Tuesday, December 25, 2012

About Fifteen Seconds Of Fun On Christmas Day: The Robo-Parents Are Far Too Breakable!

The Good: Great sculpt, Good accessories
The Bad: Severe balance issues, Terrible breakability, Poor collectible value
The Basics: The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Robo-Parents figures are the most breakable in the line and are a strangely tough sell (otherwise) for Invader Zim fans.

Merry Christmas! My wife’s holiday has been a mixed blessing from me. I was happy to be able to present her with, among several other things, THREE new Invader Zim figures from the old Palisades Toy line! Unfortunately, in a “First World Problems” type way, her holiday turned from gleeful to slightly disappointing (though she stayed completely grateful for all she got the entire time because, well, she’s a classy woman who is grateful to get any gifts!) when the Robo-Parents I picked up for her had a Robo-Parent Dad whose head snapped immediately off. You can believe she was insanely gentle with opening her Almighty Tallest figures as a result!

The Robo-Parents, which were the Hot Topic variant version from the Series Two Of Doom set from Palisades Toys are exceptionally breakable and I can only assume that fans either avoided them as a result or have broken so many of them that they are harder to find. Unlike the Gaz figure (reviewed here!), the Robo-Parents are exceptionally easy to find in their primary release, but significantly more difficult for those trying to track down a Mint In Package Hot Topic variant set, which contains the living room accessory set.


The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Robo-Parents figure two-pack includes both of the Robo-Parents utilized by Invader Zim in the classic Nickelodeon television series Invader Zim (reviewed here!). This version of the Robo-Parents is made of hard plastic, save for their hair and the mother’s tutu, which are made of softer plastic.

The Robo-Dad is 7 1/2” tall and includes the robotic father with the black spiky hair, big glasses, and a pipe in his lips. He has clawed hands and two feet connected to a single leg stalk with a wheel between them.

The Robo-Mom is 7” tall with bright blue overalls, bright blue hair and a pink tutu around her waist. She looks mostly human (stapled face aside) with dish gloves and obvious mechanics exposed at her waist. Her robotic components are most obvious from the wheels in the place her feet should be!

The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Robo-Parents are pretty impressive sculpts based on the two-dimensional representation of the Robo-Parents on television. Fleshed out well into the three dimensional figure, the Robo-Parents figures are unable to stand, but come with adequate support stands. The Robo-Parents are sculpted accurately for the neutral expressions on their faces, which means that their necks are exceptionally thin (and breakable) and the arms are similarly thin. Palisades Toys paid attention to thins like the way the eyeballs bulging out and the staples on both parents’ faces.

On the coloring front, the Robo-Parents are exceptionally easy to render correctly and Palisades Toys did an excellent job with them. Because they are based on characters created with monotones, things like skin depth and shading do not apply. Instead, Palisades kept the figures appropriately with solid colors for all aspects of them. On the coloring front, the Robo-Parents are perfect and their accessories match the level of detailing the action figures have.


The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Robo-Parents come with two two and a quarter inch in diameter plastic stands, living room sofa, spoon, and toothbrush. This figure also comes with a section of the living room for building Invader Zim’s house. The stands are 2 1/4" in diameter at the base and each one is stable enough to hold a “floating” support for either of the Robo-Parents. The supports have a peg that fits into the back of each parent. This allows either of the Robo-Parents to be supported and look like they are levitating off the ground. The stands are supportive enough and wide enough at the bottoms to actually support these tall figures in a solid fashion.

The spoon is a monotonal green spoon that is 2 1/8” long and fits perfectly in the Robo-Mom’s right hand. The toothbrush is a brown and white plastic toothbrush that fits in the Robo-Mom’s left hand. Neither of these accessories fits the Robo-Dad’s hands.

The sofa is a surprisingly solid 5” wide purple sofa that neither figure can actually sit on (they don’t have the articulation). However, it perfectly fits the décor of the living room portion that the Hot Topic exclusive Robo-Parents come with.

For an added selling point, the Robo-Parents Hot Topic exclusive figures comes with the living room to Zim’s house. This is a molded base 4 3/4” long, 7 5/8” wide (at its widest point, on the back wall) and having a 7 1/2” tall back wall. The wall features the painting (a sticker) of the monkey and the base is molded to have the red and yellow checkered floor. The base also has a tiny table (it looks like a bar stool). This is a nice way to help enhance one’s Zim’s house they might be assembling!


The Invader Zim Series Two Of Doom Robo-Parents is a very problematic toy on the playability front. First, the head of the Robo-Dad breaks off exceptionally easily and it is hard to believe the mom’s neck and the pipe would not be far behind. Second, neither figure can stand on their own without their stand. Off their stands, it is impossible to get them to stand. On their stands, though, they are entirely solid and that helps make them a decent display piece, if not a very playable toy.

The Series Two Of Doom Robo-Parents have pretty limited articulation, which is also based in part on the limitations of the sculpts. This Robo-Parents comes with only six points of articulation for the dad and five for the mom. They have joints at the wrists, shoulders and head (with the Robo-Dad having an additional swivel joint at the waist). These are not the most poseable figures in the line.


This figure seems to be one of the easier ones to find and it is one of the few Invader Zim action figures (from either series) that is easily found under $20. I’m not at all sure why Robo-Parents would not have exploded in value, given that they break obscenely easily, but this is an affordable, easy to find figure for fans of Invader Zim!


Palisades Toys had the principle right with the Robo-Parents, but the execution is far too fragile to make this set one to hunt right down to buy.

For other toy and action figure reviews, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Invader Zim GIR from “Germs” plush
Twilight Edward Cullen Barbie Doll
Galadriel Entranced from The Fellowship Of The Ring


For more toy reviews, please check out my Toy Review Index Page!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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