Series 4 of the Transformers BotBots may have stopped giving us most of the original art with these toys - no mall scene, no character art on the website, nothing but the faction shots on the back of the cards - but that doesn't mean they've stopped being creative. Series 4 introduces eight new tribes of bots, with only three being holdovers from previous series! New factions like Los Deliciosos!
Invented in either Tampa or Key West, a Cubano is a ham and cheese sandwich for people who think holding a strong opinion about food is a substitute for a personality. It's best known for being the centerpiece of a Jon Favreau movie that reads like "Sideways, but sandwiches instead of wine" on the surface, and is a metaphor about Iron Man when you look beneath the surface. It's served on what is functionally half a loaf of French or Italian bread, but squashed in a panini press. So this sandwich is flat on one end and curved on the other, and there are deep ridges angled across both the top and bottom of the loaf. There's some brown and white paint on the sides - presumably meant to be meat and cheese?
Along with the art, Series 4 has also dropped the instruction sheets. How does this BotBot convert? All we can do is guess! Well, "open the four panels," but do the top two stick out to the sides or fold behind him? You get to decide!
When it comes to sandwiches, King Cubano has seen them all... except one. He's on a mission to find the legendary triple-decker frog butt sandwich with pickles and roasted fire ants, smothered in horse cheese. It's the one sandwich that has always eluded him, and stands in the way of his total sandwich mastery.
...okay, moving on. King Cubano has a great robot design, with a botty body and paint that makes him look like he's wearing a short-sleeved shirt. He's even sculpted with tiny suspenders! Between the fedora and the mustache, he reminds me of LaBamba from Conan. Where's his tiny robot trumpet, Hasbro?
With a super cute robot design, a problem-free conversion, and no assembly issues (not to mention the power of "supreme sandwich knowledge"), King Cubano is the definite highlight of this set.
Click through to see what's in our first green capsule.