Triumph of the Wilby
text: Robert Duban & Matt Alt, graphics: Robert Duban
Image contributions: Akichum
The minor and mysterious "Wilby" made toys from the minor, not-so-mysterious live action show Andro Melos (02/28/83-04/29/83). It has yet to be determined if "Wilby" made anything other than toys from Andro Melos. Bandai also had their hand in the licensing from Andro Melos, producing several vinyl toys from the program as well. In the show, Andro Melos, captain of the Andro Patrol, and his Andro-friends Andro Wolf, Andro Mars, and Andro Furor, are all that stands between Earth and half-assed destruction at the hands of monsters, aliens, and the usual assorted SF-baddies. The appearance of suspiciously familiar-looking kaiju thrown together from surplus suits from the Ultraman series of shows -- a holdover from the fact that the series was originally intended to be a direct spin-off -- made this direct-to-video outing something of a cult hit among live-action fans. The program was also broadcast, but only in the Tokyo area. The Wilby toy is not a rendition of the title character, but is instead an all-metal version of Andro Mars. This toy, labled "Andro Gokin," is very similar to the "Iron Big Burds" toy by Maruka. Wilby's Andro Mars was also sold packaged with a number of small rubber versions of other Andro Melos characters and their foes. The box for this "Andro Melos Set" has an interesting detail -- the box copy states that the toy was manufactured by Wilby and sold by Poem. The Poem logo is also present on the box along with the brand-name "techni-cast gokin" found on Poem's own Cybot Robocci toys. It is not clear what the relationship was between these two companies. Wibly also released a set of "Ultra Kaijyu" from Andro Melos, rendered in PVC.
|Andro Mars||- box, box back|
|Andro Gokin Set||- box, box back|
|"Ultra Kaijyu" PVC set - Meka Baltan, King Joe, Red King
- package, package back