Review by Optimal III
Takara has been celebrating the 20th anniversary of Beast Wars on multiple fronts. This includes Legends, their current mainline that replaced United. Some of the figures we've been getting have been brand new, re-issues, repaints, retools, and some in between. That last one's where Convobat comes in.
Optimus Primal's most recognized form is that of a gorilla, but before that toy became available and before Beast Wars debuted on TV, he was a released as a bat. Nothing came of this beyond the toy, but it was enough for Takara to give us four repaints in one box.
The back & sides show off how everything works, but the top of the box boldly promotes the Titanmaster gimmick.
Additional contents include the instruction manual and a comic book complete with English text. It's kind of confusing, but the art's nice. What's noteworthy here is that Convobat & Megalligator are clones of G1 Optimus Prime & Megatron.
So, let's start with Megalligator, a repaint of the Titanmaster Nucleon who comes with TR Galvatron. In robot mode, despite the green, he is reminiscent of the original Megatron, mainly because of his head.
In head mode, he's a dead ringer for BW Megatron's alligator toy. Just needs some fangs, and he's all set.
Next up is Ape X Arms, a repaint of the weapon/vehicle included with TR Apeface. The inspiration is Optimal Optimus, which means Takara has produced modern figures of all of Optimus Primal's Beast Wars designs. He can merge with any Titanmaster into his jet mode.
And in robot mode, any Titanmaster can ride on his back.
All the above is nice to have, but the main reason to get this set is Convobat, who's a repaint of TR Mindwipe in homage to the first Optimus Primal toy (Convobat in Japan), which transforms into a blue bat.
There's a lot of sculpted/mechanical detail everywhere. Some of it almost looks organic because of the patterns and arrangement. Only the back of the bat head looks gimpy with various hollows. And it isn't obvious which parts are hard plastic versus softer material (back wings, wing edges, bat head, swords) till you touch him.
Articulation is primarily in the wings, with three hinges each. He can also open his mouth a bit, same as the original.
Like every Titans Return figure Legends-class or bigger, Convobat has a cockpit for a Titanmaster to ride in.
It closes securely, opens easily, and firmly holds the pilot, in this case Convobat himself. He's a repaint of Infinitus, the Titanmaster paired with TR Sentinel Prime.
In head mode, he attaches to his larger body without issue. Equal coincidence & deco, Convobat looks like a modern version of BW Optimus Primal's bat figure. Transformation is a vertical-180 with the bat legs becoming robot arms and the front batwings becoming robot legs.
He looks good everywhere, but there are noticeable cavities in his forearms and lower legs. Neither are that bad though, and how his big wings become his forelegs is nifty.
Convobat has pretty good articulation for a deluxe-class TF circa 2016. It's a nice change of pace from Combiner Wars since his functionality is mostly self-serving. He's an even mix of balls, hinges, and swivels. The only disappoint is his ankles. They only move for transforming, so that plus his clown feet makes him a flatfoot.
Also, be mindful of his hips. I had them turned the wrong way at first, which makes an insurmountable A-stance. The pins should be narrow-end forward.
For weapons and like the original, he's got a pair of swords (originally made for TFP Wheeljack). They can be mounted on his arms in robot mode and wings in alt mode. It just occurred to me they could stay in his legs in robot mode too, but that would probably hinder his knees.
In the comic, Megalligator gets his hands on Skullcruncher's body, but I don't have him, so here's the next best thing.
Lastly, Ape X Arms has a gun mode. It's a bit heavy for Convobat, but he can handle it.
Convobat is a good figure through & through. And combined with the extras, he's part of a good set, no negatives to mention. But even so, I can't say he's worth the $80+ you'll pay to get him. He's an e-HOBBY release to boot, so his inevitable scarcity won't help.
I applaud Takara's efforts, but if you like bats, Mindwipe is the affordable alternative. Otherwise, this one's for Headmaster fanatics and Beast Wars fans.
|Posted 15 May, 2017 - 10:19 by Optimal III|