Friday, September 23, 2011

Here come the Microbots

No that's not a misspelling, six years before Mego launched Micronauts, Kenner had tried their luck with the Microbots, a series of futuristic robots who could build their own environments. They even had their own (one shot) comic book by Gold Key!
Sadly, the line didn't take off and was quickly forgotten, the toys themselves are very hard to find these days but there is eveidence that some made it onto store shelves..

More Robots

Ideal Star Team toys

Zee toys metal men


Anonymous said...

They made them onto store shelves alright. I had them as a child and I bought a store display and around 6 or 7 carded robots off eBay about 12 years ago. They are wonderful, jewel-like metal toys.

Richard Bensam said...

I cannot even begin to convey how fond I was of the Microbots. Photos can scarcely convey how artfully designed and well-made they were -- definitely a touch classier than your average 60s robot toy. I regret that I wasn't able to get a complete set before they vanished from the store so abruptly, and I further regret the few I did own went missing when my family moved house a few years later. (You'd better believe that when I get a bit of dosh socked away, I'll be looking for them on eBay just like Anonymous...)

I was also a big admirer of the Gold Key one shot comic -- written by a young Len Wein, it turns out -- but rereading it years later, the story was a shade too dark and disturbing for a toy tie-in.

Thanks so much for this post! Once again it brings back happy (if wistful) memories.

Scott Metzger said...

THese did find their way into Florida; I had them as a kid. The playset pieces were even better than what is shown here; they wound up being made of translucent plastic. The sets were fun to assemble, although sometimes the ramp ends wound up in odd locations depending on the configuration, such as leading off the side of one of the levels. As I recall, the bigger sets came with a robot, a base piece (the middle of which was a depressed rectangle with a clear floor, four legs for the base, a ramp (at least one), ans some gray and black flat sticks and connecting squares that allowed you to put together, well, pop art abstract pieces (I assumed these were the things the robots were supposed to use in "construction"). The legs had male ends on both ends of the leg which plugged int the female corner holes on both the bottoms and the tops of the bases, allowing for stacking in many different ways. Someday I have to dig these things out...


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