Time for a little something different today, but first it’s story time! When I was a kid I used to peddle my bike downtown to the Woolworth’s “Five-and-Dime” where they had almost an entire aisle of novelty candy and cheap little junk just made for kids to blow their allowance on. There was everything from Pac Man and Donkey Kong candy in little arcade machine boxes to MUSCLE figures, to capsule slime, and Wacky Wall Walkers, not to mention trading cards devoted to Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and even ET. I bring up this little nugget of nostalgia because today’s entry feels like it would be right at home nestled in that aisle those many years ago. They’re called Trashies and if you like collecting fun little useless pieces of rubber, than these things are aimed right at you!
I first caught sight of this toyline one day while perusing the action figure aisles at Toys R Us. I think what caught my eye the most was that they were brand new and already had playsets. Playsets!!! Unfortunately, I was on a mission to buy other things, so I didn’t pick up any of these at the time. I was never able to find any of them at Target or Walmart and the next thing I knew, TRU was clearancing them out in their stores and on their website. I ordered me up a bunch of figure two packs and one of the playsets, but TRU somehow screwed up the order with a processing error and by the time I got someone on the phone who was willing to fix it, I just told them to forget the whole thing. A week after the order was cancelled, these showed up at my door anyway. I’m not sure if they sent them to me to apologize for the error, or if they were shipped out by accident. It’s probably the former, since the playset didn’t get shipped with them. But hey… free toys!
The Androidz come carded in two-packs with a whole lot of information on these damn cards. You get the names of the little robots, their tech specs, and a brief backstory to the line. The robots fall into various sub-groups depending on their function and all those fall into two opposing factions of Defendbots and Strikebots. I can’t tell whether each two pack is supposed to be part of a team, or two opposing robots or what, but I guess it doesn’t really matter for our purposes here.
So what’s this line all about? They’re a lot like simple trading figures, like the old Battle Beasts or the more current line of Gormiti figures, only these are sitting on a die-cast base with wheels. Imagine a robot Battle Beast bumped uglies with a Hot Wheels car, because this is what you would get from the union. Frankly, I think it’s a pretty neat idea and overall it’s executed very well. All four of the figures I have feature rotating arms, which also have some degree of lateral movement, which is pretty impressive articulation for figures this small. The toyline also has an online interactive element, where you can input each robot’s serial number into the website to unlock content.
The first two-pack came with Big Boom and Swat Scope. Big Boom is an explosives expert and Swat Scope is a sniper. These guys have a certain urban police vibe to them. Swat Scope is blue and black, with a little bit of yellow, and really nicely sculpted. He’s holding a gun in his right hand. Big Boom is a little less exciting, as he’s mostly white with just a little blue and black and his sculpt isn’t as detailed as Swat Scope’s. Still, he’s a cool looking robot and has a blaster built into his right hand.
The next pack includes two military themed robots named Muzzle Flash and Tank. Muzzle Flash is a weapons specialist and Tank is a gunnery sargeant. Unlike the last pack, these two figures share pretty much an identical color deco, giving them a very uniform military look. The sculps on these figures are also more intricate and detailed than the last pack. Muzzle Flash has a three-barreled blaster built into his left arm and a blade on his right. Tank has tank treads, which is really cool since these guys are made to roll, the same right arm blade as Muzzle Flash, and a big cannon pointing forward off of his left shoulder. This pair is definitely my favorite of the bunch. Not only are their designs really cool, but the paint apps are applied with amazing precision, as there’s no slop at all.
The figure packs originally retailed for $6.99, which meant you were paying $3.50 a piece for the figures. It’s really not bad, considering the use of diecast. It’s a real shame that this line wasn’t successful, but I’m as much to blame for that as anyone, since I didn’t buy any until they hit clearance [technically, I didn’t buy these either! -FF] so I sure didn’t do my part to keep the line alive. Besides just being a great idea, these little figures are exceptionally well made, with sculpting and paint apps that put a lot of prominant and successful toy lines to shame. The line itself is also pretty well thought out, although I would have recommended putting faction symbols somewhere on the figures. The fact that the line had playsets and even vehicles is just plain awesome. I’m sure a big part of their problem at retail was lack of promotion. I’ve never even heard of ToyQuest and when I went on their website, I didn’t recognize a single toy they produced. Still, I can’t help to think that these guys would have really been popular back in the 80’s. Either way, I definitely plan on hunting down more of these guys.