By 1986 Tonka were running low on figures for the regular Gobots bracket and had to resort to using rejected Machine Robo prototypes. Bullseye, not released in Japan, was one of these and managed to appear in the cartoon episode "Et Tu, Cy-Kill", along with several later figures.

The American version had a black cockpit, and mainly blue wing stickers with red trim. The European version had a blue cockpit, and inverted colours on the wing stickers. Interestingly while those were the extent of the outward differences, the construction of the figure's internal parts is completely different, with the American version made up of a larger number of pieces - the upshot being parts for the toys are not interchangeable. The US version also bears the word 'BULLEYE' (sic) stamped under one of the wings. Weird that there would be two differing moulds for basically the same figure. Okay, interesting was maybe an exaggeration.


ALTERNATE MODE

Bullseye's alt mode is modelled on the B-1 Lancer, and for a bomber the Lancer's quite pretty. Sadly, this isn't a good version of it - like Heat Seeker it's got a cheap, clumsy feel to it. There are some massive join lines all over the thing, while the housings for the swing wings are as ugly as Hell - just two big blocks. The tail never quite goes together properly and soon works loose, both sides flopping around. The wings move, which is nice, but does leave massive holes in the sides of the fuselage.

Also, from an aesthetics point of view no points for having a retractable nose wheel when the other two are solid, especially when it only partially folds away. The colours are bland, too. I can deal with unrealistic, but Bullseye looks more like an airliner. An unimaginatively liveried airline. With lots of white plastic. Well, it tends to be cream or yellow these days on most examples. It's an unusually cheap and sloppy attempt at an aircraft from Bandai and the boring colour scheme doesn't give it a chance.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation sequence deserves a little respect for doing something a bit different, but at the same time it's very fiddly, especially moving the arms into position - these move along on runners, and the connecting pins tend to snap very easily, leaving Bullseye arm-less.

The robot mode itself isn't brilliant, either. The legs end up splayed, and the feet look stupid - he lacks the awkward charm of other 'footless' Gobots like Bent Wing, and the legs lack the elegance of, say, Twin Spin. Things get worse in the arm department - this would have to be factory-fresh for the arms to be able to stay at 90° from the body. Possibly a good thing, as better arms would show off the tracks for the rails down the sides of his body. The head design isn't bad, but the rest of Bullseye is just so damn ugly, and bland at the same time.


SUMMARY

Bullseye is a sloppy figure. He looks poor in both modes and is too flawed and irritating to amuse for long. There's little to choose between the two variants although the European version is much more common, meaning importing's the best idea for anyone from America. He can be found cheaply, but in good condition is another matter, and Bullseye suffers more than most from being loose and discoloured. One to avoid.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1986, Gobots Series 3 - 63: Bullseye
1986, Robo Machine - RM-56: Bullseye (different stickers)

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Arms, nosecone