Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All this pineapple salad is gonna kill me someday OR: Robotech? More like roboTALK! HUR HUR OR: HOW MUCH ROBOTECHS CAN I BUY FOR 10 SPACY BUCKS?

Service Merchandise 11/27/86
Robotech was this really weird cartoon that came out in '85 when I was eleven. It had a great name and the opening promised fantastic battles with cool robots but then I watched it and it was something else entirely. It was actually very little robots and a whole bunch of cartoon women being all bitchy. Talk talk talk blah blah blah that's all they did. Then to make it worse sometimes there was kissing and what 11 year old boy wants to see that. Since it was originally a show for Japanses they had to edit out all the scenes with cartoon ass which I would at least have had fun laughing at but I never got to see any. I'd estimate it was 22 minutes long and 19 minutes was cartoon Vagina Monologues in Space then maybe 3 minutes was robot action, two of which were the opening and closing credits. It was the biggest robot cock tease show in the history of UHF television.


OG Wilson 11/28/85
Maybe I lacked the maturity or the attention span necessary to endure watching Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants with Robots but to this day I can't figure out what they were thinking or who the target audience of Robotech was. I think it was 8 year old tomboys with green hair and a little bit of overlap with the overweight jet fighter pilots demographic. Because as a boy I sure as hell wasn't looking up to the men in the show, who were all fat or dumb or extremely effeminate or bad pilots or they had blue hair. Plus all that talking. God damnit, the guys talked almost more than the women. Talk talk talk blah blah blah that's all they did. Mostly they talked about Protoculture, the mysterious jet fuel they gave to the robots. They built up so much mystery and intrigue around Protoculture that I wondered what Protoculture really was and what mysterious and intriguing effects it had aside from making you talk a lot, but it turned out Protoculture just makes your cartoon suck.

Karls Toys 12/20/84

Sears 11/16/86
For some reason I was in a Robotech mood yesterday so I updated the Vintage Space Toaster Palace with over 25 new* Robotech ads. When viewed chronologically they tell the story of the Robotech toylines, the story being that the toys were almost as big and confusing a mess as the cartoon. Robotech the name was first used by model company Revell on a line of robot model kits that were conceived before (and totally independent of) the cartoon. There were lots of different robots in the Robotech model line because Revell licensed them from a bunch of different Japanese model kit makers like Imai and ARII among others. The earliest ads for Robotech product I've found are for the 1984 releases of those Revell models. Revell also licensed a building block toy from Takara originally called Blockman but they changed the name to Robotech Robolinks and I've found an ad for one of those kits, too. Then in 1985 Matchbox came out with their action figures and vehicles based on the cartoon. Plus there are a couple of ads for toys from Mospeada (the cartoon that became Robotech's third 'season') that hit the shelves of grocery and retail stores well before they eventually showed up in Robotech boxes. There was also a little bit of overlap thanks to Japanese toymaker Gakken releasing their officially licensed versions of the Mospeada Alpha robot jets which I've covered before and I put up ads for some of those, too. And finally I have the crown jewel of my Robotech ad collection-an ad for Robotech dolls.


Toys R Us 12/14/86
I'm really happy to have a more respectable Robotech section now instead of just the four dinky ads I had previous. It's mostly my fault because although I've had most of them for a while I've just been too unenthusiastic about Robotech to put them up. I was also embarrassed about not having any sort of ad for the SDF-1. How can you have a Robotech ad section and not have the SDF-1? But I did find an ad for a mini SDF-1 in Houston so hey, it's my time to be a star if you know what I mean. Still, an ad for the big Matchbox SDF-1 is one of those holy grails of mine and I hope to track one down someday. Because Please Save Me Robots isn't about being grateful for what toy robots newspaper ads I've found, it's about whining like a bitchy, effeminate, overweight, blue-haired robotairplane pilot about the really bad haircut I just got.

*over 20 years old


Weasel said...

Ah, Robotech. I could only stand the Mospeda (or however you spell it) saga and that was because of Marlene. (Marlene was actually an alien spy who thought she was human. She was probably one of the better characters in the series.) Macross just makes me want to punch things, namely that whiny-ass Minmei. (Yes, I friggin' hate Minmei. I admit it.)

And I also prefer my robots sentient, dammit. Leave the stupid squishies out of the equation. (Man, having a cold makes me bitchy...)

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Didn't you get a cold last year at this time? I remember we were both sick around the beginning of the year. From your blog it sounds like you've got it pretty bad.

Hey I've been buying some Animated Bumblebee clothes for my son. I haven't been buying them avidly but I've still amassed some pretty cool stuff. I'm going to do some Flickrs and I'll send you the link. Are you keeping up with the kiddy clothes?

Bubbashelby said...

I'm glad someone else recognizes the crap that show was.

Not only all the talking, but the poorlytranslatedletsjamfiftyenglishwordsinreplacementofsixjapanesewordssentenceforcingallourcharacterstointerruptandoroverlapconversation oh! ah! BS - ugh I hated it.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yeah it's weird and I don't think it was a maturity issue because Star Blazers came out a couple years before and I loved that one. Robotech was just overly complicated and stupid. All I got out of it was the message that interracial relationships with black chicks end up in death but it's okay to marry 40 foot tall women from outer space.

sean said...

Okay, now you got me feeling a little defensive here (as I was when you bashed on Thundercats a while ago). I'm all with you not liking Robotech when you were a kid. That's fine, I didn't really like it either. I was in the same boat as you were in. I just wanted to see some awesome looking robots destroy shit. I didn't care about the soap opera love triangle and Lisa bitching about Rick and all that.
But if you honestly think the Macross Saga is shit as an adult but you still like other cartoons from the era...wow. That's all I can say.
I watched a couple Robotech cartoons here and there as a kid and, as I said above, didn't like it very much but I sat down and watched the entire series at the beginning of the summer and was blown away by how great it was (the Macross saga anyway).
The great thing about the Robotech Macross saga compared to any of the other shitty cartoons out there at the time (that were, as we all know, trash made to promote shittier toylines) was that it was the kind of show that kids and adults could get into. The plots were actually pretty deep and characters actually died and it was a really dark series. Yeah, that's right, I said it, a DARK series. Even with the cheesy Minmay pop tunes it was still a lot darker than anything else that was out for kids at the time. I mean, the Zentradi fucking KILLED THE EARTH for the most part. Even in the US version they still wiped out most everything. The Robotech Macross saga was also great because it deal with adult issues without being cheesy or condescending or a joke like the G.I. Joe PSAs. I mean, the tragedy of the Zentradi (they were bred for war and couldn't adapt to life on earth) and Lynn Kyle's alcoholism and Minmay's fall into poverty after the war all seemed very realistic and believable despite the sci-fi setting (much in the same way the new Battlestar Galactica series makes real social issues interesting and believable despite the fact that it's in a sci-fi setting). And yeah, I know the Macross version is better and darker and deeper but the Robotech Macross saga really was a great series for the time. I, as a matter of fact, wouldn't just list it as one of the best cartoons of the time, I'd go as far as to say that it was one of the best sci-fi shows in general in the past twenty-five years or so. The New Generation was also really great as well and it tackled a lot of dark and thought-provoking themes as well but that's another essay for another time I suppose. ;)
But yeah, as I said, I can agree with you on the Robotech Masters if you want to bash on that or say that was horrible. I completely and totally agree. But the Macross Saga? No way. If cartoons today were as good as they were back when the Macross saga was on we would probably have more intelligent kids instead of ADD Yugioh playin' kids who can't go an hour without playing a videogame or two. Again, I'm honestly not trying to start a huge flame war or be insulting but come on, do you really as an adult still think the Macross Saga is shit yet you think something like MOTU is great? I mean, I still like the G1 Transformers cartoons out of nostalgia but I realize that the episodes are just simplistic commercials for toys.

Evil King Macrocranios said...

Yeah, it's pretty bad.

Jamspeed said...

Noooo... but Robotech is fun...
keep the toy robot info coming though!


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