Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:34 pm Post subject: Masters of the Universe Classics: Roboto
|Greetings fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
If you've gotten a subscription to MOTUC for 2013 then thank you for at least trying to help keep this line going. If you'd like to but can't afford it I understand, otherwise get your butt over to Mattycolelctor and sign up! Sorry if it seems like I'm bulling you into this but I really don't want this line to end and if you're reading this I imagine you don't either. There are so many awesome characters left to get to, and you know they're going to turn out fantastic. Let's take a look at one that has always scored high on the awesome-meter: Roboto!
Roboto comes in the standard MOTUC blister card pack that we're all familiar with by now. He comes packed with his axe in place on his weapons hand with his normal hand clearly visible though the other weapons aren't as readily viewable. However, accessories usually are done in this fashion so it's not like there's a major difference. The back of the box shows off other heroic warrior figures in the line and presents a bio for Roboto.
Now Roboto's real name here struck me as odd and unnecessary at first, but then I learned it has a significance. 9041 was the product code number for the vintage Roboto action figure, so in a geeky way it actually is his real, or at least alternate, name. That actually is a pretty cool little nod to the vintage line, even if most people won't get it.
The bio mainly follows the 200X origin for Roboto and mixes in bits from the vintage mini-comic such as the heart shaped control chip. In the mini-comic Skeletor managed to steal the heart allowing him to control Roboto. Once the heroes got it back Sorceress cast a spell of protection on Roboto so it couldn't happen again. I always liked this idea especially since the figure did actually have a heart shaped piece inside his clear chest. Roboto sadly made only one appearance in Filmation, though he did have the whole episode centered around him. In that continuity Roboto was a crashed space pilot from the all robot world "Robotica" who Man-At-Arms found and repaired rather than having him build Roboto himself. While I usually defer to Filmation for my continuity, I actually like the idea of Duncan creating Roboto better. For some reason "Robotica" strikes me as a cheap ripoff of Cybertron.
It's easy to see Roboto went back to the vintage look for his Classics update. He uses a good mixture of old and new tooling. While he uses the same legs as Trap Jaw and the loincloth piece seen on Optikk, His entire arms are new. His forearms are similar to Trap Jaw's but contain sculpted on circuitry, as do his biceps and shoulders. Sadly Roboto is another figure who wound up with reversed shoulders, however I find it is barely noticeable on this one. The circuitry is done in highlighted colors which help it stand out against the rest of the sculpt.
A major part of Roboto's signature look is, of course, his clear torso showing off his gears inside. All those gears are fully detailed, and he even has that heart shaped control piece inside. What's more, Roboto is one of the only figures in the line to actually have an action feature. Just like on his vintage and 200X versions, turning his waist side to side makes the gears move! Unlike previous versions though it is very smooth and there is no clicking noise. Now because of this action feature Roboto's unique torso (well actually it's now being reused for Cy-Chop) does not feature the ab crunch articulation point. However, when you think about it you'll realize that, given the structure of his robotic torso, he probably wouldn't be able to bend there in real life anyway. It is also worth noting that, unlike previous versions, moving the gears does not cause his jaw to move. The head is on a ball joint and is interchangeable with other figures, just like the rest of the line. The jaw can be manually opened and closed however so really you can get better poses out of him. One thing about the vintage figure was it could be tricky to get his jaw in the position you wanted while keeping his waist turned where you wanted at the same time.
Roboto's other signature feature is his interchangeable weapons hand. The right hand pops off and can be replaced with any one of his other weapons. For that matter, this is the first time Roboto has actually featured a right hand attachment. His other weapons (middle) are based on the looks of the vintage figure's (left) but given more detailed paint aps. He includes his claw, axe, and gun just like the vintage. Notice the 200X version (right) did not have an axe attachment. All the weapons are of a sturdy but slightly softer plastic. They aren't gummy like Man-At-Arms' mace, but the thin blade of the axe are very flexible.
Roboto was the first figure after Trap Jaw to feature interchangeable weapon hands and was made to be compatible with the other figures. At the same time Roboto was revealed we also learned his accessories would be coming in a Weapons Pack painted to match Trap Jaw. The trend has continued and all the figures with such weapons work with each other.
You can really see how Roboto was based on and updated from his vintage figure. Another good thing about the Classics version is the paint job is unlikely to fade and blend, which is a common occurrence on the vintage. I'm not exactly sure what causes this but it is very hard to find a vintage Roboto that still has a mint paint job on his legs. They tend to go for more.
Roboto was one of the more dramatic redesigns in the 200X line. He did still feature a clear chest with moving gears, but now featured an armor piece that covered it. Some fans wanted an extra 200X head included in the Classics version, but I say there are so many differences only a full 200X variant would do it justice. And one way or another we're pretty much done with variants in the Classics line. If the line survives variants are going to be cut back and probably left out of 2014 all together, and if it dies.. well that's it.
Roboto has always been one of my favorite MOTU figures. Even as a kid when I first saw him he became an instant must have. I honestly didn't expect to see him so quickly in the Classics line so I was very happy when I heard he was coming and the final figure did not disappoint. Sure he has the reversed shoulders, but as I said I can barely notice it and honestly would never have if no one had mentioned it.
Roboto's sold out on Mattycollector.com so check the secondary market and help avoid missing out by getting a subscription. We NEED to keep getting great characters like Roboto in the line. There are several left and we're not going to see them if we can't keep the line going strong. Even if the line survives in a scaled back version, we aren't going to get a lot of unique tooling and most of the awesome guys left need it. Please do what you can to help by getting a 2013 sub and/or spreading the word to others. Time's running out. Hopefully I'll soon be able to report on the line's good future. Until then, Good Journey.
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