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Star Convoy: The Enigma


Devilbat
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In the last few years since I've begun to collect Tramsformers as an adult seriously, I find that I'm becoming more and more interested in the Japanese-only releases. I only own a few, and the recent U.S. re-releases of G1 toys prompted my interest I guess since Takara continued the re-releases after they ended here in the states.

 

Well, my attention turned to Star Convoy lately since I've been interested in all things G1, and...it's Optimus Prime. (lol) Seriously, I've become more and more fascinated with this version. It's like a bizzare, alternate universe Prime or something. And it seems as if I had designed versions of Prime in the past as a kid that look suspiciously like this thing, but I had no clue it existed until recent years. These Japanese-only G1 releases just feel like "The Lost G1 Transformers" to me. Very mysterious and very interesting.

 

With my interest piqued recently, I began looking around online for G1 toys, and in my searches I would encounter this strange-looking Star Convoy character. I had been vaguely aware of it in the past, but my recent interest has garnered a second look at this thing. I was interested to find that it came with a Micro Master Hot Rod, another favorite G1 character of mine, and Prime himself is in scale with the Micro Masters. Also, his robot mode seems to have a distinct Japanese flair to its design. Before I analyzed this toy in detail, I only considered it an oddity since I didn't grow up with it originally or see it on the show or movie from my youth. But now I'm beginning to consider the Japanese-only G1 Transformers just as bonafide as the U.S. releases I grew up with, even moreso really since Transformers originated in Japan anyway. And here he is, in all his glory:

 

ToyRoomPics002.jpg

 

I just find this thing wildly fascinating. Here you have a mysterious G1 Prime that was only released in Japan during the original run, and he comes with a Micro Master Hot Rod. It's just fascinating to me because it's considered a G1 toy, and I have no clue about its background. How does it fit into Transformers continuity? Why did Prime change yet again from his Powermaster persona? Why does he have a new connection to Hot Rod? It's almost like being in 1985 and stepping into a time-warp into 2001 and finding the Powermaster re-issue. "Huh?! Why does Prime come with a transforming engine? He combines with his trailer? Cool!" (lol) That's the vibe I'm getting from this thing. And what makes it worse is it comes in cool, G1-esque vintage style packaging, but the text is all in Japanese, making it even more mysterious to me. If anyone could clear this up for me and provide any background info, or at least point me in the right direction for some, I'd greatly appreciate it. Heck, I'd settle for someone translating the box text for me. (lol)

Edited by Devil Bat
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Yeah I feel the same way.....Star Convoy is the shizznitt! I have been aware and researching Japan only TF's for about 6 years now. I remember when I first saw pictures of Soundblaster, Twincast, Stepper and Artfire. I almost soiled myself! Same thing with Star Convoy and others. I always wanted them, but since they were too rare and expensive I never thought I'd actually own any of them, so I never tried to buy them. Just looked at pictures on the net and tried to learn as much as I could about them. The thing that really got me excited about SC was the little Hot Rod! I thought that was the neatest thing! Then a few years ago takara began reissuing some of the Japan bots. First God Ginra. When he first came out I thought he was too expensive so I waited. Glad I did because I got him for 30.00 shipped! Best 30 bones I ever spent! I knew people who had Powermaster Prime back in the day, but I thought he was kinda cheap, not terrible but not that cool. I knew the Japanese version was different so I was excited to get him, and when I opened him I got even more excited! Its amazing what a little diecast, extra attention to detail and goodies can make to a figure. This is how Powermaster Prime should have been! The two toys are identical in shape and form, but completely diferent in content!

 

The same rush happened when I got Soundblaster, Stepper, Star Convoy and now Twincast is on the way! I think Japanese exclusives are well wortth the money to buy and make great additions to any collection! Not saying that all the toys are great, there are some duds, but people should really have a more open mind when considering these toys. Thats why I don't understand that, "If it ain't in the American cartoon it ain't cool" crap. Thats just a very ignorant way of thinking. You may not like the way the japanese handled the story, but you can still buy some of the toys to add to your other figures. If you want to buy toys that only appeared in the American cartoon thats fine, but don't say that another character is stupid because you don't know who they are or you don't understand. If its a cool toy buy it, and add it to your family of American toys. You'll be glad you did! I myself usually only buy the toys I really think look neat and don't pay too much attention to how they came off in the cartoon, though if I like both incarnations of a character that does add to the thrill!

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"Powermaster Optimus Prime" wasn't really Optimus Prime.

 

In "Master Force," he was known as "Ginrai" and "God Ginrai". He was not G1 Convoy.

 

The semi/body was little more than a mindless battle mech, which the Powermaster (Ginrai) connected to and controlled.

 

 

Star Convoy showed up in the manga later(if I recall), as the reincarnation of G1 Convoy, which technically means that SC is actually Optimus Prime.

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"Powermaster Optimus Prime" wasn't really Optimus Prime.

 

In "Master Force," he was known as "Ginrai" and "God Ginrai". He was not G1 Convoy.

 

The semi/body was little more than a mindless battle mech, which the Powermaster (Ginrai) connected to and controlled.

 

 

Star Convoy showed up in the manga later(if I recall), as the reincarnation of G1 Convoy, which technically means that SC is actually Optimus Prime.

Actually, Powermaster Prime was released in Japan as Super Ginrai(though the Japanese edition still had chrome). God Ginrai was Super Ginrai combined with the drone Godbomber.

 

Cab = Ginrai

Cab + Trailer = Super Ginrai

Cab + Trailer + Half Trailer = God Ginrai

 

Now, coincidentally enough, according to the storyline of Masterforce, the cab was intended to be the new body for Convoy(G1 Optimus Prime in Japan); however, it became a suit of armor or something (?) controlled by Ginrai(Hi-Q in America, Powermaster Prime's powermaster partner). At the end of the series, God Ginrai(the whole big suit thing) is given sentience, and becomes a character in the next Japanese series, Victory. Yeah, and you thought that Energon was a weird show. @smilepunch@

 

As for Star Convoy, according to Prime Saber's website, "Star Convoy is the return, in a new body, of Convoy (Optimus Prime), who died in the earlier Headmasters series. Originally revived as Evil Convoy in this series, he was later defeated and rebuilt by fellow Cybertrons into his Star Convoy form." This was all documented in a manga series in TV Magazine, a Japanese publication.

 

Personally, I love the majority of the Japanese only Transformers. Then again, I also love Cybertron Wreckloose. The storylines for the shows are so incredibly odd and out there, and to tell the truth, they honestly make the "dumb kids storylines" for the current AEC universe look like bestselling novels.

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ToyRoomPics002.jpg

 

(eyes glow white, takes out several knives and scissors, looking deeply at the pretty box)

I'll cut up the letters to make them look like they read something! @firedevil@ @firedevil@ @firedevil@ @firedevil@ weeee in all the evilness!

 

Anyway, I got nothing, just want to take it out of the box and play with it while I look at it. I'm so anti-misb. @smilepunch@

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Great score DB, if I had the cash I'd be picking up certain Japanese Tf's too, like Star Saber. I recently watched the first episode of Transformers Victory, and it's so goofy. It starts out with Star Saber in the transformers wild west in a shoot out. Playing something simliar to what Ennio Morricone did for the man with no name trilogy. Then he shoots some random nameless decepticons and it closes up on Star Saber, says his name in text, and switches over to other Transformers. Eventually we get some storyline going, but for the first half the show it's like the ultimate commercial, showing Tf's fighting and then pausing on them in a closeup and stating their name (in Japanese text).

 

I really want Robot Masters Star Saber now, or even a reissue of the original if they ever do it. I had a knock off of just saber (pre-armor mode, which turns him into Star Saber). And it's cool how the show is basically all micromasters, so SS is no exception, his micromaster form goes into the bigger part's chest and when pushed in correctly forms the face of the bigger Tf, then you attach the armor to make him really really cool. I recommend checking that dude out if you haven't already.

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I knew people who had Powermaster Prime back in the day, but I thought he was kinda cheap, not terrible but not that cool. I knew the Japanese version was different so I was excited to get him, and when I opened him I got even more excited! Its amazing what a little diecast, extra attention to detail and goodies can make to a figure. This is how Powermaster Prime should have been! The two toys are identical in shape and form, but completely diferent in content!

 

The same rush happened when I got Soundblaster, Stepper, Star Convoy and now Twincast is on the way! I think Japanese exclusives are well wortth the money to buy and make great additions to any collection! Not saying that all the toys are great, there are some duds, but people should really have a more open mind when considering these toys. Thats why I don't understand that, "If it ain't in the American cartoon it ain't cool" crap. Thats just a very ignorant way of thinking. You may not like the way the japanese handled the story, but you can still buy some of the toys to add to your other figures. If you want to buy toys that only appeared in the American cartoon thats fine, but don't say that another character is stupid because you don't know who they are or you don't understand. If its a cool toy buy it, and add it to your family of American toys. You'll be glad you did! I myself usually only buy the toys I really think look neat and don't pay too much attention to how they came off in the cartoon, though if I like both incarnations of a character that does add to the thrill!

 

Wow OTB; I feel like I just read one of my own posts. (lol) I was the same way when Powermaster Prime was re-released. It used to bug the heck outta me as a kid that those red fists of his stuck out like an eye-sore in his truck mode when they could have very easily just contracted back into his arms. I never understood that oversight by Hasbro. And I love how the smaller Prime is die-cast and actually has windows whereas the original American version just had stickers for windows. Like you I was so pleased with these little changes.

 

I just like the air of mystery that surrounds the Japanese toys. I mean, to ME they're mysterious since I am ignorant concerning the Japanese Transformers continuity. And most of them are of the same quality as the originals, if not better in some cases, as is the case with Powermaster Prime (or God Ginrai or whatever his real name is). (lol)

 

"Powermaster Optimus Prime" wasn't really Optimus Prime.

 

In "Master Force," he was known as "Ginrai" and "God Ginrai". He was not G1 Convoy.

 

The semi/body was little more than a mindless battle mech, which the Powermaster (Ginrai) connected to and controlled.

 

 

Star Convoy showed up in the manga later(if I recall), as the reincarnation of G1 Convoy, which technically means that SC is actually Optimus Prime.

Actually, Powermaster Prime was released in Japan as Super Ginrai(though the Japanese edition still had chrome). God Ginrai was Super Ginrai combined with the drone Godbomber.

 

Cab = Ginrai

Cab + Trailer = Super Ginrai

Cab + Trailer + Half Trailer = God Ginrai

 

Now, coincidentally enough, according to the storyline of Masterforce, the cab was intended to be the new body for Convoy(G1 Optimus Prime in Japan); however, it became a suit of armor or something (?) controlled by Ginrai(Hi-Q in America, Powermaster Prime's powermaster partner). At the end of the series, God Ginrai(the whole big suit thing) is given sentience, and becomes a character in the next Japanese series, Victory. Yeah, and you thought that Energon was a weird show. @smilepunch@

 

As for Star Convoy, according to Prime Saber's website, "Star Convoy is the return, in a new body, of Convoy (Optimus Prime), who died in the earlier Headmasters series. Originally revived as Evil Convoy in this series, he was later defeated and rebuilt by fellow Cybertrons into his Star Convoy form." This was all documented in a manga series in TV Magazine, a Japanese publication.

 

Chug, you have GOT to be KIDDING ME!! The past few days since I've had Star Convoy, I've been conjuring up all kinds of little scenarios in my imagination as to how he fit into my own personal continuity. And one scenario was that the Powermaster Prime was actually just a robot being controlled by Hi-Q!!! (lol) I kid you not! Guys, you have to believe me when I say I had no clue whatsoever about any of this. And I imagined that Star Convoy was the REAL Prime brought back from deep space by Hot Rod after he lost the Matrix to the faux Prime, hence his inclusion with Star Convoy. Heh...that is so bizzare that I basically imagined the actual continuity. I just thought it'd be a neat situation to have Prime return from the dead, then little by little, the Autobots realize something's not quite right with him. And in the end they discover that Hi-Q impersonated Prime because he strongly believed in the Autobots cause and looked up to Prime as a great, noble leader. And in some twisted way he wanted to bring him back, having the intelligence and means to do so to an extent. What a great storyline...and I didn't know it already existed! (lol) What are the odds...

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And most of them are of the same quality as the originals, if not better in some cases, as is the case with Powermaster Prime (or God Ginrai or whatever his real name is). (lol)

Let's not even get started on Fire Guts God Ginrai, Flash Lio Convoy, or my personal favorite, Black Nucleon Quest Convoy. @smilepunch@

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Great score DB, if I had the cash I'd be picking up certain Japanese Tf's too, like Star Saber. I recently watched the first episode of Transformers Victory, and it's so goofy. It starts out with Star Saber in the transformers wild west in a shoot out. Playing something simliar to what Ennio Morricone did for the man with no name trilogy. Then he shoots some random nameless decepticons and it closes up on Star Saber, says his name in text, and switches over to other Transformers. Eventually we get some storyline going, but for the first half the show it's like the ultimate commercial, showing Tf's fighting and then pausing on them in a closeup and stating their name (in Japanese text).

 

I really want Robot Masters Star Saber now, or even a reissue of the original if they ever do it. I had a knock off of just saber (pre-armor mode, which turns him into Star Saber). And it's cool how the show is basically all micromasters, so SS is no exception, his micromaster form goes into the bigger part's chest and when pushed in correctly forms the face of the bigger Tf, then you attach the armor to make him really really cool. I recommend checking that dude out if you haven't already.

 

 

Thanks leonardo! Yeah, Star Saber's another mystery to me that I've seen occaisionally. Is he also an incarnation of Prime, or am I mistaken about that? I'd like to research this stuff some more. My research has mainly been limited to just pics of the Japanese stuff.

 

Nice brick, oops, I mean pick ;)

 

(lol) Yeah, I knew he was touted as a "brick" Transformer by many. But...I'm just a sucker for anything Prime-related, except when he turns into a bat. (lol)

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Great score DB, if I had the cash I'd be picking up certain Japanese Tf's too, like Star Saber. I recently watched the first episode of Transformers Victory, and it's so goofy. It starts out with Star Saber in the transformers wild west in a shoot out. Playing something simliar to what Ennio Morricone did for the man with no name trilogy. Then he shoots some random nameless decepticons and it closes up on Star Saber, says his name in text, and switches over to other Transformers. Eventually we get some storyline going, but for the first half the show it's like the ultimate commercial, showing Tf's fighting and then pausing on them in a closeup and stating their name (in Japanese text).

 

I really want Robot Masters Star Saber now, or even a reissue of the original if they ever do it. I had a knock off of just saber (pre-armor mode, which turns him into Star Saber). And it's cool how the show is basically all micromasters, so SS is no exception, his micromaster form goes into the bigger part's chest and when pushed in correctly forms the face of the bigger Tf, then you attach the armor to make him really really cool. I recommend checking that dude out if you haven't already.

 

 

Thanks leonardo! Yeah, Star Saber's another mystery to me that I've seen occasionally. Is he also an incarnation of Prime, or am I mistaken about that? I'd like to research this stuff some more. My research has mainly been limited to just pics of the Japanese stuff.

Chug to the rescue!

 

Star Saber is not actually an incarnation of Convoy(Prime), as the title of Convoy was last used in the Japanese series Headmasters by Rodimus Convoy(Rodimus Prime in the US); however, he was still designated at Supreme Leader of the Cybertrons(or something along those lines...just add a few adjectives and you'll be set @smilepunch@). At the end of the Zone OVA, he gives the rank to Dai Atlas, who later brings Convoy back as Star Convoy in the TV Magazine manga "Battlestars/Return of Convoy".

 

Now, in regards to leonardo's post, the written text(can anyone answer if it was in kanji or katakana?) was indeed the name of said Transformer whenever they first appeared in the show. This was done in all of the Japanese shows, and even in the Japanese edition of Transformers: The Movie, known as Transformers: Matrix Forever. IIRC, Matrix Forever wasn't shown in Japan until after Transformers: Victory. ^_^

 

I've got the Robotmasters version of Victory Saber(Victory Leo and Star Saber). While neither one is really dandy or amazing, to tell the truth, I still like, if for any reason, the uniqueness factor in finally owning the Japanese edition of G1 Star Saber(kind of). I'd love to get the original versions of Dai Atlas, Star Saber, and Victory Leo, but in the meantime, my bootleg of Dai Atlas will do nicely, and I may be winning a KO of Star Saber from eBay. Woo-hoo! If you really want to enjoy Victory, I highly recommend the well done fandubs of Victory found at TF Cog.net. The Victory team has made leaps and bounds since the first episode was released about, oh, almost two years or so ago, and the little fanwanks make it worth it if you can catch them.

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Does RM star saber still have his brain master? That was probably the coolest idea that never made it to the US. I don't want to bid on any auctions you are, but I can't seem to find KO Star Sabers on eBay anymore, any help? I broke my KO saber a while ago and threw him out, but he was pretty good quality and was very accurate, so I don't mind owning a KO, especially since technology of today can make a KO seem like an official product that was released 20 years ago lol.

 

Thanks for the link, I don't normally like dubs, but I'll check it out anyway.

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Does RM star saber still have his brain master? That was probably the coolest idea that never made it to the US. I don't want to bid on any auctions you are, but I can't seem to find KO Star Sabers on eBay anymore, any help? I broke my KO saber a while ago and threw him out, but he was pretty good quality and was very accurate, so I don't mind owning a KO, especially since technology of today can make a KO seem like an official product that was released 20 years ago lol.

 

Thanks for the link, I don't normally like dubs, but I'll check it out anyway.

Wellllll.....it's kind of funny there. See, the RM Star Saber is comprised of two parts: The V-Star/main body for Star Saber's super mode and a small jet that's supposed to represent both the original brain master and Star Saber. The original Star Saber was a double brainmaster, you might say. There was the brainmaster that went into the figure, a jet, which then transformed into a chest component(hence the double brainmaster) for the V-Star, which itself transformed into the body for the super mode(i.e, what most people know of Star Saber). From what I understand, the transformation for the "RM brainmaster" is fairly close to first part of Star Saber, though the design and look for it is similar to the brainmaster. Confused yet by my description? @smilepunch@

 

As for helping with eBay, I can't really give any tips because I honestly don't have any. I just kind of get lucky. Swap in bootleg and knockoff, I suppose. And keep searching. I remember going a year without seeing anything in regards to that on eBay. Then I stumbled across it. It was pure, dumb luck.

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I've got the bulk of the Japanese G1 stuff. Some it's really cool, some of it's embarassingly bad (Grandus - Super brick)

 

You can see most of my stuff here:

http://home.comcast.net/~krakpotz/Transformers_page.html

 

I have maybe 40-50 other bots not pictured

 

Galaxy Shuttle's another cool piece, it combines with countdown the micromaster rocket

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