Japanese Transformers Star Convoy Review
For our Transformers Celebration we’re taking a look at Japanese exclusive, Star Convoy!
In 1991 The Transformers comic in the US was ending, the US toyline had ended the previous year and the cartoon had ended years before that, in essence, Transformers were done for in the US. In Japan however, Transformers had been continuing along new storylines. One of them was titled “Return of Convoy” (In Japan, Convoy was the name for Optimus Prime) The new and improved Optimus Prime is called Star Convoy!
Here we can see the box Star Convoy originally came in. The front has a couple of windows showing the two characters inside (Star Convoy and Hot Rodimus) We also see some nicely painted artwork of Star Convoy in robot mode with a picture of the toy in Truck mode over that. The back of the box shows many of the features of the toy along with classic battle scene artwork for the whole series.
Here are the instructions showing how to transform Star Convoy & Hot Rodimus and where to place the stickers.
Here we see Star Convoy in Robot mode. Much like Powermaster Prime, Star Convoy is a brick with little movement. The waist can rorate, the elbows can bend and the shoulders can rotate.
In Truck Mode, Star Convoy is pretty futuristic looking. He kind of looks like a Semi truck hauling some space station part.
If you open the rear door in truck mode, you can see a container inside…
The container is a Micromaster Trailer. As you can see these look like cargo trucks that can carry a Micromaster Transformer in each one.
Inside the Trailer you can see a launcher panel. The front of the trailer has an orange button that will launch the Micromaster out of the trailer (The yellow buttons on top of Star Convoy in Truck mode are used to press the Trailer button when they’re loaded in Star Convoy)
The Micromaster that comes with Star Convoy is Hot Rodimus (I’m not sure why he’s called that as not all Hot Rod figures are called Hot Rodimus in Japan) The figure is a dead on likeness for the original Hot Rod figure, but in Micromaster form. All of the decos on the original are stickers, but I’ve heard the re-issue from 2005 had had the stickers replaced with paint apps.
Here’s a comparison of the Micromaster with the re-issue Hot Rod
Star Convoy can transform into a large battle base.
The main torso becomes a central command sort of area with a peg to allow any Micromaster to stand there. Unfortunately I am missing both guns from Star Convoy so I can’t show off the gun platform that can plug in here and on the next picture.
Both sides of the Star Convoy Battle Base have launcher areas for Micromasters. The other side has the Micromaster Trailers while this side has a mortorized track system with ramps that allow Micromatsers to be sent off into battle. The hole in the middle of the track system is where you could plug one of the guns into to allow it to track back and forth while the treads move.
There is a red connector piece on the side of the track system. This connector has some gears inside of it that connects to another Transformer from this series, Grandus. When connected to Star Convoy, the track system will operate Grandus’ elevator and antennas.
The track system I’ve been talking about for a couple of paragraphs is actually an updated Roller. By itself you can turn it on and Roller will run around on it’s tank treads, or when attached to Star Convoy in truck mode it can make the whole truck roll down the road. Roller also allows Star Convoy to “walk” in robot mode (Although it’s more of a gliding forward since his legs don’t move)
Roller takes 4 AA batteries to operate
This is definitely one of the more interesting G1 Optimus/Convoy figures out there. I like the design of the bot mode and the gimmicks are outstanding! As I previously said, the figure is a brick and that’s kind of sad since I like almost everything else about this toy. I would love to see a super articulated version of Star Convoy that could also transform, but I imagine the fun gimmicks would have to be scrapped to have the articulation. That said, for me, the Micromaster Hot Rodimus is the main draw here. It’s the initial reason I bought Star Convoy and one of my favorite aspects of the whole package.