For my second article, I wanted to do something new, creative and original. I wanted to do something that had never been done before. Since I am neither creative nor original, I have decided to do a top ten list. Please, please, hold the applause. So, never mind the bullocks, here’s THE TOP TEN 1980'S TOY ROBOTS!
10. Baron Von Joy (Super Gobots)- I know what you’re thinking. A Gobot in the top ten robots list? A cheap ass Transformers wannabe in the top ten? Well screw all of you. Despite what people tend to believe, the Gobots where a fairly popular toyline and television series. They had some very well made and well designed figures. Of course, they also had some that were complete crap. Where does the good Baron fall? I’d say somewhere in the middle. So why put a mediocre at best Gobot on the list? Because he was a robot named Baron Von Joy. How many Transformers could say that? Nuff said.
9. The Nintendo Robot, a.k.a ROB(Robotic Operated Buddy)- Bet you guys didn’t see this one coming either. That’s right, the long since forgotten Nintendo robot. This thing always looked so cool in the commercials, but almost certainly didn’t live up to expectations when you got it home. I can’t really say for sure. Neither I, nor any of my friends had one, but if I were a betting man, I’d place $50 on this thing sucking. Now that I think about it, most of the NES accessories sucked. Sucking aside, every kid wanted one of these things. I mean, it’s video games with a robot. That’s fucking gold. Who wouldn’t want to own a video game playing robot, even if all it did was stack blocks while it’s onscreen counterpart did the same. Not I my friends...not I.
8. Roboto (Masters of the Universe)- A robot on steroids. Look at those arms. I know I’m stretching it here, but every top ten toy list has to have a He-Man figure on it. Roboto comes from a little later in the toy line, when every figure had a gimmick. His gimmick was….that’s right….he’s a robot. He was one of the cooler figures however. Turn his waste and the plastic gears inside his transparent body turn around, turning another gear to open and close his mouth. It sounds retarded on paper I know, you just have to see it to appreciate it.
7. Maxx Steele- Now this is a toy robot. This is one of those toys no kid even bothered asking for because he knew he wasn’t getting it. Why? Because of the price tag, that’s why. Five hundred Goddamned dollars!!! That’s exactly how my dad said it when I foolishly asked for one for my seventh birthday. But look at all the things he did. He could bring you a can of soda(assuming it was sitting on the floor), he could wake you up for school(errr…), he could play mildly retarded computer games, ummm, oh yeah, he also had a flashlight. All for $500, which, counting inflation, is like $45,743 now, if my calculations are correct. Of course you could go down to the Wal-Mart nowadays and pick up a similar robot for ten bucks. Nonetheless, in 1984 this was the cream of the crop.
6. Soundwave (Transformers)- Ahh….I love me some Transformers. There are so many I could put on here. It’s just so tough to narrow it down to a few. This one was a no brainer however. Soundwave was as cool as they came. Not only did he transform from a robot to a tape deck, but the cassette he came with also transformed into a bird. And we’re not done there. Take off the battery cover and the two AA sized batteries transform into guns. Genius. Those Japanese are some clever fellows. You also can’t talk about Soundwave without mentioning his cool robotic voice in the cartoon. “Soundwave superior, Constructicons inferior”. Admit it, you’re doing the voice right now, aren’t you?
5. Robostrux- What were Robostrux? Well I’m glad you asked. In the mid 80’s Tomy released a toyline in the U.S. that was known as Zoids in Japan. For some reason or another, they decided to name the U.S. version Robostrux. In a nutshell, you got a box filled with a shitload of plastic parts, a tiny wind-up motor and some stickers. Of course no human child was able to assemble the thing, so your dad received the honors of putting together the clusterfuck that lay before you. In the end, you had a wicked looking dinosaur robot thing that walked at a top speed of about one foot per hour. Badass.
4. Fortress Maximus (Transformers)- It’s a Transformer, only FRICKIN’ HUGE! That’s right, the biggest Transformer ever made. The big guy measures up at 2 feet tall. He is also one of the most complex of the toyline. He goes from a robot to a base, a battle station, a truck, a working microwave oven, a VCR, a cressent wrench and probably a lot more. But, who cares what he changes into…he’s two feet tall! I remember vividly what I wanted for Christmas the year this puppy came out. A tv for my room and Fortress Maximus. I knew I wouldn’t get both, but there was a good chance I’d get one of them. Then, on Christmas morning, I found a huge box sitting under the tree. I knew either way it was something kickass. I quickly ripped off the paper to find the words “Sears 13 inch remote control color television”. Sweet! My own tv. Then it hit me. I didn’t get Fortress Maximus. Granted, FM probably would have been sold at a yard sale a year later for fifty cents and the tv is still going to this day, but still, the things that could have been...
3. Optimus Prime (Transformers)- You knew this one was going to be on here. I really shouldn’t have to explain what Optimus Prime was, but for those of you who don’t know, OP was the leader of the Autobots, a.k.a. the good Transformers. The toy changed from a robot to a completely believable semi truck. If you didn’t know that already, you should be ashamed. Go sit in the corner.
2. Lion Force Voltron- Now this was a quality toy. Five die-cast metal lions that combine to form a big ass robot. Once again, those Japanese are some clever fellows. This thing was probably the most quality toy of the time. It was built more solid than a German tank. I’m serious, if you dropped this thing on your foot, it would take a toe off. But enough about Voltron because I really want to wrap this thing up. Sooo….
1. Megatron (Transformers)- Yes my friends, a toy robot you could literally knock off a liquor store with. They truly don’t make 'em like this anymore. Megatron was arch nemesis of Optimus Prime. While Optimus changed into a nice innocent truck, Megatron changed into a super realistic .380 semi auto. Damn. I’m not sure how many kids took a bullet in the chest for pointing this thing at the wrong person, but I’m sure there are a few. I know that’s the ways I want to go.
There you have it folks, the definitive list. If you're ever out at a party, at the store or walking down the street and a stranger comes up to you and asks what the ten best robot toys of the 80's are, you'll know what to do. Run away from that weird bastard.
....And no, my next article won't be about robots.