Geeper-Creeper (and it is Geeper, regardless of logic; Tonka were obviously going for a pun on the exclamation "Jeepers creepers!", so quite why they modified the bit that connected the phrase to a jeep is anyone's guess - probably the call of the same exec who decided Leader-1 was the head Guardian, Street Heat should be recoloured in red and they should skip the Mini Cooper Robo) came out in Japan in mid-1983, originally as the Jeep Robo. A yellow racing version was issued in one of the 'Best of Machine Robo' 5-packs later the same year.

The original prototype had featured rubber tyres, but all mass releases replaced these with moulded plastic one-piece wheels. Shortly afterwards he came out in Europe, and by the end of the year was part of the American Gobots range. A red version was also issued in Brazil, joining the green variant as Demolon in Glasslite's Mutante range. The figure would appear to be a solid seller in America, as it was later selected to be continued in the later years of the line, with a hologram added to the blister pack. Geeper had a fun cameo in the "Battle for Gobotron" TV mini-series, where he got to abuse Braxis, and then had the usual half-dozen or so appearances assigned to most Gobots in the regular animated series. More interestingly (at least, as far as I'm concerned), adverts in the Eagle showed he was meant to appear in the Robo Machines comic. Even though he didn't in the end.


ALTERNATE MODE

The jeep mode is a bit middling, to be honest. The join line in the bonnet is especially noticeable due to the slavish placing of the yellow star, while the back end just looks odd as a flat platform. There's just no way you'd be able to fire the machine gun accurately unless it was at someone standing right next to the thing. That said, him having a moving gun is nice when they could have just not bothered, and realistic scaling isn't a problem if you're going to have him whizzing around strafing Guardians.

The detail moulding isn't bad, but this just makes the very cheap windscreen stand out - this thing, split into two halves, can be removed pretty easily, and I had to hunt for a Geeper that still had it. Shame it's like something off a cheap set of plastic soldiers, really, as it wasn't really worth the effort. I'm guessing the figure's more-complex-than-normal mechanics meant some corners had to be cut. The seats are the only paint app, but this does lend him a solid military look. Incidentally, the Gobots version doesn't have "Jeep Robo" on the side - the pictures are of the Robo Machine version, and I don't have the heart to take them off.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation itself is actually pretty good - the arms come out from alongside the rear wheels, and the bonnet splits in half, rotates at the waist and knees and forms the two legs, with the head coming out of the top. Sadly, like several Gobots with this level of complexity, wear can be heavy over 20-odd years - Geeper tends to lean slightly forward or slightly back, while the head can also slip down into the body. The biggest problem, though, is the windscreen halves, which flop down easily in this mode. It's a shame, as a nice, tight robot mode looks just great.

The proportions are really nice, and being nearly all green works surprisingly well. The stickers stand out nicely, and it gives him a military yet sinister look (thanks especially with those little yellow eyes). He really is slightly creepy. Articulation isn't bad, though the moving parts on the legs are a bit useless for practical poses. And if there was one Gobot who demanded to have a gun, it's this bloke, so it's a good call to give him one. The legs and spare tyre aside, there isn't much of the jeep on show, but the colours maintain the continuity.


SUMMARY

Like several Gobots, Geeper Creeper is very well designed, but only really works in good condition. Without his accessories and in worn condition, the toy can be seen as a bit of an overcomplicated mess. However, if you can get one in good condition and with all his parts, the excellent engineering and stylish military look really works. He can be expensive and hard to find in C9 & 100% complete trim, but he's worth the effort. An excellent mould, and what kids did to him 20~ years ago shouldn't be counted against him. Bloody terrible name, though.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1983, Machine Robo Series - MR-28: Jeep Robo
1983, Machine Robo Best 5 - MR-28: Jeep Robo (yellow recolour)
1983, Robo Machine - RM-28: Jeep
1983, Gobots Series 1 - 28: Geeper-Creeper
1984, Gobots Series 2 - 28: Geeper-Creeper (reissue with hologram sticker)
1985, Gobots Renegade Gift Pack #2 - Geeper-Creeper (packed with Crasher and Tank)

PARTS:
1 x machine gun

WEAK POINTS:
Crotch, windscreen