They're robots. They're vehicles. They're kindling. I guess that makes Bamloff's line of wooden transforming robots triple changers. Either way, WooBots are very cool.
Using the same elastic technology that made those bend wooden figures kids used to play with in doctors' office waiting rooms many decades ago, Bamloff's WooBots marry old-school technology with newish-school ideas to create a toy your dog is going to love to chew on, because dogs are jerks.
My first though upon seeing the full line of WooBots over at their (well-funded) Kickstarter page was "Man, I bet those smell amazing." My second thought was an image of one of my children tossing one of them into my television set. These would look really good in a high place they cannot reach.
There have been other transforming wooden toys over the years, but I can't recall any quite as well thought out as these. They have even given each figure a little bio.
Beetle: The youngest member of the team, Beetle is full of youthful enthusiasm, and can move at incredible speeds!
Truck: This guy always knows where he's headed and is the one to lead the crew into battle. He becomes a sturdy truck in just a few seconds.
Warship: He's tough and unstoppable, and contains the most awesome weapon of the whole team. Watch out when he's angry…
AutoBus: Big, robust and reliable, AutoBus is one of the bedrocks of the team who you'll always want on your side. He's always there with backup for the team.
Jet Fighter: They will never stop this guy when he's in jet mode! He's aerodynamic in flight, and always ready for action on the ground.
What I think these really are is an unofficial sequel to the Transformers: Beast Machines cartoon, which ends with Cybertron being changed (back, so they say) into an organic world and Rattrap hooking up with a tree. These are probably his children.
Whatever the true origin of these wooden robot beings, WooBots are a very cool idea, and unlike many cool Kickstarted ideas, they're supposed to begin shipping as soon as the Kickstarter is over. That means (based on Canadian dollar conversion rates) an entire set of five could potentially be under your Christmas tree for something like $US99 ($138), with single figures running around $US26 ($36).
I wouldn't bank on it, but it could happen! For all we know Bamloff is sitting on boxes of these, hands poised on the "print shipping label" button.
And if not, still cool wooden transforming toys.
Hot Rod needed the mystical metal-and-crystal Matrix of Leadership to light our darkest hour. With the Transforfun WooBots, all you need is a lighter.