Transformers Review – Alternity Convoy (Rewind)

Intro:
Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, welcome back to another edition of TF Review. Today, I’m going to review one of the latest offerings by Takara-Tomy – Alternity Convoy. Alternity possibly refers to their latest Transformers series, which will include a Megatron figure too. This series is sort of a branch-off of another popular line – the Binaltechs / Alternators, which had presumably ended last year.
The release of this line really caught me off-guard as there were absolutely no rumors prior to the release of its first mould. Although the main difference between the Alternity & Binaltechs are the die-casting and the scale (1:32 as opposed to 1:24), both the design quality and the transformation complexity has fortunately remained. There has been no indication whether there will ever be a Hasbro answer to Takara-Tomy’s Alternity, we’ll have to wait and see on that.
It is very unfortunate that the Alternators/ Binaltechs series have ceased, it has and will always be one of the best series to have ever been born out of the Transformers franchise, apart from the highly rated Masterpiece line. They were both a throw-back to original concept of robots in disguise (robots transforming into real cars) as opposed to unrealistic futuristic designs; and a technological leap in terms of realism and complexity. One can only hope that the new Alternity series could continue where the Binaltechs/ Alternators series left off, or if possibly, improve on the existing concept. So if you’re the powers that be in Takara-Tomy, I’m pretty sure that you want this line to have a very strong 1st showing, and to do just that, it’s only logical to design its first mould based on the most iconic character available, and there is none bigger that Optimus Prime/ Convoy. So how would the Alternity line fare in its debut, and can Convoy prove to be the worthy ambassador to Alternity? Lets find out.
Box:
Before I start off with the real review, I think it’s best that I give my two-cents worth of the box itself. I don’t normally like to talk about boxes and packaging much, but I personally think that the Alternity packaging is kinda awesome. For those collectors who like to keep their figures minted and unopened, the packaging is even suitable for display purposes. Very nice, and a commendable effort.
Alternate Mode:
Convoy (that’s Optimus Prime for those of you living outside Japan) comes in the form of a Nissan GT-R and is released in 3 different color variations: metallic silver, vibrant red and black. I ain’t a car buff, but according to my info, the silver version is actually a nod to the real thing, as the real GT-R is only available in that color (although I could’ve sworn I’ve seen a real red Nissan GT-R somewhere before). The red version is a nod to the traditional looks of the legendary Optimus Prime, and finally the limited-edition black version, which is a nod to Nemesis Prime. As mentioned earlier, this model is much smaller that you normally you’d get in the Binaltechs/ Alternators series, but the overall quality is just as good. The car itself is slick, and both the internal and external designs of the car are very detailed, on par with its predecessor. However, it does differ with the original concept in the sense that the front wheels no longer swivel in tandem, in fact, they no longer swivel at all, which in my opinion deducts the realism on the overall car model. Still, that’s only a very minor issue. The wheels roll perfectly on all four, and just as with its predecessor, they are made from high-quality rubbers. The only thing they lacked is the “Cybertronian Radial” label that you’d normally get with its other predecessors.
Robot Mode:
For an Optimus Prime figure, he's relatively tiny. His size is that of your normal deluxe figure. I guess that shouldn't come as a surprise since the vehicle mode is already so tiny. You get the feeling that the Alternators Optimus Prime would easily trample poor little Convoy. Though small in physical stature, he is far from being inferior to its Alternators counterpart, in fact, it could be said that he is a major improvement from his predecessor. He may not have the bulk, but he makes it up with sheer sleek design and details. The transformation of the feet may be a bit unconventional, but there are no such issues about the overall balance of the figure. The articulations are every bit as good as the Alternators counterpart.
Unlike Alternators/ Binaltechs however, he doesn't come with any weaponry. The engine blocks do not turn to any sort of weapons. However, he does have a unique hidden weapon, so to speak, mounted on his arms, which is also the car seat. I think it's quite a nice touch.
Overall:
I had 2 choices when I went to purchase the little: it was either the sleek silver version, which was supposed to stay true to its real car concept; or the vibrant red version, which is of course stayed true to the legendary Optimus Prime. Well, I guess it's no surprise that I opted for the latter. Convoy may be small, but he is everything Alternator should have been. I guess it could be a worthy successor to the Alternators/ Binaltechs line. It has also been announced that Megatron will be released sometime, by the end of 2009, and he is supposed to be a Nissan Fairlady. Photo release on the net seems to be very promising, but he looks a bit too indistinguishable with Convoy. Anyways, I'll be waiting for that.
Final verdict, I give Convoy 9/ 10.

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