As a longtime collector of all things Micronaut, I have seen a great many things. From the ultra-rare C-10 chromium Antron figure to the complete 579-piece Micropolis Megacity, new in the box, few items have escaped my experienced Microgaze. I own at least one of every figure made, from Acroyear to Warp Racer, and my apartment has gained renown as the Galactic Command Center (Series II) of the Collector's Microverse. I have spent more than half of my 42 Earth years in the interchangeable world of the Micronauts, and you can trust me when I tell you this: That Biotron you're trying to sell me is hardly in near-mint condition.

Ah, Micronauts. First and most puissant of microscopic cyborgs. And among their kind, none is mightier or more valued by the clear-eyed Microfan—with the possible exception of their centaur-transformable leader-cum-champion Force Commander—than the chivalrous Biotron. Though the Battle Cruiser may have more sheer firepower, and a still-packaged Ampzilla may bring close to $1,000 at the table of a MicroCon '99 dealer, Biotron is the true heart and soul of the Micronauts. If a man could only own—heaven forfend!—one Micronaut, it would have to be a mint to near-mint Biotron.

Which your Biotron, dear fellow, is certainly not. To be near-mint, Biotron must show few signs of wear and tear. His head chrome must be clear and unscratched. His fully operational twin-dorsal tank-treads must be of well-kept, supple rubber. His motorized walking motion must be the smooth, confident stride of a robot whose battery-operated motor has been used only sparingly. And the grip of his spring-loaded hands must be sure and firm, not the feeble grip of a man-machine who has been used for emergency Barbie transport in some twisted alternate-playroom reality. I can say with full confidence, my friend, that the Biotron you have seen fit to offer me, for the princely sum of $45, is no such paragon.

No self-respecting Giant Acroyear would allow himself to be laser-blasted by the shoddy thing you have put up for sale. Forget for a moment this Biotron's spavined armor, its faded paint, its dust-choked connector ports. Let us disregard, for the time being, even the yellow Lego piece that has been jammed into its plastic cockpit, not to mention the sticky adhesive residue covering Biotron's lordly exterior that indicates he was once festooned with stickers. Yes, even these sorry sights are nothing compared to the loose motorized left-arm socket, the corrosion in the C-battery compartment, and—I can hardly believe my eyes—the teeth marks on his right leg and rubber treads! Not even Biotron's direst enemy, the evil Baron Karza, would dare take such liberties with the Microverse's most heroic sentinel. It's almost as if some careless, unthinking person allowed this toy to fall into the hands of a small child.

Still, this disgraced, once-proud warrior may have one last service to render. I may be able to use his torso, head and right arm in the construction of a Micronaut diorama, perhaps titled The Fall Of Biotron. Yes, I believe I have a stepped-on Crater Cruncher, a glow-in-the-dark Pharoid breastplate, and half an Ultronic Scooter that could also be made to serve. Yes, that could be rather interesting.

Hmm... Given these considerations, I suppose I could be persuaded to help you out. Tell you what—I'll give you $20 for it. Or $15 and some X-rated manga, your choice.