Galaxy Force Toy Reviews: Nitro Convoy
Release Year: February 2005
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $25 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Force Chip, Engine/Gun
Images to be Added
Function: Sonic Commander
"Racing is what gives Nitro Convoy's life meaning, and he boasts of a fleetness unmatched even on planet Speedia. Thanks to his remarkable abilities, he rules as Speedia's leader, and all its inhabitants show respect and admiration for him. However, he is not seeking the universal peace that the Planet Force will bring, but instead continues to quest after only his own speed. Yet, I believe that he is bound to join the Cybertron forces in pursuit of the fate that will steer the stars."
Rank: 10 Courage: 8 Firepower: 8 Skill: 9
*Tech Specs translated by Doug Dlin.
Traditionally, the Japanese Transformers name "Convoy" is the equivalent to "Prime" in the US. With few exceptions, the name has always applied to robots
that utilize design aspects harking back to the original Optimus Prime/Convoy from G1. This time around however, a Convoy is not some bulky, hulking figure,
he's a speedy looking race car and sleek robot in one: Nitro Convoy!
Nitro Convoy is an interesting piece of design work. Rather than use one unifying design scheme or idea, the designers went with two. On the one hand, Nitro Convoy has the expected sleek details (he is the leader on Speedia after all). His head design has a high "Optimus/Convoy" like crest on the center and circles on either side of the helmet section. Instead of the expected horns or antannae however, he has to long fin like pieces on his helmet that go fairly high up on the head. Nitro is also proof that the "Convoy" title is no longer limited to Prime/Convoy-like designs in facial structure (something it has primarily been the past ten years or so). This is a regular face with two eyes, a nose and mouth - no mouthplate. The helmet forms around the face with a chin strap, giving the effect of an exotic looking helmet.
The leg designs on Nitro Convoy are also another big "sleek" design aspect. They are very curved, smooth and sleek. Even the feet are very oval shaped compared to the normal rectangular or blocky legs non-techno-organic Transformers have. The angled design of the legs is awesome with the car wheels on the legs actually set in an angle (something which makes sense in the transformation scheme into the vehicle mode).
At the same time, this is a Convoy, so he has to project some sense of power/strength. This is primarily done on the upper body, which is much more blocky and powerful looking than the sleeker lower body and head. Indeed, the shoulders and lower arms are very rectangular, but angled details on them (a couple resembling exhaust pipes). While it is wide, the upper body has some nice sleek details. There are angled vents and lines sculpted in and the cockpit piece is on the center with triangular details sculpted on.
Nitro is a great combination of colors. Red and white are the primariy ones, with a mix of black, metallic gold and blue mixed in. The metallic colors are used for details while the red colors are used for details including stripes on the legs. The chest piece (the cockpit in vehicle mode) is translucent red.
Nitro has seventeen points of articulation. This includes five points of articulation for each arm and four on each leg. Considering the rather interesting "V" foot pieces, the articulation really allows for some fantastic poses.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapon from the hand. Flip the gun barrels in and fold the fins out.
- Fold the foot pieces in.
- Fold down the red piece in the front in between the legs.
- Swing the waist pieces out to the sides.
- Use the clips on the lower robot legs to connect to the central piece.
- Flip the black piece on the back up and clip it to the translucent red cockpit piece.
- Swing the cockpit piece forward and attach it to the front section.
- Swing the robot arms back and clip them into place.
- Attach the weapon piece to the back of the vehicle.
Someone was definitely having some fun when designing Nitro Convoy's vehicle mode. The front end and the primarily white and red color scheme is very reminscent of the Mach 5 car from Speed Racer. The front end has sleek bulges curving into a sharp point on the front, much like the Mach 5, but it is at an angle rather than pointing straight. The Mach 5 also had red and white as colors, so the colors are appropriate for such a "homage".
However, from that point things are very unique to Nitro Convoy. the middle section has a cockpit with two seats. The top of the robot head sticks out a bit in this mode, but it works well because of the angled fin look. The back is made up of the weapon, which here looks like some futuristic engine. The vent and line details on the back look like air intakes, giving this a vague aircraft type appearance. The fins on the back complete this look.
There are no new colors introduced here. However, the new parts introduced are the tires. Like all the Speedia vehicles he has translucent wheels, in this case red. The hubcaps are metallic gold.
Attach the Force Chip to the back of the rear section and the guns flip out, pointing forward. It's good that he has weapons to use in this mode. There is one missed opportunity here however. On the rear engine/weapon piece, there is a tube sticking up with an open hold. This would have been a great spot to allow an Energon weapon to attach to, but the hole is too small. Nitro Convoy can however hold Energon weapons in his hands, so go figure.
Nitro Convoy is an awesome toy. He has a good mix of tech and streamlined details. Both his vehicle and robot modes look fantastic as well. Highly recommended.