From the far reaches of space comes this strange, claw-handed, black-clad creature! Is he man or machine? Is he friend or foe? He is... Clawtron, and he's the vintage action figure at the focus of today's edition of Retro Friday's! Read on to learn more!
Mechanical Claws for Hands!
Debuting in 1975, the Fisher-Price Adventure People were one of the original lines of 5 points of articulation, 3 3/4" action figures. They were designed to be played with in conjunction with vehicles and playsets, and they were a huge influence on Kenner when they were designing their original Star Wars action figures. The Adventure People started off featuring "real life" adventures, like safaris, camping, race car driving, and scuba -diving. But as the '70s progressed and the Star Wars inspired sci-fi craze went in to full gear, the Adventure People followed suit with aliens, robots, and spaceships.
Clawtron Operates the Control Panel of His Spaceship
Clawtron is one of these sci-fi figures. First released in 1980, Clawtron is a robot made of black plastic, and has some silver, blue and yellow paint apps. Clawtron reuses the head from the Adventure People race car drivers, and the legs from their motorcycle riders. His most interesting feature are his arms, which have metal claws instead of hands.
Dials and Buttons Adorn His Chestplate
The figure has no description on the card, so kids could decide if he was a good or evil character, and whether he was truly a robot, or perhaps an alien, a cyborg, a clone, or something else entirely. The only clue to Clawtron's backstory is that the card art shows one Clawtron in the foreground, and a second Clawtron walking in the background, suggesting that he is just one of a series of Clawtrons. That's cool, as it gives me an excuse to collect multiple copies of this guy: he's an army builder!
In typical 3 3/4" vintage figure fashion, Clawtron has 5 points of articulation at the arms, legs, and neck. Like most Adventure People, Clawtron has a ball jointed neck, which gives his head a greater range of motion than most old school 3 3/4" figures.
Love these sci-fi Adventure People!ReplyDelete
I had him as a kid too. Me wanty!ReplyDelete
I see people give Clawtron a 1974 debut date. Is that because maybe there is a 1974 copyright date on the bottom of his foot or on the back of his leg since his legs were originally sculpted for the FP dirt bike figure??ReplyDelete
Good question! I don't have my figure handy to look for a date printed on it, but your theory that it might have a date for the dirt bike figure is a good one. I did some searching online, and I haven't found a definitive release date for this figure. Most people seem to date it's debut between 1980 to 1983 I'm sure 1974 is too early, though. The Adventure People started off doing real-world outdoors type adventure figures, like camping, boating, and motorcycling, and moved on to sci-fi figures like aliens and robots later on, in response to the success of Kenner's Star Wars figures. The Plaid Stallions website has an adventure people catalog from 1983 and Clawtron is in that. They also have a Fisher-Price catalog from 1977, and the sci-fi figures are not in that one. So I think 1980 is a good date for it, if not a year or two later.Delete