Monday, May 24, 2010

Duck Downers and the $24 1/2 Sentinel

Last week was full of anticipation and excitement as I was expecting to solve yet another great mystery of Roboplasticology but then I found a dead baby duck in my backyard. (He looked more like a teenager duck actually.) Now as a veteran of many great imaginary toy robots battles I am no stranger to death and destruction. I've seen whole planets devoured by Orson Welles and I've seen the very fabric of reality almost destroyed by Simon Furman's writing and I've even seen San Francisco get exploded so many times it may as well be the North American Tokyo. And yet I don't recall ever being as disturbed as I was when I found myself in the presence of inanimate poultry. So it's been a rough couple of days as I've been thinking a lot about my mortality and realizing the only things certain in Florida are ducks and taxes.


Death couldn't have visited at a worse time because later on that morning a wonderful and fantastic thing happened-I got a new (26 year old) toy robot in the mail. I recently eBayed myself an unopened Sentinel from Robo Force as part of my ongoing research to uncover the true number of Robo Force mini comics released in 1985. Sentinel was the ideal robo forcer to find unopened because I theorized that since he didn't appear in any of the three Robo Force comics I found so far he may have had a unique comic featuring himself. He was also ideal because the Buy It Now was only 20 bucks plus like $4.50 shipping. Even GoBots don't go that cheap still in the box. It should have been a wonderful happy time but it was tainted because now forever etched in my mind alongside the day I got a Sentinel will be the memories of having to dispose of a dead teenage duck. I guess I'm bummed out by anything other than old toy robots coming to my house to die.


Sentinel the Protector is figure #4127 from assortment 48075, a good guy Robo Forcer whose bio makes him out to be some sort of Takumi Fujiwara of toy robots driving. But in the only story where he's driving the Command Patroller (Robo Force and the Mountain of Burning Ice) he ends up crashing it into a wall. Maybe Robo Force shouldn't have given the keys to the guy with his eyes on the sides of his head (which incidentally along with his white and yellow color scheme also makes him look like a duck). I guess if you're drifting then a head like that really keeps you on top of that all-important peripheral vision. But it's no wonder Sentinel crashed the Command Patroller totally to hell when his blind spot was pretty much the entire front of his face. The first sign that letting your robot drive was a bad idea is when he keeps going sideways all the time.


The big disappointment was that Sentinel didn't have a comic book different from any I already had. While it was cool to have a brand new (26 year old) Robo Forcer I don't think it was really $24.50 cool. Also disappointing was that my wife would not let me give that dead duck a proper Viking funeral. I wanted to set him afloat on a flaming box of Frosted Flakes in the river behind my house. But oh well maybe we all still got something out of these experiences even if they didn't end as exciting as I hoped. With this post the Robo Forcedom got a couple pictures of Sentinel that compliment nicely Shawn Robare's recent review of Vulgar and I got an appreciation for life and death that will add new dimensions to my enjoyment of future sci-fi stories about the destruction of San Francisco. It is somewhat comforting to know that 36 years of watching 10 billion movies with people killing or getting killed by exploding aliens, exploding dinosaurs, exploding robots and exploding alien robot dinosaurs still hasn't turned me into a totally numb heartless sociopath with absolutely no empathy for living beings like people, bothans and toy robots from outer space. Movies have instead turned me into a totally numb heartless sociopath with absolutely no empathy for people and toy robots from outer space, but who still has a soft spot for ducks.


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