MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002)
One year ago exactly, I wrapped up a two-week stretch of Masters of the Universe reviews with a review of the Castle Grayskull playset from the 2002 line. In what I guess is going to become a birthday tradition on the site, I’m looking at yet another MotU figure today. It’s one of my favorite characters from the franchise, Roboto, Heroic Mechanical Warrior! I’ve actually looked at Roboto once before, having looked at his vintage counterpart, but today I look at his super awesome 2002 version!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Roboto was added to the re-launched Masters of the Universe series in 2003, as part of the fifth assortment of Heroic Warriors. The figure stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 12 points of articulation (13 if you count the very slight mobility of his jaw). Where the vintage Roboto made use of a couple of pieces from Trap-Jaw, this Roboto was a totally unique sculpt. This figure takes Roboto’s admittedly rather goofy vintage design, and does its very best to make him look, you know, actually pretty cool. Unlike a lot of things that Mattel tries at, this figure succeeds. In fact, this is easily one of my favorite designs from the 2002 line, and really Masters of the Universe in general. He keeps all of the important details from the original Roboto, so you can clearly tell it’s the same character, but all of these details have been made much sharper, more robotic, and more in line with other cool robots of the last few decades. The head in particular ditches the duck-billed knight looking design of the vintage figure in favor of a more futuristic warrior look, which made more sense in the setting of the updated cartoon. Like his vintage counterpart, this guy takes advantage of the usual hollow torso of these figures, and has molded it in clear plastic and placed an assortment of gears inside, representing his inner workings. In terms of paintwork, this guy is pretty great; the application is all very clean, and I really like the metallic re-working of his classic color scheme. It really pops. The figure is packed with two arm attachments for his right arm: a claw and a blaster. Both are updates of the same pieces included with the vintage figures, updated to match the new figure’s style. He loses the third attachment (the axe) but gains an extra armored piece for his torso, as well as a missile for his blaster arm. Not a bad assortment of extras at all!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Roboto’s debut episode was one of my favorites of the 2002 show, so I always wanted this figure. Remember how I mentioned that his re-design was one of my favorites? Well, I wasn’t alone in this thought. That, coupled with Mattel’s incredibly stupid methods of packing cases and distribution, meant that I never once saw this figure at retail. It also meant he was one of the figures to hold onto his aftermarket value, even well after most of the line had fallen way down in price. Honestly, I’d never even seen this guy in person. So, when I found him at Lost In Time Toys a few weeks ago, I was pretty excited. I was even more excited when I found out that he was half-off his given price, allowing me to get him for a more than reasonable price. I’m thrilled to finally have this guy, and for all the ragging I do on Mattel, there’s no denying that this is a cool toy.
*As an added bonus, Roboto was also the 4000th unique figure to be added to my collection! Wow, that’s a lot of figures!