Dexter's Walking Robot
Review by The Enthusiast
Genndy Tartakovsky's Dexter's Laboratory, like his Powerpuff Girls, Clone Wars, and Samurai Jack, is a manic tribute to the popular cultures of America and Japan. Dexter's Laboratory's 78 episodes aired between 1996-2005, providing a welcome respite from the network's uneven lineup. I've only seen a few episodes myself, but found them engagingly fun, and filled with a fan-boy sensibility. This toy is no different. The Walking Robot (hereafter DWR) is packaged in a vibrantly colored window box.
Inside, DWR is held in with those awful wire ties, but they are easily dispatched with a sprue cutter.
In addition to the mech, DWR comes with a small, static Dexter figure, two missiles (one for the bot's right arm, one for its chest), and a ray gun and beaker for Dexter.
Whether or not it's what Tartakovsky or the toy's designers had in mind, I can't help but think of DWR as a combination of classic tin walkers and Tetsujin T-28. Like the T-28, the bot is a roundish blue behemoth controlled by a precocious child. In this case, the toy is piloted by Dexter (more of a 70's thing) but controlled by the toy's owner via remote. Given the roots of the figure, it nonetheless retains a contemporary feel.
The cables and classic ray-gun styling nicely punctuate the blocky massing.
The left hand claw is spring loaded but not actuated by anything.
The cockpit is more detailed than you'd think.
The remote control itself is a shameful piece of design. The less said about it the better.
I typically avoid remote control robots. They just don't work for me. DWR somehow does. The walking motion is a predictably halting shuffle. But that second button fires the chest missile, which is terribly cool. Both buttons activate lights on the bot's chest and within the cockpit.
Mostly, I respond to the lovingly derivative design, executed in a spirit of fun. In every respect, the details far exceed what Trendmasters could have gotten away with.
DWR fits in surprisingly well with other, more refined, mecha.
|Posted 28 November, 2009 - 18:17 by The Enthusiast|