With the 600 Series selling well Popy decided to expand Machine Robo's horizons and initiated the Scale Robo DX line. The subline was based on realistic vehicles and thus Datsun's popular Fairlady 280Z was an obvious choice to be drafted into the line. The figure was produced in two colour schemes - one all-red, and the other featuring a darker metallic red coat of paint and a black roof.

The black roof version was used for the initial European release as part of Robo Machine, while in America Tonka chose the all-red variant to be the Guardian figure Zeemon. The character went on to be a semi-regular in the cartoon as the Guardians' political leader.


ALTERNATE MODE

The 280 Fairlady-Z is the nicest car ever. There, I said it. Zeemon isn't a bad version of the beauty either. The vibrant red as opposed to the slightly dull colouring of the European version adds an extra touch of panache - it's not as flash and cool as Prowl or Smokescreen, but it is nice to have an interesting 'civilian' version of the car.

The sculpting of the thing is really good, too - the layout of the DX figures means the car mode is made up of solid sections with the join-lines generally being in fitting places - at the front and back of the doors, around the bottom of the hatchback, along the windscreen. Add in the working boot (nothing inside, but a handy place to store a pound coin), the excellent detailing (including the driver and some classy stickers) and you've got a pretty decent toy car. The only fly in the ointment is the paint apps on the roof - being on transparent plastic these just don't look as solid as the rest of the car. A bit of a shame, but a fair trade-off for the nifty T-Bar roof.


ROBOT MODE

As mentioned in the Herr Fiend review this figure transforms in a totally identical fashion to the Porsche 928S toy. Except this one's better - more Datsun, you see. The robot mode is stockier than its' stablemate however, leading to a better-proportioned figure thanks to the bulkier torso. It still lacks personality compared to Bug Bite or Von Joy but then Zeemon does look pretty close to his cartoon visage - where he didn't look like he had much charm either.

The pilot would be pretty difficult to remove on this one (two screws this time, one of which would be hard to get at without ruining the finish on the bonnet or totally dismantling the figure) but then it doesn't stand out too badly. The colours continue to work well, with the increased black and chrome parts working together. Ultimately, he is a bit weird looking and lacks articulation - once more it's only in the arms. The diecast legs look a bit odd and ungainly for some reason, probably because they're a bit shorter than on the other 'roof-head' DX figures.


SUMMARY

Zeemon doesn't look bad, but truth be told there are other figures that do better. Both modes are solid, especially the slick and stylish vehicle mode, but the figure lacks an x-factor. The US version is by far the sharpest version of Zeemon and while he's not a stonewall classic, he's a good addition to any Gobots collection.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1983, Machine Robo Scalerobo Series - MRDX-02: Fairlady 280Z (red roof version)
1983, Machine Robo Scalerobo Series - MRDX-02: Fairlady 280Z (black roof version)
1983, Robo Machine - Robo Machine DX:
Fairlady 280Z (black roof version)
1984, Gobots Super Gobots Series 1 - 026: Zeemon (red roof version)
1985, Robo Machine - Super Gobots: Zeemon (black roof version)

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
None