"Timelines" Lio Convoy Toy Review
Release Date: May 2015
Price Point: Free incentive figure for TFCC Membership
Retailer: Transformers Collector's Club Exclusive
Accessories: Axe, Rifle
Every year the Transformers Collector's Club offers a free incentive figure for joining the club. In 2015, this "give away" figure was Lio Convoy. Based on the leader of the Cybertrons from "Beast Wars II" (aka "Beast Wars the Second"), this represents the character in a "pre" (or perhaps post) "Beast Wars" form. Using the "Generations" Orion pax figure, this version of the character represents him as a robot that transforms into a truck. Check out my review of Orion Pax for details on the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Lio Convoy is packaged in soft foam inside a generic cardboard box. The box is sealed with round labels that have the name "Lio Convoy" on them. The tech specs and instructions are in a plastic bag under the foam. Lio Convoy is packaged in vehicle mode with his weapons attached inside the foam. It's solid packaging and mine came in good shape.
Lio Convoy transformed into a techno-organic lion in the "Beast Wars II" series. He was part of a series of "Convoy" (aka Prime) themed characters in that show, and it's not hard to imagine more than a few of them probably transformed into vehicles. In this case Lio Convoy transforms into a scifi looking long nose truck. While this form originally belonged to Orion Pax, through coincidence there are some design features that work nicely to evoke Lio Convoy's "Beast Wars" connection. The front end is curved and looks almost like the front snout of an animal. The windshield can be perceived as "eyes" and the four panels that make up the back of the truck could be analogous to the parts of the mane on the original Lio Convoy, whose mane split into several "blades" for one of its action features. Sure none of this was intentional, but it's pretty cool when details just happen to work out like this. In terms of sculpt, there were no modifications made to the tooling for this mode.
The colors are where all the changes come into play with this figure. Most of the vehicle is now white plastic. Grey is used in the front and back. The windows are translucent red while the weapons and wheels are black plastic. The blade of the axe weapon is cast in the same red as the windows. The white, grey, black and red are all base colors of the original Lio Convoy, though that figure had solid red instead of translucent red. Evoking the original Lio Convoy even more is the metallic gold paint used on the back of the cabin section and the four plates on the back section. It's also used on the mechanical details on the sides of the vehicle. You'll also find the gold on the sides of the wheels, offering some nice contrast against the black plastic but also bringing out some of the sculpted details. The front has some black paint with red on the grille under it. The four headlights and the four lights on the top of the cabin section all have blue paint on them. The windshield has a Maximal symbol with a circle around it on the driver's side of the vehicle. This takes the place of any symbol on the piece behind the windshield.
One of the things I look for in these exclusives are more paint details than you would get in the mass release version of the sculpt. Lio Convoy does not disappoint. The gold paint on the back of the cabin section and the four panels in the back are all additional decos as compared to the Orion Pax figure. He also has two spots of blue on the hood that were also unpainted on Orion Pax. I will also say the metallic gold used is gorgeous and looks great against the white plastic. The colors totally evoke Lio Convoy even though it's a vehicle mode and not a beast mode.
The 5mm ports for the weapons on the sides hold Lio Convoy's weapons nice and tight. The wheels roll nicely as well. Functionally speaking I have no issues with the vehicle mode.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Swing the middle section of the vehicle's front end up.
- Swing out each half of the vehicle's panels that include the front wheel wells.
- Pull the rear section up.
- Push the two front wheels out to the side.
- Swing the windshield section up. The back panels that move with it will form the robot arms.
- Push the wheels to the back now.
- Swing the robot arms out and in, connecting the groove at the shoulder section to the tabs sticking out the sides of the chest section.
- Push the panel on the top of the middle section to reveal the robot head.
- Rotate each forearm around then swing out each fist.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Push in the panels from the side of the vehicle mode against the lower legs.
- Split the legs in the middle.
- Swing each foot down and rotate it around so the foot is pointing forward.
- Each weapon can fit in one of Lio Convoy's hands.
The robot mode is where the retooled portion of this figure makes its appearance: the head sculpt. Orion Pax's head has been completely replaced with a new sculpt. This is very much an "Optimus Prime" inspired head design with antennae on the sides, a crest in the center, a mouthplate with a "chin" piece and thin eyes. There are several layers of details between the outer "antennae" and the central crest. It's a great design. I did find the edges were a tad less sharp than I'd like. It's not bad, but it feels like if the sharpness of the sculpt was just dialed up ten percent it'd be perfect.
This mode is where the deco for Lio Convoy really comes together. If you put this figure side by side with "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy you'll see an amazing number of similarities between the two in terms of deco. Let's go top down:
- The head is painted blue with a silver mouthplate and crest, yellow eyes and silver antennae on the sides. All these colors match up with "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy.
- The Maximal symbol on his chest is located on the same side as the one on "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy. Even the circle around the symbol is a callback to "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy.
- Right under the chest is a section painted red with silver on top. This is a direct reference to the mid-body area on "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy which had a red background and silver lines on top.
- The shoulders have metallic gold on them, evoking the gold lion mane and tail on the shoulders of "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy.
- The forearms are painted red and the fists are grey - both colors carried over from "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy.
- The waist section has yellow and blue details. While "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy shares these colors, the waist on that figure is grey as opposed to the black color used on this figure.
- The lower legs have several grey panels with red on the knee armor and small details near the ankles - all carry over details from "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy.
- The feet have gold on the edges, evoking the gold claws on "Beast Wars II" Lio Convoy.
The deco is very strong on this figure and it's a wonderful set of callbacks to the first Lio Convoy team. The figure looks awesome and I'm very impressed by the deco.
All the joints on this figure are in good shape. They're not super tight (then again my Orion Pax isn't super tight either). The weapons fit in his fists perfectly and I can pose him without a problem (note: none of my photos required any kind of extra support).
Lio Convoy is a fantastic "club freebie" figure. He pays great homage to the original Lio Convoy and I think the deco is spot on. Aside from wishing the head was a bit more well defined I have no other issues with the figure.