So the search for good old-fashioned army men, the kind that are
about 2" high and extremely fun to pelt with dirt clods or blow up with
firecrackers*, led Fisher, Rhys and me to Big Lots.
To those of you not privileged to live near a Big Lots: it’s kind of
like a dollar store, only more expensive. Lots of closeouts on random
items (I got a great big tube of Dove lotion for $1.50!), much clutter
in the aisles, many things of uncertain foreign derivation. It merits one, maybe two trips a year, just ’cause crapwatching is kind of fun and you can always load up on cheap wrapping paper if there’s nothing else worthwhile.
So as the boys rummaged through a motley collection of cheap plastic toys, I leaned casually upon a shelf. My elbow nudged something: a large yellow box containing a large yellow robot. "Excuse me," I almost said to him upon meeting his polyethylene gaze. Then the name emblazoned on the package caught my eye:
How could I pass up such a tempting prospect? I could not resist. I had to pick up the box and check out what else it had to say about the "Salvation In One Superduty Gadder." And the rest of the copy did not disappoint.
This robot is composed of five sub-robots of sorts. It’s "the five superduty gadder robot transmutation in one!" And, as the box proudly proclaims, it has "yellow gears." (Note that no actual gears are visible anywhere on this robot.)
Because this is a highly technologically advanced toy, we have "Specifications" listed along the side. Please be sure and note the measurements given for "Lengthily" and "Ponderancy." We have two separate rankings: one for the "Superduty subula robot," which appears to make up the critter’s torso, and the mystifyingly-named "Shoving glebe robot," four of which comprise its limbs. "Superduty subula" measures 12.2 meters in height (Pretend-World height, I’m thinking) and "43.0 Ton" in Ponderancy (I’m amazed I could pick it up to get it off the shelf!).
But wait, there’s more! When these parts are unified, they can perform a "Stunt: Subula expression go into the offensive finger-flash." Fisher, who got in lots of trouble about two weeks ago for performing an "offensive finger-flash" of his own, was vastly entertained by the notion of a robo-flipoff.
Also, there’s a schematic showing how this robot rates in five measures of performance. Tellingly, "craftsmanship" is given the lowest ranking. "Tutelage," though, seems to be the Superduty Gadder’s strong point.
If you’re like me, the first (well, maybe second, or fourteenth) thing
that pops into your head upon perusing this section of copy is "What the heck is a glebe, shoving or otherwise?" After trying and failing to figure out what the writers might
have meant, I turned to my faithful American Heritage dictionary, where
I learned this:
glebe n. 1. A plot of land belonging or yielding profit to an English parish church or an ecclesiastical office. 2. Archaic. The soil or earth; land.
Should you be able to decipher how "glebe" relates in any way to "yellow plastic Transformer-ripoff robot," or how a glebe could ever be said to "shove," please let me know; I’ll give you due props.
(I looked up "gadder," too. Not Appearing In This Dictionary.)
Onward! We now turn to the all-important Mechanism Model, which describes how the Subula unites with the Shoving Glebes in an unholy congress to produce the "Hyper In One" two-foot-tall stalking machine of death.
Here, we learn that "The five mechanism to begin with change to robot, re change to the model ." Also, the possibility of using this toy as a bioterrorism delivery mechanism is addressed: "The pox is on the lines of conceive arrive."
Since the designers had a few square inches of box space still to fill, they cleverly worked in a marketing campaign urging us to invest in the Superduty Gadder’s (not-available-at-Big Lots) robo-cousins.
We are exhorted to "Please gather up the salvation in one series ." and promised that doing so will lead to great rewards: "This is the X in one !!" Superduty Gadder and his relatives are apparently part of the "Machine Robo Rescue" series, which "Ceremoniously come on the scene." In addition to Superduty Gadder (who, confusingly, is described here as "Superduty police robot"), there are two other models available: "Superduty subula robot" (wait… I thought Superduty Gadder was a subula? I’m so confused) and my personal favorite, "Superduty spurt robot." Because there’s nothing worse than entrusting your spurt needs to a robot who, being rated for less than super duty, is unable to live up to your expectations.
Speaking of living up to expectations: apparently if Superduty Subula robot and Superduty Spurt robot combine, they form an "Outs Streng Thening Pattern!" Yes, these two, when "pooled, It can prosecute salvation ploy on the air ." (Salvation ploys everywhere are quaking in fear.) But this is nothing compared to the collective might of Superduty Subula robot and Superduty Police robot: they "Set Store By Flexibility" and "can super-speed steam on the course." (Which course? Probably sold as part of the "X in one.")
So that’s it for the Superduty Gadder Robot Transmutation in One. Except this: I brought it home (I had to! Best $5.99 I ever spent!) and, a few days later, let the boys take it out of the box to play with. After a few minutes, Fisher came back in and asked if he could have the box. "It’s way more fun then the rest of the robot."
* Don’t worry, Mom, we don’t actually have any firecrackers.