Following the success of the Scale Robo DX range in 1985 Bandai further expanded on the Machine Robo range with the Big Machine Robo series. The first two were scaled-up versions of existing smaller Machine Robo while the other three took vehicle modes from the range as a starting point, but used new transformations. One of these was the Big Jet-Heli Robo nominally based on the Apache Robo (released in America as the Guardian Wrong Way).

This was released as a Gobots toy later in 1985, becoming the Renegade Warpath (presumably either Tonka thought the link with Wrong Way was too tenuous, or wanted to balance out the Super Gobot factions a little). The European version had an exclusive green colour scheme but retained the adjusted American sticker-sheet. The character didn't appear in the cartoon series, probably to avoid confusion with Wrong Way. Or because Hanna-Barbera forgot. One of the two.


ALTERNATE MODE

Warpath's vehicle mode is an AH-64 Apache gunship. This isn't one of my favourite helicopters to be honest but it's adequately rendered well here. There are some faults - the cockpit seems a little wide, while the clip on the front also ruins the look a little. The black colour scheme works rather well (one of the big advantages of the US variant is that it looks different from Wrong Way) and the red stickers offset it nicely.

However, it's a bit much that he not only has his name written on him but in five different places - it goes beyond fun and into overkill. The rocket stickers look a bit weird, too. The helicopter is sturdy (especially the nice, thick blades) while the diecast underside and retractable undercarriage add a touch of class.


ROBOT MODE

Switching Warpath to robot mode is reminiscent of the Deluxe Autobot Whirl from the Transformers line, with the underside of the fuselage forming the legs, the cockpit the chest, the tail folding down onto the back, and the engine pods forming the arms. Like Whirl, the resulting robot is very thin. This aside it's not too bad, though the arms leave a little to desire - the forearms being slim while the fists are the same size as the upper arms. It looks a little comical. The head design isn't bad though, and he looks respectable on the whole.

Contrary to what this review has stated in the past he can store his blades nicely in robot mode, a major advantage compared to the small version - they slot into the back of the cockpit section, are neatly clipped between this and the tail and then fan out nicely. It really does add a certain something to the robot mode making it a little less generic-looking.


SUMMARY

Warpath is far superior to his diminutive inspiration and he's one of the more conventional Super Gobots. The helicopter mode is respectable even if I can't get past the design myself, and he displays adequately. Warpath has a little flair to him - not too much, but enough to make him pretty neat overall. He tends to be fairly cheap and is a good starting point for Super Gobots.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1985, Machine Robo Big Machine Robo Series - BMR-04:
Big Jet-Heli Robo
1985, Gobots Super Gobots Series 2 - 020: Warpath
1985, Robo Machine - Super Gobots: Warpath (green recolour)

PARTS:
1 x 4-blade rotor

WEAK POINTS:
None