Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Year Special Convoy

Box scan from Botch the Crab

I love social media.  The day after my birthday, I was tagged in a Facebook post about New Year Special Convoy.  It seemed that my local comic store had one for sale on consignment and someone I knew happened to see it and alerted me to it via Facebook.  Back in the day, this sort of thing would've never happened.

After I got the alert from Facebook, I traveled to my comic store since I had to pick up my comics for the week anyway. I really wasn't that intent on getting New Year Convoy, because I really didn't think I wanted another Optimus Prime.  However, the closer to the store I got, the more determined I was to get him!  I kept worrying that someone would swoop in and get him before I could get there.  Luckily, I live 5 minutes from the store, so it was a quick trip.  Still, the fear and nervousness were there.

As soon as I walked into FOS Comics, I noticed that one of my friends was working the counter.  If I remember correctly, the only words that came out of my mouth were "Where is he?"  Since I'm the Transformer guy in town, apparently, they knew of whom I spoke.  I was allowed to take it out of the case.  Beautiful.  I turned it over and found a ding on the back side of the box, nothing major, but it was there.  I looked at the price sticker, and it was about half of what it goes for on eBay.  Still, that ding bothered me.  I was curious as to whether or not I could haggle on the price.  I knew that the item was on consignment, but I wasn't sure how much wiggle room there was.  Turns out, there was a great deal of room to negotiate.  Awesome.  So I got a new addition to the collection for a fraction of the price it goes for.  And he was MISB!  He's not anymore, but he was at the time of purchase.

Now that the acquisition story is out of the way, let's talk about the figure itself.

It came wrapped in plastic

New Year Special Convoy was released in 2002 and was available at retail in Japan.  When I acquired this figure, I incorrectly thought that this was a JAFCON exclusive.  It turns out that the JAFCON exclusive was cast in black.

Without plastic

There have been a ton of reissues of Optimus Prime, so what makes this one so special?  Well, let's find out!

Out of box
So, the first thing you'll notice is the honking huge mousepad.  Just another reminder that this isn't a recent reissue.  When was the last time anyone used a mousepad?  You'll also notice that there's an Action Master Optimus Prime in the package and a matrix.  Apparently, this is the same matrix used in the Galvatron reissue a few years later.  Even better, this Optimus Prime comes with both the bloated and thinner versions of his rifle!  There's also a sheet of Autobot insignia stickers.

Another great thing about this Prime is that his eyes and windows are blue, harkening back to his animated self.

Blue eyes, blue chest, blue heart?

Here's the a closeup of the Original Prime so you can see what a difference the blue eyes and windows make.

I'm missing my original Prime's fists
Above, I assembled the New Year Convoy with the Takara Collection Convoy (middle), and my old original Prime that has been battle damaged thanks to TF:TM.  My original Prime has the slimmer gun, the Takara Collection reissue has the bloated gun, and the New Year Special is holding both.  I really don't have a preference for the guns.  They're both great looking guns. Below, they are in truck mode, minus the trailers.

What I loved most is the Action Master Prime that came in the set.  I've always loved the mold, and seeing it in cartoon accurate is very nice.  I know that not a lot of people like Action Masters, but the Optimus Prime one is just great looking.

As you can see, this Optimus has white smoke stacks, light blue windshields, his legs are white and his forearms are red.  His eyes are blue and the crest on top of his head is silver.  Here's a comparison shot of the new Action Master and the old one.

Standing next to each other, the differences really stand out.  While I understand the cartoon accuracy of the newer AM Prime, I wish it had the blue forearms.  Maybe I could swap them out?  Nah, that's a bad idea.

 Here's a shot of their backs.  Notice the coloring differences.  The back of the original is grey while the newer version has an all-red back.  
So that's New Year Special Convoy.  While I thought that he was just another Optimus Prime when I originally skipped out on him when he was first released, I was clearly wrong.  The tinted windows, the inclusion of both guns, and the Action Master make this the definitive Optimus Prime, in my eyes.  I really want to thank Daniel Hathcock for alerting me to this great item being at out LCS.  As a thank you, I'd like to direct you to his Kickstarter.  Also, I'd like to thank FOS Comics for being awesome.


  1. Truly one of the best re-issues of Convoy during the "re-issue hey days". Glad you got the chance to add it to your collection!

  2. Agree with Colbey that this is one of the best Prime reissues out there. I ran out and bought mine at retail the moment it was released back in the day....what would make this perfect is if it also came with the laser axe that came with TFC#00.....