August 11, 2005

Funny Asian Bootleg Robots.

Ninjatron is going to talk about robots.

Aren't robots awesome? Robots are one of my most favorite things ever. I'm a robot enthusiast! I love robot movies, robot cartoons, robot toys, robot comics, robot food, you name it. So I've seen a lot of robots in my day, in all sorts of different shapes an sizes. Over the years I've gained knowledge about robots from a magnitude of sources, and I've even amassed a tiny mechanical army of my own.

But, when dealing with robots, there are risks and dangers that we enthusiasts must remain mindful of. You see, there are companies out there who know how so many people think robots are awesome, and they have released robot toys to the areas of the public in order to take advantage. No, I'm not talking about anything you're ever likely to find on the shelves of your local Wal-Mart or Toys R Us. I speak of the seedy, deceptive culture that is the Asian Bootleg Industry!

Make no mistake about it, bootlegged toys are usually illegal, and are almost always made with inferior quality materials, do not conform to child safety laws, and more often then not use designs that are stolen from popular franchises. All sorts of robots from Transformers, Machine Robo, Gundam, Mazinger Z and other classic anime, and Super Sentai are all common targets for bootleggers. Even a few assorted oddball robots crop up from time to time as well. And sometimes robots appear that will look to be twisted amalgamations of other robots, with components lifted from several unrelated sources!

I've taken a look around some various online stores and auctions to gather several pictures of robot toys originating from Asia. I don't know if all of these toys are bootlegs or not, but something would usually seem kind of fishy about them. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a toy is a bootleg or not. I saw a few that didn't look too bad, like these ones here.

Robots Robots Robots

See, now those look pretty cool. Unfortunately, not all robots are lucky enough to receive that level of treatment. With this in mind, I present to you a collection of images of various bootlegged robot toys that I found funny for one reason or another. They may have a silly name, or a terrible colour scheme, or have some strange text on the packaging, or be an obvious rip-off of a legitimate product, or perhaps they just really suck and there's no getting around it.

Before we start, a message for all the fanboys out there. I'm really not interested in talking about any of the origins of these robots. I probably know all about it already, so I don't need to be told. I don't want to spoil the joke, so I didn't bring any of that up. Get yourselves a sense of humor. You'll need it!

As awesome as robots are, there's just no helping some of these poor saps!

King of Super Cars

All hail his majesty, the KING OF SUPERCARs! Such a grandiose title. What is it exactly that makes this Transformers rip-off guy so kingly? I do not know.

Caution, he's NEW! IN HOT

Cosmonautics

Cosmonautics! Four Brave robots from ... uh, Russia, I guess. There's Soldiery, the robot with the power to change nouns into adjectives. And Supply Pawn, the under appreciated robot with the worst job ever. Next is Brain Man, the robot with the power of, um, brains. And lastly there's Battlewagon, the robot everyone forgot to name, so everyone just calls him by what he is instead. Perhaps in this case, it's for the best.

Are these robots cool? Nyet!

X Man

It's X-MAN! His mutant power is the ability to suck.

Doubledragon

Fear the intimidating pink arms of DOUBLEDRAGON!

Maginger

Yeah, I get it. Maginger Z instead of Mazinger Z. Very clever. Way to go, fellas. Nice shooting. But what the hell are Cyborg 009 and Lupin III doing here? What is their stake in all of this? So mysteriously epic!

Wow, I didn't know Conner MacLeod had a Megazord! There can be only one... robot as crappy as this.

Freshking

Check it out, homey. It's the FreshKing! This robot is funky fresh, y'all! But he got in one little fight and his mom got scared and said "You're moving in with your auntie and uncle in Bell Aire". Word.

Liveman

If I had to ride around in a robot as crappy as this, I'd rather be Deadman.

What's the deal with the shiny stickers on the knees? Trying to distract us from the complete ineptitude that went into creating everything else on this robot's body? To me these stickers only succeed in making it look slightly less like a chew toy.

Banker Alpha

Watch out, evil doers! It's... a BANKER! He'll... make you wait in line for service!

You know, if this guy really does work at a bank like his name would imply, you'd think he'd be able to afford to not completely suck. And talk about the packaging illustration not living up to the actual product! On the box he actually looks well proportioned, but inside might as well just be two random robots jammed together!

Super Break

How poetic is this? Nice to see some honesty on the packaging of this robot. Super Break is exactly what will happen once you take this peice of junk out of the box! Nice matching roller skates there, buddy.

And speaking of roller skates...

rollerskate

Oh God no. Stop the pain.

Gobarian

Gobarian is an invincible robot for Universal Peace! How ambitious. Such a lofty goal for such a crappy looking robot. Being invincible sure didn't save him from falling off the ugly tree. Nor did it prevent him from Already starting to fall apart while still inside the package's styrofoam insert.

AstroBoy

Ugh! What a travesty! Not even bloody close! Those dastardly fiends! AstroBoy, what have they done to you? By the look on his face, he certainly doesn't seem to be very happy about it.

Overlord Dragon

Overlord Dragon Big Uniteing! Stupid Robo Combination Sucking! Design Transformers Original Stealing! Bleeding Eyes Colours Making!

roborcar

RoborcAr is the bootleg Energon Optimus Prime that promotes literacy. In fact, he outright demands it!

SEND THE BOOKS

What does this mean? What are the origins of this awkward phrase? In what context is one supposed to read this? I mean, it just says "SEND THE BOOKS". To what books is this toy referring? What information do they posses? Are they really that important? How can one such as myself go about in obtaining a copy? I must know!

All pending reading material aside, this guy is just Optimus Prime from Transformers: Energon. All the graphics on the packaging are ripped off from official sources, and the toy itself doesn't seem to be all that visually different from the real deal. The artwork on the top left corner is definitely modified though, as they seem to have bestowed Optimus with the power to hold a lightsaber that doesn't have a handle. Impressive!

King of BeastKing of Beast

Behold, King of Beast! The only robot gaudy enough to transform into a Las Vegas hotel!

What?Huh?

Oh my. I have no idea. Some anime characters have hijacked a Sentai robot and the result is this strange monstrostity. I just... have no idea who they are or what this is or why there is a nervous cow on its abbdomen or a little girl with unicorn helmet for a head. And while I am currious, perhaps I'm better off not knowing.

And just when I had thought I'd seen everything... I see this. I still do not completely understand how this can come into being, but here it is.

Turtles?

Teenage Sentai Turtle Ranger!

Well no, not really. The design of this robot is originally from the Machine Robo line, but for some reason it became incorperated into the Korean Ninja Turtles line, which features 5 Turtles, not 4. It's just a hunch, but I'm quite possitive that Mirage Studios had nothing to do with this.

I keep looking at it, but I just don't know what else to say. The Korean Ninja Turtles have a giant combining robot. That's just an incredible discovery over here in the Western world! But more mysteries remain! What are the Turtles there for? Or is it more appropriate to ask what the robot is there for? What is the story beinhd this? Why does this even exist? Who's idea was it? Who drew this silly, insane, looking Turtle on the box?

...Where can I get one?

And this is but a sampling of the bootleg robot madness that is out there. Robot toys have been popular for a long time, and as long as children and collectors will buy them, bootlegging toy pirates will be trying to trick people into purchasing their unholy creations. This cycle will likely last forever, and there is very little anyone can do to stop it. So, as long as the bootlegging will continue, the least we can do is hope that these arcane toys will be as terrible and bizarre as possible so that we all have something to laugh at.

In conclusion, SEND THE BOOKS! JUST SEND THEM, DAMMIT!!! I NEED... THE BOOKS!

Sayonara.

Do not ask Ninjatron where you can buy these toys. He will just make fun of you.

Shout out to The Allspark.

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