With Machine Robo in full swing and a sizeable hit Popy expanded it to include the Scalerobo DX figures, modelled on contemporary vehicles. Like Takara's Diaclone Car Robot figures, the line aspired to detail, quality and realism. The last of the 1983 figures was a 1/37 scale Porsche 930 Turbo. Released in 1983 the majority were produced in silver, though a small number came out in white.

Elsewhere the Scale DX figures were among those acquired by Tonka for the Gobots line, and by 1984 the small Gobot figures had been joined by Super Gobots. The 930T model became the Guardian Baron Von Joy. In Europe the figure became a Robo Machine Super Gobot - though the European release featured different box art still. This incidentally was my second-ever transforming robot toy. The character appear in the Challenge of the Gobots cartoon under the slightly modified name of Professor Von Joy. Complete with Germanic accent he would appear occasionally filling the role of cheerful mad scientist for the Guardians. The figure was later reissued in Europe in 1993 as part of Bandai's Robo Machines line, as 'De Luxe Sports Car I'. This release came with a different sticker sheet, stripping all the Porsche branding off and replacing it, as was the line's wont, with 'ROBO MACHINES' decals.


ALTERNATE MODE

Baron Von Joy - God damn, that has to be one of the best transforming robot names ever; he sounds like he should be a guest star on a later Avengers episode - has a really nice solid car mode. The silver looks good and a surprisingly effective job is done of blending the diecast front section and the plastic used on the back. Sadly, it's let down by the whacking great big lines for what will form the robot head and the parts that form the outside of his legs.

I'm also picking Baron to pick on for the generic Super Gobot tyres (they weren't used on Psycho, but were on the more conventional cars - Bug Bite, Herr Fiend and Zeemon). The pins for the wheels never seem to be hammered all the way in, and because the tyres are quite thin, they tend to wobble a little bit - this may only be the case because of age but it's been like that on every example of the mentioned Super Gobots I've ever seen, which suggests a bit of a design fault. Still, the detail work aside from this is exceptional, especially the excellent interior. A very good-looking car. The gun can clip neatly on the top as a roof-rack weapon, though obviously this compromises the realism just a smidgen.


ROBOT MODE

The robot mode obviously has the trademark non-humanoid head arrangement, but it's done pretty well. I actually like the very robotic green-sticker alien 'eyes' on the front. Only Psycho makes a better fist of the look. The red plastic looks good too, a nice change from the chromed arms on the other Super Gobots, even if it looks a little cheaper. It means the arms are tighter and Baron Von Joy isn't a worry for chrome wear (the lack of wear means unlike the other figures they fold away very securely for the vehicle mode). He's got alright articulation in the arms and his head turns a bit, but the figure is a statue aside from this. It's always astonished me how Bandai could make the small robots so well articulated for the time, and yet the large ones with theoretically more space and pieces for increased poseability are usually bricks.

Still, he looks rather good, with the red complementing the silver nicely, and the back section looks really cool. I especially like the way they've gone to the effort of engraving details onto the panel, which clips neatly into place. Figures that display just as well from all angles are something of a Gobots trademark. The gun, in a nice touch, can either be mounted on top of his head or clipped in his claws.


SUMMARY

Overall Baron Von Joy is a beautifully made figure. Both modes are well constructed providing you can get over the robot mode configuration - and if you can't you wouldn't even be reading this, would you? He's the most durable of the Scale DX figures, looks very snappy and is really something of a gem. Super Gobot prices have crept up a bit of late, but Baron Von Joy is still a relatively cheap and easy figure to find and well worth a look.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1984, Machine Robo Scalerobo Series - MRDX-07: Porsche 930 Turbo (silver version)
1984, Machine Robo Scalerobo Series - MRDX-07: Porsche 930 Turbo (white version)
1984, Robo Machine - Robo Machine DX:
Porsche 930 (silver version)
1984, Gobots Super Gobots Series 1 - 025: Baron Von Joy (silver version)
1985, Robo Machine - Super Gobots: Baron Von Joy (silver version)
1993, Robo Machines - De Luxe Sports Coupe II (silver version)

PARTS:
1 x Gun

WEAK POINTS:
None