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Series: Beast Wars Japan Telemocha
Allegiance: Cybertron
Year: 2007

Prelude: The Boss Monkey is currently flexing his ape muscles on the silver screen by starring in the current “Rise of the Beasts” live-action movie, so it’s a good time to look at some of the lesser-known toys of this iconic character. In 2007 Takara in Japan released the Beast Wars Telemocha line to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series and started it off with a new Convoy (aka Optimus Primal), based on the 2004 Robotmasters figure. Is this figure worthy of being called Boss Monkey? Let’s say go!

Please note: I already reviewed a version of this mold with Robotmasters Burning Convoy back in 2012, but after more than a decade, I think a full review is warranted.

Robot Mode: Telemocha Convoy is basically a scaled-down version of the original Beast Wars Ultra-Class Optimus Primal figure. Convoy is about the size of a Deluxe-class figure, not all that tall, but broad. He retains most of the gimmicks of the original figure, too, having the two swords and the flip-out shoulder guns (without launching missiles, though). Instead of the original figure’s arm-mounted missile launcher and hidden morning star, he has the more TV-accurate blasters in both arms. He also lacks the chest-pounding gimmick of the original, but I have never met a person who really used that, so it’s not missed. Unlike the original figure, he also has sculpted jets in his backpack.

Articulation is good, though I have to say the elbow joints are a bit weird. Just a single hinge on the inside of the elbow, meaning if Convoy bends his arms, there is a gap where the outside of the elbow should be. Not a big thing, but looks a bit strange. Otherwise he can pose without problems, including laying down some cool-looking sword-fighter poses. Sadly he cannot hold both swords in one hand, due to the fact that his hands are sculpted open instead of being fists, but again, that’s just a little thing.

Convoy has the Optimus Primal look down pat, no complaints, and has the visible mouth in robot mode, too. Weird color choice, though, as he has purple lips here, but who am I to judge a man’s choice in lipstick color? Overall Convoy’s proportions are a bit on the hefty side, but it fits with the character, I think. So overall, a nice robot mode, though I am not sure who he is supposed to be in scale with here.

Alternate Mode: Of course Convoy transforms into a gorilla, was there any doubt? The transformation is basically identical with that of the original figure, only the color of the gorilla’s fur is a bit lighter, going more into a dark grey than full-on black. Much like the Ultra-Class figure, the gorilla can walk on all fours (looking down a bit) or stand up straight (looking up), your choice. The gorilla face looks very different from the original’s, though. More realistic, but somewhat stoned-looking.

Overall nothing much has really changed here except the size. A good gorilla mode, just don’t look him in the eyes too long.

Remarks: Beast Wars didn’t start in Japan until 1997, so the 10th anniversary was in 2007 over there. The Telemocha line took a lot of Beast Wars figures and gave them shinier paintjobs. The choice of figures was a bit weird here and there (Motorarm, anyone?), but we got two versions each of Convoy/Primal and Megatron. Apart from repaints of the original Ultra-Class figures, we also got repaints of the 2004 Robotmasters, like this guy here.

So, do you need this figure here? I’d say no unless you’re like me, an avid Beast Wars fanatic and completist. While the figure itself is good and actually more faithful to the TV character in terms of gimmicks than the original figure was, he is a bit on the small side and doesn’t really scale well with anyone except, perhaps, the Robotmasters Megatron figure, that was also included in the Telemocha line (and which I will review soon, too). So bottom line, a nice Convoy/Primal figure, but not really a must except for the most avid of fans.

Rating: B
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