Hitting shelves in that nebulous cross-decade period known as “1989/1990”, Mattel’s Computer Warriors was a toyline that attempted to combine transforming with “microplay”. The figures were only about an inch tall, and came with common household objects that turned into techno-battle vehicles and playsets. Perhaps because it debuted in an era when home computing and knowledge thereof was still in its infancy - the lone direct-to-video cartoon episode portrayed the creation of the line’s virus villains as occurring because an industrial robot arm accidentally got shoved into the disc drive of a mile-high government mainframe - the series bombed at retail. On the other hand, maybe there just isn’t a market for transforming Pepsi cans.

Here are the other two heroic Computer Warriors that made it into animation: leader Romm, who came with a small jet that transformed from, uh, a circuit board (hours of play value there), and designated loner Skannar, who came with a transforming flashlight.

According to Romm’s bio, he is programmed with “renegade imagination”. I have no idea what that means.

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