The problems are not unique to FAO... WalMart is putting the pinch on free enterprise with all toy outlets. FAO, KayBee, Toys- R-Us, and every mom and pop. This is happening to the point where toy manufacturers are making a bold move at the risk of angering WalMart. The big names will be making toys exclusively for Toys-R-Us and others so as to keep the competiveness and diversity alive in the market.
Hopefully this may bring a little more magic back to these places.
What you are looking for is called "phenolic". From the San Diego Plastics site: Phenolic sheet is a hard, dense material made by applying heat and pressure to layers of paper or glass cloth impregnated with synthetic resin. These layers of laminations are usually of cellulose paper, cotton fabrics, synthetic yarn fabrics, glass fabrics or unwoven fabrics. When heat and pressure are applied to the layers, a chemical reaction (polymerization) transforms the layers into a high-pressure thermosetting industrial laminated plastic. Info at: San Diego Plastics
An interesting line of thought. Robots are most often looked at as male in gender. Even those skirted ones. I guess since they equate with cold metal and no emotion, a substantive male trait; where as the feminine characteristics of being soft and sentimental are not inherent to mechanical men. Art and movies usually displays feminine robots as closer to their real human counterparts’ maybe to more closely mimic those female qualities.
Besides I would think tin skirts would tend to chafe the thighs?
I picked up the silver on eBay a month or so ago. I consider it a deal. I took a stab that what I was seeing in the photos was a little surface grime, and sure enough it cleaned up wonderfully with only a few minor scuffs and rubs. All the functions worked with the exception of the dome light, easily replace.
I was a little leary not being able to see the battery box exposed, but as luck would have it, it was clean as a whistle. No rust anywhere on the guy to be found.
Some people get discouraged from the appearance of a dusty toy, but if you can look beneath that, you may end up with a great find at a good price.
Any light oil may do and will smoke. However you can play it safer and use an oil designed for model railroads that supposedly will not clog the wick. It may just be an expensive 3in1 with cedar aroma added but at least you know what its used for. Besides we all know where the price of oil is going! Smoke Fluid
By the way... I spoke with Slinky Toys and they're pretty positive that the stock of robots will be received by mid October. However they said if you place an order online at this time your credit card will be charged since their online order system does not handle backorders.
John.... I hope your website has seen a little bounce in visitors. I sent an email to SERVO Magazine recommending you and your website. They printed the email as the first letter in their August Bio-Feedback section along with the Huts web address.