Tanker
Defender

Tough and very strong. Converts into a tank that was once working with the military, training men in defence until altered by a onboard computer system warning of impending danger.

Tanker is based on the Takatoku Bonaparte Tulcas figure, originally designed for the Special Armored Batallion Dorvack series. As with the other figures in the Dorvack range, Takatoku leased the designs to Mark, who then made all-plastic 3" tall transforming versions. It would seem after Takatoku folded Mark retained some degree of rights to the figures, and licensed the moulds to Select for Convertors - released in America as Chopper, Tanker and Wheels. Each was released in two schemes - the first exactly the same as the Mark Dorvack releases, the second using one-tone colours (in Tanker's case, green) and US military markings.


Convertors TankerTanker's alternate mode is a weird blocky thing, a cross between a tank and an armoured car. Unlike the other two Dorvack-derived Convertors, it at least has rigidity, and is also the toughest of the three - only the guns (which have been thickened and blunted for the Convertors release) are particularly fragile. However, the colours don't mesh - they're brighter than the full-size Takatoku version, and a little garish. There's also not a lot to do with him beyond the very slight movement in the guns. There aren't even plastic wheels under the tracks, and the lack of any paint applications means it looks very much like a cheap plastic toy.

Convertors TankerThe robot mode... The robot mode makes it pretty clear why the Tulcas wasn't picked up for Transformers. Because this thing makes the Ironhide/Ratchet mould look human by comparison. The problem is that it was designed for Dorvack as a mech, and trying to give it character is inadvisable. Sadly, Select didn't let this bother them. That said, it's unusual that the Calibur and Gazzette moulds ended up looking much more humanoid than this thing. Offhand I can't think of too many weirder robot modes in any line given a Western release. At least Destroyer has a vaguely normal body shape. The closest thing to a head is the twin guns on top of the torso - I guess (in Select's mind, if not that of the original designer) the green stickers are meant to be optics, but it doesn't really come off. Mind, that's not the toy's only problem - the stumpy caterpillar track legs and relatively long arms give the toy a square, ape-like figure which is interesting at first, but then starts to look a bit daft. And why, exactly, does he have a shovel for an arm?

The Dorvack toy is pretty weird as it is, but shoehorning this into Convertors as (presumably) a sentient robot makes it all the stranger. The toy is a bit daft in terms of design, and a bit dull in terms of the overall look. However, for some reason it's not as stupidly fragile as the other two Dorvack designs roped in for the line, and the kindest thing that can be said is that he's a cheap alternative to the Takatoku original.