REVIEW:Maisto RoboRods Mag-Num

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Autobus Prime, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. Autobus Prime

    Autobus Prime Transit Former

    Jun 7, 2005
    Trophy Points:
    Summary: Weirdly appealing, fairly low quality, and a nice
    vehicle mode. Recommended mildly, but I don't plan on
    getting more at this time.


    After hearing these were out, I found them at my local Walmart
    for $3.54. Char-Dawg and Mag-num were available in several
    fashion colors; I picked the black Dodge Magnum, because I
    gotta get mine in a big black grocery getter (you can get yours
    in a '64). Sorry. Actually I just preferred the boom box to the

    These are not Maisto's first foray into changeable robots; they
    also made the widely distributed but relatively obscure Moto-Bots
    and Meta Moto-Bots, also sold as MotoRobots at one time, and
    have still run these off at intervals when transforming robots are
    sufficiently popular. The last time I saw them stocked, at Rite
    Aid drugstores for $2.99, was during Armada. With any luck
    they'll be re-released when the movie craziness strikes. Moto-
    Bots, for those curious, are the small transforming robots, mostly
    trucks, with snap-on pullback motors labeled 'Dyno Drive'. Now
    let us return to the RoboRods.

    Wow, these are cheaply made. Packed in robot mode, they are
    all plastic, except for rubber tires and the usual screws and
    fasteners. A bit more poseable than I'd expected, Mag-Num has
    universal jointed shoulders, a ball-jointed car-front head, and legs
    that can spread outward somewhat. I leave it to DVD to haul out
    the protractor. The feet pivot for transformation, but not in any
    way useful for posing.

    These take the 'reconfiguration' style to an extreme, being made
    almost entirely of car parts that look like car parts. Shellformers
    they are not.

    Mag's roof just hangs off his back like Brawl's
    turret, but looser, not really able to connect to anything or
    integrate into the robot mode. Two pegs on the head that look
    likely can not actually reach the roof's holes; they are for vehicle
    mode only, it seems. The roof really cheapens the robot mode;
    everything else, while very light and thin, is at least adequate.

    Details in robot mode include speaker cones on Mag's wrists
    so he can play Cold Slither at his enemies, and vaguely muscular
    grooves on his torso. The car-front head works better than I'd
    thought, weird as it is; cars have a vaguely 'facelike' look to them,
    and nobody AFAIK has so far used this anthropomorphic
    attribute for a changing robot. Maisto, therefore, deserves some
    points for innovation.

    Mags comes with a chrome-dipped ghetto blaster, which looks very
    nice, and scaled about right for GI Joe figures, if I remember my
    '80s technology properly. Alas, he can't hold this stereo, unless you
    simply raise his arm horizontal and balance it on top, but perhaps
    he uses it more for breakdancing on the street. You'll need to
    supply your own scaled-down cardboard.

    Transformation to vehicle mode begins by folding up the feet and
    sliding them in, sliding in the hands and folding in the arms, then
    pressing the roof in and pegging it to the arms and feet. The head
    folds up against the roof. It's a good transformation considering the
    odd robot mode, and the resulting vehicle holds together very well,
    and reveals almost no robot parts from any angle.

    Vehicle mode is a nicely detailed black Dodge Magnum with
    oversized wire wheels and low-profile tires, riding somewhat lower
    than is stock. In other words, it's a caricature of a car, but since
    the real Magnum is too that's perfectly acceptable. :)  Tires are
    real rubber, which is pleasing. The car rolls quite well and looks
    very good -- vehicles are certainly Maisto's specialty. Scale appears
    larger than Hot Wheels' usual 1:64; I am guessing it's about 1:55,
    but have not yet measured.

    Conclusion: Odd and a bit chintzy but reasonably well-done for the
    low price. Maisto's Motobots are better as transforming robots, but
    these have plenty of camp appeal. I recommend them mildly and
    suggest buying one to examine before splurging for the whole line.
  2. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    News Credits:
    Trophy Points:
    Super Go Bots did it in the 80's (at least with the windshield).

    Thanks for the review. Now the people demand pictures!

    I love the idea behind this line. It's so wacky I can't help but collect them all. :D 
  3. Matrix Soul

    Matrix Soul Skull 4 reporting in!

    Mar 10, 2004
    News Credits:
    Trophy Points:

Share This Page