Pincher was the third of the initial monster Gobots, just like the mould have been the last of the original trio of Devil Invaders, originally named Falgos. Like the other two 1984 Devil Invaders, the Japanese name was retained for the European release.

Falgos did make a brief cameo in the Robo Machines comic, and oddly the character retained his name when included in the Robo Machine featuring Challenge of the Gobots annuals published by World Distributors (unlike most of the European names, it doesn't seem to have been reverted in the toyline either). In America, the Renegade was one of the few characters to get an on-screen origin in the TV series, being created from an unnamed Gobot civilian's remains by Dr. Go during "The Gobotron Saga" to infiltrate the Master Renegade's mutant creations. The figure was reissued in Japan in 1986, coded MRGD-3.


ALTERNATE MODE

Pincher's alt mode is a sort-of monster spaceship thing. I believe that's what experts of this type of thing would say, at least. The basic idea behind the mode, a more sleek mix of monster and machine than Scorp, and more overtly demonic than Vamp, is pretty sound. The ridged back and batwings look superb, while there's some excellent detail on the engine housings, tail and guns. There's a lot of work gone into this in terms of detail, when you consider doing something futuristic usually means a nice bit of cost-cutting, as there's no real-world example to be compared.

It's a shame, then, that the designer couldn't come up with something better to do with the legs of the robot beyond slinging them underneath the body. The big gold spikes look suitably vicious, but what's behind them is unavoidably a pair of pins, what with the giant feet and uncovered thighs.


ROBOT MODE

Transforming Pincher is strangely unsatisfying; maybe because swinging the obvious legs down is half of it, maybe because not much actually clips into place. At first glance, and from certain angles the robot looks pretty impressive, with the dark blue and gold scheme, some pretty nasty looking claws, a good head cast and some solid relief work.

It's the most conventional of the monster robot modes (well, aside from Creepy) - so, conversely to Scorp, is probably a bit too normal to work as a Devil Invader, but fine as a particularly nasty Renegade. However, closer examination reveals a number of problems. Most obviously, the robot's hips are on the front of the waist, while the arms above the pincers are thing and angular… these are also mounted on ball-joints that wear down in no time as well. These undermine most of the articulation. Pincher is impressive on initial examination, but soon his faults just start bugging you.


SUMMARY

Pincher is a bit of a padding figure, seemingly designed to round out the Devil Invaders. As a vicious Renegade he's a better fit, but both modes are a bit hopeless. If you're a fan of the line's more oddball efforts he might be a bit more interesting, though both Vamp and Creepy are markedly superior.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1984, Machine Robo Devil Invaders Series - MRD-102: Falgos
1984, Gobots Series 2 - 48: Pincher
1984, Robo Machine - RM-102: Falgos
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 48: Pincher (reissue with sticker)
1986, Machine Robo Revenge of Cronos - MRGD-2: Falgos

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Claws