Construction vehicles are always a reliable cornerstone of any vehicle-based toyline, and Popy had already produced a dumper truck when the Bulldozer Robo hit Japanese stores in 1982. Along with most available Machine Robo, the toy was then drafted into the first series of Gobots, and awarded its' typically prosaic name. Dozer was never really a big hitter, being quickly discontinued after the first series, and like most toys suffering this fate (Dumper, Pumper, Crain Brain) the character made only scant appearances in the cartoon series. In Europe, Dozer did a little better, landing a starring role in the British Robo Machines comic strip (where he survived being shot by Casmodon, which isn't bad going), and also in World Distributors' "The Weeds of Calcheron" Small World adventure book.

The toy got a second release in Japan, where it was given a new sticker sheet and packed in one of the 'Best of Machine Robo' giftsets. The toy was bootlegged a few times, including a heavily remoulded version that somehow legally made it out in Remco's Zybots line.


ALTERNATE MODE

Rendered almost entirely in orange, Dozer's vehicle mode doesn't look too bad at all, really. Bandai have done the usual bang-up job of matching the diecast to the plastic in terms of colours - if it wasn't for my photography, you probably wouldn't be able to tell which is which from pictures alone. It's a shame they skimped on the paint apps, though - while the driving seat and tracks stand out nicely in black, the grille is rendered in orange as well (why not silver?), and some colour would have looked great on the plough too. It's a shame, especially as a lot of effort has gone into detail moulding, notably on the tracks and the parts on either side of the plough. The stickers visible on this mode aren't really very fitting, and only really draw attention to the simple colour scheme.

The robot arms are a little obvious to boot, and it's a shame about those massive gaps behind the plough. Another slight irritant is the canopy, which only fits in the posts at angle, leaning backwards. However, a lot of the faults are outweighed (in my mind, at least) by some very neat accessory storage - this wasn't always the line's strong point, but here Dozer's gun tucks into the engine of the bulldozer, forming a funnel. Neat. Dozer does what he should, I suppose, but lacks some of the finesse of other Gobots vehicle modes.


ROBOT MODE

I've mentioned elsewhere about early Machine Robo often sharing configurations, and Dozer's transformation is basically the same as the one for Tank or Loco. The top half of the vehicle folds back to reveal the robot, with the arms coming out of the sides. The slight twist used here is the moving feet parts (which have the unfortunate side-effect of damaging the stickers located on them every time you transform Dozer). Like those similar moulds, Dozer's construction lends him a fair height and the figure is among the best proportioned of the whole line. While hardly anything of the alt mode is visible, there's a lot of detail on the chest and legs (including some tasteful stickers; Bandai always seemed more subtle with these, compared to Takara's "there's a flat bit! Bung a circuit sticker on it!" approach) which breaks up the look, preventing him from being to dull to look at.

The face is a little generic (Dozer is actually the spitting image of BuggyMan, albeit with a slightly smaller head), but overall it's a solid, if unspectacular, robot. His gun does look a little small in this mode (it is tiny, only a fraction bigger than Pumper's), but compared to later lines, at least they bothered. The figure looks pretty good overall in this mode, it must be said.


SUMMARY

To be honest, he's the definitive rank-and-file Gobot. Nothing wrong with him, but very little that really stands out either. If it wasn't for the fact I'd spent so long near-obsessively hunting for his accessories and rather liked him in the comic, I'd probably forget I had him. A nude Dozer can be found fairly cheaply, and can pad out ranks nicely. Be prepared for a frustrating time if you want a complete one, however - in this case, sealed ones are your best bet.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1983, Machine Robo Series - MR-11: Bulldozer Robo
1983, Machine Robo Best 5 - MR-11: Bulldozer Robo (new sticker sheet)
1983, Robo Machine - RM-11: Bulldozer
1983, Gobots Series 1 - 11: Dozer

PARTS:
1 x gun/funnel
1 x canopy roof

WEAK POINTS:
None