Robo Machines was a short-lived European transforming robot toyline released by Bandai from late 1992 to 1993. It was meant as an attempt to revive the European Robo Machine toyline that ran from 1982 to approximately 1988. It incorporated several toys previously released in the Machine Robo and Robo Machine toy-lines, and five new toys that had only been previously released in Japan as part of the CG Robo toy-line.
About Robo Machines
The Robo Machines toy line featured a total of 27 transforming robot figures, and was released by Bandai in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and presumedly, the Netherlands. Giochi Preziosi, Bandai's agent in Italy, handled the release in that country. 22 of the figures were reissues of figures that were previously released as part of the Robo Machine toy-line. 16 were 'regular'-sized figures (simply referred to as "Robo Machines"), and 6 "De Luxe" figures. Furthermore, 5 figures previously unreleased outside of Japan were sold as "Light & Sound" Robo Machines.
The 'Regular'-sized Robo Machines
Sixteen 'regular'-sized Robo machines were released, in series of five. The first series had its line-up changed somewhere along the way to replace 'Harrier' with 'P-51'. All had been released as Gobots between 1983 and 1986, and the majority originated from Bandai's Machine Robo '600 Series'. Exact names varied according to market - those given are for the United Kingdom.
Six De Luxe Robo Machines were released - these figures had been released as Super Gobots in America. Three figures (De Luxe Beetle, De Luxe Sports Car I and De Luxe Sports Car 2) originally came from the Machine Robo DX series, two (De Luxe F-15 and De Luxe Space Shuttle) from the Big Machine Robo series, and one (De Luxe Motorcycle) had been issued only as a Gobot. Exact names varied according to market - those given are for the United Kingdom.
Five Light & Sound Robo Machines were released. Originally from Bandai's Machine RoboCG ('Change and Glow') Robo 1992 series, these were the only toys from the range to get names, as opposed to designations (in the United Kingdom, at least - designations seem to have been used in other markets). The figures had flashing lights and siren sounds.
Many of the figures released as part of the Robo Machines toy-line had some changes made to them in comparison to previous releases of the molds made in the 1980s.
All of the toys that were reissues from the Robo Machine line had their molds modified, meaning that parts from Robo Machines toys are likely not to be interchangeable with those of their 1980s counterparts. Many of the toys featured their original Machine Robo color scheme. Some toys had completely new and unique color schemes. The Light & Sound Robo Machines also had some color variations. For example, RM-05 Rough Rider is a lighter shade of blue than his Japanese counterpart (the CG-05 4WD CG).
All of the reissued toys feature new sticker sheets which had any references to existing trademarks from other companies than Bandai removed. Instead, these references have been replaced with text like 'RM', 'ROBO MACHINES', 'ROBOMACHINES', or 'RM AIR FORCE' (on the planes). Not only the text was changed, but in fact the entire sticker sheets were redesigned, and they feature many differences when compared to previous releases.
The Light & Sound Robo Machines had some minor sticker changes in comparison to their Japanese CG-Robo counterparts. All the text in their designation numbers was changed from 'CG' to 'RM'.
Country of manufacturing
All of the reissued toys were manufactured in China. The Light & Sound Robo Machines were manufactured in Thailand.
Variations within the toy-line
Some of the Robo Machines released in different countries feature minor variations.
There are at least 3 different types of backing cards available for the carded toys. The carded toys were also released boxed in Germany.
All of the Italian packaging is mono-lingual, in Italian. It also lacks the Bandai logo, instead it features the Giochi Preziosi logo. This means that both Italian backing cards and boxes are different from the packaging used in the other countries in which the Robo Machines toy-line was released.
Some of the releases featured minor differences due to a change in manufacturing. For example, the De Luxe Space Shuttle was available with either black screws or silver screws.
P-51 has a Machine Robo-logo molded onto one of its wings, even though it was never released as part of that toy-line. As the original release of P-51, a Gobot named Ace lacks this logo, it is likely that this mold was slated for release in the Machine Robo toy-line, but was canned.
The De Luxe Sports Car II (a Porsche 928S) features a color scheme that is very reminiscent of the color scheme that the European version of Zeemon (a Datsun 280Z) sported: Sports Car II is bright red with a black roof, and Zeemon is dark metallic red with a black roof.