Sunday, August 10, 2014


The Gobot toyline was based on figures produced by Popy of Japan (later Bandai), named Machine Robo. In 1983, Tonka decided to import the line into America after realizing Hasbro was doing the same with Takara's Diaclone and Microman's Micro Change lines, which became Transformers after crossing the Pacific.
Although they were often considered a poorer cousin to Transformers as the design and transformation were usually pretty lame, these little robots hold a special place in my childhood.

Always on the lookout for Gobots, these are some of the Gobots I have in my collection.
They are mixture of Tonka and Bandai's versions. Those with packaging are the Bandai's MR version while the loose ones are Tonka's version.

MR 22: New Shinkansen Robo

Popy had already issued a bullet train inspired Machine Robo figure in 1982, with Shinkansen Robo.
In 1983, the series under Banda, a second bullet train was released under the new name New Shinkansen Robo (how imaginative). It was the 22nd figure in the series.

It never made the Gobots line under Tonka as bullet trains were not well known in the West.

MR 10: Fire Robo or Pumper (Tonka)

This is one of the earlier Gobots, the 10th figure from the series.
Pumper alternative mode is a fire engine.
Pumper has a very small accessory which is his handgun.
In his alternative mode, the handgun is attached to the ladder as a water hose and in robot mode it is his handgun.
So technically, Pumper's weapon is a water gun...hmmmmm
Due to its size, it is usually lost and rare.

MR 18: Trailer Robo or Road Ranger (Tonka)

A common Gobots however it has a nice color scheme of blue and red which makes it more attractive.
In alternative mode, it is a truck with trailer. Some of the smaller Gobots can sit nicely on the back so it is quite cool.
Think poor cousin of Optimus Prime.
In robot mode, its bulky appearance does not make it as attractive but heck it has the 80s feel!

MR 25: Eagle Robo or Leader 1 (Tonka)

One of the more famous and recognizable Gobots, the leader of the Guardian (the good guys), it transforms into an F-15 Eagle.

MR 02: Battle Robo or Tank (Tonka)

One of the lamest Gobots but I love it.
This is one Gobot I remembered having as a child.
A cheaper alternative my parents gave me when I wanted a transformers.

It transforms into some futuristic looking tank by just going into a fetus position (haha).
There is no attempt to hide the arms as they just hang out at the side.

In robot mode, it is hard to dislike Tank. He looks cool and strong.

MR 05: Steam Robo or Loco (Tonka)

Loco is a perfect example of a simple transformation that works.
By swinging in and locking his legs to the chest and pushing the arms in, you get a nice looking train.

Overall, Loco looks good both in alternative and robot mode.

MR 01: Bike Robo or CY-Kill (Tonka)

Probably the most popular Gobot and the more pricey one with all the 3 accessories.
He even turned up in a few cameo in some Transformers comics.
In his alternative mode, the motorcycle design looks nice.

He looks even cooler in robot mode, with the tires attached to his shoulder.
However I just can't get out of my head that the top of his head is actually the head light.
Imagine when CY-Kill gets an idea, the top of his head will light up!

Overall, these are figures from my childhood and they bring back good memories.
I will continue to source for more Gobots to increase my collection.

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