Who puts the future in your hand?
Who gives you robots to command?
-ad copy for the toys/show.
In a continuing series on science fiction cartoons of my youth, I bring you Robotix.
Robotix was a Sunbow production, those same visionaries who brought us G.I. Joe and Transformers. Like those two aforementioned franchises, Robotix was likewise a toy line.
The animated series appeared as part of Super Sunday, a cartoon that, as the name implies, appeared on Sunday mornings. The series also gave us The Inhumanoids, which I blogged about previously. Unlike that cartoon, I seldom got to see Robotix as with it being Sunday morning, my father whisked me off to church before it aired. My younger brother, however, was spared that fate (why, I have no idea) and would later fill me in on the plot details...if you could call them that.
The series began as a spaceship under the command of one Exeter Galaxon (gotta love that name) is being pursued by an enemy battlecruiser. Badly damaged, the hounded ship crash lands on the planet Skalorr. The crew survives, only to find themselves on a ruined planet...but not an uninhabited one. Giant robots rise up from the ground, opposing factions named Autobots and Decep...I mean Protectons and Terrakors. Battle ensues and the evil Terrakors are driven off.
The Protectons befriend the stranded crew and begin to help them repair their ship. In the course of this, a few members of the human star travelers learn that they can interface with the giant robots, thereby enhancing the mech's abilities. The Terrakors attack once more and the humans interface to the Protecton's aid. Bront, the Protecton's resident asskicker, leads the counter-attack and once more drives the bad guys off. However, all is not well.
Argus, leader of the Protectons and romantic interest of Narra (that's right. Robots gettin' it on) is a prisoner of the Terrakors. With Captain Galaxon as his pilot, Bront leads the Protectons on a rescue mission to free Argus. Argus then brings the Protectons and their allied humans to an underground base once thought to be lost. There, Compucore, Skalorr's central intelligence computer (something like Marvel's ISAAC on Titan), relays the history of the planet.
Three million years ago, the Protectons and the Terrakors were once organic beings, rather reptilian in appearance (of course. A staple of pulpy science fiction.) Both sides were forced to cooperate as their sun threatened to go nova. A Terrakor named Nemesis (again, of course) had other designs. He planned to use Compucore to launch his own ship, the Terrastar. This spaceship would be loaded by a select few chosen by him. Compucore instead suggested that the entire population be preserved in stasis tubes beneath the planet's surface. Needless to say, that was the option that won out.
Yet a deadly radiation leak compromised the physical forms of the people. Compucore was forced to transfer their essences into the Robotix. Once the radiation levels returned to normal (though how the hell the planet survived the supernova is anybody's guess), Compucore released the robots upon the surface.
This information leads to a schism within Galaxon's crew. A few of them break off with a "let's blow this joint" attitude and begin to seek out the Terrastar to do so. In order to find this ship, they offer their interface services to the Terrakors.
I remember that my brother had the toys as well. He had Argus and a Captain Exeter Galaxon action figure with a cool spacesuit. He had the evil Tyrannix and a figure called Gaxon who had a flamethrower. That's right. A flamethrower. The robots themselves had an intriguing Lego-like quality to them. There was actual building involved in their creation and they had actual motorized parts. It was a kids primer for real robotics. Yet neither I nor my brother went into that field. Trust me, if I had, I wouldn't be struggling like I am today.Like any other robots worth their salt in the 1980s, the Robotix could transform in vehicles with wheels and wings and a few of the Protectons even had gruff, one-sentence characters like the Dinobots. Yet aside from all of this I must admit. The series is rather unmemorable.
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