Playmobil The Movie Robotitron with Drone Playmobil, 2018
Day #2,333: August 31, 2021
Robotitron with Drone Top Agents Mega Drone, but with fewer stickers and a different figure
The Movie Set
Item No.: No. 70071 Manufacturer:Playmobil Includes:2 rockets, Robotitron figure with antenna, winch Action Feature:2 launching rockets, 1 retractable winch, spinning blades Retail:$19.99 Availability:2019 Other:I bought it for the robot
Depending on the price (and your completism) you don't necessarily need Robotitron with Drone. Despite having some neat parts, I completely skipped Playmobil's movie line until finding this set on clearance. I was out hoping to find blind bags so I could feel for the robot, and then just wound up finding this set on clearance for $6. I've paid more for less, so I paid $6 for this robot - which comes with a glider that's missing a few stickers, but is otherwise identical to the Playmobil Top Agents 9253 Mega Drone from 2017 - which I don't remember seeing here in the USA, but that's because I wasn't looking for it.
As far as I can tell, if you have 9253 and this robot from a blind bag, you don't need set 70071. At $20, I wouldn't recommend it - but if you can find it on clearance and just want the 1980 Playmospace-style robot, get it.
The Robototron figure is Playmospace's old Robby the Robot, with a few changes. Playmobil toys - especially the 1970s, 1980s, and many 1990s sets - were generally designed around the notion that these are kid's drawings. As such they're simplified down to what a kid might draw - a horse is basically a stock figure, humans had eyes and mouths but no nose or ears. This robot looks sort of like a mutant R2-D2 trash can bad roller blades, and very much feels like something I would have drawn as a kid. According to Collectobil, this mold first came out in 1983 and was in circulation until 1994. 1983 was when Star Wars finished its market dominance with Return of the Jedi, so this weird little droid effectively replaced R2-D2 in the global toy market.
Since the original was discontinued, I assumed we'd never see this colorway again - the blue body with orange limbs and some grey highlights looks great, and the rolling wheels are a nice touch. I have no idea why he needs eight pairs of rolling wheels, but there you have it. The neck, shoulders, and hips are articulated and the back of the head has two claws for antennas. The original toys had two, this new one has but one.
The painted eyes are unique to the "The Movie" releases, and mystery bag 70069 also included this very same robot. That reelase features a serving tray and some glassware, and is arguably a more interesting purchase if you can find it for the right price. The movie didn't do too well, so I don't see many of these brought into stores and it's unlikely you'll see a lot on the secondary market in the distant future. They were probably bought on clearance and played with, so who the heck knows what that means for the future of collecting this stuff.
The drone glider is kind of a drag. It's a flying vehicle with no display stand or tree to mount on, so you have to hold it up. It has two spinning fan blades, two (admittedly impressive) launching rockets, and feels sort of like a undercooked Kenner toy from the 1990s. You can hang figures from the winch, there are two hand grips on top so a figure can "ride" it, but it's basically a big vehicle that nobody can pilot. The black plastic set has optic yellow highlights two buttons to launch rockets, and some light blue markings. My Jurassic Park Chaos Effect Compstegnathus [FOTD #138] from 1996 looks pretty similar.
It's big and the size isn't bad for the money, but it's not a very fun toy and the robot doesn't interact with it. Robotitron doesn't have articulated wrists, so he can't ride on top like a normal figure. It's a perfectly acceptable pretend drone toy, but the wing tips pop off with minimal force and this set is only fun in context of a larger collection - and if you were a completist on Playmobil, you've got al these parts already. I like the firing rockets just fine, but it's not a very fun grouping. If you have at least one other human figure, at least they can ride the glider.
The painted-on detail is impressive and the color looks good, but it's not fun. Toys should be fun. I found the robot charming enough to be worth the $6 I paid for it, but the glider will probably go into a box and ignored for a few years. Playmobil has been around since 1974 but frequently seems like it's playing second fiddle to LEGO, following in their footsteps nearly 18 years later with entertainment licenses and five years later with a movie of their own. The movie (and parts of the toy line) seem like they were more of a marketing initiative than a cohesive toy plan, a little too soon and before Playmobil had really integrated its portfolio of entertainment properties like we saw with LEGO. As such, the toy line is a mix of lesser, mini sets based on existing themes and a few reruns - this set being a remix of things you already had a chance to buy and skipped. Do what you can to get the robot, but you can leave the glider behind.
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