Saturday, February 26, 2011

Robotech + Transformers = Roboformers?

If there is anyone slightly older than me in the audience, you may be wondering, why am I skipping over Shogun Warriors and Force Five animation. The answer is simple, I didn't discover them until around the launch of Final Fantasy VII. I personally had no interest in FFVII but my co-worker at KB, Mitch, did. He had heard of a store in Columbus, Ohio that might have merch related to the game, and knowing that I liked Sailor Moon, he convinced me to make the trek with him down to Columbus from the Eastern suburbs of Cleveland.  It was on this trip that we stopped at an unassuming Wal-Mart. There in a dump bin of VHS tapes I found a $2 video called "RoboFormers". Mitch saw the image on the front of the box, and despite being a few years younger than me he seemed to recall owning a toy similar to the Giant Robot pictured on the cover. My interest was piqued and I bought the tape. Upon viewing the tape I discovered that it wasn't really about a show called RoboFormers, but rather about a show called "Star Vengers". The show was a bit of a cross between BotP, Tranzor Z, & Voltron. From the style of the animation it was clear this was a 70's Anime. It revolved around 3 primary characters and their jet aircraft which could combine into one of three different Giant Robots: Star Dragon, Star Arrow, or Star Poseidon. The three main characters were a charming lead male, a roguish secondary male, and a fat guy. At their base was an older mentor figure, a female character, and a young boy..... hmmmmmmm.... this is all starting to make sense in some weird way. I spent the following months sifting through video bins at any Walmart I could find looking for more tapes of the series. I successfully found several more. I would later discover that these were bootleg tapes of one of the five shows that made up a daily serial program referred to as Force Five animation, and tied directly to a Giant Robot toyline, of 2 feet tall toy robots, known collectively as the Shogun Warriors. I was about 1 or 2 years too young to have seen this on television, and the 2 foot tall toys somehow never made their way into my home, even though I had two older brothers. This particular story will undoubtedly be broken down into several other posts in the near future. Image provided by Amazon.

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