Even after the Machine Robo line changed direction Bandai kept a close relationship with Tonka, and continued designing figures for their partner's Gobots line even if these weren't released in Bandai's primary market of Japan. The last of these figures were issued in 1986 and they made up the final series of Super Gobots. One of the latter was the Guardian Raizor, seemingly inspired by a mooted variant of the 600 Series Phantom Robo figure.

Due to his late arrival Raizor didn't make it to any official media, and barely came out in America at all - he enjoyed a slightly wider release in Europe as part of Robo Machine, though this was still made in much smaller numbers than most figures in the range. The figure is quite hard to track down, especially with the rotor blades.


ALTERNATE MODE

Now, Raizor has possibly the oddest alt mode of all the 'realistic' Gobots (i.e. excluding the Renegade mutant figures or the sci-fi influenced stuff like Cy-Kill or Fitor). It's a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom. With a helicopter VTOL device slapped on the back. Presumably this variant of the F4 at least got to the concept stage as Bandai weren't in the habit of mixing reality with fantasy.

Most important thing is that it looks really rather good, if a little oddball. The stubby wings would appear to be a deliberate thing (with the wings on the 'helicopter' section giving lift, I suppose), and the whole thing is very impressive (working, diecast retractable nose wheels always go down well). It's reminiscent of one of those mad old early 'rotary wing' aircraft, recast in state-of-the-art 1980s technology. Marvellous. There's even a nice sharp colour scheme and good detail work, as per normal. The two halves of the fuselage don't mesh very well, however. Incidentally, finding one of these with the rotors is nigh-on impossible although the toy does look respectable, if stranger still, without them.


ROBOT MODE

The transformation is complex, with the fuselage splitting and folding to form the body, and the 'helicopter' segment forming the head and shoulders. It all locks into place pretty solidly - even the rotor blades - these fit neatly into the little hole on the back.

The robot mode is also very odd looking. The blue head looks a little incongruous, surprisingly villainous, and not really fitting with the rest of the figure. He looks a little unfinished, especially the torso with the sparse, flat diecast sides, and that uncovered nosecone underside. The arms are articulated at the shoulder and elbow, though they're limited by the wings sprouting from directly above the shoulders. Raizor is one of those figures that looks like you haven't transformed him properly and is thus one of the more disappointing Supers.


SUMMARY

Raizor is a competent figure, though probably one you'll find either interesting or silly. He's durable and diverting but a little too flawed to be an outright classic, especially with the half-finished looking robot form. The biggest stumbling block is his price - Raizor is one of the very rarest Gobots. Otherwise, he's more one for confirmed fans willing to fork out big money for a Gobot. He just doesn't have many long-term merits.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1986, Gobots Super Gobots Series 3 - 034: Raizor
1986, Robo Machine - Super Gobots: Raizor

PARTS:
1 x 4-blade rotor

WEAK POINTS:
None