Transformers Car Robots Black Convoy Toy Review

in 2000, Action Figure Review, Car Robots, Destronger, Generation Two

Car Robots

Black Convoy is an interesting addition to the Car Robots roster of characters. The most interesting aspect of this character is that he is a repaint of a prior Optimus Prime toy: "Laser Optimus Prime". Not only has this toy been repainted, but the character is a Destronger!

Laser Optimus Prime was one of the last Transformers released before the line was retooled as Beast Wars. This was one of the larger versions of Optimus Prime, choc full of weaponry, posability and even electronic lights. For this release of the toy, all the electronic lights were removed and those parts that could light up were replaced with translucent pink plastic, a sharp contrast to the primarily black color scheme of Black Convoy.

Vehicle Mode:

In vehicle mode, Black Convoy is a large oil tanker truck. With the trailer and cab straight, this truck measures roughly fifteen inches/thirty eight centimeters long. The vehicle mode is striking not only in its size, but colors. Most of the vehicle is black, but the cab has metallic blue lines detailing the edges. The cab's windows and headlights are translucent pink. For those curious as to why there is a button on the top of the cab, this would have activated the headlights had the lighting mechanism not been removed. Vacume metallized silver is used for the wheel hubcaps, front grille and the bumper. \The smokestacks are silver.

The trailer section has black coloring as well, but the vacume metallized silver is the most overwhelming color. Rather than looking tacky, it actually looks nice, adding a sharp contrast to the dark, black coloring of the rest of the toy.

There is a wonderful array of detail on this toy. On the top of the cab are three top lights (non functional) and two details that are meant to be the horns of the truck. The stepping platform to get to the driver's seat has the appopriate grid pattern for the passenger's traction and underneath that is a small drum, presumably holding fuel. The trailer also has nice detailing in the form of mechanical looking tubes running along the sides, as well as a sticker on the rear that says "Black Convoy" and a license plate number of "D-12", Black Convoy's number designation.

The vehicle mode rolls along nicely on ten wheels and the cab can move from side to side freely. In addition to his travelling abilities, Black Convoy also has offensive capability in this mode. The rectangular section on the top of the trailer is actually a disc launcher! The discs all have the Generation 2 Autobot symbol molded into them, most likely explaining why Black Convoy uses an upside down version of this symbol as his own. Simply rotate the rear circle and the discs fire out fairly far (about three feet). The toy includes six discs, so you can keep turning the rear circle and you can launch the discs one after \another.

Black Convoy's vehicle mode is great. It has a cool color scheme, great
detail and a neat action feature.

Transformation to Robot Mode (Cab):

Begin by separating the cab rom the rest of the vehicle. Fold down the ends of the section that connects the cab to the trailer. Pull that section back and stand the cab up. Swing out the sides of the cab and then split the front section of the cab in half so they form the robot mode's shoulders. Flip down the black piece at the center of the robot torso and flip the robot head out, then close the black piece. Place the translucent pink sword in one hand and the double barrelled gun in the other, and Black Convoy is ready to do battle in robot mode.

Robot Mode:

Black Convoy's robot mode is nicely colored. Although a lot of black still shows, dark grey can also be seen on his torso, shoulders, arms and waist. Decorating almost every part of his body (including his head) are metallic blue lines and details, offering a nice contrast of light and dark colors. On either arm near the upper arm are stickers showing the upside down Generation 2 Autobot symbol. Whereas Laser Optimus Prime had an actual light that lit up his sword/gun (via light piping in the fist to his weapons), Black Convoy has to settle with translucent pink plastic for the sword and translucent plastic on the gun.

As a robot, Black Convoy can use three of the weapons he came with. He can hold the sword, the dual barrelled gun and the missile launcher. Black Convoy has twelve points of articulation, something that was fairly uncommon at the time. Black Convoy manages to look both sleek and tough all at the same time, making this one cool robot mode.

Transformation to Base Mode (Trailer):

The key to the transformation of the trailer is the black, oval shaped piece at the front of the trailer. Swing this piece down and the rest of the major parts of the base unfold. The sides of the truck fold out to the sides and the underside of the trailer stays on the ground. Now for the little steps:

  • Fold out the front rectangular piece to reveal the air cannon that you attach the large, red tipped missiles to.
  • Attach the ripple missile firing gun to the small ball joint on the left side of the base.
  • Swing the disc launcher up so it looks like it is resting on the edge of the right side of the base.
  • The dual barrelled gun can fit on the top of the grey tower.

With all that done, the transformation of the trailer to the base mode is complete.

Base Mode:

The base mode was originally intended for use with smaller figures. During the \time the original Laser Optimus Prime was released, so were the "Gobots", a small group of Transformers who would later be repainted and reused in Car Robots as the Spychangers.

The base mode has the same colors as Black Convoy himself. The central tower is dull silver/grey. Although a bit odd looking, this base has some cool features:

  • The disc launcher can be used in this mode to fend off enemies.
  • The missile launcher defends the other side of the base by pressing the buttons on it and firing off volleys of missiles.
  • The center cannon launches an air pressure missile. The success rate of this missile is hit or miss however. I have not been able to get it to fly more than a few inches without falling.
  • The vacuum metallized parts on the left and right sides have the capacity to hold the extra missiles that Black Convoy comes with. The smaller missiles for the ripple missile launcher fit on the left whereas the air missiles fit on the right.

Regarding the aforementioned compatability with the Go-bots/Spychangers, just take a look at the middle section coming out of the main tower and the platform at the end. Both are perfect for small sized vehicles.

Black Convoy is a toy that offers up a lot of play value. True it would have been better to keep the electronics in, but this is still a cool toy if you can get it at a reasonable price. Anywhere over $100 and you may as well buy the original Laser Optimus Prime. B+