Nerding Day: Bots Master 🌭

Set in the far-future year of 2025, The Bots Master presents a world where humanity has invented a legion of roboslaves to cater to our every whim. These machines are the cybernetic creations of Ziv Zulander (ZZ for short), robot wunderkind and all-around radical dude. Or as Toolzz explains in the intro,

“Yeah! Well he can’t fade us!

He forgot about the Boyzz and the guy who made us!

Ziv Zulander, master of Boyzz bots!”

But it turns out that his boss, Lewis Leon Paradim, isn’t happy with being the richest person on the planet. LLP wants to rule the world, to be worshiped and beloved by all. His evil plan? Use a new kind of computer chip to make the global population bend to his will. Ah, the wild premises that cartoons came up with in the ’90s!

The brainchild of DIC head, Jean Chalopin, and Toy Biz CEO, Avi Arad, The Bots Master sees ZZ and his kid sister “Blitzy” wage a secret war against his ex-employer to prevent him from using his “Krang chips” to take manual control of every robot in the world. It’s weird because like, they built all of those robots anyway, so if that was their plan all along you’d think they would have just included that functionality to begin with? I mean, it’s also weird because they’re called “Krang chips,” which sounds like something Shredder would eat in the Technodrome.

Also, the show was directed by a guy named Xavier Picard, whose mother named him after the two bravest men she ever knew played by Patrick Stewart.

So: a teen genius fights against an evil megacorporation with his army of wisecracking robots — it’s a solid premise, but it needed something else to set it apart. “I’ve got eet,” Chalopin, a then-43-year-old white Frenchman, thought, “we will include le hip hop!” Seriously, the theme song opens with two rollerblading robots saying “greetings from the street boyzz” and then rapping about corporate sabotage and man’s unlimited lust for power.

This influence pervades the entire series. It was 1993, ok? Executives everywhere were trying to be hip with the kids by slipping rap-inspired aesthetics into their entertainment products. Remember Rappin’ Mike? The Ninja Turtle figure with this bio?

I’m sorry for putting you through that. But it gives you some sense of the relationship mainstream white culture had to hip hop in the early ’90s. That is, it didn’t understand it at all and also wanted to suck the life out of it for sustenance. The Bots Master was essentially mandated by law to have a black rapping robot who rollerblades and sounds like that one Transformer from the Michael Bay movies. Come to think of it, I’m not actually sure whether the rapping robot actually being painted black makes it better or worse than like, a gray or yellow robot. At least the Asian robot isn’t painted yellow, I guess? Yes, of course there’s an Asian robot.

Can we talk about these robots, though? ZZ allegedly invented them to be “young playmates” and named them the “BOYZZ” with two z’s, because the ’90s were a hipness arms race that drove all parties involved to extremes that would horrify contemporary observers. BOYZZ is allegedly an acronym for “Brain Operated Young Zygoetopic Zoids,” a series of terms that sounds like it would get you placed on an FBI watchlist if you Googled it.

The BOYZZ are all fully self-aware and autonomous individuals, yet were constructed to perform exactly one function. One of them plays golf. That’s his whole thing! He was made to be a golfer. He has one arm, and it’s a golf club. He is incapable of doing anything besides playing golf, yet he has the personality of a human male.


Is it torment, to have a sense of oneself as a unique being yet be constrained to the narrow design of one’s creator? Or is it bliss to revel in the fulfillment of one’s obvious purpose for existence? That’s a question I leave to the robotheologists.

Anyway, back to the BOYZZ. Some of them are construction workers, some of them play sports. One of them is a doctor. One of them is a cook that didn’t even get a name, he’s just called “cook.”

A bunch of them are disembodied heads built by another robot, whose entire existence amounts to sitting on a shelf and watching TV.

In one episode, ZZ invents a mother robot called Momzz the Mother BOYZZ. Besides having an extremely bizarre name, she looks like this, has a personality based on the DNA of Napoleon Bonaparte (because that’s a thing they can do in the future), and dies almost immediately.

But the absolute worst of the bunch is D’Nerd. He’s an extremely puntable robot with a TV screen for a head whose gimmick is that he always gives the dictionary definitions of words.

It’s unclear whether he likes doing this or can’t help himself, but either way, he makes Alpha 5 from the Power Rangers look like Joe Cool. His existence, like that of unknowable deep sea horrors, stomach cancer, and Ricky Gervais comedy specials, is proof of a not merely uncaring but actively sadistic creator.

None of the BOYZZ were built for fighting, except for Ninjzz, who has a lightsaber and is the only robot in The Bots Master that ever gets to do anything cool. The rest of them were just sort of drafted into ZZ’s guerilla war against RM Corp. That means we get a lot of tennis robots spiking grenades and construction robots dismantling their opponents, but it also means ZZ has essentially drafted an army of robo-child soldiers.

And just who are their opponents? Mostly they’re soulless robots voiced by the old text-to-speech program Dr. SBAITSO (“PARITY ERROR”). And what’s weird is that their creator and the archvillain, LLP, is just… nothing.

He’s barely ever involved in the action and almost never gets to do any fun monologues. He’s more of a hands-off kind of guy, I guess, leaving things up to his lieutenants Doctor Hiss and Lady Frenzy. Doctor Hiss is… well, just look at him. You can probably figure out his whole deal just from that.

I’m kidding, of course. He’s a by-the-numbers Starscream, not a rampaging pervert. It’s not like I could show you a screenshot of him fucking a giant robot dog to the astonished glares of onlookers.

As for Lady Frenzy, she’s a sexy evil lady. It’s a tried-and-true archetype, and one that has no doubt planted the seed for femdom kinks in many young minds throughout history. But Evil-Lyn, the Baroness, and their ilk have absolutely nothing on Lady Frenzy. Her voice actress, Janyse Jaud, sounds like a phone sex operator who suffers from a psychological condition where discussing her nefarious plans makes her uncontrollably aroused. Maybe that’s why she’s doing evil stuff all the time.

She’s insanely horny for ZZ and isn’t afraid to use her smoking hot body and absurdly breathy voice to advance her goals. In one episode she bribes an old bank manager and all but promises she’s going to fuck him until his heart explodes if he does what she wants. And she’s genuinely annoyed when the guy turns her down because his heart belongs only to money.

Lady Frenzy is a particular type of fictional woman, one that never achieved the heights of a Shego from Kim Possible or a Poison Ivy from Batman. But though her name may not be as well known as those objects of forbidden noid-doodle desire, she has inspired a truly impressive level of devotion amongst millennials who can’t really draw but desperately want to see her in a diaper. Google Image Search “Lady Frenzy” and there are multiple results for this kind of thing on the first page by different people. It was enough that it made me wonder if it somehow came up in The Bots Master proper, but the closest I got was an episode where ZZ gets a mind-controlling necklace that hypnotizes her into working for him.

There’s also one where the robots kidnap her while she’s asleep as a “present” for him. You know, normal kids’ TV stuff. You couldn’t make this show today, because of DEI. DEI, of course, stands for DIC Entertainment Industries, the holding company sitting on The Bots Master IP.

You’d think this one would be one of those shows that got maybe twelve episodes, but believe it or not, they made 40. That’s more than Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling, Kissyfur, ALF: The Animated Series, Captain N, and Hammerman, the cartoon where MC Hammer is granted superpowers by a pair of magical talking shoes. Jayce and Wheeled Warriors got 65, though. Good for him, the little bastard.

The big gimmick for The Bots Master — aside from an endless parade of acronyms — is “lazer time.” Of course it’s spelled “lazer,” because they sure as fuck weren’t going to miss any opportunity to shove another z into this show.

When ZZ calls out those two special words, viewers were supposed to put on the 3D glasses that came with the Bots Master toy line. Rather than the classic red-blue ones, these are basically single lens sunglasses and work with the Pulfrich effect. That means that these segments thankfully don’t look like blurry garbage if you’re not wearing the glasses, but for it to work it requires constant lateral movement — so for five minutes in every episode, the world starts whirling by like the background layers in an early ’90s Sega Genesis game programmed by someone who’d just discovered parallax scrolling.

In fact, the Pulfrich effect was also used in the video game Jim Power: The Lost Dimension in 3-D in the very same year. Jim even kind of looks like ZZ…

The game was made by a French developer, too. What was in the water in France in the ’90s? I’ll see if I ca– oh, apparently they had a Mad Cow outbreak in France around then, so maybe, uh, that. Now we just need to figure out the Lady Frenzy diaper thing.

This article was brought to you by our fine sponsor and Hot Dog Supreme: Ken Paisley, the robot designed solely to enjoy Skyline chili. Torment!

10 replies on “Nerding Day: Bots Master 🌭”

The 90s apparently ruined me. I don’t think I realized until today that “lazer” is not the proper spelling. Not sure how I managed to get through college, law school and the first dozen years of my career holding onto such ignorance. Thank you Merritt K for opening my eyes.

I should have just taken your word for it about the diaper thing. YTV really did a number on us.

Oh, man. I was very briefly obsessed with this show, but I think I rarely got a glimpse of it through some combination of local TV options and parental restrictions on commercial TV time The 3D part especially seized me as The Future, even though I never got the glasses; they moved the backgrounds around at different speeds to give the illusion of depth regardless.

“I only crib it on the flip side if you can bib it from the backside…” quivers the vulva.

Someday, Rappin’ Mike, Towelie, and the skateboarding dog from the Simpsons will turn the Isle of Misfit Toys into a shrine for Vanilla Ice…right before a commando team of Eminem, Lil Jon, and the ghosts of Tupac and Biggie blow the place to hell.

Or some corporate dipshit will try to turn that into a new cartoon to sell “Rap Commandos” toys, depending on whether you believe in a Utopian or Dystopian future…

I know it’s OT and all that but wanted to congratulate Merritt on getting recognized by CNN for the “LAN Party” photobook and taking me back in time to my Starcraft days, when I was still affected by caffeine and my chobo gaming skills were getting laughed at by 12 year old Korean kids. 😉
And here’s hoping for further glory and accolades for all Hot Doggers everywhere!

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