Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Grandstand Convertors: Alphatron

Alphatron is one of the most versatile of the Convertors because not only is he a fearsome warrior robot but also a complete force of 14 micro space-fighters. This great skill means that Alphatron can surround and entrap an enemy all on his own and then switch back to a robot to destroy them.

Originally released in 1985 for around £11.99 (around £35 nowadays or $45 USD), Alphatron is one of the most common Grandstand Convertors available on the secondary market which is good for those looking to get one as in my opinion, this is one of the better figures released. As with the majority of the Grandstand Convertors, Alphatron did not come with the 5 inch man pilots from the original Diaclone version. In the bottom right hand corner earlier releases had a sticker saying "Figures not included", with later releases this was printed on the box.

The box art itself could hardly be called dynamic especially when compared directly with its other releases around the world such as the North American Kronoform version or France's Joustra Diaclone version (see examples further on). Additionally even the instructions that came with Alphatron were directly lifted from the back of the Diakron versions box.

Back of the Diakron box (Source: eBay)

In the box itself are 14 small vehicles, they still retain the names from the North American Diakron version:

  • Command Ship (x1 - forms the head and torso)
  • Alpha Carrier (x1 - forms the waist)
  • Winged Transporters (x2 - complete the chest)
  • Flying Fighters (x2 - form the upper arms)
  • Armored Tanks (x2 - form the lower arms)
  • Astro Forces (x2 - form the upper legs)
  • Delta Carriers (x2 - form the lower legs)
  • Space Battleships (x2 - form the feet)

Command Ship

Alpha Carrier

Winged Transporters

Flying Fighters

Armored Tanks

Astro Forces

Delta Carriers

Space Battleships

For accessories, Alphatron comes with 2 missile launchers which plug into the Command Ship, the springs are still intact and they can fire the missiles quite a distance. The missile launchers also complete the robot chest.

It comes with 3 yellow missiles (1 spare) and 6 black connectors. The connectors plug into the rear of the small vehicles (apart from the Command Ship and the Alpha Carrier) so they can connect with each other.

There is also a Special Power Launcher which each of the small vehicles can be catapulted from.

The individual vehicles don't transform themselves but combine into Alphatron. Though this is an impressive looking robot, there are only 2 points of articulation because of the parts forming transformation - the elbows can move. The head has slight movement but this is not intentional. Depending on how well played the figure is will depend on how well this stays together, there are no clips, the attachments are just push fit. As the Command Ship plugs into the Alpha Carrier and both of these are painted die-cast metal, these pieces can have a lot of paint wear.

If you are curious about the Diaclone or Grandstand Convertors line, this figure is a must and Alphatron is a lot cheaper than the original Diaclone version, you should be looking to spend around £40 on a boxed complete version.


Alphatron was originally released by Takara in the Diaclone line in 1982 named Gats-Blocker. As well as being available in one set, Gats-Blocker's individual vehicles were also sold individually (the identical vehicles being sold as a pair). I'm not sure why they were sold individually as they stand alone vehicles don't do much themselves and apart from the giftset they were not sold individually outside of Japan.

Smaller soft rubber figures of Gats-Blocker were also sold carded, these figures were released in blue, white or green. The figure was transformable like the original and could split into the individual vehicles. They also came with 3 pilots.

Italy's GiG licensed the rights to release the Diaclone line in Italy and they released Gats-Blocker as Dai-Gats which apart from the Italian text on the box was near identical to Takaras version and even came with the original missiles rather than the safety missiles of later GiG releases.

Gats-Blocker was also sold in Takaras North American Diakron and Kronoform toy line as well as Joustras Diaclone line. The figure was never released in the Transformer toy line possibly because the vehicle modes did not fit with the contemporary Earth style of the original 1984 - 1985 line up.

Gats-Blocker (Diaclone, Takara 1982)

Gats-Blocker giftset (Source: fun-to-toy.com)
Blocker 1 (Source: eBay)

Blocker 2 (Source: eBay)

Blocker 3 (Source: Diaclone.net)

Blocker 4 (Source: Diaclone.net)

Blocker 5 (Source: Diaclone.net)

Blocker 6 (Source: eBay)

Blocker 7 (Source: Diaclone.net)

Blocker 8 (Souce: Diaclone.net)

Blue rubber Gats-Blocker, also available in white and green (Source: eBay)

Dai-Gats (Diaclone, GiG 1983)

Dai-Gats (Source: eBay)

Multi-Force 14 Robot (Diakron, Takara 1983)

Multi-Force 14 Robot (Source: eBay)

Multi-Force (Kronoform, Takara 1983 - 1984)

Multi-Force 1983 version (Source: eBay)

Multi-Force 1984 version (Source: eBay)

Multiforce 14 (Diaclone, Joustra 1984)

Multiforce 14 (Source: eBay)

Alphatron (Grandstand Convertors, 1985)

Knock Off Versions

Taiwanese "Fightbot" (Source: eBay)

Another Taiwanese Fightbot based on the original Diaclone box (Source: eBay)

A Korean KO with he Transformers Energon Logo

Another KO with the 2007 Transformers movie styled text.

"Robot Clock" based on Gats-Blocker. (Source: eBay) 

This was transformable and available in a variety of colours (Source: eBay)

View the full Alphatron gallery and other Grandstand Convertors on Flickr by clicking here.

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