Robot Changers: The Quest For Power (1985)

My stars, I don't know where to even begin with this one...this is a kids' book from 1985 that I found in a thrift store.  It's one of those Transformers rip-offs that were so common for a couple of years.  I call these "Grandmother" items, because they are designed to rip off those that don't pay too much attention...I would say "unsuspecting," but I feel more like using the word "stupid."  Case in point, the fake Disney videos, or the shabby video games that are designed to LOOK like they are part of a more popular franchise, if only the buyer had enough knowledge about the item they were looking for.  It is stunning that there is a whole market for "almost," rip-off type products, but it's always been that way.  How many times did you have a Christmas present arrive in the mail from a distant relative, who meant well, but bought you something like this? (My dad used to come back from the grocery store with issues of "GI COMBAT" instead of "GI JOE," but as that comic already existed, it's not a good example...but you get my drift.)  The M.U.S.C.L.E. wrestling figurines were a good example; there were myriad clones of those, too.  In short, there will always be "Grandmother Games" and "Grandmother Videos."  "Oh, Johnny likes those robots that turn into things! I will get him this book!"

And speaking of this book, you will just have to read it to see how confusing and lackluster it is.  It's never clear exactly what is going on...specific robots are introduced in the beginning, yet some entirely different ones are sometimes used.  Some names are meant to be generic (apparently), like soldiers, but that's never defined either.  It's also never clear if they can "transform" (although I don't think that word is ever used, heh) into ANYTHING, or just a certain thing...although in the cases presented here, it matches the vehicle (or oil refinery) they are trying to duplicate exactly, which is pretty lucky.
And when your lead bad guy is named "Marshal Small, the Zzerial," it just doesn't hold a candle to "Megatron, the Decepticon."  
You just have to read it to believe it.  The back cover says there were four of these abominations available, and I have to believe that several grandmothers the world over spoiled Christmas and birthdays that year.

LINK:  Robot Changers....Transformers In Disguise.


Christopher Sobieniak said...

Can't think of any "grandmother items" I've gotten over the years that were that bad, they usually were pretty OK for the most part, hardly anything that ridiculed their intelligence, but I can see how that was. My mom though fell under that cloud of uncertainty anyway, so I ended up with those type of things from here anyway.

Sampoerna Quatrain said...

It's almost hard to remember how copies of Transformers were EVERYWHERE at one point...I remember my classmates ridiculing Go-Bots as TF copies too, but of course that didn't turn out to be true!
You still see the occasional TF clone today, but it's nothing like it was back then!

Ro D said...

I think I remember seeing this book. Are there any more inside shots?