In the 80s, remote-controlled robots became a big thing. Maybe as a throwback to the popularity of movies like Star Wars and even Short Circuit to a lesser extent, seemed like everybody wanted a robot of their very own. That's where Tomy came in.
Tomy was a company that made more 'sophisticated' toys, usually electronic gadgets. I'm really not sure if they're still around today...they might be...but back in the day they gave us all a ton of robots to pick from. Some of you might remember these...some of you probably had one or two of them...
Hootbot: Hootbot was the smallest of Tomy's robot family. When you turned him on, his eyes would blink, his head would move, and he'd flap his wings, making owl noises. Unfortunately, he couldn't do much else, but he was still pretty cool looking. There were bigger robots than Hootbot, so he was pretty much overlooked. If you got him for Christmas, it's only because you didn't go that extra mile to act especially good to get one of the ones below. Nonetheless, Hootbot's pretty fun. :)
Chatbot: Chatbot had a cassette deck, allowing him to speak. Other than that, he was your everyday remote control robot...you could make him glide, turn, deliver objects, etc. The best thing about this guy is that you could record a tape full of obsentities and make Chatbot curse out your parents whenever they entered the room.
Flipbot: Flipbot might have been small, but he was certainly the most gifted athlete of the Tomy robot family. When he crashed into something, he'd fall on his ass and use his super-robot arms to get right back up! He looks kinda mean too...definitely the bully of the robot gang. Unfortunately, since he didn't do much besides roll around the floor making really loud mechanical noises, not too many people felt the need to buy him and find out just how cool he really was.
Verbot!: Verbot was the one I had...and actually still have, though his remote control is long gone and he's yellowed worse than snow by a doghouse. Tomy really upped the ante with this one, he could do everything from minor robot functions like walking, walking backwards, and crashing into walls....to more advanced features like voice control. Plus, he could grab stuff! I used to torture our poor old dog with this thing...I figured the dog would like to have a playmate, and this would equate to making Verbot grab and pick up it's tail whenever it wasn't paying attention. Needless to say, whenever Verbot was around, the dog high-tailed out of the room.
Omnibot: Omnibot was the shit, and he knew it. Firstly, he was the biggest Tomy robot. Secondly, he cost the most. Thirdly, he could do a hell of a lot more than any of the aforementioned bots. Basically, he was the closest thing to R2-D2 you could ever own, and he had giant claws to crush all other robots who would oppose him. He felt pretty safe in the throne of his Tomy castle...that is...until...
Omnibot 2000: Omnibot was a little too comfortable in his position, and started to slack. So Tomy scientists went out and created probably the most amazing robot any of us could ever own: Omnibot 2000. This guy looked a lot like the dude from Short Circuit, and could do pretty much anything you wanted it to.
Omnibot 2000 had probably the most sophisticated cassette deck of all time. Most stereos simply eject the tapes. This one ejected the whole cassette deck. Just another revolutionary aspect of this godlike robot.
Speaking of sophisticated, take a look at that remote control. Chances are, it'd take you a lifetime to figure out what all those buttons actually did. One of the killer things about Omnibot 2000 is that the electronics were so wild and involved, it'd make every battery operated appliance within a two-mile radius fuck up. Cordless phones, tv remotes, anything. If you didn't want to make Omnibot beat up people to raise chaos, all you had to do was turn him on and watch everyone scramble as if the prophecies of The Day The Earth Stood Still had finally come true.
Want a Tomy robot?
You don't need a time machine, just eBay: Bid on Tomy Robots!