Re-Volt was one of the final Gobots issued, coming out in 1987. The figure was designed by Bandai exclusively for the Western market as one of the three Dread Launchers - robots that split into two vehicles.

By the time they were released the toyline was winding down they'd obviously been on the drawing board for a while as the Renegade team appeared in the Challenge of the Gobots episode "Guardian Academy, where they posed as Guardian cadets (though considering the team had the names Chaos, Traitor and Re-Volt, any suspense regarding which side they were on was pretty much neutered). The toy also came out in Europe as part of the Robo Machine Ultrabots subset. Like the rest of the Dread Launchers, the figure was never issued in Japan.


ALTERNATE MODES

Re-Volt has a rather random pair of alt modes. And this is Gobots, which we've established to be a line full of weird alt modes - Bugsie is a face on wheels, Bladez is a bat-thing with spider-legs, Sparky is a Fiero, etc, etc. But Re-Volt possibly takes the trophy. Because Re-Volt is a hawk on a launching truck. Hawks use giant mobile launch pads. Something you didn't know, that is. Okay, I'm being needlessly facetious - clearly it's some sort of giant robotic hawk that does indeed operate from a mobile station. But it's not like that's a walking continent of common sense either.

The hawk module itself isn't bad as these things go - the colours work nicely, and even the robot head on the bird's backside looks like a convincing rocket array. The legs have some articulation on it, including working claws and it looks impressive if multicoloured robotic animals are your thing. The launcher however is stupid, even if you can rationalise its' existence. Despite the landing pad stickers and perfunctory small caterpillar tracks, the lack of any other meaningful detail means it's basically a box for the hawk to sit on.

Beyond open mockery, there's not much more to say. The toy's big and plasticky, but the colours work well enough. Overall though it's just a bit too silly, and only the hawk module has any sort of play or display value with the launcher working as little more than a stand.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation is slightly more complex than Chaos, with the hawk module especially being largely unrecognisable by the time you have him in robot form. The combination point is the same. It's a bit of a shame they all went for the top half/bottom half split, rather than the more complex integration of the better Double Machine Robo. Too be fair though at least the robot mode gels quite nicely. The height and mecha looks create a very imposing robot. He's not particularly conventional-looking with his little domed head and antennae but he does tap into the 'Devil invader' vibe, making a fitting Renegade. Re-Volt having claws also reinforces the look (though sadly they aren't strong enough to grip smaller figures; a bit of a missed opportunity there). The wings are a nice touch, though aside from this he does rather suffer from having next to no alt-mode features visible on his robot form. The legs are a bit too long compared to his torso (though you can at least partially rectify this by not extending them to their full length). There are a decent number of joints on his arms, though some of these are a bit useless - the elbow ones actually hinge his forearms away from his body, meaning realistic-looking poses have to bypass them.

However, the other points of articulation are solid so relative to other Gobots he's doing alright. Shame those moving shoulders couldn't have been replicated on Chaos, though. The legs move only at the hip, but the broad feet and light upper body means he can do the 'running' pose without falling over, which counts for something. Not very much, but something nonetheless. It should also be noted that the toy's very sturdy - even the wings would take a bit of effort to break, so even though he's nearly all plastic he isn't particularly cheap feeling.


SUMMARY

Re-Volt is briefly diverting and displays nicely in robot form. Like the other Dread Launchers, his display value is hit by there being little else from the line in the same size bracket. The robot mode is functional, if lacking any seriously impressive flourishes (the colours work, but are nothing spectacular, while the robot form is faintly generic), but the alt modes are a bit of a mess. The hawk module is fun for a little while (though, as it shares claws with the robot, it can't swoop down and grab regular figures, which would have been a nice touch), but the launcher section is a cheap shot that deserves little more than scorn. Re-Volt is something of a flawed figure and not really worth hunting down and paying a small fortune for.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1987, Gobots Dread Launchers - Re-Volt
1987, Robo Machine Ultrabots - Re-Volt

PARTS:
1 x bird
1 x landing pad

WEAK POINTS:
None