Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Domo Arigato All You Robotos

One thing that would make a toy stand out to young Cap'n Neurotic more than anything else was this: versatility. A spaceship was cool, but a spaceship that could also turn into a host of other toys?


Yes, the Micronauts Battle Cruiser (click here for more detail) was yet another cherished toy from my childhood. LovedlovedLOVED this thing; think nine times out of ten I pretended it was the spaceship Phoenix from the cartoon Battle of the Planets, which was one of my favorite (although seldom viewed) cartoons as a youth. Although the only other official Micronaut toy I owned was the previously mentioned Hornetroid, I would later purchase the total Baron Karza knockoff Count Magno and steed, which also had the bonus of possessing interchangeable parts for customized playtime.

My other big interchangeable toys were the Starriors, which was another line of toys I had completely forgotten about until I started this stroll down memory lane. Which is strange, because I loved this things with their removable (and movable) limbs. I owned three of them:


and Sawtooth,
although in my mind Sawtooth was renamed "Purple Rain," which should give you a pretty good idea of about what year I first got these. The most commeon configuration was for me to mount their legs on their shoulder pegs like wings and put their arms on their leg pegs since they resembled bird legs with talons. The other cool thing about the Starriors line was that they came with mini-comic books; if I weren't already broke, I'd probably waste a ton of money trying to track them down. So, yay for having no money!

While Micronauts may have been my intro to interchangable toys, GoBots were my introduction to the whole transforming robots phenomenon. My very first one was the incredibly rudimentary Loco
followed by the slightly more complex Scooter

I would soon graduate to the much larger and intricate Transformers, but would pick up the occaisional cool looking GoBot from time to time. My two favorites: Water Walk

and Scorp

And then there were my few Transformer purchases, such as Trailbreaker

and Prowl

I find it worth noting that, a lot of the time, I modified the backstories of the figures so that they weren't really transforming robots, but actually super-high-tech action vehicles with multiple attack formations which could be derived by placing the figures in various states of transformation. Thus, the toys which most easily lent themselves to such reimaginings (Trailbreaker, Water Walk, Scorp) were the ones most played with.

And finally, we will wrap up our tour down memory lane's toy aisle with a look at some robotic toys that didn't really fulfill my need for versatility: RoboForce

And yet, they had suction cups on the bottom, and somehow that made them cool. Go figure.


Wishbook said...

Damn, those Transformers were cool back then. I just saw the newest line in Target and almost yarfed. So cheap looking. And not at all realistic.