GoBots Toy Review: Crasher

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Well, I didn’t get a chance to pick up what I wanted to. For some reason I was tired all week and one night I didn’t sleep well. We’ll see what happens in the next week or two but for now I said I would review something so review something I shall. I’ve noticed that there are really long stretches between reviews of my GoBots (while my Transformers get reviewed in batches) and that I haven’t reviewed any of the bad guy GoBots (also I’ve only reviewed two GoBots) so this time I broke out Crasher, one of Cy-Kill’s top agents.

The backstory of the GoBots is that they are humans turned into robots to save themselves from a major catastrophe or in the original promo booklet just to replace “worn out parts of their body” but I like the cartoon version better. The cartoon, Challenge Of The GoBots, took the opportunity to add female characters to the heroes, which as a race of former humans made sense whatever your opinion of Transformers having genders are. Since Crasher wasn’t in the promo booklet there was no assigned gender so she became a she. Others would appear in the pilot miniseries like Pathfinder, and would later include more on both sides, but that may not have been the intention for the original Machine Robo figure or what Tonka was thinking, since this was a toyline for boys. So give Hanna-Barbera credit for that.

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GoBot Report: Scooter

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Whatever you may think of the voice Frank Welker gave him (I wouldn’t have minded a better one myself) Scooter was my favorite GoBot for the same reason Bumblebee was my favorite Autobot. He was unsure of himself, and a bit more on the…”cowardly” is a bit strong because he stood up when needed to, in the same way that Shaggy on Scooby-Doo avoids trouble but still stands by his friends and (forgotten by writers) does find clues to the mystery.) In Scooter’s case, he is also a tech wizard and his holograms allow him to sneak around and even impersonate Cy-Kill on occasion.

So I was so happy when I obtained his toy. I’m pretty sure this is one I got back in the day, and not one I purchased second hand like the Road Ranger i reviewed awhile back. Like Bumblebee and VW Beetles, Scooter got me interested in motorscooters, and there is no equivalent of Herbie The Love Bug to seal the deal. Like the Beetle I will probably never get to own one, either. But I do have the toy. How does that work?

Scooter vehicle

Not the coolest scooter, but the coolest Scooter.

In vehicle mode, Scooter is a scooter. Duh. I have complained about the naming style Tonka used, which is my only issue with the line as a whole. I’ve lost the sticker in the middle but the headlight sticker is still mostly intact. Scooter is primarily red plastic, with black for the visible wheel and seat. I don’t know many vehicle terms so I don’t know what those things near the wheel are called, but they’re grey.

Scooter does a good job hiding his robot head…contrast to the show, where the character modelers decided to have his face show up, but they also had Cy-Kill look up, while none of the other GoBots, including the other four main characters, showed their head in vehicle form. I never understood that, although my cousin had a red push scooter similar to this scooter where the torn-off sticker glue formed a face. Weird. You can push the feet up to match the cartoon but it looks like his robot feet, and I wonder if the character modelers didn’t completely transform the toy when creating a model sheet for it. The front part of the scooter can be pushed forward to keep the head from moving, but that means the arms, which are the steering pieces, fall out. And since the head only moves when you pick up the toy I think the better trade-off is to push it back until the arms block the transformation and hold in place.

"Take this Renegade...oh right, I don't have blasters because of my hologram projector.

“Take this Renegade…oh right, I don’t have blasters because of my hologram projector.

In robot form the eyes are painted yellow…and that’s it. The cartoon put more colors into the whatever they are surrounding his face, which I prefer when I color the character. (I once colored another fan’s piece that way, while stuck with the toy for everything else.) I remember the pins in his arms would work their way out if used too much but easily pushed back in and will otherwise stay put.

Articulation is minimal. The knees bend but they can’t hold a pose and it’s only due to the mechanism that allows the feet to become a seat. (Rhyme unintentional.) The arms move but either to design or age they’re very floppy (which is why the chest piece that forms the front of the scooter has to be pushed back to lock them in place) so they don’t hold a pose. The head can look down, again due to transformation, and that’s it.

Decision: Stays

A no-brainer really. Scooter is a neat toy on his own despite minor flaws, but it’s the character he represents that not only keeps him in my collection but a place on top of my computer (since there’s only one Scooter toy unless I came across his Machine Robo counterpart so there’s no equivalent to the Bumblebee Shelf). I’d recommend him but not at the $100+ I saw him go for packaged on eBay. Maybe I’m just not collector enough or I’m quite happy with the Scooter I’ve got. Closer to $20 loose and for the time period and the fact that he was one of the six main GoBots (from the show, he was missing from the illustrated booklet) that makes a little more sense.

GoBot Report: Road Ranger

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First off, in case you’re wondering why there was no review last week I had some medical issues to deal with. I’m better now and back to business.

image source: Machine Robo wiki

I have a section of the Toy Review category for Transformers and GoBots. While I have reviewed Transformers, I haven’t reviewed any GoBots. It’s time to change that.

GoBots get a raw deal when it comes to transforming robot toys. The only ones worse are the ones you’ve never heard of like Super Defender or Convertors or something. Tonka and Hasbro both went to Japan, were intrigued by transforming robot toys, and brought them back to the US with a different storyline. Tonka just took most of theirs from the “Machine Robo” line while Hasbro used a few different lines. Yet there are some Transformers fans (I’ve never taken a scientific survey so I have no actual numbers, but they’re a very loud group) who hate GoBots, treating them as second rate compared to their Cybertronian counterparts. But I don’t care, I love them!

In the picture above is Road Ranger. He had few appearances in the show. The producers of Challenge Of The GoBots at Hanna-Barbera chose six main characters, three from each side, and others ended up with strong recurring roles. Road Ranger there was not one of the lucky ones, and yet it may be my favorite of the GoBots toys I’ve been able to play with. So that’s why he’s my first GoBot review here at the site.
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