X-E’s ’08 Summer Megaparty: The Robo Force Command Patroller.

My mother moonlights as an eBayer, which is likely a byproduct of watching me support myself that way when I still lived at home. Her walk-in closet is perpetually littered with garage sale finds, and has that familiar, dank aroma that can only be caused by the trash of seventy families conglomerating into a small, enclosed space.

I haven’t had much time lately to go garage sailing myself, so I kinda live vicariously through her. I got fed up with garage sales once everyone became vaguely familiarized with eBay and marked their used salt shakers up into the double digits. Still, if her purchases are any indication, there’s still plenty of good, cheap crap just waiting to be plucked for couch change.

On my most recent visit, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Somehow, someone held onto and sold a boxed Robo Force “Command Patroller,” apparently unused, and it only cost my mother fifty cents. Back when I was still hunting, these were the kind of finds I dreamed about.

She said she bought it a few weekends ago, and the fact that I didn’t even bother asking for permission before loading it into my car probably explains why she didn’t mention this to me sooner. Her fifty-cent investment bought me a blog entry, and for this I am eternally grateful.

If you don’t remember Robo Force, it was a mid-’80s series of robot action figures with Pop-Oid style arms and suction cup bottoms. Though obviously created as a direct result of Optimus Prime’s popularity, Robo Force toys were nothing like Transformers. The series wasn’t exactly a huge hit, but despite its obscurity, everyone who ever had a Robo Force toy remembers it. Robots with Pop-Oid arms and suction cup asses…not easily forgotten. There are some things you just cannot unsee.

I’ve already reviewed the largest toy in the series, the impenetrable Fortress of Steele. This Command Patroller was the second largest, and actually, it was the only vehicle in the entire Robo Force line. Why don’t we see what it does?

Right off the bat, the toy comes with the plus of being ridiculously gigantic. It’s bigger than it needs to be, sure, but that doesn’t falsify its size. Even shitty toys seem wonderful when they’re big enough, so if this thing has any cool features at all, I may have to ask it out and buy it lilies.

I just realized that this particular Command Patroller is missing several of its originally included plastic guns. That’s odd, considering that all of the cardboard was still in the box and the stickers weren’t even applied. Why would someone ransack the box for a few cheap guns? This is clearly the end result of a drunken dorm-wide scavenger hunt. I hate kids.

The weird shovel thing in the front…I’m not really sure what it’s for, and the description on the box nor the included instruction manual is helping to clue me in. I would assume that it’s intended to “scoop up” another Robo Force figure, but that seems like a pretty weak central offense for a vehicle large enough for me to hide inside.

There are two “revolving airlock bay doors,” which allow you to alternatively hide and reveal random Robo Force figures. The bay doors don’t lead anywhere, so all the robots can really do in there is wait for the right time to push the door open and yell PEEK-A-BOO at unsuspecting comrades. If that line didn’t read funny enough, remember to use your robot voice when you get to “peek-a-boo.”

Also of note is the “telescoping robot lift arm,” which is a longer way of saying, “claw.” The “claw” narrowly succeeds in holding single figures above ground, and I guess that was the robots’ way to imprison spies until they could be properly set on fire while their enemies engaged in ritualistic dances around them. If these guys would go through the trouble of building two gigantic, revolving doors that lead nowhere, voodoo sacrifice could not have been beyond their scope of interest.

Finally, there’s a big door that opens to reveal a fairly large compartment in the back. It isn’t big enough for the figures to fit inside (well, not without smacking them in sideways with some kind of metallic gavel), so I suppose that the robots use the hatch for weapons storage.

When I first popped down the big door, I found a neat Robo Force mini-comic hiding inside. It said PEEK-A-BOO. I haven’t gotten around to reading its substantial eight pages yet, because I’ve had enough fun this Fourth of July weekend and really don’t deserve to have more.

Okay, so it isn’t the most amazing toy in history, but as a fifty-cent garage sale find, it’s a roof-raiser. I would’ve paid more than quadruple that for the box alone, which would’ve then been cut up into tiny pieces and reformed into a beach-scene mosaic. I’d start doing that now, but even I know that I’d be pushing into a dangerous territory if I made a mosaic out of a Robo Force box on a Saturday night.

Snatch more Robo Forcey goodness in this X-E oldie. This one, too.

Happy SNT, the first of several for the Summer Megaparty!

Why don’t we try a totally unrelated survey? I honor of my recent cruise, discuss some of the worst vacations you’ve ever taken. I’ll post a few of mine in the comments later tonight.

Correction: I said that this was the only Robo-Force vehicle in the series. That was a huge lie. There were two. I was testing you.

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94 Responses to X-E’s ’08 Summer Megaparty: The Robo Force Command Patroller.

  1. Lori says:

    Living in a tourist town, my dad decided to save money one year by staying home and doing the touristy things nearby. That lasted a couple of days, but then he felt like we were missing a great opportunity to catch up on all the things around the house that we never have time to do, and the vacation turned into a cleaning fest (or, more accurately, a try-to-find-ways-to-avoid-cleaning fest.)

  2. mandy_Reeves says:

    I totally LOVED the Heart Beeps review that was hidden in your Steel Fortress article. ALWAYS wanted to see that film! Fun Fact! There was a rumor going around, that the latex and chemicals used in Andy’s costume made him get the lung cancer he died of!

  3. The world ended. I was cloned. Original Rev. BIOU is currently enjoying a thorough probing on the pleasure saucers. Rev. BIOU v. 2.0 is here, revelling in summer megaparty. How I’ve missed you all. There are no words to describe it.

  4. ULTRAMAN says:

    Give it some thought, i’m sure you’ll be able to find a few.=)

  5. MJ says:

    my worst “vacation” ever probably was camping with my ex-husband and his extended family. all they ever did was argue and talk about how much better they were than everyone else. pure white trash folks.

  6. JLAJRC says:

    REV BIOU: I don’t know if I like the idea of you being a clone. You either turn out evil and want to kill everyone and take over the world, or you want to permanenly replace the original. Plus clones made Spider-Man’s life hell in the comic.

    At least you’re not a symbiote, a shape-shifter, or an evil android from the future.

  7. phunqsauce says:

    I missed you too REV!

  8. Cameron T. says:

    Wait, Rev’s back? Shit! Where’s the boss button on this thing?!?

  9. Believe it, or disbelieve it: I won a big boss award yesterday. I got a blue ribbon. Also, “Most Adorable”. My fuckin heart melted for sure I can tell you.

    I am now on a serious detox from good food and hardcore slack. I need to get back into a strict lifestyle regimen to keep my mind from being so “limber”. The photos I brought home indicate that I had a pretty good time.

  10. Kid Nicky says:

    Mandy-OMG when I was a kid my familty moved to Florida for about one month. Florida is bullshit.

    Matt-Don’t be too surprised that someone would steal those guns. Today at Kmart there was this dude in his twenties,all thugged out,stealing the PlayDoh can out of a Playdoh Fun Factory box. I swear to God.

    JLAJRC- What does your name stand for? I used to think it was Justice League of America Green Lantern Corps,but then I realised I’m an idiot. There’s a guy on another board I go to named like “GLCHal69” or somesuch and I got you two mixed up.

  11. JLAJRC says:

    Nicky: You’re right on the Justice League of America. JRC are simply my initials.

  12. Teddy Ray says:

    Welcome back, Rev! I missed my big boss!

  13. thejyav says:

    Well I realize that this is old now and no one is reading anymore so I’ll simply say I love the robo force stories because I had them and loved them.

  14. Nicole says:

    I too realize this thread is old, but for the sake of people who suck like me and totally forgot about the Megaparty and are going back through entries they missed, I’ll post my worst vacation story. I started out typing the whole ordeal in sordid detail, but it was getting super long so I’ll shorten it up.

    Picture it: August of 2005. Warped Tour in Randall’s Island, NY. 110-degree heat. My then-boyfriend gave me the tickets as a present for my birthday, which was just a few days after the show. Only band I wanted to see cancelled just before the show because the lead singer had cancer. I got heat exhaustion after only about half an hour there and we spent the entire day at the hospital. I had no health insurance because I had just started a new job. The nurse forgot to clamp my IV when it was unhooked so I could use the bathroom, and I bled all over the bathroom and freaked the hell out. Also realized on the ride home that I had poison ivy for the first time in my life, all over my legs and especially on my inner thighs. When I got home, my grandfather who was battling cancer was admitted to the hospital, having completely lost all sense of reality. He stayed there for a week, through my birthday (we didn’t even have cake, which he would have hated as we always had huge celebrations for birthdays), and that proved to be the last week of his life. That month was just the gift that kept on shitting directly on my face.

  15. Matt says:

    I love it when people post on more than the most recent entry. :) It makes me feel like we have a back room or something.

  16. Nicole says:

    We do. Just tell the doorman “Walt sent me” and you can get riiiight in. Well, you might want to give him a banana…

  17. The Yeti says:

    Lord have mercy… that was a ghastly story, Nicole. My sympathies for the loss of your grandpa and for August 2005’s relentless defecation upon you…lousy, dick-faced month that it was.

    Hang on a second…I have to toss a gruff, discouraged private detective seeking personal redemption who looks a hell of a lot like Mario out of this blog entry because he had the nerve to ask me “Who are you calling a chump, chimp?” We can’t tolerate wiseasses like that around here, Nicole…even if they do look like Mario.

  18. kittycatgirl says:

    Hell, the only proper vacation I ever went on was gawd awful. My dad worked ALL the time but his boss at the time gave him free hotel passes for a new “nice” place that was opening in New Orleans. This was around 1991?

    Of course a few weeks prior he stabbed a knife in his knee while sharpening some fishing tools (it was a filet knife) and was on crutches. My mom was in a wheelchair from asthma/thyroid problems and couldn’t walk far without passing out and so forth. Despite these setbacks… THEY WERE GOING TO NEW ORLEANS.

    It was June or July, just a few weeks before their big Aquarium of the Americas opened (which was the whole purpose of going). The hotel room was extremely nice, but I had problems breathing because of all the “new” paint, furniture and the strong airfreshners put up to “hide” it all. These things are DEATHLY for those who have allergies. Hades-sent air freshners. GRRR.

    It was soooo hot and they decided the ZOO was the thing to do. I was excited til we got there. I was like… 9 or 10 and had to push my mom in the wheelchair while my dad hopped along. It was horrid. Then I got sunburned because I wasn’t used to direct heat for so long. Don’t remember much about the rest of the trip.

    I applaud my parents for trying not to disappoint me, but it was just too much for everyone involved. Luckily we all survived to tell the tale though it was bad enough that Dad was never interested in going anywhere that required more than a two hour drive ever again (it was about 5-6 to NO).

  19. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the sympathies, The Yeti. Be careful throwing those wiseass detectives around, though…they have a tendency of sneaking back in through the convieniently-left-open window.

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