I missed the last couple of days but I’m back again with another toy review. I really do try to stay on top of this and would love to maintain the pace of one review a day but it ain’t easy. As some regular readers know I also dabble in writing screenplays and I’m gearing up to enter a bunch of the 2013 contests. The early submission deadline for a couple of the big competitions is March 1 so lately I’ve been devoting most of my free time to polishing up my script before sending it out into the world in 6 days. Wish me luck.
So today I’ve decided to review another Robotech figure. I love Robotech and have reviewed a couple of them in the past such as Rick Hunter and Zor but I only have a handful of these figures so I have to review them sparingly. The Robotech figures came out in one solid wave of 22 figures along with a small assortment of vehicles and then that was it. I don’t know why Matchbox didn’t choose to stagger the line and release waves of a few figures at a time as that might have given the property more legs. On the plus side of getting one massive wave, pretty much all of the main characters from all 3 generations of Robotech made it into the line. If Matchbox had released a line of 6 figures and they didn’t sell well then we probably never would’ve gotten figures of characters like Rand here.
Rand is a character from the third and final generation of the original Robotech series known as “The New Generation”. In Japan this cartoon was a stand-alone series known as Genesis Climber Mospeada and Rand was known as Ray. It’s been many years since I’ve watched the series but I’ll do my best to give you a little background on the character. The third generation of Robotech starts off in a pretty bad place, the Invid have invaded and for all intents and purposes conquered Earth. Scott Bernard is a member of the Robotech Defense Force and the only surviving member of his crew when his spaceship is destroyed. Scott intends to carry out his mission to destroy the Invid, all alone if he must. He begins his long trek across a severly depopulated and depleted Earth to reach reflex point, the Invid headquarters. Along the way he picks up a ragtag group of misfits to help him in his mission, Rand being the first. At first Rand rubs Scott the wrong way but they soon become friends and over the course of the series Rand transforms from an aimless drifter to a seasoned warrior. When we first meet Rand he’s wearing brown sweats and hiding in the shadows but by the end he’s flying around in his own super cool Cyclone armor blasting Invid Scouts into oblivion. Rand was one of my favorite Robotech characters.
I would’ve loved to own the whole series of Robotech toys when I was a kid and it doesn’t seem like it would’ve been that hard to do considering how few there were. The problem was that Robotech figures were nearly impossible to find. Nothing frustrated me more than seeing all of the figures advertised in the catalogue and then going to the store where we’d be lucky to find a Robotech Master (he sucks). I actually never owned Rand as a kid. Some of the toys that I wanted most but never got in my youth were Robotech figures. I would’ve loved to own a Rand but he wasn’t at the top of my want list. Topping that list was an Invid Shock Trooper which was followed by Rook, a character who I think married Rand late in the series. In the past year I have acquired all 3 of those figures. You may recall that my brother Doug bought me a Shock Trooper for Christmas and I picked up carded versions of Rand and Rook on ebay.
I don’t usually go for carded figures, I’m the type that likes to open my toys and play with them, even if only for a minute. Their re-sale value doesn’t factor into it. However I don’t have enough Robotech figures to set up a proper display and if I opened Rand up and placed him on my miscellaneous shelf he’d just get lost in the clutter. So for that reason I’ve opted to keep my Rook and Rand figures sealed and I have the packages tacked to the wall in my man cave. This way people notice them when they enter the room and they become conversation pieces. Plus Robotech figures had unique artwork on their blister cards so they’re nice to look at.
Now I must tell you that my love for these characters stems from the cartoon, which was amazing. The figures however leave a lot to be desired. A plus was they were some of the best articulated figures of the time.
So many lines like Star Wars were so stiff and lacking even knee joints so they couldn’t sit down. Robotech figure construction was basically identical to that of G.I. Joe so they have swivel arms, and elastic waists, and bending knees etc. They moved great but alas they did not always look great. Rand here is a good example of an ugly ass figure. His girlfriend Rook is even worse. The way their faces are sculpted they look more like those freaky muppets from The Dark Crystal than real people. And their outfits are sooooo boring. I realize that this is what Rand often wore in the show but I think they should have given him his cyclone armor with a removable helmet akin to the Scott Bernard figure which was awesome. I wish this figure was better but I’m still super stoked to finally have him after so many years. I continue to hold out hope that some toy company somewhere will eventually get around to releasing amazing new Robotech figures. Until then, this will suffice. 5 out of 10.