The last year of the Super Gobots in 1986 saw a batch of figures designed exclusively by Bandai for the Western market. One of these was the Guardian Throttle. A blue version was released in America while a silver version was issued in Europe.

Oddly a silver (well, cream) colour scheme was used for the character's appearance in the Challenge of the Gobots episode "The Quest for New Earth" (Throttle's only TV appearance). Though odder still was the ugly character model chosen when there was nothing wrong with the toy in the first place. A blue character model with a very toy-accurate look did appear in the comic strip for the final issue of the Gobots Magazine, though. In 1993, the silver version was reissued in Europe as part of Robo Machines, becoming the De Luxe Motorcycle.


ALTERNATE MODE

The motorcycle mode is beautiful. The BMW basis is well-chosen and very pretty, especially in the superior European silver scheme (as pictured - I'm not spending forty quid on an inferior variant). The larger scale - I'd guess Throttle's rendered at about 1:12 - allows for a lot of detail and the toy doesn't disappoint, including dashboard stickers, a number-plate and a kick-stand. There's also a ton of diecast, which adds to the feeling of quality, and a very good set of tyres.

The forearms stick out a little from the sides of the engine block, but aside from this and a couple of lines, you wouldn't guess this turns into a robot. It's just a really great, well-crafted toy motorcycle with next to no faults.


ROBOT MODE

Turning Throttle into a robot is interesting. The transformation is complicated without being frustrating once you get the hang of when to swing the wheels away and behind - though this is clearly the reason why so hard to find with the rear wheel, as the children of 20 years ago probably didn't take the same amount of care as present day collectors, obviously. Aside from that it's all very logical, and while the robot is slim, it's certainly better than any other 1980s transforming bike toy, and Throttle's neck-and-neck with the decade-newer Road Pig.

The robot looks impressive, quite wide and well balanced (the wheels on the back look great too), and the colour scheme works a treat (why a Guardian, though? He reeks of Cool Bad Guy). There's even a stab at decent articulation, with three points in each arm and two in each leg. The only real problem is chrome wear, as you may be able to make out on the pictures to the left, although I'd guess a lot of those joints can work loose over the years. The rear wheel doesn't seem that fragile, but then I've hardly been trying to tear the thing off and there must be a reason why so many end up without it.


SUMMARY

Throttle is a classic figure, one of the best of the line and one of a select handful who really stand up to the best Transformers figures. He's one of the ones that benefits from Tonka persisting with better-quality materials such as diecast and chrome while also incorporating more complex, modern construction, giving the best of both worlds. He isn't cheap to pick up is the downside. I'd advise US Throttle-hunters to go for the European route as the silver really is a lot more austere than the rather garish blue used on the American release, and even with shipping he won't work out as costly. Either way, an essential figure.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1986, Gobots Super Gobots Series 3 - 032: Throttle
1986, Robo Machine - Super Gobots: Throttle
1993, Robo Machines - De Luxe Robo Machines: Motorcycle

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Rear wheel