Monday, January 2, 2006

Pepsi + Transformers: Pepsi Convoy!

01.02.2006 – There have been several iterations of Optimus Prime (Known in Japan as ‘Convoy’), but there’s one version that is not part of fiction which is being brought back to be reintroduced in this era. This is one of those licensed collaboration with Pepsi Co. in the US that is getting a reissue.

But this time Takara is making Optimus Prime not only have the Pepsi colors they also made an actual trailer to hold either a 500ml drink or two cans of soda just to give you an idea how immensely popular the Autobot Leader as ‘Pepsi Convoy’ and this not even released by Hasbro for the US market.

Dubbed in Japan as ‘Pepsi Convoy’ was released during the last quarter of 2005, but there’s no indication that this is a limited run. The reissues of Generation One toys is slowly making it to collective conscious recently with Galvatron being released in his original cartoon colors based from his appearance in Transformers: The Movie that was shown almost 20 years ago.

But ‘Pepsi Convoy’ is not entirely existed in fiction given that Pepsi and Hasbro has a licensing tie-up back in the day to release a regular G1 Optimus Prime with his original trailer with Pepsi logos and decals just like this modern version would include. The history and partnership of two brands was also indicated in the blue packaging depicting a modern take of ‘Pepsi Convoy’ including a new trailer.

The Choice of the Autobot Generation

Pepsi Convoy is based on the Generation One tractor trailer that was originally produced by Taka for their Diaclone line prior to Hasbro and Marvel to collaborating in bringing ‘Transformers’ to the US. But the difference is the color scheme based on Pepsi and brand new trailer.

The trailer can hold a 500ml Pepsi bottle but the one in the packaging is the one released in Japan as depicted in the window box. Besides its standard use it can hold two 350ml cans and also several bottle caps as Japan is popular in producing collectible bottle caps that have random characters molded on top.

What makes the trailer unique is that in can also keep Pepsi Convoy’s CO2 Gun and removable fists underneath the trailer, which is different from the time the original G1 Convoy couldn’t even have to keep from losing his weapon.

Generation Next

There’s not much difference on the ‘Pepsi Convoy’ and the regular Optimus Prime but you can say that the mold use for this is different from the actual vintage that was released more than twenty years ago. But you can really see the difference when they made ‘Pepsi Convoy’ more related to the soda company’s colors.

The trailer has nothing to offer but to be the soda bottle carrier known as the ‘Bottle Station’ where ‘Pepsi Convoy’ keeps his weapon, the CO2 Gun and also where the removable fists can be stored when in vehicle mode. Other than a good transport for Hello Kitty and friends that’s about how the play value can be summarized.

Something for Everyone

Overall design of the trailer is what makes this modern version of ‘Pepsi Convoy’ looks new to the eyes of a Transformers collector that will add him to the ever growing iterations based from the most iconic Autobot Leader in the Transformers Universe not that you need the actual bottle from Japan to look authentic.

It might be in Hasbro’s future to bring this version to the US market, but for now Japan’s Takara is way ahead in making this one of the unique Transformers related products out there that only the rising sun could ever have thought of this idea even though the copyright on the trailer only have Hasbro as an acknowledgement.

“Pepsi Convoy” is collaboration with Pepsi and the Transformers brand manufactured by Takara in Japan. This was acquired through Great Toys Online in the Philippines one of the local importers selling Japanese collectibles at great price!

4.5 Out of 5 Robot Points.

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