Originally released in Japan in 1983, the Scooter Robo was renamed as simply Scooter and included in the first wave of Gobots released in America in 1983, and coded #27. The figure was issued as a Guardian, and would go on to be one of the lead characters in the Challenge of the Gobots TV series.

Sadly, a mixture of botched characterisation (cowardly good guy sidekick) and a truly nauseating vocal performance from the apparently great Frank Welker means everyone hates the little guy. Awwww. He did a little better when he showed up near the end of the British Robo Machines comic - he still had a face on the front of his scooter mode, and he was still the weak one, but at least he had a bit of a backbone. Scooter also got to appear on all sorts of merchandise, which was a bit annoying.

In 1993, Bandai reissued the figure for the Robo Machines reissue line, and he even got to keep his name as the figure was issued with the descriptive 'Scooter'.


ALTERNATE MODE

Now, the Gobots cartoon was an odd thing. Whereas the Transformers cartoon often made the characters look respectable when their toy was a mess, the Gobots one seemed to do the absolute opposite. The best news about Scooter is that he hasn't got a face by his handlebars. A scooter is a nice idea for a toy, and works here, nice and simple. There's a little too much of the robot showing (notably the barely disguised legs, though the seat is a nice touch). It's also a bit odd that he only has one wheel - the second being a couple of small plastic rollers and a fixed wheel shape. I'm no engineer, but I can't see why a proper rear wheel wasn't used.

Still, overall it hangs together and it is a neat idea for an alternate mode. And you can just about sit an Action Force figure on him. The colours work nicely, and there are some cute details, such as the handlebars, seat and headlight sticker. It's nice to have a figure that doesn't turn into some sort of penis extension, to be honest. One thing to watch out for, though, is the front wheel-arch working loose and refusing to stay in place.


ROBOT MODE

Changing Scooter to robot mode is simple, but still pretty interesting - most parts move to some degree. The biggest problem is that aside from the front of the frame and the handlebars, there aren't many hints of the scooter mode on it, something I've never been keen on. On the plus side, Scooter really does look impressive. He's a lot bigger than you'd think, at about 2.5 inches, and there's none of the goofy touches from the cartoon. The figure is impressively well proportioned, and well made. Articulation is, as usual, limited to the diecast ball-joints at the shoulder. The toy is also fairly sturdy - the head and chest pieces do seem to go missing (I've seen enough banged-up examples on ebay), but I can't for the life of me see why.

The only problem with my example is that the head/wheel arch piece is a little loose, but this is no more than a minor aberration. The head cast is excellent, none of this melted face crap Hanna-Barbera would have you believe, and he's well-proportioned, not some ersatz-cutesy little freak.


SUMMARY

Overall, Scooter looks respectable in both modes. The figure displays best in robot mode, and has suffered for far too long by dint of his portrayal in the cartoon. He's actually a good place to start for Gobot collecting, complementing many similar-sized Transformers, being pretty normal looking, and having an alt mode that's a little bit different (it's worth noting he's miles better than Hasbro/Takara's scooter attempt Sureshock, despite being the best part of 20 years older. The only downside is despite his irritating cartoon persona along with Cy-Kill he's one of the more expensive early figures.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1983, Machine Robo Series - MR-27: Scooter Robo
1983, Robo Machine - RM-27: Scooter
1983, Gobots Series 1 - 27: Scooter
1984, Gobots Series 1 - 27: Scooter (reissue with sticker)
1993, Robo Machines - Scooter

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Head, chest