Robo Force Vulgar
Review by The Enthusiast
Ideal's 60's-era toy robot designs remain classic examples of the genre. Robot Commando, the Zeroids, and Mr. Machine brought an American sensibility to the Japanese tin robot.
During the height of the 80's transforming robot craze, Ideal attempted to re-inject itself into the to the game with the clumsy, disastrous Robo Force. Robo Force countered the detailed, intricate Transformers with the brute force of blocky throwback bricks with suction cups and Robby the Robot-inspired hose arms. Ideal went all-in, producing vehicles, a base, a phone, a programmable robot, etc. There was even an aborted cartoon tie-in. Predictably, the toys flopped.
As a connoisseur of the goofy and unloved, I find the breathtaking naivete of Robo Force charming. These are not great toys, but they are fun.
Vulgar is packaged in a typical Robo Force window box.
Accessories are spare. Vulgar comes with a mace. An instruction sheet and dorky Robo Force comic are included.
I was surprised to find a Lone Ranger comic included. Is there anything that would appeal less to a child in 1984 than the Lone Ranger? The cluelessness is astonishing.
Revealed, Vulgar in his bulky, awkward glory. All of these figures were samey and undistinguished. The molds are maybe 80-90% similar to one another. Vulgar boasts a rotating head and a silly horn protruding from his face.
Robo Force figures utilized two gimmicks across the board: a suction cup base and hugging arm action.
I assure you I actually tipped the glass surface vertical for this photo, though I now realize I could've just photographed it from above to get the same effect. So yeah, it can grip to a surface for gripping type adventures.
The huggy arms are activated by a button at the rear backpack section. I had to photograph this quickly, as the arms slowly un-hug for some reason. Perhaps the mechanism has worn out.
Vulgar and his companions are a conundrum, adrift from any time or place. They seem engineered to appeal to nobody. I happen to like their goofy, unprepossessing charm.
|Posted 7 October, 2012 - 14:59 by The Enthusiast|