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 ALPHADROME ROBOT AND SPACE TOY DATABASE

Toy Robots and Space Toys
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008 LASER ROBOT - DAIYA - JAPAN902 viewsRed lithographed tinplate friction robot. Inertia crank action. The robot has a boxy design. The head has a slightly angled face with a red plastic dome on the top. The winder on the back is turned to generate the walking action. Loose grey plastic arms. The robot has a masked or Racoon or face; a prototype is known without this mask. First seen in the 1968 Lewis Galoob Toy Catalog.

The first box has a picture of the robot destroying a city: a feature that harks back to the early robots. The later box is a plainer window box. The earliest version currently dates back to the Daiya catalog for 1967, though the face of the robot has a unique design: a target-like set of circles between the eyes.
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Flying Space Saucer - AOSHIN - JAPAN847 viewsBlue lithographed tin battery operaterd flying saucer. Circa 1950's. Advances with mystery action and a blinking light on the robot gunner's head. Beautiful litho saucer with planets and rockets. Large spring loaded gun on top with independent firing buttons. Shoots two wooden missiles with soft rubber tips. ASC
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DIAMOND PLANET ROBOT RED VERSION - YONEZAWA - JAPAN739 viewsTin wind up. Advances as arms raise and lower, chest meter sweeps back and forth, sparks shoot from behind the red gel near the base and a space sound is emitted. Featured in the 1963 Yonezawa catalog.

There are two color versions of this robot: red with blue arms, and blue with red arms. A prototype all blue version is known. Other colors such as silver have been reported but remain unconfirmed originals. Blue is more common than red.

This is a real eccentric. This is reputedly a designer robot, the work of Tanaka. However it bears a striking resemblance to the Robot Commando, the large American plastic robot. It seems certain that the Diamond Planet is later than Robot Commando and that it is directly influenced by it. Key evidence is the shape of the hands which mimic the cup design of the ball-throwing plastic robot.
Yonezawa have a unique piece here.Despite its size it's clockwork. (Though there is a panel on the back clearly indicating a possible battery placement.) Secondly the shape is utterly unlike anything else: the ears are complex shell-like structures. They are the shoulder sockets of the Yonezawa Moon Robot. the eyeballs shake about in
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INTERPLANET CRUISER X-300 SPACE CRUISER - ALPS - JAPAN728 viewsTin friction rocket based on Pyro plastic original. There is another version of this spaceship with slightly different litho.


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TREMENDOUS MIKE, ORANGE VERSION - AOSHIN - JAPAN694 viewsTin wind up. Advances with sparking chest panel and turning antenna. Produced in silver and orange. Dish antenna and red spark window. This is a skirted tin windup robot with spark screen. Produced in silver and orange. This orange version has a relatively large swivelling head with a blue face plate. The body has red arms and a red plate at the top of the chest

The robot makes abrupt turns, the result of a pin descending from the base. This is the Turn-O-Go mechanism, an interesting variation on the way robots change direction. The body pressing is the one used for the Chime Trooper. It's likely that the spark window was the original purpose for the cut-out in the body. This has been adapted as a sound box for the Chime Trooper.

The box is the same for both versions and depicts the silver version of the robot.

Reproductions of both colors have been made.
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X-27 EXPLORER - YONEZAWA - JAPAN675 viewsTin friction astronaut. Crank operated robot advances with walking motion and plinking sound. It is a natural partner of the Yonezawa Astro Scout. The legs and feet are the same as on the Robby-Roby-Conehead group. A firm date has not yet been established but the suit design suggests early 1960s.

This inflated-looking astronaut may look odd but it is based on a 1962 Grumman design for a real space suit. The Space General design for extended lunar surface operations allowed the astronaut to withdraw his arms from the flexible manipulators and work within the pressurized 'cabin' of the can enclosing his upper torso and head.
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MR ATOMIC - YONEZAWA - JAPAN634 viewsA lithographed tin battery operated robot. Mr Atomic is a distinctive robot. It is a essentially a cone-shaped robot with arms and feet. Head, legs and a face are totally lacking. A large clear dome covers a futuristic bank of twelve lights that look like an early computer display. Two clear plastic ears protrude from the head. Most robots have human shape but Mr Atomic is one of the most radical departures from this tradition; it's as close to a pure robot as the great robot manufacturers ever got.

Bump and go action with either a clicking noise (silver version with white feet) or a whistling sound (blue version with yellow feet). The feet tap up and down and there's a light show behind that screen. The box art is a plain but attractive depiction of the robot.

Mr Atomic featured in the 1962 Sears Christmas catalog, with a price tag of $6.79. Apparently it did not sell well and was soon withdrawn.

The bottom row shows two pictures the 9-light prototype.
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RADICON ROBOT - MASUDAYA - JAPAN633 viewsTin battery op. member of the Gang of Five, this wireless remote control robot advances with moving arms, flashing eyes and a lighted chest panel as both antenna turn. Clicking the remote controls the direction and stop functions. 1957

The first and most unusual of the group is the radio controlled Radicon Robot. The robot is a huge 38cms, dwarfing most other robots. The paintwork is a plain hammered grey finish. This is easily the first radio controlled robot. The electronics are, by modern standards primitive. A transmitter generates a high voltage pulse which triggers a light, a spark and a turning action in the robot; it is not a steerable robot. The electronics are unreliable, hard to repair and capable of giving a generous shock if handled improperly. An article on the robot appeared in Popular Mechanics in 1958. The massive ear antenna serves a real function as an antenna. It's worth noting that the arm construction is more complex than the rest of the group: there's an elbow panel holding together the upper and lower arm as opposed to the more simple two piece pressing of the later robots.

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ASTRO SCOUT - YONEZAWA - JAPAN628 viewsTin friction astronaut. Crank operated robot advances with walking motion. A partner of the Yonezawa X-27 Explorer. Based on a pressurised Grumman space suit (complete with large number 3 on the chest) from 1962. It's the same suit as the Moon Suit accessory pack for Matt Mason. Originals have Y logo Made in Japan printed below the 3 chest panel.

Serial 3192. Frankonia importer.

No firm date yet, but early 1960s.
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APOLLO 2000 - HORIKAWA FOR DURHAM - JAPAN590 viewsBlue and red tin battery op Attacking Martian based on Rotate-O-Matic body. Silver fly eyes, guns behind doors in chest. The box does not carry the SH logo.


There are two versions of the Apollo 2000:
The first one was made for Tarheel Industries. It has all tin doors, a green switch and deep doors - ones with a pronounced ridge.

The second version was made for Durham Industries. It has a red switch, and litho metal doors on plastic.

As these robots have no SH logo they probably don’t appear in Horikawa catalogs.

Apollo 2000 has already been dated to 1969 in a Western Auto Christmas catalog. The Super Robot version with red eyes and more litho detailing on the doors has been sighted in 1972.

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ASTRONAUT, BLUE VERSION - DAIYA - JAPAN585 viewsReferred to as the Daiya Astronaut, in preference to the other astronauts by Daiya. Tin battery op. Early 1960s. (Blue version does not have the Cragstan logo). Advances with walking motion. He stops, raises his gun with lighted end and simulated firing sound and repeats the action. This is a particularly bulky tin toy. It was made in two color versions, red and blue. Besides the base color difference, the red version has slightly different litho detailing and carries the Cragstan logo.

The blue version appeared in Higbee's Toys Catalog for 1966, currently the first sighting.

Versions with vinyl child heads were also released.
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DOOR ROBOT, DARK BLUE REMOTE - ALPS - JAPAN559 viewsThe Alps Door Robot with an original dark blue (solid colour) remote control and green electric cable. Mostly seen with light green or metallic light blue remote, and sometimes an entwined red & white cable. Probably other colour remotes and cables exist, it is known though, that remote controls from other toys are used to repair Door Robots that have lost their own over the passage of time. Please see the other Door Robot listing for a full description.
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SUPER MOON EXPLORER - HK STAR - HONG KONG556 viewsPlastic battery operated version of the original SH astronaut. Cheap and flimsy construction. Hong Kong. Two box variations shown.
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TREMENDOUS MIKE, SILVER VERSION - AOSHIN - JAPAN545 viewsTin wind up. Advances with sparking chest panel and turning antenna. Produced in silver and orange. Dish antenna and red spark window. This is a skirted tin windup robot with spark screen. Produced in silver and orange. This silver version has a relatively large swivelling head with a blue face plate. The body has red arms and a red plate at the top of the chest

The robot makes abrupt turns, the result of a pin descending from the base. This is the Turn-O-Go mechanism, an interesting variation on the way robots change direction. The body pressing is the one used for the Chime Trooper. It's likely that the spark window was the original purpose for the cut-out in the body. This has been adapted as a sound box for the Chime Trooper.

The box is the same for both versions and depicts the silver version of the robot.
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MUSICAL DRUMMER ROBOT - NOMURA - JAPAN545 viewsTin battery operated remote control robot. Advances with walking motion, lighted eyes and flashing chest panel as he plays his drum. Circa 1956. The tin remote control is shaped like a robot head.
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ATTACKING MARTIAN LONG ARM MEDALLION VERSION - HORIKAWA - JAPAN506 viewsTin battery operated robot with fly eyes and firing guns behind opening chest doors. Featuring in the Aldens 1971 catalog where it is called the Mighty Mechanical Walking Robot. The original Attacking Martian has had some changes: long plastic arms and distinctive circular decorations on the door instead of the green plastic windows. The Aldens catalog version shows a robot with the more usual closed tin arms, not the open Busy Cart arms seen here.

This body top was used as the basis (or vice versa?) of the Space Commander Tank Robot.

Are the arms original? Box details?
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CHIME TROOPER - AOSHIN - JAPAN499 viewsASC tin skirt windup astronaut. Advances as he plays a musical sound. The "tune" is similar to the first few notes of the "Twilight Zone" theme, but the last note destroys the illusion - it's just a coincidence. Skirt.

During operation the astronaut moves forward while emitting a the music box "melody" - it's certainly not a chime, just descending notes. A descending pin makes it turns abruptly and it continues on, arms swinging.

The body pressing is the same as the one used for Tremendous Mike. It is probable that this robot makes use of the Tremendous Mike pressing. The soud box takes advantage of the spark window. There are no known variations of this robot. There is as yet no firm date for the Chime Trooper.
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ATOMIC ROBOT MAN - CK? - JAPAN495 viewsOccupied Japan, though the box does not carry the wording. Tin wind up robot with pin feet. The first post-war robot. Two versions exist: a tin arm version (1) and one with cast metal arms (2). There are color variations (3) but these may reflect the vagaries of tinplate lithography rather than intentional releases. The brown color can vary between a rich nut brown and the more familiar grey-brown. Fading of the paint can also lead to supposed variations, often with a greenish hue.

The first sighting is the Miles Kimball catalog for 1949. The tin arm version is pictured in the 1949 catalog. A cast arm version was available at the New York Science Fiction Conference in 1950. (4) It was stamped on the back with details of the conference.

One version of the box carries the 1949 date (5). The maker has not been established yet though the CK company is a strong contender. This robot bears a stylistic similarity to the pre-war Lilliput robot. The lozenge shoes, the pin feet and the lithographic detailing have prompted speculation about the connection between them.
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ASTROMAN - NOMURA - JAPAN488 viewsTin and plastic windup astronaut. Advances with walking motion and sparking backpack. It was intended to be a knock off of the spaceman from "2001, A Space Odyssey"; the box art of Nomura's Walking Astroman with Sparks shows a fairly serious looking astronaut and it is in fact a direct copy of a famous still from Kubrik's film. The background has changed but the pose is distinctive.

Nomura decided, however, to base the design on the existing body of a wind up Tetsujin #28 and the result is an inflated comical looking astronaut with an oversized head. The Tetsujin litho has had a total overhall and there's an authentic plastic helmet with an astronaut's face. The rest is, however, the same, right down to the studded collar, cuffs and clenched rubber hands of T #28. The result is that it's fatter and misproportioned in comparison with the box illustration.

The action is unmodified: a switch in the chest starts him walking while a spark mechanism operates. This astronaut has been reproduced and new colors have been introduced.

On the right is the inspiration for the Nomura Astroman, "2001, A Space Odyssey". The artwork is an almost exact copy of the movie still.
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SPACE CAR, RED ROBBY - YONEZAWA - JAPAN484 viewsMetallic blue lithographed tin space car. This large space car has a red tin lithographed Robby robot driver sitting at the wheel. Behind him is a raised circular metal basket structure. The car has springs and small antennas fixed to the top edge, giving the impression of complex mechanism.Battery operated with a stop and go action. A jet of air supports a styrene ball. 9.5" 25cm

There are two versions of this space car:
Early version (top), with a darker blue body and a circular basket that does not have a paddle. Robby's head is fixed in place.

Later version (bottom) which has a lighter blue body and has a long paddle structure inserted in the ball blowing structure. Robby's head moves.

The boxes for both versions are the same: they do not show the paddle addition. Boxes usually have the Yonezawa logo but some have an ACE logo.

This space car uses the same pressing as the Space Car with red Robby driver.

Date? c1955.
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CRAGSTAN GREAT ASTRONAUT - ALPS - JAPAN482 viewsTin battery op 1962. Advances with walking motion, moving arms, and a rotating color wheel as a space scene plays on the chest screen. Removable antenna acts as the on-off switch. TV. Based on the very popular Television Spaceman. The space scene in the chest is the same. The dome is appreciably larger than the Television Spaceman and the battery door has been replaced by a highly litho'd alternative. Only produced in an all-tin version. The first sighting of this robot was in 1962, a year after the Television Spaceman. Oddly the picture is of a Great Astronaut but a Television Spaceman is described.

Image Smith House Auctions
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MIGHTY 8 ROBOT aka KALEIDOSCOPE ROBOT - MASUDAYA - JAPAN475 viewsBlack tin battery opeated robot. Advances with walking motion and moving arms as the color wheel in his chest turns. kaleidoscope. MT

The robot is rare but the display is not rocket-science. There is a mask with cut out slots, large and smaller "Sparks". Behind that there is a wheel of translucent plastic with coloured "Sparks" and darkened sections. This wheel has the same pattern as the mask. the wheel turnS 'round with a light behind it: Sometimes the wheel is in phase with the mask then you have bright, single colours. Some times it is out of phase and you have some spluttering of various colours.

The Mighty Robot appears in the 1963-1964 Masudaya catalog.

Masudaya were clearly influenced by the Horikawa style of robot. This design may reflect the interests of the factory commissioned to make the robot.
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ROBY ROBOT - YONEZAWA - JAPAN474 viewsTin wind-up robot.. Advances with walking motion as his head sparks. 7.75"H. Circa 1960s. Robby. Same body used for Conehead (Space Robot) and Robby Robot. Roby is an unashamed Forbidden Planet Robby look-alike. There's the complex metal head, very reminiscent of Robby the Robot, the clear panel in the dome and the detailed lithoed detailing that tries to suggest the complexity of the original. The forward pointing arms end in simple flat dangling metal arms. No firm date but Conehead is late 1960s.
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DEEP-SEA ROBOT - AHI - JAPAN472 viewsA.N. is something of a mystery company. Their toys were usually imported by AHI Toytime, (Azrak Hamway International) whose logo features prominently on the boxes, and this leads to some confusion. There is clearly a connection with the early Nomura astronaut design, while the accepted maker is 'Naito Shoten'. There's no confusing the fact that they created a superb group of early wind-up astronauts. These are the Inter Planet Space Captain, the Interplanetary Explorer, the Deep Sea Robot, the Spaceman, and the Polar Explorer.

If you want to quibble then the Deep Sea Robot is not a space toy. The box depicts a diver walking around the sea bed with his rifle (the Nomura-style shooter). What a welcome variation.

The Deep Sea Robot is silver in colour with red detailing and a big blue helmet from which a pair of eyes stare out. The oxygen cylinders are not fully formed, as in most astronauts, but are half pressing instead. There's a design on his leg that is similar to a pattern on the older Nomura Radar Robot. The action is simple, he walks forward and his arms swing.

Repros available. Spotting the repro: they're 8 1/2 inches tall - 1/2 inch taller than originals. In addition the repros have pla
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GIANT MACHINE MAN - MASUDAYA - JAPAN469 viewsTin battery op Circa 1963. Rarest member of the Gang of Five, Machine Man advances with bump and go action as his eyes, ears and mouth light. Skirt.

The low numbers of this robot are, it is suggested, the result of its production circumstances. It is argued that it was created to use up spares from earlier runs of the Gang. Machine Man was a color variation (with new lithographed stampings) based on the Lavender Robot. It did not appear to go through one of the major importers at the time.

There are two minor variations: red eyes and green eyes.

In addition to the 1962 release there are unconfirmed reports of a reissue in the early 70s which uses more modern internal components. A (again unconfirmed) vertical box variation may exist.

1958 - Radicon Robot - F.A.O. Schwarz Catalog
1960 - Non-Stop (Lavender) Robot - F.A.O. Schwarz Catalog
1962 - Machine Man - Bob S.'s recollection of childhood ownership
1962 - Giant Sonic (Train) Robot - Masudaya Trade Ad
1963-64 - Shooting Giant Robot - Masudaya Catalog
1965 - (Target) Robot - Marshall Fields Christmas Catalog
(Joe K.)
38cm FT#8
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REVOLVING FLASHING ROBOT aka DOOR ROBOT - ALPS - JAPAN462 viewsTin battery op remote control robot. 1958. Litho'd robot with a small door on the chest that opens. Advances with moving arms, lighted head panel and a clicking sound. Second remote button make the antenna inside his head turn, light flash and head spin as he makes a clicking sound. Pin feet. Pedestal. A version exists with a green plastic inner dome.

This is one robot which has little in common with any others: no recycled pressings, litho or action. It's unique. The Door Robot's box name is Revolving Flashing Robot so the nickname is far more use. The door in question is a curious little hatch that allows a view of a nondescript part of the mechanism. An unplanned benefit is that the light bulb is easy to replace, and the motor contacts are readily accessible. Oddly enough there's a more interesting piece of machinery litho on the hatch .

The robot lacks a face, it's a real impersonal piece. A clear plastic dome contains two of those Robby robot intertconnected disks. The whole assembly spins as the robot moves, and you can't tell front from back. Two pins in the feet provide that charming waddling movement characteristic of 50s robots.
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SPACE MAN - MASUDAYA - JAPAN452 viewsRed lithographed tin battery operated astronaut based on the R-35. Astronaut head under a white helmet with a light at the front. A lithographed pouch hangs at his waist.

The robot waddles with the same pin feet mechanism as the R-35 robot. MT. This is the version without a remote control.

No firm date yet but the remote control Space Commando has been dated to 1958
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ROBOT LILLIPUT - KT CK - JAPAN442 viewsTin windup robot. Advances with shuffling motion via spikes under his feet that alternately move. (Pin feet) Free swinging arms have claw hands. The lower part of each arm is a separate unit shoved in to the upper arm. This fragile connection means that the lower arm is frequently missing. Lilliput is believed to be the first mass produced robot. The box carries the two logos KT and CK. Speculatively KT is the manufacturer and CK the distributor. There are two distinct versions of the robot: the difference is that the (presumably first) has a dial that is mounted in a hole in the chest with small tabs; the (later) version has a clockface stamped into the metal with titho clockface. It is assumed that the simpler version is the later; the manufacturer had presumably found a way of stamping the clock depression that would not damage the litho dial.

The design is very similar to the Atomic Robot Man (which has been firmly dated to at least 1949 and self-evidently later than 1945). The Lilliput, however, is a pre-war robot and as such is the first. The Japanese tin toy industry was well-eastablished in the 1930s. Production stopped in 1938 when toy factories switched to war production. The industry did not restart until 1946.

CK (Kuramochi Shoten) was the largest supplier of made in Japan toys prior to WWII. Two of their main employees fearing the companies demise after WWII left to form Normura and Alps. KT (possibly Kuramochi Toys) is a trade mark that is invariably seen on pre WWII toys, usually in conjuction with another trademark such as Masudaya. The manufacturer Komatsudo Seisakusho has also been mentioned, but the information needs clarifying.

Recently Volker tracked down a Nurnberg museum with a Lilliput bearing a trade sample import label dated 2/7/1937. The Liliput had come out the Schuco Toy Company archive. Shuco had ordered this Robot in 1937 for " Benchmarking " When Schuco closed their doors in the 1970s some items from their archive found their way into the museum.

Henk Gosses recalls a small warehouse find of these robots: "The seller brought about a dozen with him,- later versions, and said he had many more. It was a stock discovery and he showed an invoice from 1939 to an importer in Antwerp. Later Pierre Boogaerts bought the last 6-7 and told him how much he would pay for the rest. The seller became very mysterious and in spite of my vailliant efforts, I never heart from him again."

The rule of Emperor Hirohito (Showa dynasty) began in 1926. Japanese dates were calculated using this starting point. A patent number on the robot suggests the 10th year of the Emperor's reign: 1936. The box art is stylistically 1930s, though this is clearly a subjective judgement. An original owner appeared on the "Antiques Roadshow" with a collection of toys, all pre-war, which included the Lilliput. He was able to recall receiving it as a child before the war. Again, not conclusive proof but a strong circumstantial case. It should be added that some believe this to be a post war toy based on or the forerunner of the Atomic Robot Man. Pin-foot 15cm FT#26
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JUPITER ROBOT - YONEZAWA - JAPAN441 viewsTin battery up remote control robot. Advances with walking motion as his arms swing , the color wheel under the dome lights and turns and one foot clicks as he moves. No confirmed date yet, but it cannot be earlier than 1964, the date of Mr Mercury and Mr Robot.

Jupiter Robot is a reworking of a number of stock Yonezawa parets: basically it is a Mr Mercury body and Mr Robot head. The only unique features are some tin litho panels and the rather plain box.

Unlike Mr Mercury, which has two motors, Jupiter Robot has only one motor and a simple link to the crank that drive the legs. Though it uses the same pressing for the mechanism, 75% of the gear train is absent. There is no bending or lifting action. This was possibly a "left-overs clearance" model, so there might be several versions. The simplification would have permitted a lower retail price. The robot is first seen in the Yonezawa catalog for 1963.

Versions with and without the Mr Mercury skirt (the panel that lifts to permit bending) are known.

The Jupiter Robot has the same remote as the Mr. Mercury with one button and three unused holes. The control wire is a green zip cord not the thick black cable on a Mr Mercur
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SMOKING ROBOT, VERSION C - YONEZAWA - JAPAN440 viewsSee Smoking Spaceman - Linemar for details. 30cm FT#37 The Yonezawa specific robot was available in the Yonezawa catalog for 1963.
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RADAR ROBOT TOPOLINO - NOMURA - JAPAN433 viewsTin and plastic battery op robot with gears and screen. The robot walks forward while the gears rotate, a clicking sound is made and a lightning effect flickers in the chest.

When the Radar Robot first appeared in collectors' circles the box wasn't present so it acquired the nickname "Topolino" the Italian for Mickey Mouse because of its big ears.

This robot is a natural partner the Space Robot X-70 (Tulip Robot). The body, arms and legs are from the same molds and the box art looks to by from the same artist.

This robot feartures in the 1971 Nomura catalog, though there are many differences from the production model. Its relative the Space Robot (Tulip Head) appeared in the 1970 Galoob Toy Catalog. This robot must have had a short run, judging by the low number of examples that exist.
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ATTACKING MARTIAN, THREE COLOURS - HORIKAWA - JAPAN425 viewsThe 3 colour versions of the 1960's 1st type non-rotating battery operated Attacking Martian robot - Brown silver gold in order of rarity - gold being the hardest to find - Made in Japan - mostly tin plate metal with green plastic inserts in chest doors. Earliest have white painted metal battery compartment later changed to plastic. Earlier ones also have a translucent green pointed switch. An easy way to spot the difference between early and later is the tapering of the arm/hand on later ones, as can be seen on the gold version -
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ROCKY ROBOTRON - TOPPER - HONG KONG424 viewsPlastic battery op robot. One of the Robotron series. Walks. Fires three missiles automatically. See also the Ding-A-Ling version of this robot.
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MOON ROBOT aka RIBBON HEAD ROBBY- YONEZAWA - JAPAN421 viewsTin wind up Robby. Circa 1957. Advances with walking motion as the multicolor ribbons inside his head turn. Paint can show variations. keywind tinplate, he walks forward as colored ribbons in his helmet rotate, sparks are emitted through red gel mouthpiece. Height 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm.)

There are colour variations of this robot ranging from dark green to near-black. Variation seems to be a characteristic of the paint. In addition there are two types of leg: one with the usual joining tabs, the other (above) with a pressed or crimped seam. The pressed seam version has been seen with a paper "Made in Japan" label instead of the more usual 'Y' logo stamped on the body between the legs. The dome is clear plastic with a distinct pink tinge, a unique feature.

The robot was still available in the Yonezawa catalog for 1963.

The three ribbons in the head are combinations of blue/yellow and red/yellow. Green/yellow is also known. The hands are hard rubber balls with a slot and are prone to cracking.
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ROBOT aka HOOK ROBOT, MARUBISHI FOR WACO - JAPAN420 viewsA small 7.5" 18cm skirt robot. Blue lithographed tin friction robot. The robot advances with head turning from side to side. Complex litho of machinery. The mechanism is fairly straight-forward: friction-driven flywheel drives the toy with a moving head and swinging arms. No firm date yet but c1955.

It is generally known as the Hook Robot because of an odd hook shaped antenna attached to the back of the head.

There are two major variations: light blue and dark blue. In addition the light blue has been seen with a red mouth and with a silver mouth.

Some boxes have a Marubishi logo sticker on top of the Waco importer logo.

It is interesting to note the strong resemblance between the Hook Robot and the Yoshiya Chief Robot Man. The Yoshiya looks to be a scaled-up version of the earlier Hook Robot design.
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ATTACKING MARTIAN, JAPANESE BOX - HORIKAWA - JAPAN420 viewsTin battery op fly eyes robot with guns behind chest doors. Japanese box with unique artwork. First generation. First generation.
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SPACE MAN - NOMURA - JAPAN419 viewsLithographed tin battery operated remote control astronaut.Light blue body with a red helmet. The astronaut has a rifle in one hand and a flashlight in the other. The remote control is square with a rocket graphic.

torch
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1.9.3 ROBOT - MAKER? - JAPAN416 viewsA white plastic barrel shaped robot with blue plastic feet. Battery operated. The robot has a boy-like face and carreie a walkie talkie. Red heart logo on chest. Japanese market box. 193 Maker?
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ATTACKING MARTIAN GOLD - HORIKAWA - JAPAN414 viewsMade in Japan by Horikawa trademark 'SH', 1960's first version all tin plate in gold. Battery operated walking action, chest doors open and two cannons pop out flashing with gun noise. Robot version of the Horikawa Attacking Martian. First generation. This battery operated robot came in an an iconic red box with graphics showing many Attacking Martians falling from the sky.

Earliest versions have large tin arms and and the white tin battery box and gold metal chest panel.

It is assumed that for economy Horikawa later switched to using a black plastic battery box. These version have the thick tin arms.

One version came in a box with a 'Telsalda' importers label on the lid, who are better known for importing plastic toys and general items into the UK from Hong Kong. - 29cm



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APOLLO 2000X WALKING ASTRONAUT - HIRO - JAPAN413 viewsTin and plastic wind up astronaut. Made for Mego. The legs are "solid" with a shuffling walk unlike the flat stepover style of the other Hiro robots. See Cap't Astro, which shares the same body, head, astronaut face and arms, though the spark panel has been replaced by a litho panel.
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CRAGSTAN ASTRONAUT, RED VERSION - DAIYA - JAPAN412 viewsReferred to as the Daiya Astronaut, in preference to the other astronauts by Daiya. Tin battery op. Early 1960s. Red version. Advances with walking motion. He stops, raises his gun with lighted end and simulated firing sound and repeats the action. This is a particularly bulky tin toy. It was made in two color versions, red and blue. Besides the base color difference, the blue version has slightly different litho detailing and does not carry the Cragstan logo.

The blue version appeared in Higbee's Toys Catalog for 1966, currently the first sighting.

Versions with vinyl child heads were also released.
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ACROBAT ROBOT - HORIKAWA - JAPAN408 viewsPlastic battery operated robot with tumbling action. Lighted eyes. Bump and go. The earliest sighting to date is in the "Japan 1981" catalog where it is called the Acrobatic Robot.

There are two Acrobat robots: yellow and chrome. Yellow is described as new in the 1980 Horikawa catalog and chrome is new in the 1981 catalog.
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SPACE STATION, BLUE VERSION - HORIKAWA - JAPAN405 viewsTin battery op space station. Advances with bump and go mystery action as lights blink, gears move, radar dish turns and a space sound is emitted. Each of the compartments is a detailed room. Red and grey plastic antennas have been seen.

Earliest sighting 1965 Pathe film. The later New Space Station dates to 1969.
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NON STOP ROBOT aka LAVENDER ROBOT - MASUDAYA - JAPAN402 viewsNon Stop Robot, more usually known as the Lavender Robot: the body has, as the nickname suggests, a basic lavender colouring with copious inset panels carrying abstract machinery detailing. Bump and go mystery action. Gang of Five.

Slight variations are known. There is a "high switch" and, less frequently a "low switch" version. This refers to the location of the on-off switch. High is just below the chest panel. Low is well below the circle. See below.

It is also believed that there is a version with grey litho insert panels rather than the usual lavender color. Some argue that this is the result of fading, but the concensus is that it is a variation.
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PLANET ROBOT REMOTE CONTROL - YOSHIYA - JAPAN400 viewsRemote Control early small ear all tin battery op 1956 version with 'Christmas wire' on light blue remote. Walks briskly with lighted head and mouth area through red gels. Spinner in head creates flashing effect in face as he walks. Photo of this piece courtesy of Moktar Guy Antiques.
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