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RM-21 Burning Beast Convoy + DVD Takara, 2004

Burning Beast Convoy Review Capsule
Burning Beast Convoy is a yet another repaint of this new-ish mold. The third version is based on a previous repaint of a previous mold seen previously in the Japanese flick based on Beast Wars II. It features no new molding, but it does have a DVD and is a nifty new version of an older mold. Reccomended.

Introduction

The entire line of Robot Masters means repaints. If you buy a toy in this line, it has been or will be repainted. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as sometimes you can get some new versions of older, obscure repaints just like Burning Beast Convoy here.

Named Burning Beast Convoy, this particular repaint comes in a box that sports the new name, but doesn't show the new deco-- actually, if you didn't know better, odds are you'd say this was a mispackaged toy. (It isn't.)

In America, the character would be referred to as Optimus Primal. Or something lame like "Optimus Primal Spark Attack." It comes with a rocket, a launcher, and two swords.

Robot

It's an unusual color scheme for a Convoy/Optimus character, but that makes it different for once. Sure, it looks like some of the gaudy decor in some Arizona Chinese restaurants during the 1980's, but isn't that worth something?

Much like the original release, this has the typical Convoy head adapted to how it looked for Beast Convoy in his first release-- just devoid of blue. There's no Autobot/Cybertron logo, and in all honesty this doesn't look like anything that came out in the USA.

Well, it looks a little like the Universe repaint, except this is clear, has silver and gold on it, and has some (forgive the expression) eye-poppingly bright blue eyes on his head.

The swords attach, there's a rocket pack in his butt, it's basically more of the same. The new clear plastic makes it look like an all-new toy and as such, makes it distinctive. What's bad about this? Metallic paint. The gold and silver paint isn't the kind of thing that holds up to heavy play, so if you buy this, be very careful with it. Trust us. This is not a toy for your kids to play with.

Beast

It's a big red gorilla, just like you see at the zoo. You know, with a metallic foil paint pattern on its chest and bright blue eyes.

Articulation is the same as before-- hips, toes, knees, ankles (sort of), elbows, shoulders, you know the drill. He's not especially great looking in more than one pose, but there's no denying he looks pretty damned good. It's a very different kind of repaint, but if they put out Flash Lioconvoy, it's the kind of repaint you'll be glad to have.

Accessories & Gimmicks

No sound, no spring-loaded anything. What you do get, though, are the same great accessories as the normal release-- sans the little plastic "connector" piece which may just be a throwaway item from the other sets.

Swords & rocket launcher. As you can see, there's nothing new here, except for the coloring.

No longer transparent blue, the rocket launcher is now a clear red with a gold tip. The rocket, cut from the same mold, is now also transparent red. The toy has good-- but not great-- accessories. It'd have been nice for them to have included something special aside from the DVD (like with RM-10 Convoy + DVD) but the fact is the coloring here is really distinctive and reason enough to buy this.

Packaging & Tech Specs

This toy came packaged in a pretty cruddy box-- I mean, the template is good, but the toy doesn't even match the box illustrations.

You can pretty much see everything here, and what's the most apparent is that the toy doesn't match the box. Aside from the nameplate. As such, packaged collectors are in for a real dud here, but this isn't a toy that we'd advise you to keep packaged anyway.

Other Notes & Images

The obligatory group shot.

The Burning version is the only one of the three to feature no Cybertron/Autobot logo.

Fin

Why did they make this, you ask? The decision to revisit a movie tie-in isn't a new one, but it's a welcome one. The regular Burning Beast Convoy is pretty expensive and as a Japanese import from nearly 10 years ago, it isn't especially common. As such, a newer, smaller toy with a more show-accurate mold should be welcome. And it is!

As far as repaints go, there aren't many good opportunities for Convoy characters-- so we're thrilled to see them take a striking design and revisit it like this. We wouldn't say this should be the only version of this mold in your collection, but if you're in to funky repaints-- and this qualifies-- you should totally plunk down the cash for one.

Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample received from a Japanese toy dealer in January 2005 for about $20
Reviewed on March 11, 2005.

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