What's the most boring thing a Transformer could turn into? Tom Hanks suggested a building, but I think there's something even more dull. To make matters worse, they didn't just stop with the prototype on these, they went into production and made a huge bunch of the things. And a movie. Yeah, you know where I'm going with this, you've read the post title, it's the Rock Lords!
Rock Lords appeared near the end of the Go-Bots line, arriving alongside a 71 minute animated feature film starring such guest voices as Margot Kidder, Telly Savalas and Roddy McDowall. All this despite the concept of robots turning into rocks being really, really bad. Some may say it's ideas such as this that resulted in Go-Bots never being as successful as Transformers. They could be right.
But despite the terrible nature of the concept, Rock Lords are cool. In much the same way that bow ties are cool. I mean, they turn into rocks! How can they not be awesome! I suppose it's one of those 'so bad they're good' things that make Rock Lords so popular with people - because, despite the concept, they are astonishingly popular.
The transformations of the various Rock Lords are surprisingly varied so they all look quite different both as robots and rocks. The colours vary greatly too - from shades of gray to slightly less rocky colours such as red, green and shiny, shiny chrome.
Each Rock Lord, once upon a time, came with a weapon. Since there's no way to store the weapon in rock-mode and that's by far the most common way of keeping the toys when not playing with them, it means that the weapons are really tricky to get hold of.
Of the bunch of Rock Lords I have, only one has a weapon. Though that's not surprising since I only buy Rock Lords without their weapons. The main reason being that, like so many children in the 80s, I'll probably just loose them. I'm completely happy leaving the weapons out there in the world for the completests to get hold of.
Rock Lords are (mostly) cheap in their weaponless form on the secondary market, usually selling for only a few pounds each, the price rising if they're complete and for the rarer transparent 'crystal' ones. Buying them on ebay is quite annoying since a lot of the time the postage is more than the final auction price. Generally Rock Lords come with loose limbs and it's tricky to pick up the chromed ones without the chrome being worn.
Just to prove themselves completely insane, the folks behind Go-Bots decide to go one step further in the Crazy Idea department and also threw into the line some Narlies. Narlies are... I don't even know what they're supposed to be. They're hairy creatures which, when pushed along, wiggle their noses and tails.
Some toy designers are simply nuts.