Transformers Legends LG EX
Item No.: No. ??? Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:2 swords, Megaligator Headmaster, Ape X Arms, Convobat Headmaster Action Feature:Changes from Bat to Robot Retail:5,000 yen (or $65-$90 at importers) Availability: December 2016 Other: Bat Optimus Primal
Sometimes a toy comes along to show you just how big of a sucker you are. The Takara-Tomy Convobat is one such toy - not because it's bad, but because it's a) gorgeous and b) overpriced. Rarely do I like using the term "gift set" because I don't feel like I'm getting a present - but here? I kind of do. The 5,000 yen set includes a redeco of deluxe Mindwipe, a redeco of Nucleon, two swords, and a redeco of the Apeface "drone/vehicle" element. As paper goods go, you also get a sticker sheet and a comic book. I paid about $65 at an importer, and I'd say - if we're being generous - there's about $30-$35 worth of plastic and paper in here if you compare these items to similar items in the USA.
So yes, it's expensive - but you get a cool homage to the first Beast Wars 2-pack from 21 years ago. You also get a nifty little ape that looks like Optimal Optimus. I'm hesitant to say "it's totally worth it," but it's certainly neat enough that you're going to want it.
This toy is an example of how and why Titans Return action figure molds could be a gift that keeps on giving to exclusive development. The Mindwipe body has been given Sentinel Prime's head partner Infinitus, and they're all painted to match. The claw weapon and blaster are missing, but you get a pair of swords - which seems to be a fair trade-off, given what they were gunning for here. They fit in the bat wings in bat mode, they fit in the fists in robot mode, and everything is colored to look good together. You can use the included stickers to customize it, it has a pretty swell face plate, and other than the ankles being loose it's a pretty great robot mode.
Takara-Tomy did a good job evoking the original toy's colors, but I would've appreciated painted symbols somewhere. If this were a BotCon exclusive or a regular retail product, you'd be all over it. The red highlights, the orange ornamentation, and the dark grey wing lining all go above and beyond what this toy needed to deliver to be interesting. I'm impressed - the silver vents, the red trim, it's all here. Minus the gun and the claw, that is.
The big Convobat toy has 2 smaller companions. Megaligator is the Nucleon toy from Galvatron [FOTD #1,516], color-matched to fit your Skullsmasher [FOTD #1,495] toy - the greens are a nearly perfect match. The purple face looks nice, and the tiny little robot mode is about 1 1/2-inches tall with the usual articulation. The micro not-quite-Megatron has a green Megatron vibe, with a grey helmet, red eyes, and purple face. Like the similarly well-painted mini Convobat, there are more paint applications on this little robot than most - if not all - of the American Titan Master counterparts from Hasbro. You can plug Megaligator in to the Convobat body, but it's really suited to the croc body stylings of Skullsmasher/Skull/Skullcruncher/whatever.
Ape X Arms is Apeface [FOTD #1,500] in Optimal Optimus colors - but it's just the vehicle/drone, without the little robot. Tiny Convobat can plug in, though, allowing you to make the most of Ape X Arms' gorilla, jet, or weapon modes. The colors are strikingly similar to the largest toy from Beast Wars, with the vac-metal color being represented by a metallic equivalent. It's a good match. The small toy is easy to transform, ad has big red eyes, bright silver teeth, and just enough articulation to work. I think the design is fabulous for a $5 toy, but as part of a much larger set you're probably going to need to be a little stupid with your cash. It's awesome - it really, truly is a clever redeco - but it's up to you if this level of mark-up is worthwhile for a tiny gag like this.
I pre-ordered this knowing full well it was overpriced. It is. You can't deny it - you're paying too much if you bought this set. There aren't many 20th Anniversary Beast Wars items, and this one is kind of weirdly perfect - especially if you collect this stuff, you can get extra mileage out of the bonus Megatron head. If you've got some money to spend, this little set is lots of fun in that it demands you play with it - you have to interact with other toys and futz around with things to get the most out of it. Functionally it doesn't offer much special, but if you've got a few bucks to spend you certainly need more Convoy-ish Optimus-esque toys on your self.
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