Super Couper was part of the final wave of Super Gobots, released in America and Europe in 1986. He wasn't released as part of Machine Robo in Japan however, and instead was designed by Bandai exclusively for the Western market.

The character was too late to be featured in the cartoon, but did get to be the star of the comic strip "A Spy Among Us!" in the final issue of the Official Gobot Magazine. The plot did revolve around him being a bit of an idiot, but at least it gave him something vaguely approaching a personality. The identical Robo Machine version seems more widespread than the Gobots edition, but neither seems to have been produced in particularly high numbers.


ALTERNATE MODE

Super Couper goes for a very American mode - a souped-up classic car. Well, I say "very American", but it's probably fairer to say "A Japanese designer's view of what's very American". The Ford Coupe mode (which beat the Laser Rods to the punch by the best part of a decade, incidentally) looks excellent. It's a shame the flames don't go back a bit more, and it's got one of those pointless bits of diecast found on contemporaneous Transformers, with the engine hood being rendered in metal - this does little beyond disrupting the black colour scheme and adding a minor façade of class.

Still, the other Super Gobot hallmarks of quality are here - nice rubber tyres and you could probably cave someone's skull in with this. It's an incredibly solid car, with hard dense plastic compensating for the relative lack of diecast. The main fragile points are the headlights which are often broken off, and bizarrely the roof segment. Not sure how some kid could break the latter off, but quite a few morons seem to have managed it somehow.


ROBOT MODE

Getting the figure into robot mode has a couple of hitches - hooking the back end of the car down into the legs is a bit tricky as what will be his feet tend to get hooked in there. The car roof section itself doesn't rotate as easily as perhaps it could, and the spring-loaded robot head has a habit of jamming. It's one of the more frustrating Gobots transformations all up.

Considering the more usual proportions prevalent since the first batch of DX figures he's pretty odd, too. They're just a bit off - Super Couper has very long legs and not a lot of torso, plus a daft set of monkey arms. The feet are so small compared to the rest of him that the figure has poor balance, and the shoulders make him look like an ape. The head and torso become quite lost in the mix. There is reasonable articulation in the arms and legs, but nothing that's particularly useful considering he's so unbalanced. The old thing's not totally without charm, but the toy is very much an acquired taste.


SUMMARY

Super Couper is a flawed figure. While he's worth having for Gobots fans, don't pay a lot and he's certainly not recommended as a purchase if you've yet to sample the more eclectic side of the series. The alternate mode is nice but the robot mode's just too gangly and strange to really hold it all together. He costs a lot for such an awkward figure and is really one for the converted.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1986, Gobots Super Gobots Series 3 - 035: Super Couper
1986, Robo Machine - Super Gobots: Super Couper

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Headlights, roof