I don’t recall having any special fondness for Roboto from when I was a kid. It was not because I didn’t like him or anything, but he was just in that category of heroic warriors who simply was just “there”. Truth be told, I got him second hand from a used toy shop in town. I didn’t have all his attachments, only the axe. Perhaps if I had the blaster & the claw too I would have had more of an appreciation for him? I can’t imagine owning Trap Jaw and not having his claw, hook, and laser!
Up to the point when Roboto was release, the only true “heroic warriors” we had were Stratos, Man-At-Arms, Teela, and Moss Man (you can go ahead and count Orko and Adam if you want), so he was a welcome addition to the shelf.
Roboto is yet another faithful “Classics-ization” of a vintage figure. He featured a brand new clear plastic torso (which we will see again soon with Cy-Chop) which revealed his “heart” and gears on the inside. Legs and pelvis are shared with Trap Jaw and Optikk. His arms are new featuring great detail on the circuitry — it’s just too bad they didn’t turn out like they were “supposed” to. Roboto’s head is a near perfect update, but the “‘duckbill’ jaw” still bugs me.
The whole reverse-shoulder issue-gate (as you may recall the shoulders were incorrectly marked “L” and “R” which was a tooling issue, not a factory issue) was a huge downer, but at this point I was still too optimistic to care. At I’m “over it” but it’s kind of like a constant splinter you just can’t get at. As reports of cracked plastic torsos, sloppy paint apps, bobble heads originally came in I just counted my lucky stars it wasn’t mine. How pathetic is it that you have to live with being “grateful” for NOT getting a defective product? Like a frog in a pot of tepid water, you don’t notice the temperature slowly rising until the water starts to boil and then it’s too late.
Roboto is one of the rare instances in the line where the action feature from the vintage figure was (thankfully) carried over. Simply turn Roboto at the waist and watch his internal gears turn, just like the vintage figure! Although the face plate/“mouth” does not open/close automatically like it did on the original, I’ll take the ball jointed head any day!
Roboto’s paint is hit or miss. While everything above the waist is fine and the pelvis is okay too, but the legs suffer the most. Comparing pictures mine seem to be okay, but there have been many out there which looked like someone took a Sharpie marker and tried to color it.
Roboto’s arm attachments make up his accessories – an axe, blaster, and claw, just like the original. In addition he comes with a right hand which was a real nice touch. The arm attachments use the same peg system as Trap Jaw, Hurricane Hordak, et. Al. so you can swap them out for each other. Its just annoying that the left hand can’t be swapped out, one more tiny detail that is holding this figure back from being truly excellent. Roboto’s accessories were released in Trap Jaw colors shortly thereafter in the Weapons Pak, but we still have yet to receive Trap Jaw’s weapons in Roboto colors. What gives Mattel?
It is really too bad that an iconic and highly anticipated character like Roboto was plagued with such rampant QC issues (reversed shoulders, cracked torso, sloppy paint, melty hands) — each issue was like a drop of vinegar in a glass of milk. Roboto should have been a true jem in the MOTUC line and it really took away from the awesomeness of his release. All that said, despite all the trouble collectors had to put up with, for any fan of the vintage lineup, Roboto is a must-have.