Cy-Kill had been among the first Gobots issued in 1983 and as Bike Robo had kicked off the Machine Robo line before that. Tonka decided the toy needed a makeover, and devised their own updated colour scheme - black, grey and green. This was actually sold alongside the famous red/white/blue version for the second series of figures; the original actually seems to have outlasted the update, being reissued again with the hologram sticker where the recolour wasn't.

This more obviously villainous colour scheme came too late to make it into the TV series or any other media. The recolour seem to have been a North America-only release - I've yet to hear any confirmation either way for Robo Machine, though the scheme certainly wasn't used in Japan. Tonka made some minor retools on the mould - nothing massive, but the connecting engine pins are a lot fatter and the drums on the shoulders (largely unseen inside) are slightly different - it basically means you can't swap parts from an '83 Cy-Kill to an '85 Cy-Kill. As I found out while trying to replace the broken handlebars on my example.


ALTERNATE MODE

For all its' faults, such as it obviously being a robot kneeling, I've always had a soft spot for Cy-Kill's bike mode. There's just something about the thing that looks great, all that chrome and detail work. The recoloured version is surprisingly sharp - the green is rather lurid, and a more subtle shade might have made it a really good recolour (maybe yellow in the place of the green, more like the Best 5 version?), but the overall effect is very swish.

Generally, though, Tonka haven't skimped on any of the quality - the diecast and chrome are just as impressive as on the original. Sadly, the large amount of chrome does make the figure structurally weak; the arms can snap easily in a number of places (most often the handlebars, but they're capable of breaking at any of the ridges), the exhausts are another weak point, and the actual connections for the arms can wear down too - though thankfully in bike mode the slots in the diecast chest can keep these in place.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation obviously remains in the simple category, though there's a certain amount of minimalist charm to the thing. It's still a pain that such a large chunk of the alt mode, i.e. the large engine, is simply removed and discarded for the robot form.

The resulting robot mode is very neat, however. The proportions are generally quite good - the fists are probably a little oversized, but aside from that it looks great. The sculpting is excellent, making the robot look interesting with all the notches and raised parts. And I do love those shoulder-wheels. The new colour scheme generally works quite well - he really does look a lot more villainous, but the green stops it from being a flat, greyscale take on the original. The large holes in the chest for the engine block are harder to spot as well. On the other hand, the green face is a little off-putting. Well, it doesn't look bad, but keeping the original silver would have looked even better.


SUMMARY

The biggest problem with this figure is that Cy-Kill's red/blue/white scheme is arguably the best remembered thing about Gobots, and this version can't help but look oddly inauthentic. It's a good recolour of a good figure, but feels oddly inauthentic. The original is probably still better (though this version does solve the innately heroic look of the Cy-Kill figure), but this is, alongside Major Mo and Creepy, is one of Tonka's better overhauls. An interesting variant that nevertheless just falls short of surpassing the original.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1982, Machine Robo Series - MR-01: Bike Robo
1983, Machine Robo Series - MR-01: Bike Robo (Bandai reissue)
1983, Machine Men - 01: Cycle Man
1983, Machine Robo Best 5 - MR-01: Bike Robo (grey recolour)
1983, Robo Machine - RM-01: Bike
1983, Gobots Series 1 - 01: Cy-Kill
1985, Gobots Gobots Gift Pack - Cy-Kill (packed with Cop-Tur and Stinger)
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 45: Cy-Kill (black recolour)
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 01: Cy-Kill (reissue with hologram sticker)
1986, Machine Robo Revenge of Cronos - MRB-12: Bike Robo

PARTS:
1 x engine
2 x wheels

WEAK POINTS:
Arms, handle bars, hips, exhaust pipes