Review by chachipower
Lately I find myself looking at what else is out there to collect. Robot related of course. I've been branching out and buying action figures, vinyl monsters and more recently this tin toy. Buying tins is usually thought to be a sign of getting old, but there is a better reason for this purchase. The toy you are about to see is believed to be the first robot toy. I thought that was a good enough reason to buy it. Some collectors have said this toy originated in the 1930s although some newer research by experts has pointed to the mid '40s after the war. This review however is based on a replica of this legendary robot. While the original was made in Japan, this version is from good ol' China. We'll start the review off with the box, which is a basic rectangular box with vintage artwork depicting two young kids fascinated by the Robot Lilliput. The drawing used on the box does not accurately depict it's size. In real life, he is 6.25" tall. Inside you will also find sponge that the robot is wrapped in held together with staples.
Once you pull him out you feel two things. One is a slight disappointment at its low-tech and another is a warm feeling of holding something crafted with a long lost form of craftsmanship. It's flimsy yet sturdy. Its new yet old looking. Its clean yet dirty. Rusty yet shiny. Overall pretty cool. Metal content? 100%!! (insert high pitched 80's metal scream here)
You are not going to fool anyone into thinking this is the real deal. The real Lilliput says "Made In Japan" proudly displayed on the side. The real one is all one color. More like the orangey color on this Lilliput's arms and legs. The real Lilliput has a hand drawn style to its printed details while the replica has a sharper computer design feel to them. I believe the graphics on both are printed using the lithograph process. Staring at Lilliput's face does not bring any feeling of fear and I'm not quite sure what kind of emotion they were trying to convey. Then again, it's a robot so it's not meant to have emotions. Clearly the sharp teeth lean more to an aggressive connotation but are small enough that it doesn't look like it means any harm. It's more of a "Darn, I think I left the stove on" look. He's sporting some serious eyebrows much like your humble narrator.
Looking at him from the front, you'll see his stiff pose and graphics. The gauges are meant to replicate the originals but are much more detailed. "The N.P. 5357." designation is a mystery to me at the moment but it faithfully keeps the handwritten look of the original. There is a printed flex hose coming up from his chest to his neck. Notice the printed rivet detail. If you look closely, you will see his hands are corroded. I highly doubt this was for authenticity's sake. The larger gauge is embossed to give it a bit of depth.
On his right side It simply says ROBOT "LILLIPUT" in a simple font. The original would also state "MADE IN JAPAN" in a handwritten font along the bottom. Notice the arm wants to bend the other way. This is because the elbows are floppy due to its rivet design. No ball joints in this bad boy.
On the left side of Lilliput, you will see a hole with a peg inside. If you don't already know, this is where the key goes to wind him up.
You stick the key in and proceed to wind him up. Keep going until it stops ratcheting. The feel of the winding is pretty solid.
From behind, you'll see a very old style switch which is labeled "A-Go" and "B-Stop". Basically you put in the stop position while winding and when you're ready for some noisy, slow robot walking action, you flick it to Go.
Now for you newer humans, you may be surprised to know that this robot had no need for little screws to be held together. He has nice, sharp tin tabs. I've had my share of tin toys as a kid and It's always the same. First month toy rocks, second month, toy is mutilating your fingers. Note: Never ever take apart an old tin toy. Trust me. Notice the handiwork of these tabs. This is hand built fellas. Although its held with bent tabs, it does hold its shape well and is sturdy. Here you can see the foot spikes that move back and forth for the walking action.
So what have we learned today? Probably nothing you'll ever talk about since most of you will just forget about the possible FIRST EVER ROBOT TOY EVER MADE IN THE WORLD EVER since its old technology. If you have 15 bucks burning a hole in your wallet, take a shot at this cool toy. That includes shipping. Then you can set him next to your newer robots so he can tell them stories about the old days of space fighting.
|Posted 25 April, 2010 - 12:43 by chachipower