The Renegade Stinger was exclusive to the American and European markets in 1985. Though the figure was still designed by Bandai, it was never intended for release in Machine Robo. Instead it was created for release in America as part of the Gobots line. Possibly at Tonka's behest, Bandai designed the figures based around common, contemporary American cars - in Stinger's case a Corvette Stingray. Stinger, Stingray - Geddit?

Bandai would add the figure to its' European Robo Machine line. The character of Stinger had a fistful of small parts in the TV series as a rather generic Renegade heavy, often partnering fellow Bandai ringer Stallion.


ALTERNATE MODE

Stinger's sports car mode is quite cute. It's about 2" long, and rendered in a fetching gold colour. That said, the car is a little generic and nondescript. The Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 just isn't an especially attractive car, sadly. The roof/windscreen segment is diecast, which adds a veneer of quality. However, it's largely pointless and tends to scuff.

The other main problem is that the car mode just doesn't hang together very well. Over time the rear sections (the robot mode arms) tend to slide out. There's nothing there to stop this when maybe a small catch was called for. The front suffers from the same problem, with the two halves that form the legs not actually clipping together - they tend to split apart, especially if you push Stinger forward.


ROBOT MODE

Transformation is largely straightforward - interestingly (or not), it's not a million miles away from the sequence for larger, more famous Corvette Stingray Tracks. Again, the robot mode is compact, at about 2" tall. While the head is a little nondescript as Gobot heads are wont to be (though, that said, it's probably quite easy to subconsciously 'see' character in a generic Transformers face when you know the character from a comic or episode), the rest of the robot is isn't bad.

The arms once again have some decent articulation through the metal ball-ended pins holding them on - it would take Transformers years to get poseability like that onto such small figures. The legs are a little awkward - while the layout is fun, it does make Stinger look a little knock-kneed. The leg layout creates further problems, too - if done as in the instructions (and the pictures here) he tends to look a little lanky, but pushing them up so the silver thighs run directly into the torso makes them look stumpy. Argh.


SUMMARY

Overall, Stinger isn't a bad small car - he's better technically than some of the early ones like Spoiler or Turbo, and at least has a bit of a twist to the transformation. That said, he's not marvellous either, and lacks that certain extra something that makes a really fun figure. Only worth it if you come across one cheap somewhere.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1984, Gobots Series 2 - 31: Stinger
1985, Robo Machine - RM-62: Stinger
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 31: Stinger (reissue with sticker)

The figure was stamped MRT-44, though this code was not used on any packaging.

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
None