Of all the toys roped into the Gobots line, Tri-Trak is one of the ones I know the least about in terms of history. The other two Secret Riders had a convoluted history stemming from the Zenmai Kahen Winch Robo line but I just can't picture this one being part of said line, as it doesn't have a winch. Maybe it was a prototype for the line which was aborted? The feel of the figure in terms of size, material and styling is the same for whatever that's worth. The Robo Machine release - simply designated 'Moto ATC' - preceded the Machine Robo/Gobots releases (in the same way Robo Machine used the Winch Robo figures before either of its' sister lines). This version had white hubs and realistic branded stickers.

The toy was first used as part of Machine Robo when it was placed alongside two of the Winch Robo as one of the Dash Robo - Battlancer. The stickers were modified to incorporate the name, flames were added and the hubs were replaced with grey parts. With minor sticker changes (replacing 'Battlancer' with 'Tri-Trak'), the figure was named and released as one of the Gobots Secret Riders in late 1986. Tri-Trak actually managed to wangle a fair amount of screentime in the cartoon despite his late arrival. This review applies to the Robo Machine release - I had both for a while, but preferred the stickers and hubs on the European edition.


ALTERNATE MODE

Tri-Trak shares an alt mode with the small Gobot Mr. Moto, a Honda 200X ATC (that's motorised trike to you and me). The Secret Rider is obviously a lot bigger - excluding stuff like the Arco Bots and the Laser Gun this chap has the largest scale vehicle mode of the whole line, probably just about big enough for an Action Man to ride.

For something this size the level of detail perhaps isn't spot-on - while there wouldn't be a huge amount of detail on a trike, the gap under the seat is a little disappointing. However, the red/blue/black colour scheme is vibrant and the stickers work nicely - I personally prefer the European version, but the American one is still very sharp. The whole mode is good fun - big chunky wheels and friction motor is a combination that rarely fails to deliver on this score. The trike is very solid and sturdy too meaning he's nicely equipped for cannoning across the floor. The sheer size of the thing does hurt his display possibilities even compared to the other Secret Riders, but on his own terms he's a very fun toy.


ROBOT MODE

Tri-Trak has arguably the toughest transformation of the whole Gobots line. I've owned him for a few months and I still don't have it down absolutely pat. The trickiest part is moving the legs into position, which involves running a pair of small tabs down some tight rails - it always feels a little bit like they're going to break, especially as they have to be put in just the right position. However, once you get him there it's worth it.

No robot's ever looked like this. Tri-Trak is distinctly portly and all the more charming for it. He's squat and stocky but looks rather good - why should robots be slim all the time anyway? The general layout is rather inspired, with the chunky back wheels forming the substance of the torso. It's a unique arrangement with the diecast frame forming the spine, and the engine cowling resting on the wheels to form his actual chest plate. The handlebars forming his lower chest works a lot better than it should. The legs don't look too slim either and provide a surprising amount of support. Subtle stickers add to the look, and there's some excellent articulation in the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. And the head design is adorable - Tri-Trak seems to be wearing a motocross helmet. How great is that?


SUMMARY

If you aren't obsessed with all your robot toys looking athletic and dangerous Tri-Trak is an excellent figure, with two fun offbeat modes. He's my favourite of the Secret Riders (although, to be fair Tork is more competent in technical terms) and certainly worth a try. Sadly, he's rare all over, but if you see one grab him, he's tremendous fun.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1984, ?
1985, Robo Machine - Moto ATC
1986, Machine Robo Revenge of Cronos Dash Robo - MRB: Battlancer
1986, Gobots Secret Riders - Tri-Trak

PARTS:
1 x gun I
1 x gun II
1 x stand

WEAK POINTS:
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