Like elves in Santa's workshop, bootleg toy makers around the world are busy cranking action figures and games for all of the world's children. Only these will be sold by street vendors and dollar stores, at a fraction of the price of official toys.
Of course, to get around copyright laws, these manufacturers in China and elsewhere have to, let's say, tweak things a bit. So you wind up with...
Yes, it's RobertCop. It looks like a silly photoshop, but pictures abound of the same box in various settings (it's something of an internet sensation -- fans of RobertCop have even given him his own Facebook page).
The beauty of this is that when tweaking the name for their bootleg knockoff toy, they could have went with "Robo" anything and it would have made perfect sense as a toy. RoboDetective, RoboWarrior, RoboMonster -- this is the world's easiest thing to rename. But instead, they replaced the Robo part. With Robert.
Robert is a good officer, but he almost never murders an entire warehouse full of drug dealers.
That's awesome because it doesn't in any way explain why he is made of metal. It almost implies that cops are all robots in America, and that RobertCop is what happens when a robot gets killed in the line of duty and they resurrect it by fusing it with a guy named Robert. He's part cop. Part Robert. He's RobertCop.Three.
We like to think that the characters from Star Wars are so universal that even in the darkest corner of some knockoff toy sweatshop, they'd know Darth Vader when they saw him. But no, apparently there is some sad shop in the far East where they pick up a Darth Vader action figure and say, "He looks like some kind of traffic cop."
"I'm going to ask you one more time: May I conduct a search of your vehicle, or do I have to call for a K-9 unit?"
And while having Darth Vader guest star on an episode of CHiPs is the greatest idea in the universe, something went wrong in the execution (perhaps the addition of the tiny little training wheels). Also, is he a "knight" or a policeman? They're totally not the same thing.
Still, the inclusion of Boba Fett in a sidecar could have saved this.
This also looks like somebody's wacky Photoshop, but it's real -- here's video of the actual toy in action:
Of the several million questions this toy raises, the biggest has to be, "how does a child play with this?" As in, what is the kid supposed to be imagining as he's playing? This is a fighting robot (it seems to have some kind of sword) so, what is it fighting? The Lusitania? The Hindenburg? Or does it fight other large inanimate objects from non-action movies? Is there a transforming Cider House out there?
And yes, the robot's flailing arms are made up of the part of the hull where people would be sleeping in their cabins at the moment it transformed. For the duration of the robot battle, all you'd hear from inside this thing are muffled screams.
Never mind the fact that some toymaker chose the gentle characters of a public television children's show to create a violent tool of robot war. And never mind that trains with smiling, talking faces are way creepy enough.
The truly creepy thing about Transformable Tomas is, unlike any other "combine to form..." Voltron-type mechs where vehicles are being joined, Tomas and his friends (Henry and James) fuse their actual bodies together. It's like a Saturday morning cartoon version of The Human Centipede.
We can only imagine the conversation Tomas had to convince his pals to follow through with his carnival of lunacy.
Henry: Tomas, are you sure tucking our bodies into each other's orifices is the best way to fend off the undefined, impending danger you keep telling us about but never seems to come?
Tomas: Yes, yes. Totally necessary for our safety. Now get back into position and shove your face into my anus.
"HOW DO I SIT DOWN?"
This toy gets an A+ for accuracy. There's no way you're going to pick up a "Change Robot" and not know exactly what you're getting into.
And what kid doesn't want to play with a cassette tape, despite the fact that no one under the age of 40 can even remember what the hell a cassette tape is? The box art is equally amazing, as it depicts an intense battle between F-14s and Change Robots, some of which are still inexplicably in their giant cassette tape forms.
Did Superman tell you he could fly? Because he's a goddamn liar.
Though we admire how he maintains his badass "flying through the air" fist post as he's slowly drifting to the street with his sad parachute.
This toy assures us that not only is James Spader a superhero, but also that he lacks the creativity to come up with an alias. We assume he spends most of his time sneaking into people's apartments and hiding seasons of The Practice around like Easter eggs. Either that or else he goes around stabbing people with a spade.
All we know is, we really don't want to see this man in a spandex bodysuit.
We're trying to figure out what aspect of fishing and archery can be considered "heroic" unless orphans are involved. Also, can Fisherman Spider-Man really be called an "action" figure? Seems more like a "sitting around for hours, drinking beer and telling racist jokes" figure.
Again, once you get past the reasons this is ridiculous on the surface (we note he took the time to draw a spider on his tackle box to eliminate any confusion) you have to try to imagine some poor kid playing with this. Spider-Man, sitting there, not using his spidey powers or swinging from buildings or fighting Doc Ock. Fishing. In dead silence. In his costume.