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Klaatu Barada Nikto

Member Since 26 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active Oct 26 2014 06:31 AM

Topics I've Started

New Addition - Rare Nomura Robins Egg Blue Pug Robot with Pictures

17 August 2012 - 08:20 PM

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

The Yanoman Prototype Space Tank S-15 Revisited

04 May 2012 - 08:32 AM

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

Help! How rare and what is the price range for this version Yoshi

27 March 2012 - 01:16 AM

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