SPECIAL ARMORED BATALLION DORVACK
10/07/83 - 07/06/84
he mechanical characters from this animated television series stand out as
cult classics of Japanese robot toy design. Which is a good thing, as the
show itself is as unpopular today as it was when it first aired. Dorvack
would seem to have everything it takes to become a hit. Featuring the
exploits of a giant robot equipped special forces team as they fight to
liberate planet Earth from armored alien invaders, the series sported
top-notch mechanical design in the form of three "variable vehicles" and a
slew of believable-looking suits of powered armor.
Unfortunately for Takatoku, however, the slow-moving storyline failed to
move fans, dooming the toys to an extended purgatory on Japanese toy store
shelves. Already in the red from lackluster sales of merchandise from the
Orguss and Sasuraiger series, Takatoku's gamble on Dorvack turned out to be
the final nail in the coffin for the struggling company.
Just as with the toys from Macross, the Dorvack battalion soldiered on after
Takatoku's untimely demise. American toy company Hasbro acquired the molds
for two of the deluxe toys, the Mugen Calibur and the Ovellon Gazette, for
use as the basis for the Transformers known as "Roadbuster" and "Whirl" respectively. In
addition, the American firm Select repackaged several color variations of
the Variable Machine Collection toys as "Convertors."