Review of Beast Wars Neo Big Convoy

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

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    Review by Desastron, posted with permission

    Prelude: Most fans will have heard of the series "Beast Wars", which was one of the milestones in the history of the Transformers. What's not quite as widely known, though, is that "Beast Wars" spawned not just one, but two spin-off series.

    First there was "Beast Wars II", which was created mainly to bridge the gap for Japanese fans between seasons of "Beast Wars". This series was never aired outside of Japan, but it was popular enough to pave the way for a second spin-off series.

    "Beast Wars Neo" might just be the most extraordinary Transformers series ever produced. The characters especially were set up differently than one would expect. Big Convoy, the leader of the Cybertrons, for example, was originally far from happy about being appointed the leader of a group of raw recruits that needed training. He also did some things that, for example, Optimus Prime would never have done, such as shooting his recruits in the first episode when they attempted to flee and abandon a comrade.

    He's a much tougher character than most other leaders of the Transformers. He also lacks, in the beginning at least, any sense of unity. He didn't get his nickname "One Man Army" for nothing. But during the course of the seires he learnes to appreciate his new duties and starts to stand up for his subordinates, as a true leader should.

    Things take a humorous turn whenever the usually rather humorless Big Convoy is to rate the accomplishments of his recruits at the end of each episode. This is when the Cybertronian supercomputer Vector Sigma, by way of the Matrix that seems to be a part of every Convoy in this series, prevents Big Convoy from saying inappropriate things. Instead Vector Sigma speaks to the recruits through Big Convoy, who ends up wondering why he's talking such nonsense.

    Let's see if the toy version of this unusual character can keep up with what we saw in the series.

    Robot Mode: Big Convoy is an Ultra-clas figure, giving him considerable size. He's a bit smaller than today's Leader-class figures, but due to the fact that he's a so-called shell-former (meaning his alternate mode is just pieces hanging off his robot mode) he seems more massive. His look actually reminds me of an Ice Age type warrior, who wears a big fur cape and big horns on his shoulders, signifying that he's the leader.

    But this figure has more to offer than just a martial-looking exterior. Big Convoy's posability is awesome. He can turn his head, move his arms at shoulders, elbows and wrists, can twist his hop and his legs can perform all sorts of poses. Even his feet are posable. The highlight are his knee joints, though. These are doulbe joints, making for a sort of knee cap, enabling him to do very realistic poses.

    Big Convoy also has a very solid stance. Even when his giant weapon is fastened to his back he never loses his balance. I also like the great detailing of this figure. The fur-parts are very nicely sculpted and look like fur, not like brown plastic. The robotic elements are also very nicely sculpted and the coloring doesn't disappoint, either. So no cause for complaint here, either.

    But Big Convoy wouldn't be a leader if he didn't have an extra or two up his sleeve. He has two "anchor-cannons" on his lower legs, which are strongly reminiscent of those Beast Wars Megatron has. And there is more. He wields to flip-out batons in his forearms. And his primary weapon, a truly BIG cannon, can fire off two missiles at once. This cannon can be stored on his back, as I mentioned above.

    But the best thing is the fact that you can open up the chest of this figure. Behind the panel, which you barely notice, btw, you can find a golden chromed Matrix, which can be taken out and put into Big Convoy's hands. A very nice extra.

    Try as I might, I can't think of anything negative regarding this very well-done robot mode. So two thumbs up here.

    Alternate Mode: After a great, great robot mode, one can't help but expect an equally great alternate mode. And here, too, Big Convoy can deliver. After a rather complicated transformation the rather martial-looking robot mode ends up as an equally martial-looking mammoth.

    In this mode Big Convoy looks very compact, despite still being quite large. What's nice is that the hidden robot mode is, in fact, well hidden. Only the underbelly offers hints at what's hidden inside this Ice Age beast.

    But how is the posability of this mammoth? There is some, despite the fact that the emphasis of this figure has clearly been the robot mode. Big Convoy doesn't have knees in this mode, but the legs can move at the shoulders and hips in a way that seems fitting for a mammoth. The head is immobile, but it has to be in order to keep the fur-look whole.

    The details make up the lack of posability. The tail can be moved, but even better is the fact that the mammoth's trunk can be moved via a lever on the head. The ears can move forward and back and if you pull them, the tusks move up and down. A nice gimmick.

    So all in all a very nice and impressive alternate mode, which also offers yet another extra, even though I'm not quite sure whether this was intended in the original design. It's possible to turn the head into the weapon mode, so that instead of the tusk the Big Cannon is now pointing forward. This looks... strange, to say the least, but doesn't hurt this good mode in the slightest.

    So in the end we have an alternate mode which, especially considering that it's secondary to the robot mode, doesn't offer any reason for complaint.

    Remarks: Big Convoy isn't just an unusual character in the "Beast Wars Neo" series. His toy version, too, is nicely different from many other Transformers figures. The robot mode doesn't just offer an impressive visual, it also contains several good, well-designed extras and lots of fun.

    The alternate mode has to take a backseat to the robot mode of course, which clearly comes first in this figure. It still contains as much as humanly possible and the end result performs fabulously. The mammoth looks very realistic, too.

    What remains to be said? I'm very much satisfied with Big Convoy. Which just leaves me to decide upon a total rating. And after much consideration I do believe that Big Convoy is wholly deserving of a full-fledged A.

    Rating: A
     
  2. Delta-Raven

    Delta-Raven Well-Known Member

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    Saw him a few years ago in a comic book shop near me... Didn't have the money at the time :(  . He is "the one that got away".

    Awesome review!
     
  3. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    You forgot to mention that the trunk moves when you move the lever on the forehead.

    My only complaint about the figure is that the complicated transformation from bot to beast is frustrating if everything isn't perfectly aligned. Since I got mine loose without instructions, and i was too lazy to look online for instructions, it took awhile before finally getting min right.
    Overall, he's a hugely impressive figure. Aside from the kibble which can get in the way (especially the legs), his posability and playability are excellent.
     
  4. Roanstalker

    Roanstalker Great Baan Gaan fan

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    This is one of the guys I'm gunning for soon. When I have money. I'm going to Hong Kog in a few weeks so I hope I can get one while I'm there. Nice review :) .
     
  5. orionpax636

    orionpax636 What the...?

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    A fitting review for one of my favorite "Beast Wars era" toys. It actually educated me on some things I had not known, as I love many of the Japanese-exclusive toys but hate many of the cartoons/storylines that came from there. Well done!
     
  6. Pravus Prime

    Pravus Prime Sorcerer

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    Not bad, you did forget the third mode, the Mammoth tank configuration.

    Big Convoy is my favorite of all the Primes and the Beasts as a mold, he's just fantastic.
     
  7. Yaujta

    Yaujta Not a Bear TFW2005 Supporter

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    Just got Universe Nemesis Prime (Convoy) last night, and the black really makes this mold stand out. Although not as dark as the Japanese Nemesis version, this one has a great balance of black, gray and tan. I actually like it better than the original.
     
  8. Skylock

    Skylock Rogue

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    I got the Nemesis Prime version and love it. Dont really care for this paint scheme as much, but the mold altogether is awesome.
     

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