Fans of 1/6 scale action figures were surprised with quite a few cool treats, mostly at Walmart, at the beginning of the year.
Walmart licensed the rights to Robbie The Robot, from Forbidden Planet, and The Iron Giant from Warner Media, and hired one of their toymaking partners, Goldking, to create 14″ walking robots, with light and sound features. Robbie is perfectly in scale with the original GI Joes, while The Iron Giant is not, but could be customized.
A 1/6 scale Iron Giant would be around seven feet tall, but this version of him could easily be customized into another kind of 1/6 robot.
The best part is that these are very well-made, but only cost twenty bucks each. That is a fantastic price for such large and cool toys. Collectors haven’t been this excited by anything in this scale at a mass-market retailer for a long, long time.
These started showing up a couple of weeks ago, with lots of them flooding eBay with outrageous prices. It took about a week, but they finally hit all of our local stores, with each store getting four of each robot. I have been told that these will be restocked many times over the next several months.
With such a low retail price, some corners might have been cut. It appears that the box copy for Robbie was swiped, word-for-word, from the 1999 10″ Trendmasters Robbie, which had a wired remote control. That’s the Trendmasters box at left.
The reference to “Trendmasters Technology” on the block of copy on the back of the box is a dead giveaway. Trendmasters went out of business eighteen years ago. The box also promises a space pistol that is not included in this set. It’s like somebody handed the factory a vintage Trendmasters box and told them to make the new packaging look just like it, then didn’t bother to proofread it to see how accurately the toymakers followed their directions.
The boxes look remarkably alike, except that the bathing suit on the girl being carried by Robbie has been changed from green to gold.
Aside from that very minor and somewhat amusing packaging quibble, this is a perfect toy. Just check out how cool both of these look in the box….
I haven’t been able to track down any box-copy shenanigans with the Iron Giant yet, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. I haven’t even had time to crack open The Iron Giant yet, but I did pop Robbie out of his box for a quick photo shoot using the 12″ Dr. Evil, from the Captain Action line, so you can see how well they mesh.
I would also imagine that The Iron Giant is probably compatible with O Scale model railroads, just in case anybody wants to add some spice to their train layout.
Aside from these two robots, Walmart also licensed the movie Aliens and farmed out the license to Lanard, who have released some brightly-colored versions of the movie monster.
Of note for 1/6 scale enthusiasts is the Alien Queen, who stands 12″ tall, and her inexplicable purple hue fits right in with the brightly-colored aliens that Hasbro released with their Adventure Team “Secret of the Planet Xenome” set back in 2003, as seen at right.
So collectors of cool 1/6 scale figures can now add Robbie the Robot, and an Alien Queen to their space adventures, and they can come up with ways to paint The Iron Giant so that he can be turned into a friend or foe. And it won’t break the bank, either.
After years of a 1/6 scale famine, when it comes to cool, cheap stuff, it’s nice to have some things to look forward to.
Both of the robots and The Alien Queen can all be found at Walmart right now. They’re each just under twenty bucks, and they are going to be well-stocked nationwide, so you don’t need to pay scalper’s prices on eBay.
This is a great way to get psyched up for ToyLanta in March!
I attempted to shoot some video of Robbie in action, but I did the photo shoot for this post and shot the video in the corner of my living room, which is carpeted. So Robbie didn’t really walk…he just sort of danced as Dr. Evil looked on. It wasn’t really a great video to show off his walking and talking ability so I turned the results into this video, with music by my brother, Frank…