By Bob Kensinger - images & text © 2007
Image: Head on body
Image: Side view
Image: Claw, compared with the V.I.N.Cent plastic kit
Image: Arm joint
Image: Chest plate
Image: Test fir, arm and body
Image: Gonna need some filler....
The Disney movie "The Black Hole" had three kits produced by MPC that quickly went to the bargain bin when the movie tanked. Of the three kits available two were robots (V.I.N.Cent and Maximillian) and one was the main ship (Cygnus). Unfortunately due to the bad box office sales, many of the toys and models that would have been down the pipe were cancelled and this meant that the third and arguably most lovable of the robots would be never made. This is referring, of course, to Old B.O.B. (voiced by Slim Pickens).
Old B.O.B. was an older model than V.I.N.Cent having been aboard the Cygnus for over 20 years. During this time he suffered abuse at the hands of the more brutish robots on board and as a result showed a very damaged and worn body. Last Christmas I received a kit of Old B.O.B. from my mother...could this be the kit I've waited for all these years??
What You Get
The kit is well packaged in a plain white box (no art) that has 2 small stickers on the top and side that read "X-factor Productions Old B.o.B."(sic). The parts are well protected with packing peanuts and the decal sheet sealed in a plastic bag. There is one sheet included with assembly instructions. There are nine parts overall consisting of lid, head, main body, 2 claw hands, and 2 two part "feet".
The casting is very well done and solid. The main body weighs in at almost 13 ounces and once completed this will be a little over a pound of solid resin. There is very little release agent residue and as far as defects there is nothing out of the ordinary. The panel lines are deep and somewhat jagged, not really due to the battle damaged look, but as if it was scribed with a non-dedicated tool. The chest cavity with his robot bits has some detail, but again it's a bit shallow and muted. The body and other parts are in scale with the MPC V.I.N.Cent and it appears that the claws are cast straight from the MPC V.I.N.Cent kit.
The decal sheet is one carrier with 3 decals: the 2 eyes and B.O.B.'s "nameplate". Decals are sharp and nicely printed.
Overall looking good, but the scribing, chest detail and re-popped MPC hands take points off.
This looks to be a very simple assembly with no real problems. The only places I notice off the bat are a few gaps in between the upper legs and body assembly that will need to be filled. The main body will require drilling as there is no pre-drilled holes for the claw arm assembly.
It can be a simple straightforward out-of-box build or it could get a bit more complex. This brings us to the word we love or fear: Accuracy.
It is and it isn't. If you want something that looks like Old B.O.B. on your shelf and don't care about if it's true to the filming robot, then skip this part, if not...read on.
Accepting that battle damage is very difficult to reproduce, I can easily say that the general attempt to make him look like he did in the film was there, but not as much.
Using the game shootout scene as a reference, I noted that the damage is in mostly the right areas, but it is not damaged enough. The film B.O.B. is heavily beat and some areas on the model do not reflect this. An experienced modeler could work further on this to make it more damaged though.
The angle of the head and the amount of his face that is shown is off. The head is fixed at "X" degree and would require sanding and filling to achieve the correct angle.
Remember the repopped claws? That's the next ugly since B.O.B.'s claws are damaged and you have 2 perfect copies of V.I.N.Cent's clean and factory- fresh claws. Some extra work would be needed to damage them accordingly.
Lastly for some good news, the filming robot had a lot of wires coming out of the "neck" around the base of the face. The instructions acknowledge this and recommend 30 guage hookup wire if you plan on "super detailing."
It's hard to settle on a verdict. I like this kit mainly because I don't mind the inaccuracies and I've wanted this subject for a while, but I don't think that it is the best effort. Some of the sculpting feels lazy.
Possibly I'm spoiled by some for the extremely detailed masters sculpted today and feel this could have been much more with just a few extra steps. I will say that this is a kit that the eight year old in me loves and if you want an Old B.O.B. of any sort on the shelf, this is the best of the three options. Mego made an extremely rare and extremely inaccurate vintage figure that was only available outside the US that will cost you about $300 and more recently the Japanese Kubrick toy line had a small PVC Old B.O.B. figure that is licensed by Disney and still inaccurate that will run you $40. So out of those choices, the kit is still the way to go since you can always use your modeling skills to improve it.
Many thanks to Bob's (not B.O.B's) wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 4500+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2007 Starship Modeler. First posted on 28 March 2007.