Robo Force, the 1980s toy line recently revived by The toys that made us producer Brian Volk-Weiss, goes to TV. Founded in 1984 by Ruby-Spears, the hope was always to create a multimedia franchise that could then sell more toys, moving the story into a long-running cycle, similar to what shows like GI Joe and Transformers had done. Instead, there was one movie — Robo Force: The Revenge of Nazgar — which didn’t exactly set the world on fire. In fact, the only way to get the movie on an official release is through the Challenge of the Go-Bots full. 2 DVD from Warner Archive, and watch the Robo power movie as a bonus feature.
The short-lived toy line had an equally short-lived resurgence in 2013, before being sold to The Nacelle in 2021. Nacelle, the studio behind not only The toys that made us but also likes to show Kevin Hart’s Guide to Black History and the 2019 Crazy about you revival, re-released the toys, and with Volk-Weiss’ profile as a retro tastemaker, they became a hit in collector circles. Now Nacelle has given Robo power a direct-to-series order, marking their first ever original animated series.
“I didn’t think there could be anything more surreal than selling thousands of Maxx 89 and Wrecker figures, but for an animated series to come to life it takes the suction cup covered cake… and yes, we will reveal why Wrecker comes with red roses!” told Volk-Weiss deadline in a statement.
The plan is to pitch the completed series to streamers and broadcast networks. It seems likely they’ll make a sale, but if they don’t, it means Nacelle owns the show outright and can make a direct-to-home release on DVD and digital. According to the Deadline report, once the original exclusive windows expire, the show will “release on multiple platforms at once through Nacelle’s hybrid distribution system, which consists of dozens of platforms.”
In celebration of the fifth anniversary of The toys that made usVolk-Weiss recently spoke to ComicBook.com about how the Robo Force toy line came about.
“Everything was organic. It wasn’t like Toys that made us came out, and then I sit there three months later and thought: now we can make toys. It wasn’t like that,” explained Volk-Weiss. “What happened was someone else saw it Toys that made us. That man called me, his name is Michael Goodman. That guy called me and he said, ‘Hey, your brand is so good. I bet we could work together and you and I separately would have better careers if we worked together because I could make a lot of money from your brand.” Usually this bites me in the ass, but this is one of the few times it worked. I took a risk and he was absolutely right. Because Toys that made us was so popular and everyone knew that Nacelle had made it in the toy community, he could go to the owner Robo power and say, “Hey, I work with Nacelle, they want to buy your copyright.” Those conversations would not have been possible without it Toys that made usand I never would have met this Michael Goodman without it Toys that made us. What I think I’m demonstrating is that there was no master plan; we just went with it and when we saw an opportunity, we took an opportunity, and it was all very lucky.
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