He may not be everyone's favorite, but he is one of mine
It's surely not best-seller material (and I may not be the best writer), but here it is for what it's worth! I apologize for the long read, but hope some of you guys enjoy the tale.
I'll update, change and add as I can. I'll also unveil the 3rd mystery color here (soon), and that one is definitely my favorite.
Some details may be a little off (at this point, I certainly don't remember exact dates, and even today I was pleasantly surprised to find out today was Thursday, yee-haw!) and I may miss something, but here goes...
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It was a dark and stormy night... the wind howled, the air was so frigid, it was like standing in a frozen hell... It had been so long since I could feel my fingers, that when my cigarette burned down, I didn't realize my skin was blistering there... cold...
Yeah, yeah, it was something like that. Kind of.
Actually, it had been 5 degrees outside earlier in the day. The unheated warehouse I was in was in a pretty open area, not much in the way of trees to block the wind, and months before apparently there had been a pretty decent fire, and to help clear out the oily smoke they had opened the windows. And, what do you know? It seems closing them was not much of a priority... not even when Winter came along. Sure there were broken windows too, every old warehouse has them, but it might have been a little better with the windows closed... and no, I couldn't just go and close them myself. They were way out of reach, and there was nothing there to bridge the gap.
Now it was night, and I'm pretty sure it was colder than 5. It was so cold, that when I tried to tape some boxes to ship (using pretty good quality packing tape), the tape just fell off the boxes. I'd say it was a bit chilly. I'd been there for hours and hours, regretfully with no gloves, and I was pretty numb.
I walked over to a dimly lit corner, and stood there looking down at the hunk of metal I'd bought earlier in the day. Honestly, I was still in shock. Something that was so cool, classic, and to me, historic; how was it that it was now mine? How did it still exist, and not get scrapped decades ago? The original injection mold for the little Robert the Robot bulldozer robot, pretty much untouched for near half a century... I must be dreaming.
I fell in love with the mold at first sight, and I couldn't think of a better (or cooler) mold to have. Regretfully, the mold for the bulldozer was missing in action, but at least the heart and soul of it was here... mini Robert.
I took a couple of pictures of the mold, as I knew I wouldn't be able to store it nearby (molds aren't the best thing to collect, as not only can they be expensive, they're pretty heavy most of the time. One you've found a place for one, likely it will be there for a long time!), and I could at least look at those when the urge struck.
"One day" I thought... "One day I'll have to try and see if I can get the mold going again... one day when I have extra money..."
Those of you that know me, know I have a bunch of molds, but truly this one has always been my favorite. Always I wanted to run it, even if just a handful of samples. One day...
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A few years go by, and reviving the mini Robert mold is never far from my mind. Like many people, there never seems to be "extra money" for me to do it, and another expense (or find) always pops up. At one point I'm somewhat determined to figure a way to do it. I go back to the pictures, and go over every detail... yeah, there was something... something I had thought might be a problem... and looking at the picture of the cavities I remembered what it was. I was pretty sure the mold had damage, and not in a good place. And the thought of that damage may have contributed to my not making the revival happen...
You see, in my experience, the best old molds have beryllium copper cavities. Cavities are the hollows, or individual part "molds" where each part is formed in the overall mold structure. The frame-like channels that run to the various parts are called runners (most people refer to the runner as a "sprue", which is incorrect, and I, myself have gotten yelled at years back for that mistake. You can use either term and most people will know what you're talking about it, so don't worry). Anyway, Beryllium copper is strong, and ages very well... unlike steel which can rust. Beryllium costs a lot more, but is well worth it if you want a mold that will last.
The most important part of the mold would be the cavities, as that's where the items are actually made. You can transfer the cavities to a different mold base (or repair a damaged mold base or its' parts), but if the cavities have a problem, well... you've got a big problem.
Marx Toys had much of their molds made using Beryllium. Other companies (from my experience), not so much.
Ideal's Mini-Robert cavities are steel. And it looked like some of them had a rust problem... If you have rust in a cavity, some of the metal will be taken away by the rust, and as you know rust isn't neat. So, would you want to make something that will have very noticeable defects in the final product? I was sad...
Sure, I could try and do something else, but my heart wasn't into it.
So, once again the project got shelved...
Edited by ToyMemories, 11 June 2011 - 07:59 AM.