"Encore" Big Convoy Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Beast Wars Neo, Cybertron, Encore, Ultra

Transformers Encore

General Information:
Release Date: January 2019
Price Point: ¥8,000 (about $73.62 USD) - Takara Tomy Mall Suggested Price
Retailer: Japanese Exclusive
Accessories: Big Cannon, Missiles x 2, Mammoth Haken missiles x 2, Matrix

Product description from Takara Tomy and translated via Google Translate:
Beast Wars Neo's Commander of Cybertron “Big Convoy” is reprinted in animated image color. Among the convoy characters of all time, the popular “Big Convoy” has appeared as a TF encore reprint version due to its completeness. Completely renewed coloring to animated images. Ideal as a collection item.

In 1998, Big Convoy was released as the leader of the Cybertron crew featured in Beast Wars Neo. However, when the figure was originally released it featured different colors than the animation model. In 2019, as part of the Encore line, Takara Tomy finally released a version of this figure in his animation colors.

This sculpt has been released several times before. Here's a rundown:

You'll probably want to at least check out the original Big Convoy review before this one. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Beast Mode:
The original Big Convoy was mostly a metallic brown in color with a nice pattern that transitioned to a copper color. However, this time out Big Convoy is mostly a solid, dark brown color. The tusks are painted off-white along with his "toes". Each foot is painted a light brown color. The eyes now have a very cartoony deco on them. Instead of just one color filling the eyes, they have pupils that look like they came right out of a cartoon.

The ability to move the tusks and trunk still works beautifully in this mode. Swing the cannon up and around to form the "Mammoth Tank" mode. The missile firing mechanism works just fine.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Raise the panel in the back with the tail piece on it.
  2. Split the halves of the back, pull out the sides of the head slightly.
  3. Detach the back piece from the trunk to the tail and set it aside for now.
  4. Move the crescent missile launcher panels outwards.
  5. Straighten out the robot legs and fold up the mammoth legs on them so they fit in the back.
  6. Fold out the front and back halves of his feet.
  7. Twist the waist around.
  8. Fold out the arms and straighten them out.
  9. Push the chest section down to reveal the robot head.
  10. Swing the horns on the head out to the sides.
  11. The halves of the mammoth head swing back and wind up behind the shoulder section, extending out to the sides.
  12. Near the beast mode forehead on the cannon, swing out the peg that allows Big Convoy to hold the weapon.

Robot Mode:
The original Big Convoy had some beautiful colors, with a metallic brown, a nice off-white color and some really nice red and blues. That said, it was also a very subdued color scheme. In heavy contrast, this new deco is made to pop and contrast heavily to give it the same visual appeal of the animation model.

The colors that make up this figure include: brown, dark grey, white, silver, translucent red and solid red. The white acts as a nice background canvas for the other colors. Colors like the orange, translucent red and even the dark grey really pop against it. The paint colors on the figure include grey, yellow, red, dark grey, blue and white. The layout is designed to match up with the animation model as much as possible. This includes painting the circles on his shoulders yellow and even painting two red wires on the left arm. Other painted details include the (non-working) pistons on his legs being painted yellow and four red lines on the right forearm. Overall this deco is gorgeous and achieves what it seeks out to do: bring the animation model "to life" for your collection.

One more deco note: the Matrix inside Big Convoy's chest is now vacuum metallized gold with a metallic blue orb on the inside, looking a lot more like the traditional Matrix from G1. The chamber inside is a mixture of dark grey and silver paint. Even the "grille" detail under the chest is silver.

Interestingly, this version of Big Convoy does not have the same issue with the beast mode leg popping off as Blue Big Convoy. This is great, but it is odd that two releases of the same base sculpt would not have the same problem, especially when they were released only about a month apart. On top of all that, all the joints on my copy of this figure are nice and tight.

All the missile/projectile firing mechanisms work just fine. Indeed, the ones on his legs are not quite as sensitive as some of the other versions of this sculpt I have, which is a good thing.

Final Thoughts:
Big Convoy is one of my favorite sculpts from the Beast Wars era to this day. Sure there have been a bunch of releases of this sculpt, yet it is still fun every time I review one. That said, I can imagine fans experiencing "mold fatigue" at this point if you already own a few versions of this figure. This one is really for the hardcore fans who want a more show accurate deco. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Beautiful sculpt.
  • Bright, eye catching deco.
  • Plenty of fun features.
  • Still one of the few Transformers figures that has a Matrix it can hold in both hands.

Cons:

  • The beast mode is basically a brick.