The third Scalerobo DX figure came out in 1983, having been designed by Popy shortly before they were reabsorbed into Bandai . The toy was modelled on a Porsche 928S, and came in both dark blue and metallic blue colour schemes. Alternate stickers were provided, featuring two racing numbers - '32' and '64' - presumably so kids could buy both and put one set on each, though often both sets were applied on promotional materials (and thus lots of examples now). Both the dark blue and metallic blue versions went on to be released in Europe as part of the Robo Machine line.

Meanwhile Tonka bought up the Machine Robo rights in North America, and in 1984 the figure became a Super Gobot - the Renegade Herr Fiend, to be precise. It got a new coat of black paint in the process. This probably had dual reasoning - to make the figure look more sinister, and to differentiate him from Baron Von Joy a bit more. This version remained a US exclusive. The character was brought across to Europe when the DX Robo Machine figures were reissued as Robo Machine Super Gobots, but the light blue version of the toy was used instead. Herr Fiend had the early working name of Dr. Go and it was under the latter name he appeared as the Renegade scientist in the Challenge of the Gobots cartoon. The toy was re-released in 1993 for the Robo Machines line, a De Luxe figure designated 'Sports Coupe I' - this version featured an all-new red/black colour scheme.


ALTERNATE MODE

The Porsche 928 isn't a car I'm particularly fond of - the company's 'flat nose' models just look too bland. However, the black scheme looks rather sharp. Personally I've always felt this version of the figure looks best without the numbered stickers. They just don't go well with the one-tone scheme - which is why I've not got around to upgrading mine (also he's a bit of a project, a smashed-up junker rebuilt with parts from other knackered Super Gobots; you probably can't see on the pictures, but those are Zeemon's wheels). The light stickers are a nice touch (in good condition, the metallic finish means they look better that paint apps could) as are the inset chrome headlights.

Once more they've managed to blend the paint and plastic beautifully - only paint chips really give it away. The detail level is good all-round actually, with the nice cockpit (including sunroof) and opening hatchback (which reveals a pair of seats). I'm not fond enough on the 928 to really like the mode, but if they had to pick such a forgettable car at least they made a decent fist of it.


ROBOT MODE

Herr Fiend transforms largely the same way as the other DX cars - in fact, it's exactly like Zeemon, right down to the rear wheels folding down to flank the thighs, the hatchback part staying halfway down the back and the feet panels. Of course, the shape of the vehicles means they don't share any parts (unless you want to be pedantic about screws and the like).

Sadly what they do share is a certain lack of personality. It takes a real stretch of imagination to perceive much character from the head design, though the protrusion from the head can just about pass as a nose/voicebox I suppose. The all-black means the driver stands out more than on other figures - that said, there's only one screw on the front of the cockpit and it's very easy to remove the figure (as I've done). That aside the silver parts work rather well with the black, and I do like the fork-like hands, even if they are pretty useless. Mechanically, the big problem is that the bonnet clips on to a rather fragile hook that wears or snaps very easily, making the chest slump down. The especially bland face and largely unexceptional robot configuration make him a little boring.


SUMMARY

Aside from being that rare thing - a subtle Tonka recolour - there's not really a lot going for Herr Fiend. Even if you're a big fan of the windscreen-face Super Gobots other figures do it better, and with more interesting car modes. If you're a 928 fan he's worth a look and he does continue the high quality of the range. Herr Fiend won't cost a bomb either, but he's not worthy of being chosen over any other Super Gobot car.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1983, Machine Robo Scalerobo Series - MRDX-03:
Porsche 928S (dark blue version)
1983, Machine Robo Scalerobo Series - MRDX-03:
Porsche 928S (light blue version)
1983, Robo Machine - DX Robo Machine: RMDX-03:
Porsche 928S (dark blue version)
1983, Robo Machine - DX Robo Machine: RMDX-03:
Porsche 928S (light blue version)
1984, Gobots Super Gobots Series 1 - 027: Herr Fiend (black recolour)
1985, Robo Machine - Super Gobots: Herr Fiend (light blue version)
1993, Robo Machines - Sports Coupe I (red recolour)

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Waist clip