Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Action Robo: Gensen Robo

Many visitors of this blog may be familiar w/ Select's line of transforming toys released in the 80's, Convertors. What you may not be familiar with is the Japanese company behind many of Select's releases, Mark. I don't know much about the company known as Mark, however I do know that they had several molds that didn't make it to North America under the Convertors banner.

Mark had their own series of transforming toys in Japan called Action Robo. Every now and then I'll see one or two appear on eBay, but finding them in their original packaging with the toys intact hasn't been easy. Luckily enough for me I've got a few of these in my personal collection and I found it high time that I share one of them.

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Gensen Robo is one of the molds that ever saw a release outside of Japan. If this transforming submarine looks familiar you may be thinking of the Machine Robo / Gobots release, Dive Dive.

I find the packaging to be quite pleasing. These are basically the same size as Machine Robo boxes, however these have a top flap with a hole to be displayed at retail. The plastic window is made of a very thin plastic and with age has become brittle. Use care when handling a boxed specimen. The back of the box has the transformation instructions. Yes, this guy transforms in just 3 steps.

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The same original artwork used on the front of the box is also used for each side of the box. A larger version of the submarine art is used on the top of the box.

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The toy itself is housed in a form fitting styrofoam tray. I was surprised when this arrived in the mail that not only was the box in decent condition, but the inner tray was bright white and fully intact.

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My first reaction to Gensen Robo is how cheap he feels. Select never used the best plastic with their toys. It's not knock off quality plastic, but it's definitely not Hasbro or Bandai type quality. Thankfully the limbs are fairly tight as I half expected them to be floppy and not poseable. The toy's stickers come pre-applied and amazingly after all these years the stickers are still holding on quite well.

Transformation is really simple as you could see from the image from the back of the packaging. Pull up the arms to form the rear of the submarine, flip down the feet to form the nose of the submarine and push the legs into the body.

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The submarine is actually quite nice looking. Other than the compartment on the bottom that was added to house the gear for the propeller, it seems pretty faithful to the submarine it's based off, the USS-Barb. Turn the white knob on the bottom to wind up the chrome propeller. Select used this feature on the boats that were released in the Convertors series.

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Often you can find toys such as these mixed in with lots for sale of Gobots as they are constructed very similar and are of similar size. I really wish I owned the Gobot Dive Dive so I could have compared the two, but Crasher will have to do for now.

Overall I really like this toy. It's got a unique design and it looks good in both vehicle and robot modes. I'm still trying to figure out just how many of these toys were released by Mark under the Action Robo banner in Japan. If you are a fan of these type of toys I highly recommend them, however they don't appear for sale very often unless you have a keen eye and can spot one in a generic lot of toys.

If you enjoyed this post please comment and let me know. I have a few more to share if I feel there is enough interest to warrant me digging into my closet to pull them out.

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