Pow-R-Trons was a very short-lived toy line in the mid 80s that tried to capitalize on the Transformer craze that was sweeping the nation. The idea behind the toys was ridiculously simply: Toy cars that could “drive” themselves then transform into robots when they crashed head on into a wall!
Now on paper that sounds rad! Who wouldn’t want a toy car that could cruise on the floor, collide into a wall, then magically jump up into action as it turned into badass fighting robot? I would love that. There’s was only one problem…
Wow… Really? These overweight, barrell chested, stiff armed robots are the ones going up against Optimus Prime and Megatron?
This toy line was dead from the start. It needed all the help it could get. It needed…
First off you have the absolutely bad-ass setup where these toys were created in a basement laboratory by some wild-eyed scientist who took a break from the whole “trying to find a cure for cancer” thing, and decided to create a new form of sentient life. Because, why not?
Next you need to give the kids what they want! I’m taking about the money shot. The thing that’s going to make these snot nosed little shits throw their Optimus Prime into the trash can and piss all over their collection of Transformer comics!
Show them that car!
OH SNAP!!! Now watch that car hit the wall and transform into a sack of decayed awesome sauce!
But what commercial is complete without a jingle? A kickin’ German style Industrial tune that would lodge itself into the young mind of every boy in the country with enough force that it’s been known to cause brain cancer in about .05% of everyone who’s watched this commercial.
By this point every executive at Ertl was probably doing backflips and snorting lines of coke as they bet their entire retirement funds on the one toy line that stood a chance of knocking Transformers off their thrones.
Sadly, that didn’t work out as well as they hoped, and the Pow-R-Trons crashed and burned into obscurity. They didn’t even last long enough to get their own failed Saturday morning cartoon show. Maybe next time, Professor Zon. Maybe next time.