Most of my readers know that I am a fan of transforming robots. My favorites are the Transformers, but I also love the Gobots and other similar toylines. Though I had quite a lot of these toys when I was young, by the time I got to adulthood, all that remained of my “Transfo-Gobot” collection fit in a single shoebox. Inside the shoebox were banged up, played with toys, as well as a tin Band-Aid box full of weapons and accessories.
I went to college, got a job, married, had kids. The cardboard box full of transforming robots was still hanging around, so I got the toys out for my sons to play with. This was a fun experience at the time, and has even more meaning now some two decades later.
After the 2001 Robots in Disguise cartoon and toyline, I was all in on Transformers again. Though some of my childhood Transformers were in fair enough shape, most were not, so they stayed in the box. The Gobots and Converters never really left the box.
Over the years collecting, I purchased several lots, and these included non-Transformers. Gobots and such went right into the box. Only recently, when I watched the Challenge of the Gobots cartoon, did I get all the Gobots out and put them on display.
The other toys, which I learned from the internet were Convertors and “Motorized Robots, were in really bad shape. They wouldn’t even stand up, or stay in their alternate modes. The blue and gold plastics, especially, were brittle. Not knowing what to do with these toys, I just kept them in the box, and didn’t worry about it. And for years, that is where they have lived.
The question rises: how long do you hold on to toys from your childhood? I’m not talking about favorites. I’d never get rid of my Prowl, with his missing tire and broken windshield. How could I part with Tracks, even though one of his doors was completely missing? I loved these toys, and that love has only grown over the years.
I cannot say the same for the toys left in the box. They are curiosities, at best. They were not great toys to begin with. Even as a kid, I knew these were inferior to Transformers and even Gobots. These were toys I got when Mom or Dad said “nope, that’s too expensive, find something else.” It has been nearly four decades after I got them off a store shelf or rack. “Vintage”? Yes, but sometimes vintage just means old.
These toys don’t make me happy, now. I feel pity, not joy. So I decided to throw them out. It was an easier decision to make then I expected it to be.
To say goodbye, I took some pictures of them. It was difficult to do this. Most were so broken or loose they wouldn’t stay still long enough to photograph. Sadly, some broke into pieces when I transformed them.
I’m not strictly following the Kondo method of decluttering as I streamline my collection, but there are some aspects of it I appreciate. The act of getting these toys out, playing with them one last time, and photographing them is a way of saying “thank you”. These pictures of my toys will serve to memorialize them. I’ve included packaged shots as a callback to what they were when they were new, and young me was still plenty excited to be going home with a new transforming robot.
Goodbye, Rex, Crawler, Jet Guy and Train Dude. I won’t forget you.
I’m kinda interested in some of these lesser-known transforming robot toys. Some look fairly decent. I’ve even considered hunting them down on Ebay. The main deterrent is concern over breaking them, especially during the first transformation. Even on actual Transformers, I worry about breaking them, especially if they ha e overly tight joints.
There is certainly a charm to the less popular toylines. Often they have some really intriguing designs. But they weren’t made to last.