Multi-Bot was a figure I don’t recall ever seeing as a kid. The concept is familiar enough – take the transforming body idea from Modulok and turn it into a robot. It certainly makes more logical sense for a robot to be able to swap around its body parts, as opposed to an organic creature like Modulok. Then again part of the fun of Modulok was the gruesome fun of imagining a monster that could do such a thing.
Design & Development
Modulok and Multi-Bot apparently originated with the same concept idea by Roger Sweet, called Modular Man (source: The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog). Ted Mayer did the visual design work for both figures in June and July, 1984. We can see two of Ted’s designs for Multi-Bot below. They’re similar, although the right head and left yellow arm designs differ.
Both of these designs, although different from the final look of the figure, were ported into the minicomic and the She-Ra cartoon, respectively. As was often the case, animators and comic book artists needed more lead time in order to meet deadlines, resulting in a mismatch between what was on the shelves and what was on TV screens.
The cross sell art for the character reflects the finalized design of the toy, albeit with some slight differences in the exact color shades used:
The toy design is closer to the Ted Mayer concept design that was used for the minicomics, particularly in regard to the green and black head. The color choices are generally retained, although switched around a bit. The torso design has been reworked quite a bit, and the figure was given a second torso, giving him greater flexibility to work as two fully independent figures.
Generally speaking, Multi-Bot about the same height as Modulok, but he’s significantly bulkier. And of course depending on how they are configured either figure can be made to be either short or tall. The 1985 wave of Evil Horde figures was generally filled with monsters, while the 1986 wave was mostly comprised for robotic characters, including Horde Trooper and Dragstor.
Multi-Bot and Modulok are compatible with each other, and can be mixed and matched to create “Mega-Monster” (also known as “Megabeast”).
Multi-Bot came in a box very similar to the one used for Modulok, down to the size, shape, and art style. The back features a number of ways to “build” the character, as well as an action scene depicting Multi-Bot transforming while battling Evil Warriors and Snake Men.
There are two versions of the packaging – the blue background, as shown earlier, and a silver background version, shown below (thanks to Thorsten G. for pointing this out):
In The Menace of Multi-Bot, we find out that Modulok invented Multi-Bot. He gives Multi-Bot enormous strength, and the ability to reassemble himself when damaged. Multi-Bot is sent to Eternia to challenge He-Man (with a secret plan to attack Hordak after He-Man was defeated, allowing Modulok to take charge).
Mult-Bot is at first a formidable foe, but he is defeated (and turned on Hordak) in the end with the use of some magnets:
In issue 5 of the Star Comics Masters of the Universe series, a (more or less) toy-accurate Multi-Bot is used as a kind of antenna to summon Monstroid:
Later in the story, Multi-Bot tussles with Extendar, but in the end Orko forces him to save Extendar from drowning. Notice that Multi-Bot is given a goatee, which seems to stem from a misinterpretation of the source material.
In the She-Ra animated series, Multi-Bot was again the invention of Modulok. Multi-Bot is not frequently used, but he seems to have the ability to transform his body into anything at all:
Multi-Bot makes a minor appearance in this Eternia poster by William George, as “Megabeast” (combined with Modulok):
Multi-Bot in Action
Øyvind Meisfjord has graciously shared the following images and video of Multi-Bot in action!