class Energon Optimus Prime:



    Unfortunately, there are a LOT of problems with this kit. here they are:

    The stickers suck. the face stickers lack detail, are bigger than the face they cover up, they don't stick to the plastic well, and they don't hold a bend unless you fold the sticker in advance. this is also an issue on OP1's windshield, and the white stickers on the front of OP4.

    OP3's front end falls off if you move it. putting a post through a c-shaped space. there's nothing to hold it in there. why wasnt it just a hole? does not make sense.

    wheels on the cab don't roll. there's room enough that they could have made them seperate pieces. but they didnt.

    gates on the runners are too small, or in stupid locations. the gate is the space between the runner and the part its the area you stick your preferred tool into to cut off the part. on some parts, the gate is only a few milimeters wide. too small to stick most clippers through. so you're either gonna have to saw the piece off with a hobby knife, or be one of those people who just pull the parts off and leave big gouges in the parts.

    nothing but the arms hold the polycaps that hold the arms on in place. if the arms are pulled off, they fall into the body. there's no reason a piece couldnt be put inside the body to hold them in place.

    only one shade of blue. everything that's blue is the dark shade that's on the leader and deluxe version's cab. including OP4. This makes it look incredibly plain.

    covered-up detail. there's sculpted hands, complete with holes in the fists inside OP1 and OP2's front ends. you cannot expose these hands. they only appear briefly while you're turning the front end upwards to make the drone a leg, and then vanish again when the part finishes moving.

    You are going to ruin the chrome. pretty much every model company on earth puts the runner connection points on chrome parts on the BACK of the part where it will never be seen, on a location that will be covered up by another part, or keeps the connection point so small that it'll be hard to notice. not takara. the connection points are really big, and on the sides of the parts. the second you cut the parts off, you're going to have big splotches of green/yellow (dunno, I'm partially color blind) on the sides of the energon star, and the super mode's body.

    and that's everything I can think of to say. despite all the problems, you might want to pick it up if you can get it cheaply enough. I believe it was originally 680 yen. pretty cheap, which makes it possible to get over the problems the kit has. it's a quick, simple and fun build, and I really would have liked to see the series continue.
  2. rob_charb

    rob_charb Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2007
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    Interesting item. I've seen that on HLJ a few times and always wondered about it. Unfortunately, being acustomed to the high-quality designs of Bandai, I don't think I'd like this kit at all. Even when painted up, the lack of decent articulation would probably kill it for me.

    Thanks for taking the time to do up a review of it! I love seeing reviews of odd Transformer-related stuff like this.

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