Machine Robo Rescue (franchise)

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Machine Robo Rescue (出撃!マシンロボレスキュー, Shutsugeki! Mashin Robo Resukyū) was a Machine Robo franchise from Japan that ran from 2003 to 2004.

It was the first Machine Robo franchise for two years, the first major revival for ten years and featured the show's first new cartoon series for 15 years and third in total.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The franchise took a more child-friendly approach and was radically different to the preceding Machine Robo lines. It concerned the adventures of the Machine Robo Rescue (MRR), an organisation that used huge mecha controlled by young children known as Robo Masters specially chosen for their aptitude to avert disasters. While the robots had sentience they were largely dependent on the control and orders of their human charges to operate. Each Machine Robo had four identical Supporter Robos which could combine into a giant configuration known as a Hyper Mode.

Machine Robo Rescue was split into three teams according to their specialities: -

  • Red Wings: dealt with fires and aerial rescue.
  • Blue Sirens: dealt with road accidents and criminal interference.
  • Yellow Gears: dealt with building collapses and water rescues.

Each had two Machine Robo and a gigantic transporter.

Their opponents were both natural disasters and the aptly named Disasters.

Toyline[edit | edit source]


The series was backed by a branded toyline featuring toys of the mecha, sold in sets with their Supporter Robos. Many of the figures were named for and/or featured references to the original Machine Robo figures.

The line was designed by PLEX with a heavy focus on interchangeability. The backbone of the series were the Rescue Combination sets, which contained a central Leader Robo and four nigh-identical Supporter Robo which could combine to form a Hyper Mode Machine Robo. Similar in concept to the 1986/1987 Transformers "Scramble City" combiners the Supporter Robo were designed so they could not only form either an arm or leg, and were completely interchangeable between the various sets, something the franchise referred to as EX Combination. A further twist was that due to the connections used multiple Supporter Robo could be combined to form limbs - theoretically infinitely, though weight and balance concerns would obviously come into play long before then. Sadly also like those Transformers combiners all involved had minimal articulation, and even allowing for their relatively small size the MRR toys aren't much more poseable than their 1980s predecessors, and compare weakly on that front to what Transformers was putting out at the time. Another quirk is that they featured no additional combiner parts, which was laudable from one point of view but did leave the combined robots with very small heads. Later a variation on the theme was tried with V Stealth Robo (who featured no Supporter Robo, instead having additional parts to form a much larger jet mode) and Shuttle Robo (who added a combined vehicle mode to the mix). The series also saw a rare use of mass-released recolours in Machine Robo, with three of the sets given darker colour schemes as the BL Machine Robo.

Other figures in the range included a trio of large transporters, Machine Commander Robo and the Great Rotating Base playset, all of which could interact with the other figures in various ways. One interesting feature of the line is that - with the exception of K-BOY, designed as a "roleplay" toy - the toys are all in scale with each other, having the same relative sizes and interactivity depicted in the show.

Cartoon[edit | edit source]

An all-new 53-episode cartoon series was made. This blended cel animation (used for the human characters) and CGI (used for the robots) with... limited success. The series was created by Sunrise.

Sequel[edit | edit source]

After the conclusion of the series the Machine Robo franchise reformatted itself as Machine Robo Mugenbine.

Overseas[edit | edit source]

  • Machine Robo Rescue does not seem to have ever been considered for Western release but that didn't stop Hasbro having a brief freak-out. With Transformers in a pre-Michael Bay trough they slapped the subgroup name "Machine Robot Rescue" on the Universe Ratchet and Inferno figures as a pre-emptive measure to secure the trademark. Whether Bandai, long happy with Power Rangers as their Western robot line, even noticed this bizarre episode is unknown.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Part of the genesis for Machine Robo Rescue was a response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Sone members of the production team would later place a toy from the series at Ground Zero on a pilgrimage to the site of the attacks.

Footnotes[edit | edit source]