Convertors Mini Bot VanVan
Mini Bot

Adapt to any environment on the look out for invaders

Data -

Height: 5.8m
Width: 3.2m
Weight: 1.7t

Even by Mini Bot standards, Van has a prosaic name. The vehicle mode is the Cherry Onebox Vanette, best known for its' use on the Transformers figures Ironhide and Ratchet. The curious thing is that he uses exactly the same colour scheme as the first Diaclone release of Takara's Onebox mould - no doubt an attempt by Mark to cash in on their competitor's product. The black version was definitely part of Robo Car, though I'm not sure whether there was a blue variant (as you can see, the card art has the figure as blue/yellow - this could have just been a prototype scheme Mark didn't bother correcting, the artwork being taken directly from the Robo Car release. It was at the time common practice in the industry for only one version of toy box artwork to be made, even if the toy itself was made in different variants - Bandai, for example, used the same artwork for all their Scalerobo DX Machine Robo figures, despite there being two versions of most of them). There was definitely a version with a blue chest, however.

Convertors Mini Bot VanVan is neat enough in Onebox mode, managing to retain the stubbiness of the real vehicle. The black and red colour scheme looks sharp, while the detail moulding is good. Sadly, the paint used isn't great - it's put on rather thickly, and has an awful semi-matt finish (either that, or it really doesn't age well). The end result is that it chips incredibly easily. It's a bit odd, to be honest, as the paint work on all the other Mark/Select Mini Bots is generally of a high standard (bluntly, even the lower-quality Village Toys Mini Convert-a-Bots have a better finish). The Mark release had stickers for the rest of the van windows, but the sheet was omitted for the Convertors release - with this one, not the end of the world, actually, as it gives him a secret service van look.

Convertors Mini Bot VanVan, of course, follows the exact same transformation sequence as the other Mini Bot figures. The larger legs give him a good set of proportions, though, and the arms use plain old sliding posts rather than the awkward plastic mounts used on Wagon or Sports. Aside from the arms, all the black parts are metal. The head design is rather well done, if almost exactly the same as that for City. The robot mode stickers brighten Van up as well, and the colours in general just sit nicely together. There is a certain lack of ambition to the design, but at least it means the robot looks sensible in the end.

Dodgy finish aside, this is a pretty neat little figure, one of my favourite Mini Bots. It's nice to have a Vanette that turns into a conventional robot as well - Takara haven't managed that one yet.