Robo Car was a line manufactuered by notorious Japanese company Mark, best known for making cheap versions of Takatoku toys from Animes such as Macross and Dorvack. Their small, all-plastic incarnations of famous toys such as the Valkyrie VF-1 or God Mazinga have long been a subject of derision (or guilty pleasure) for hardcore robot collectors.

They did also produce some self-designed, non-franchised toys, and one of these was the 1983/84 Robo Car line. This consisted of small transforming everyday vehicles - cars and vans, basically.

Whereas Mark's roughly contemporary Gokin Robo line seems to have been an attempt to cash in on Takara's Microchange series, Robo Car seems to be an attempt to provide a cheap competitor for the same company's Diaclone range of Car Robot - some of the vehicles are even identical. Robo Car was released in Italy by GiG, with largely identical packaging - Italian replacing the Japanese text, and the GiG logo added. The cars were also released in North America as the Convertors Mini Bots.


Cars
These simple little toys featured diecast parts (usually all of the car shell, aside from the arms) and all transformed the same way. These all seem to have been manufactuered in multiple colour schemes. It seems they were avaliable in both single and double packs. As well as the figures all being used for Convertors, the American line also reused the box art and statistics on the cards.

Model Colour Schemes
Convertors Release
Cherry Vanette Black/red
Black/blue
Single Pack
Double Pack
Vehicle Mode
Robot Mode
Honda City Red/yellow
Double Pack
Vehicle Mode
Robot Mode
City
Toyota Soarer Silver/red
Silver/blue
Double Pack
Vehicle Mode
Robot Mode
Sports
Toyota Hilux Blue/yellow
Double Pack
Vehicle Mode
Vehicle Mode
Wagon

Trucks
These were slightly larger figures, but again seem to follow the same transformation. No idea if any more of these were made. Sadly, these weren't released for Convertors, which is a shame as they look quite fun.

Model Colour Schemes
Dump Truck Yellow/blue
Double Pack
Robot Mode
Fire Tender Red/yellow
Double Pack
Robot Mode

As a brief disclaimer, I found all these pictures a few months ago at an online vintage toy store. If anyone recognises, please please let me know - not only so I can contact them and, y'know, ask permission, but also so I can actually buy some of the toys. Remember kids, always bookmark anything vaguely interesting you're looking at.

Also, apologies to ToyboxDX for totally nicking their excellent picture layout thingy. Their article on Mark is well worth checking out, too - it's ironic, because this place is the Mark to their Takatoku.

If anyone has any more information on Robo Car, please contact me!