Category Archives: ROBOTS

ZEROIDS – workers of the future

“From the planet Zero come the incredible workers of the future – grabbing, pinching, clawing, carrying, attracting, throwing, pushing, pulling and hauling. From turret to track they are realistically simulated in awesome detail.”

I love how in 1972 the Ideal toy company was using the word “awesome” to describe one of its products – awesome being a word heavily in use today to describe… well… awesome things. Things like toy robots. Things like Zeroids!

Zeroids was a line of battery-operated motorised robots able to propel themselves across surfaces. They appeared on toy shelves in 1967 and underwent a rebrand in the late 70s and more recently in 2016 by the Toyfinity company. The original robot characters in the line are Zobor the Bronze Transporter, Zintar the Silver Explorer, and Zerak the Blue Destroyer.

UK. Ideal catalogue page. 1972.

Hey, Ding-A-Ling!

Ding-A-Lings. Not to be confused with: scatterbrains, telephones, Chuck Berry, Ding-A-Ling Dolls, or Dead Deadly Ding-a-Ling the Deranged Clown (currently in prison).

US. Pep. 1972.

Ding-A-Lings are plastic, motorised toy robots made in the early 1970s by North American company Topper. Driven by an interchangeable ‘Ding-A-Lings Power Pack’ each robot was able to perform movements. The colourful line included many characters as well as ‘Ding-A-Lings Space Skyways’ track parts.

For more info on the Ding-A-Lings line check out: Topperdingalings 

Robots and other retro toys from Christie’s 1988 auction catalogue

TVTA loves robots, and couldn’t resist acquiring this summer 1988 auction catalogue from Christie’s of South Kensington. Complete with a colour cover featuring a 1960s tinplate robot toy called ANSWER-GAME, this 40 page catalogue consists of black and white images featuring robots, games, trains and lead soldiers dating as far back as the 19th century. Here a few images fresh from the scanning room. Thanks for looking.


ANSWERGAME. From Christie's South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.

ANSWER-GAME. From Christie’s South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.


ATTACKING MARTIAN, battery operated tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Jaman, 1960s. ANSWERGAME, battery operated tinplate robot that executes simple mathematics, by Ichida, Japan, 1960s. From Christie's South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.

1. ATTACKING MARTIAN, battery operated tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Japan, 1960s. £150-250. 2. ANSWER-GAME, battery operated tinplate robot that executes simple mathematics, by Ichida, Japan, 1960s. £150-250.


ATTACKING MARTIAN, battery operated plastic and tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Japan, 1960s. From Christie's South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.

ATTACKING MARTIAN, battery operated plastic and tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Japan. £300-500.


PISTON ROBOT, battery operated plastic and tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Japan, 1960s. From Christie's South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.

PISTON ROBOT, battery operated plastic and tinplate robot, by Horikawa, Japan, 1960s. £200-300.


DUX-ASTROMAN, battery operated remote control robot, by Dux. W, Germany, 1950s. From Christie's South Kensington auction catalogue. 1988.

DUX-ASTROMAN, battery operated remote control plastic robot, by Dux. W. Germany, 1950s. £150-200.


SOUCOUPE A REACTION, friction powered tinplate flying saucer, by SFA, France, 1950s.

SOUCOUPE A REACTION, friction powered tinplate flying saucer, by SFA, France, 1950s. £50-80.


MOON ROCKET, battery operated tinplate spacecraft, by Masudaya, Japan, 1960s.

MOON ROCKET, battery operated tinplate spacecraft, by Masudaya, Japan, 1960s. £150-250.


W.H. SMITH & SON kiosk. Circa 1928.

W.H. SMITH & SON kiosk. Circa 1928. £130-190.


RACING COLOURS OF FAMOUS OWNERS, by Britains, UK, circa 1937.

RACING COLOURS OF FAMOUS OWNERS, by Britains, UK, circa 1937. £60-100.


DANCING SAILOR, clockwork tinplate sailor in cloth uniform, by Lehmann, circa 1912. £70-100.

DANCING SAILOR, clockwork tinplate sailor in cloth uniform, by Lehmann, circa 1912. £70-100.


HORNBY BOOK OF TRAINS (lot), 1925-1940. £250-350.

HORNBY BOOK OF TRAINS (lot), 1925-1940. £250-350.


BRITAINS SET N° 460, Scots Guards, circa 1933. No price listed.

BRITAINS SET N° 460, Scots Guards, circa 1933. No price listed.


Rear cover: K. BUB LANDAULETTE, clockwork tinplate car. Germany, circa 1912. £1,500-2,500.

Rear cover: K. BUB LANDAULETTE, clockwork tinplate car. Germany, circa 1912. £1,500-2,500.


 

 

Robotix

Robotix is a robot-themed construction toy first manufactured by the Milton Bradley Company (MB) in the mid-1980s. Derivatives included a 1985 animated TV series and a Marvel Comics-produced single-issue comic book in 1986.


France. Pif Gadget. 1988.

France. Pif Gadget. 1988.


 

Voltron Force ad by Neil B Vokes

I discovered some great info today on this excellent and colourful 1986 UK advert for Voltron Force. After posting it on Twitter I  was contacted by the artist Neil B Vokes, who told me,

“I drew this ad (with Rich Rankin) while doing the pencils on Comico’s Robotech Masters series – was paid a pretty penny for it too…;o)”

Wow, that’s so cool to hear from one of the actual artists involved in the toy advertising process, and it’s made my day. Here’s the ad.


UK. Hex. 1986.

UK. Hex. 1986.


Robo Machines

Sold in the UK by the Bandai toy company, Robo Machines were transforming vehicle/robot toys made from sturdy plastic and die cast metal. Characters included RM-01 Motorcycle, RM-02 Tank, RM-03 Aeroplane and others. Robo Machines was also a British comic strip serialised in Eagle comics between 1984 and 1985. The story, though titled after the Bandai-owned Robo Machine toys, can also be connected to the Tonka-owned names of the Gobots, another toyline.


UK. Eagle. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1983.


UK. Eagle. 1983.

UK. Eagle. 1983.


UK. Eagle and Tiger. 1985.

UK. Eagle and Tiger. 1985.