RoboTron was one of a number of lines trying to cash in on Transformers in America circa 1984. Produced by Buddy L, the series had three or four little groups of figures - the initial RoboTron vehicles, the DinoTron (which looked suspicious close to simplified versions of the Transformers Dinobots), the BugTron figures, the Leaders and the ChargerTron. I think it managed a couple of years... This article will really only cover the initial figures, as it's the only part of the range I have... For a full overview of RoboTron, check out the section at Super Toy Archive .


RoboTron TrashtronI owe RoboTron something of an apology... I'd wrongly assumed it was one of the myriad lines that recycled the friction motor toys variously issued as Dynabots, MotoTron and MotoRobots. You know the ones, trucks and jeeps with removable motors, and there seemed to be loads of them, all with the exact same transformation and face, like this one.

I'm not sure what the origin of the figures from RoboTron is - they might have been imported from Japan, or they might have been self-designed, or they might have been related to the aforementioned, but the toys are about a third of the size, have a lot more variation in their transformations, fixed motors and are just generally a lot better done.

The original RoboTron line was made up of five moulds, all released in two colour schemes (one for the Good Force, one for the Evil Force): -

  • Sports car (GF: AutoTron/EF:DragTron)
  • Truck (GF: LoadTron/EF: TrashTron)
  • Steam train (GF: TrakTron/EF:LocoTron)
  • Honda City (GF: TurboTron/EF: GasTron)
  • Space Shuttle (names unknown; actually based on the same figure as the Monogram Gobots Spay-C plastic model kit)

At the time of writing I only have one of the RoboTron figures, and that largely due to my love of the Honda City.


GASTRON

RoboTron GasTronRoboTron GasTronAs GasTron (that really does sound far too close to 'Gaston', doesn't it?) is a lovely take on the Honda City. The car is just 2" long, and the City's cute proportions work well at this sort of size. I especially love the liberties taken in giving the thing a whacking great big spoiler (which doubles as the feet in robot form) - together with the black plastic and silver windows, it looks like the A-Team after the credit crunch bit. Very neat, if a bit small for too many flourishes. They still manage a few, though, notably the Goodyear branding on the tiny tyres. Even the red headlights look awesome. Well, not awesome, but not bad.

The moulding isn't fantastic, with the arms not going slick into the sides of the car, or the bonnet going flat against the nose of the car. The transformation, while more complex than the Dynabots figures, is still pretty simple. The robot mode is a lot more pleasing, though, with some decent proportions, notably an obvious but effective arm layout. The head being under the bonnet is just too cool - shame there isn't a dash of black for the eyes, though the face design itself is well done for something so small. The colour scheme works just as well in this mode. At 2.5" tall, GasTron's simplicity is forgivable, and it's a fun little toy. Not sure I'm particularly after any of the others from the line, though.