Mini and Maxi Robots
Review by NekroDave
Carnival Machinder Overview
Back in the 1970s when super robots were at the peak of their popularity in Japan, many of the programs were exported to other countries around the globe. They really took root in Europe and many toys were made there. Some of the most simple yet interesting ones were never sold in stores, but were instead given away as game prizes at traveling carnivals. These toys were of very poor quality and only barely resembled the robots they were based on. There is no official name for these toys but since they are most closely related to the Jumbo Machinder family of toys, they have become known as "Carnival Machinders". In fact, many of these toys have a sticker on them that seems to resemble the missiles from classic Popy Jumbo Machinders.
8" Mini And Maxi Robots
Mini Robot and Maxi Robot are interesting Carnival Machinders because although they both share nearly the same sculpt, each has it's own sticker design. All known color variations of other Carnival Machinders always had the same stickers.
These toys have no articulation at all and again vaguely suggest a design based on Getter 1, though this time even further removed from what that character actually looks like than either the 12 Inch Super Robot or 18 Inch Super Robot toys. The polyethylene is very thin and they tend to fall over easily, especially since you cannot position the arms at all to help distribute the weight of the toy.
The sticker differences lie in the stomach and face stickers. Each robot has it's name on the waist sticker. The face of Mini Robot features eyes that are formed by black intersecting lines, like a "8" lying on it's side with a small red trapezoid for a mouth, while Maxi Robot has two simple black squares for eyes and a red diamond for a mouth. Mini Robot tends to look almost like a bandit while Maxi Robot has a feminine look to it.
Also, note that the placement of some of the stickers differs. Mini Robot has stickers on it's legs, while Maxi Robot has them on it's arms. Furthermore, Mini Robot's arms are pointed nearly straight down, while Maxi Robot's are out more to the side. I'm not quite sure what causes this as otherwise the toys seem completely identical.
So far, I've found 4 differently colored toys based on this sculpt. The first was a red Mini Robot.
The second was also a Mini Robot, this time colored blue.
Then I found one that had a blue/grey, almost metallic looking color to it. At this point, I had only been aware of the Mini Robot, but when I received this one, it said Maxi Robot on the stomach, and the face sticker was missing. I carefully removed the sticker from one of the other Mini Robots and applied a copy to this one, not knowing at the time that the Maxi Robot had a different sticker. Hence, the incorrect face in the picture below.
Finally, I was able to track down a Maxi Robot, complete with all the proper stickers, this time molded in an orange color. One of these days I'll copy that face sticker and replace the incorrect one on the specimen above.
As with some of the 12" Super Robots, some specimens of the Mini/Maxi Robot toy can still be found with a string or elastic on the head used for storage at carnival game booths.
Small, cheaply made, ugly and with no articulation at all, these guys are strictly for the Carnival Machinder completist.
|Posted 6 August, 2006 - 16:34 by NekroDave