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from the space age




Remco ManTech/
Robot Renegades/
Robot Defenders


Remco ManTech

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Although they were made of hard, thin plastic, Remco's 1982 Robot Renegades and Robot Defenders are still a hit among collectors. Probably because at 5.5 inches tall, they fit about everything. Not only that, they came out at a time when inexpensive robots were scarce and hard to come by. As one collector noted, Remco was very adept at creating their own action figures that fit better known sets. These robot figures originally cost a couple bucks, although that likely seemed high then. Although hard plastic, the legs move somewhat, as do the arms. They would be considered jointed, not articulated. Two years later Remco would bring out its ManTech Robot Warriors, which actually seemed to be cyborgs, with human heads, or maybe they were humans in robotic suits. They were more detailed, with removable helmets and accessories, as well as more articulated. 
Above: left. Robot Defender Mazrak is right at home in the ManTech Battle Station, and right: in the ManTech Terrorizer tank (shown without stickers).



Below: left. Bigger is better. That seemed to be the philosophy in the '80s when every action figure had to have a big plastic fortress or castle accompanying it. ManTech's box seems to be copied off of Mego's Micronauts--a variation of Japan's Microman. In the '60's, very cool plastic toys that did a lot were packaged in very plain large cardboard boxes. Big Loo and Robot Commando had two or three color printing on the box. In the '80s, big plastic toys that didn't do anything were packaged in exciting, colorful boxes. ManTech's 20 X 27 inch box for the Battlestation Laser II is a good example. It boasts "over 75 posi-click plugs and receptacles for positioning figures, weapons and parts". These turn out to be merely posts and holes molded into the base. As with most accessory sets, no ManTech figures came with the set.

Below: right. You can set the ManTech Traxon (good guys) or Terrorizer (bad guys) vehicle in the Launching station. Here the bad guys are invading the station. Nothing lights up or talks or shoots. That all came back luckily in the '90s,as shown by Raydon, a Create-a-Bot who came free in a Jack in the Box kids' meal, and who lights up an LED. That said, if you had the ManTech Robot Warriors or the Robot Defenders or Renegades, the Battlestation  would be a pretty good accessory. The main level Command Module measures twenty inches across, and can be rotated, which makes it great for dioramas, and for five inch figures. Thanks to Lynn at Toy Stable (see Robot Links) who gave me a good deal on it so everyone could see it on this website.






Robot Defenders

Zoton
Epaxion
Mazrak
Robot Renegades

Wargor
Zebok
Diotrax


Below: left to right. Robot Defenders Zoton, Epaxion, Robot Renegade Zebok.




Below: left. ManTech Traxon vehicle. Below: right. ManTech Terrorizer vehicle (enemy). As with the BattleStation II, the boxes boast "The Interchangeable System", which in practice means that parts can be snapped in at various places. "Make over 18 different vehicles" the blurbs claim, but some of the variations, like the one shown on the bottom panel of the Terrorizer box, would scarcely be considered a vehicle. It looks incomplete without the nose piece. Both the slogan and the grid design seem taken from Mego's Micronauts figures and construction sets, which were called "The Interchangeables".
Remco's slogan applied also to the ManTech figures, who cleverly used interchangeable parts from one another, and were largely distinguished only by the shape of their boots, and uniform color: the red, yellow, and blue ManTech being the defenders, and the black, purple, and green ManTech being the enemy.








ManTech action figures roll call

Defenders

LaserTech
AquaTech
SolarTech
Enemy

NegaTech
DoomTech
TerrorTech

Below: left to right. AquaTech with box, LaserTech, DoomTech (enemy).
These figures were being sold on eBay.













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