Friday, October 28, 2022

Masters of the Universe Origins: Roboto

It's no secret that I'm a fan of robots so when I first learned of Roboto as a kid in the 80's I was instantly a fan. Mattel has faithfully recreated this heroic mechanized warrior for the Origins line. The packaging is your standard Masters of the Universe design complete with exploding red lava rocks in the background. The yellow starburst talks about "Retro Play" which I assume is referencing the toy's gimmick...which happens to be listed on the other side of the blister bubble. 

The card back features some gorgeous artwork across the top, while the left side demonstrates the gimmicks. In the center is a cross sell featuring other figures released in this 2021 wave.

The original Masters of the Universe line was known for re-using body parts to create new characters, however Roboto has a lot of original parts, including the chest. Cast in translucent clear plastic, you can see the gears inside the chest. When I first saw pictures of this I was glad to see the gears were intact, but I had wondered if it would impede the removable head and limbs that the Origin figures feature. Surprisingly this feature on this version of Roboto is still intact! Roboto has so much cool stuff going for him, from the circuitry molded into his arms, the removable weaponry to the head sculpt. 

While you can swap the hands on any Origins figure, Roboto takes this one step farther with detachable weaponry. Out of the package he comes with his battle axe already attached, but if that type of bladed weapon isn't your cup of tea you can switch it out for a claw or a laser gun.

I found this figure to be a lot of fun, a highlight of his wave. He seems to also be a fan favorite and I can see why. Now I'm eagerly awaiting to see if he'll get a figure in the new Masterverse series.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Micro Machines Transformers Micro Playset + Vehicle

Jazzwares has resurrected the Micro Machines brand and partnered with the Transformers brand. These  mystery blind package sets seemed to come out of no where with very little marketing, if any. For several months they were really hard to find, but during my work travels I located a few at a Target and grabbed several out of sheer curiosity. 

The plastic crate comes surrounded by a paper sleeve of sorts, completely shrink wrapped. Apparently there are some markings or codes on the bottom of the package that reveals which vehicle is included inside. It could be a normal Micro Machine vehicle or a Transformers themed vehicle. All of the Transformers included are based on the live action movies.

Once all of the packaging is removed you are left with this gray plastic crate. One one side is an embossed Micro Machines logo, while the other sides are non-descript. Each piece of the crate are held together with tabs, clipping onto one another. To disassemble the crate you just pull off the sides.

On the back side of each piece of the crate is scenery, that once assembled is the playset for the included Micro Machine vehicle. Here you can see I received Cliffjumper and the Desert Dunes Raceway.

Growing up I had a lot of Micro Machines and playsets so I thought I'd love this...and in theory these are pretty cool. Perhaps my tastes have just changed now being in my mid-40s. I have the Raceway built as the included instructions show, however you can reassemble most of it as you see it.

While the playset wasn't long for my collection, I did end up keeping the Cliffjumper vehicle since I'm a sucker for Micro Machines and Transformers...even though he's a basic repaint of the Movieverse Bumblebee Camaro.

Underneath the vehicle is a small box that hides the Transformers affiliation logo. Of course you can see it without the included decoder, but once underneath the red film the logo pops. This is of course a throwback to the Generation 1 Tech Specs and decoders

Overall these are a nice novelty item, but they didn't capture my attention enough to track down the other sets. I've seen some of the other designs of the playsets and they are cool so your mileage may vary.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Greenlight Collectibles: The Rookie - 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS



The Rookie
1971 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Prior to this purchase, I knew very little of the Greenlight Collectibles brand. I've seen many of their releases before hanging on the pegs at my local Hobby Lobby store, but I never really bothered to look into them before picking up this Chevelle from their Hollywood series.

I love the ABC television show The Rookie so when I saw this car at a Walmart store I had to pick it up. I had just started purchasing both Auto World and Johnny Lightning cars so perhaps that helped put this on my radar? While I can't recall this 1971 Chevelle SS being featured in the show, it's a beautiful car in a beautiful shade of blue. Die-cast body, opening hood w/ a detailed engine, rubber wheels with shiny chrome details.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Masters of the Universe Origins: Stratos


I don't recall the time period in 2021 that Stratos was released in the Masters of the Universe Origins series, but he was another of the "core" characters from the MOTU world that I remember as a kid. It wasn't until the Mike Young Productions cartoon series and accompanying 200X toy line that I came to really appreciate the character.

Like with all of the Origins releases thus far, he comes packaged on the iconic MOTU card with the exploding red rocks in the back ground. He comes packaged with the "Sneak Attack" mini comic that all the figures in his wave had. The back of the card has some beautiful artwork across the top, while the rest of the back showcases the features of the toy along with a cross sell for additional figures.

The Origins line seems to be performing well at retail for Mattel so I wonder if any of the other Bird People will ever see action figure form as depicted in the beautiful card art?

Stratos, the winged warrior, sports the original color scheme from the 80's. There is a comic version that has since been released that sports a different color, but I just haven't been compelled to pick up that version since this is the one I'm more familiar with. The original toy used the Beast Man body, but I'm not sure if that carried over to the Origins figure. Regardless, Stratos still has his hairy chest he's known for. His removable red jet pack makes a return and looks nice. I wish the engines on his back had some paint detail. His blue wings come unattached in the package, but easily attach to his wrists. If you prefer red wings, you can swap them out from the Masters of the WWE Universe Rey Mysterio figure.

Articulation is standard and the limbs and head are removable which is par for the course for the Origins series. If you are fan of MOTU or Stratos in general, I can see no reason why you wouldn't enjoy this modern update of the character.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Unitroborn Unitrobo: Bulldozerburger

When I first saw the solicitations for this new line of transforming/combining toys from Bandai I wasn't sure what to think. Then I heard they were in the Machine Robo universe I was a little more intrigued. All of the designs in the first wave were wild...a combining taxi and Christmas tree, a beetle and a locomotive? Well the combiner bulldozer and hamburger was enough to pique my curiosity so I sought it out and ordered it. 

Once it arrived from Japan I was a little surprised that the packaging was basically a large blister card. In typical Japanese fashion, the blister wraps around the cardboard backing, allowing the card back to be slid up and out of the plastic once cutting the tape that holds it all together. I do like this type of packaging as it allows you to re-package the figure after opening.

The card art is a little crazy and busy. There is a music vibe that carries through the line which plays into the art. Both the burger and the bulldozer toys are easy to see from all angles. Flip the package over and there is a 3 step transformation/combination sequence. If you're a old school Transformers an as I am, these are reminiscent of the Decepticon Duocons in that you have two pieces that combine to form the robot, complete with spring loaded assistance.

The bulldozer is larger than I thought it would be, falling somewhere in between the size of a current deluxe and voyager size Transformer. The only paint apps on the dozer are around the canopy and the front grill, both featuring black paint. I would have been nice to see some paint apps on the treads and other places, however the molded detail will suffice. There are four small brown wheels on the bottom of the treads that allow the bulldozer to roll freely on a smooth surface. On the top of the dozer you'll find a small peg and tab where the burger combines. The Transformers fan in me wouldn't mind seeing this piece repainted in Constructicon green!

At first glance the hamburger looks like a beefed up (no pun intended) McDonald's McChangeable toy...however this burger doesn't have a mode of it's own. The top bun as some small sesame seeds while along the edges you can see what appears to be a tomato slice on top of a slice a cheese, all sitting on top of the hamburger patty.

On the underside of the hamburger you'll find the same two type of connection pegs that are on top of the bulldozer's canopy. These are basically a male and female connection that once lined up and pushed down/together will activate the transformation/combination.

Yeah, I know, it looks silly. Once you have the two pieces in place, push down on the burger and it'll activate the spring loaded transformation. Be ready though as it will spring out of your hands, literally!

The sides and the back half of the bulldozer will spring forward giving you a better glimpse of the robot mode. The robot's head pops out of the burger which is now firmly attached to the robot's chest. To complete the transformation you just simply fold down the arms and fold out the legs.

Once you unfold the arms and legs you have your completed robot form. The arms, crotch and thighs are molded in a light brown which matches the darker brown of the burger. These shades of brown blend well with yellow of the bulldozer. 

On each shoulder are stickers of a small audio equalizer bar, which goes with the musical theme of the line. This is even carried over to the eyes of the robot. Look carefully and you'll see the eyes are actually two music notes! It looks as if he is wearing a pair of metallic lilac shades.

To go back to bulldozer and burger forms, simply pull the burger from the robot and flip the head back in. Fold up the arms on the dozer and flip the legs back over until everything tabs in together firmly.

This has to be one of the more zany toys I've purchased form Japan in some time and I love it. I'll be honest when I say I wasn't sure what to expect, but once I got my hands on this set I went back and forth combining the set multiple times. I'm not completely sure how Bulldozerburger will look in my Machine Robo display, but perhaps I'll give them their own display as I definitely look forward to purchasing more from this line.