Friday, December 7, 2012
Toy Robots and Action Figures
Like many doll collectors, I have branched out to human-like objects and toys for some time. I love my robots; I had early Robbis and other Japanese robots and mechanical toys that belonged to my Uncle George. His son got many of them when he was born, and then they went off to the yard sale. I've replaced the one's I had, but also have many newer models, shared with my 14 year-old, but destined for The Museum all the same. Robosapien, Roboraptor, and Robopet are among are favorites. I can't help but think of all the great movie robots I've known and loved, including Robbie, R2Dt, Lost in Space, Rhoda the Robot Girl, the automaton in Hugo, etc. Below is something the Museum of Childhood is currently doing with robots and action figures. This is a site well-worth visiting, along with The national Museum of Play. I also have many listings of robot/automaton related sources in my books, With Love from Tin Lizzie: A History of Metal Dolls and Mechanical Dolls and A Bibliography of Doll and Toy Sources. Robosapien Robosapien burst onto the toy market just in time for Christmas 2004 and was crowned UK Toy of the Year that year, selling over two million in the UK alone. Robosapien is the first robot to be made using the science of applied biomorphic robotics - 'a fusion of technology and personality'. The robot was designed by NASA scientist, Mark Tilden who started working with robots in the 1980s. Robosapien moves by remote control. You can program Robosapien to move in all kinds of ways - he walks, strikes, throws, grabs and holds objects, dances and even speaks fluent 'caveman'. He will respond to a total of 67 commands including ones to belch and fart. In 2005 the one metre tall Robosapien V2 was launched. The V2 model is even more advanced than the original Robosapien and is able see colours, identify skin tones and hear and respond to noises. The same series of toys includes a Roboraptor, a Roboreptile and Robopet.