Codename: Rob Bricken
Base of Operations: Topless Robot
History: Rob Bricken was a normal, nerdy teen who simply enjoyed anime, comic books and terrible science fiction and fantasy novels in reasonable amounts until the new Star Wars figures came out in 1995. This set Rob down a dark path of insane toy collecting, which led to him waking up at 5 am on Saturdays, during college, to wait outside Toys R Us for the possibility of buying a Rancor Master figure. At a certain point, Rob realized his toy obsession had reached Trainspotting/heroin addiction-like proportions, and decided he want to know the touch of a woman again, and gave it up.
Unfortunately, he was almost immediately hired as an Associate Editor of ToyFare magazine in 2001; however, by forswearing all Star Wars figures, he managed to keep his toy-buying at a reasonable level. As Rob was the only person at Wizard Entertainment who knew why Goku’s hair sometimes turned yellow in Dragonball Z, he was put in charge of Anime Insider magazine, which he edited until 2006.
After a doomed, duplicitous internet venture, Rob was hired by Village Voice Media for incredibly low pay to create, write and edit ToplessRobot.com, the internet’s 466th most popular site for nerd news and humor, covering movies, games, anime, comics, acts of nerdery, and whatever Rob finds himself able to rant about. Since he has no other job, he tends to write for it all day, as well as editing feature-length Daily Lists of various nerd interest and discussion. Topless Robot receives about a million visitors per month, and has been mentioned by Gawker, Wired, Defamer, New York magazine, and several other far more popular and influential websites.
PG: What were your favorite toys or toy lines when you were growing up?
RB: I’ve always been a big Star Wars fan, but Masters of the Universe was my obsession as a kid (and pretty much now). The incredible variety of characters, designs, and action features just captivated me. Between my younger brother and myself, we had just about everything in the line. I honestly feel MotU is more than the sum of its parts; by having all of them, it was something far more unique and special than Transformers, G.I. Joe or even Star Wars.