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Member Since 29 Jan 2008
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 10:56 PM

Topics I've Started

Soviet Robot Sighted On Vintage Postcard

15 December 2014 - 04:25 PM

I was trolling our "favorite" auction site, and came across the sale of an old postcard. The seller identifies the robot as Ivan (no surprise there), and dated it 1967.


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Dunno, do you think this automaton is genuine or tin crossdresser from the Bolshoi ballet?  :scratchhead:

Toy Broker Alert! Castrotoys, Sevilla

04 December 2014 - 11:14 PM

Fellow Alphadromers, normally I don't like calling out anyone on the carpet, but I want to make sure none of you gets stuck.  :blush: 


A Spanish toy broker that goes by the handle, "Castro Toys", has serious ethics issues; I just lost $621 trying to purchase a rare Ar-tur robot from him...buyer beware. :crying-and-sobbing:

Charley 'n Me

03 December 2014 - 10:07 PM

For the longest time I wondered; who is Charley? I mean, I've seen him before, usually in very poor condition, but who was he really? I always assumed he was just another plastic robot figure with an odd wistful expression, without a purpose...now I stand corrected.


I recently picked up a near mint "Charley 'n Me" game...a game? I never knew he was part of a game. It all came in a huge cardboard box with bright graphics and a photo of two kids looking...amazed?


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Inside was a large plastic console with a dial, several plastic game pieces, three brightly colored cardboard overlays, and of course...Charley.


The first thing I noticed was that he had a clear fluorescent orange disk on his head and antennae, which were always missing from any examples I'd seen. He stands 15 inches tall, and is made from dense, hollow, high-impact plastic. The only moveable parts are his red arms.


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The console is black plastic and has a circular rotor with a stepper motor, with a small stand attached for Charley to put his feet.


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When attached, Charley's hands insert into the board to activate the game play.


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The best game is the horse race. It consists of four concentric rings, the outside two are active, the inside two are not. The first track is for the player, and the horse has brass tabs to register position on contacts that run around the outside. The second track is Charley's, and holds the magnetized horse, allowing the automated motion from the rotating arm beneath the track. The player spins to see how many spaces he will move. Once Charley senses the position of your horse, he makes his move, randomly. This continues until one of the horses reaches the finish line. The game is reset with the large red knob at the center of the board.


Overall, it's a lot cooler than I originally thought, and Charley now fits center stage in my collection.

Sometimes You Get Lucky

26 November 2014 - 09:56 PM

Dear Alphadromers, lately, yours truly, has been browsing the posts, peppering in some pithy commentary, but not really contributing much. I have noticed that some of our members have stumbled on some really fantastic finds over the last few months, and while I was happy for them, in the back of my mind I thought; "man, that is so cool, now why can't I find a neat piece like that?"  :frustrate:


This past weekend, I decided to take a leisurely drive up to Adamstown to see "Uncle Joe" and spend a day chatting about all things robot. I arrived early in the morning, and enjoyed a great breakfast at the local diner. Around ten-ish, I started down the main drag, on the way to my destination, when I decided to stop at a shop on the way, just for the heck of it, not expecting anything...boy, was I wrong.


After walking past several cases that were chock-a-block with antiques, I had one of those "you gotta be kidding me !" moments. Two space guns that are rarely seen in shops, or for that matter, rarely seen at all, were lying in plain sight...I went weak in the knees. 


A mint in the box, never used, Stevens Neutron Blaster Space Police Gun, and a tin litho Space Control Water Gun!  :eeek:


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I immediately stifled the urge to holler some questionable expletive, and tried to keep my cool as I asked to see these pieces. The dealer opened the case as I casually, reached in and picked up the Stevens blaster. This was without a doubt the cleanest, shiniest example I have ever seen, and the plating was spotless. The box was almost perfect, with the exception of one end flap...enh, I could live with that. Then as I turned it over I saw the flap was still in the box, it was complete!  :thumbs:


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I saw the price tag, and it was...well, really cheap, compared to what these normally sell for! However, just on a whim, I made an offer significantly lower...$100 lower. The dealer laughed, and said the guy that owned it wouldn't give more than 15%, but he called anyway. After a few looks, the seller on the phone agreed to my offer. The dealer was shocked; "you musta caught him on a good day" he said, with a disbelieving glance.


So, I felt lucky, and asked to see the other gun. The Space Control Gun was one of those pieces I'd only seen in books. It had some minor damage to the blue paint on the barrel, because it was loose and had slipped into the body scraping the finish, but otherwise it was in really good shape. The price on this gun was impossibly low, yet I asked for a discount, and got 20% off of that one as well! 


So, what was the total for my two purchases? $380; I was thrilled!!  :rolling: Ok, that's still not peanuts, but I would never get another shot at these.


That set the tone for the day; that I got these two remarkable guns just a few doors down from Uncle Joe's Space Toy Emporium, proves that you just never know when fortune will smile on you.  Wow, good friends and great toys, it just doesn't get any better.  :biggrin:

A Vintage Soviet Bank-Bot?

05 November 2014 - 08:27 PM

Yes, back in the USSR, in 1976, this creamsicle colored fellow may have helped the working-class children save their rubles.  :biggrin:


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He stands 11 inches tall, and is made from blown-in-mold plastic. The star on his back is removable.


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Along the left side are Russian letters...


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And along the right is the date of 1976 (which, by the way, is the year I entered college).


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This has a lanyard attached to a ring on the top, which was possibly for hanging on a Christmas tree, and it could very well have been filled with candy.


Now, since my knowledge of Russian is a bit sparse, I shall defer to our European members to offer a translation of what it says.  :scratchhead:   :blush: