Klaws was one of the three unreleased Devil Invader figures designed by Bandai for Machine Robo. Like the others, the figure was released by Tonka for the final series of Gobots. The toy was also released in Europe, with Bandai choosing a darker shade of blue on the figure (this is the version shown in the pictures here; I doubt I'm going to bother shelling out ~$25 for the rarer American version which is only a little lighter in hue).

Klaws' late arrival saw him only have very limited appearances in the cartoon - in a non-speaking flashback in "Et Tu, Cy-Kill" and briefly replacing Hornet for a few seconds in "Battle of the Rock Lords"; as Hornet is referred to in the film's dialogue as "Klaws" throughout, it seems someone made a mistake somewhere.


First thing I think about Klaws is how similar his alt mode is to Scourge from Transformers. It's one of the many coincidences the lines' toys tend to bring up that both came out with hovercraft-style spaceships for vehicle modes. Bandai's version, however, is a lot less slick. Someone in their design office clearly had their heart set on the smooth nose section and little thought's been put into the rest - behind the red shell, there's just a pair of hands and a couple of legs sticking out. Good work, chaps.

The colours don't mesh very well, either, robbing an already half-arsed mode of any coherence - the spaceship parts are marked out in red, and the robot parts in blue. The barely-hidden head, presumably to give some inkling of a cockpit, doesn't work either, just looking like they couldn't find a way of totally encasing the thing. The legs don't even stay in a satisfactory position, always popping down so it looks like the ship's had it's back broken. All in all, it's a mode that looks alright at first glance, but really does look unfinished on closer examination. Sometimes you can look at these and easily see why Bandai thought they weren't up to scratch.


The transformation sequence is pretty simple - once you've split the shell in half, there are only a couple of minor moves to it. He's actually not bad, with the shell split to cover his arms and a reasonably well-rendered robot underneath. The colours work a lot better on this mode, where the segmentation paid off - it's pretty obvious which mode they concentrated on.

The chrome limb parts break up the blue nicely (though the hollow legs look cheap; there's also a hole through the torso under the neck), while the red wings look pretty neat. The head sculpt isn't very good, though - it's a bit cylindrical. He looks a bit like a mad robot chicken, actually, what with the crest and the bizarre eye layout (they're on the sides of his head). In theory, Klaws has good articulation - at the shoulders, at the elbows and at the hips, plus the head can move forwards a little. However, the wings get in the way, and hinging them out to the side loses the look of the thing. Similarly, levelling his arms at the shoulder means the wings come up with them, seeing as they're attached.


Klaws' alt mode just looks unfinished, and the robot mode's pretty odd to boot. He's not without his plus points such as the decent articulation, and he does manage to look like a Gobot. He's not quite as stupid as Bugsie or Bladez, but he's certainly not worth breaking the bank for. Like many later figures, incidentally, he's much more common in Europe.

[Corrections? Let me know!]

1986, Gobots Series 3 - 60: Klaws
1986, Robo Machine - RM-51: Klaws (dark recolour)