Robot Mode: First off, Star Convoy is big. Really big. Bigger than Leader-class, actually, and well on his way to Ultimate size. And unlike his immediate predecessor Powermaster Optimus Prime, he does not combine with his trailer into this large robot, he simply is the large robot. The truck’s trailer makes up most of his body, while the tractor truck merely becomes his arms and shoulders. Did I mention he’s really, really big?
The classic Optimus Prime look is, of course, present and accounted for. A bit more streamlined than in previous versions and with that star-like ornament on his chest, but basically it’s the classic Optimus look. Not the first Optimus to feature a chest with faked chest windows, either. Naturally Optimus also has his trusty black rifle along, sufficiently resized to fit with his new giant frame.
Articulation was never much of a focus with the G1 figures, so it’s no big surprise that Star Convoy isn’t exactly a contortionist. His lower body is a complete brick. He can turn at the waist, though (a transformation requirement) and has shoulder and elbow movement. That’s pretty much it, though. Still, it does make him slightly more dynamic than Powermaster Prime, even though he can’t do the split.
As far as gimmicks go, Star Convoy can open up his chest, where his Micromaster partner (see below) can fit in and he has motorized treads on his legs (or as his legs, rather), on which he can roll forwards and backwards. So bottom line: a nice-looking figure, really big, but doesn't have that much to offer once you get past the look.
Alternate Modes: As is a requirement for just about every toy called Optimus Prime or Convoy, Star Convoy transforms into a truck. It's basically the standard red tractor with silver trailer, though the rear end of the trailer is on big tank treads instead of wheels. It also nicely conveys a sense of scale, as the tractor is small in comparison to the huge, huge trailor. Star Convoy's rifle can fit on top, as well as the smaller gun / antenna thing. The motorized treads work in this mode as well, of course, allowing the truck to drive forwards and backwards (see the video below).
The back of the trailer opens up to reveal two slots for vehicles. Micromasters can easily fit in there and Scout-sized vehicles wouldn't be a problem, either. Star Convoy's two partner vehicles can be stored here (see below). Bottom line: a very interesting truck which offers play value and looks pretty cool. Not the best Optimus-type truck ever, but cool.
Star Convoy’s second alternate mode is a base on a scale for Micromasters and in this mode he is rather similar to Powermaster Optimus Prime’s base mode. The layout is more or less the same, the only real difference being the continued presence of Convoy’s head on top of the base and the larger platform on one side, where the motorized treads are.
While the base as such is nothing special, it does feature two gimmicks related to the motorized treads. One, you can launch a Micromaster car down the ramp and have the treads deposit it further down. Second, the gun emplacement rotates. See the video below for details. All in all it’s not a bad base mode, but there have been lots better.
Partner / Add-On: Seeing as he’s basically a Micromaster Base, Star Convoy naturally has a Micromaster as a partner. It’s Hot Rod(imus), who I must say is one of the best-looking Micromasters ever. Despite being every bit as small as most of his compatriots, he looks very fine and is as articulated as any Micromaster ever was. Never was a fan of Micromasters, but Hot Rod here is one of the best. Whether being ‘downgraded’ into a Micromaster is in any way, shape, or form meant to be a punishment for daring to replace Optimus/Convoy is anyone’s guess, of course.
Additionally Star Convoy has a black, boxy support vehicle that can fit into his trailer in truck mode and can, in turn, fit Micromaster Hot Rod inside it. It's really little more than a box on wheels, but it does feature a mechanism to launch Hot Rod out its back. Nice, but not overly exciting.
Remarks: The Japanese G1 cartoon story diverged from the American one after the two-part episode “The Return of Optimus Prime”. The first of these Japan-exclusive series was “Headmasters” and pretty much right at the start Optimus Prime aka Convoy died again. Of course Optimus never stays dead for long, so in the Manga-only series “Battlestars: Return of Convoy” Convoy – you guessed it – returns. And he returns in this huge updated form with a Hot Rod(imus) Micromaster sitting in his chest. This was actually the last new Optimus Prime toy released in the original toy series, coming shortly after Actionmaster Optimus Prime.
As a toy, Star Convoy is okay. Interesting, even. But for all that he's big and has those motorized threads, he is little more than a really big Optimus Prime and somehow lacks that certain something that Powermaster Optimus Prime had. Maybe I've seen too many Optimus variants, I don't know, but while Star Convoy is certainly a nice figure and I don't regret getting him, I don't think I'll try and find room for him on my limited shelf space. Recommended to Optimus Prime fans and Japanese exclusive fanatics.
Electronic Features: Here's a brief look at what Star Convoy can do as a Powered Master: