Vertol Robo had come out in Japan in 1985, sporting the colours of the Japanese Coast Guard's Air-Sea Rescue unit - bright yellow with blue trim. It was one of the last figures released in the original Machine Robo series. The figure was given a semi-realistic USAF makeover for its' European release, and named as Carry-All - marketed as a Friendly Robot, or Guardian.

However, Tonka being Tonka, the American release was given a totally different look for its' appearance in Gobots in early 1985, becoming the Renegade Twin Spin in tan and pale blue. The character got to appear in the TV series, notably in the episode "The Third Column", where he joined up with Zero's faction of Rogue Renegades. The Twin Spin colour scheme was only issued in North America, Australia and Brazil (where it was used for Convert by Mimo).


ALTERNATE MODE

The slim Sea Knight isn't an obvious choice as a base for such a small transforming toy - discounting the sidepods he's about 3/4" across. The result is quite sweet as a result. The Sea Knight is a nice design for a helicopter - very slim and sleek - and Carry-All captures this nicely. Considering the scale (I'm guessing at around 1/200) there's still decent levels of detail and the plastic quality is generally very good. It's something of a shame that there are sizeable holes for the blades to sit in (for use in robot mode) on the sides of the fuselage, and that stickers were used for the side cockpit windows. I wouldn't be that fussed if they were used on the main windows too or - ideally - if the side ones were moulded, it's the half and half that bothers me.

The other weak point is the undercarriage, which is incredibly fragile - finding a Carry-All with all three wheels is difficult, though the example I owned until recently had all three snapped off, and it doesn't affect the figure massively - it can still balance on the bottom of the helicopter, and display quite nicely.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation is clever and quite complex for such a small figure. The nose folds down to reveal the head - be very careful with the folding front wheel while doing this; it just about fits, but not with much to spare - while the underside of the fuselage forms the arms and the tail engine flips down and separates to become the feet. Nice.

The result is a decent-looking robot. Nice touches like the legs moving outwards and some nicely proportioned arms give the robot mode a little width, and he looks excellent. There's some decent detail on Carry-All including a very nice head cast, and the leg configuration looks better than it has any right to. And there's accessory storage in robot mode! Excellent. Articulation is as usual limited to the shoulders, though the use of those double-ended metal bars this isn't too bad.


SUMMARY

Overall, Carry-All is an excellent figure who looks great in both modes and has a fun transformation. The colour scheme's nice, much better than that of US counterpart Twin Spin, and while finding one with rotor blades and unbroken wheels can be tricky it's worth the effort for a neat, classy figure.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1985, Machine Robo Series - MR-50: Vertol Robo (yellow version)
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 42: Twin Spin (brown recolour)
1985, Robo Machine - RM-50: Carry-All (green recolour)
1993, Robo Machines - Helicopter I (green recolour)

PARTS:
2 x three-blade rotors

WEAK POINTS:
Nose wheel