With more figures released per year, it wasn't long before Tonka began making big inroads into Bandai's back catalogue of Machine Robo figures. Realising they'd soon run out, Tonka commissioned Bandai to create a set of moulds to expand the Gobots line. Stallion was one of these, coded MRT-45, and released in America in 1984. Stallion made only a few brief appearances in the cartoon, getting to help shove Leader-1 in the Disassembler in "The Gobotron Saga" along the way - and almost always appearing in tandem with Stinger as a generic Renegade heavy.

The figure didn't come out anywhere else, Bandai showing a limited interest in the MRT range. Quite why Stinger and Sparky were chosen ahead of Stallion and Scratch for Robo Machine I don't know.


ALTERNATE MODE

For all the MRT figures, Bandai (or possibly Tonka) chose American cars, so Stallion gets to turn into a 1980s spec Ford Mustang (see how the name works?). Mark did much the same with the American Mini-Bots for Convertors. It's a pleasingly retro vehicle, chunky with lots of straight lines. Stallion is rendered in a rather fetching aqua blue, and even the silver windows look cool. The sticker on the bonnet is a little arbitrary, but aside from that the car mode really can't be faulted.

Despite this being work for hire, Bandai haven't let the quality slip. The mode is exceptionally solid (and the largely flat underside helps the feeling of coherence), despite a couple of join lines on the front wheel -arches, while the bonnet is diecast and the rubber tyres are still present, and there are no weak points on this mode. Through being a little blocky and a slightly unusual colour, Stallion is one of the more interesting car Gobots.


ROBOT MODE

Stallion's transformation is one of the best of the line. The sides form the arms and the roof forms the back as on many figures this size, but the way the bonnet swings down to form the chest is a lovely touch - a little more refined and secure than the similar idea used on Major Mo, if not quite as unusual and interesting. The back half of the car is well done too, like the rest putting a slight twist on the usual pattern.

The resulting robot looks fantastic. Unlike many figures, some real thought has gone into making this chap look good from all angles. The flat bottom of the car results in the legs having backs to them, while the torso especially forms one big solid unit. It helps that Stallion looks great too, with the turquoise gelling nicely with the diecast silver parts, the well-placed sticker and the head cast (an excellent one, topped off with a neat red visor) all helping to complete the look. The arms are maybe a little too thin, but there's not much in it, and the result is one of the best-proportioned figures of this size you're likely to find in any line. On top of this the articulation isn't bad, with two points on each arm, plus a fair bit of movement at the hips - it's a bit of a shame the legs are joined by a welded bar, though, as they can't move independently. However, to find much wrong with Stallion, you have to be nitpicking.


SUMMARY

Like stablemate Scratch, Stallion is surprisingly well accomplished for any toy of this size, possessing a neat colour scheme, some good detail work, two excellent modes and respectable articulation. He's in and among the best figures from the line, despite being towards the more obscure end of the spectrum. Stallion can be found pretty cheaply, but mainly in America, so European buyers should be prepared to import - he's well worth it.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1984, Gobots Series 2 - 49: Stallion
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 49: Stallion (reissue with sticker)

The figure was stamped MRT-45, though this code was not used on any packaging.

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
None