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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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numbat's review of: WST GTF-01 Convoy

Name: WST GTF-01 Convoy (Optimus Prime)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Leader

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."

Optimus Prime is the largest, strongest and wisest of all Autobots. Feels his role is the protection of all life, including Earth-life. Fights unceasingly to defeat the Decepticons. Splits into three autonomous modules: 1) Optimus Prime... the brain center known as the Commander; 2) Roller, the Autobot scout car... a spy who operates up to 1200 miles away; and 3) Autobot Headquarters... the combat deck equipped with a versatile mechanic/artillery robot. Injury to one module is felt by the other two. (Original US bio.)

Now, surely, we all love Convoy. He is iconic, frankly, and certainly the only major good guy character I’ve fully appreciated (and not despised) other than Roland Deschain from Stephen King’s Dark Tower epic. However, when it comes to toys, not only is the WST series ‘hit or miss’, but so are Convoys. How does the WST Convoy stand up?

Alternate Mode:
Convoy is, surprise surprise, a snub-nose cab. We all knew this. My fiancée knew this. Everyone knows that symbolic shape, even if they hate Transformers. Nice, solid, red and blue colour-scheme, with silver smokestacks, and other details. And – very nice – there’s yellow detail on the bumper. To top it all off, the tiny printed Autobot symbol on one side is brilliant. A perfect replica of G1 prime, measuring in at only 2” long. Off to a good start.

As a side point, a great bonus is that the trailer – Roller and all – is available as a chase figure. However, this review is of Convoy himself, and so it wouldn’t be appropriate for the trailer, strictly speaking. A separate review may follow if my job doesn’t proceed to swallow all of my time…

Robot Mode:
What’s there to say of the transformation? Well, you flip his legs and feet out, fold out the arms, and flip up the head. G1 to a ‘T’. Slightly better than a minibot, but not spectacular. A general issue with Convoys / Primes. They rarely seem to be blessed with a lovely Transformation (with only a couple of exceptions).

Alas, it is in the robot mode that things start to fall apart for the WST Convoy…

Now, G1 Convoy was never the greatest robot mode ever to hit Transformers, even at his release date. Unfortunately, unlike the grand majority of WST Transformers, Convoy is NOT an exact do of the original, nor do I feel he’s a decent attempt at such, given the scale.

However, first to the basics. Prime stands 2 ½” tall – which actually IS tall for a World’s Smallest. He keeps the original G1 colour scheme, but lacks a decent level of detail. The yellow on the bumper really come to the fore, mimicking his cartoon alter-ego’s waist nicely. He comes complete with a lovely replica of his iconic rifle, his eyes are blue, rather than yellow, and, um, and… well, that’s about it for trying to be nice…

To start with, I hate the white on his legs – what’s that all about? And, his gun clips onto his arm, rather than slotting into a hole in his hand. Now, many people are satisfied that scale was the problem here, yet WST Soundwave is a quarter inch smaller, and his guns have pegs.

Which kinda leads us on to the real issue. PROPORTION. It’s all to Hell. WST Convoy is exceptionally gangly in limbs, and his hands are tiny. His legs shuffle together like a super model in loose slippers, and that white does not help at all. His head is miniscule compared to other WSTs, and Transformers in general. This leaves very little detail, yet even this manages to be poor, and, honestly, wrong (considering this is meant to be a small do of the G1 original). And, finally, we have the terribly unfortunate proportions of the body… ‘Son of Fatimus’ is the first thing that comes to mind… The fact that the headlights remain on the torso certainly does not help – the entire body is totally square. Don’t let that fool you though, it protrudes like billy-oh.

Articulation is another problem. Sure the G1 original had little (and, this is again an issue with many Convoys), but this guy has even less! He only has ball joints at the elbow. That’s his articulation. And that is poor for a WST.

So…

Well, he has a Hell of a lot of short falls, and, really, his only redeeming points are his alternate mode and his appearance of a tiny – albeit disproportioned – G1 Convoy. To be honest, though, if Takara can manage perfect Smallest versions of the Seekers and Soundwave, let alone Megatron, there’s no excuse for any failings with the far simpler G1 Convoy. At least he has novelty value…

If you want a perfect smaller G1 Convoy for display, you’re best off with the Robot Masters version (although clearly not as small as WST Convoy). If you just want an excellent Convoy for display, I cannot recommend the Hybrid Style Galaxy Convoy enough. WST Convoy just doesn’t cut it.

Transformation: 2 – It’s damned easy, although the arms can be a tiny bit fiddly due to scale.
Durability: 7 – He won’t break from a fall, given his tiny size, but don’t go standing on him, and I’d worry about that gun if you have him on display in his one good mode…
Fun: 2 – He’s actually not that fun either… He’s only really got display value, and, at that, not much.
Price: 3 – He costs a fair bit considering how common he is, totally ignoring his crapness.
Overall: 3 – See, this is where the problem comes. I got him in a set with Soundwave (and others), and price-wise, he really was free. But... I would have paid £4 for him, just because he’s a tiny version of Convoy. I think the Convoy/Prime character just has this draw, and the G1 version all the more. But take it from a huge Convoy/Prime fan – this is by no means one of the best, and your collection would not suffer without, much as it pains me to admit it.
 
 
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