Wheels
Defender

Rugged and swift, converts into a jeep that is able to cruise over rough terrain while seeking invaders that may have landed in areas undetected by central computer or other Defenders
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Wheels is one of the most recognisable Convertors toys, but only because everyone thinks he's Roadbuster from Transformers. There's a simple reason for this - he basically is. While they did make their own designs, Mark's bread-and-butter in Japan was making cheap versions of other companies' robots, under license, to scoop up the pocket-money market. One of the companies they had a relationship was Takatoku, and when the latter made their high-quality Dorvack toys, Mark were on hand to make 1/100 scale plastic variable versions - the Caliber being sold as Battle X. Due to sound economic decisions like making toys as cheaply as humanly possible, Mark actually outlasted Takatoku, and their versions of the Dorvack moulds were licensed by Select (the more detailed moulds, like the 1/55 Kahen Mecha moulds that would be borrowed by Hasbro to make Roadbuster and Whirl, were bought by Bandai). This meant the basic design managed to appear in two competing lines at roughly the same time... Ahhh, the crazy fun of toy licenses. All three Dorvack vehicles made it into the Defenders range - the Mugen Caliber (Roadbuster) becoming Wheels, the Ovelon Gazzette (Whirl) becoming Chopper and the Bonaparte Tulcas (not used for Transformers) becoming Tanker.


Convertors WheelsThe three Dorvack-based moulds were all released in two colour schemes. Like the other two, the first batch retained the Dorvack colour scheme (close to Roadbuster, but lighter and without the green) and then a second all-green, US Army scheme. Both of mine are broken - the 'Dorvack' version is missing the front wheel segment and the moving back panel that covers the back of the armoured car, while the recolour version is missing the arms and windscreen. Convertors WheelsThe toy came with a rifle that can either be held in robot mode or mounted on top of the armoured car - this is one of the few Convertors accessories I actually have, but the post is broken. I'll see if I can rig it for a couple of pictures at some point. I think this was actually green for the first release, and thus stayed unchanged for the second.

Convertors WheelsWheels, like the other Defenders, is all-plastic and stands around 4.5" tall. The plastic is incredibly cheap, but where it isn't broken the toy holds up pretty well - thankfully, the Mugen Caliber's design involves the legs (the weak point on many a Convertor) locking firmly in place, so he can stand up, and beyond that there's not much else to go wrong. Convertors WheelsThe robot design is actually pretty good - the look is nice, and works as a sentient robot rather than a mecha, at least much better than the other Dorvack designs. A word on the green recolour is the thing is all-green bar the stickers - literally. There's one paint application, a slightly brighter green for the optic, the rest of it is made in a single tone of green plastic - the wheels and everything. It's a shame, as the more realistic scheme has potential, and if done properly, would maybe have given Wheels some individuality compared to the Caliber and Roadbuster.

It's a nice-looking robot, even if the armoured car's just a block with wheels on it. Heh, Wheels. Clever, clever. He's probably the best of the regular Defenders, for what that's worth. Just bear in mind if you're getting him as a cheap alternative to Roadbuster, 'cheap' is the operative word =)