Review by Ginrai
The Super GoBot Herr Fiend, originally Scale Robo DX Porsche 928S Robo from the Machine Robo line, is one of the nicest of the GoBots. The Japanese version and its European counterpart were available in two different types of blue, but I find that the US version has the superior colors. Its pitch black color scheme is fearsome and really goes with the identity of an evil robot scientist of the German persuasion. Imagine if Rotwang from Metropolis could transform into a car!
So how does Herr Fiend hold up as a toy and not a character? This is almost entirely diecast metal with rolling rubber wheels. You hold it up to your cheek and you feel the cool zinc alloy. The paint job is great and while it's a little hard to see the details in all that black paint, it just looks fantastic.
Yes, you can see the seams on the toy where it transforms, but it makes for a pretty convincing car. It has your basic stickers like a license plate, tail and headlights, and optional big stupid racing numbers, but I think it looks way better without them. It is also bigger and has more heft than the Diaclone Car Robot toys from Takara that Popy was obviously competing with. If you have to pick between Herr Fiend and the Transformer Jazz, remember that Herr Fiend doesn't break if you breathe on it.
The transformation is simple but satisfying, similar to the other Scale Robo DX cars. Also like those toys, Herr Fiend seems less like a robot with a personality and more like a robotic vehicle. There's even a little human figure in the cockpit! One down side is that his ass is a car hood, but at least it's not going to snap off. The articulation is acceptable for the '80s. The legs are basically immobile, but the arms have a decent range of motion. The robot's head is just as inhuman as the other Scale Robo DX toys and he has these weird turning fork hands. I wonder how exactly Herr Fiend performs horrible medical procedures with those stubby things!
If I were rating this against the other Super GoBot toys, I'd say Psycho has a cooler robot mode and better hands, but Herr Fiend has way more metal. Herr Fiend's slick black paint job puts the toy right near the top. I really like all of the Super GoBot cars based on Scale Robo DX line, but this is one case where America got the better deal. The mold itself is not quite as cool as Bug Bite or Pscyho, but Herr Fiend has as much metal as Bug Bite and the cooler color scheme, so I'd say they are on close to even footing.
Herr Fiend has no weapon at all. He doesn't even have a weird gun-hat like Bug Bite, but this robot is an evil scientist, not a warrior, so I don't mind that much. If your entire impression of GoBots is short, crappy Transformers ripoffs, you are in for a treat with the Super GoBot cars. In robot mode, these are almost twice as tall as the Transformers that began as Diaclone Car Robots like Jazz and Prowl. They don't have as many fine details (no missile launchers for example), but they are way bigger, include far more metal, and are nowhere near as fragile and fiddly. Herr Fiend is a nice example of the line and the good news is that thanks to the terrible reputation the GoBots enjoy, you can pick these up for pretty cheap on the secondary market. Did I mention this toy was manufactured by Popy? That's right, this classic diecast robot even has a little Popy logo etched into the metal.
With Herr Fiend you get a sweet paint job, copious metal, rubber tires, and a classy personality. Let's face it, this is the kind of GoBot you always wished you had: the kind that performs eugenics experiments.
(C) 2009 Jeremy W. Kaufmann & CollectionDX
|Posted 22 October, 2009 - 19:38 by Ginrai|