The first Machine Robo figure to be based on a real exotic sports car, the Countach Robo was released in Japan in 1983. Shortly afterwards the line was acquired by Tonka for American release as Gobots. The Countach Robo was initially planned to fill the role of the female Renegade Crasher in tie-in media, but instead Tonka opted to use the Porsche Robo.

The figure did retain its' "Enemy Robot" credentials when it slipped out towards the end of the first series of Gobots as Spoiler to little fanfare (with the large Lamborghini badge on the bonnet of the original removed). He did remain in production into the second series, but not for much longer after that. The (male) character subsequently managed minor roles in a couple of Challenge of the Gobots episodes, but has largely been forgotten about since in the West. Back in Japan, the figure showed up in the third of Bandai's 'Best of Machine Robo' sets, in a fetching black scheme, before the original Countach Robo was reissued in 1986 to tie in with Revenge of Cronos.


ALTERNATE MODE

Spoiler, as his Japanese designation indicates, transforms into a Lamborghini Countach. As with Road Ranger, you have to wonder - a red LPS 500 Countach? And again, while Spoiler beat Sideswipe to the stores, the Diaclone came out before the Machine Robo. Sadly, on top of this the car is ever so slightly lacking. Bandai haven't done their usual fine job of matching the painted diecast to the plastic, and thus the centre of the bonnet and roof stand out compared to the wheel-arches and rear of the car.

The chromed rear spoiler doesn't add much to the thing beyond a part of the figure that wears beyond reason. Not sure if this was part of the Countach's colour scheme on release, but they must have been stupid if it was (it's worth noting that the Diaclone version of Sideswipe included black stickers for the spoiler; these were dropped from the Transformers version and thus remain unknown to many). The door stickers don't look bad, but the thing's generally lacking on detail - it's another one of those occasions where opaque windows might have been a better idea, as opposed to clear plastic that shows a rather poorly thought-out inside. Despite a couple of nice stickers on the car doors, the overall feeling that comes from Spoiler is of a Bandai design team with a deadline to meet.


ROBOT MODE

His conversion exactly mimics that of Hans-Cuff, though the sleek car mode obviously leads to a less blocky robot form. Sadly, he hasn't half the charm. The black sections and a couple of funky stickers, plus the chromed thighs, break up the red nicely enough, but Spoiler just lacks character. That said, I do like the green eyepiece - a big change from the usual primary colours assigned to Gobot optics.

His colours and adornments mesh nicely, but the actual chest cast lacks anything to really make Spoiler stand out. Plus he has Countach arches for arms - the careful division of Hans-Cuff's wheel arches to leave something that vaguely resembled arms isn't in evidence here, and Spoiler's fail to convince. Why the arms weren't attached at the other end of these parts, with hands moulded on the rear end with the headlight parts on the shoulder I don't know. It adds to the feeling of a toy designed to fill out a toyline, rather than one created because a good idea came up.


SUMMARY

Spoiler is a pretty unmemorable figure. The basic idea isn't too bad, but the corner-cutting engineering and slightly uninspiring rendering is what damns him to mediocrity. Like many early figures, Spoiler submits very easily to chrome and paint wear, and thus can be a lot of effort to track down in decent shape. He's not really worth it unless you're after the set, being plain and inoffensive, lacking even the uniqueness of other unsound Gobots like Bullseye or Bent Wing.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:

1983, Machine Robo - MR-21: Countach Robo
1983, Machine Robo Best 5 - MR-21: Countach Robo (black recolour)
1983, Gobots Series 1 - 20: Spoiler
1985, Robo Machine - RM-21: Spoiler
1986, Machine Robo Revenge of Cronos - MRB-9: Countach Robo

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Shoulders