ROBOT WARS cards by Fleer
Rub-off games and stickers. With robots and twenty year old gum!
It would seem that in the 80’s, there was no bigger phenomenon for boys ages 6-11 than the robot. Transformers, GoBots, Voltron, the kid from Silver Spoons had one, heck, they even put one in Rocky IV. Leave it to trading card giant Fleer to capitalize on this in 1985 with the now legendary ROBOT WARS rub-off games and stickers. OK, legendary might be pushing it. In fact, I had never heard of these until I saw a box sitting on a shelf at the local dirt mall, priced to sell at $10.
Here's the breakdown of what you get in a pack of Robot Wars cards. Three game cards, one robot sticker and one card of stickers to add to your existing robot toys. You can’t tell in the picture, but on the front of the box it says: “stick FLEER ROBOT WARS STICKERS on Go-Bots, Transformers and other robot systems”. In my excitement, I didn’t pay as close attention to this as I should have. I took it to mean that there were Transformers stickers in the packs. I would have even settled for a Go-Bot sticker. But alas, after opening the first pack, this is what I found: Megabot (the powerfull).
I can’t imagine that many children scorching their shorts over Megabot(the powerfull). Or leaping for joy when they traded their extra Megabot(the powerfull) for our main man of the second pack, Lazertron(the weapons keeper).
But the main wax paper wrapped prize was not Megabot, Lazertron or even the generic toy robot stickers(although, how cool would I have been if my Soundwave had a robo-karate sticker).
No no. The main prize was the scratch off game cards in each pack. This was as close to real lottery tickets a 7 year old was going to get. Our first game is the ROBOT WARS RACE.
If you can't make out the directions, they say to choose your favorite car robot. I think I’ll be Huffer. No kid ever wanted to be Huffer. Its time he gets his due. The game’s simple enough. Scratch off one block at a time and follow the arrows to the finish line. Scratch off 3 evil alien robots and you lose.
Son of a....that’s what I get for being Huffer.
Next, we have ROBOT WARS RESCUE. Same principle as the first game. Go from start to finish without uncovering 5 ‘zap’ blocks. Although the directions didn’t say to, I’m being Optimus Prime this time around. To Hell with Huffer.
Aaalriiight. Up yours Huffer. The road to glory isn't paved with losing robot game cards, ya loser.
Then we have ROBOT WARS LASER DEFENDER. Once again, the same principle. Scratch off the alien ‘crafts’. If you scratch off 6 miss blocks, the game’s over. Then add up your high score.
225. Time to start playing Powerball.
Last but not least we have the stick of Fleer trading card gum. Mmmmm....
I can’t put into words how it feels to have a 20 year old stick of gum sitting in front of you. I guess it’s like a 9-volt battery. You know if you lick it, it’s going to shock you. You know this as fact, but you still want to see for yourself. And I’m sure that this gum sucked in 1985. Who know what the last 20 years have done to it. Gum doesn’t age well. We’re not talking fine wine here. No, I can’t do it....
Aah, what the hell.
Wow! How do I describe this flavor? Minty ass. Yes thats it. It's like chewing on a minty-ass flavoried piece of drywall. It’s not gum-like at all. I have to say, I'm a little disapointed that it didn't keep it's gum-like consistancy over the years. I'll have to write Fleer an angry letter about this. At least if anyone ever happens to ask me what 20 year old gum tastes like, I’ll know what to tell them.