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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Return of Convoy

Back in 1991 when Generation One was dying off Takara was trying to think of a way to bring kids back into the toys. I must assume they decided that the re-creation Convoy (Optimus Prime to those of us outside of Japan) in the form of a Micromaster base would be the best idea since they were all the rage at the time. Since in the Japanese fiction Powermaster Prime was actually a different character named Ginrai this was the first new Convoy toy since the Goodbye version back in 1986! Nothing like bringing back the most popular character from past fiction to revitalize a series, huh? On an additional note they brought Megatron back too but unfortunately there was no toy created for his new form.

I personally didn't learn about Star Convoy or the Return of Convoy toyline until I was in college and it came as a shock to me that there was another version of Optimus Prime out there that essentially turned into a small city for Micromaster figures. Since Generation One was on its last legs there weren't really many toys produced for this line and absolutely zero Destrons (or Decepticons for the non-initiated). That's right, the entire line was nothing but Autobots. I've already featured one of them here before.

So anyway, Star Convoy was re-released by Takara in 2005 and it was this version that I purchased at Botcon 2006 and retained for many years. However with my recent purging of any reissues or ko's I decided it was about time I get down to business and find the original. Thanks to the efforts of Flywheels I managed to snag one on Yahoo Japan and it arrived just a few days ago through an intermediate service known as Rinkya. Rinkya can be a great service for obtaining hard to find figures on the Japanese market as long as you don't mind paying a premium for their commission. The upside is things usually sell a lot cheaper over there than they would over here so it tends to balance out. For instance there is no way I could have purchased this Star Convoy off eBay for the same amount I paid on Yahoo Japan even factoring in commission and shipping. It can be daunting though, a couple of years ago I bought what I thought was a Defensor giftset using this method only to discover it was a KO when I actually received it. Unfortunately the translate services will only take you so far and I apparently I missed the Kanji for "remake". Or the bastard was just flat out lying. But I digress.

Star Convoy's Base mode with tiny Hot Rod standing in his guts
So I finally have an original Star Convoy with only a slight amount of yellowing that I can live with :)

The reissue is on the left. All the white was replaced with gray and the star on the chest was chromed.

The only difference on Micromaster Hot Rod was tampographed stickers versus real ones.

As an unexpected bonus this was hidden in Star Convoy's leg when I opened him. It is the transport trailer for MT-3, one of the Micromaster patrols released in the same series. Score!


  1. Nice bonus! I know this guy is a brick, but man do I ever love it. I has to be one of my favorite G1 JPN exclusives.

  2. hey, what are your thoughts on the plastic quality vs the reissue?