Galaxy Force Toy Reviews: Flame Convoy Review
Release Year: February 2005
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $50 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Force Chip, Tail/Weapon
Batteries: Requires 3 button cell batteries, included.
Images to be Added
Function: Dark Commander
"Flame Convoy is the absolute leader of the planet Animatros, which is inhabited by animal- and monster-mode Transformers. He is more determined than anyone else to protect his world, and his presence is so overwhelming that not even Master Megatron can oppose it. The Death Flame unleashed from his three heads by his Force Chip ignition can turn everything before it to dust. Until now, he has used his power to enforce his rule, but only a very few know of the instructions hidden deep down within it."
|Strength: 10||Intelligence: 9||Speed: 8||Endurance: 10||Rank: 10||Courage: 9||Firepower: 10+||Skill: 8|
*Tech Specs translated by Doug Dlin.
Beginning with the introduction of Black Convoy in the Car Robots series, Destrons began to take on the title of "Convoy", which had previously been reserved for Cybertrons. In english terms, this was the equivalent of naming a Decepticon leader "Prime", but it has made for some interesting characters. The latest Transformer to fit this mold is Flame Convoy, ruler of the planet Animatros.
I have often believed that any "leader" Transformer needs to look regal. Their design dynamics need to shower power, authority or some variation on that theme. In Flame Convoy's case, the designers did their job. Perhaps his most striking features in this mode are the horns and spikes protruding outward on his body. On each upper arm are two long horns and two fins (the middle section is a horn and fin in one). His chest is comprised of the beast mode head, which has four horns splaying up and outward. These design elements, combined with the rounded, fluid shapes pointing outward serve to give Flame Convoy a powerful yet sleek appearance.
Small details are what makes a toy nowadays, and Flame Convoy has no lack of them. His robot head is quite intricate, featuring fantastic styleing on the crest/helmet portion all the way to the mouth, which bares two large fangs. His arms are an intricate network of small lines, vents and sharp, pointed designs. Where the arms have smaller details, the legs have larger ones such as large tubes running down the inner and outer parts of the thighs, and his sharp clawed feet look quite threatening!
Color is critical to any leader as well. Flame Convoy's colors are a perfect blend of dark and bright. He has a good amount of dark grey and silver, which was a wise choice as it offers a good contrast to the rest of him which is primarily orange shades and yellow shades. Some beautiful purple spray ops appear on the horns mounted on his arms.
Flame Convoy's weapon is a large staff (also serving as the beast mode tail). At the end is a spike, and the wider end of the weapon makes it look like he could easily use it as a club as well as a sharp weapon.
Flame Convoy comes with the Animatros Force Chip, like the one included with Saidos. However, this chip is more ornate in deco. Molded in translucent green, the central claw symbol is vacuum metallized gold and the outer teeth/claw/skin edge details are metallic gold.
Flame Convoy has sixteen points of articulation in this form. While he has no waist articulation, he has plenty of articulation points in his arms and legs. I particularly like the ability for his lower legs to rotate outward/inward. However, there is only one point of articulation I wish the designers had added in. Because of the way the arms transform into this form, in order to bend his elbow, you have to rotate his arms to the side, which leaves the fist hole pointing outward. This is fine normally, but looks funny if he is holding his weapon. If he had wrist articulation, the wrists could have rotated to match up with the elbows. This is a small thing however, and does not detract significantly from enjoyment of the toy.
Press the button on his back and Flame Convoy roars. At the same time, the translucent purple piece on his chest lights up with a red light. Insert the Force Chip into his back, and the classic Generation One transformation sound activates, and his two smaller beast mode heads swing up! I really like how he looks with the two dragon heads on his shoulders, it gives him an extra fierce appearance. Press the sound effect button with the chip inserted, and you get a laser firing sound instead of the roar.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach the weapon from Flame Convoy's hand and fold the spike in, and swing the gold/purple piece back.
- If you have them forward, swing the two dragon heads back and lock them into place.
- Swing open the grey panels on the lower arms and swing the robot fists in. This brings the beast mode claws forward. Snap the panels shut.
- Push the robot head into the slot behind it, and swing the chest piece up.
- Swivel the robot arms back so they are flat against the central body.
- Swing down the lower piece of the robot waist piece, and then swing the entire section up.
- Swing down the heel pieces on the robot feet.
- Pull the robot legs down to extend the central body.
- Move the robot legs into a crouched position for the beast mode.
- Attach the tail in the back, with the gold/purple piece facing up.
Flame Convoy's beast mode is a three headed dragon. Beast modes in general have been sparse the past few years, even with Energon's Terrorcons, we have not had a grand, new beast like this in quite some time, and it is most welcome. Flame Convoy appears to represent an all mechanical beast, but with some very organic design influences. One could argue some details are clearly organic such as horns and fins, I can go either way. However, to this old fan's eyes, what Flame Convoy appears most like is a modern day version of the types of beasts from Generation One.
Like his G1 predecessors, Flame Convoy has a beast mode that is looks like it is meant to be entirely mechanical. It does have some bulky looking parts, but the actual detail work is very organic looking. As mentioned in the robot mode review, there are lots of "beast" details, the most prominant being his horns and fins. Smaller details such as tubes and cut lines aren't unusual for any Transformer nowadays, but they are specifically arranged on this toy to look like organic details and muscles. A really nice job.
Color wise there are no surprises. He maintains the use of dark silver, orange and yellow. The nice paint gradiants continue to be used on on parts like his head and claws. The color combination works well as the brighter colors give him a feiry appearance while the darker ones firmly ground him as a mechanical being.
Flame Convoy has twenty three points of articulation in this mode, mostly concentrated in the legs. Push the button on the back and Flame Convoy emits a roar. At the same time, the eyes and the top of the head light up. Insert the Force Chip into the back slot and the two extra beast mode heads flip forward.
Flame Convoy is an awesome toy. He looks fantastic in both modes and is an imposing presence among your Galaxy Force collection. Highly recommended.