Roboto is one of my favorite vintage MOTU toys, but when he was announced for MOTU Classics I wasn’t feeling very intrigued. I didn’t know what it was, but I wasn’t as excited as I should’ve been. Now, he’s arrived and it’s his chance to win me over. Also, I promise not to make any “Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto” jokes.
Roboto is all-new from the waist up, sharing his lower body with Optikk (who got most of his parts from Trap Jaw). Pretty much everything is a faithful recreation of the original – he’s mostly a straight update. Everything is slightly improved of course. The head looks great – I wasn’t thrilled about the ‘duckbill’ jaw, but it’s tilted (instead of horizontal like the vintage figure) and it looks much better. The circuitry pattern on the arms is more clearly defined, and the gears in the chest have been resized to accommodate the addition of his heart-shaped emotion chip from the mini-comics. And let me tell ya, that piece really looks awesome in there.
You know, looking at this “Usual Suspects” shot, I just realized that vintage Roboto and Classics Roboto are the same basic size from the hips up (vintage Roboto had a chest a little bigger than the others while Classics Roboto has a chest a little smaller than average). It makes the old figure’s legs look really weird. And, if you were keeping track, MO2K Roboto in the middle there did not come with an axe. Apparently, I rectified that by cutting up some random He-Man variant’s axe and adding it to Roboto. Ironically, I don’t remember where his actual attachments are anymore. Ha.
The gears work great, spinning with the turn of the waist, though they are no longer attached to the head to make the mouth guard move up and down. One thing that really fascinated me about the gears was that some of the folks over at He-Man.Org who took steps to crack the chest and swap the shoulder pieces found that his gears are basically self-contained on a chest-insert (similar to the bubbles in Chemo’s torso from last year’s DCUC9).
Then, there are the shoulders. What do I want to say about the shoulders? I’ve held off on making too many comments because I wanted to get the figure in-hand and decide for myself. When we were opening up the shipping case at IAT, I popped Roboto out of the package, looked him over, and played with his bicep joint. There was no obstruction, no scuffing, none of the issues I had with my original reversed shoulders He-Man back in early 2009. There was a gouge in the shoulder, but it wasn’t from the shoulder being reversed – just more bad QC. Anyway, I looked around and wondered if my IAT cohorts would feel the same.
And they did. Even our favorite curmudgeon, Mr. Rant. We all agreed that Mattel should be less cavalier should a future error arise, but the mismatched circuitry and the slight gaps ended up not really being a problem in our eyes. And besides there was other “fun” bad quality control to address anyway.
While the sculpt was wonderful, the paint wasn’t. We all had different amounts of slop on each of our figures. Most of the figure is molded appropriately and just requires highlights while other parts are molded completely different colors and painted. That’s where some problems come in. Roboto’s boots and head are molded in red and painted silver. The one I’m reviewing here had some areas where the silver was letting some red show though, but nothing too terrible. The hands (molded blue, painted red) were a different story, particularly the left one.
Yep, my Roboto is melting. Vault ended up with a melting one as well. We haven’t decided if we’re going to bother with Mattel’s replacement policy yet. We both also ended up with a Roboto that doesn’t feature the “2nd degree burn” hands (that’s one of the reasons we buy doubles). In addition to this hand being gnarly, I’m also slightly annoyed that this arm is different from the rest of the entire line.
While Toy Guru & Co. worked quick to make sure that Trap Jaw and Roboto had compatible right arms, they weren’t able to get to the left arm switched around in time. What I don’t understand is why the arms were sculpted opposite in the first place? Why was the left arm sculpted to have the peg instead of the left hand? If the figures had been done like the rest of the line, we could surely customize a quick fix for the attachments to fit on both hands. As it is, we’re out of luck minus some serious surgery. Continue to Page 2 for the Attachments…