Monday, July 14, 2008

From old newspapers of long ago, from uncharted libraries of the universe, comes a legend

I just finished putting up around ninety new ads over at the Vintage Space Toaster Palace and I'm still not even halfway through the backlog. That's a whole lot of toy robot Volkswagens let me tell you. The breakdown is approximately seven new Zoids ads, seven new Shogun Warriors, twenty five new Transformers 1985 and fifty five new Voltron ads. And by new of course I mean over twenty years old.


Part of the fun of collecting old ads for me is trying to find one ad for every toy from a given toyline. For example, the original American release (OAR) of Zoids was seven toys. There were five little ones, plus the Giant Zrk and the Mammoth. I got the Zrk ad in Cincinnati. In Alaska I found a really nice ad with lineart of the duck, elephant and Tyrannosaurus and in El Paso I found a December '85 Radio Shack ad for the Mammoth. The Mammoth is considered by some to be the tail end of the OAR. Design wise it marks the transition where Zoids went from skeletal looking animal robots to armored exo-skeletal looking robots. When they changed the look like that they renamed the line Robo Strux and to me they jumped the roboshark. I found lineart of the spider in a Robo Strux ad so now that leaves me with only the frog to complete my OAR ad collection. This is how burnt out you get after 30 years of being into toy robots-my holy grail is a grainy line drawing of a plastic robot frog.


A toy robots line is just not legitimate until it has its own transforming watch. Transformers and GoBots had a watch and even the third rate Zybots had a watch (although I'm still not sure how the fuck that happened). In what I was hoping would be a toy robot archaeological find of the century I uncovered a Wal-Mart ad from December '85 for a Voltron watch. Unfortunately it turns out Voltron watch is rather well documented in the annals of toy robots history. Also it is nowhere near as cool as South Korean Voltron .45 BB gun. Nothing really beats the idea of Voltron capping some robeast from 200 yards with his .45.

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