"Legends" Blue Big Convoy Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Beast Wars Neo, Leader, Legends, Maximal, TakaraTomyMall

Legends

General Information:
Release Date: February 23, 2019
Price Point: ¥8,640 (about $77.46 USD) - Takara Tomy Mall Suggested Price
Retailer: Takara Tomy Mall Exclusive
Accessories: Big Cannon, two missiles, two Mammoth Haken missiles, Energon Matrix

Product description from Takara Tomy Mall as translated via Google Translate:
What is Blue Big Convoy!?
Based on the phantom "Blue Color Big Convoy" gifts given at the time of the magazine at the time of 1990, it is a limited blue collar's big convoy changed to some special specifications.

In robot mode, the arm "Mammoth tuner" and the leg "Mammoth Harken", in the beast mode the movable nose gimmick with the head lever is alive. Big Cannon can be equipped in robot mode, mammoth tank mode can also be reproduced. The proof of the leader stored in the chest "Matrix" can be done both hands!

Profile Translation below by Doug Dlin:
Said to belong to the mysterious organization known as "The Primus Vanguard", as that group's leader, this being is a deified character of many mysteries. There are also rumors that he is an immortal who has gained the power of the Matrix, and it seems he has become a subject of research for numerous historians.

In 1998, Big Convoy was released as the leader of the Cybertron crew featured in "Beast Wars Neo". The figure was then given a mostly blue deco in 1999 as a Japanese exclusive "Lucky Draw" item. Twenty years later, Takara Tomy would wind up using that Lucky Draw inspiration for "Blue Big Convoy", released as part of the Takara Tomy Mall exclusive "LG-EX" line. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Beast Mode:
Blue Big Convoy's beast mode is unusal among Transformers figures. As a Woolly Mammoth he looks like a shaggy elephant with giant tusks. There is no doubt this mode looks fierce.

This mode is mostly metallic light blue plastic with dark blue on the tusks. His eyes are painted a darker blue and the toes each have silver on them. It is a fairly basic color scheme and it serves as a preview of what is to come in the robot mode.

The issue many fans have with this mode is that it is basically a giant brick. There are only two real points of articulation: the ears, which can move back and forth. That said, there are two "action" features: the tusks move if you pull the ears back and the tusk moves up if you pull back the lever on the top of his head. These features still work beautifully on this figure. Personally I think so long as you don't go in expecting a fully articulated mammoth you're good.

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 Blue Big Convoy to hold the weapon.

Robot Mode:
Blue Big Convoy is made up of metallic light blue, metallic dark blue, silver and translucent blue plastic in this mode. The colors are well distributed, but the light blue winds up making up most of the figure. The implication is that he is bathing in Matrix-like energy, so the blue color makes perfect sense. The choice of using metallic versions of each color really helps make the base colors on this figure pop.

The smaller details on this figure are mostly silver and blue. You'll find these colors on the legs, arms and torso. The head has silver on the crest and mouthplate. The eyes are gold, but instead of being painted a flat gold they look like they are vacuum metallized. Same with the Maximal symbol in the center of his chest. The Matrix inside the chest is vacuum metallized silver with a translucent blue core.

Overall this deco is gorgeous. For you fans who are worried about this release "devaluing" the original Lucky draw version, fear not. While this deco is largely inspired by that figure, there are two very obvious differences. First, the left arm on the Lucky Draw figure is translucent blue. This one is solid blue. Second, the pistons on is lower legs are painted silver here while the ones on the Lucky Draw figure are light blue. I am basing this off photos I found of the Lucky Draw version online here.

The tooling for this sculpt is now over twenty years old, so I expected some type of issue and indeed there was one. That said, there is only one. Most of the joints are tight and the missiles in his cannon and on the lower legs fire without a problem. The Matrix also holds nice and firm in his chest and it fits in his hands without a problem.

Unfortunately, for some reason the ball joint that is connected to the beast mode leg on the right side cannot hold on to the beast mode leg well at all. I have pressed the leg back into that ball joint repeatedly, and it pops off whenever I move it just a tiny bit. Press it in and it stays in place for display, but if you smash this figure against another and play around with it, the piece will fall off.

Final Thoughts:
I absolutely loved the original Big Convoy, and this figure is no different. Its colors may not have as much heavy contrast as the original, but the blue "Matrix" theme is beautiful in its own way. The ball joint/beast mode leg issue is unfortunate, but I am hoping it may just be my copy of the toy. This is not a cheap figure however, so you really have to be into the sculpt to spend the average of $90 USD it will likely cost. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Beautiful sculpt.
  • Gorgeous deco that pays homage to a super rare figure.
  • Plenty of fun features.
  • Still one of the few Transformers figures that has a Matrix it can hold in both hands.

Cons:

  • The issue with the beast mode leg popping off in robot mode is really annoying.
  • The beast mode is basically a brick.