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Masters of the Universe Classics - Roboto

Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


As a big Styx fan in the early 80's, it's only natural that "Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto" is the only thing I can think of when anyone mentions this character from the Masters of the Universe show.

Roboto wasn't around long back then, debuting near the end of the cartoon. He did get himself an action figure though, and is a popular hero with fans. He was a likely candidate for the Classics line, particularly since he was also featured in the 200X cartoon.

As usual, Matty Collector was the place to originally snag this guy, for the price of $20. As is the norm, he sold out fairly quick, so don't be caught with your pants down on November 15th when they release Grizzlor.
Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
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Packaging - ***1/2
Nothing new here, but still plenty of the same old goodness. Personally, I prefer when a long running line sticks to a pretty consistent packaging style, since it makes for a better MOC display.

Sculpting - ***
Let's address the 800 pound gorilla in the room first - the shoulders.

There has been much ado about the shoulders, with claims that they were swapped in assembly. If you look at the sculpted circuitry on the shoulders and biceps, it's clear that something is ass backwards, because they should line up and it doesn't.

Mattel even came out and said there was a screw up - whoopsie! But I have to ask, is this an assembly error or a sculpting/tooling error?

Several folks have gone through the (sometimes ugly) process of swapping the two shoulders around, and in doing so have noticed something interesting - the shoulders are stamped 'L' and 'R', and have been assembled with the 'L' shoulder on the left, and the 'R' shoulder on the right! So it looks like the poor assembly workers popping shoulders on Roboto figures were not the ones to blame. For a detailed photo and info, check out Poe's write up.

Either way, something is not quite right with the shoulders. This isn't a huge deal for me, but it does result in a slightly lower score here than they would have gotten error free.

There is plenty of cool about this sculpt to help overcome some of the annoyance with the shoulders, too. The best is the heart shaped chip behind the gears in his chest, but the gears themselves are pretty sweet as well. There's a lot in packed in there, done up in distinct, bright colors.

While all the circuitry might not match up properly, it's still well sculpted and has nice detailing.

The figure stands great on his own, as usual, and the proportions match up nicely with the rest of the series.

Paint - **1/2
Unfortunately, this is one of those times (at least for me) where Mattel's paint QC didn't do their job.

I like the color scheme, right down to the coruscating crotch, and the primary colored gears jump right out from the clear torso. He definitely adds some pizazz to the shelf.

There's a fair amount of slop, however, and some of it is in very obvious areas. For example, the large blue dot on his helmet is tough to miss, and there are several more dots like this on the silver boots. At this price point and with a collector themed line, that sort of obvious slop is unacceptable.

Articulation - ***1/2
Most of the joints this line is known for are present here - ball jointed neck, ball jointed hips and shoulders with a post joint on both sides, pin elbows, knees, and ankles, cut waist, and cut wrists. The wrists are actually cut at the top of the 'gloves', making it easier to swap the right hand.

There is one missing joint, the ab-crunch. The reasons for it's exclusion should be obvious, since having that joint and the internal gears would be impossible. It's a trade off most of us are quite happy with.

There's an additional joint to offset the overall count, however. The jaw, or lower face plate, or whatever you want to call it, is hinged so it can drop down and you can stare into the black emptiness of his face. Just the thing to make Skeletor crap his loincloth!

There is one slightly disturbing issue that I hope isn't a trend. The ankle pins work fine on mine, and are still tight enough to hold most poses. But the pins themselves seem to be made from a slightly softer, weaker plastic.  One of the big positives about this line has been the sturdy construction, and I certainly hope we aren't seeing Mattel try to cut some corners to squeak out a little more profit.

Accessories - ***1/2
I love when they give us an extra portrait, but that's not the case here. The head is removable, as you'd expect, but you'll have to find one on your own to swap it with.

But what's almost as good as an extra head? Extra hands, especially when they are deadly mechanical weapons!

Roboto comes wearing my favorite of the set, the double bladed ax-hand. This can pop off and be replaced with either a normal right hand, a pincer type hand, or a gun-like hand. This guy is like the J.J. Arms of Eternia! The hands swap pretty easily, although you'll want to take care the first time or two to avoid damaging the pins.

I don't think the left hand can be swapped - it doesn't look like it, and pulling on it with reasonable force (not enough to snap it if it's not supposed to swap) didn't free it up. 

Fun Factor - ****
This series is just so damn much fun it should be illegal, and probably is in Texas and Iran. Roboto has all the great features that make this line such a perfect example of what makes action figures such great role play toys - great sculpting, paint, articulation and accessories - and he's a robot too! There's not much that's cooler than that.

Value - **1/2
Yep, these figures are $20 a pop, a price I can pretty much live with when there's an extra portrait. But when there isn't, it's a tougher sell. So why did I still give Roboto an average score here? Because of all the cool inner workings in his chest. Not only could they not simply re-use the standard torso, there is additional assembly costs. I'm not jumping up and down with joy over paying $20 for an action figure, but I can live with it in a situation like this.

Things to Watch Out For -
The first couple times you swap hands are the riskiest, so be careful to avoid any serious side to side rocking which could weaken the pins.

Overall - ***
For me, this figure was a bit of a disappointment. He has some very strong pros - the cool gears and heart look terrific, and the swappable mechanical hands are a huge plus. But on the negative side are some basic quality issues, both with the paint and sculpt, and these undercut what otherwise could have been a terrific figure. I really hope that we aren't seeing any trend toward cheaper construction with a line like this.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***
Paint - **1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
Like the rest of the line, this guy was a Matty Collector exclusive. Now your best bet is ebay, or Big Bad Toy Store. Either way, you'll probably be paying a premium, so don't miss out again next month when they release Grizzlor!

Related Links -
I've reviewed tons of the MOTUC series:

- Gygor makes other big monkeys look silly.

- another character with animal instincts is Chief Carnivus.

- just before that was Whiplash.

- Orko was the SDCC exclusive this year.

- just before the Con, Matty sold out of Count Marzo.

- before that was She-Ra, Princess of Power, and the large scale Tytus.

- I've also looked at the cool custom swords and shields you can get from SpyMonkey Creations.

- prior to that, I looked at the other May release, Optikk.

- seems like it was just yesterday that I covered Evil-Lyn.

- prior to that it was Moss Man.

- check out the cool MOTUC Display stands.

- just before that I covered Battle Cat and Trap Jaw, and prior to that was Adora.

- I really liked Scare glow, although he's not exactly what you'd call a key character.

- She-Ra isn't the first girl in the series - Teela has that honor.

- before that there was Webstor, one of my favorite, and Tri-klops, another one of my favs.

- prior to that was Man-at-armsHordak, ZodacFaker, Mer-man and Stratos, starting out with He-man, Skeletor and Beastman together in one review.

Discussion:
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Roboto Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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