Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Machine Robo Rescue: TMR-01WL Wing Liner

In the early 2000's Bandai created a new television and toy series called Machine Robo Rescue.  Immediately a lot of fans noticed the homages to the old Machine Robo brand.  Releases such as MR-01L Jet Robo was a dead ringer for Machine Robo's Fitor.

picture courtesy of SGCollect.com

Each rescue team was comprised of a robot with 4 drones.  Each team could merge together to form a larger robot.  in 2003 Bandai also released larger transports themed after the various teams.  The Red Wings team (comprised of Jet Robo and Fire Robo teams) was given the largest (and best, IMO) transport - Wing Liner.

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You'll have to forgive me for not measuring the length of the train, but this thing is big.  In typical Japanese fashion the train is modeled after a bullet style train.  Each section is permanently attached, but the connector allows each section a good amount of movement.  Each section has 4 small free rolling wheels on the bottom to allow the train to roll along smooth, hard surfaces.

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The center section of the train acts as a command module.  On each side you have the large Machine Robo Rescue 'MRR' logo along with the team logo.

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Lift up the side panel of the command module and then open the side door to reveal a storage compartment for one of the team's leader figures.  The ramp is also extendable.

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The two center sections also open up from the top to allow one of the team's drones to be stored/ride inside.

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The nose of the end sections lift up to yet again allow more storage of for the various team drones.  The train can effectively carry one team with the leader in the middle and a drone in each of the 4 sections.

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I bought this toy secondhand from Yahoo! Japan auctions 10 years ago so mine isn't in flawless condition.  You can see the chrome on the nose of the train here has some wear along with a few nicks to the white paint.

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I was surprised that the train has as much flexibility as it does.  The center piece is large and bulky and doesn't really move, but you can bend the other sections quite well.  This really is a fun toy and quite impressive in both modes.

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To convert Wing Liner to Wing Liner Robo you simply fold the 4 sections in with the 2 middle pieces becoming the lower torso.  Twist the end sections around and flip up the ends to become the legs / feet.  The center section will be the upper torso.  Flip up and unhinge the side panels and rotate them around - unfold to form the arms.  Slide the white sloped piece forward and down onto the chest to reveal the robot's head.

My first hands on impression years ago when I acquired this piece was this looked like something you'd see in an episode of Power Rangers.  Yes the toy does have some old MR influence, but I didn't catch that initially.  Wing Liner Robo is by far the tallest of the 3 transports in robot mode.  You might expect a large figure like this to lack articulation, but he actually has a few points - mostly from the transformation however.  His hands are claws and are on springs.  There is a tab in the top of each hand you can squeeze to open and close each claw.  The claws can rotate a full 360 degrees.  The arms themselves can rotate at the shoulder and has limited movement in the elbow.  The "knees" do allow the lower leg portion to move, but you really can't strike much of a pose thanks to the size and weight of the figure.

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The head is interesting.  The eye visor is actually three pieces!  I love the sci-fi look of the head, complete with the head antenna!

I really wish I still owned the Jet or Fire Robo sets so I could've included them in the pictures, but thanks to my ever growing Transformers collection most of my MRR toys fell casualty to the issue that plagues all of us collectors - space!  Unless you can find a local seller that has this toy for sale I have a hard time recommend importing him from Japan.  He isn't all that pricey, but due to his size overseas shipping could get expensive.

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