Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Geek Chic: Vintage robots and tin toys

 Robots are a geeky obsession of mine.  Perhaps it's the result of watching too many episodes of the Jetsons as a kid, but robots have a fun retro appeal to me.  I have a small collection of robot tin toy reproductions, which started when I spotted the super cool Schyllling reproduction of Robot Lilliput at a toy store.  Many of the original toy robots were manufactured in Japan before World War II.  Below are photos from my robot and tin toy collection: 

This Robot Lilliput who is thought to be first ever robot toy in existence.  The original was manufactured in the mid-to-late 1930s.

Atomic Man is the newest addition to my gang.  I found him at the awesome Lakeview toy shop Uncle Fun, which is pretty much a must visit for robot or retro toy enthusiasts.  The original Atomic Man dates back to 1940s.

Robot Lilliput's shorter, greener fraternal twin. 

Spaceman and his ray gun ushers us into the the Space Age era of the 1950s and 60s.  The kit comes with different face stickers, so you can change Spacemen's expression when you get bored.

Last but not least is the Mars Invader.  I think he's supposed to be an alien and not a robot, but close enough.

Want to start your own retro toy collection, check out one of these books:

Ultimate Robot by Robert Malone (2004).
Call Number: 629.892 MAL
A very cool exploration of the Robot in American pop culture. Also has some of the more popular robot collectible toys like Robot Lilliput, Atomic Man, Nando, and more.
Find it in the catalog!

Warman's 101 Greatest Baby Boomer Toys by Mark Rich (2005).
Call Number: 745.592 RIC
Find it in the catalog!

Wham-O Super Book: Celebrating 60 Years Inside the Fun Factory! by Tim Walsh (2008).
Call Number: 688.72 WAL
Find it in the catalog!