#2803: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGINS (MATTEL)

NOTE: This review was written before June 6th.

“Heroic Mechanical Warrior!”

When last I looked at anything Masters of the Universe, I mentioned not yet having any experience with the latest iteration of the line.  Well, hey, that’s changed…just in time for there to be another two for me to keep track of.  Yay?  Well, in the mean time, I guess I’ll look at the one I got.  Launched in the hell-hole of a year that was 2020, Masters of the Universe Origins was designed as a look back at the early days of the line, effectively updating the original vintage line but with more articulation.  So, you know, like Classics, but…umm…not Classics, I guess?  Anyway, my first entry into this new line is one of my favorite characters from the franchise, Roboto!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto is part of the third wave of Masters of the Universe Origins, which started hitting shelves earlier this year.  It showed up at Walmarts and Targets a bit earlier, but has been making its way to other retailers in the last month or so.  The figure stands about 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation, as well as a moving jaw piece.  The articulation on these new figures is pretty much the best the brand’s ever seen, even improving a little bit on the Classics movement.  Much like his vintage figure, Roboto shares his legs with the Trap-Jaw figure from the line, but everything else is new.  He’s definitely following in the vintage figure’s footsteps in terms of design.  It’s a very clean, rather retro look.  It’s a little bit less goofy in this incarnation, but not so much so that he doesn’t feel like Roboto, who should always be at least a little goofy.  The way that they’ve kept the general proportions of the vintage figures, while still giving them the ability to, you know, stand up straight, also emphasizes that almost Bruce Timm-esque top-heavy nature of the designs.  I certainly don’t mind that.  The only slight downside to the construction of the figure is that, due to the interchangeable nature of the bodies on these figures, his waist joint is a little on the rickety side.  Not like he’s going to break or anything, but he does wobble a little bit.  Roboto doesn’t have a ton of paint, largely relying on molded colors from the plastic, but they’re pretty bright and bold.  The paint that’s there is cleanly applied, and follows the vintage design well.  As is typical for the character, Roboto is packed with three arm attachments for the right arm, blaster, axe, and claw.  He also has his usual action feature; turning the torso moves the gears in the chest and moves his jaw up and down.  It’s basic, but fun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto is the first Origins figure to really catch my eye (since they appear to be dragging their feet on Mechanek), so I was definitely down for him from the word go.  He’s a very nicely done figure, and just a lot of fun.  Generally, I’m not so much into the vintage style MotU figures, but for the characters I like, this is a nice style, and I’m sure it’s great for more involved MotU fans.

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.

#1374: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002)

One year ago exactly, I wrapped up a two-week stretch of Masters of the Universe reviews with a review of the Castle Grayskull playset from the 2002 line.  In what I guess is going to become a birthday tradition on the site, I’m looking at yet another MotU figure today.  It’s one of my favorite characters from the franchise, Roboto, Heroic Mechanical Warrior!  I’ve actually looked at Roboto once before, having looked at his vintage counterpart, but today I look at his super awesome 2002 version!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto was added to the re-launched Masters of the Universe series in 2003, as part of the fifth assortment of Heroic Warriors.  The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation (13 if you count the very slight mobility of his jaw).  Where the vintage Roboto made use of a couple of pieces from Trap-Jaw, this Roboto was a totally unique sculpt.  This figure takes Roboto’s admittedly rather goofy vintage design, and does its very best to make him look, you know, actually pretty cool.  Unlike a lot of things that Mattel tries at, this figure succeeds.  In fact, this is easily one of my favorite designs from the 2002 line, and really Masters of the Universe in general.  He keeps all of the important details from the original Roboto, so you can clearly tell it’s the same character, but all of these details have been made much sharper, more robotic, and more in line with other cool robots of the last few decades.  The head in particular ditches the duck-billed knight looking design of the vintage figure in favor of a more futuristic warrior look, which made more sense in the setting of the updated cartoon.  Like his vintage counterpart, this guy takes advantage of the usual hollow torso of these figures, and has molded it in clear plastic and placed an assortment of gears inside, representing his inner workings.  In terms of paintwork, this guy is pretty great; the application is all very clean, and I really like the metallic re-working of his classic color scheme.  It really pops.  The figure is packed with two arm attachments for his right arm: a claw and a blaster.  Both are updates of the same pieces included with the vintage figures, updated to match the new figure’s style.  He loses the third attachment (the axe) but gains an extra armored piece for his torso, as well as a missile for his blaster arm.  Not a bad assortment of extras at all!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto’s debut episode was one of my favorites of the 2002 show, so I always wanted this figure.  Remember how I mentioned that his re-design was one of my favorites?  Well, I wasn’t alone in this thought.  That, coupled with Mattel’s incredibly stupid methods of packing cases and distribution, meant that I never once saw this figure at retail.  It also meant he was one of the figures to hold onto his aftermarket value, even well after most of the line had fallen way down in price.  Honestly, I’d never even seen this guy in person.  So, when I found him at Lost In Time Toys a few weeks ago, I was pretty excited.  I was even more excited when I found out that he was half-off his given price, allowing me to get him for a more than reasonable price.  I’m thrilled to finally have this guy, and for all the ragging I do on Mattel, there’s no denying that this is a cool toy.

*As an added bonus, Roboto was also the 4000th unique figure to be added to my collection!  Wow, that’s a lot of figures!

#0644: Roboto

ROBOTO

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE

Roboto1

I am, at best, a moderate fan of Masters of the Universe. That’s mostly a timing thing. It was really big in the 80s, but it was completely gone by the time I started collecting in the 90s. My first real exposure to the line was the 2002 relaunch, which I quite enjoyed at the time. I have a handful of characters I really like, but beyond that, I’ve never gotten super hooked on any iteration of the line. Still, I really enjoy the various iterations of the line for what they are, and I do pick up the occasional figure here and there, including today’s focus, Roboto, Heroic Mechanical Warrior.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Roboto3Roboto was released as part of the 1985 assortment of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe line. He stands roughly 5 ½ inches tall and has 7 points of articulation. That’s actually one more point of articulation than the average MOTU figure, so that’s cool. MOTU figures were generally pretty big on parts re-use, and, while Roboto isn’t completely exempt from that, he has a surprising amount that is exclusive to him. The legs are the same as those used on Trap-Jaw, but the rest of the figure is unique. He’s admittedly a little on the goofy side, but that’s hardly a bad thing. The sculpt features lots of cool hard angles and the “tech-y” details, which gives him a distinctive look. The head is probably one of the goofier aspects of the sculpt, but it does actually present a nice melding of MOTU’s contrasting barbaric and futuristic styles. It’s got a sort of a knight’s helmet look, but also maintains a more classic robot look. The figure takes advantage of the usually empty torso of action figures, and adds some cool gears to represent Roboto’s inner workings. Roboto is somewhat light in paint, being mostly molded in the appropriate colors (the clear plastic on the torso is super cool, by the way), but there’s some minor paintwork for his left hand and boots, as well as a few of the details on his head. The figure is packed with three possible attachments for his right arm: blaster, axe, and claw. All three snap in and out pretty easily, and offer a nice selection of variety. In addition, Roboto features a pretty nifty little action feature; when the figure’s waist is turned, the gears in the torso spin and the mouth guard opens and closes. It’s nothing big, but it’s something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Roboto is another of the figures I got from the Rehoboth Beach branch of Yesterday’s Fun. Like I said, I don’t usually go for MOTU stuff, but I saw Roboto sitting in their glass case and he just called to me. It doesn’t help that I’m a sucker for robots. So, I bought him. He’s cheesy as hell, but I really dig it. He’s a really fun figure! Oh, and I went a whole review without a single Mr. Roboto joke. You’re welcome.

Roboto2