Cliffbee.com: Powered Covoy Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Ultra Magnus (limited Diaclone colours "Powered Convoy" reissue)
Series: Convention exclusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: City Commander
Alternate Mode: Car Carrier

   Note: While this toy is sold in an Ultra Magnus box, it's effectively a reissue of the Powered Convoy toy from Diaclone - Ultra Magnus's precursor. There were some mould changes for Ultra Magnus which this toy retains, and this toy lacks the pilot or "Powered Buggy" accessory, but for ease of differentiation, I'm calling this figure Powered Convoy.



TRUCK MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 30cm Width: 10cm

   A silver and royal blue car carrier, Powered Convoy's colours aren't quite a straight swap compared to Ultra Magnus. The lower tray of the car carrier is silver while the support struts are blue and the top tray is black and red. The cab is blue with transparent brown windows. The trailer is mainly hollow, and the black rear door can fold down to act as a ramp. Powered Convoy has ten black tyres with chrome hubcaps and transparent plastic windows in the cabin. This is a good colour scheme - nicer than that of Ultra Magnus to be honest - although it's edgier and not as heroic as the colours Magnus ended up wearing. The cabin itself looks a lot better than the bleached out white cabin of Ultra Magnus, and the different shade of blue gives this toy a different feel. The fueltanks and exhaust pipes are chrome silver and there are big Autobot symbol stickers on either side of the trailer.

   The play value is pretty good for a mould of this age, and really good for a Diaclone toy. The ramps fold down, as mentioned, and most of the Diaclone cars can roll in and stow inside his trailer. There's room for two, if you like you can stack two more on the roof although they wont be stable. There are white clips below the back end of the roof, if you unclip them you can fold the roof down and drive Deep Cover (or whoever) onto his roof. If you want to stick to a Diaclone colour theme, you have the choice of Deep Cover, Road Rage, Tigertrack, Clampdown and Crosscut (if you're lucky enough to have four of those limited edition toys, of course).

   All ten wheels roll and the hitch swivels. There are two missile launchers at the front of the trailer, which sit over the cabin. The launchers work a lot better than those on US versions of this mould, since they're not limited by US safety laws. They are fairly hard to fire but at least they work (and look a lot better than Hasbro's reissue launchers).

   All in all this is a good car carrier, the coolest part is that he can actually carry four Autobots. The colours work and he looks good overall. The play value is excellent for a Diaclone vehicle mode, and the colours are a lot nicer than those of Ultra Magnus - particularly on the cab itself.

TRANSFORMATION TO SMALL ROBOT MODE

   Detach the trailer and set aside. Swing the rear of the rig down and the fold the feet down, stand Powered Convoy up. Grab the headlights and swing them out to form the forearms, them fold out the rear of the cabin out to form the shoulders. There's a panel at the top, flip it over to reveal the head. Attach the fists into the holes in the headlights. You can actually store the fists in his chest cavity, the Diaclone pilot's cabin can open and the two seats are just the right size for the fists.



SMALL ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 9.5cm

   A royal blue, black and silver robot that looks more like Optimus Prime than Ultra Magnus, since it actually has colour. I won't go into too much detail (see the Prime review for more), but the upper body is blue while the head, boots and fists are black. The chromed elements are still chromed, his crest and mouthplate are silver and the eyes yellow. It's a poseable robot, and has the same fists as Ultra Magnus, meaning Powered Convoy can hold his black handgun without any trouble - in this mode he's effectively holding it upside down (using an alternate handle).

TRANSFORMATION TO LARGE ROBOT MODE

   The smaller robot forms the core of this mode - start with the cabin and fold down it's legs. You'll have to transform the arms so you can get the head out, and then transform the arms back. Split the roof of the and fold the halves down to ether side to form his arms. Retract the roof support clips and rotate the rear section of the trailer through 90 to form his feet. Stand the headless robot up and remove the white hitch from underneath, then attach it to form his waist. Slide the forearms up, so that they're flush with the elbows, which will reveal posts onto which you can attach the hands. Slide the arms up through the shoulders so he has shoulder stacks, detach the missile launchers and attach them onto the sides of his shoulders. Attach the chestplate, clip the cab into the back and fit his head over the small head.

LARGE ROBOT MODE
Height: 25cm Width: 19cm

   The colour swaps are easier to see here. The royal blue replaces the mid blue Magnus had on his shoulderplates, chestplate and boots, but the blue on Magnus's arms and head is now a brick red. The red torso and thighs (which were red) are now silver, while the white has been replaced with black on his groinplate, shinplates, shoulder pylons, elbows and fists. The face and antennae are silver while the missile launchers on his shoulders are black with silver missiles. The colour scheme is quiet striking, and while I wouldn't say it's better than that of Ultra Magnus, it's just as strong, if not quite as heroic looking.

   While Powered Convoy doesn't really look all that noble, the boxy look and big shoulder stacks give him a powerful, immovable look, similar to Magnus. The boots are a single piece and are quite solid, helping with the whole unmovable look. Curiously, the rear wheels of the truck are under his feet and there's an extra plastic wheel under there also, so far from being immovable, Powered Convoy is actually on wheels, and you can roll him!

   There is a distinct gap between his legs, although behind the shins we see that the heels are a solid piece, so the end result is distinct legs that are actually one piece. The arms are actually longer than they should be, they come down to his ankles - so I strongly recommend bending his elbows. While human arms come down to mid-thigh, most Transformer arms only reach the groin or top of the thighs.

   The articulation is actually good for such a boxy toy - they shoulders rotate, the elbows bend and just above the hinges are swivels. The wrists can rotate, the missile launchers on his shoulders can rotate, so while you can't fire the missiles, you can aim them. The solid piece that is his legs doesn't move, but then I'm happy with the arm poseability. He's a statue, but a statue that has about as much articulation as is possible.

   Considering this is an amalgamation of both trailer and cabin, it's a good robot mode with a unified colour scheme. The colours work well, and while the colour map differences don't make huge difference, the overall visual impact of this colour set is great. Being able to circumvent US safety laws means this guy has decent launchers, which adds to the play value of a toy that makes an excellent display piece.

VARIATIONS

   This guy is a limited, Japanese only release. I've already covered the history of this figure, but I should note that Powered Convoy is essentially a repaint of the _better_ version of Ultra Magnus (die cast metal, rubber tyres, painted faces, clear plastic windows), rather than a reissue of the Diaclone Powered Convoy toy.

OVERALL

   While this is a fairly rare and expensive variant, it's one with a lot of history. These colours actually appeared in early promo material for Transformers: The Movie, as well as on one of the flagship Diaclone toys. The mould is a good one, but other than the improved performance of the launchers, Powered Convoy won't offer a lot more than Ultra Magnus in that department, and most fans will (quite rightly) want to get Ultra Magnus anyway. The colour scheme is actually better than that of Ultra Magnus, so if you have the money and inclination, this is a toy I recommend - 8.5/10

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