Saturday, June 25, 2016

Daytime Heroes: Bots Master (1993)

I will acknowledge right here and now that I never watched an episode of the short-lived French import, Bots Master when it first arrived in the US in 1993, the latest attempt by ex-DIC co-founder Jean Chalopin to gain a new foothold in the US.

Set in the not-too-distant future, at least now as I'm writing this, 23 years after the series first aired, the story surrounds boy genius Ziv Zulander, whose first creations are being used for less than altruistic purposes, so he creates a new set of robots to fight the tyranny.

What hurt the show? Seems Chalopin hadn't learned the lesson from his former employers when they made a big time blunder building a show around rapper MC Hammer (Hammerman) 2 years earlier. Then again, neither did Hanna-Barbera a year later, when B-52's frontman Fred Schneider was brought in to create a new rap theme for Captain Planet. At that time, hip hop and heroics didn't mesh well, and wouldn't until Static Shock came along for the WB a few years later. So not digging the rap theme written for this show, and performed by some of the cast. Judge for yourselves as you watch the episode, "Adios....ZZ":

I get this was ultimately meant to sell toys, and there are fans of this show online clamoring for its return. All well and good, but back in 1993, the market was crowded, and that included some anime imports. Bots Master was lost in the shuffle, and with only 40 episodes produced, two months worth of daily shows, or, if syndicated channels chose the other option, nearly a full year without repeats, a trend that would continue for the rest of the decade, but not with a lot of success.

No rating.

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