One of the best-loved androids of all time, ‘Robby the Robot’ is an essential part of any robot enthusiast’s collection. Who wouldn’t want a replica of a genuine science fiction icon in their home?
After first appearing in the 1956 MGM science fiction film “Forbidden Planet,” Robby the Robot made a number of appearances in other movies and television programs, making him one of the industry’s most recognisable robots. In the film, the 6-foot, 11-inch tall fictional robot was programmed to obey Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. This knowledge becomes important near the end of the film when Robby refuses to kill the “id monster” because the robot recognises that the creature is an extension of Dr. Morbius, and therefore cannot be hurt or killed.
I often wonder what would be the capability of a 2016 version of Robby? Would he still be programmed for 187 languages, (which wasn’t many considering there are over 6000 spoken languages on Earth), or for an infinite number of human and animal sounds? Would he be called Robby or an unpronounceable modern name? Anyway, I digress…
Inducted in the Robot Hall of Fame in 2004, Robby was made available for collectors in a variety of forms – some poor and some superb, some dinky and some life size.
The Rolls Royce, yet scarce, iconic version is that produced by Masudaya in 1996.
Masudaya was actually founded in 1724 in Tokyo Japan, making it one of the oldest toy makers in Japan, if not the world. Masudaya has made some of the rarest robot toys in history.
Masudaya, also known as Masudaya Modern Toys, is a Japanese toy maker and was a well known builder of mechanical and battery operated toys in the post WWII era. The company survives to this day, in part due to their involvement in the early days of the airsoft boom, during the early 1980s.
For those of you, like me, whom have never heard of ‘airsoft’, according to wikipedia, it is a ‘game in which participants eliminate opponents by hitting each other with spherical non-metallic pellets launched via replica firearms called airlift guns’: a bit like paintball.
The beautiful Masudaya manufactured recreation of ‘Robby’ is 16″ (40.64cm) tall and an authentic replica (1/5 scale).
The 1996 version comes complete with the:
- instruction sheet
- extra set of interchangeable hands and
- a set of small clear plastic parts for use on his head.
The mouth features a blinking light with a talking function: Pushing the button on its body will allow you to hear Robby say either of these three sentences:
“Welcome to Altair 4 Gentlemen. I am to transport you to the residence,”
“If you do not speak English, I am at your disposal with 187 other languages along with the various dialects and sub-tongues,”
“For your convenience I am monitored to respond to the name ‘Robby’.”
It’s a real shame that this exquisite model of Robby is still in his box in a cupboard, but he waits patiently for the time Mr Mullard Magic will let him go to a loving new owner whom will look after him and keep him in ‘tip top’ condition for many years to come.