Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

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Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby megatronus » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:25 pm

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WELCOME!

It's your friendly neighborhood megatronus here, and I'm honored to bring you a momentous, subjective, and totally non-scientific Top 5 'Black Convoy' toys list!

Before we get into the nitty gritty, a few disclaimers. First, many modern 'Black Convoy' toys are overseas or convention exclusives (or both!), and I apologize if some of my selections are inaccessible as a result. Second, the brief history below represents my own limited knowledge - if I'm wrong on the facts, I welcome your corrections. Finally, as with all Top 5 lists, this list is solely representative of the author's opinions and sensibilities. I invite you to disagree with my choices and post your own personal favorites in the thread below.


BACKGROUND

Let's dive into a brief history and taxonomy of black Optimus Prime repaints. From my amateur perspective, the platonic ideal of 'Black Convoy' draws from 3 main sources:

History Lesson 1: 2001 C-307X Nucleon Quest Optimus Prime

Released as a TRU exclusive in Japan circa 2001, this redeco of Takara's 1988 Super Ginrai was later recolored into Fire Guts Super Ginrai (2002) and Commemorative Series II Powermaster Optimus Prime (2003). Like his brethren, Nucleon Quest Optimus Prime is a good guy; his tech spec states he's merely Convoy in sexy black undergarments:

Tech Spec wrote:Abilities: In order for him to extract the super-energy "Nucleon" that exists in black holes, his entire structure is now protected by a phase modulation shield. He can now carry out activity in super-gravitic environments.

Despite remaining the same Prime we all know and love, this impressive 'Black Convoy' introduces details that would become hallmarks of 'Black Convoy' toys to come, notably the red chest and chrome/silver accents.

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Nucleon Quest? Would could possibly go wrong???


History Lesson 2: 2001 Robots in Disguise Scourge

This character is a titan in the minds of many 'Black Convoy' collectors. He's not a Prime at all, but rather an entirely separate character in the vaulted Robots In Disguise cartoon of the early aughts. A protoform corrupted with Decepticon programming scanned Optimus Prime, and the no-good copy-cat doppelgänger Scourge emerged, to great fanfare.

Despite his grim if unoriginal backstory (gasp! evil clone!) and distinct character model (he's not a straight RID Optimus redeco), Scourge is notable for his use of the G2 Optimus Prime mold - a figure ahead of its time. Plus, Scourge introduces prominent teals to the 'Black Convoy' equation.

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Stand tall, not-quite-Prime. Stand tall.


History Lesson 3: 2003 Armada Nemesis Prime

Nemesis Prime marries the simple black redeco concept a la Nucleon Quest Convoy and the evil doppelgänger aspects of Scourge (in fact, his Japanese name is 'Scourge'). Throw in a Unicronian origin (this is Transformers Armada after all) and behold! You have the makings of an epic destroyer.

Unlike RID Scourge, Armada Nemesis Prime is an entity of Unicron. But, like RID Scourge, Nemesis takes form by scanning Optimus Prime, the most respected of the Transformers, and becoming his duplicate. Plus, Nemesis can reconstruct himself - he's one bad mama jama.

Nemesis blends design cues from both Nucleon Convoy AND Scourge - we now have the teals and red chest in a single glorious repaint. Well, actually, multiple repaints; the Nemesis Prime character would see other black, red, and teal incarnations within his native Unicron Trilogy continuity (*cough* Universe Nemesis Prime (2003) *cough*), grounding the Nemesis character into the fandom's collective consciousness.

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Will you be my Nemesis?


The rest... is history!

Did I say history? What I meant was complicated. The rest is complicated.

Post-Armada, a gaggle of 'Black Convoy' toys took on a muted teal and blue deco reminiscent of Scourge's infamous RID cartoon appearance. That's right, I'm looking at you, Nightwatch Optimus Prime (2008), Binaltech Nemesis Prime (2007) and SDCC Nemesis Prime (2008). Interestingly, the two Nemesis bios introduce non-Unicronian origins by way of Dr. Arkeville and Straxus, respectively, further muddling the difference between the formerly distinctive Scourge and Nemesis Prime characters.

After this blue period, out came MP1B Masterpiece Optimus Prime Black Version (2009). This figure dons the Nemesis deco, but, like Nightwatch Prime, it's not evil. It's an, err, Eldedroid. Or something.

Since MP1B, Nemesis-decoed Optimi have cropped up every now and then, including TA-01 Optimus Prime Black Ver. (2010), DOTM Jetwing Optimus Prime Black Ver. (2011), and AoE Black Knight Optimus Prime (2015). Good black Optimus Primes also occasionally assume a black, gold, and blue deco, as per ROTF Optimus Prime Black Ver. (2009) and the more recent Elite Guard Optimus Prime (from the TF:Prime first edition voyager).


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Nope. Not evil.

But, yes! Even after all that mishigas, evil 'Black Convoy' toys since 2009 have generally rolled up a Scourge-type evil clone backstory in a straight Nemesis-style repaint. There are exceptions (i.e. Lawson exclusives), but black, red, and teal dominate the 'Black Convoy' scene - be it a Nemesis, Scourge, Dark Side, or even just a boring (but beautiful), run-of-the-mill black version of Optimus Prime.


THE LIST

Finally, dear readers, we arrive at the main event - the list of Top 5 'Black Convoy' toys!

Behold! That long slog did not go to waste; it makes my explanation of inclusion criteria that much simpler. You see, for the purposes of this list, I will only consider 'Black Convoys' that check the following two boxes:

***Predominantly black, teal, and red color scheme
***Wicked... looking - that is to say, they may be Autobot aligned, but I could reasonably fudge them for inclusion on a Nemesis shelf for their sheer bad-ass-ery.

To the list!


#5: AD-31B Movie Advanced Black Knight Optimus Prime

The simplified style of Age of Extinction toys (a conversation best left for another day) gave us an underwhelming Leader Class Optimus Prime: smaller, lighter, and less complex. Takara jumped on what they clearly saw as an opportunity. They remolded Optimus's chest, gave him articulated wrists & hands, and designed a brand new head sculpt with an interchangeable face. In so doing, Takara saved this figure in the hearts and minds of many collectors.

Then, they painted him black.

Still an Autobot, sure. But now this is an Optimus worthy of "GIVE ME YOUR FACE!" Between the Takara upgrades, sharp deco, translucent red weapons, and a mean looking face, this figure quickly became one of my favorite 'Black Convoy' toys.

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#4: Universe Nemesis Prime

A lot has been written about Beast Wars Neo Big Convoy - such is the fate of kibble-tastic shell-formers. But that does not change the fact that this Big Convoy redeco is a beast! Also, he plays an important role in the fiction: Armada Nemesis Prime underwent several iterations within the Unicron Trilogy continuity, and this, boys and girls, is one of them.

Not to mention that this Nemesis Prime - one of the first - is an incredibly fun toy. Between the viking-esque horns, massive gun, and blood red matrix, this surprisingly well articulated recycle of the older Beast Wares Neo figure is the perfect vessel for a bad as bones Nemesis.

Speaking of which, he gets major points for the PG13 blood on those horns, which look evil as all heck. You don't want to be caught out alone on the icy tundra, that's for sure.

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#3: Transformers GO! Hunter Nemesis Prime

When Optimus received his life-saving upgrade at the outset of Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters, I knew we'd get a big beefy toy to match Prime's new on-screen chassis. What I didn't realize at the time was how awesome Optimus's new beefy template would make Nemesis.

In this age of 'big-bads' being physically bigger (and badder), having a brute of a Nemesis is wonderful. He looks tough, a look accentuated by his jagged chest spikes and Megatron-esque pylon shoulders. Nemesis's sword, which in his hands resembles more of a hatchet or machette, only enhances and rounds out this characterization. Then you have the great battle mask, a significant improvement over the original toy's Optimus face, which I can only describe, generously, as derpy. All together, this Nemesis just kills it, in the best way possible.

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#2: Tokyo Toy Show United Black Optimus Prime

This one's a Classic. Literally.

Coming some years off the heals of the previous reigning black Classics Prime, SDCC Nemesis Prime (see Blue Period, above), this figure updates this 'Black Convoy' with the more modern, distinctly Nemesis deco. The teals and reds pop, and the greys add some dimension to Prime's black palette.

One of the reasons I selected this figure is just how well the Classics Prime mold has held up all these years. Especially in an environment where so many current lines (Combiner Wars, Titans Return) hark back to G1, the Classics sensibility of updating characters in new ways gives this 'Black Convoy' a sense of being more a Prime look-a-like than the genuine article, which suits this sinister, Decepticon-branded evil Prime just fine on my shelf.

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#1: Tokyo Toy Show United Darkside Optimus Prime

Welcome to the dark side! For me, it was really no contest - I love this 'Black Convoy', a lovely and fantastically well done redeco of the War For Cybertron deluxe Optimus Prime figure.

The perennially-popular War For Cybertron design grants this Prime a uniquely organic look. From the panel lines on his battle mask, to the contours of his chest cavity, all the way down to his leg panels, this Prime exudes elegance. His flared out shoulders blend naturally with back wheel kibble, which fills out his form and complements his rather graceful stature. All this, combined with a sharp-as-a-knife metallic paint job, and this Darkside 'Black Convoy' packs an out-sized punch for a relatively small deluxe figure.

And yet, with all of these wonderful design cues, we still have a mean, dark, or perhaps downright evil expression. Through the prism of his organic lines, his glare screams of a singular focus and unbridled rage. Of all of the 'Black Convoys' on my list, I consider this one to be the most dangerous. #1, all the way.

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Photo Credit: ThunderCougar @ DeviantArt


Runners Up

Yes, there were several 'Black Convoy' figures that didn't make the cut - they were lean, they were mean, but each had something that made me say, 'ehhh...' They are:

-Jetwing Optimus Prime, Black Version: this mold is awesome, this figure is awesome. You know what's not awesome? His lack of battle mask. Had to deduct some badass points for that.

-RID Scourge: yes, he's a progenitor of the 'Black Convoy' genre, and he has aged well - but still, he's a tad too old school for my tastes. I know he would easily make others' lists, just not mine.

-TFCC TFSS 1.0 -OR- LG EX Scourge: the black versions of RTS Laser Prime figure are fierce, but in a scrappy way. I have a harder time finding this mold menacing, even if he checks off several boxes.

-TA01 Animated Optimus Prime, Black Version: this figure is very nearly the complete package, but his huge Autobot symbol really throws me off. His giant axe alone made this figure the hardest call.

-MP10B Black Convoy: this mold is a benchmark in design, and he even has the molded Decepticon symbol. My issue is his head sculpt; it's too neutral, too gentle. Not evil enough - my puppy dog looks meaner than MP10B.

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Don't give me that look.



THANK YOU!

That's my list! I hope you enjoyed it.

Did I miss your favorite 'Black Convoy'? Share it with us below, and stay tuned to Seibertron.com for all the latest Transformers news, and the best galleries around!
Last edited by megatronus on Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby william-james88 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:22 pm

:APPLAUSE: Awesome list megatronus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


While this may not abide by the rules, my personal favourite Black Prime redecos are:


Nemesis Hunter Prime

Universe Nemesis

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AD-31 BlackKnight Prime

The Animated Elie Gaurd Optimus

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MP 10 in Black

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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Bombilation » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:27 pm

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I absolutely adore any black Optimus that uses other colors, such as the ToysRUs Legends one that came packed with Megatronus.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby shajaki » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:48 pm

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Seriously awesome list Meggy! And I enjoyed the history lesson ;)

However, I can't believe that MY #1 & 2 didn't even make an honorable mention :(

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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:54 pm

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I wouldn't really count him as a "Black redeco" as the red takes center stage, despite the black being more prevalent in other areas.

With all the Black Convoys, I have to be kind of picky with what I want to make sure each has his own unique attributes and aren't just "evil clones for the sake of being evil clones".

Note I only have RiD Spychanger Scourge, and CR Black Convoy (I love how he's his own individual), but I still like these because they offer something different to the table, especially in fiction:

Universe 2008 SDCC Nemesis Prime
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Transformers Universe - Classics 2.0 Nemesis Prime (Black Convoy) Gallery

He may not have the total package of black, grey and teal but it still works as an evil Prime. Even better is his backstory, being created out of a hapless solider by Straxus (you can thank Dave for that), referencing a similar concept in the Marvel comics with the Megatron clone:

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This scores higher than Optimus Prime going undercover, and kind of makes him a tragic warrior.

Unite Warriors UW-EX Grand Scourge
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Transformers Unite Warriors Grand Scourge Gallery

Ok, I admit, his big sword wins me over on him. That, and the fact he combines. The gold may look like overkill, but it works in defining him. Besides, how many clones can say they started out as building kit? ;)

The third one, Universe 2003 Nemesis Prime has already been mentioned :)
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby megatronus » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:19 pm

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shajaki wrote:Seriously awesome list Meggy! And I enjoyed the history lesson ;)

However, I can't believe that MY #1 & 2 didn't even make an honorable mention :(


Glad you liked my overly verbose list :D

Evasion Prime suffers the same issue as Laser Prime, IMHO - too gangly. He's awesome tho, just not one of my faves, especially compared to the other movie Nemeses out there.
:
I almost forgot about Grand Scourge! What I really want to see is the Subscription Service Toxitron done up in a Nemesis deco - then this mold would 100% make my top 5:

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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Burn » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:48 pm

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The original Nucleon Quest Convoy will always be special to me. Sure, he's lacking the articulation of modern figures, but I found out about him when I was just getting back into collecting, so he became a grail to me, and then I got him, and he was, and still is, awesome.

Modern ones, while they look good, just don't have that special meaning to me. Plus I've grown tired of the whole "black Prime is evil" thing.

That being said ... oh Universe Nemesis Prime ... you are teh awesome.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Black Hat » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:50 pm

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What a wonderful list! I do wish Nemesis Primes weren't almost always convention exclusives or fairly old (and often not released in the UK) figures. I want a CHUG-scale Nemmy at some point, but all the appropriately sized ones (Voyager-Ultra IMO) are horrendously expensive. Though given I have no money at the moment, even if they were reissuing Universe Nemesis Prime in my local Entertainer for £23 I'd have to pass.

Black Knight Optimus Prime is definitely awesome, and what a wonderful name for a heroic black repaint! The Universe toy is gloriously badass, and were it not for A: the obscene prices he fetches (at least, in my neck of the woods) and B: the slight weirdness of the evil clone of a vehicular Optimus taking a very organic looking woolly mammoth as his altmode (alas I do not own Big Convoy, something I must rectify in the future), he'd be my "definitive" Nemesis Prime. The Beast Hunters figure is a looker too, though I wish his guns weren't so puny and that he had sliver paint instead of that awful grey plastic. "Classics" Nemesis is a classic- it's a great mold (or so I'm told, don't own it myself) and a great deco. Darkside Prime...homina homina. I just wish that mold (like so many other Deluxe OPs) was a Voyager.

I only own one Nemesis Prime- the Generations Legends Class figure. He's a really fun toy, though his "targetmaster" kinda sucks. In terms of Nemesis Primes I'd like to own, the Universe redeco of Big Convoy is high up there, along with RID Scourge if only for the vintage factor (and that sexy, sexy chrome trailer).

One mold I'd love to see get the Nemesis treatment is, bizarrely enough, the DotM MechTech Voyager. I have a real soft spot for that mold- probably because I got one off eBay for £15 (sans kneepads) and he has just the right combination of things I like for me to love him. The goofy super-robot proportions, the EXTREEEEEEEEME aesthetic with all those solar panels and rocket boosters, the ludicrously large gun...The Fireburst redeco is almost there- give him some teal and repaint the arms and chest and you have yourself a seriously evil looking 'bot.

Oh, and finally, the ultimate black repaint of an Optimus Prime (and a non-evil one at that)...I give you Lucky Draw Black Fire Convoy, AKA one of the best Optimus/Convoy molds ever in one of the best decos ever.

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A pity it's a ludicrously rare, fairly obscure Lucky Draw prize. Maybe if I win the lottery...
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:48 pm

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
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Here's another one I got my eye on:

Transformers Adventure TAV56 Nemesis Prime (mk II)
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Let me start off by saying he's the third Nemesis Prime character in the Prime continuity after the remote-controlled MECH clone from Prime and Hunter Nemesis Prime from GO!. This guy started out as a duplicate constructed by Knock Out:

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Transformers Adventures Nemesis Prime Gallery

What makes him special is that he's the first Nemesis to obtain a powered-up form (in-fiction, Universe 2003 Nemesis was reformated into an Alternity Convoy Super Black body, plus RiD Scourge got a Hero body) and a good looking one at that. I mean, look at the wing swords!
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby MGrotusque » Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:27 pm

I;m not into a black Optimus at all as something i want to purchase but all the pics posted of the black deco undeniably look fantastic. As much as i like them i don't have the urge to get a nemesis prime ever.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Optimum Supreme » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:26 pm

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I love the Bloptimuses, but only ever have managed to get ahold of a few. Both versions of RID Scourge (full size and Spychanger) and the redeco of RTS legends size OP, Motorbreath (awful name, cool little figure).

I know everyone expects TR voyager OP to be remolded to Octane, but I'd much rather he gets Scourged.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby SureShot18 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:27 pm

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While I love my Legends EX Black Convoy, and right now he is my black Prime, I would really like to own the Go! voyager. When I was in the market for a Nemmy I discovered him but he was fetching around $100 on eBay and I was not paying that much.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby william-james88 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:50 pm

SureShot18 wrote:While I love my Legends EX Black Convoy, and right now he is my black Prime, I would really like to own the Go! voyager. When I was in the market for a Nemmy I discovered him but he was fetching around $100 on eBay and I was not paying that much.


I think the price has dropped since and he could be cheaper if bought loose.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Noideaforaname » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:51 pm

I must admit a lot of these just run together for me, as Optimus Primes tend to do too. I don't think any will stand out unless they do something ridiculously amazing, like turning the smokestacks into gatling guns:
latest.jpg


Also, Scourge > Nemesis Prime
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Zeedust » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:53 pm

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JelZe GoldRabbit wrote:
Unite Warriors UW-EX Grand Scourge
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Transformers Unite Warriors Grand Scourge Gallery

Ok, I admit, his big sword wins me over on him. That, and the fact he combines. The gold may look like overkill, but it works in defining him. Besides, how many clones can say they started out as building kit? ;)


It's not just that he combines, it's also that his torso mode is gorgeous. The pale gold plastic and metallic mint green paint are really nice.
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Ultra Markus » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:13 am

Motto: "“You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” - Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight"
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how many Nemesis Primes made it to TV? i can think of 3
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby JelZe GoldRabbit » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:50 am

Motto: "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."
Weapon: Dual Bladed Sword
Ultra Markus wrote:how many Nemesis Primes made it to TV? i can think of 3


Counting any black body/clone, in chronological order:

1.) Black Lio Convoy, Beast Wars II
2.) Scourge/Black Convoy, Robots in Disguise 2001/Car Robots
3.) Nemesis Prime/Scourge, Armada/Micron Legends
4.) Nemesis Prime, Prime

An honorary mention goes to Nemesis Breaker/Dark Liger Jack, Cybertron/Galaxy Force
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Emerje » Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:32 am

Motto: "*Shrug*"
Weapon: Saw-Edged Pincer
One of my favorites that I imagine most people would never consider:

Image

Yep, Black Convoy pen. The pen is really an after through, but the bot mode is fantastic for small figure. I had this guy on my desk for a long time (along with regular Convoy, Ultra Magnus is still int he box) and would constantly find myself picking him up and messing around with him. The only thing that truly disappoints me is that they didn't stick a 5mm peg on the mold so the pen mode could double as a gun.

Another nice one is Go Prime from Transformers Go! The added white really makes him stand out compared to all of the others.

Image

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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby Nemesis Destron » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:13 am

Motto: ""So you see evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb!""
Weapon: Dual-Sonic Disrupter Gun
Image

One of the few Black Convoy's that slipped past my grips :BANG_HEAD: ...an epic looking figure...'nuff said! :VEHI:
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Re: Top 5 Black Convoy / Optimus Prime Transformers Toys

Postby megatronus » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:41 am

Motto: "I would have waited an eternity for this."
Weapon: Temperature Variant H20 Gun
Nemesis Destron wrote:Image

One of the few Black Convoy's that slipped past my grips :BANG_HEAD: ...an epic looking figure...'nuff said! :VEHI:

I think you can get him for a decent price at Hobby Jungle - maybe $140 or so? Still expensive, but better than the $200 I paid back in the day...
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