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Mattel: Masters of the Universe Origins Roboto Review

Masters of the Universe hit a perfect storm when it combined the triple-switching arm feature of Trap Jaw with the first full robot figure of the line.

I was ecstatic when the vintage Robot figure debuted. Man-E-Faces had given the line a taste of robotic action with his spinning faceplate gimmick, but Roboto went full-on heavy metal thunder and gave us a head to toe robot. It was the best or pretty much every world, and he quickly became one of my favorite MotU figure. It single-handedly ramped up the science fiction aspect of the line, building on the barbarianesque beginnings.

Masters of the Universe Classics delivered an excellent modern update to the vintage figure, despite the problems people have had with cracking plastic. And now the Origins line has continued straddling that line, taking the vintage figures and giving them updated articulation while retaining that very specific feel. It’s not going to be for everyone, but I’m powerless to resist the nostalgic tug of that squat design with improved motion.

The Origins Roboto adds some very important articulation to the original six points. The swivel hinge elbows and knees allow Roboto a far more expressive range. Well, I know 90 degrees isn’t pushing the outer realms of expressiveness, but it works with the overall design of the figure, and any little bit helps. But the biggest benefit is the ability to move the shoulders outward. Of any point of articulation that could have been added to any of my vintage figures with just the cut joint, extra shoulder articulation would probably have been the most desired. When I was a kid—especially post-GI Joe—the cut joint shoulder was probably the most restrictive element to my playtime.

Everything about the vintage Roboto is here: the clear torso with visible gears, the tech details on the arms and legs, the head with mobile robojaw. They even kept the old “twist the waist and watch his jaw move” aspect from the original toy without it hampering his overall mobility.

Roboto comes with his signature arm attachments, all of which slide in and out easily. Like with trap Jaw, there’s no “peg,” but the fit is tight enough that they stay in without issue. Like a dunderhead I am just now realizing that I forgot to take a picture of Roboto with Trap Jaws attachments, but having just now stopped to test them out I’ve discovered that the pegs on Trap Jaw’s attachments are too long to work with Roboto. They don’t sit flushly against his arm.

That’s just…what?

I don’t really get why they wouldn’t make them all work with each other, but…whatever.

Regardless of that, Roboto is another fun update to a vintage figure, improving some things while keeping others. This line isn’t going to be fore everyone, and if it were the only MotU update ever I don’t think I’d be as enthusiastic about it, but since Masters of the Universe Classics looks like it’s done and the new Masterverse figures aren’t ringing my bell yet, it’s a good way to keep buying some MotU figures and keep that section of my fandom burning.