The Renegade Dart was one of the final Gobots released in 1986. The figure comes from the batch of moulds that were never issued in Japan, though it was released in Europe as part of Robo Machine unchanged from the American release.

Despite only showing up towards the end of the line, Dart did get a role in the cartoon, oddly being switched across to the Guardian faction for the episodes "The Gobots That Time Forgot" (where he helped Scooter survive in an underground Renegade society) and "Mission Gobotron", though he appeared with the Renegades in "Et Tu, Cy-Kill" (putting him in the esteemed company of Royal-T and Tork as Gobots who randomly switched sides due to Hanna-Barbera's whims). The animation model featured a much-changed colour scheme, featuring a red chest, white head and white arms. More recently, Hasbro nicked the colour scheme for mediocre Transformers figure Reverb, apparently totally by accident.


ALTERNATE MODE

Dart's vehicle mode is modelled on a Honda VF1000R racing motorcycle, but I'd guess the livery is non-authentic - surely no self-respecting team would send out a bike that looked this dull? Despite the presence of some diecast, the overall impression is one of cheapness, despite the detail on the engine (lost by rendering in flat black plastic, sadly), and the wheels seem out of scale.

It might just be that the actual bike looked like this, but overall the mode just looks too boxy. The opaque blue windscreen hardly creates an impression of quality either. Dart is also plastered with stickers and not very good ones at that. Worse still, these peel like anything. The cheap plastic means the handlebars often snap off as well. A bit of chrome and rubber tyres would have worked wonders. Basically, he's rubbish in just about every possible way.


ROBOT MODE

Changing Dart is a frustrating task. The fairing splits in half and comes around to reveal the arms, which is a unique movement but one which is difficult to praise as you have to try and prise the arms from inside these half-shells without destroying the stickers on the sides of the body. Finding a loose Dart which doesn't have some wear to these is nigh-on impossible - in the past year I've owned six different Darts, and the best one has just minor wear to these, as seen in the pictures.

While I'm not someone who strives to keep C10 toys in AFA bubble-wrap in a display case, neither do I like feeling as if I'm destroying a toy every time I play with it, and that's the impression I get when transforming Dart. And it isn't even really worth it. The character's legs look half-formed, while he has big monkey arms to boot. Any articulation in these is negated by the aforementioned stickers. The face design looks unfinished, and the head can't sit straight, so Dart is always looking down. And he has handlebars on top of his head. Dart is as flawed as Mr. Moto, but has nowhere near the same amount of charm.


SUMMARY

Dart is probably one of the most mechanically frustrating Gobots and doesn't display well in either mode. He is, however, as cheap as chips - at least in Europe, anyway. I'm not sure if he's worth even the few quid he changes hands for, though. A word of advice for those who do chance it is not to fuss looking for one with good stickers on the side of the chest, as these will wear anyway unless you barely touch him.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1986, Gobots Series 3 - 69: Dart
1986, Robo Machine - RM-55: Dart

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Handlebars