Dashbots by Merry Yard & Up-Right


Dashbots is a mid 80's transforming robots toy line released by Merry Yard Toy Corp. and Upright Manufacturers. Each has a pull back, wind up motor that drives the vehicle mode forward.

There were four, not easy to separate waves. The first were sold in a large, collective box that contained a plastic tray displaying twelve Dashbots. The models included Dune Buggy, Ferrari, Firebird, Jeep, Motorcycle and Police Car* and all were constructed of diecast metal and plastic. This is the type of display box you'd expect to find on a counter near the register.

The second wave were distributed separately on traditional blister cards. The same models as above were offered with the F-15 Jet added. These Dashbots were again all manufactured in plastic and metal. The main different to the first release was the stickers coming on a sheet, not factory applied and the blister card advertising this as a feature. It's not clear if it was this wave where the Buggy models lost the black paint application.

Wave three was also sold on blister cards with new new graphics. The stickers were this time factory applied however the cards still showed the text, 'With Stick-On Decals'. It's confirmed that for this release the Buggy only had silver paint applied.

A forth and final release saw a return to the multi toy tray packaging and new colour schemes for the Ferrari, Firebird and Police Car. These are a cost reduced, all plastic offering that in some instance saw the Firebird packed without any stickers. The Dune Buggy received a slight sculpt change where plus sign shapes were added to replace the two vents either side of the upper chest. Quite likely due to the smaller details in the mould deteriorating. The Jeep and Dune Buggy retained their metal components for this release and the F-15 and Motorcycle were not included in this last assortment.

It's not exactly clear when the third and forth waves were released as the toy stamps and packaging dates weren't updated. It's suspected they were distributed late 80s and or early 90s.

Interestingly the Dune Buggy and Ferrari were adapted from the same models used for the Monogram Gobots Buggyman and Turbo model kits respectively. Both releases were originally copied from a line of Japanese model kits. The Dashbots versions are 10% larger than the original kits.

While the Dashbots don't have individual character names, the first release packaging designated the Motorcycle, Firebird and Police Car as 'Friendly Robots' while the Dune Buggy, Ferrari and Jeep are 'Evil Robots'. These factions weren't continued onto the blister card packaging and likely only returned due to reuse of the first packaging boxes for the third wave.

Dashbots appear to have been made during a transitional phase for the manufacturer(s). Toy stamping begins on the Dune Buggy in 1984 as Up-Right Manufacturers Inc. (with a hyphen) and Upright Manufacturers Inc (without the hyphen) on the Ferrari. Both toys show the Up-Right and Merry Yard logos. The Firebird / Police Car* are stamped 1985 Upright Manufacturers Inc and again both logos are present. The Jeep, Motorcycle and F-15 Jet are stamped 1985 Merry Yard Toy Corp in text and only show the Merry Yard  logo. This makes sense with the first two 1984 toys being copied from existing products, then in 1985 the remainder of the models were designed and added. In that time something occurred that removed Up-Right's involvement. There's very little information regarding Up-Right, however Merry Yard Enterprise Corp. (MYTOY) imported toys for many years. Both companies appear to now be closed.


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