Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Legends LG-41 Lio Convoy

Legends LG-41 Lio Convoy

I hadn't realised quite how many times Beast Wars II Lio Convoy has been redone: In Japan he has a new toy in Robotmasters and an Arms Micron repaint of Transformers Prime Thundertron. In the west he's been a Classics Legend, a Target Universe2 Voyager and a TFCC exclusive, repaints of Legends of Cybertron Leobreaker, Cybertron Leobreaker & Generations Thrilling 30 Orion Pax. That's a lot of toys, comparable to or even exceeding the number of updates popular characters released in the Hasbro version of Beast Wars have had. But Lio Convoy does hold a somewhat special place: he and his opposite number Beast Wars II Galvatron were the first Japanese exclusive toy moulds to be available in the internet age so knowledge of them was more widespread and the ability to obtain them was made a lot easier than earlier Japanese exclusives like Star Saber, Dai Atlas & Star Convoy. Their availability increased when they were offered for sale in the US by the first version of the Hasbro online store.

When Titans Return Alpha Trion first came out I said:

I'd be VERY surprised if Alpha Trion wasn't repainted as Lio Convoy. The Primesque Titanmaster and the Lions heads on the shoulders both suggest a repaint of this nature.
Sure enough on October 7th 2016 his existence was leaked through a an official reveal in a TakaraTomy image release.

As you'd expect almost everything on the toy is now moulded in white plastic. There are some exceptions though: the grey on beast legs, upper robot legs, & robot hands stays grey, but maybe a slightly shinier grey. The pinky red of tri cannon, loin cloth, chest & lower arms turns red. Significantly the purple of landing gear, ankles, deck plate leg hinges, waist hinges, cockpit hinge, shoulder joint, neck collar upper arms & elbows turns red: almost all these parts will be reused on the toy's remould.

Slightly surprisingly the Prime like Titanmaster from Alpha Trion *ISN'T* reused with a new face. Instead, just like with Convobat, Sentinel Prime's Titanmaster Infinitus is pressed into service. Again like Convobat he's mainly blue, but a slightly lighter more metallic blue. His chest is now red and his legs white with plenty of red paint applied to the front of the arms and legs which is probably aiming for looking like Lio Convoy's Cybertronian form seen in the first episode of Beast Wars II. Transformed into head mode it looks perfect atop the Lio Convoy robot with a silver crest & faceplate and yellow eyes. Almost all the images shown of the toy before release showed him with the robot mode's horns raised which was a little odd: I associate a horned Optimus Prime head more with Beast Wars Neo's Big Convoy than his predecessor Lio Convoy!

The head isn't the only part inherited from Sentinel Prime: Lio Convoy also has Sentinel's thinner gun without the seat, now cast in the sale blue as the head, giving him a total of three weapons now along with Alpha Trion's Tri Gun with seat and sword. The Sword is a good inclusion, as he previously used an Arms Micron sword called L.P with with version in that toy range. The sword, and the cockpit canopy in his vehicle mode, are now moulded in clear plastic. The sword now has gold edging, reinforcing the L.P. link, and a painted silver hilt. Three weapons is too much for the robot to hold at once but there's several spare 5mm ports on the side of the legs, back of the shoulders and his backside which can be used to store the spare plus the tri gun can be mounted on the back of the cockpit canopy.

Where Lio Convoy had his beast head mounted whole on his right shoulder the beast head is now split in half on both shoulders but it's still evocative of the original with some excellent red and gold paint applications. It's possible to mimic the original's mane on the sides of the arms by rotating the lower arms in 90° at the bicep albeit at the cost of the arms bending in at the elbows. The red chest has a completely different design to the original's 1984 Optimus Prime mimicking chest but the design here works well, aided by some gold paint applications and by making the clear orb in his chest that releases the horns a Maximal spark crystal.

Lion mode looks exactly as you'd expect it to: White with a gold mane. The horn on the lion's head which troubled some when the toy was Alpha Trion works so much better in white than it did in Purple.

The vehicle mode is mainly plain white but there's lots of red, gold and blue highlights which break the solid white up.

Superb repaint. While the result isn't a bang on replica of Lio Convoy's robot and beast mode, the colours are so evocative of the original that it almost doesn't matter. The replacement head and additional gun are great.

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Future Repaints

There's lots of potential repaints if we look at the other Lio Convoy toys. The original Beast Wars II Lio Convoy has two repaints: Black Lio Convoy & Flash Lio Convoy while the Target Universe2 Voyager is a repaint of Cybertron Leobreaker which was in turn repainted as the black Nemesis Breaker, the red Leo Prime and Razorclaw while the Arms Micron version was a repaint of Prime Thundertron which was in turn turned into Go Prime and Botcon Alpha Trizer, which brings us full circle to Alpha Trion!

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