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Thread: Robo Force

  1. #1
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Robo Force

    Anybody remember this toyline from the 80s?
    http://www.theoldrobots.com/maxxacc.html
    They were robots with suction cup bottoms and came with a mini-comic. I believe I had Blazer, Coptor, Hun-dred, Cruel, and maybe one or two others. I think they are still somewhere at my parents. A friend of mine had a few of the others growing up as well, too.

  2. #2
    Melaktha For MotUC!! adol's Avatar
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    I had a Maxx Steel and the big mountain playset. I used my Battle Beasts with the playset, making it look immense.
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  3. #3
    Widget Wrestler Mr. Shokoti's Avatar
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    I love this line!!! I only had 1 of them as a kid along with the first and only issue of the Robo Force magazine(remember when practically every toyline in the 1980's had their own magazine). I bought a few of them on Ebay several years ago and had it on my list of toylines I want brought back on another thread.

    http://www.i-mockery.com/roboforce/

    ^ Here's another site about them.
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    Heroic Warrior deltadod's Avatar
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    I have a few in my trade/sellist(blazer,dictator and another one I forget the name)
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  5. #5
    Eternian Ice Man ICER's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of one of the Robo Force vehicles I picked up at a yard sale.
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  6. #6
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    I'm a Robo-Force fan. I became one after I got that Buena Vista record and book. I loved it, especially the voice acting. Unfortunately by the time I brought it, it was 1987 and Robo-Force was long gone off the shelves.

  7. #7
    No more OT Dice's Avatar
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    This is another one of the toy lines I'd completely forgotten about.

    Thanks for another great trip down memory lane guys.

  8. #8
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    I was reading on wikipedia that there was a one shot Robo Force cartoon special made by Ruby-Spears. Anybody actually see it? I'd love to watch that.

  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior banthafett's Avatar
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    I had curtains and a bed set. I loved those things. I never had any toys but still want them to this day.

    austin

  10. #10
    Born A Monster wolfsfang's Avatar
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    were these ever released in the UK? because some of them look an awful lot like some toys I used to have when I was little but it was years ago and I can't recall if they are exactly the same.
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  11. #11
    Drinking Innocence TheDeviot's Avatar
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    Had Max Steele, Vulgar, and Blaster. The suction cup bottoms were interesting.
    I think Blaster shot water.
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  12. #12
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    wizarduniverse.com:

    In the 1980s, robot toys were king. And while today Transformers and Voltron get all the '80s press, hardcore toy fans also extol Robo Force, whose accordion-like arms and suction cups made them stand out—despite the lack of a cartoon or comic series. Here ToyFare investigates their origins, and what made them such a Force to be reckoned with.

    Power of the Force
    The origins of Maxx Steele, Hun-Dred and the rest of the Robo Force

    In the early 1980s, the CBS network decided to cut out the middleman by expanding into the toy market. They bought Ideal, a company best known for making dolls and teddy bears. Hoping to replicate the success of toy lines such as Masters of the Universe and Star Wars, CBS next developed their own line of gimmick-filled robot characters: Robo Force. Stylistically retro even in 1984, the figures were large, blocky robots that vaguely resembled vacuum cleaners—a similarity enhanced by the long, ribbed tubes that served as their arms, which could be brought together in a grasping (or hugging) motion by pressing a large button on their back. Each robot had a large suction cup on the bottom, allowing kids to stick them to windows, kitchen counters and well-varnished bunk beds.

    The good guys included Sentinel, Blazer, Wrecker, Coptor and SOTA (an acronym meaning "State of the Art"), and they were led by Maxx Steele—not to be confused with Mattel's later adventure hero, Max Steel. Maxx's archenemy was Hun-Dred, a spikey brute with twin cannons hidden beneath his faceplate; his lackeys included Vulgar, Cruel and the aptly named Enemy.

    For those not sold on their amusing names alone, Robo Force also boasted some great vehicles and playsets. Maxx could go joyriding in the Command Patroller, which featured a working hatch, a swivel laser cannon and a battering ram. The evil robots had the Dred Crawler, which could grab good guys in its giant claw. The real prize, though, was the Fortress of Steele, which towered over most other playsets and was crammed with more action features than a horde of neon Batmen.

    CBS Toys also branded Robo Force on a broad array of merchandise. Maxx and friends could be found on lunchboxes, Erector sets, storybooks, stickers, painter's caps, table covers and a "Super-Pop-O-Matic" board game. There was even an actual working Maxx Steele robot!

    Although a cartoon pilot was commissioned, CBS Toys went out of business before the line's second year of toys could hit the market. To this day, however, fan sites for the robots of Robo Force populate the Web, telling the story of these strange, clunky robots to a new generation.

    KIRCHNER, THE ARTISTOR
    'Toyfare' interviews Paul Kirchner, one of the creative forces behind Robo Force

    ToyFare: What was your involvement with Robo Force?
    Kirchner: I had worked on Eagle Force at Mego before they went bankrupt, and when they went bankrupt the people in the creative department scattered far and wide—some of them ended up at CBS Toys. The art director on Robo Force was a fellow named Bruce Stern, who had been the art director on Eagle Force, so I worked with him. [Stern] brought me in initially to do in-pack comic books. There were eight or ten characters, and they each needed a comic book to put in with the toys, so I got involved in that.

    What was your process with those stories?
    Whatever feature [each robot] had suggested the story that could be built around it, especially as short as these stories were. One guy had a fire extinguisher in his head, and so that would be the story.

    What other items did you work on?
    After I did the comics, we also did a promotional kit for kids who wanted to join the Robo Force [Fan Club]. You got a poster, which I drew, and some buttons and a little baseball cap. And I did licensing art, which was a number of illustrations of Robo Force in different situations, and some of these things were actually used on pajamas—things like that.

    Do you know the origins of the bendy arms and the suction cups?
    It may have just been they were fairly simple things that could be done. I think even when I came in on it and dealt with the art director, he almost introduced these features to me as if I would get a good laugh out of it, too.

    Why do you think the line ended prematurely?
    Of course the problem they had, and as I recall they were completely unaware, is that they were about to go up against Transformers. That came out at the same Toy Fair, and of course it just made the Robo Force look pathetic. In the toy business they always talk about "finger food"; finger food is the stuff on the toy you can play with. To go up against Transformers, with all the play value those things had, [Robo Force] just looked very much like a previous-generation type of a product. They were almost kind of retro, even when they came out.

  13. #13
    Vengeance Demon The Riding Ghost's Avatar
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    Loved 'em. I remember my mom picking me up a couple really cheap at a little 5 and dime store when we lived in Simpsonville, SC..found a couple later on at a flea but lost 'em again in the move during my divorce.

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  14. #14
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Somebody posted the Robo Force cartoon special on youtube. I never thought that would see the light of day. It is called Robo Force - The Revenge of Nazgar. I found it entertaining. It has a pretty good voice cast as well.

  15. #15
    Wise Old Trollan Uncle Montork's Avatar
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    I have "Enemy" and I also had the board game with the pop-o-matic bubble when I was a kid. I still have the little mini-comic/catalog that came with it. Wanted the deluxe programmable Maxx as a kid but never got him.
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  16. #16
    Widget Wrestler Mr. Shokoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Somebody posted the Robo Force cartoon special on youtube. I never thought that would see the light of day. It is called Robo Force - The Revenge of Nazgar. I found it entertaining. It has a pretty good voice cast as well.
    THANK YOU!!! I never knew it even had a cartoon until I read it on Wikipedia awhile back. I know one guy who saw it when it aired but I didn't think there were any dubs out there. I've been dying to see this.

    Forget Transformers!!! I want a Robo Force & a Gobots(I know, since Hasbro got the rights to them when they bought Tonka, this will never happen) relaunch!
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  17. #17
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Some *spoilers* on the cartoon follow.

    My only complaint about the cartoon is Hun-Dred has a Boba Fett-like punk death. Of course, he could easily be repaired (much like Coptor was) if the show was picked up as a regular series. Nazgar seemed like a worthy adversary for the show. I'm surprised they didn't make a 5 episode run rather than a one shot, since most toylines at the time that did those really short runs did something like that (ie. Sectaurs & Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos).
    Last edited by Firefly; May 31, 2010 at 09:56am.

  18. #18
    King of Symbion Toygiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ICER View Post
    Here's a pic of one of the Robo Force vehicles I picked up at a yard sale.
    Hey Icer, just an FYI. That was produced by Remco by wasn't part of the Robo Force line. It's called Grapplor and was the reason Coleco had to change the name of one of the Sectaurs creatures from Grapplor to Raplor (trademark infringement).

    There's an old toy store here in Washington that actually still has 2 or 3 of these toys in the box.
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  19. #19
    Widget Wrestler Mr. Shokoti's Avatar
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    I was kinda hoping the robots would have a little more in terms of personality than they did. It was definitely more Gobots than Transformers. I'm still happy to have finally seen it but I wish the focus was on Maxx & the Roboforce more than the humans.
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  20. #20
    Mistress of Meteorbs rhea's Avatar
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    I just watched the cartoon and it was fun. I have the Fortress of Steele and all the bots except SOTA and Coptor (though I plan to eBay for them when I get the chance.) I'd be interested to look into what the second series would have featured if it had come out.
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  21. #21
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhea View Post
    I just watched the cartoon and it was fun. I have the Fortress of Steele and all the bots except SOTA and Coptor (though I plan to eBay for them when I get the chance.) I'd be interested to look into what the second series would have featured if it had come out.
    Check out the link in my opening post for the unreleased second wave. There are Wave 2 robots on the first page and even Nazgar, Mark Fury, and Deena Strong figures on the second page.
    Last edited by Firefly; June 1, 2010 at 07:32am.

  22. #22
    Mistress of Meteorbs rhea's Avatar
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    OMG!!!! Those new robots and figures would have been awesome. Thanks for pointing out thhat link (sometimes I can be completely oblivious )

    --rhea
    Could we get some Meteorbs, Please???!!!

  23. #23
    Heroic Illustrator Stampede's Avatar
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    Wow, I never had any of these but they sure are cool!
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  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior vkatphish's Avatar
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    I had Maxx Steele and Hun-dred. Like all new toys at that time, I was sold when I saw the commercial and subsequently got Maxx Steele. I liked it but didn't really have a desire to collect the rest. I did get Hun-dred as a gift at a birthday party though. I had a friend who loved these though (I'm pretty sure he was the one who got me Hun-dred at my party) and had a good number of them. We had a couple of good adventures with them but I used them mostly as big robots against G.I. Joes and SW figures. I remember he wanted the Fortress and was asking for it for his birthday. I don't think he ever got it though.

  25. #25
    Southern-Fried Preacher Dave-Man's Avatar
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    I remember wanting the remote-controlled Maxx Steele robot that somebody put out. It was expensive as all hell, though, so of course I never got it.
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