Friday, March 13, 2015

Machine Robo DX: Volkswagon 1303S Beetle

Growing up in the 80's I was familiar with the Tonka's Gobots line. While I had a few of the toys as a kid, I never owned many of the larger, Deluxe sized Gobots. One of the early releases was a yellow Volkwagon Beetle, Bugbite. I always found this odd since Transformers had their own yellow Volkswagon Beetle too, Bumblebee. I'm not sure which one came first as both toys have a history that traces back to Japan.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1509_zpswki1jdhy.jpg

Recently I had the opportunity to purchase a very reasonably priced boxed specimen of the Super GoBot that would go on to be known as Bugbite. I couldn't pass it up and I'm glad I didn't. I'm told that this is the German release of the Machine Robo release. Bandai had partners all over Asia to help distribute their products so it makes sense that Germany would want to help get one of their products into as many hands as possible.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1510_zps9n3ebxtg.jpg

While the condition of the box shows some wear, it doesn't detract too much from the overall beauty of the packaging layout. I love the back of the box. The glossy wire grid type pictures of the car and robot against a flat black background looks nice. I'm not sure what the significance of the number in the lower right hand corner is.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1512_zpse1nnphwt.jpg

For a toy nearly 30 years old, this thing is beautiful! Now I've always been partial to the old VW Beetle body style, but this is a very cool looking toy in vehicle mode. Made of die-cast metal with real rubber tires, this isn't a cheaply made toy.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1513_zpsirreqpts.jpg   MR Beetle photo IMG_1514_zpssvjrl38d.jpg

Turns out there is a little bit of chrome wear to the front and rear bumpers, but other than that this specimen is near mint. The side decals, the VW logo decal on the roof and the license plate all look brand new.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1515_zpsjofaotv5.jpg

The only included accessory is chromed double barrel gun that clips over the front windshield. This mostly fits via a friction connection. This can also be used in robot mode as you'll see later.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1516_zpsrnnwt8aw.jpg

I tried to capture the marking stamp underneath the toy the best I could. 1984 Bandai, Popy. This also reassured me that this is an official release and not some knock off.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1517_zpsrumjlm5h.jpg

For such a compact vehicle as the VW Beetle, the robot mode is fairly tall. It measures near 8 inches tall. I wish I had thought to do a few comparison pictures. I was never too keen with these "Super GoBots" using the cab of the vehicle as the head of the robot, but the look is starting to grow on me a bit. I didn't point it out earlier, but here you can see a little chromed man sitting in the driver's seat.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1518_zpsjk7z9ppw.jpg  MR Beetle photo IMG_1520_zpsftksnek2.jpg 

MR Beetle photo IMG_1519_zpsq2dbu85g.jpg

Transformation is pretty straight forward. Pull the legs down from the body and rotate the back wheel wells 180 degrees. The arms are folded up just under the front of the vehicle. These fold outward, and then unfold the whole arm assembly. The cab of the vehicle separates from the body of the vehicle, allowing the front and rear sections to fold down respectively. The cab sits on a hinge that allows it to move forward into place as the robot's head.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1521_zpsms50fbgb.jpg

The weapon attaches in the same manner in robot mode as it does in vehicle mode. I wish he could wield the weapon in his hand, but his little fork like hands just can hold the weapon. Overall I love this piece. I find this figure to be far more interesting than any version of Transformers' Bumblebee. I'm not sure I'll get another chance to add another pre-Super GoBots release into my collection, but I'm so glad this one "fell into my lap". Highly recommended, in any way you can pick it up.

MR Beetle photo IMG_1511_zps5oixjpen.jpg

Footnote. There is also a red version of this toy, but it was released in very small numbers and can command a big sum of money on the secondary market.

5 comments:

  1. I really don't remember this guy having decals, for whatever reason. Great review!

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  2. Gobots don't seem to get a lot of love which is too bad; They had some excellent toys. I think that their marketing left a lot to desired and that affected their popularity.

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  3. Wao the condition is really awesome. Cannot believe Bandai did such a good job before. I love the VW car mode.

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  4. I have one on the original box RED... But yelloow on the box... Never played with, decals not applied, gun in plastic bag...I am interested in selling. You mention that red can be pricey..any clue or an offer? I deal in a variety of items, but tyoys are not my strong suit... Contact me at bbjools15@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have one on the original box RED... But yelloow on the box... Never played with, decals not applied, gun in plastic bag...I am interested in selling. You mention that red can be pricey..any clue or an offer? I deal in a variety of items, but tyoys are not my strong suit... Contact me at bbjools15@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete