Bandai issued Apache Robo in 1984 as part of their Machine Robo series, retailing at ¥600. The mould must have gone down pretty well, as later that year the Apache Robo was chosen to be upgraded in the Big Machine Robo range, though the robot mode's configuration was significantly altered.

The regular sized version was issued in late 1984 as the Gobots toy Wrong Way, coming out around the same time in Europe, but named Sky Gun. Like most of the European releases that initially had different names, he reverted to his American name in the later years of Robo Machine. Wrong Way featured a few times in the Gobots cartoon, where he was usually disorientated with hilarious results. It's, like, his name's Wrong Way and he's always going the wrong way. That's fantastic, that is.

The larger version switched factions in the West, coming out as the Super Gobot Renegade Warpath in 1985. Around the same time, a blue recolour of the original was issued by Glasslite in Brazil, becoming Rotron in the Mutante line. The small version escaped in Europe again in 1993, being released as "Helicopter I" in the Robo Machines line.


ALTERNATE MODE

Now, I don't like Apache helicopters… They're horrible, jagged, pointy things. Yeh, I know they're designed to basically kill things, but that doesn't mean I have to find toys of the thing aesthetically pleasing. To be fair, Wrong Way is generally made in a competent way. The detail moulding is very good - a nice set of blades, some quality engraving, lots of diecast. However, the mode has a number of flaws.

On a number of examples, the rotor assembly more sits in its' housing rather than clipping into place, while the cockpit can often work loose, refusing to stay in place when the thing is standing on the ground. Well, I stay standing on the ground - what I actually mean is balancing on the giant tab underneath the fuselage which prevents the rear wheel from touching the ground. Ho-hum. Oh, a word of warning - not every version of the figure has detachable rocket pods, and the parts aren't shown as removable accessories, so don't tear the things off if they don't slip out easily.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation sequence is a bit different, with the cockpit forming the legs, and the tail splitting for the arms. However, this leads to most of the problems with the figure - the robot mode is gangly and poorly proportioned, largely due to its' long, thin arms. I say arms, but they're two halves of an Apache tail, something than a complete lack of additional detail helps to make obvious.

The rest of him isn't quite as bad, but still isn't great. The legs give him a bit of a base and look quite good, while the flip-top panel (often missing from loose examples) adds a bit of coherence to a rather uneven chest. However, the head is far too small compared to his torso (and is also a pretty poor cast). Some good stickers and above-average articulation (shoulders, waist, knees) can't really save Wrong Way sadly. Irritatingly, there's nowhere satisfactory for the rotor blades to go - while the card art shows them on his chest, the instructions disagree, and it looks awful anyway.


SUMMARY

Sadly, Wrong Way's a very frustrating, awkward figure. In less than tiptop condition he's an absolute nightmare, and neither mode looks particularly good. Most crucially the robot mode is a gormless mess. Warpath is so much better.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1984, Machine Robo Series - MR-41: Apache Robo
1984, Gobots Series 2 - 37: Wrong Way
1984, Robo Machine - RM-41: Sky-Gun
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 37: Wrong Way (reissue with sticker)
1985, Robo Machine - RM-41: Wrong Way
1993, Robo Machines - Helicopter I

PARTS:
1 x four-blade rotor
2 x gun pods (only on some versions)

WEAK POINTS:
Rear tab, chest plate, rear rotor