#3364: Rocket Launcher Robot



I’ve talked exactly once before here on the site about the 1998 Lost in Space movie.  It’s got quite a reputation of being quite bad.  It’s a well-earned reputation, I’ll tell you that.  There’s a very short list of things about the movie that don’t totally suck.  Amongst them is the handling of the Robinson family’s companion the Robot. Voiced once more by his original series voice actor Dick Tufeld, the Robot got a radical redesign for the film, but one that was still pretty solid.  He also stuck pretty closely to his original characterization.  Unsurprisingly for any adaptation of Lost in Space, the Robot was also the most heavily merchandised member of the cast, forming the backbone of Trendmasters’ tie-in toyline for the movie.  He was available in all manner of styles and sizes, and I’m looking at one of the smaller ones today.


The Rocket Launcher Robot was one of two smaller-scale Robots released in 1998 to go with the main 5-inch scale Lost in Space line of tie-in figures.  This was the more standard of the two Robots at this scale, meant to serve as the Robot in his basic configuration from the first half of the movie.  The figure stands about 5 3/4 inches tall and he has 9 points of articulation, as well as the same spring-loaded pop-up legs feature and rolling wheels seen on the Battle Ravaged version of this guy.  He’s also got a grabbing feature for the pincers on his hands, and his head extends outward on his “neck.”  The Robot’s sculpt is one of the best offerings Trendmasters had from its output for the movie.  It’s got a couple of parts in common with the Battle Ravaged release, though not as many as you might expect.  Obviously, the most of the upper half is unique, since the design is different, and all.  All of the arms are shared with the other release (though, the other figure only used one of the larger ones), as are the legs and outer treads.  The inner portion of the treads is different, so as to allow for rocket storage.  Everything makes for a solid recreation of the Robot’s updated design from the movie.  Some of the technical details are a little bit on the soft side, but it’s not out of line given the era, the price point, and the general style.  Since the figure gets “Rocket Launcher” as his descriptor, he understandably works in the shoulder launcher he has in the movie.  It’s a more complex mechanism in the movie, actually folding out and all.  While the larger Robot from Trendmasters did it more like the movie, this one goes more rudimentary.  The launcher is held to the back with a single peg.  You pull it out and re-orient it and boom: rocket launcher.  The paint work on this figure is generally pretty solid.  He’s more basic in his color work, but that’s more appropriate for this particular design.  He still gets all of the proper details he needs to.  Some of the application is a little sloppy around the edges, but it’s overall pretty good.  The Robot is packed with two rockets for his rocket launcher, which he can store in his treads.  He also got a sound feature.  When the button on his base is pressed, he alternates between “Weapons systems armed!” and a blasting sound effect.


I’m quite nostalgic for this movie, regardless of its quality.  I saw it in the theatre when I was 6, and I had a bunch of the toys.  This was the one main Robot release from this movie that I never had as a kid, and one I’ve been low-key keeping an eye out for in recent years.  Cosmic Comix got a run of Trendmasters Lost in Space figures in a little while back, and this guy was there for $5, and at that price, he was an easy grab.  He’s a fun figure.  Nothing fancy.  Just fun.

#3337: Metalhead



“Designed as Krang’s ultimate weapon against the Turtles, Metalhead was re-programmed by Donatello to serve the side of good. The chrome-plated sewer servant’s eyes light up when you hold him up to the light. Always the life of the party, Metalhead can whip up a whipped cream and jelly bean pizza, serve sodas, display video games or rock the sewer with tunes from his jazzed-up juke box. When trouble’s brewing, Metalhead becomes one annoyed android and dishes out trouble with his Robo-chuks and Foot Blaster to all who dare mess with his Turtle masters.”

You know a thing that I like?  I mean, aside from the rather obvious “action figures” answer, which is sort of just all around us here.  No, I was actually thinking of “robots” in this case.  Robots are just pretty cool.  And, they make everything else just a little bit cooler.  Case in point?  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Pretty cool, right?  Robot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  Even better.  Thankfully, the TMNT have one of those on-hand, in the form of Metalhead, who I just so happen to be taking a look at today!


Metalhead is part of Wave 3 of Super 7’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates line.  He’s based on Metalhead’s original 1989 Playmates figure, which, since he was one of the few characters to appear on the show first, means that he’s also pretty accurate to his animated counterpart.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 30 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme matches up with how the standard Turtles move, which is to say it’s a little more on the restricted side.  Obviously, it’s an improvement on the vintage figure, but it’s not quite as good as, say, the Casey Jones figure.  Metalhead’s sculpt was new to him, albeit it’s already slated for re-use on the upcoming Michelangelo Metalhead, just like in the vintage line.  It’s a pretty impressive offering.  It captures the general feel of the vintage figure, while also scaling it up and adding quite a nice selection of smaller details.  He’s also got a really cool boxy and robotic feel, just like he should.  Metalhead’s color work is generally pretty decently handled.  He skips out on the chromed parts of the original figure, which feels better for the figure’s longevity over time, and is also more consistent with the rest of the line up to this point.  There’s actually quite a bit going on with this one as well, which gives him a lot of visual interest.  Application is generally pretty clean, which is always nice for this line.  Metalhead is packed with an extra head sculpt, which features light-piping instead of painted eyes, as well as seven hands (a pair of fists, a pair of gripping, a pair of open gesture, and a right hand with a tendril extended), his Portable Party Pack, two sets of his Radical Robo-chuks (one for his hand, and one for the Pack), a radar dish for his pack, two grenades, and a vintage-style weapons tree (which, like with Casey and Ace, isn’t actually accurate to anything specific, but is still cool).


My interest in Metalhead is pretty clearly spelled out in the intro.  I mean, he’s a robot turtle; what’s not to like?  I missed out on Wave 3 of this line during its initial run, so I didn’t really expect to get this guy.  That said, in the fall of last year, All Time got an almost complete run of the Ultimates traded in loose, so that gave me another shot at this guy.  Like the rest of the line I’ve picked up, he’s just a lot of fun.  Hard to go wrong with this guy, really.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#3302: Maxx 89



“Maxx was destined to be the latest and greatest in law enforcement (he was literally built to do it!), but on the day before his first patrol, the UTOPIA101 line was revealed to the world.  Maxx was quietly reassigned to the traffic beat.  Despite his best efforts to conform, Maxx’s passion for crime fighting, along with a growing distrust of the UTOPIA line, lead Maxx down a path into other, unauthorized lines of police work.  This would create problems.  A LOT of problems.”

If there was ever an underrated and surprisingly overlooked toy company, it’s Ideal Toys.  Though not a household name, they did a lot during their 90 year run.  They were largely known for their presence in the doll market, but they dabbled in the more action oriented side as well.  Notably, they were the first to really jump into the licensed action figure market, with Captain Action.  They were also frequently just ahead of the curve on things, to their misfortune.  In 1984, they got into the toy robot market with Robo Force, a line with two warring factions of robots, good and evil, each side with their own complex backstory.  Unfortunately, 1984 was *also* the year that another franchise of warring robot factions launched: Go-Bots!  …Just kidding.  I actually meant Transformers, which was a smash success, and pretty much buried Robo Force, with Ideal languishing in obscurity for pretty much the rest of their existence.  Robo Force has resurfaced twice since, first in 2013 under the Glyos umbrella, and again just this past year, now under the helm of Nacelle.  Their first two figures hit retail right before the end of last year, and I’ll be taking a look at the heroic Robo Force leader, Maxx 89, today!


Maxx 89 (as he’s now named; he was previously Maxx Steel, but Mattel holds the rights to that name, so he got a rename) is one half of Series 1 of Nacelle’s Robo Force relaunch.  The figure stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation.  His articulation scheme is rather tight and a little bit clunky.  The arms are definitely the best of it, while the rest of things are a bit more restricted.  Everything is mostly on ball-joints, but the way the layout works, the neck and waist are effectively just cut joints.  The hips fair slightly better, but are very, very tight on my figure, to the point of squeaking every time I move them.  He’s got double joints on both the elbows and knees, but only the elbows really get the range; the knees can really only use the bottom half of the joint.  Maxx’s sculpt is all-new to this figure, and represents a rather radical change-up from his vintage counterparts.  Ideal’s Robo Force pre-dated the move to the more “mecha” aesthetic in robot designs, and as such were much more “vintage robot toy,” down to not even actually being bipedal.  For this new line, Nacelle has re-designed the characters to allow for a more action-oriented, more modernized design.  Elements of the original are still present, especially in the head and torso, as well as the suction cup feet, but the arms and legs are totally changed up.  For the most part, it works pretty well.  I like the updated head design quite a bit, and the extra detailing added to the arms and legs works quite nicely for upscaling and modernizing.  The part that seems a bit odd to me is the feet.  They’ve opted to keep the functioning suction cups of the old toys, which feels like it runs kind of counter to the more clearly collector-oriented aspects of the rest of the figure.  It’s especially notable because the majority of the figure is very solid, rather heavy plastic, and it’s all resting atop a pair of soft rubber feet.  It makes him a little bit unstable on his feet, and I definitely worry about how they’re going to hold up over time.  Were they maybe an alternate piece, with a set of solid feet also available, I think they’d bug me less, but as it stands they do feel just the slightest bit off.  Maxx’s color work is generally pretty nice; he grabs the basic color scheme of the vintage figure, and goes slightly metallic, as well as adding a nice wash to the whole thing to really bring out the sculpted details.  The only part that’s odd for me is the decal on the front, which is again a bit counter to the rest of the figure, since it’s *so* vintage.  That being said, while it’s odd, I personally like it.  The splash of color is fun.  Maxx is packed with an alternate hand with a blade attachment, a handheld blaster, and three mounted guns.  The mounted guns are a little tricky to get just right, and honestly the cords seem just a little bit on the short side, but it’s at least a decent variety.


While I never had any of the vintage Robo Force, I’m a sucker for cool vintage robots, so the designs have always intrigued me.  The relaunch certainly piqued my interest, enough to at least give it a try.  Of the two at launch, Maxx was the one that looked more my speed, so I snagged one when All Time’s shipment came in.  He’s a mixed bag, I won’t lie.  I do generally like him overall, but there’s enough little things holding him back that I don’t know about jumping full-on into the line.  I do rather like Maxx, though.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review.  If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3092: Iron Wrecker 08 – Heavy Airborne Mecha (Rain Forest Operations Type)



At the beginning of this year, I took my first stab at a new corner of the toy market, for me at least.  That corner was Joytoy, a company that specializes in all sorts of cool sci-fi mecha stuff.  I’m a fan of cool sci-fi mecha stuff, so it’s an area that certainly appeals to me.  I’d only looked at the one mecha so far, and that felt a little bit lacking, so I’ve decided to loop back around and give them a little bit more coverage.  This time around, I’m looking into their ever growing Iron Wrecker set of mechas, specifically taking a look at Iron Wrecker 08.


Iron Wrecker 08 is part of Joytoy’s Dark Source toyline, the same line that produced the previously reviewed Steel Bone figure. Each of the Iron Wreckers gets a descriptive title for their intended function.  In 08’s case, that’s “Heavy Airborne Mecha,” with a sub-class of being intented for Rain Forest operations, specifically.  Thus far, 08 is the only Heavy Airborne Mecha in the line-up, but as he’s also the newest addition to the Iron Wrecker line-up, I suppose it’s always possible there are more Heavy Airborne derivations that could show down the line.  The mech stands about 8 1/2 inches tall (roughly the same height as the Steel Bone) and, as with Steel Bone, the exact articulation count is a little tricky to nail down, due to how many of the joints are somewhat reliant on each other for proper motion on each joint.  The mobility on this particular build is honestly just a little better than Steel Bone’s, especially on the limbs.  I think it’s partially due to the exact design nature of the mech, which is a little more rounded and allows more fluid motion.  I did find that, on my copy at least, the waist joint was just a touch loose.  If it’s seated right, it’s not an issue, but right out of the box he was a little floppy.  As with the Steel Bone, there’s some assembly required on this one right out of the box, though not nearly as much this time around.  Mostly, it’s just putting a few pieces on the back, and then assembling the smaller arm.  The design of this mech is a much more bubbly looking design than the boxier and more rigid design of the Steel Bone, but still has quite a bit of a utilitarian sense about it.  It shares a good number of its design elements with the Iron Wrecker 07, which was released alongside this one.  Clearly, they’re supposed to be operating from the same starting point, but with deviations for the exact needs for the deployment.  Since this one is undoubtedly meant to be trekking around jungles and such, it’s got a lot of tactical gear mounted onto it.  There’s a couple of armaments mounted on the shoulders, as well as missiles, or artillery of some sort stored on the arms.  He’s also got an extra smaller arm at the front, presumably in case something needs to be grabbed while the two main arms are pre-occupied with the weapon.  A notable departure on this design, compared to others, is a pretty distinct “head.”  It’s a very basic thing, with what I assume to be a camera and an antenna, but it changes the eye line of the design just a little bit, and makes him a little more unique.  Since he’s meant for rain forest deployment, this mech’s color scheme is appropriately dialed in on the greens, with just a bit of yellow thrown in there for good measure.  Personally, I think it really works, but I’m also rather partial to green, so there’s that.  There are lots of really great little small details, like written warnings and small insignias, which really add to the overall design, and make it really feel like a properly manufactured piece. Compared to the Steel Bone, 08 lacks some of the extra swappable pieces, so it’s not as inherently modular.  It’s not that it lacks the amount of pieces, of course; they’re all just used in the intended build directly, rather than swapping out.  The 08 still has a few extras, though, most notably, a hefty minigun, complete with removable drum.  There’s also got a removable pack for the back, as well as a shoulder mounted gun, which includes an ammo belt.  While Steel Bone’s main weapon was assembled from base modular parts, the guns here are specifically designed that way, though they still work with the modular set-up.

Like the other Mechs in the line-up, 08 includes its own pilot for its built-in cockpit.  He stands 2 3/4 inches tall and has 32 points of articulation.  Compared to Steel Bone’s pilot, this guy is definitely a little more futuristic and sci-fi-y.  By extension, he’s not quite as generic, but it really works well with the 08’s own design.  Unlike the prior pilot, this one doesn’t get the same style of removable helmet; since the helmet sits tighter, this one’s an alternate head.  In addition to the alternate head, he also three sets of hands, two different sidearms, and a removable neckerchief.


I quite liked Steel Bone, so I’ve been scoping out other Joytoy items as they’ve arrived at All Time, just trying to find that right follow up piece for me.  There have been a few that were cool, but didn’t quite grab me.  When we got in this guy and 07, I was mighty tempted by both of them, but this guy’s color scheme and armament set-up really spoke to me, as did his overall design aesthetic.  It was enough to finally get me on board with another one of these.  I’m glad I took the plunge on this one.  As much as I liked Steel Bone, I think I like this guy more.  It takes a solid starting point, and just builds an even more advanced design on it, and it’s a ton of fun.

Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.

#3001: Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha



It’s a new year, and this intro serves to cover a few bases, really.  First and foremost, faithful readers will no doubt notice that there were two days between this review and #3000.  After writing a review every day of every week for over eight years, I’ve finally arrived at the conclusion that it’s maybe a little much for me.  So, I’ll be stepping back.  Not a ton, mind you, but I’ll at least be taking weekends for the foreseeable future.  But, hey, that’s still five days a week for you guys to read my crazy ramblings, right?  With that out of the way, let’s jump into the first day of my post-Christmas reviews!

More often than not, I tend to stick to more domestic offerings, as well as generally lower-price point options.  Every so often, I do like to branch out just a little bit and try something new.  This year, that’s apparently Joytoy, a company that I was honestly not really familiar with prior to 2021, but who I’ve become rather fascinated with in the last few months.  Hey, I like a cool mecha, and they certainly have a lot of those.  So, I’m looking at my first Joytoy item today, with the Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha!


The Steel Bone HO2 Firepower Mecha [Gray-green] is part of Joytoy’s Dark Source toyline.  Their various different lines correlate to different themes/storylines, which are really just excuses to more cool robot designs, really.  It also corresponds to a few different scales.  Dark Source is a 1/25 scale line, centered on figures that are about 2 3/4 inches for a standard sized human.  The mechs are, of course, much larger than a standard sized human.  In the case of this one, it stands just shy of 8 3/4 inches tall.  An exact articulation count is a bit tricky on this one, due to how many moving components there are, and how many pieces have to flex out of the way in order to do any real posing.  The limbs can be a bit restricted, especially at the shoulders and hips, but there’s a lot that can be done, especially given how bulky the design is overall.  I especially dig all of the movement in the hands, as the fingers not only get movement at each of the knuckles but there’s also side-to-side movement on the fingers, which adds a lot of extra gripping options, which is pretty cool.  In terms of structure, the Steel Bone design is pretty squared off and rather on the utilitarian design.  It’s certainly meant to be military in nature.  The actual construction of the mech is actually made out of quite a lot of potentially modular pieces.  It comes out of the box in effectively the load out seen in the photos, but there are lots of other possible builds, if you so choose.  It can be a little tricky swapping parts in and out, and finding just the right balance and layout, but it does add a lot more fun to the figure.  In the effort to aid in that modular nature, the mech gets a few deliberately swappable pieces, namely the chest plate and thigh covers, which have an option for slightly more rounded parts.  I myself prefer the alternate parts, so I appreciate them being there.  The mech’s armaments also tie into the modular nature.  Worked into the mech proper are two shoulder mounted mini guns.  They attach with a handful of the modular parts included, but also can be worked in a few different ways, again with the whole modular thing in mind.  Separate from the mech proper, there’s a big hammer.  What’s fun about the hammer is that it’s almost no unique parts; everything is a basic modular piece, or shared with the Mecha’s own construction.  So, again with the modular.  That’s commitment to the concept.

The Steel Bone includes its own pilot, designed to work with it’s built-in cockpit.  He’s about 2 3/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s utilitarian and military-inspired in a fashion similar to Mecha, which is sensible.  He works in a lot of rather classic sci-fi psuedo-military type stuff, which makes him suitably generic, but also serves as a nice call back to other designs.  I quite dig the removable helmet, and how well it sits, especially given the scale and how little it impacts the underlying head’s design.  The pilot gets a fun selection of extras himself.  There’s an alternate left hand, two rifles, a pistol, and a medical kit.


I’ve been just starting to dip my toes into the waters of Joytoy, and it’s pretty much exclusively the fault of Jason from All Time Toys.  He’s recently decided to give them a try at the store, and we’ve all pretty much been looking for that entry point.  This one’s boxy, green, and he’s got a hammer and miniguns.  He checks off a lot of my boxes.  So, it certainly made things even easier when Jason gave me this guy as my Christmas gift this year.  It’s pretty darn great, really, and a great introduction to Joytoy.  I could foresee this getting a little bit dangerous…

#2760: Mechagodzilla



“A robotic apex predator with unstoppable powers of laser destruction, Mechagodzilla was created in secret to destroy Godzilla and end the reign of monsters.”

On March 31st, we finally got the conclusion to what Legendary’s Monsterverse has been building up to for a few years, Godzilla vs Kong, which was a movie that was, unsurprisingly, about Godzilla and Kong having a little bit of a spat.  It’s a big, fun action movie, which very much delivers on the promise of the title, and I really quite enjoyed it.  After being rather on the quiet side in terms of merchandising, this movie was a Monsterverse film that actually got a pretty well-formed tie-in line of toys, giving us a couple of variants of the two title characters, as well as some of the more antagonistic threats that they face within the movie.  The film’s biggest antagonist is definitely Godzilla’s robotic doppelgänger, Mechagodzilla!


Mechagodzilla is part of Playmates’ basic Godzilla vs Kong line, which is, as of right now, a Walmart-exclusive line of figures, which started hitting shelves a couple of weeks before the film’s release.  He was one of two items that leaked the character’s appearance prior to the film’s release, although we all had a sneaking suspicion even before that.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He’s actually one of the best articulated figures in the line, with most of the basics covered, as well as a few extra joints.  I was a little bummed by the lack of elbow joints, but otherwise he’s pretty posable, especially given the price point.  The figure’s sculpt is so far unique to him, although it’s possible it might be picked for a repaint later down the line, like the basic Godzilla and Kong sculpts got.  Whatever the case, it’s a pretty decent one.  It’s not quite to the level of Bandai Japan or NECA, with the general detailing being a little on the softer side than the more collector-oriented stuff, but there’s still a lot of detailing going on there.  Like the rest of the line, he boasts “Battle Damage Reveal!” which in his case means that the panel on the center of his torso comes off, revealing some more mechanical details beneath.  It doesn’t really track directly with anything from the film, but it’s still kind of a cool gimmick.  Additionally, while it doesn’t do much for the figure on his own, the interior of the mouth has a spot that’s compatible with the atomic breath effects piece designed for the standard Godzilla.  We still don’t have said piece in red, of course, but it’s still nice from a cross-compatibility stand-point.  Mechagodzilla is rather basic on the paint work stand point, mostly being molded in the proper colors.  There’s a few small spots of red, but that’s really it.  It’s not particularly involved, and does look somewhat devoid of detail in some spots, but, again, for the price point, it does make some sense.  While Mechagodzilla doesn’t include any sort of effects pieces of his own, he does include a miniature version of the HEAV, or Hollow Earth Anti-Gravity Vehicle. Mechagodzilla doesn’t actually ever directly interact with the HEAV, but it’s a nice way of at least getting the piece out there.  It’s also just a pretty nifty little piece all on its own.


While I’m hit and miss with Godzilla himself in regards to the toy world, I do like me some giant robots, and as such, Mechagodzilla is very definitely a thing that makes me go “wow, I want that.”  That’s ultimately what I said when, after Max picked up one of these for himself.  Thankfully, he was more than happy to keep an eye out for a second one for me, and boom, here we are.  Mechagodzilla is a really fun figure, and very hard to beat for the $10 asking price.  Playmates did a great job with this line, and I’m very seriously tempted to pick up a few of the others.

#1482: Lady Robot



It’s been a little while since I’ve looked at a Lego Minifigure.  I have quite a few, and they’re sure to show up en masse on my randomized list of figures to review, but so far they’ve managed to be pretty sparse.  Not to worry, I wouldn’t let that go on for *too* long.  Just two years, 11 months, and 12 days.  That’s not long at all!  Today’s review combines several of my favorite things into one: action figures, Legos, and robots!


The Lady Robot was mini-figure #16 in the 11th Series of Lego Minifigures.  She’s meant as a companion piece to Series 6’s Clockwork Robot (which remains a favorite of mine).  The figure stands about 2 inches tall and has the standard 7 points of articulation.  The Lady Robot uses the standard Lego body, with a unique head, and a collar piece which can have a clockwork key piece attached to it.  The Lego body is already blocky, so it lends itself pretty well to the robotic nature of this figure’s design.  All of the non-standard pieces are borrowed from the previously mentioned Clockwork Robot.  They’re really nice pieces, and definitely do a good job of capturing the aesthetic of this old-fashioned wind-up robots. The paint is what really separates this release from the prior one.  She’s in the same pale grey as the Clockwork Robot, but the accent colors are pinks and purples now.  It’s actually worth noting that they didn’t just do a palette swap am the colors.  All of the detail work has been changed up, to create this almost parody of stereotypically feminine design concepts.  Given the aesthetic they were going for on the Clockwork Robot, this one is actually rather clever, albeit in a kitschy, goof-ball sort of way.  She’s packed with the standard display stand.  It’s her only extra, but I’m not sure what else she should have been given.


I picked up this figure in Rehoboth Beach, from Browsabout Books.  I was there for my friend’s wedding, and was killing some time the day before.  I spotted this series in the bookstore, and was immediately grabbed by this one in particular.  I picked up a few of them, and actually lucked out and got her on the first try.  She’s pretty fun overall, and a fantastic companion to one of my favorites.

#1182: B-9 Robot




Last Monday, I took a rare look into the world of Lost In Space.  That was cool.  Why not do it again?

Minimates are a frequent topic of reviews on this site, and today’s focus comes from what is effectively the big-brother line to Minimates, Vinimates.  Now, Vinimates is a relatively new thing.  The line was officially launched at SDCC in 2015, but didn’t really get any proper releases until early 2016, and it really started picking up steam towards the end of last year.  They share a lot of stylings with Minimates, but in terms of actual feel, scale, and general design, they’re a lot like Funko’s various Pop! lines.  I’ve yet to really break into Vinimates, so why not start things off with one of my favorite designs of all time, the B-9 Robot!


lisrobotvini2The B-9 Robot was released as part of the Lost in Space sup-set of the larger Vinimates line.  He hit stores in mid-October, wedged in-between the Ghostbusters and Predator Vinimates.  The figure in today’s review is the standard version, but like the big electronic B-9, there’s also an Anti-Matter variation, which was available through select specialty retailers during Diamond’s Local Comic Book Store Day event.  The figure stands about 4 3/4 inches tall (about twice the size of your average Minimate) and has 1 point of articulation at the neck.  Most vinyl figures don’t sport more than that one point (including Pop!s), so it’s no surprise to see Vinimates follow the same pattern.  Of all the Vinimates currently available, the Robot is the one that least follows the Minimate aesthetic.  There’s no sign of the usual arm articulation (which is present on other figures in the line), and all of his details are sculpted on, rather than the usual painted line work we usually see on Minimates.  This isn’t too far removed from the Robot’s smaller predecessor, who made use of a pretty extensive selection of sculpted add-ons in order to properly convey the character’s unique design.  I’d say the closest connection this guy has to a Minimate is the slightly squarer shaping of his legs (and even then, it’s not that far removed from the Robot’s on-screen design).  Nevertheless, this figure has a pretty impressive sculpt, which does a great job of caricaturizing his show design into something slightly more goofy.  Even with his more cartoony nature, he’s still sporting quite a bit of detail work, which is quite impressive for this style of figure.  The paintwork on the Robot is pretty solid too.  It’s mostly basic color work, but it’s all appropriate to the design, and the application is nice and sharp.  As a larger figure, he’s able to make use of more clear plastic in in the appropriate sections than the mini version, which makes for a slightly more interesting look.


The Robot was given to me for Christmas by my parents.  No goofy story for this one, I’m afraid, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still enjoy him.  I’d been looking for a good entry point into Vinimates, and this guy was definitely the one for me.  He’s certainly different from what I usually expect from DST, but a solid offering nonetheless.  Who knows, maybe Vinimates will be the next big thing?


#1175: Electronic B-9 Robot – Anti-Matter




For Day 8 of my post-Christmas reviews, I’m switching gears and taking a look at a property I’ve only looked at a few scant times before, albeit one of my personal favorites, Lost In Space.  The last time I looked at something Lost In Space-related, it was one of the Trendmasters figures from the less than stellar 1998 movie.  Let’s try and do a bit better, shall we?

Instead, let’s turn to 1967.  It was the year of parallel universe stories.  Everyone remembers Star Trek’s “Mirror Mirror,” but all the cool kids remember that year’s *other* mirror universe story, Lost In Space’s “The Anti-Matter Man.”  These days, Lost In Space toys are pretty much limited to variations of the Robot, and the only merchandise from this episode follows suit.  There are not Anti-Matter John and Don to be found, but we did get the slightly less “goody-goody” incarnation of the B-9 Robot (who wasn’t quite so “B-9” in the Anti-Matter world), which I’ll be looking at today!


lisrobotantimatter2The Anti-Matter Robot is one of three available decos for Diamond Select Toys’ Electronic B-9 Robot.  This particular version was a Previews Exclusive and was released late last fall.  The figure stands 11 inches tall, has 8 points of articulation, bendable arms, and moving wheels on his base.  His sculpt (which is shared by all three Electronic B-9s) is a solid recreation of his design from the show.  It’s probably one of the closest recreations we’ve seen, so kudos to DST for that.  Some of the details are a little on the soft side, especially on the “feet.” There are also some obvious points of assembly on the clear sections of his head.  For the dome, it’s not a big deal, since it’s mostly hidden by the mechanics within, but for the top of his torso, it’s a little more annoying.  For the price, it’s not unreasonable, but it’s still a slight tick against the figure.  I do also wish the “mouth” on my figure was a bit better seated; it’s a bit crooked on mine, and that makes him look a little less like his on-screen counterpart, and just makes the figure look a lot cheaper in general.  While I appreciate the design of the arms, and really do appreciate how much movement you can get out of them, I do feel like the ability to slide them back and forth as seen in the show would have added a lot to the figure.  However, I suspect the lack of said movement may be tied to the presence of the electronics within the body.  Since the electronics were a major selling point of the figure, I can understand the need for some compromises.  As I noted above, the main difference between this figure and the basic B-9 Robot is paint.  The three Anti-Matter characters we see in the episode are all denoted as such by their black and while color schemes. Overall, the paint is pretty good, but there’s one notable inaccuracy; the colors on his right hand and arm actually reversed.  The arms should both match in color, and the hands should be black and grey.  I’m not sure why they get the colors wrong, but the same issue is present on the Vinimate version of this guy.  Maybe it was a licensing thing?  The Robot includes no accessories, but he does have some cool electronic features.  When turned on, he replicates the blinking light effects the Robot always had going in the show, and when the button on his side is pressed, he’ll say one of twelve phrases from “The Anti-Matter Man” (okay, they actually cheated it a bit.  I don’t think the Anti-Matter Robot actually has twelve phrases in the one scene in which he appears, so the last four phrases are just from the first episode).  It’s a much cooler feature than I was expecting!


Okay, so there’s kind of a funny story to this guy.  My dad’s a huge Lost In Space fan, and is the whole reason I even know of the show’s existence.  As I’ve noted in previous reviews, the merchandise for the show isn’t as plentiful as you might hope, but I do my best to find him as many exciting new figures as I can.  Since the Anti-Matter version of the Robot hasn’t gotten a toy before, I thought it would make for a pretty awesome Christmas gift for him.  “But, Ethan, if you bought it for your dad, why are you reviewing it?”  Well, this isn’t the one I bought for my dad.  A day or so after I ordered it for him, he called me from a small toy store just outside of Philcon, and asked about this figure, saying he’d just seen someone buy the last one at said store.  I took this as a sign that he thought it cool and I’d chosen the gift well, and even went so far as to talk it up a bit.  Cut to Christmas morning, when I opened up this figure, and immediately started laughing, and handed my dad his present, which is when he joined in on the laughing.  See, he had taken my interest in the figure as a sign that *I* wanted it, and had contacted our local comic book store to order me one, completely unaware that I was getting it for him.  I honestly couldn’t be happier; I love the Robot and I quite enjoy this particular episode, so I’m glad to have my own.  And now I’ve also got this amusing story of that time my dad and I bought each other the same Christmas gift to go along with it!

#0677: Battle Ravaged Robot




You know when you hear about a bad movie, for like a long time, and it just builds up this reputation of being so bad, and you think to yourself “it can’t really be that bad”? And then you watch it and it is indeed that bad? Yeah, that’s the Lost In Space movie from the 90s. To be fair, the movie isn’t completely without its merits. Among the positives are the end credits (and no, I’m not just saying that because they meant the movie was over. I actually like the end credits. They soothe me.) and the film’s take on the distinctive Lost In Space Robot. There were also some toys, which always excites me. Most of them were garbage, but some of the Robot toys didn’t suck. Let’s look at one of those!


RobotBR2So, this is the Battle Ravaged Robot, from Trendmaster’s movie-based Lost In Space line. He was one of the two versions of the Robot released to go with the 5-inch scale human figures. The Robot is based on two separate looks from the film, all rolled up into one figure. As the name notes, he represents the Robot after he’s damaged while fighting the spider-things on the derelict ship, but that’s actually more of an alt look for the more show-inspired, second half of the movie look that is the figure’s default form. In his default set-up, the figure is about 4 inches tall and has 7 points of articulation. He also had wheels on the underside of his base, allowing him to roll, as well as legs that have weird spring-loaded feature to them. Also, the pincers on the larger arm are supposed to move via the very obvious lever on the side, but they really don’t. The main base of the figure, the legs, and the lower arms were all shared between this figure and the other Robot in the series, which seems sensible enough. They’re actually pretty well sculpted parts for the time. They have plenty of detailing, and they match up pretty well with the designs from the film. The figure also gets a unique “torso” piece, which features the joint for his more classically show-inspired head, as well as a socket to plug in his larger third arm. The head and arm are both just as nicely sculpted as the re-used parts and match up pretty well, so that’s good. Paint-wise, the figure is a little on the simple side, at least for the source material, but he’s not terribly handled. There’s a nice mix of greys and browns, with the occasional blue cropping up as well. The paint works reasonably well for the second iteration of the Robot. The figure is packed with a two-piece shell, allowing him to be “transformed” into the Battle Ravaged version of the Robot’s first iteration. This is a cool idea, but the execution ends up being a little off, mostly due to the color schemes of the two designs being different. It doesn’t look terrible, and, to their credit, they’ve added some brown damaged parts to the torso shell, so as to make it look like the brown-colored parts of the second Robot are just additional damage, but it doesn’t quite work. The figure also had a sound feature, but the batteries are long dead on mine, so I have no idea what sounds it would have made.


I actually went and saw Lost In Space opening day. My dad and uncle had been big fans of the show growing up, so they took me and my cousin to see it. Truth be told, as a 6 year old, I didn’t mind the movie all that much. I really liked the Robot, so I ended up having a few of the toys of him, this one included. However, my original Battle Ravage Robot went missing, so I ended up getting this replacement from Yesterday’s Fun. He was the only LIS figure they had and I felt sort of bad for him. This figure definitely has some issues, and he comes from a pretty bad line, but he himself is actually a lot of fun. I’ve owned far worse.