Protocultural Artifacts: Changing of the Guard
It’s long been a source of disappointment that Lancer never got a figure in Matchbox’s ROBOTECH line. I suppose he would have been one guy with long purple hair too many, and it is only fair that Zor Prime claimed that particular slot given his greater importance to the ROBOTECH cosmology; likewise, it was only fair to give the fourth third generation hero slot to someone like Lunk, a big older dude very different in appearance to pretty much everyone else in the figure line.
Still, of the seven regulars in the final generation of the original ROBOTECH television series, Lancer is my favorite, so when Japanese toy manufacturers went nuts overproducing MOSPEADA goods a few years ago and one of them offered up a Lancer toy in approximately that scale, I couldn’t pass it up, even if it was too small and fiddly for me to ever bother with transforming the bike. It displays well, even if he does look a bit too perfect next to the charmingly flawed Matchbox toys.
Speaking of charming flaws, I’ve always liked the look of Matchbox’s Scott Bernard figure, despite the missing arm guards and the presence of both the post-transformation chest and hip armor, in addition to the fact that he’s got Rand’s Cyclone’s gun as a sidearm. In fact, it was Rand who had blue sleeves when suited up in his Cyclone armor; Scott’s are supposed to be red. Still, even with all those inaccuracies to the animation design, it’s just a cool looking action figure. I love the boxy bulk of it, and it contrasts nicely with Dana’s sleek, silver armor and both the round insectoid look of the similarly armored Bioroid Terminator and the similarly bug-like uniform of his own arch nemesis, the Invid Corg. That’s definitely something that can be said for all of Matchbox’s post-MACROSS figure choices: they’re all visually distinctive and magnificently colorful.
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