Review by JoshB
Command Van comes from a line called Robot Racer, which was a series of 8 toys given away as premiums at Esso gas stations in Canada, the UK and other parts of Europe. The entire line consists of repackaged Change Robo / Magic Robo toys by the obscure Japanese toy company Maruka. As far as I can tell, they are the same toys, just repackaged. The Japanese versions came with some road signs, which you can see here with our Mixer Robot review
They all came on their own unique cards, with artwork original to this release. The toys also got new names for this release, but appear to have retained their numbering. This particular release, Command Van, was originally called Van Robot, and was #4 in that line.
Again, the toys are not quite transformed right on the packaging, and a few features are not shown at all. Each of the trucks has some kind of gimmick, in this case the yellow box opens to reveal missile detail, and the hands are not shown extended.
All of the truck-type toys share the same body mold, with the only difference being the stickers and the yellow attachment on the back. There's really no articulation here, but the big gimmick is the sparking action triggered by the friction engine. Simply rev it up enought times and watch the sparks fly out the hole above the wheel.
Transformation is simple, but be careful! The plastic is brittle, and trying to get the arms over the head can result in stress fractures or even breakage of the plastic. There are tabs on the arms that have to clear the head and there's just not enough room to do it without it being nerve-wracking.
Truck mode is reasonably compact and is a non-descript 80s Japanese pickup truck. The wheels are rubber and the fricton motor works fine. I assume the sparks still shoot out the bottom against the ground if you rev it hard enough.
The stickers are all foil and feature English warnings about the contents of the box.
Opening the box reveals molded-in missiles with some nice mechanical detail.
|Posted 20 January, 2021 - 09:37 by JoshB|