Cliffbee.com: Robotmasters LioConvoy Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: LioConvoy
Series: Robot Masters
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Cybertron Supreme Commander
Alternate Mode: Lion



LION MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 15cm Width: 5cm

   A white lion with a gold mane and tail, LioConvoy has gold painted claws, a black nose and black irises. The gold paint on his claws doesn't quite match the gold plastic of his mane and tail but it's close. There are some outbreaks of red just behind the sides of his mane and on the rear ankles (the backwards "knee" joint on cats is actually the ankle) and I believe these are also present on the original BWII toy (which I don't own). The red parts are robot mode kibble, and along with some fairly obvious robot mode joints and seams really hurt the look of this lion mode.

   The mane is a mess of pieces, and looks rather disjointed, but the hips are worse with the robot hips clearly visible. The body is longer than it should be for a lion, the bodyshape is closer to that of a panther (mane aside, obviously). The tail is moulded into shape, and is bent down towards the bushy tip. You can attach four of his five guns to the sides of the mane, although a white lion with gold guns is a little strange.

   There are some good aspects here. The mane and tail are well sculpted while the rest of his body is covered in fur sculpting. The lower jaw opens to reveal a red tongue and moulded teeth while the upper jaw (well, the face) can slide up which reveals the upper teeth and hides the irises. The hindlegs are very poseable thanks to their doubling as the robot legs. The front legs are hinged at the shoulders and are more or less static, but at least there's some poseability here. Underneath the frontlegs LioConvoy has Wolverine style gold claws which pop out on springs, giving him a slashing attack.

   From what I can gather, LioConvoy's shortcomings here are all carried over from the BWII toy. The sculpt is quite nice, the slashing claws are nifty and the mouth is well done, but there's just too much kibble and too many obvious seams to call this a good beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A pretty complex transformation at deluxe size, since this is a scaled down ultra, so I'll summarise. The main unfolds to become his right shoulder, the back opens up to reveal his head and the belly rotates down to become his torso. The hindlegs follow the belly and become the robot legs while the arms fold out from within the mane, leaving the front paws to hang from his wrists.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 11cm

   Now mainly red and white, LioConvoy looks lie the typical Japanese BW era shellformer - the right shoulder is a lion's head and mane with the left is the rump complete with dangly tail. His head is metallic blue with the standard "Convoy" (Optimus Prime) look while his shoulderblades, thighs and feet are white. His fists, shins and groin are dark grey while the chest, knees and arms are red. The red is flat on the regular and metallic on the DVD version - I have the latter. The colours here are pretty good although the big clump of gold on his right shoulder makes things awfully uneven.

   It's obvious the effort has gone into this mode, with the lion mode getting the raw deal. The chest itself features a Maximal symbol on the left pectoral panel, it's on a panel that flips open to reveal a matrix compartment. The stomach has a robotic six-pack and the detail on other robotic parts such as the outsides of his shins, head and groin is high standard.

   LioConvoy's articulation is pretty good - the shoulders, elbows, hips, neck and ankles are all ball jointed while the waist rotates and the knees are double hinged with rotators above them. The mane can get in the way of the right arm at times, but the offending parts can be moved out of the way for the most part. The end result is a very poseable deluxe. Adding to this is the five-part gun, which connects together to form a big gold twin-barrelled firearm. The mane panels can flip out to form a sort of mane-slashing weapon on his shoulder, and while it's unimpressive the idea is nice - I believe this works much better on the original. The slashing claws can again be used here, since the forelegs can be swung forward and stick out from underneath his wrists. There's an Autobot symbol (yes Autobot, not Maximal) underneath the top panel of the mane.

   This is LioConvoy's better mode by a long long way. The detail is great, the poseability good and the play value is more than I'd really ask of a deluxe. I have a feeling this wouldn't be quite so impressive on an ultra, but at this size I'm impressed.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he was sold either with or without a DVD, which is region 2 encoded (for the Japanese market he was sold in). The regular version has flat red paint and the DVD version metallic red.

OVERALL

   A great robot mode and a really crap beast mode rolled into one. On the one hand the robot mode is almost worth the price on it's own but on the other the lion mode has so many shortcomings you're almost buying an Actionmaster - that's how unrewarding the alt mode is. Still, at least it looks like a lion, which is more than I can say for BM Snarl. Whether or not you you should get this toy depends entirely on what you think of the robot mode - 6/10

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