Goodness, is it time for another classic figure review already?!
Another good thread last week, with Kobra Khan.
Anyway, this week's selected figure is ROBOTO.
I bought Roboto when he was very first released. If I recall correctly, I caught sight of him on a shopping trip, and by the next visit had gathered enough to buy him. I had to have him!
Now on paper, Roboto is all that I am less keen on in the MOTU world. All technological and robotic, whereas I am one of the party who generally prefer the line's Greek / Medieval-hybird / barbarian / swords & sorcery roots more. But the Roboto figure was just so cool.
He looked great. Of course, his immediate eye-catcher is his clear torso, with his gears inside. And if you turn him at the waist, the gears actually work, moving the figure's jaw (or whatever it is) up and down.
In addition to this, it has three changeable arm extensions - an axe, a claw, and a laser.
And the figure's colour scheme is just so good - a combination of silver, blue and red.
Since I very first had Roboto, I have wondered if he was devised as a Heroic equivalent of Trap Jaw. Think about it - the changeable arm extensions, the movable jaw... its all there.
There is a debatable leg variation on the figure. My original one had red legs with silver detailing. Several of the second hand ones I have picked up have these legs, but with purple metallic paint sprayed on top. Some consider that this is in fact due to plastic deterioration over the years, causing this appearance, but I'm afraid I differ - I've picked up enough of both leg examples to believe that this was a proper variation when the figures were made. (I'll try and take a photo tomorrow to show the comparison).
There is also a more nit-picky variation on the yellow gear at the base of the torso. The more common one is bright yellow, but some can be found with a darker, mustard-y yellow.
Roboto's mini-comic, "The Battle of Roboto", while still not as good as the early ones, was one of the better later ones, IMO. It shows how Man-At-Arms has built Roboto to guard the boundaries of Castle Grayskull, complete with a "heart" to give him a conscience to do right. But Skeletor over-powers him and removes his heart, turning Roboto into a soulless killing machine. At the conclusion of the story, after He-Man has reinserted the heart, the Sorceress seals Roboto's heart with a magic spell so it can never be removed again. I liked how if you look inside the figure's torso, it does indeed have a little plastic heart.
Roboto appeared just once in the Filmation cartoon series, in the second season. The episode "Happy Birthday Roboto" gave him an origin story, which naturally was completely different to that in "The Battle of Roboto" mini-comic. In this account, Roboto had crash-landed on Eternia from an alien planet, and it is Modulok who is the nemesis in this version.
I much prefer the mini-comic origin.
I absolutely love the 200x revamp of Roboto. Again, it is a long way from the swords & sorcery origins that I prefer, but the 200x Roboto is awesome, and in my top three 200x revamps. He has an additional body plate to cover his workings, and looks cool both with it on and off. The feet are huge, looking very cyborg-like, and the face is a vast improvement on the 1980s version, maybe the one thing that didn't quite work for me on the original. The only drawback is that the 200x version only comes with two weapons - the axe is not included. But this is just a niggle. (I wonder if the axe was present in prototype stage?) There is a nice fitting on the figure's back for the laser to attach to, but there is no-where for the claw to attach to - they could easily have made the back fitting compatible with both. But overall, 2000x Roboto is brilliant, as I say, in my top thee 200x revamps.
Roboto played a much larger part in the MYP cartoon series, and again presented a different origin. There were vague similarities to the original "The Battle of Roboto" mini-comic, but again presented a different version. I quite liked what they did with him. There was also a nice friendship with Sy-Klone, with both characters feeling outcasts.
All-in-all, while Roboto is a long way from the line's roots that I prefer, I have to say that I have come to consider vintage Roboto as one of the line's best figures. Damn it, I have to give it 10 out of 10.
Well, that's my weekly ramble.
I'd really like to hear your own comments, memories, criticisms... anything Roboto-related. And whether you post or not, don't forget to give your rating for in the poll!