Took a few snaps of Steam Robo (Loco) the other day, he’s one of the models in the Machine Robo/Gobot line, and getting up close to this little guy reminded me of how awesome he was/is. The great thing with Loco is how easy he is to transform, yet how cool he is in both robot and vehicle mode, he literally folds in half and the arms pop out, yet it just works so well. And this is a solid toy, only Hot Wheels/Matchbox sized, very sturdy and has stood up well to years of mistreatment:) The arms are a bit loose, not too bad considering the age, but the challenge with Loco is that to fix that properly (like with Tank previous) you’d need to take him a apart, and there’s a sticker/decal in front of that main screw that would almost certainly be destroyed in removing it. So fixing up proper would probably need making up a new sticker to replace the removed one, doable but I’m not sure I’ll go there with this guy just yet.
Anyway here are some snaps of Steam Robo MR-05 AKA Loco that I hope do him justice.
Before I fixed up Tank (see previous post), I decided to take a few snaps. I really like the design of these old Machine Robo/Gobots, they are of course nothing like modern transformer toys, which have become very intricate, but still have a strong design with cool elements, lines & angles that photograph really well. Because there is a mix of diecast metal and plastic this also adds to the character that these things can build up over time, Tank is in pretty good nick but Screwhead (who’ll I’ll work on next) is more beat up, the good thing with diecast (and pressed steel) is that it takes on age really well and builds up these layers that you don’t really get with plastic alone. I actually like that look, also I think it suit’s something like a battle robot pretty well! It’s also actually quite difficult to reproduce that kind of aging artificially, so if you’ve got decent wear on a toy like this you may want to keep it that way. There are some cases where restoring them (not just functionally but also aesthetically) can make sense depending on what you’re after, I’ll do a post around that at some stage.
Here are a few photo’s of Tank/Battle Robo MR-02 that I hope do the toy justice.
So, as per my previous post, I’ve been reacquainted some of my old Gobots I had as kid, and this is another retro toy that has a lot of very cool qualities, that still work pretty well today. The only issue with Tank here was his arms (and his missing guns but I’m sure they’re in a box somewhere!). The joints there have become a bit loose and don’t stick in place as well as they used to. Solution – Liquid Plastic! Learned this from some googling about repairing Gobots/Machine Robo, and came across some very good YouTube videos by Mr Bobot.
Liquid Plastic is something I had never heard of before, but is perfect for this problem. It essentially works by hardening a liquid into solid plastic via ultra violet light, so where you need to build up the layer of plastic (to replace what has been worn away) this is perfect – and non-damaging to the existing plastic. It’s a terrible glue, mainly because if you try to bond 2 things together the ultra violet can’t get into the place where the two surfaces are actually joining together. But in this case that’s perfect – we don’t want (or need) a glue, just something to build the volume of plastic back a bit.
The liquid plastic I used was 5-Second fix, a cheap brand but seems to work fine, a more expensive version is Bondic, for for what needs to be done here not sure it’s worth the extra cost for same outcome.
So, with this goal I took old Tank apart, pretty easy – one screw! There are other screws on the legs but they were fine so didn’t take him totally to bits. I could see quite easily where the problem was on the joint as the plastic was lighter with wear right where the arms were held by the body. What I found is that it is only a tiny bit of plastic that needs to be worn away for these joints to become loose, it is quite dense plastic and doesn’t wear easily, but enough rotations of those arms will do it eventually as it is just friction that is holding them in place. So a very small amount of liquid plastic, hardened, is all that was needed, then a squeeze together with the diecast body while rotating the arms just to carve into it and get the body to press together tightly again.
Now Tank is as good as new! All up probably a 10 minute job at most.
Like I said before these old Machine Robo/Gobots are well worth preserving, they have a unique and interesting design and great fun to muck around with. I’ve got young kids who have some current Transformers and they love seeing and playing with these old Gobots of mine, I’m not precious about my old toys and are happy to fix them up to be played with again. I’m going to track down some of others, beat up ones I’ll share with the kids, others I’ll keep for myself 🙂
Was digging through another old box of stuff from storage (slowing working through that), and came across a few of these old guys that bought back a few memories. I only had a handful, and another couple that I can remember but can’t find yet, and a couple of Transformers, and they certainly got some good use! They are in pretty good shape but the joints are a bit loose with arms only really hanging by the side, I think I’ll be able to sort each of these out and will do a blog post & video on each as I go.
Having a look on the net it’s great to see there is a decent amount of content on these things, I wasn’t hugely into the cartoons and was more into just the toys themselves, with my bro and friends and just making stuff up, good times :). I love the scale/size of these as well, I had a lot of Hotwheels and Matchbox cars, like most kids, and these fit in with that lot perfectly. Also something about the style of these I really like, very consistent, probably due to them coming from one core design team, definitely retro and kind of iconic in their own weird way.
These ones here are the most basic to transform and so got transformed a lot but have hung together surprisingly well considering, I think my Transformers didn’t fare quite so well from memory so will be interesting to see when/if I eventually find them.
There are loads more of these Gobots (Machine Robo) than I think I was aware of as a kid, so now I am keen to track down some of the others, preferably beat up ones that may need a work to bring back up to scratch, keeps things interesting:) With these ones I’ll work out how far I want to go restoring them, I like the wear they’ve got from use & years, but at the same time a little touch up here and there could be good too, will see how it goes.
In the meantime I’ve made a page listing out all the mainline Machine Robo / Gobots, and may generate a page for each with some information about disassembly and repair options, slowly probably over the next year or so. There is ample info about all the models online anyway and I don’t want to repeat any of that good stuff – I’ve added links on this page – Machine Robo/Gobots.