Galaxy Force Toy Reviews: Galaxy Convoy

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Galaxy Force

Transformers Galaxy Force

General Information:
Release Year: December 2004
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $65 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Force Chip, Missiles x 3, Gun, Foot Pieces/Cannons/Trailer Parts x 2, Wings/Trailer Parts x 2
Batteries: Requires 2 AAA batteries, not included.

Images:

Tech Specs:*
"I am Galaxy Convoy, Supreme Commander of the Cybertrons. By always being the first on the battlefield and fighting to the last, I give respect and dignity to the proof of my command, the Matrix. I take on the form of a firetruck to disguise myself while on Earth, but when it comes time to fight, I transform into robot mode and insert my Force Chip to unleash my ultimate attacks and sweep away the enemy. My blinding blasts carve a deep path to freedom, and I will lead the Cybertron forces into battle until the day the universe is free once again."

Strength: 10 Intelligence: 10 Speed: 9 Endurance: 10 Rank: 10 Courage: 10 Firepower: 10 Skill: 10


*Tech Specs translated by Doug Dlin.

Galaxy Convoy is the newest Transformer to take on the mantle started way back in 1984 by G1 Convoy/Optimus Prime. Utilizing new and old design elements, this is one of the more interesting Convoys to come along in a while.

Robot Mode:
Galaxy Convoy is a study in the evolution of an icon. There have now been well over fifteen years' worth of "Optimus Prime/Convoy" type toys to look at. This creates the tricky situation where the designers want to keep certain well known aspects of the character's visual appearance intact, but not completely repeat themselves in design. With this toy, the designers have done well in doing that, including offering up some wonderful design homages to previous Convoys.

Like his predecessor, Energon Optimus Prime, Galaxy Convoy is quite bulky. However, he does not suffer from the "tubby" syndrome that toy had visually. Rather, this Convoy looks bulky like a powerful war machine is expected to. His shoulders are wide, his forearms large, his central body is bulky, but not "fat" looking and his legs are wide and solid in appearance. This does not look like a robot who could easily be defeated!

Bulk however does not imply that Convoy has no details. He is actually really nicely sculpted. What's great is just how minute some of these details are. I'm particularly fond of the machine lines and circles that join the shoulder and the torso, as well as the circles, angles and inset lines in the area between the chest and the waist. Even on the sides of the waist there are tubes that could be exhaust vents or even a weapon. Let your imagination fill in the blanks there. Other parts are very well detailed too such as the legs which have lots of line detailing, intricate shapes and large details with smaller ones inside such as the knees, that appear to have some type of piston or tube inside.

Of course, more hardcore fans will get excited over the homage details on this toy, and there are plenty.

  • The robot head is an amalgam of several different Convoys/Primes. It has the typical shape of a central crest, an inset face with a mouthplate and antennae on the sides. The silver "brow" above the eyes is very reminscent of a similar detail on Star Convoy's head. Meanwhile, the mouthplate has a break in the middle with a mouth showing, mirroring the appearance of Optimus Primal's face from the Beast Wars series.
  • The lower arms each have three tubes on the sides, a detail inspired by Optimus Prime's The War Within appearance.
  • The chest panels on Galaxy Convoy are similar to those found on Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime in their angular shape, details and the fact that they do not become the front windows in vehicle mode, they are there as a "Prime/Convoy" design feature.
  • Also on the chest panels, you will find small circular details that resemble the lights running on top of a truck cab, these are reminscent of similar details on G1 Optimus Prime's chest.
  • On the upper body, the middle section has a slanted silver section with horizontal lines. This is a stylized version of the grill on the original Optimus Prime's body. Subtle, but nice.
  • In a combination of sculpted and colors working together as a visual homage, there are two white angled sections on the middle of the upper body. These are visual references to similar details on G1 Optimus Prime.

What's great about a lot of these homage details is their lack of purpose. By that I mean they are not functional parts of the vehicle mode that just happen to be part of the robot mode. Rather, they are deliberate design choices made to reflect some part of the line's history and to add to the visual appeal of the toy.

Galaxy Convoy's color scheme will hardly come as a shock to anyone. Red, metallic blue, silver and grey play the primary roles here. White, yellow and orange are used for smaller details. The colors are balanced out nicely, with the red focused on the torso and shoulders and the blue on the head, lower arms and lower legs. The other colors help break the colors up by being on the upper arms, upper legs and waist. Yellow is found on the head as well as the waist and shoulders. Metallic silver is used for smaller details on the head, knees and chest. An Autobot symbol is tampographed on either shoulder.

In this form, Galaxy Convoy has nineteen points of articulation. This includes hand articulation, and four in each leg. Most of these articulation points are ratcheted, making the joints nice and tight.

Convoy's chest panels can open up, and the silver panel in the middle of the upper body folds down, revealing a Matrix inside his chest. Having the chest panels open outwards and the additional panel is very reminscent of the design shown for Optimus Prime's chest in Transformers: The Movie. This Matrix is removable. It is silver with a metallic orange center. The design is very similar to the Matrix used in Transformers: The Movie. The handles are of a different design however. Convoy can hold the Matrix in one hand, unfortunately it isn't large enough for him to hold one handle in each hand. Still, it's a very cool accessory and nowadays, almost a must for any Convoy/Prime toy.

Speaking of a Matrix, Galaxy Convoy's Force Chip is a unique one. It is made in translucent blue (the same as his chest windows) with an Autobot symbol sculpted in the center. The outer edges of the Chip are handles painted gold - just like a Matrix! This is a wonderful way to create a Force Chip, kudos to the designers.

The other parts of the toy can be utilized while Galaxy Convoy is in this form. Make sure the two blue parts with the cannons on them are connected, and then you attach them to the clips on the red parts with the wings. Point the four cannons forward and swing the wings out to the sides. Attach Convoy's weapon to the end of the cannon the right side. Each cannon can be moved side to side, and the two larger cannons can move up and down. Press the button on the black button on Convoy's gun and the translucent blue missile fires. Attach the Force Chip to the back of the right side cannon and the two missile launchers in it swing down and can be fired independently. Insert the Force Chip into the other cannon and the ends flip open revealing more detail inside.

Several sound effects come into play with this cannon as well. Without the Force Chip attached, you can press the button on the cannon which lights up the red LED at the end of the cannon, and activates a firing sound. Insert the Force Chip, and upper and lower armor at the end of the cannon flip open, activating a mechanical sound at the same time. Now press the button and it makes a different mechanical sound, akin to something moving and then crashing to the ground. Hold the button down and an electronic noise repeats until you let go, once you do the "crashing" noise happens again.

Transformation to Super Robot Mode:

  1. Separate the blue pieces with the cannons on them from the parts with the wings, then from each other.
  2. Swing the blue pieces on the back of Convoy's legs down and forward, push the black robot foot into the groove in front of it.
  3. Attach each blue piece onto the back of Convoy's legs, then swing the cannons forward.
  4. Swivel the black antennae on each side of the robot head out.
  5. Push down the lever on the back of the head to flip up the mouthplate cover up.
  6. Swing the sides of the wing pieces out, then rotate the wings so the wheels point up.
  7. Lift up the black shoulder straps, then slide the section onto his back, and swing the black straps into place.
  8. The leg cannons can be swing down for an "inactive" position. The large cannons can be swung behind the wings and point upwards.

Super Robot Mode:
Since the days of Ginrai, Convoy/Prime themed toys have had the ability to enhance their basic modes with super modes, and Galaxy Convoy is no exception. Convoy gains a major weaponry upgrade in this form and extra armor to boot.

There is one "homage" design detail here that I didn't even notice until staring at the toy for a bit. On the end of each wing is a silver part that looks like a booster for flight (and that probably is what it is meant to be). The design of this tube has rows of small circles, looking a lot like a smokestack, very similar to those on G1 Optimus Prime. A nice, subtle but cool detail.

Quite a bit of extra detail is revealed in this form. The wing pieces have some great mechanical details on them, emphasized by metallic silver paint. The extra lega attachment pieces have amazing tech detail including tubes, panels, hydraulics and wires. I wish some extra silver had been used on these pieces to bring out the details a bit more.

It was a really nice touch to have the robot head change along with the rest of the form without having to be replaced by another head. he angled antennae out to the sides are reminscent of Big Convoy's head design. While having the open mouth in the smaller robot mode was a nice homage to Optimus Primal, it is cool that there is an "option" to give him a more traditional Convoy/Prime mouthplate.

This form retains the articulation of the smaller robot form, it is nice to see that no articulation had to be sacrificed. The cannons under his arms retain the functionality from the battle emplacement form.

The super mode really does the job, it looks like Convoy has a significant power and armor upgrade. However, the wings help add some sleekness to the toy, keeping it from looking too bulky and plodding.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Separate all armor pieces from the super robot mode.
  2. Straighten out the super robot mode feet so they point down.
  3. Attach the two legs together.
  4. Flip up the waist panel.
  5. Push down the shoulder armor pieces.
  6. Swing the torso section up.
  7. If the antennae are swing outwards, swing them in.
  8. Using the black lever on the back of the torso, push the robot head down.
  9. Swing each arm forward and position the lower arms so the three silver tubes face out to the sides.
  10. Connect the halves of the front of the vehicle mode together.
  11. Swing the chest panel windows out to the sides.
  12. Connect the two blue/cannon pieces together, and swing the cannons so they face forward.
  13. Swing the wings on the rear section of the vehicle mode to the sides.
  14. Attach the blue/cannon pieces to the wing section.
  15. Snap the cab section of the truck to the back section.

Vehicle Mode:
Galaxy Convoy is a futuristic firetruck in vehicle mode. However, instead of just being a pure rescue vehicle, Galaxy Convoy seems to be more of an offensive vehicle with rescue capabilities. He has two main cannons with plenty of offensive firepower. You can even use the smaller cannons inside by turning them out to the sides. Aside from the sirens, the only other indication of "rescue" is the ladder sculpted details on the sides of the left side cannon.

Just as the design of the robot mode involves a lot of design influences from previous incarnations of the Convoy/Prime character, as does the vehicle mode.

  • The front end of the vehicle is a highly stylized cab, very reminscent of Star Convoy's vehicle mode front end, but more complex and detailed. Having the robot fists as the front grille and the angled nature of the windows all hint at a Star Convoy-like influence.
  • The firetruck motif is reminiscent of Robots in Disguise, Optimus Prime.
  • Classic G1 Optimus Prime design elements still work their way in including lights running along the top of the cab and the white stripes between the front windows and the lower part of the cab.

The wing/rear section of the vehicle mode has a lot of sculpted detail. On the wing portion are fantastic details including vents, "hinges" for the panels on the wings, vents and cut lines. The rear section has huge silver details with tubing and circlular details.

Most of the parts here are seen in the robot mode, but a few details are more obvious. The ladder section is outlined in white, with dark gold. The tire hubcaps are gold and the circle/tube details on the rear section are metallic silver. The sirens are in translucent blue, with two smaller vertical sirens in yellow in front of those. Overall, a very nice
color scheme.

The main cannons and wings can be folded out into the side for an aerial mode, something that is used in the animation as well. A flying firetruck is rather
novel and adds play factor to the vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
Galaxy Convoy is easily one of the nicest Convoys to come out in years. He has a great design all his own that incorporates a huge amount of homages to past Convoys/Primes.
Highly recommended.