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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: World's Smallest Convoy's Trailer

Name: WST GTF-01B Convoy Trailer
Allegiance: Cybertron / Autobot
Function: Autobot Leader (half of at any rate)

Quote: "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.)

Recalling my review for WST Convoy, I was not awestruck. (Note: I neglected to mention in my Convoy review, that there are two versions. I reviewed Animι – by far the best coloured!) That said, I was never a huge fan of truck cab Prime / Convoy figures being available without a trailer. These days, Prime / Convoy seems doomed, at least 50% of the time, to be released without a trailer (as the Classics series is perpetuating big-time with two trailer-less Primes!). In regards to the WST version, there is some good news.

Convoy's trailer was available as a separate figure!

But, as with most good news, there is bad news as well...

The trailer was only available as a chase figure. (i.e. Only small quantities were ever made.)

With the blind packaging of WST figures, it was even more difficult to get hold of a trailer – and now, three years down the line, they are something akin with a preserved man in a peat bog.

Being a huge fan of wee Transformers, I set myself the goal of finding the trailer. If I was going to have one complete new incarnation of G1 Prime, there's no doubt that this is the one for my collection. And, after much active searching (for one I could afford!), I have succeeded...


Alternate Mode:

Convoy's trailer's alternate mode is, well, a trailer. In this case it measures 3 1/4” (just over 8cm) long, making it the biggest WST 'figure'.

The sculpt is beautifully detailed, matching up to the far larger G1 Convoy perfectly – but I suppose that's not too hard, as it was sparsely detailed for its size! As there is no articulated part within the trailer, there is no point in having that square hole in the top – and so there isn't one. The only other difference lies in the proportions of the raised section in the middle at the rear. It is slightly longer in relation to the length of the trailer in the WST version.

Colourwise, the trailer is again identical to the original – and it must be said that the grey plastic works far better on this scale, as the various swirls evident in the larger version have little opportunity to form obviously in such a wee piece. The lower section is navy blue, as in the original, and the blue and white stripes are printed along the side, staying true. The only negative in the appearance I can really come up with is the fact that the Autobot insignia, printed over the stripe, is discoloured slightly due to the underlying blue.

All four wheels move independently, although are tiny pieces of smooth plastic, so tend to just slide along on smooth surfaces. Also, the base mode supports on the underside are at almost exactly the same level as the wheels, so can prevent them from making contact with any surface.

You can, of course, open the back and allow Roller (yes! - a teeny weeny Roller!) to come rattling out – just as with the original!

In combination with WST Convoy, the complete rig measures 4 3/4” (12cm) in length, but is a perfect miniaturisation of the original G1 Prime / Convoy. In combination with the Anime Convoy cab (pictured) it's a superior representation of the cartoon Prime!


The socket cupola allows a huge freedom of movement between the cab and trailer. I cannot express how much fun and excitement this complete Convoy is!


Roller:

Before we head on to the base mode, let's have a quick appraisal of Roller. This guy certainly deserves his own spot in the limelight!

Measuring just 11/16” (1.5cm) long, he truly is tiny! Coloured navy blue, with black wheels (which are molded, and do not turn due to size constraints, no doubt), he is the spitting image of his larger brother! Detailing is incredible for such a tiny figure. He has the complete two rows of seats, as he does not have the option of mounting a weapon on his rear, nor does he need attachments for a launcher. Because of this, he once again is a more accurate representation of his cartoon self!


Base Mode:

(Note: You can still do the repair bay thing, but there's little point given the lack of articulated parts in the trailer.)

The trailer unfolds into the base mode (I personally would not stretch as far as the bio and say 'Autobot Headquarters', otherwise it's as if the Autobots run their entire operation out of a port cabin...). The transformation is simple, and true to the G1 version.

The result is 3” (7.5cm) wide and 4 1/4” (11cm) long (including ramp), keeping proportions with WST Convoy. Unlike the G1 version, there are no moving parts within the base, which is a bit of a pity, and probably would not have been impossible (given the amazing complexity of the transformation of WST Megatron, or the inclusion of Ravage [of sorts] with WST Soundwave). Also, there are no decals or stickers to break the monotony of the smooth inside of the trailer walls.

A final slight niggle is that the ramp is rather stiff in the final range of its movement, so is a bit tricky (or, rather, feels dangerous) to make it reach the surface.

Still, what molded detail there is superbly done, and the bronze of the canopy works very nicely indeed.

In combination with WST Convoy, the whole affair is superb! I far prefer G1 Convoy on this scale, as it seems a more appropriate level of complexity for the size – plus I just love tiny Transformers, damn it!

However, the fact of the matter is that WST Convoy is synergistic. The complete version far outweighs the sum of the individual parts. Alone, WST Convoy is nothing amazing, and, let's face it, the trailer is just plain useless! However, together they make a wonderful collector's piece, which is also fab fun to play with!

Still, I feel the likelihood of someone owning the trailer by itself is hugely remote, and if you do it should not be hard to get hold of a cab cheaply. It's those who have the opposite situation to contend with that have it hard...

The complete WST Convoy is without doubt the centrepiece of my collection.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 1 – It is dead easy – but Prime's / Convoy's trailer always was, and this should by no means be taken as a negative.
Durability: 8 – The trailer is surprisingly solid, with the plastic feeling far more sturdy than the G1 version. Lacking any pins, any part that does bizarrely snap off could be easily reattached (but I'd say you'd really have to be trying to dismantle it!). The only reason this doesn't get a '10' is the fact that Roller – wonderful as he is – could easily go missing. Still, the trailer is a convenient place to store him, and Convoy's gun!
Fun: 10 – Almost as much fun as a chainsaw. Seriously.
Price: 1 – I'm afraid here is where the crunch lies. Being a chase figure, the trailer is rare. Being three years since release, it is even more rare. Being, as it is, that Convoy alone is pretty poor and begs for completion, the price is driven ever higher... I finally got mine in a lot, and will end up breaking even after I've sold off the others. However, dividing by the number in the lot, it cost me £8.12 ($15) (including postage from the US – that's less than I paid for WST Megatron!). That is rather lucky. If you can find him, expect to pay upwards of £20 ($37). It does vary an awful lot. (But he does tend to cost less than WST Skywarp at least!)
Overall: 5 – This would be a '10' in conjunction with WST Convoy, if it were not for the rarity and resultant price. If you can afford one sometime, and are a fan of wee Transformers, you have to pick it up!

[Be warned! There is a minefield of unofficial WST trailers out there, and you are apt to pay just as much for them. If you are specifically after the original Takara release, then make sure you're confident that's what you're getting, as many unscrupulous sellers won't say their trailer isn't official!]

 
 
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