The Geeksverse1985 Tribots by Tomy

1985 Tribots by Tomy
Published on Thursday, March 31, 2011 by

Often found in collectors “unknown bins” or mistaken for Starriors, are Tomy’s Triple Transforming Robots called Tribots. Released in 1985 there were only 6 robots in the whole line. Out of the 6 robots there were only 3 unique molds. Each one was colored in a Good & Evil deco. There wasn’t a storyline or anything tied to the Tribots. The best kids got was the text on the back of the box:

“The ever-changing world where good & evil collide!
Who will rule?…You decide.”

The names seem to describe the vehicle mode of each Tribot, they are:

SHUT-L
MIS-L
MOB-L
BAT-L
C-BEES
NAV-L


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Each Tribot came with 4 chromed lasers made from 2 different molds. The lasers could be mounted on pegs on the Tribot’s arms and legs. It appears they were interchangable with all of the pegs on the arms & legs (also with the smaller pegs on Starriors toys)

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An instruction sheet was included with each Tribot. It was folded into a small booklet showing how to transform the Tribot into it’s 3 different modes (Robot, Vehicle & Animal) at the end of the instructions was a picture showing all 6 Tribots in robot mode. It also showed where the decals went on the Tribot.

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Tribots had packaging similar to Transformers. They came boxed with styrofoam inserts. The front of the box had a window showing the toy inside in robot mode. On the box were pictures of all 3 modes, a flap on top with the Tribots brand and the back had a simulated space battle between all the Tribots similar to how Sears & JC Penney catalog pictures appeared in the 80’s.

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As I previously mentioned, Tribots are commonly mistaken as Starriors toys. I can only assume this is due to the similar artistic style seen in all robots made by Tomy, especially since the Tribots don’t have any wind up action or swapable limbs, both being signature gimmicks for Starriors. Tribots also didn’t have any pilots in their heads (Though there looks to be some empty space there for a pilot) as well as being an inch or two taller than most Starriors

 

 

 

 


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SHUT-L

Shut-L (Shuttle) transforms into a red white & blue shuttle looking vehicle. In robot mode Shut-L stands about 6″ tall. All of the Tribots appear to have been designed to have a good range of articulation in robot mode, however, Shut-L is the least articulated of the three, he’s got rotating shoulders & hinged elbows along with hinged neck, hips, knees and ankles. In robot mode he has a hinged, chromed cannon in his chest, this doubles as a tail in his Animal form. Shut-L’s animal form appears to be a form of giraffe, though to be honest, none of the Animal forms the Tribots transform into appear to be based on any real animals.

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MIS-L

Mis-L (Missile) is the evil version of Shut-L. The only differences here are the colors. The interesting thing about all the Tribots is that the stickers are the same stickers but they were recolored for the evil versions. Even though the vehicle mode is exactly like Shut-L’s it was designed so that it could look like either a shuttle or a missile so both names can apply to the same toy mold.


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MOB-L

Mob-L (Mobile) has a tank-like vehicle.  In robot mode he stands just under 6″ tall. Like all the other Tribots Mob-L has a hinged neck, elbows, hips, knees & ankles. Due to his transformation, Mob-L’s elbows are more naturaly placed so the forearms would hinge forward rather than to the side like Shut-L & Mis-L. What also adds to the articulation are the swivel-hinge shoulders. Much like the Shut-L/Mis-L mold, Mob-L has a chromed weapon in his chest, however, this one isn’t hinged, it just slides in and out (This torso gun design is also very similar to Hotshot from the Starriors toy line)


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A common flaw with the Mob-L/Bat-L mold is that there are two pegs on the inside of the arms the plug into two holes on the inside of the other arm (This helps hold the arms together in vehicle mode) These pegs are commonly broken off (usually still stuck in the other arms holes)

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BAT-L

Bat-L (Battle) is the evil counterpart to Mob-L. The black and silver deco makes Bat-L’s tank mode look very similar to Cobra’s HISS tank from GI Joe.  All of the Tribots’ vehicle modes have 4 wheels on the bottom of them. In the case of Mob-L/Bat-L the rear wheels are large wheels set on the side of the ankles. The Animal mode is just like the other Tribot’s animal modes, a 4 legged creature with a long neck.

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C-BEES

C-Bees (Sea Bees) transforms into a futuristic boat. C-Bees is the only Tribot whose name doesn’t seem to blatantly explain what his vehicle mode is (it’s probably tied into the vehicle mode by way of the US navy’s Construction Battalions also known as CB’s or Seabees) In robot mode he stands about 6″ tall. The C-Bees/Nav-L mold is the most different from the rest of the Tribots as he has no chromed weapon in his chest and his shoulder and elbow joints are hinged swivel joints giving him the most arm articulation out of all the Tribots.

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NAV-L

Nav-L (Naval) is the evil counterpart to C-Bees. One interesting thing about the C-Bees/Nav-L mold is that in vehicle mode all of the ports on the arms and legs that the weapons attach to are hidden so no weapons can be put on the vehicle mode. This is the only Tribot with that limitation. Nav-L /C-Bees are the only Tribots who share the same color head assembly.

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