While Hasbro mopped the floor with He-Man via Transformers and G.I. Joe, Mattel was getting some last, great toys out of its Eternian brand. The Meteorbs Tuskor toy was one of my favorites, providing a charming little mammoth toy during an era that was just rip for dino-fever. Hasbro just finished up its Dinobots sub-line of Transformers, and Dino-Riders was just about to come out from Tyco-- and its Ice Age sub-line was still a few years off. So if you wanted a toy mammoth, you'd need to shell out for either a plastic toy at a museum or get this one, which hatches from a small, furry egg.
All Meteorbs are basically cut from the same cloth-- you get a nifty little toy creature of some sort that folds into an egg. In this case, the egg has extensive sculpted fur, molded grey plastic, and is topped with bright red paint. I can't figure out why, perhaps at some point scientific thought on prehistoric mammals said "absolutely, the elephants of old were gingers." That or maybe it just looked good at retail-- dark purple didn't make a lot of sense for a sauropod either but I guess one color is just as good as any as these things go.
Transformation is pretty simple, as getting it from either mode requires you crack the egg down the middle. Pry him open, and then you can rotate in (or out) his tail, head, and feet. The figure isn't entirely without moving parts, as the trunk can rotate around, the knees are jointed, and the tail can move due to it needing to be articulated for the transformation process. He's got a big circle on his face-- no idea why-- and little yellow robot eyes that would seem more at home on an Optimus Prime packaging illustration. Meteorbs are cute and fun, but seem more like they would be at home alongside the robots in disguise than He-Man and Skeletor.
I'm assuming Meteorbs, like a lot of 1980s toys, get a lot of their appeal simply by your having grown up with them. If I were faced with this little guy on the shelves today, I don't know that his rotund physique would demand my attention and dollars... well, unless he was at the right price. Or had an Autobot symbol on him somewhere, then I'd jump on it. As strange sub-lines go, this one sticks out quite a bit due to its un-Eternian nature and Japanese origins. I'd say grab one if you like the look of him, as he's an ideal desk toy and doesn't cost too much just yet. (Well, OK, packaged ones are expensive but that's normal.)
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