In recent years the quality of toys from Takara has taken a nosedive. They have now lowered themselves to the levels of quality we get from Hasbro. Congratulations, Takara, you suck. My Star Convoy was broken in the box. Now, admittedly, with any mass produced item, no matter how good the quality control, things like this will happen. However, what was broken on my Star Convoy was the gold chest shield, and that shield is so badly designed that Takara should be embarrassed. But I’m getting ahead of myself. In vehicle mode, Star Convoy is not much different from Power of the Primes Optimus Prime. There is some silver on the roof of his cab and some red on the front bottom sides of his trailer. He also has new Autobot logos on the rood of his trailer. These are tampos and not stickers. POPT Optimus Prime had awful stickers. However the sides of the trailer are stickers, and it comes with a sheet that has to be applied. They did a great job remolding Orion Pax into Optimus Prime. The new chest and head sculpt look great, and he’s perfectly painted. In robot mode Star Convoy has new legs, new cannons on his shoulders, an almost entirely new torso, and a new head sculpt. Most of this is absolutely awesome. In fact, it’s all awesome, except for the chest shield, and there are several different issues with the shield. First off, the plastic of the shield is far too thin and cheap. Mine was cracked in the box and came off all the way when I tried to straighten it (fortunately, Pulse is able to replace it even though it’s sold out in the store). For the picture I had to put it on with double sided tape. It’s very thin at it’s base which is also the connector it pivots on. The joint is very tight there, and you need to be careful that you don’t break it right off trying to rotate it. If you grab onto the shield and try to turn it it’s likely to break. You have to grab it at the base very carefully. The piece it connects to also connects to the body on a pivot. This dual joint is needed to fold the shield through the opening in his chest when transforming him. Unfortunately that second pivot, which is far too loose, is the other problem with the shield. This lets the chest shield fall forward. It doesn’t have enough tension to hold it in place properly. It just flops forward from his chest. There is a peg on the back of the shield at the top, but it’s too big to fit in the notch at the top of his windows. Not sure if that was meant to be a peg, but if it was, it doesn’t work. If that peg were the right size to fit in the notch, it would probably stay in place pretty well. They could have also addressed this by giving both pivots proper tension and not having one too loose and one two strong. But there was an even easier way to fix this. They could have just made the shield a separate piece that pegs on via the notch at the top of his windows. It’s square, so if it had a square peg it would have stayed straight, and the could have even had it peg in at the bottom too, which would have been even better. They ruined the toy with a stupid design choice that makes no sense.
Overall: Fuck you, Takara. I’ve waited eight months for this toy and it’s so incredibly disappointing. Takara owes a properly designed replacement shield and connector to every person who bought this toy. Obviously that won’t happen. Hasbro produces cheap garbage and doesn’t give a shit, why would Takara?
Thanks for reading!