Bent Wing was one of several small Gobots released exclusively in America and Europe, and skipped in Bandai's home territory of Japan (though it was, most likely, originally designed as a prototype for the Machine Robo line). He does bear a Bandai stamp, and came out in 1986 in the West.

The American and European versions had slightly different stickers - the American release had a yellow band around the nose, while European version had an orange one. Bent Wing was one of the few figures who managed to miss out on the TV series, the poor sod. In 1993, Bandai reissued him in Europe (with the orange band) as part of the Robo Machines line, where he was designated simply as 'Aircraft'.


ALTERNATE MODE

Bent Wing is very much a companion piece of Ace, being another World War II fighter, in this case the Chance Vought F4U Corsair. The actually body shape doesn't seem quite as sleek as the real plane, though this may be my memory playing tricks. That said, it's not a bad little plane, despite the large bumps in the wings that allow them to fold. It's worth noting that for some reason the blades seem a lot sturdier than those on the other vintage plane Gobots - the plastic is more malleable.

The colour scheme is both excellent and realistic, the only other problem being the undercarriage making the plane sit too close to the ground. Looseness can also be a pain - once the connection between the base of the wings and the fuselage begins to give, he belly-flops on flat surfaces. There's also the scale, though it's not an outright fault with the toy - it's smaller than Ace, but larger than Zero which is a shame if you want to display the plane modes together. However, Bent Wing does avoid the chunky feel there is to Ace. Overall, it's a respectable stab at a nice aircraft, if not quite up to the detail of the Renegade.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation is interesting, again - three World War II fighters with basically the same configuration, and Bandai use three completely different conversion sequences. That's commendable when at around the same time Takara were banging out the interchangeable Aerialbots.

The robot mode has the classic Gobot "weird and ungainly but oddly cool" look to it - Bent Wing has two halves of aircraft tail for arms, and looks about as mobile as the Great Wall of China, but he's still rather interesting. Articulation is limited to the aforementioned arms, and sadly by this stage we're on nearly all-plastic materials, but he looks really sharp. For some reason, the fact he has a propeller blade on top of his head is something I find absolutely awesome. I suspect the novelty may soon wear off for others, though.


SUMMARY

Bent Wing's another interesting - if not quite there - small Gobot, and is probably one for converts only. If you already think Gobots are ugly oddities it won't swing you, but if you appreciate the different, less humanoid design philosophy of Bandai's more unconventional efforts, this is an interesting figure. While the figure isn't common, it's not particularly well-known, and can be picked up cheaply with patience. As with many of the 1986 Gobots, the European release is much more common.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1986, Gobots Series 3 - 72: Bent Wing
1986, Robo Machine - RM-54: Bent Wing
1993, Robo Machines - Aircraft

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
None