Review by The Enthusiast
In the annals of unloved eighties properties, Bravestarr is unique in its demented lameness. Futuristic science fiction was clumsily cross-bred with the myths of the American wild west into a psychedelic fever-dream.
Bravestarr followed the exploits of its titular hero, Native American Space Marshall Bravestarr, who derived supernatural powers from his spirit animals. His horse transformed into a giant horse-man to fight alongside him. Bravestarr’s milieu, a space colony called New Texas, was populated by robots, aliens, and prairie dog people.
The cartoon was just okay, typically lackluster Filmation fare, but the toys were terrific. Mattel (bafflingly) spared no expense. The figures and accessories were of unusually high quality, with rich and inventive layers of sculpted detail. But the secret sauce was the lunacy. Case in point, the first, and to my knowledge, only Civil War-themed transformer, Col. Borobot.
The Colonel was packaged in a lush, beautifully illustrated foil-stamped box.. Sadly, this specimen is rough. You can still discern the exceptional artwork, though.
Inside: a spare cardboard sleeve, the toy itself, a decal sheet, instructions, weapons, and a nugget of Kerium (basically Energon for the Bravestarr universe).
Borobot is a slightly modified version of an un-produced Big Jim vehicle, the Robo Scooter. Big Jim was similar to early G.I.Joe, a largish action figure line which inhabited many genres. Big Jim made a stab at early-eighties relevance with its Space series, but sadly folded before the Robo Scooter could be released.
Luckily the piece was resurrected for the Bravestarr line.
The scooter is an anonymous, vaguely futuristic design. The accessories clip smartly onto the sides. Once you’ve transformed it, though, it’s hard to get past the fact that this mode is essentially a man bending over.
While Borobot is a tool of our hero, Space Marshal Bravestarr, he’s shown here mounted by villain Tex Hex.
Transforming Borobot is stupid easy. The whole thing is collapsed along folding clicky joints.
Hoo-boy. A Civil War robot. A Civil War robot. The sculpt itself is competent enough, with decent sculpted details.
The flesh colored man-head really gets me. It’s the only thing overtly man-like about the figure, and it just seizes your awareness. I think he kind of looks like James Lipton.
The sword and space bugle really make the figure pop. He can wave his arms around somewhat, and bend along his collapsing joints for some poseability.
Mostly I'm just happy this goofy thing exists. Adults made this, I'm guessing with a 'what the hell' kind of shrug. What a lovely, strange relic. I love Borobot dearly.
|Posted 19 May, 2013 - 17:00 by The Enthusiast|