The robot's name is actually the "Chinese Cannon" (this is the English translation of "Chukka Cannon"). I do not know all the details, but apparently this is a model based on the first bipedal humanoid robot developed by the PRC, specifically, developed at the National University of Defense Technology in Hunan, China in 2000.
The robot's "unique" design was noticed by the Japanese hobby industry and appears to have been somewhat of a media sensation (hehe), at least among hobbyists. The July 2002 issue of the Japanese hobby magazine "NetLiner" included the Chukka Cannon model (made especially by Aoshin for the occasion) as a free gift attached to the magazine itself when it was sold in bookstores.
This makes me remember the old "wild west" days of Ebay.. It used to be possible to leave feedback for others when you hadn't even had an Ebay transaction with them, to leave feedback for yourself, etc.
To illustrate the above, I copy 3 examples of feedback owned by a rather flaky Ebay user with whom I had a transaction with back in '98 below.. (All three are from the same fateful week; she hasn't been a registered user since mid-99, but anyway I have changed everyone's Ebay names to protect privacy..)
Mina is the most wonderful girlfriend in the world.and the most loving person :) [Ebayer 3] ( -2 ) Sep-20-98 00:03
All my info is valid. Big miscommunication.Transaction is being completed now. [Ebayer 2] ( 10) no longer a registered user Sep-16-98 00:12
Email address DOESN'T WORK! Phone # is INCORRECT! Sent $$$, No item! BEWARE [Ebayer 1] ( 396) Sep-15-98 07:27
Hi there Hillbilly. I emailed the seller and asked if he/she would be willing to ship overseas and if they accept credit cards (the website only appears to contemplate payment by bank transfer, so it doesn't look promising...) I emailed in Japanese, so that they would not be scared away. Stay tuned for the action-packed(?) response, which I will post if / when one comes..
Regarding the model (I cannot seem to use the quote function here; but Oz posted links in the initial post..)
It appears to be one from a series from 1976. It also appears you can pick an example up now at a fairly reasonable price, if you keep your eyes open (about $20 US..?) Here are some pics of another from the series:
Currently at the "Spiral Building" in Omote Sando, Tokyo there is a Toy / Robot Exhibition. (The Spiral building has a large exhibition space where they often have interesting exhibitions involving art, technology, fashion, etc.) In addition to a lot of character toys, the current exhibition has a group of vintage robots on sale from one of the local vintage dealers. They also have a fairly large selection of contemporary art, including watercolors and prints, and some posters, all based on vintage robots. I bought one postcard which had the website address of the manufacturer. FYI:
John, really interesting. Have you ever done a tour for a Japanese TV / variety show? I am sure it would go over really well... You might even begin to get a stream of Japanese tourists coming to visit...!
Fineas: That appears to be a catalog from Mandarake, the Japanese vintage toy / manga store. They put out these catalogs on (about) a monthly basis, and collectors can bid by mail on the items listed therein. I'm not sure if the items in that catalog can be bid on through the net; Mandarake may want you to buy a catalog first (they are not free) and then bid. Apparently, the focus of that particular catalogue / auction is vintage tin, so the items featured in it are (were...?) for sale.
I used to visit the Mandarake store in Shibuya, Tokyo pretty regularly; the store's focus is not really tin, but they would occasionally get good stuff in and it would be priced competitively.