27,000 AND STILL GOING
No, not the number of hits a day,
but the latest estimate of the issue of the little Atomic Robot Man on
the market. Now the colours are changing (black grey and turquoise) and
there will be more of the buggers. The only consolation is that everyone
will ignore the tiny original yuck coloured one when it appears at the
toyfairs, and I'll have it for a few quid.
THE NEW OTTI ROBBY
A few extra snippets of information
about the new Robby. It's not shipping yet, but should be here soon. The
body is based on the pressing for the recent Mechanized Robby repro. Power
will come from a pair of AA batteries. The robot's surface colour is based
on the real robot - that's a slightly metallic grey. The robot totes a
little blaster gun based on the original movie prop. The arm swings from
side to side as the gun fires.
ALL THOSE PLANET ROBOTS
If you've noticed all the Action Planet Robots emerging here and there, it's because of a recent find of them. Smithhouse just sold off the batch of 36 at $260 each. For many years the wind up Planet Robot sold at a steady $250 but in the last year its price has increased appreciably. The Planet was one of the last classic tin robots on the market, and it continues to turn up regularly. When you consider that the wind up Billiken Robby has been selling for around $300 then it's probably a case of the market adjusting to new circumstances. Thanks Jerry.
THE NEW LOST IN SPACE ROBOT?
The new Lost in Space film will be
accompanied by a updated version of the famous robot. If the following
advert is anything to go by it's going to be a strange looking beast, far
removed from the one we're familiar with. I wonder where they stick the
little guy in this one.
NEW TIN ROBBY THE ROBOT
Osaka Tin Toy Institute are producing
a new tin Robby. This is, however, no mere repro. It's an original design
and it's the most sophisticated tin Robby ever. It is over 12 inches tall.
Here are the actions:
Classy, ain't it. And the artwork by Steven Lewis Ryan is a superb nostalgic tribute to the tentacled critters of the 1950s. (That red moster is based on an early Japanese tin toy.) Price $595 post paid. Limited to 1000. Available exclusively through Ray Rohr, PO Box 711, Kirkland, WA 98083. USA. Ph. 425.823.9530 Fax 425.823.4755. Contact Ray to obtain purchase details. Given the appeal of Robby, the limited run and the very classy looks, I'd say this is a winner. What a great start to 1998.
QUIZ TIME - TEST YOUR IGNORANCE
If you can run Java then try out the robot quiz(Click Here). Thanks to Rob for the questions.
MACHINE MAN WORLD RECORD ROBOT PRICE
The Machine Man that turned up in David Fischer's basement (see below) has sold at Sotheby's for $74,000. ($65,000 plus commission). On the Robot Talk page Pat Karris estimates that the buyer could well have parted with $80,000. That's easily the world record for a robot - and an unboxed one at that. Last year's auction saw one sell for $45,500. That seemed high at the time but it sounds like a bargain now.
NEW SPARE PARTS LISTING NOW IN
Mark Forrs of the Classic Tin Toy Compay have sent me a listing of some of the robot parts that they manufacture. There are some welcome items on the list, including difficult metal parts. They also offer complete installation of parts at no extra cost, if the toy is sent to them. Click here for the a listing of replacement parts.
B9 LOST IN SPACE AVAILABILITY
This is proving to be a popular robot and I've been deluged with requests for a source at a reasonable price (It's already turning up on Ebay with inflated price tags). Simplejunk are expecting a delivery of 60 pieces in the next few days. Price $30 plus $6 post and packing etc. Contact Bruce
TOYS ON CD-ROM
Signs of things to come: American Entertainment, a new firm headed by Jim Bunte is preparing a couple of CD-ROMs on vintage toys. The first will be on automotive toys, but the second will be on robots and space toys. That should be an interesting development. Visit the site at www.ameri-eagle.com You'll also be able to grab a great Moon Car image!
B9 LOST IN SPACE ROBOT
Hitting just a few locations at the moment is an interesting version of the Lost In Space Robot by Trendmaster. It carries the title Robot B9, rather than the more traditional YM3. The packaging of this robot indicates that it is aimed as much at kids as at robot collectors. Besides the usual warning about age suitability, there's an invitation for kids to try out the voice mechanism by pressing buttons or just by moving close to it. (So look out for crumpled boxes!) There are two classic lines, including "Danger. Will Robinson. Danger". The long arms articulate and there's a simple cord pull motor. A great addition to the Lost in Space range, heralding the arrival of the feature film. Retail price is a mere $30. Sounds like a bargain to me.
This wind up tin robot from the Star Wars range has managed to elude me for a while. It sort of snuck onto the market. It's the first original tin toy to be produced by the Osaka Tin Toy Institute. It's limited to 3,000 pieces. Apparently the head has been stamped out of brass in order to capture more detail than would be possible from steel. The robot is slightly stubby in comparison with the original, but that's attributable to the height limitation. The box is a striking combination of black and gold. Tin lends authority to a toy, and this one looks very promising. Price around $225. Available from Simplejunk and Ray Rohr, among others.
RADICON REVIVAL - AGAIN
The word is that Masudaya are open to offers on the manufacture of a large size Radicon Robot, the most unusual of the Gang of Five. They require a purchaser able to take a run of 1,000 units at a price of $350 each. That, of course, would translate into a street price far higher. It's an insight into the level of commitment required from the major dealers - an outlay of hundreds of thousands of dollars all riding on a tin toy. If I had that sort of money I'd spend it on women, beer and gambling. The rest I'd just waste. If you're interested (in the Radicon) why not contact them via the Links page?
FULL SIZE ROBBY
Take a look at this beauty (the one
on the left). The remote controlled, computerized version of Robby is made
by Fred Barton, who has the exclusive rights from Warner Brothers. I don't
have details of price etc, but you can contact Fred yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fred has other robotic replicas for sale. I'm going to have to widen the
RAY ROHR ROBOT CATALOG 1997
Fresh out edition of his remarkable catalog of robots and space toys. This is the one that we all wait for and the one place I can be sure to see toys that I never knew existed. Choice pieces include the very rare Space Robot X-103 Flying Saucer, a remote control version of the Robot Space Trooper, and some vintage plastic robots. See the catalog section for more details. Price $15 cash, check or money order from Ray Rohr, P.O. Box 711, Kirkland, WA 98083. USA.
MACHINE MAN #4 SURFACES
I received the following email from,
David Fischer, a lucky sun-of-a-gun:
While my father was cleaning out the basement of the house, he came upon a cardboard box, taped shut with something inside. When he opened it, there was the Machine Man that I received as a Christmas present about 1960, in perfect condition. Apparently, as a five year old, I had broken the on-off switch and it was set aside, the batteries taken out. After that it must have been wrapped up, and put in a box and forgotten about for 37 years.
Needless to say, we contacted Sotheby's in New York, having heard about the Matt Wyse auction. My father and I had both seen an article in a local paper last November, concerning the auction, with a picture of the Gang of Five. Both of us recalled that I had had a robot looking somewhat like the ones shown, and wondered what had ever become of it. I promptly forgot about the whole thing, but my father clipped the article. So, when he saw the robot, he thought we had something significant. When Sotheby's got pictures of the robot, they basically tripped over themselves to come look at it.
I have given them Machine Man on consignment, and it is supposed to go to Auction on December 9th of this year. I can only hope it does nearly as well as last year's result.
MIGHTY ROBOT REPRO
Fresh out, the repro version of the Noguchi Mighty Robot, the little green guy with the flapping feet. The molds for this robot have been in circulation for many years. There was a Korean version (bright blue with red plastic feet) back in the 70s. It was the first robot I found when I started collecting and I still remember the pleasure it gave. The Korean version, by the way, is considered a very rare robot and I've seen it for sale at over $1000.
GANG OF FIVE UPDATE
I've been trying to find information
on the progress of the much awaited Gang of Five repros. I couldn't get
any firm information but suddenly I received this email from Eugene Summers,
a collector living in Japan:
Check out a great source of information
on space guns at Gene Metcalf's new site:
A new service from Gus, the Toy Surgeon:
I have just launched a new Bulletin Board called "Toy Parts For Misfit Toys". It will enable collector's to post their wants for toy parts they need to complete a toy, or to post a description of an extra part they wish to trade or sell. This will enable collector's to complete a toy which has missing parts, or to share their extra parts or information with others.