First Track
Defender

Fast and clever. Converts into a train designed to protect Earth's rail transport network which are important to supply defense systems.

As with the bulk of the Defender and Maladroid figures from Convertors, First Track came to Select via Takatoku and their subsidiary Mark. The toy was issued to tie into the anime Galactic Ranger Sasuraiger, though the name change came late in the day and Takatoku's tie-in figures initially bore the earlier name Batrain. While Takatoku made the large SL Type transforming figure, Mark put out several smaller versions. Their 'cheapie' Mini-Gokin Sasuraiger JIII was a scaled down transforming version was then co-opted for the first series of Convertors.

Convertors First TrackFirst Track is a fairly faithful scaled down version of the SL Type Batrain. Well, from the front anyway, which hits most of the right notes. It's obviously simplified in a few places, with some of the extra detail on the chimney omitted, while the folding roof is replaced by a foil sticker. The back end is less successful, with the legs more visible. They only actually merge because of two moving panels with a coal bunker effect etched on them - these thin pieces just don't line up properly, and wouldn't hide the shape very well even if they did.

Convertors First TrackHowever, for a Mark Cheapie it gets a lot right. Not counting the chrome (barely visible in this form) there are four whole colours of plastic used, while the shiny foil stickers do deflect my attention away from the bare plastic, as it would to a small child or magpie. The plastic in general is thicker than that used on Chopper or Wheels, and the train mode is solid. It's also rather charming - in the context of the colourful anime series it makes sense, but it looks like it escaped from a kids' picture book in the context of the rest of Convertors. And that's a Good Thing - variety is the spice of life.

Convertors First TrackThe transformation is scaled down from the SL type too, again with a little simplification, mainly in the boiler/chest section. This does mean the figure cheats a bit - the wheel/cowcatcher sections detatch and fit onto the sides of the cab to form the arms (the upshot of this is a lot of loose examples of First Track tend to be missing these sections). The resulting robot is around 3.5" tall, one of the smaller Defenders.

Convertors First TrackHowever, he looks pretty good, even if the arms are slightly oversized. The colours are darker than most versions of the figure, and it maybe fits a bit better for Convertors. First Track also boasts excellent articulation - the legs can bend at the knees, the arms move at the shoulder and elbow, the fists can turn (they're also non-removable, so don't try and pull them off) and even the head turns a little (though this is a side-effect of the rotating chimney in the transformation, and moves the chimney on the robot's back too). Add in a nice big chrome handgun and you're left with a tidy-looking figure.

First Track has an extra smidgeon of quality that isn't present in other Defenders figures - the plastic is better, and he's just more nicely finished. The figure looks great in both modes, with a sharp colour scheme, and it's arguably more compact and efficient than the Batrain SL Type figure. The only downside is the detachable arms, which drive up the price of the figure on the secondhand market. Still one of the better figures in the line, though.