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Series: War for Cybertron: Siege
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Leader
Year: 2019

Prelude: As someone who considers Galaxy Convoy one of the best Transformers toys of all time, I was certainly hyped when a homage to this toy was announced for the War for Cybertron Siege line. Now I honestly did not expect this new toy to match or surpass the dazzling brilliance of Galaxy Convoy, and I was right. How close did it come to its brilliant predecessor, though? We’ll see. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Starting with the unarmored robot mode, which began life as the inner robot of Siege Ultra Magnus, two things become easily apparent: one, this Leader-Class toy is barely of Voyager-size without its armor. And two, it doesn’t really resemble the smaller robot mode of Galaxy Convoy all that much. Not really that surprising, as it was designed to be a G1-style Optimus Prime (or his white Ultra Magnus brother / clone, anyway).

Resemblance aside, the inner robot is a bit of a mixed bag. It looks good, as most variants of Optimus Prime usually do, but the proportions are a bit strange. The torso is pretty big when compared to the legs and head. Articulation is good, no complaints here. Optimus carries a silver rifle as his main weapon here, somewhat similar to that of Galaxy Convoy.

Overall the robot mode isn’t really that great, but can be improved quite a bit by putting on some parts of his supermode armor (see below), such as the shoulder pieces, the black rifles, and the big boots (see ninth picture in the gallery). The proportions are still a bit off, but looking so much better and more like an over-muscled powerhouse rather than a spindly-legged pot-belly guy. So overall: the ‘naked’ inner robot mode doesn’t look that great, with with the added armor pieces and boots I like him a lot.

Alternate Mode: Optimus transforms into the same kind of futuristic fire truck that Galaxy Convoy did. The resemblance is stronger here than in robot mode, there is little doubt it’s supposed to be the same vehicle. That said, there are some very noticeable issues with this mode. One, there are too few tires. There is a very large gap between the front tires and the beginning of the trailer. And the sculpted tires on the “wings” forming the side of the trailer are only painted on the inward-facing side, you barely notice that they’re supposed to be tires from the outside. Finally, Galaxy Convoy was able to fold out his wings in vehicle mode for a rather awkward-looking flight mode. That doesn’t work here, either.

So bottom line for the vehicle mode: a good resemblance to the original in general, but with several issues that take the fun out of things. Side note: the inner robot can, of course, transform into a tractor and you can leave the trailer aside, but then you have a severe case of visible robot fists and feet. So if you have to transform him into vehicle mode, use the trailer.

Supermode: Supermodes have been a thing in Transformers since the original Ultra Magnus toy (originally Powered Convoy), but in the Unicron Trilogy they really went wild with it. Optimus transforms his trailer into a suit of armor he can put on and thus achieves SUPPPPAAAAAMOOOOOOOOOD! Which, spoiler, is the saving grace of this figure.

This is where the resemblance to Galaxy Convoy is the strongest and the armored-up robot looks pretty great. It has the wings, the two big guns that can point up or forward under the arms, the additional rifles on the legs, and a separate head with the big head wings. Sadly it’s lacking most of the gimmicks that Galaxy Convoy had, such as the Matrix in his chest and the key-activated guns, but overall I am pretty happy with this mode. Optimus retains his full articulation and can be put into all sorts of cool battle and flight poses. His armored feet have huge heel spurs, giving him a very stable stance.

Despite being a Leader-class toy, just as Galaxy Convoy was, Optimus is a good deal smaller than the older figure, but that’s a general trend. Apart from that, the only thing I can really complain about in this mode is that both of the big guns are hollow and open on the underside, but again, that’s a general trend. So bottom line for the super mode: nicely done. Not perfect, but the best part of this figure.

Remarks: There have been precious few homages and references to the Unicron trilogy in recent years, so I am pretty happy every time one comes up. Yeah, they’re mostly repaints or retools of figures originally meant to portray G1 characters, but you take what you can get. That said, Galaxy Upgrade Optimus Prime is a bit of a letdown, I must say. Granted, he had very, very big shoes to fill, but still. The size difference alone between the two Leader-class toys is a bit of shock, and somehow the entire figure just screams half-hearted to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a decent toy and I don’t regret buying it, but it pales when compared to the original it emulates and I can’t help but think that there were a number of things that could have been improved with minimal effort, especially in vehicle mode (additional tires, even just painted ones, for starters).

So bottom line: even leaving aside the comparison to the glorious and incomparable Galaxy Convoy, this figure, while good, has quite a few problems. A good super mode alone does not make a well-rounded figure.

Rating: C+


Toy DB Link

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