If you missed the Trendmasters Robby or Iron
Giant, get over to Walmart and plunk down $20 for
one. Even if you can't find them online, they are
in stores now, so go foarage through the toy
department. Thanks to robot hunter Marco for
tipping us off!
Front view of robots in boxes at Walmart.
View of the back of Robby and Iron Giant boxes.
These are not exact replicas of the Trendmaster
robots, although they may have used the same
molds, and they use the same or very similar box
art. The blurb on the back of the Robby box even
says it uses "Trendmasters Technology". There are
"Try Me" buttons on both robots. This results in
Robby saying a phrase about Altair Four and the
Iron Giant growling. These are the same buttons
with the arrow pointing to them as the 'on' switch
shown on the back of the boxes. We didn't buy
them, so this review is from outside the box.
These robots do not appear to have corded remote
controls as did all the Trendmaster robots except
the Lost in Space ones. The boxes are branded
"Goldlok" and "Only at Walmart". This seems
similar to when Kay-Bee toy stores used to have
robots exclusive to their stores.
Both robots were probably made at the same time,
or at least the boxes were, because the Iron
Giant box mentions that the robot requires four AA
batteries. The same text is on the Robby box,
mistakingly mentioning the iron Giant instead of
Robby. The robots do not have the same actions,
but the boxes claim that both talk and walk and
have lights and action. There are syntax and
grammar errors in the writing on the box. In both
cases, the writing is about the films, not the
toys. This is because the boxes are made
separately from the toys, and the writers don't
know how the finished toy will turn out.
Both robots say "3+" on the box, presumably
meaning ages three and up. The boxes measure about
15 inches tall, so the robots are just under that.
For a robot hunter, this is win-win, as these are
very well made plastic robots suitable for
display, with the bonus that they have
battery-operated actions. If the Trendmaster
robots were any precedent, they won't last long,
and you'll wish you got one or both now. Keep in
mind that someone will go and buy some and once
they are not available retail try to get
ridiculous amounts of money for them on E-Bay.
Good robot hunting!
marked the close of the last millenium with these
three great robots:
to R: Lost in Space Classic B'9, 1997; Ultimate Iron
giant, 1999, Robby the Robot, 1999.
licensed: New Line Productions, Warner Bros., and
At just under 20 inches, Ultimate Iron Giant
earned his name. But his articulated joints could
be moved so he could sit down, as in the top
photo. He didn't walk, but he talked when you put
the small, magnetic Hogarth on his shoulder, or
pushed the button on his palm. His eyes also lit
up and he could munch a small included statue,
car, or tractor, since his mouth moved when he
talked, which could then be removed from his back.
Along with an outer space noise, he said four
phrases from the film: "Hogarth, friend!", Ahh,
friend!", "Hungry" and "Umm, yummy!".
a number of Iron Giant toys, including this 10
inch walking version. Push one button on the two
button, wired remote control, and he would walk,
and make outer space noises, and his eyes lit up.
Push the other button, and his chest would spring
open and launch a plastic disc, eyes
flashing, alarms warning of the shift to battle
mode. Shown in front of the control box is a 4
inch plastic, articulated Iron Giant that was
packaged with the VHS movie tape.
Iron Giant's eyes flash and his mouth opens when
Iron Giant and Robby the Robot used the same two
button remote control. Robby's made him walk
and say three phrases from the movie Forbidden
Planet (see Robby
Classic Jupiter II. The top removed, and
figures of Will, Dr. Smith, and B-9 robot fit
inside. It also featured red LEDs and launching
sounds. Also known as the Jupiter II Playset, it
originally retailed at under $50 (see Lost
Dexter's Walking Robot came in a Cartoon Network-
branded box, and sold for under $15 at Kay-Bee Toys
in 2000. Dexter could be seated in the robot dome.
Pressing the red button on his right arm manually
fired a missle. The "mega firing chest missile",
however, was fired by pressing the red button on the
control box. His left arm had a manual
also used the two button Trendmaster control
box. One button made the robot walk, and the
other fired the chest missile.
this 2003 picture of the robot gang. Except for
three tin models dating from the '60s, all of the
robots shown here came out after the Lost in Space
movie in 1998, leading to a new millenium of great
the past to the future.
is a hobby for every budget, with robots available
from the price of a haircut to the cost of a car.
Above left: Robot Lilliput, a wind-up robot from
Japan, circa 1939, is believed to have been the
first toy robot. Mint with box, it went for $2,000
in 1999. The above shown green variation released
through Schilling was available in 2008 for less
than $20. Repros were also made in the original
orange. With Lilliput is a mini Robosapien from
Radio Shack, symbolizing the future of robotics a
half century later. Robosapien, invented by Mark
Tilden for Wow Wee Toys, used his BEAM
technology (Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics,
Mechanics), and was arguably one of the first
affordable robots to cross the line from a toy to a
fully interactive robot.
right: Yonezawa Smoking Spaceman, an all- time
classic robot from 1960 could fetch $3500
with a mint box in 1969. But HaHa Toys created
affordable repros in 2007 that sold for under
left: Chief Robotman was one of a variety of battery
operated 'skirted' robots that included Masudaya's
Gang of Five. Yoshiya's 1959 creation was the
perfect robot, with a turning head, spinning
antennae, lit top light and mysterious "bump and go"
action. Mint in box in 1999, it went for $2500.
Design variations included Cragstan's Radical Robot,
Chief Smokey, Mighty Robot, and Mystery Moon Man.
Color variations were also introduced in 1960. The
robot shown is a repro of Chief Robot Man made in
2007 by Ha Ha Toys. The first 2007 version was
silver, followed by this blue variant.
On his left and right are two bonafide robots from
the 'fifties. On the left, Hook Robot by Waco, in
the rare silver/ blue variation. A small hook stuck
out of the back of his head (not shown). He was
friction, and when pushed, his head moved from side
to side. On the right is Atom Robot by
Yoshiya. He had a crank in the bank, and once revved
up would move rapidly with "bump and go" "mystery"
Above right: The box for Ha Ha Toys' Chief Robot Man
duplicates the feel of the Yoshiya original. Unlike
the box picture, the eyes don't actually light up,
although the top lamp does. This well- made, battery
-operated, metal robot is otherwise an exact replica
and sold retail in 2008 for around $70 at Robot
Island (see links).
left: Real battery-operated tin robots
had been unknown for thirty years when Rocket USA
introduced R-1 for the new millenium. At over a foot
tall, this skirted, colorfully-lithographed giant's eyes
and ears flashed while it made mechanical sounds and
sped around the floor with bump-and-go action--all kinds
of classic robot stuff, and still about $40 retail. R-1
came in blue or gray versions, with a red model
available through the Red Toy Company, a yellow "rescue"
version, and in a limited edition bare-metal Millenium
While lacking the detailing of its predecessors, R-1
nevertheless is an impressive robot, its eyes and ears
blazing from an internal lamp, as shown here. Many were
made and sold, and this popular robot is still
affordable and available.