Changing Robot Fighter Plane
Review by VF5SS
When I was a young lad, my first stop for Japanese robot toys and models was a store called Bob City Comics. They are still around under the name of Bedrock Comics. One of the first toys I ever bought from them was the Changing Robot Fighter Plane.
The origins of this are a complete mystery to me. I have had it for over ten years now and I still know very little about it. I have never seen another example of this toy and the generic name makes it hard to search for. The box itself looks like a clue to its origins. It appears to be from the 1980's with its simple utilitarian design and surprisingly legible English. I really like the way the photo of the toy integrates with the window in the front. I also love the way the box proudly proclaims that this toy WALKS and RUNS.
This is the manufacturer's logo. This toy comes from S.H. and was made in Japan.
The whole box serves as the toy's instruction manual. The back is the sticker guide.
I also think it would be "a fun" to put the seals where I want to.
One side shows the transformation.
While the other side shows you how to operate the toy's motorized functions. It takes two AA batteries to run this toy. The box actually calls for "UM-3 Cells" which I am not entirely sure what those are.
The fighter mode is very much a caricature of American warplanes from the 1980's. It looks a lot like a F-15. In this mode it sits on two rubber wheels and a single plastic wheel located on the robot's chest plate. Sadly this toy no longer RUNS. Back in its heyday, this toy would absolutely fly across the kitchen floor.
The rear of the plane sports a few major decals. For instance, the engine nozzle is just one big decal. As the toy RUNS in fighter mode, the rear sides of the plane move up and down.
The nose decals give this toy look reminiscent of many classic jet models. I love the "UF-105" designation and the "Fighter Robo" name tag. I can only assume the "UF" stands for something like "Ultra Fighter."
The robot mode is absolutely glorious in its ugliness. The saddlebag legs, oddly jointed arms, and upward facing fists all come together in a way that makes this toy charming in its awkwardness. The toy WALKS via a set of two geared wheels on each foot. The wheels are made to only turn one way. The legs move in and out while the wheels claw their way forward. It used to make the best whirring noise as it shuffled along the table.
The back of the robot shows the simplicity of the transformation. The nosecone hangs lazily off the back while the wings swing freely on their hinges. The jet engine retracts just enough to give the feet clearance for the robot to stand.
The red chest plate flips down to reveal the battery compartment. This simple cavity with electrical contacts is a real relic in today's world of molded battery mounts. It's a real tight fit for any modern AA battery.
The bottom of the robot is adorned with some rather intricate decals. Presumably these are meant to represent the robot's engine which kind of works since the lower body is where the motor is housed.
The left wing has another cool decal with a silhouette of the toy in robot and fighter mode with the words FIGHTER ROBO printed on it. It has a weird faux military feel.
Lastly, I would like to talk about the robot's head. It manages to have colors not found on the rest of the robot and looks like some kind of weird combination of Metal Hero and Real Robot aesthetics. It's really bizarre.
At one point I was thinking about selling this guy but in retrospect I feel that this is a really unique toy that I just have to hold on to it.
|Posted 5 June, 2009 - 10:32 by VF5SS|