Ace Robo (Red)
Review by JoshB
This is a red variant of the previously reviewed blue version. The toy is the same.
Ace Robo is from the Gokin Robo Car sub-line of the Gokin Robo line by Mark. These would later be imported into the US by Select and Village Toys as part of the Converters line. Note that in English it says Town Ace, but in the proper character name is エースロボ (Ace Robo). Either way, the toy is based off off a 1984 Toyota Town Ace van, which was never released in the US (as far as I can tell.)
It was released in the US by Village Toys in their Convert-A-Bots, reviewed here.
And while the vehicle mode looks similar to the original Transformers Ratchet, it's a different model. Ratchet was a Nissan Vanette.
The line is actually called "Gokin Robo Car", a sub-line of Mark's "Gokin Robo" line. The toy comes packaged in a beautiful color box with a styrofoam tray. I actually prefer these boxes over the Machine Robo boxes, their obvious competitor.
The back of the styrofoam has the name of the toy "タウンエース (Town Ace)" embedded in it. I struggle with what to call these, as its called Ace Robo in some places, and Town Ace in the other. There's no rhyme or reason.
Ace Robo is a dorky looking bot, with crooked stickers, heavy paint application, and basic transformation. But what it lacks in refinments it makes up in charm. It's simple and mostly diecast metal, but it's got a stress-free transformation that even a toddler can figure out.
Ace Robo typically comes with a sticker sheet but this one this one had them applied. Most of them are black stickers, on a black vehicle, so they don't make a lot of sense.
As far as vehicle mode goes, it's not great. The parts don't line up great, and the paint is very heavily applied. The rubber tires roll freely, butthey feel like they are on the verge of drying up and cracking.
There's some detail missing on the final version that is shown on the box art, like the headlights, but that's not uncommon. The wheels are also different.
From the back there's an obvious gap, but that's to be expected with the transformation.
Overall I love these cheap little things.