ROCKET LAUNCHER ROBOT
LOST IN SPACE (TRENDMASTERS)
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 FIGURE ITSELF
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.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
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.