American Mini Bot

Newest and fastest of all the Minibots. He can cover a lot of territory fast in the search for invaders.

Vette was one of (at least) five figures designed by Mark specifically for the Convertors line, closely following the layout of their own Robo Car figures. These 1985 designs had car modes tailored to fit vehicles more likely to be spotted on American roads (hence 'American Mini Bot' on the cards). Multiple versions of these were produced, with the car interior/robot chest part being produced in different coloured plastic. For Vette, turquoise and yellow versions were made - there might be a third variant out there, as some of the others seem to have this many variants. Assuming Select didn't go for red plastic with the red painted metal (the latter always stayed constant, despite the black-coloured figure shown on the card art), black seems to be the most likely option for a third variant.

Convertors Mini Bot VetteJust in case the name didn't give it away, Vette is modelled on a veterinary ambulance Chevrolet Corvette - there are even 'Corvette `85' stickers on the side. The same car turned up in other toylines around the same time - most famously Tracks in Transformers (who had a red variant, later 'canonised' as Road Rage), as well as Stinger in Gobots. The Convertors version isn't a bad stab at the thing. A lot of the nuances are lost on such a small toy, and as per usual the wheels stick out a little too far, and there are massive join lines, but the essence of the car just about comes through. I actually prefer the slightly toned-down lines rather than the try-hard aspect of Tracks. The red works nicely as well, but I'm not too sure about the turquoise interior. Neat stickers, though.

Convertors Mini Bot VetteThe best thing about the American Mini Bots is that they all had individual faces, rather than doubling up as the Robo Car moulds did. Vette's is of quite a nice design, with a fair amount of detail for a small, cheap toy. The robot mode isn't the best proportioned from the range. The short back end of the Corvette means he's left with small feet, while by the same token the long, flat front leaves him with overlong arms. However, it all still just about hangs together, and the colours work a lot better in this mode, segmented into torso and limbs. The stickers and detailing help make him a little more visually interesting as well.

Of the American Mini Bots, Vette is second only to Bird, which isn't the worst place to be. The vehicle mode is nicely done, and the robot mode manages to avoid the pitfalls that get other Mini Bots, despite the slightly off proportions. The downside is he appears to be one of the rarer figures from the series, though he's still far from expensive.