Oct 2, 2016
ZBOTS R2-D2, C-3PO, AND VADER
Starting in 1992, Galoob blessed the world with a really cool line of robot toys under the Micro Machines banner: Zbots! I fell in love with these figures the first time I saw them long, long ago; they're just so colorful and action-packed, y'know? And it gets better: a few of these roughly 2 inch Zbots resemble R2-D2 and C-3PO!
Many (if not all) of the Zbot sculpts came in two different color schemes, and Galoob gave each version its own name. Here's Shleppy:
This is some blatant R2-D2 action going on here. Here's Tiddo:
For the second Zbot series, Shleppy/Tiddo was later redesigned and made considerably less R2-esque. There's even tinier versions, too, named Taz and Punee that are part of the spin-off Mini Z's line.
Now let's move on to the protocol droid variety. Glaxar:
A third version of C-3PO was part of the Zbots Military Combots subset. Here's Nonkom:
Zbots didn't stop at only borrowing robots from Star Wars. Here's the robot from Lost in Space! Another one is inspired by the Forbidden Planet robot, too, and there's probably other knock-offs I haven't caught yet, I dunno.
Here's close-ups of the copyright stuff on the back of a "normal" Zbots three pack and a Combots three pack. Both say copyright 1993 Lewis Galoob Toys.
At a garage sale (or flea market? I forget...) I found a bag of what I at first thought were Zbots, but soon realized they were knock-offs or who knows what of Zbots. None of the sculpts were taken from Zbots, almost like a window to an alternate reality. To add to the intrigue, one of these figures resembles Darth Vader-- lightsaber and all!