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Review – ZyBots Explorer – BattleGrip

Review – ZyBots Explorer - BattleGrip

We looked at the Remco Zybots Earthbreaker toy last year (review here1), and that cheap transforming robot toy was so much fun that I decided he needed a companion. That s where this Zybots Explorer comes into the picture; also from 1984, this robot is as cheap and plasticy as they come and a perfect friend for Earthbreaker (and all of the other cheap transforming robot toys in my collection).

Review – ZyBots Explorer - BattleGrip

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Packaging

The top part of the card back shows off the same toys as the Zybots Earthbreaker (review here2) and then we get the transformation instructions. As with many of the cheap transforming robot toys of 1984 the instructions are simple, but that s definitely part of the charm of these little robots. I wish the illustration on the card front wasn t obscured and damaged; does anyone have a clearer version of that line art out there?

Review – ZyBots Explorer - BattleGrip

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Camper Mode

Pickup truck with camper shell is about as eighties as it gets, and Explorer here brings that classic vehicle down to toy size for kids. Much smaller and not as detailed as the 1984 Transformers Trailbreaker toy (review here3) it s still a fun toy. Mine has a bit of a flaw; notice the leg doesn t remain locked in place when the toy is in camper mode. I m not sure what s preventing the leg from staying closed tight, but since I ll be displaying the toy in robot mode I m not too upset by this minor flaw.

Review – ZyBots Explorer - BattleGrip

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Robot Mode

Many of the 1984 transforming robot toys featured essentially this exact transformation design: Fold down the legs, pop out the arms, stand up the robot. Explorer even has the same arm tilt we saw on the 1984 Transformers Windcharger toy (review here4), and there honestly isn t much quality difference between this and those original Autobot mini-cars. Just shows how much the bigger push cartoon, comics, assorted merchandise elevated Transformers toys above brands like the Zybots. (See Each Sold Separately*5 and Action Figures Not Included*6 for more on brands and toy marketing in the eighties.)

Review – ZyBots Explorer - BattleGrip

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Closing Thoughts

As these ZyBots toys grow older we re seeing the prices on them increase. Transformers toys are readily available these days since the brand was dominant in the eighties and today, but there s a goofy charm to these inexpensive transforming robot toys that makes them every bit as fun to collect as Hasbro s robots. And unlike the Transformers toys, the lack of a rabid fanbase for ZyBots (and others) means we need to collect all the info we can find today; as the years pass the specifics behind these old lines will become tougher to chase down.

I ll happily buy more ZyBots toys. The question is: Am I alone, or will you join me in chasing down these old toys before they vanish from our thoughts?

References

  1. ^ review here (www.battlegrip.com)
  2. ^ review here (www.battlegrip.com)
  3. ^ review here (www.battlegrip.com)
  4. ^ review here (www.battlegrip.com)
  5. ^ Each Sold Separately* (www.amazon.com)
  6. ^ Action Figures Not Included* (www.amazon.com)

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