Klaatu Barada Nikto

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  1. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: New Addition - Rare Nomura Robins Egg Blue Pug Robot with Pictures   

    Thank you for your comments Electric Robot and Son, Keith Palmer, and jimm.

    Yes, I believe the larger D-Cell batteries (rather than C-cells) were necessary to not only power the Blue Pug's walking but also for the making his attenna spin. The C-Cell powered Pug walks but his attenna are stationary.

    There are discussions on this forum which hypothesize that the Japanese cut back on some of the robot features (ie loss of spinning attenna) to minimize production costs. It follows that having to produce only 1 version (c-cell version) of the robot is alot cheaper than producing 2 versions (c-cell and d-cell). This may be a reason why we see so few D-Cell version Pugs and why so few made it out of Japan.

    Anyways, interesting stuff IMHO and feel free to add any other interesting explanation you may have regarding this. I do find it hard to believe that the c-cell is preferable over the d-cell. Perhaps collectors did not like the horizontal attenna of the d-cell? Note that Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet had a horizontal attenna and a vertical attenna. So, actually the c-cell Pug resembles Robby more exactly except that the c-cell does not have the spinning attenna of Robby. Or, again, perhaps production rates was strictly a function of maintaining profit and minimizing production costs based on supply and demand?

    Thank you again for your feeback and continuing contributions!
  2. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: New Addition - Rare Nomura Robins Egg Blue Pug Robot with Pictures   

    Thank you Steve, Roboto and Dratomic for your comments. I am really digging the light metallic blue color of the robot and am lucky to have come across this one for sale.

    I read the previous alphadrome articles on this robot and it appears this robot is fairly rare. By chance, is there anyone else besides Robohunter and myself who have this robot? Chime in if you can or if you know of someone else who has this particular robot.

    Best Regards,
  3. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: New Addition - Rare Nomura Robins Egg Blue Pug Robot with Pictures   

    Hi Fellow Robot Enthusiasts,

    I haven't posted for awhile but now I finally have something new to talk about. I just purchased a very rare Nomura Robins Egg Blue Pug Robot. It was a risky purchase for me because the seller's pictures of the robot looked silver, not robins egg blue. In fact, the seller said the robot was silver, not blue silver and certainly not robins egg blue silver. But he may have not known of the rare blue since he was selling the robot for someone else and they were selling the pug for only the less rare silver pug price. Hmm, maybe worth purchasing despite the apparent disparity in color? Lastly, the seller wanted to sell the robot to me directly without the benefit of buyers protection like what Ebay provides so I was a little worried that this might not be legitimate. Well, to make a long story short, I chanced the purchase because although the robot looked silver (wrong color) in the seller's pictures it had horizontal antenna (correct for blue pug) and a D-cell battery controller (correct for blue pug). E.
    At the end, everthing turned out fine thanks to the seller from Germany who was honest. Here are pictures to show you how this blue pug differs from a silver pug. You may notice that the battery wires attach to the bottom of the body differently between the two versions as well. I really love the blue color and I never thought I would come across this robot in person but I kept an eye out for it nevertheless.

    Hey, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate all your postings on this board. Please keep on posting!

    All The Best!
    Klatuu Barada Nikto

  4. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: Another Dubious Auction   

    Yes agreed, BUYER BEWARE! He, he, I have been following this ‘interesting’ sale on eBay too. The seller emailed me and said he took the Silver Robby off of Ebay because he had to leave on a business trip to Spain. Note, this is the exact same explanation another seller used (maybe the same seller) when selling a telephone robot on eBay in 2010 (see previous Alphadrome thread on telephone robot). The seller said that he can have his maid ship the robot to me if I could complete this $1700 transaction with him through Skrill Moneybookers. Skrill would broker the deal, ie hold my money for 14 days after I receive the robot and make the deal if I approve of the robot. I googled Skrill and they are a legitimate company but I also found that there are known Skrill Moneybookers phishing sites that are scams. I emailed the seller back and suggested that we could do this much easier through eBay and Paypal. For some reason, he hasn’t replied yet. Now, if someone gets this Silver Robby for $1700 then great and please give us an update. But, as for me, I'm am getting outta Dodge!
  5. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: Catching a Raccoon   

    Hi Gernot,
    I have read several of your robot hunting adventures. So educational and entertaining. You are one great contributor here at Alphadrome and I have reaped the benefits as a newbie collector reading your postings and other members postings too. I wish some day to see your collection in person. I too value the history of each of my robots. Currently, I am investigating a 'prototype' Cragstan Space Tank that I recently purchased ... fascinating stuff. Congratulations on catching that elusive racoon and his fabulous den too! I enjoyed reading your story especially with the very happy ending! That is one fine looking automaton.
    Your Alphadrome Colleague,
    Klaatu Barada Nikto (KBN)
  6. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: The Avengers   

    I thought the interplay between the Avenger characters was very funny. Especially between Iron Man/Captain America, Hulk/Thor, Hulk/Loki. Asgard has nothing on the Hulk! Ruffalo did a very good characterization of Bruce Banner, the Hulk. I thought he was better than the previous two actors (Bana and Norton)who appeared in the first 2 Hulk movies. You must stay through ALL of the ending movie credits to catch all of the scenes!
  7. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: The Yanoman Prototype Space Tank S-15 Revisited   

    I agree with your observations Electric Robot and Son, dratomic, and astrogonza. Thank you for the benefit of your experiences. This is my first prototype and I have to say that it has become the favorite in my small robot/space tin toy collection. It looks like it could probably be the direct precusor to the blue and silver Cragstan Space Ship pictured above.

    And I'm now wondering about the timeline for all three color versions of the space ship/tank/mars patrol. Did silver/blue come before red which came before orange? Or perhaps all the versions came out at the same time? It would be interesting if the Cragstan silver/blue production space ship came out first. Looks like I have more research to do !

    If anyone does not mind parting with their production version of the Cragstan/Yanoman space ship/tank/mars patrol, let me know! I am interested!
  8. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: The Yanoman Prototype Space Tank S-15 Revisited   

    You two are observant and you are both correct! The space ship is only 6 inches long. It fits easily on top of my hand. The 'S-15' insignia and the engine vents (above the head lights and below the red lightning bolts) are indeed decals.

    I just found a timeline reference for the Yanoman Mars Patrol Car No. 17 (item # 36) in The Tin Toy Collection of Matt Wyse, Sotheby's Auction Catalog dated November 7, 1996. Catalog entry lists production of the orange with red tail fin Yanoman Mars Patrol Car toy from 1955-1960. Since prototypes usually pre-date the production version of the toy, I think a safe guess would be to say this prototype was made in 1955 or earlier?

  9. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: The Yanoman Prototype Space Tank S-15 Revisited   

    Hi Fellow Robot Enthusiasts,

    I post this report for your amusement and your feedback is always welcomed. Hopefully, this post will help answer some questions that came up from an earlier Alphadrome discussion on the Yanoman Space Tank S-15 posted by Brian Hayes. At the end of this post I placed some pictures I took on 4/3/12 of the Yanoman Prototype Space Tank S-15. Hopefully, the pictures show some details of interest to some of you.

    Here’s the Story: The Yanoman Prototype Space Tank S-15 Revisited
    About 2 weeks ago, I saw an interesting Space Car for sale on eBay. This was a friction driven car where the cockpit cover spins over the astronaut pilot as the car moves along. The owner claimed it to be a prototype of the Space Tank made by Yanoman. I was intrigued. I googled and found that a few Alphdrome colleagues spotted the same prototype for sale at an auction last year but passed on it for a variety of reasons. Well, now even more intrigued because you Alphadromers took notice, I contacted the seller who gave me the lowdown. Just like the description stated … an all copper, hand formed and hand-painted prototype of a Yanoman Space Tank. I agree with the Alphadromer who stated last year that the seller ‘appeared to be quite knowledgeable about prototypes’. The seller told me he is a Marx vintage 1930s – 1960s prototype toy collector, etc. Barely 30 minutes later, I was off the phone feverishly mining what eventually turned out to be barely bits of internet information on Japanese toy prototypes. So, I asked an expert toy restorer how I could test whether the prototype was really hand-painted and made of copper. This is where I learned of the magnet test to test for magnetic tin and nonmetallic copper. To use a 10X jewelry loop to look for paintbrush strokes and to spot minute regularly spaced dots which may indicate lithography not hand-painting. Now, armed with my immeasurably larger brain (don’t laugh) I quickly got back to the seller and we tested the toy together over the phone (I know what you are thinking here so don’t even say it). Well, the toy passed the litho and magnet tests so I decided to chance the purchase. After the usual back and forth of 'I can’t go that low' from the seller, I either finally wore him down or he reeled me in. My logic here was if someone paid $110 K for Machine Man, I can certainly risk paying a few bucks for a maybe prototype space tank. I purchased the prototype which was promptly shipped. The seller kept in contact with me during the whole process which I found to be a good sign. Or was it?

    OK, here is what I believe to be true after a few hours of hands-on experience with the 'prototype’:
    • The bumper strip, tail fins, and antenna are made of tin/steel (these parts stuck to my magnet).
    • The canopy, pilot, and entire spaceship body (except for parts mentioned above) are copper (these parts did not stick to my magnet). The bare metal areas where paint has chipped off has the color of a copper penny.
    • The prototype is all hand-painted. The metallic blue on the body of the prototype appears to be spray paint? The other details appear to be hand-painted. Evidence of this includes thickness of black lines where they overlap, the painted details are not perfectly straight or round or oval as you may expect in a prototype but not in a production toy. Brush strokes are evident in the yellow pin-stripping, red and white lightning symbols. Hand-painted details are seen between the engine grills and in the pilot canopy satellite guidance details in white, red, and black lines. They also appear as metal rivets on the space ships panels. The pilot's flesh colored face shows no signs of the lithography dots common on some production space toy pilot faces. Pilot's face has shadowing and irregular facial details. Pilot’s helmet, suit, and instrument panel are all hand painted.
    • Tires are all different thicknesses! Maybe they were trying to figure out which tire size would work best on the prototype?
    • It is shiny copper penny colored in the areas where the paint is missing. A few areas like the tail fins appear to have some dark brown colored oxidation.
    • Design and color scheme (metallic blue, silver, white, red) closely matches the Cragstan/Yanoman blue Space Ship. The prototype is also very similar in design to the Cragstan Space Tank No. 17 but the tank is orange-red not blue in color.
    • It has more pronounced, distinct body contours than the production spaceship. Examples include the protruding yellow headlamps and the taller silver canopy collar surrounding the pilot on the prototype. The production spaceship has only printed head lights and a noticeably shorter canopy collar.

    Tentative Conclusion:
    Well my best guess is that this is a genuine hand-painted, copper and tin prototype of the Cragstan/Yanoman Space Ship and Cragstan Space Tank. The copper shell and hand-painting distinguish the prototype from its production counterparts which are made of lithographed tin. I don’t know how to determine if the prototype was hand-made or machine-made. Can anyone help here? I wish I could find more information on Japanese toy prototypes to back me up but I was not too successful there. On the other hand, I am having a highly knowledgeable, very amusing, and generous friend look over the prototype for me. I will post his findings under this thread in a week or two. Yes, you all know him.

    I posted this report for your amusement and inputs of course. If you care to say or guess, do you think this is a genuine prototype … why or why not?

    If this ‘prototype’ turns out to not be the case, remember, I posted this report for your amusement. I also need to say that the seller is a great guy. He handled all of my questions and requests with much aplomb and was willing to take back the space ship for full refund if I was not 100% satisfied.

    Pictures follow below:
    First some recent pictures of the prototype taken by me. Then a montage of the Cragstan/Yanoman Space Ship for comparison (credit Alphadrome). Next is a picture of the pilot in the cockpit of the Prototype. Last, is a picture of the Cragstan Mars Patrol for comparison (credit Alphadrome).

    Best Regards,
    KBN (Klaatu Barada Nikto)

  10. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: Help! How rare and what is the price range for this version Yoshi   

    Keith Palmer,
    No worries sir, but if it makes you feel better, feel free to send me one of your favorite robots in reparation :) Thank you Alphadrome members for your replies and contributions to the planet robot knowledgebase. I am happy to be a new comrade of yours!
  11. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: Help! How rare and what is the price range for this version Yoshi   

    Thank you Alphadrome Team for all your valuable and expert feedback on this Yoshiya Metallic Blue Action Planet Robot with rubber hands! I have now verified that this is the early version metallic blue with thick grill and legs, large ear cones, and custom, clinched fist, boxer-type rubber hands. I feel comfortable to say that he is worth at least $1000 due to his rarity and probably much more to a collector who wishes to have this rare robot in his/her collection. I found many very informative and insightful previous threads about the vintage planet robots on Alphadrome from dratomic, Solaar, Steve, MetalRobothead, Robothunter, Morbius, funkrobotik, roboto and others! Very detailed and hard to get information. If interested in the details, just do a search on 'planet robot' on this Alphadrome board. In this current thread, several of you verified this robot's rarity. A Maroon Robby is rarer than Blue is rarer than Green is rarer than Black. There appears to be some disagreement on which came first, metal claw or rubber hands. However, we do agree that the plastic hands version came last. Also, the earlier tin heads vs the later plastic heads.

    I may, by request from colleague Keith on this board, post some pictures of my enormous, 9 vintage robot collection. I don’t know if 9 is enough to call it a collection but humor me anyways. I won’t post the pictures for another couple of weeks because I want to include a robot that has not arrived yet. Note, my taste are in robots with aggressive tendencies (ie Alps missile robot purchased from collector extraordinaire Roboz and an Asakusa thunder robot) as well as a variety of Robbys (ie Nomura mechanized robot with knurled battery compartment knobs and Yoshiya metallic blue planet robot wind-up with rubber hands).

    Timing wise, I was very lucky to pick up this pristine planet robot from a colleague in Denmark who had just 5 robots left in his collection. Please don’t ask me what 5 he had left as you may choke up. I met him only a month ago on eBay and we hit it off right away. He was particularly sympathetic to me since he was selling his remaining robot collection while I was just starting mine up. Sorry to say this gentleman’s robots are now all sold. I feel very fortunate to secure this one particular pristine, gorgeous robot from him for $950. I love this robby's gorgeous metallic blue color, all tin construction, face grill and rubber hands. IMHO, he is a bargain compared to the Masudaya Machine Man whose recent asking price was $150,000. Ha, ha, and I do know that there are some of you out there who would, for the money, have rather purchased the Machine Man. Yeah, and that is why I think we robot connoisseurs are so cool! There is something about these robots …. uniqueness, rarity, functionality, place in toy history, fond memories … that makes these robots so valuable and meaningful to us.

    Before I posted my question on this forum, I researched numerous books and catalogs looking for price information on the Yoshiya Action Planet Metallic Blue Robot with rubber hands. I found relatively little information on this particular Yoshiya robot which is why I posted my original question (this thread). Not much was reported as far as the robot’s rarity in the catalgos or books. However I did find a lot of very valuable info from the Alphadrome thread posters mentioned earlier who posted on the planet robot in years past :). I did find some price points from the catalogs and books, but as you know, the majority of these prices are quite outdated. Also, I was not always able to compare apples with apples since the Planet robot, as many of you experts pointed out in this message thread, came in such a variety of colors (black, green, blue, maroon) and configurations (early thick vs later thin face grill, early thick vs later thin legs, early small ear cones vs later larger ear cones, windup vs b/o, rubber vs metal vs plastic hands, early tin vs later plastic heads).

    In any case, I found the following robot references for those interested in the planet robot:
    2011 Toys and Prices, Justin Moen – Yoshiya Action Planet Robot Black Wind-up, 1958, wind-up, hand type not specified, ex $100/nm $200/mib $350
    1999 Vintage Toys Robots and Space Toys, Bunte, Hallman, Mueller – Yoshiya Action Planet Robot Black with plastic hands, good $300/excellent $600/mint with original box $1100
    1999 Future Toys, Emchowicz, Nunneley – Yoshiya Action Planet Robot Metallic Blue with metal claws (desirability score of 6/8) and Yoshiya Action Planet Robot Black with metal claws (desirability score of 4/8). As a point of reference, Silver C-Celled Mechanized Robot (desirability score of 8/8)
    1996 Tin Toy Collection of Matt Wyse, Sotheby’s Auction Catalog – Yoshiya Action Planet Robot Black with plastic hands, $300-$500
    1993 Roboter-Weltraumspielzeug, Botho Wagner – Yoshiya Action Planet Robot Metallic Blue with rubber hands, 400-800 (not sure of the currency since the book is written in German).

    Thanks for all your opinions on whether to keep Robby's hands as is or to replace them. Some of you sound like Dr. Frankenstein muhahaha. Well, I am going to keep them as is (original) for now. If you didn't know better, he kinda looks like he's a boxer with clinched fists. But for those who know how he should look like, he looks like a robby with nubby fingers ... ouch!

    Thank you all for your warm welcome :)
    Thank you all for the invaluable information about the Yoshiya Planet robots!

    Hey Thx1138, I will keep you in mind, know what I mean? :)
    I'm glad this thread helped you Astrogonza! :)

    Best Regards from your New Comrade,
    KBN (Klatuu Barada Nikto)
    You can call me KBN from now on if you wish (thanks and credit my new tagline to funkrobotik!) :)
  12. Klaatu Barada Nikto added a post in a topic: Help! How rare and what is the price range for this version Yoshi   

    Hi Robot Enthusiasts,

    First time poster here. I really enjoy this robot forum! So many knowledgeable and famous people here.

    Hey, I could use your expertise here. I recently purchased a Yoshiya Metallic Blue Planet wind-up robot. It has rubber hands and I believe it has the thick version of the face grill and legs (see attached pictures). I did some research on this board and my understanding is that this is a very rare, hard to find version of the Planet Robot? Can any one of you experts out there verify this for me? Do we know how rare (or not) this robot is and what the current price range for it is? Except for the nubby hands (robby's poor fingers fell off with age), the robot is in excellent condition. I do not have a box for this Robby.

    This Robby's color and looks just kill me. I only have a few robots right now but am looking to build up my collection. As you may have guessed, Robby is also one of my favorite robots.

    Thank you in advance for the benefit of your expertise,
    Klaatu Barada Nikto

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