American Mini Bot

Patrols highways at night, looking for invaders. His colours hide him, thus enabling him to attack before he is spotted.

Bird was one of the 1985 batch of Convertors Mini Bots, designed by Mark exclusively for Select's American market. There were at least two versions released - one with a black chest (which I will review here) and one with a yellow chest - there was likely also a third version. The pool of colours for the chests seems to have been black, yellow, red, and blue/turquoise - I'm guessing red would be the most logical, but with Select you never know.

Convertors Mini Bot BirdThe Pontiac Firebird is one of the more passable American cars of the period, and Bird is nicely rendered in black here. Some very flash stickers add an ounce of character to the car, although the wheels are a little too large for something so streamlined. It still looks pretty killer, though. The join lines are subtle, and the black plastic version looks a lot more solid and realistic than the various Mini Bots who had primary-colour interiors.

Convertors Mini Bot BirdThe robot mode is one of the best proportioned Mini Bots I've had yet. The arms are maybe a fraction too long (and thin), but the figure overall displays nicely. The legs are a little idiosyncratic - as with Wagon, the bottom of the feet are slopped, so you have to have the knees just right so he doesn't lean forward, but once you've got the right position it's plain sailing. The head cast is nice too - usually pairs of Mini Bots share a similar, if not identical face cast (Wagon & Sports; City & Van), but this tendency seems to disappear on the 'American' models. Bird's actually manages to fit in with the stealthy type hinted at in the brief bio (good old inscrutable faceplates), and he even has Batman-style ears. The all-black continues to look sharp, with the silver head and stickers stopping it from looking too lazy - it's vastly preferable to the clashing yellow version. Bird does use the sprue-mounted arms seen on other figures, but they seem a little looser and thus don't feel like as much force is needed - the plastic used for the mounts seems stiffer as well.

Alongside City, this is one of the best Mini Bots, and well worth the £2-3 Bird's likely to cost. Neat in both modes, and the largely-black colour scheme works very well.